D&D Next Character Generator - Built in Excel 2003

Hi all,

I have been playing on this playtest for quite a while, and I have come up with a character generator for the current iteration of the playtest  compatible with Excel 2003 and newer.

It consists of drop-down lists and typed in fields that are context sensitive, and I think it works really well for pretty much everything except equipment (I never added the non-weapon non-armor gear in).

You still need the playtest packet to guide you through the creation process, but it is fairly intuitive. It prints three pages, but only 1 page is required for fighters and rogues, 2 for low-level casters, and 3 for higher due to the spell info contained.

If you don't mind a few "#N/A" lines on your sheet, it is pretty clean and functional. Linked are three character sheets showing the functionality of the builder:

Althasar - L4 High Elf Wizard Sage
Kieran - L1 Lightfoot Rogue Thief
Teryn - L3 Human Sorcerer Soldier


Until I hear otherwise, I assume this is allowed to be shared. You can find my Excel spreadsheet with all of my ugly formulae here:

D&D Next Character Builder v1

Oh, and if you want to use this with your group but don't want them messing around with the formulae, just protect the sheet or workbook. The input cells (blue and yellow) are set to be editable even if the remainder of the sheet is locked.

Let me know what you think!
Nice job, now lets hope WotC doesn't sue you or send you a cease and desist order...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Sure, I'd be happy to check it out when I get off work (probably tomorrow, though). I've been working on one myself, based on a 3e character sheet a friend of mine put together, and then on which we collaborated for SWSE and D&D4e. I'll be interested to see if we came up with similar solutions to things.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I'd like to try it. How do I get access?
Yeah, this is exactly the kind of stuff that WotC lawyers need to figure out a licensing policy that lets everybody win.

Basically, the license should automatically allow this kind of fandom productivity. Even let fans sell things like this for profit ... it is useful for the community ... until reaching a certain threshold of income, whereupon WotC gets a share of the income.

Maybe using WotC intellectual property and logos, automatically grants WotC reciprocal rights to use any content in the third-party product. This is a bit thorny but a good policy would have a lot to offer. It helps stop the fanbase from preempting the rights for unpublished projects that WotC is working on. Also, if a third-party content becomes widely popular across the D&D community, WotC will have the rights to integrate the content into future official products.

A fair policy that everyone who uses the license can understand, can go along way to making the community vibrant and WotC successful.
The sheets look great.

Here are some things I would want for my own character sheets.

Name
• Personal Name
• Parent Name (like “son of so-and-so”, “child of”, “so-and-sos-son”, and so on)
• Family Name - House, Clan - (family name, beyond immediate parents)

Title
• Origin Name - Tribe, Region, Town - (like “the Kenite”, of the tribe of Kayin, “El Greco”, the Greek, “Da Vinci”, from the town of Vinci, and so on)
• Position Name - Occupation, Rank - (Lord Arch Wizard of such-and-such, and so on)

(At least lengthen the Name space, and add a separate Title space.)

Size
• I would list “Size: Medium” first. Then make the specific height and weight as subcategories.

Complexion
• Eyes, Hair, and Skin color. Skin color is especially important, from black Drow to red Genasi. One character may be an Earth Genasi who resembles the Lapis Lazuli gem, thus whose skin is deep blue. 

 Alignment
• I would move the alignment to the “character description” section, because it really needs spelling out. Example: “Lawful” - in what way is the hero “lawful”? What are the kinds of behaviors this character is known for, that seems to categorize best as “lawful”. The hero respects authority, especially clan elders? The hero is a communist and believes in collectivism? The hero is philosophical libertarian and believes everything boils down to fair contracts between individuals? And so on. Deciding in what way someone is “lawful” or “chaotic” - or “good” or “evil” - helps articulate what the hero is about, and helps grok what these alignment mechanics can mean.

Weapons
• Probably my Wizard will never use a mundane weapon ever. And simply rely on atwill spells. So it would be important to be able to *remove* default data from the sheet, as well as add it.
Haldrik,

Of course I have come up with personal touches that I prefer in my campaign as well, but I based these specifically off of the playtest character sheets that were provided by WotC so I can quickly kick up a character and get the game moving. This way, when PCs die in the game (and in my game, they tend to die pretty often due to careless actions...), they can whip up another PC in 5 minutes or so.

