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Subject: D&D 4e: Anybody tried the Character Builder software from WotC? rss

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Rob
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Looks like it’s in Beta right now. Has anybody downloaded it and tried it?
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Brian Casey
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I'd like to try it, but Wizards seems to think I need to subscribe to D&D Insider before they'll let me near the beta character builder. I seem to think I don't.
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CHAPEL
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Truthfully, I just don't think it's worth the monthly $$$. My Bic Grip Roller, Dice, and laser printer work just fine!
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Brian Casey
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MWChapel wrote:
Truthfully, I just don't think it's worth the monthly $$$. My Bic Grip Roller, Dice, and laser printer work just fine!


With very few exceptions the things you would get for subscribing to Insider were never all that useful in the first place. Things like Dungeon and Dragon magazines were always operating in some sort of rarefied atmosphere of perfect play and reasonable players who dedicated more hours to the game than came with a week of 8 hour work days and family time. Sure, they were fun to read about and occasionally gave you some good ideas, but not so often that I ever subscribed to either one.

And yes, I know I am setting myself up for some nerd rage by saying 'meh' to two such wonderful resources. So what?

Besides which, only Wizards would contemplate charging me to beta test their software.


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If Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Then Actions x2 Speak Louder Than Actions
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I was going to try it, but it only allows you to level up to third level.

I did try this homebrew generator.
http://203.194.161.207/sheepy/chargen/

I didn't like the format of the finished character sheet, but it allows you to see minor formulas and tidbits about your character you may have missed.
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Josh
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I wrote a character generator in BASIC in 1984.cool
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True Blue Jon
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Mr_Six wrote:
Besides which, only Wizards would contemplate charging me to beta test their software.


You haven't heard of Microsoft?
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David Matchen
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quozl wrote:
Mr_Six wrote:
Besides which, only Wizards would contemplate charging me to beta test their software.


You haven't heard of Microsoft?


Or MMO games?
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Jay Little
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I registered, subscribed and have downloaded the Character Builder. It does make character generation a snap... Well, even easier than it already is -- as in my opinion, creating a 4E character takes about 1/3 the time that creating a 3.5 character did...

However, the biggest advantage is the built-in power card builder. Once you select your powers, feats and equipment, you can view custom power cards for your character. The power cards have the default formula (such as "Str vs. AC" or "2 [W] damage") -- but then also substitutes the values for your character based on the currently equipped gear.

The cards are well formatted, and when printed, easily slip into conventional card sleeves. I had been creating cards for all the powers from scratch, which was time consuming. This element alone makes it worthwhile, in my opinion.

I'm curious to see how they allow access to other books. Will I need to purchase a physical copy of the PHB2 to use PHB2 abilities/classes/races in the builder? Will I need to buy a separate electronic version/license? So it's unclear how they will incorporate other resources -- but the beta does include access to the PHB, MM, DMG as well as a wide variety of Dragon Magazine pieces and even content from the Adventurer's Vault and Forgotten Realm's Campaign Setting, if I recall correctly.
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Jason Sadler
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I use it too and my wife plays with it like it is a game in itself. If they keep it up to date with the new releases like Martial Powers I would give it a thumbs up if you play more than twice a month.
 
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Jay Little
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I will say the ease of use of building a character with the software really appealed to my wife. She played in an ill-fated attempt at Temple of Elemental Evil a few years ago using 3.5....

When 4E came out, she was ambivalent, but after seeing us put some characters together, expressed some interest but was still intimidated by flipping through all the books and trying to figure out how all the abilities and rules socket together.

I showed her the character builder, and in 10 minutes, she had a complete, accurate and very functional 1st level human fighter. After our first session of the most current campaign, I gave everyone the opportunity to tweak and adjust their characters, since everyone was still learning the rules and getting used to the new system.

Trish was able to load up her character (the ability to save/update a character is a feature that is incredibly useful), make a few changes, and re-select at-will and encounter powers with ease. Then, it was a snap to print out the new sheet and the new power cards, cut and sleeve them.

I had almost given up all hope of Trish ever joining us for an RPG session again, but the utility of the Character Builder tool and the more streamlined (and forgiving??) ruleset for 4E changed her mind. And our game group is certainly better off for it.
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