I have opened up the online Pathfinder PRG character generator beta testing to the public. You can find the generator at VentureCaptain.com. I actually plan on expanding the site to host a suite of utilities for use with the Pathfinder RPG including a dice app I’ve been tinkering with that uses true random number generation, courtesy of Random.org. You can also follow Venture Captain on Facebook and on Twitter.
THIS IS BETA
I must stress that the generator is in BETA. There are obvious things missing, as well as ton of undiscovered bugs waiting to be squashed. I am working on tying up loose ends with the current implemented features before slaying the bigger dragons of Equipment and Spells. Oh yeah, and the only guy writing code for this app is me.
Some things I’m working on now is expanding the class feature information presented on the character sheet (displaying bloodline powers, school powers, etc.) as well as creating an interface for missing elements such as being able to choose what Mercy you get when you take the Extra Mercy feat.
This being said, if you find anything missing, improperly formatted, not compliant with the latest Pathfinder RPG rules, or have a general suggestion please do not hesitate to contact me via Twitter, Facebook, or using the VentureCaptain.com Contact page. I want this tool be the best it can be, so everyone’s feedback is important to me.
Below is how I think feature implementation will roll-out. I’m naming the builds after cities in Golarion, with the first build belonging to capital of the oldest empire.
v1.0 [Sothis] Feature Implementation (bold items are finished; italicized items are in development):
- Ability Scores (point buy, tier points, racial adjustments)
- Core Classes (alignment restrictions, favored class bonuses, selectable class features)
- Skills (class skill training bonus, skill focus bonus, racial bonuses, ability modifiers)
- Calculated Combat Stats (BAB, CMB, CMD, AC, Touch AC, Flat Footed AC, Saves, HPs, Speed, Initiative)
- Feats (Racial, class granted feats, full prerequisite validation)
- Equipment (calculate wealth, calculate encumbrance, attack/damage bonuses, highlight proficiency, equip to slots)
- Spells (select known spells, select memorized spells, calculate DCs, calculate dice/bonuses)
- Portraits by 60+ Terrible Portraits
- Save to PDF (complete with calculated values, racial & class features, custom landscape layout)
v2.0 [Oppara] Feature Roadmap:
- Prestige Classes
- Language Selection
- Custom Magic Weapon & Armor
- Random Bio Generation (Name, Homeland, Age, Height, Weight, Hair, & Eyes) based on Race & Gender
- Aging Affects validation based on Age in Bio
- Rules Info (overlays with PRD definitions for class features, feats, etc.)
- Pathfinder Society legal character validation
- Save to HTML
v3.0 [Egorian] Feature Roadmap:
- Advanced Player’s Guide Update
- Non-core free entry for class, feats, traits, skills, equipment, & spells.
- Pre-calculated Combat Maneuver & Spell sheets
- Storage Solutions
Did I mention this web app is free? Yeah, creating characters with Venture Captain costs you nothing (except whatever you pay to access the internet already). It will continue to be free for as long as I feel like covering the cost of hosting and development. There may be pay features in the future (storing characters in cloud?), but only for convenience services, never for content.
I agree -- this is a big job.
I started converting the D&D3.5 HTML charsheet for TheTangledWeb late last year (starting in Sept '09 or so) and then lost my work in a drive crash in March. Ugh! :(
jQuery has a lot of nice plugins that will simplify some things (I used the validator extensively with about a half-dozen custom validation routines), but I was only building an automated charsheet, not a character builder. So I only checked some of the math and not all of it.
To the OP: considering how many classes a single PC could have, the spell section might be best handled as tabs. I was planning to use an accordion-like plugin so that only a single page of the accordion would be open at any given time, but summaries of the other pages would always be visible with tooltip info so that looking for a particular spell, or spells of a particular level, would be fairly easy to do.
If I weren't so busy working on MapTool I'd love to join you in this, but alas... :(
Thanks for the encouragement! I'm definitely want to provide a useful tool, so keep checking back.
Yes, equipment & spells are currently in the works, so those tabs are empty (for now). Should have been able to select domains (if you had selected a level of Cleric at the top of the classes page). If you try again and it's still not working for you, please contact me and let me know what browser/version you were using and what steps to take to replicate the problem.
@azhrei_fje: I'm actually taking advantage of jQuery for much of the heavy lifting for the interface already. It's definitely a difficult task trying to figure out how to display all the information effectively.
Thanks for comments & feedback!
ok, 30 seconds in to fiddling with it so this so if there is a place to report a bug i apologize. when taking a class with an alignment requirement, it completely doesn't allow it instead of making that player an ex-member
ok after running through it and making a character i have a few comments and suggestions
the character sheet is crazy detailed
any way to implement a dice roller for stats? how about a function that lets you input what you rolled and lets you swap them around
the current feat implementation (along with lack of summary for choices) will encourage people to use your product as a finial touch. this means that they will have their character completely done (in their mind, on paper etc) before heading to your app to make a pdf.
other than that it seems to be going pretty well
The additional skills block is unnecessary until you get a skills monkey who wants a ton of craft, perform, or profession. I'll definitely look into placing the option to use Pathfinder Society XP, so the character sheet output conforms to that (I play in non-PFS game that actually makes use of factions, so that's why it's there).
We do have a contact page (under About in the menu bar) where you can fill out a form to report bugs. You do bring up an excellent (and overlooked) point about changing alignments and becoming an ex-member of a class. It's going to the top of the update list, but it will take a while to come up with a decent way to execute it.
