DM's Toolkit in Development

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A friendly welcome to you all!

Together Eldritch_Lord and I, Leichenreiter, have created a program that will make life easier on Dungeon Masters and players who want to create their own homebrew material for 4E.

Our program, the DM's Toolkit, is essentially a formatting tool that guides you through the creation process of a variety of things for 4th Edition D&D.

It allows you to format material either for your own use or for posting on forums, with a special format option for the official Wizards forum. You can save all of your material for sharing with friends, create power cards, and do other miscellaneous tasks to make creation and sharing of homebrew material easier.

As of now, the Toolkit includes fully-functional Creators for the following things:
  • Races
  • Classes
  • Powers
  • Paragon Paths
  • Epic Destinies


We are currently working on Creators for the following for later releases:
  • Feats
  • Rituals
  • Magic Items (incl. Artifacts)
  • Monsters


We first planned to release the Toolkit on 6th June, concurrent with the release of 4th Edition itself, but it was postponed by circumstances beyond our control that have since been resolved. We will release the Toolkit 6th of September, offering it free of charge to all DMs and players who would like to make use of this Toolkit. A big thanks to all of those who alpha and beta tested the Toolkit since then; they've helped us improve the Toolkit a lot and suggested a lot of features, and the Toolkit is better for it.

We intend to eventually offer the Toolkit for the three dominant platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac. Unfortunately, at present Version 1.0 of the Toolkit will not be available for Mac,
but as soon as we can find a good executable creator for Mac, a Mac version will be available with a later release.

The following are a batch of screenshots taken with the pre-release version of the Toolkit. Enjoy!

Screenshots:
Show

Main Menu (Tome-Style / Whimsical-Style)
IMAGE(http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm122/DMToolkit/toolkit_menu_t.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm122/DMToolkit/toolkit_menu_w.jpg)

Options Panel:
IMAGE(http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm122/DMToolkit/toolkit_options.jpg)













Download

DM Toolkit Project Website and Download




(On a side note, a big thank-you goes out to Excelsior LLC, who generously provided the Windows and Linux executable creators to support our project; we couldn't have done it without them. You can check them out here if you want to do something similar.)
We've posted this thread to get feedback and/or corrections before the Toolkit becomes available for download. Since neither of us was one of the lucky ones to get the 4e books early (Curse you, Barnes & Noble!), we've been working only from the preview materials, as you can probably guess from the screenshots above.

If you happen to have the books and notice a problem with the input or another mistake, please post or PM and let us know. For instance, Belladonna5012 just let us know that the Fighter has 4 abilities listed as Key Abilities, and so the 3 slots for Key Abilities in the Class Creator won't be sufficient, and I'll have to redo that.

We want to make this as accurate and user-friendly as possible, so any feedback and comments are greatly appreciated.
Will the source be available?
To advocate, this is a very well built program and makes the creation of the above very quick and concise. thanks to the both of you for putting it together and I look forward to seeing it completed.
Will the source be available?

Possibly, though most likely not at first; I'll probably be working with it for a little while after release as people find bugs and such. Based on popularity and how many people would want it, however, I may make the source available for tinkering once it's as complete as I can make it.
Copying the text from the Toolkit to Word kills all formatting.

Is the known bugs in a certain type of Word or all Words programs?

What about Microsoft Works Word? I am making monsters, power, and classes with on M.W.Word instead Office Word.

But looks good if it works.
The power creator looks good so far.
"If you can't believe in yourself, believe in me who believes in you." and "Go beyond the impossible, and kick reason to the curb" Kamina, from Gurren Lagann
Is the known bugs in a certain type of Word or all Words programs?

On a similar note, how does it interact with OpenOffice?
Is the known bugs in a certain type of Word or all Words programs?

What about Microsoft Works Word? I am making monsters, power, and classes with on M.W.Word instead Office Word.

But looks good if it works.
The power creator looks good so far.

