Discussion of features in the new web-based character creator

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This thread is for discussion of features included in the upcoming web-based character creator.

I'm asking that this NOT be the place for discussing/ranting about the relative merits for/against, how much you hate it, how much you like it, or other expressions of nerd rage.  There's another thread for that, and it's running at about 100 posts an hour, so please, if you have strong feelings one way or the other, there's already a thread for that.

My personal concern right now is this:

Characters in the Cloud: All characters you create are saved on our database. No need to save Character Builder files on your hard drive anymore. 


I'd like to know if there will be a way to export characters in the same way or similar manner that characters are currently saved.  I'm not talking about a PDF export, but an actual way to export the data (say, XML).

I run a game through Fantasy Grounds right now, because it's the only way my son--stationed overseas--can play.  We currently create and level the characters through the character creator, then import it into Fantasy Grounds.  If the web-based application makes it so I have to enter everything by hand, this is a big problem.  Would like to hear something official from WotC if possible please.
I'm wondering now that all the characters will be saved on  a server if WOTC will allow you to go into a character database  to pull up a character you need quick. You could  enter race, sex, class, and level and see what you could get.
This thread is for discussion of features included in the upcoming web-based character creator.

I'm asking that this NOT be the place for discussing/ranting about the relative merits for/against, how much you hate it, how much you like it, or other expressions of nerd rage.  There's another thread for that, and it's running at about 100 posts an hour, so please, if you have strong feelings one way or the other, there's already a thread for that.

My personal concern right now is this:

Characters in the Cloud: All characters you create are saved on our database. No need to save Character Builder files on your hard drive anymore. 


I'd like to know if there will be a way to export characters in the same way or similar manner that characters are currently saved.  I'm not talking about a PDF export, but an actual way to export the data (say, XML).

I run a game through Fantasy Grounds right now, because it's the only way my son--stationed overseas--can play.  We currently create and level the characters through the character creator, then import it into Fantasy Grounds.  If the web-based application makes it so I have to enter everything by hand, this is a big problem.  Would like to hear something official from WotC if possible please.


Character export will not be in the product at launch on Nov 16th. We are very well aware that it's probably the #1 feature request and we'll add it as soon as we can.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
I'm wondering now that all the characters will be saved on  a server if WOTC will allow you to go into a character database  to pull up a character you need quick. You could  enter race, sex, class, and level and see what you could get.


I'm not sure I understand...
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"

Character export will not be in the product at launch on Nov 16th. We are very well aware that it's probably the #1 feature request and we'll add it as soon as we can.


Fantastic, thank you!
I'm wondering now that all the characters will be saved on  a server if WOTC will allow you to go into a character database  to pull up a character you need quick. You could  enter race, sex, class, and level and see what you could get.


I'm not sure I understand...




Say you get to play in a DnD pick up game. But you don't have any characters with you or time to make a character. You log into your DDi account, go to a character data base of  the characters other people made, search level, class, race, ect for a character you want to play, print it out, ready to go.

I'm wondering now that all the characters will be saved on  a server if WOTC will allow you to go into a character database  to pull up a character you need quick. You could  enter race, sex, class, and level and see what you could get.


I'm not sure I understand...




He's asking if the characters in the database are accessible (at least statwise) to everyone. If I load up the character builder, can I search for something like "Male Dragonborn Sorcerer" and get a list of characters in the database that match that? Why make a character from scratch if I can grab one and twiddle its dials a bit? If I want a pregen, can I search for "Female Human Slayer" and get myself a Buffy?
I'm wondering now that all the characters will be saved on  a server if WOTC will allow you to go into a character database  to pull up a character you need quick. You could  enter race, sex, class, and level and see what you could get.


I'm not sure I understand...




Say you get to play in a DnD pick up game. But you don't have any characters with you or time to make a character. You log into your DDi account, go to a character data base of  the characters other people made, search level, class, race, ect for a character you want to play, print it out, ready to go.



Gotcha.