I actually plan on supplying PRD summaries of elements that will pop in an draggable overlay, but that's pretty far down the road.
As far as the dice roller, I do have plans for several bits of random generation and a full blown dice utility that will use true random number generation by interfacing with random.org (uses totally random atmospheric noise). I'm actually developing it in parallel with the site now (have a rudimentary working version on my test site). So yes, I actually do have plans for random generation, it's just not a top priority at the moment.
Thanks for the feedback!
Since you started this thread, I suppose you are not against a little criticism towards the betterment of your project?
1) one thing that most character-generating tools don't have is the concept that the character is not a single picture: it is a sum of choice over its history.
Some tools do apply retroactive bonuses, but I have never found one in which I could change my character's alignment at some point during his life.
Hence, I have never been able to use them to type my barbarian/monk character.
2) Speaking of monks, they don't have to meet the prerequisites for the bonus feats they can select at levels 1, 2, 6, 10, etc.
Now, questions: do you intend to...
- integrate 3.5 material?
- propose a standalone version?
- offer translations as well?
That's all for now. Thanks for putting this online.
If I didn't want criticism I surely would have never posted on a forum. t3hd0n also mentioned the alignment factor, which is a restriction I'm stripping out now (because a character could indeed change her alignment multiple times during her lifetime). Alignment restrictions will continue to apply to things like Channel Energy. Instead, there will be a warning message for at least Paladins and Druids stating that they lose all spells/class features (and the character sheet will reflect that).
I have also fixed the problem with monk feats requiring pre-requisites in the test build already, but I definitely appreciate you bringing it to my attention (monk feats now use the same validation routine as the ranger combat style feats). The build with these fixes (and a half a dozen others) should be live by 1700 EST today.
- integrate 3.5 material?
If you refer to Wizard's of the Coast non-OGL 3.5 material, then no. Though technically game rules cannot be copyrighted, WotC has a storied history of C&D letters and frivolous litigation, so I don't want to tempt fate.
There was additional open content from the Epic Level Handbook, Deities & Demigods, Expanded Psionics Handbook, and Unearthed Arcana, but I feel that material in particular would require massaging to make it work effectively with the updated rules in Pathfinder. Which just happens to be another can of worms I do not want to open.
However, in the future I do want to add the ability to accept custom entries for classes, feats, and spells.
That being said, once the official Paizo stuff is in, it would be interesting to collaborate with 3PPs to see about adding their Pathfinder compatible material.
- propose a standalone version?
At the moment, there is just too much stuff I need to do with the web app. Once the web app is comfortably mature, I might revisit the possibility of creating a desktop version, but all the Mac and Linux users be warned, I only develop in .NET (though Mono might work).
- offer translations as well?
This is an interesting concept that I will shelf for consideration much later. Since I don't fluently speak languages other than English and various programming languages, it would be difficult for me to accomplish. I would suggest that people take advantage of the Chrome browser which seems to always be able to translate pages for me.
I hope I've answered your question adequately and I definitely appreciate the feedback, it reinforces the changes I'm currently making. I honestly do want to make Venture Captain a tool that meets as many needs/expectations as is reasonably possible.
.NET UIs are really the easy part for something simple - Visual Studio creates all the UI code itself and you just have to write the stuff that does stuff.
I already have part of a UI and some code, I just need a good system for saving character information (and game rules) that I can work with.
|Eddie the 'Ed|
@Cartigan: I am very familiar with .NET, it's what I do for a living. In fact, Venture Captain actually runs on ASP.NET. I don't think UI is all that easy. Sure, it's simple to throw some controls on a Windows Form (or XAML if going WPF, which would be my choice); the hard part is creating a good workflow, account for different screen resolutions, and be aware of a ton of other minutia. UI is a complicated bit of wizardry to get right.
It would still require an entire application to be built from the ground up, you just can't throw a switch and make an web page into a desktop application. For storage, I'd embed SQL Express and use XML to import/export data.
@Eddie the 'Ed: Thanks and you're welcome!
@Blueluck: Will do, I'll make a new post when I have a significant amount of updates to speak about.
I was thinking XML for various reasons but I keep wanting to make up a rule system to fit the game and that kept giving me a headache.
I think I would just break things down into component elements. Have separate XML documents for Feats, Spells, Classes, Races, etc. It would definitely take some work to get right, especially a Class XML. Yeah, it gives me shivers just thinking about it.
A very impressive start. One feature I would request that you consider adding.. the ability to save and import a data file that could reside on a user's computer that way to enable the saving, loading, and re-editing of characters. Or possibly create an on-site account feature for those who donate.
...One feature I would request that you consider adding.. the ability to save and import a data file that could reside on a user's computer that way to enable the saving, loading, and re-editing of characters. Or possibly create an on-site account feature for those who donate.
That's an excellent idea.
I actually have a database storage solution I'm planning that will fulfill this need. Making a character persistent is one of my long term goals (listed in the feature roadmap from my original post as Storage Solutions). It would most likely be a premium feature that users can subscribe for, but this feature will be one of the final pieces implemented (due to extra costs for hosting a db).
One feature I would request that you consider adding.. the ability to save and import a data file that could reside on a user's computer
If the save/import could do a Stat Block that would be handy. You could take a stat block from an adventure and then use the program to modify it.
And outputting a stat block vs a full character sheet would be handy. Easier for a DM to deal with and that stat block can then be imported into various programs that work with Stat Blocks - like Maptools and DM's Familiar.