What Do You Use to Build Characters


Pathfinder Society

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Hey, all.

I am heading to my first Pathfinder Society event on 11 Oct. Going to make a character or two for DemonFest 2013 and came across HeroForge for Pathfinder online. There are several versions of the software and something called Yet Another Pathfinder Character Generator. What do you guys use among those?

http://www.nzcomputers.net/heroforge/defaultpath.asp

What do you folks use to build PFS characters? There isn't a paizo utility, is there? I'll gladly do it by hand, of course. But I loved HeroForge for the (glory) days of Living Greyhawk.

Happy gaming,
Greyson

Liberty's Edge

I personally enjoy YAPCG. It is free and carries a huge amount of content. It is also updated very frequently. The drawback is that it is a very slow program to use as it is a huge excel spreadsheet.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I use my brain and a pencil. :)

3/5

Pencil and paper.

Though most of the people around here use HeroLab or the free version of it.


pencil and paper first.

I will often drop it in herolab after a few levels to make sure my math adds up

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Greyson wrote:

Hey, all.

I am heading to my first Pathfinder Society event on 11 Oct. Going to make a character or two for DemonFest 2013 and came across HeroForge for Pathfinder online. There are several versions of the software and something called Yet Another Pathfinder Character Generator. What do you guys use among those?

http://www.nzcomputers.net/heroforge/defaultpath.asp

What do you folks use to build PFS characters? There isn't a paizo utility, is there? I'll gladly do it by hand, of course. But I loved HeroForge for the (glory) days of Living Greyhawk.

Happy gaming,
Greyson

With female characters it's sugar and spice, everything nice. With male characters it's the other stuff.

Heroforge is probably the best utility out there. If your wallet, or your ideals abhor the thought of paying for a utility, your only option is PCGen. Or various spreadsheets, but that'd require paying for Excel.

3/5

LazarX wrote:
With male characters it's the other stuff

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails


Nathan Hartshorn wrote:
LazarX wrote:
With male characters it's the other stuff
Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Nope the nagaji, kitsune, etc. require a boon chronicle :)

to the OP a pencil and Jiggy's brain.


A summation of my design process

well, this and doing all my research in herolab, then checking up on all the math and compatabilities by hand to make sure I did not screw anything up

Liberty's Edge

I spend a lot of time thinking about the concept and inspiration, looking through books for ideas on how I can make the character more complete mechanically, forgetting half of my ideas along the way. I will sometimes take notes at this stage.

When I get to working on finalizing the character, I usually sit down with Hero Lab. I usually go through several revisions of the character before I actually play it, especially as I do more GMing than playing.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pencil, paper, and d20pfsrd.

I don't trust the computer, the computer won't let me fix its errors, and often can't do what I need it to do.

The feats, archetypes, and traits are spread out over so many books that actually using the physical books to comparison shop is getting increasingly difficult: having all the traits in one place, all the archetypes in one place (with a chart), all the equipment in one place etc makes it a lot easier.

Silver Crusade

Pad of paper, pencil, PRD, and http://www.jody-white.com/pathfinder-ability-score-calculator.php.

I usually map out the first five or six levels of advancement, sometimes more (if I'm going for a specific prestige class, for instance).

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere aka Rei

The local PFS character wiki, all my resource books, Archives of Nethys, and the Trove Tokens character sheet to quick-calculate basic stuff like saves and skill points. I double-check everything I pull from it and usually have someone else look it over as well, though.

Sovereign Court

jcederberg wrote:
I personally enjoy YAPCG. It is free and carries a huge amount of content. It is also updated very frequently. The drawback is that it is a very slow program to use as it is a huge excel spreadsheet.

Seconded.


First I create/steal/alter a concept, be it from a picture, movie, book, song, personal encounter or whatnot else.
I usually throw the concept around in my brain for a few hours/days/weeks and in some cases years, while reading source books, and more frequently these days, the d20pfsrd, much for the same reason as BigNorseWolf, to rough out how I want the character to go,and start developing a background for them.
Once the rough polish is finished, I break out pencil and paper, and frequently curses from a half dozen languages, while I try and fine tune the character into something useful.
Then, I start filling out a character sheet, by hand.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

I use HeroLab, my books (in PDF format), and the Additional Resources page to make sure that HeroLab isn't letting me take somethign illegal.