There are a bunch of pregen characters (and we'll rotate among "themed sets") you can select from, but we are not currently planning to let you access other peoples' characters.

On the other hand, quickly generating a fully fleshed out new character takes literally 10 mouse clicks.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
That actually sounds like it could be a pretty cool feature.
Will it include Gamma World materials?
That actually sounds like it could be a pretty cool feature.


Yeah, we may re-evaluate this when implementaing sharing.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Will it include Gamma World materials?


No.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Never, ever?

Edit:  I pay for DDI but I've only recently started actually playing D&D and that's only through GW.  I thought we were supposed to be able to pull stuff back and forth between them?
Will it include my long-awaited mounts?
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Never, ever?


Not that I can tell.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
I pay for DDI but I've only recently started actually playing D&D and that's only through GW.  I thought we were supposed to be able to pull stuff back and forth between them?
I pay for DDI but I've only recently started actually playing D&D and that's only through GW.  I thought we were supposed to be able to pull stuff back and forth between them?


D&D and Gamma World are separate games.  Gamma World is based on the 4e core mechanics, but it's a completely separate game.
@moxcamel

It has the D&D logo on the box.  I've been told by WotC staff that I can bring over monsters either to GW or back to a 4E game.  I know there are differences but I thought they were mostly simplified mechanics (which BTW got our group to actually like play D&D again).
@moxcamel

It has the D&D logo on the box.  I've been told by WotC staff that I can bring over monsters either to GW or back to a 4E game.  I know there are differences but I thought they were mostly simplified mechanics (which BTW got our group to actually like play D&D again).


Hmmm...so it does (have the D&D logo).  I dunno, my understanding is that it's a compatible system, but it's not considered a D&D setting.  I could be wrong.

What I would like to see, however, is a separate set of tools for GW.  A GW Character creator, a GW compendium, etc.  It just doesn't feel right to me, to mix the two systems.  But I'd definitely like to see GW get its own tools.
@moxcamel

I could support that if I could bring monsters back and forth between them.  Regular 4E does nothing for our group.  We are digging Gamma World though and would love to see some support.
You put Gamma World in the system and suddenly people are rolling up Psionic Half Elves with Laser Guns.

In Forgotten Realms.

One can see where there would need to be some separation between the two systems.
what about character sheets?

if I build an essentials character will it print on only the essentials character sheet or can it print on a 4e sheet and vis-a-versa.

What about portrait or landscape? For both essentials and 4e. Can I customize the sheets like I can in the current CB?
The original character builder had some flexibility in the layout of a character sheet, can we expect the same degree of flexibility in making a custom layout? 

Also, since you are considering export options, might there be an XML export?  
what about character sheets?

if I build an essentials character will it print on only the essentials character sheet or can it print on a 4e sheet and vis-a-versa.

What about portrait or landscape? For both essentials and 4e. Can I customize the sheets like I can in the current CB?


At launch, we'll have the choice of two portrait character sheets with power and item cards. One is going to be the Essentials one and then a brand new one, with more info crammed in the first page. You can use them both for any kind of character.

We have plans for more of them, to be released in the following updates.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
The original character builder had some flexibility in the layout of a character sheet, can we expect the same degree of flexibility in making a custom layout? 


No, for now we'll provide a number of static character sheets (two at launch, more to follow).
Also, since you are considering export options, might there be an XML export?  


The format considered for export is .dnd4e.

Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
If the export format is .dnd4e, will these files be loadable into the current off-line Character Builder?
Thanks for your response.

Help me ask this question (not a computer science guy): will the .dnd4e schema (still?) be publicly available so that third parties can read it (for custom sheets and whatnot) or will there be some encryption? 

I'm thinking of two of my favorite apps, iplay4e and inCombat. 
what about character sheets?

if I build an essentials character will it print on only the essentials character sheet or can it print on a 4e sheet and vis-a-versa.

What about portrait or landscape? For both essentials and 4e. Can I customize the sheets like I can in the current CB?


