So many places to start and I generally default to an apology... I am sorry if this is the incorrect forum for such things, it seemed the most appropriate since my questions at this moment are about what would serve best in designing my database before concerning myself with the actual steps in bringing it all back together.
A small confession, I am 34 years old and yes I still play D&D. Now for a revelation, it has been instrumental in my advanced understanding of Microsoft Excel. However, I am working on moving beyond the 3 character sheets, 2 spell books (priests and wizards), and 4 other supplemental workbooks I have created. My desires for a comprehensive character sheet, flexibility in design, and not having to almost completely re-create a character sheet every time we start a new campaign has led me to dive into the world of databases.
A vast majority of the information is already laid out and standardized, I'm just looking to bring it all together in a more fluid format. I also don't want anything prefab, or mostly done. I am working on this to better myself and gain a skill I did not have before. I also understand this is not an overnight kind of thing so thankfully I am not frustrated that I have already had to remove and recreate 12 tables and anticipate many more to come until I get it right. One last side note, I am using Open Office's BASE to create the tables, relationships, and queries so I can go back through and actually read the mysql to further my knowledge.
Okay, annoyingly long intro over, here is my current situation and thus my question.
(those that have already played D&D, please be aware I am working off all the books in the A&D 2nd edition Advanced with skills and powers options, along with the combat and tactics and other supplemental books for the same editions.)
This is going to be long so that the concept can be explained properly.
In the game you have skills, attributes, and magic that can change the values for certain things. Currently I am working on weapons. For instance: A short sword has the following attributes to it: Weight, Size, type, speed, melee reach, Damage vs. Small-Medium, Damage Vs. Large, and Knockdown.
All Melee weapons hold these same attributes, just the values can vary. Other things come into consideration to make all of this work, for example some of the character races and classes can get bonuses with a sword or short sword for attacks and damage, and magic can influence the damage information as well.
To help work with this, I am considering separating melee weapons into several tables, such as: Axes, Bows, Crossbows, Polearms, hammers, Spears, Short Swords, and Swords.
If it helps to think of it in another fashion, since not many people actually play... Cell phones, Each has different attributes to it and you can add accessories. How would you go about designing the tables to keep track of all the cell phones available in a certain market with out getting into the individual masses of a certain make/model?
and then add sections for accessories such as cases, blue tooth devices, car charges, etc, so that when you bring up a particular phone you can associate different accessories at a later time. I'm just trying to get the best ideas on how to create my tables to accomplish such a task, any help?
Is this necessary or am I over-complicating things?
Any advise on a better way to proceed if I am over-complicating things?
Thank you for your time.
P.S. The answers to this will actually help me with answers to previous and future tables. Then comes the fun part of pulling all the data back together.