I cross-check the math, and, if it gets too involved, include the numbers and calculation in the personal notes section, especially if it is something (like special calcs for CMB) that is not normally shown in HL.

I tend to avoid D20pfSRD, since it is harder to cross-check the legality of something they have renamed due to no longer being a free site.

I always try to make sure that I know how I got the numbers I show, so I can explain it if the GM asks. When playing online, I will sometimes include the calculation sources in the macros I set up. I have also been known to create a spreadsheet showing base numbers, and how using various feats and situations (archer, PBS, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot, etc.) affect the to-hit and damage numbers.

Dark Archive

I use either Notepad or LibreOffice (freeware word processing program). I can't stand the regular character sheets, so they tend to look like a monster stat block with a few things moved around for ease of play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The people that I respect most that have post coincidentaly choose pencil and paper.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Another one for good old paper and pencil...

Albeit that will ruins finlander's previous statement hehe :P .


Cold Napalm wrote:

Another one for good old paper and pencil...

Albeit that will ruins finlander's previous statement hehe :P .

What if you search I have complimented you on another occasion. Infact it was while I was being stupid.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Pen and Paper.

For online resources I really love using www.archivesofnethys.com for making PFS characters. Clear labelling of what is PFS legal and their sources helps me plan out my character and what books to buy.

Use http://tools.digitalightbulb.com/pbcalc.html for quick calculating of ability score pointbuy.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

I'm with Secane: pencil, paper, and archivesofnethys.com. It's easily searchable, tells you what rules source you need to own to use the rule (and what other books it's been published in, if it's in multiple books) and is extremely well organized. Blake did a hell of a job on that site. I recommend it to everyone.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, but www.archivesofnethys.com uses the games metatag and I can not view it from work...

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Finlanderboy wrote:
Yes, but www.archivesofnethys.com uses the games metatag and I can not view it from work...

Heh. The irony in that statement will make me smile for weeks...

Grand Lodge 4/5

Finlanderboy wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

Another one for good old paper and pencil...

Albeit that will ruins finlander's previous statement hehe :P .

What if you search I have complimented you on another occasion. Infact it was while I was being stupid.

I know...hence the smiley :) . I generally tend to agree with what you say.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
I use my brain and a pencil. :)

That must make it very difficult for you... So how do you pull the pencil out of the brain?... ;)

Or do you mean this?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I use my brain and a pencil. :)

That must make it very difficult for you... So how do you pull the pencil out of the brain?... ;)

Or do you mean this?

Or This. It really clears the sinuses...

2/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris aka 勝20100

I use PCGen, and Xournal for the chronicle sheets and ITS; used it for one character before.

Shadow Lodge

I like HeroLab. Partly because I can set it to only use content from books I own, partly because it handles the fiddly bits for me, and mostly because I find its search/filter feature to be faster than a Google search.

In 3.5 I made all my characters by hand. In PFRPG, I feel overwhelmed by some of the options. It's easier just to click a button and see what's affected by that choice. I still "check the math" on everything once I've got my build finalized.

Silver Crusade

I use paper.


Hero Lab. It makes the creation process so much faster that I don't think I could ever go back to doing characters by hand (at least for PFS). I often find myself using it to quickly sketch out build ideas, just to see what they look like.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

Mostly I just use neceros's character sheet (PDF), but check everything on it. And me brain. That's the key.

Searching? The PRD... Mostly looking for feats and spells. Then, for a spell caster, I typically create a spell book from Perram's generator (really like e new alpha version.). T


HeroLab. The game just has too many sources now for me to remember them. HeroLab let's me select the ones I have and only that material is used. Building, editing, modifying, all be come very easy. I can also add custom content to the data files. It has an export to fantasy grounds feature, if you use it. I love the HeroLab for iPad, my iPad is now my character sheet and my library for the eighty-five or so PDFs I have.

On the negative. I think you can lose a little bit of investment in each character. it's so much easier to make one that you tend to build more of them. You end up with less time invested in more characters than more time invested a few. That can, not saying does, but can minimize the intimate knowledge of a character and personnel investment in their fate.