Thank you for the input, I could easily put in a character description section in the lower left of the page so you can input more information.

Removal and addition of the weapons sections might be slightly more difficult, unless I put the minor spells in the weapons slots, but that gets messy; what happens with a war domain priest who has both weapons and spells? What about when multiclassing comes and someone makes a fighter/mage?

I appreciate the feedback. 
Looks cool.  The official version needs more space for weapons and at will magical effects.
Looks cool.  The official version needs more space for weapons and at will magical effects.

I'm with a 3.5e group, but tracking 5e development. The 3.5e sheet is rather complex, particularly with skills. I know skills are being simplified and an effort is being made to break the need for complex calculation to see if one may successfully pass gas or have a bowel movement during combat.

When 5e is released, I would like to have an app I can purchase that works on iPad or Droid that would make things like character generation easier, especially if I can print from the app.

I end up using www.pathguy.com/cg35.htm to figure out how to fill in the stuff, then a fill-inable .PDF that does the calculations. http://charactersheets.minotaur.cc/composer.html has very easy to read sheets, but no built-in calculations or even a way to enter fields on the form.

I hope 5e will take advantage of today's ubiquitous technology for things like .PDFs that can calculate things that are just math, or apps that can do anything more complex if needed. I suppose things like the 4e character generator on the Wizard's site are ok behind a pay-wall, but we can't get 'Net from the game-room where we are, and I'd much rather have all of that available on, say, a Kindle Fire or IPod or other 'Droid device that doesn't need to be connected to the 'Net.

But that's several years away. Meantime, I hope your spreadsheet will be allowed to be public, or that something can be worked out.
Nice work. Are you going to add in equipment packages from backgrounds/classes and/or dropdown menues for selecting equipment? Something like that would be nice (but not essential), especially to auto-calculate total weight carried or spending costs.
Regardless of how they view things like this in the future, it does violate the playtest agreement:



You agree not to copy, excerpt, distribute (either in physical or digital format), publish, display, disseminate, release and/or transmit, in whole or in part, or create derivative materials from any Playtest Materials provided to you.



Carl
Regardless of how they view things like this in the future, it does violate the playtest agreement:



You agree not to copy, excerpt, distribute (either in physical or digital format), publish, display, disseminate, release and/or transmit, in whole or in part, or create derivative materials from any Playtest Materials provided to you.



Carl


Just wondering if anyone knows, Is creating a character considered creating derivative material?

We are doing all those things constantly on this forum and nobody is getting banned or sued.
Regardless of how they view things like this in the future, it does violate the playtest agreement:



You agree not to copy, excerpt, distribute (either in physical or digital format), publish, display, disseminate, release and/or transmit, in whole or in part, or create derivative materials from any Playtest Materials provided to you.



Carl


Just wondering if anyone knows, Is creating a character considered creating derivative material?

We are doing all those things constantly on this forum and nobody is getting banned or sued.



Character creation is derivative material - we derived them from their rules.
Forum content, like most shared Internet content, immediately becomes the property of the forum owners. It's a neat idea, OP, and maybe sending it in an e-mail to the designers would be best to get their feedback, but other than that, I wouldn't risk it. 
"Our idea of rules modules has a wide range of scope; sometimes, our rules modules might just be small tweaks and variant rules, while other times they could be large-scale changes and entirely new subsystems. We want people to make the game their own, and that means provided a whole array of possibilities based on what you, the players, tell us that you want." -D&DNext Q&A Blog, 8/29/12, Answer #3.
"Haldrik,
Of course I have come up with personal touches that I prefer in my campaign as well, but I based these specifically off of the playtest character sheets that were provided by WotC so I can quickly kick up a character and get the game moving. This way, when PCs die in the game (and in my game, they tend to die pretty often due to careless actions...), they can whip up another PC in 5 minutes or so."

Careless actions?
I prefer to see them as adventure opportunities!
I really like the CB though and have made dozens of characters on it already.
I'll email you some of the issues I've come across.



Any plans to update this to the latest version?

Pretty sure this is outdated. I am looking to update it. Looks great.