I believe it's an issue with Java (the Toolkit's written in Java to facilitate inter-platform compatibility) rather than Word; I've tried this on a Linux machine with OpenOffice and the same thing happens. I'm working on a work-around at the moment, so stay tuned.

Anyone with Java GUI experience who knows how to fix that is welcome to give some tips.
Looks good* but I wonder if those long lines of text being cut short graphically will pose a problem, easy to lose a spelling error or wrong number when you can't see it.

FEATURE REQUEST!
Printable cards that resemble official DnD 4e statblocks/powers/items, or even better, the ability to save them as a generated image that a DM could import into a folder for house rules or something.

*I know it's mostly a non-issue, but it looks like someone threw up crayons. If you can, try mimic the 4e style on those tabs:
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/excerpt_4E_human.jpg)

Can't wait to try it =D
...the Toolkit's written in Java...

Epic fail. Will wait for a better program or, more likely, just continue to use trusty old Wordpad and not have to rely on quirky limitations or bad formatting issues.
Looks good* but I wonder if those long lines of text being cut short graphically will pose a problem, easy to lose a spelling error or wrong number when you can't see it.

Already done. :D You see the buttons next to the text fields? That pops up a separate (and larger) text box for you to enter text.

FEATURE REQUEST!
Printable cards that resemble official DnD 4e statblocks/powers/items, or even better, the ability to save them as a generated image that a DM could import into a folder for house rules or something.

Interesting idea. That probably would have to wait until I get a look at what all of the book images look like, but I'll keep that in mind.

*I know it's mostly a non-issue, but it looks like someone threw up crayons. If you can, try mimic the 4e style on those tabs:
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/excerpt_4E_human.jpg)

Can't wait to try it =D

Leichenreiter's the Head Artist on this project. That's his job. ;)
Epic fail. Will wait for a better program or, more likely, just continue to use trusty old Wordpad and not have to rely on quirky limitations or bad formatting issues.

First, if you're used to Wordpad then you won't have to worry about not having fancy bold and italics in your own copy. The text copies over just fine, and of course the forum formatting works fine, so it's superior in that respect.

Second, I usually don't like Java either; I go to a science and tech high school where those who prefer Java over all else are the bottom rung on the geek heirarchy. However, for a language that works fine cross-platform and has as simple a GUI creation command set as possible, Java beats C, Python, or any other language I can program in.

Third, I somehow doubt a "better program" will come along anytime soon. Do you see someone else here willing to sacrifice their free time to make your homebrew creation easier? And if you're waiting for something like this to be in the DDI, well....

Fourth, if you're going to throw around "epic fail" remarks, then (A) you don't have to tell us you hate the program and aren't going to use it and (B) you don't have to post in this thread.
Ok I've been building mine in excel macros but this looks leaps and bounds above my first draft. Good work!

I agree with the remarks about the art and the copy/paste format issues, but what you have is certainly a good start and I look forward to seeing a production release.
By the way, for those of you with EnWorld accounts, this has been cross-posted over there. If you have comments/questions/etc., you only need to post on one thread, not both.
Interesting idea. That probably would have to wait until I get a look at what all of the book images look like, but I'll keep that in mind.

From what I can tell, the way Wizards have been presenting the blocks in the Excerpts is how they appear in the core books, and so...

Races:
Can't find.

Classes:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a

Monster stat blocks:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080519a see PDF
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080523a
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080526a

Rituals:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080528a

Powers:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a (see bottom)

Magic Items:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080516a
From what I can tell, the way Wizards have been presenting the blocks in the Excerpts is how they appear in the core books, and so...

Good point; I'd forgotten about some of those pdfs. I'll see what I can do about implementing that, though I doubt that will be in the first release.
Sweet ^_^
Bump for the OPs!
this looks awesome... I hate formatting the most :P
Update!

1) After some fancy coding and a lot of API checking, the always-on-top-in-Windows issue has been resolved.