I hate going to Taco Bell, or insert anyplace, and being forced to choose between Pepsi products. I remember the days when you could order a Pepsi or a Coke at the same restaurant as your preference dictated. That is an important element of choice to maintain. I don't like the way D&D pulled their whole game back into themselves with 4E. I hope Paizo, whatever shape Pathfinder takes, keeps that in mind and leaves room for people who build tools and sources for their game.

Grand Lodge

I use Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Pathfinder Character Sheet.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aristophanes wrote:

I use Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Pathfinder Character Sheet.

I want a link. Just because of the name...

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

Drogon wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:

I use Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Pathfinder Character Sheet.

I want a link. Just because of the name...

Google came up with Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Character Sheet

Sovereign Court

kinevon wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:

I use Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Pathfinder Character Sheet.

I want a link. Just because of the name...
Google came up with Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Character Sheet

Huh, so that's what the one I use is called. Never bothered to look at the big logo in the upper-left corner, haha.

Though for building, I typically use pencil and paper, then input it into this PDF sheet when I've got it done up.


I really like HeroLab - it's good fun to just mess around with it creating characters, and versions of characters, and just generally playing with builds - during a flight or a dull meeting.

That said, I AM very familiar with the actual game rules, so I can spot errors in Hero lab (they aren't many or often, but they do occur), and then I can tweak files to workaround. Especially when a character gets into high levels, do NOT assume everything is accurate. It's still a very handy tool, though, both for building and running characters.

Sovereign Court

It's interesting to see so many PnP people. My local area is predominately HeroLab amongst the regulars, and people with completely handwritten sheets are rare.

Dark Archive 3/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
David Bowles wrote:
I use paper.

No pen or pencil or marker?

Silver Crusade

No; I use *blood*. :)


I usually use HeroLab but have decided i need to start using Pen(cil) and paper. It will help with learning the rules and how the actual build functions as a whole. I may input the character into one of the PDF files for clarity but something about the handwritten form makes me all nostalgic. :)

Silver Crusade

These programs have also made some weird errors on PCs that I've run for. Sometimes there's just no substitute for actually knowing it yourself.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

kinevon wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:

I use Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Pathfinder Character Sheet.

I want a link. Just because of the name...
Google came up with Bad-Ass Bandanna Studios Character Sheet

Thanks for this, going to use it for an online Way of the Wicked game!

Shadow Lodge

When a Daddy character and a Mummy character love each other very much, they sometimes get together and make a----

More seriously, pencil and paper, pfsrd. One thing I think I do that is different from most people is put some thought into their family and where they came from.

It's the difference between being Marv, half orc alchemist, and Marv the Barbaque king; who has a resturaunt in Absalon when he's not adventuring that specializes in orcish barbaque, has two sisters he's trying to marry off, a code of Orcish barbaque (don't eat anyone you converse with, bad manners), loved his parents who were happily married until the citizens of Kaer Magna burned them at the stake for moral turpitude.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Greyson wrote:

Hey, all.

... Happy gaming, Greyson

there are some cool tools out there to help with character creation.

I use my brain and pen & paper. It takes awhile but I enjoy it.
I will reference various sites as I make sure the concept is sound and playable.

Stephen

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RtrnofdMax wrote:
It's interesting to see so many PnP people. My local area is predominately HeroLab amongst the regulars, and people with completely handwritten sheets are rare.

My handwritten sheets would be unreadable to most sentient life.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

LazarX wrote:
RtrnofdMax wrote:
It's interesting to see so many PnP people. My local area is predominately HeroLab amongst the regulars, and people with completely handwritten sheets are rare.
My handwritten sheets would be unreadable to most sentient life.

heheheee...

I have my own custom sheets. Areas are color coded and it allows adjustments for spells, DR, ER, SR and such so all frequently used data is on the front side. Not so frequently referenced stuff (equipment, body slots, experience, wealth, mounts and familiars) is on the back.

Only my mom claims she can't read my handwriting.

Dark Archive 3/5 Venture-Captain, Mississippi—Ocean Springs aka WhtKnt

Hero Lab, all the way. Been using it for years and it has seldom steered me wrong.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I use pen and paper, just like I do my taxes.

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