At launch, we'll have the choice of two portrait character sheets with power and item cards. One is going to be the Essentials one and then a brand new one, with more info crammed in the first page. You can use them both for any kind of character.

We have plans for more of them, to be released in the following updates.



thanks for the quick reply. Any screen shots of the sheets? Cool
If the export format is .dnd4e, will these files be loadable into the current off-line Character Builder?


While the format is the same, the content would not be usable by the Character Builder Classic. The opposite (CBC to new CB) is completely supported.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Thanks for your response.

Help me ask this question (not a computer science guy): will the .dnd4e schema (still?) be publicly available so that third parties can read it (for custom sheets and whatnot) or will there be some encryption? 

I'm thinking of two of my favorite apps, iplay4e and inCombat. 


The format is not changed.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
Thanks again,
   Will the new online CB allow the option to limit available choices (per the Campaign Settings tab in the current CB), as well as the ability to save and load campaign settings?

Related to that,  there's a little "RPGA Legal" note that comes up when you create a character, will that still be around?


Also, there's a  character summary available in the current builder, will that feature still be available?
thank god they arent changing the file format
Thanks again,
   Will the new online CB allow the option to limit available choices (per the Campaign Settings tab in the current CB), as well as the ability to save and load campaign settings?


At launch, the CB will have a number of predefined campaign settings and the intrinsic functionality to use them but not the user interface to edit them. We plan to add it in a future update.
Related to that,  there's a little "RPGA Legal" note that comes up when you create a character, will that still be around?


On the character sheet?
Also, there's a  character summary available in the current builder, will that feature still be available?


Not at the moment.
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"

Okay I have a Side question will their be a Monster Builder and will we be able to protect our Creative property?  I know as a DM I not sure I want anyone stealing stuff I created I and others had enough of that from White Wolf.  I would prefer that some parts of the data like monsters are stored on my own machine.


Okay I have a Side question will their be a Monster Builder and will we be able to protect our Creative property?  I know as a DM I not sure I want anyone stealing stuff I created I and others had enough of that from White Wolf.  I would prefer that some parts of the data like monsters are stored on my own machine.



There will be a new Adventure Tools update but I can't honestly comment on legal stuff. I'll ask them and see what I can get back.

Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
when you say a new adventure tools update do you mean an update to the existing monster builder? and if so, are you taking the rpga monsters off? and if none of those things, when, just ballpark, do you think the new monster builder will come out? closer to 1 month or 6 months
Do you use Iplay4e and InCombat for inspiration on character sheet wrangling layout and functionality?  For me and my group (about 6 other subscribers) those are close to ideal, with the exception of more flexibility for wizard style classes where you want to be able to "hide" certain powers like wizard inactive spells in their spellbook.  But aside from that one piece of funtionality they have mobile web supported formats, agile layout for deciding what to do on any given round and tracking all of the math, conditions and such is a sinch with InCombat.  CB char sheets have always been far too lengthy to be practical at the table.  Many of the folks in my group only keep their subscriptions to keep those two independent tools fully functional.

On the character sheet?



No, I only meant while building a character, there's a little prompt to tell you if your character is RPGA legal. I don't think it prints out to the character sheet.

they dont support rpga anymore, they are deleting the content from the tools so my guess is no, there wont be the letters 'rpga' anywhere in the entire program
what about character sheets?

if I build an essentials character will it print on only the essentials character sheet or can it print on a 4e sheet and vis-a-versa.

What about portrait or landscape? For both essentials and 4e. Can I customize the sheets like I can in the current CB?


At launch, we'll have the choice of two portrait character sheets with power and item cards. One is going to be the Essentials one and then a brand new one, with more info crammed in the first page. You can use them both for any kind of character.

We have plans for more of them, to be released in the following updates.



thanks for the quick reply. Any screen shots of the sheets?


Sure!

87062d4844e6c251fb5ff604bc10637b.png
Paolo Marcucci "Building better worlds"
I like the new layout. Looks good and useable! 
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