2) I've fixed the issue Belladonna mentioned, so you can now put in as many or as few key abilities as you want.

So now the only persistent bug is not being able to copy formatting over. If anyone has any ideas on how to fix that, PM me. Otherwise, I'm starting work on the Race Creator right now; anyone with comments or feature suggestions should speak up now.
Guys, if you need help with graphics (like doing the headers), shoot me a PM. I've got some experience with photoshop and the inclination to work with it.

Cheers, LT.
Guys, if you need help with graphics (like doing the headers), shoot me a PM. I've got some experience with photoshop and the inclination to work with it.

Cheers, LT.

Leichenreiter's the graphics guy, so he'd be the one to PM you. We shouldn't need any help with that at the moment, but if and when we get around to Propane's idea to provide printable stat blocks, you'll be the first person we ask for assistance.

---------------------

A question for those of you with the rulebooks--are there any races (PHB or MM) with:

1) something other than +2 to an ability score?
2) more or fewer than 2 abilities adjusted?
3) something other than +2 to a skill?
4) more or fewer than 2 skill bonuses given?
Nevermind.
Update!

1) After some fancy coding and a lot of API checking, the always-on-top-in-Windows issue has been resolved.

2) I've fixed the issue Belladonna mentioned, so you can now put in as many or as few key abilities as you want.

So now the only persistent bug is not being able to copy formatting over. If anyone has any ideas on how to fix that, PM me. Otherwise, I'm starting work on the Race Creator right now; anyone with comments or feature suggestions should speak up now.

What is being used for the forum text output? JTextArea?
What is being used for the forum text output? JTextArea?

JTextPane, actually, not that it really makes that much of a difference. The plain text output uses a StyledDocument to insert bold, italics, etc. Like I said, the copy-and-paste of the basic text works fine, so forum code is 100% copy-able; it's only the plain formatting that doesn't want to work.
when can we start to download this? :D i am itching to use it!
when can we start to download this? :D i am itching to use it!

Like we said, first release is June 6, concurrent with the official books release. Just 5 more days!
Like we said, first release is June 6, concurrent with the official books release. Just 5 more days!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thats to long...
Nice program and great concept. Good work guys, can't wait to see future work on this.

I won't bad-mouth Java, though I typically prefer python for something like GUI work.
Evilholyguy: Can you please reduce the overall size of your 'No!' as it causes this webpage to stretch too much to be confortable to read. kthxbai

Serious now, this looks to be an interesting program. I have to ask though, why Java? I have problems running PCGen (also Java-based) and it's not cause of my PC specs or the version Java I am running. It's because the program is clunky and very slow to respond to my actions.
Leichenreiter's the graphics guy, so he'd be the one to PM you. We shouldn't need any help with that at the moment, but if and when we get around to Propane's idea to provide printable stat blocks, you'll be the first person we ask for assistance.

---------------------

A question for those of you with the rulebooks--are there any races (PHB or MM) with:

1) something other than +2 to an ability score?
2) more or fewer than 2 abilities adjusted?
3) something other than +2 to a skill?
4) more or fewer than 2 skill bonuses given?

1) Not sure what do you mean here
2) All races, except human, have adjustments to two scores. Human has a +2 to any score.
3 and 4) All races have +2 to two skills.

All races have: stat bonuses as mentioned, +2 to two skills, defined vision (low-light or normal), languages (Common+Racial), an encounter power and/or passive abilities, some have have bonuses to specific saving-throws (dwarf's poison resistance)
Hey guys! This looks great! I will be giving it a shot sometime this week (things keep getting in the way...)
Let your voice be heard! Tell WotC to Publish D&D 4e under the OGL!
Nice program and great concept. Good work guys, can't wait to see future work on this.

I won't bad-mouth Java, though I typically prefer python for something like GUI work.

Well, I learned Python for an AI class, so while I'm pretty good with it, I don't have much graphics experience.

I have to ask though, why Java? I have problems running PCGen (also Java-based) and it's not cause of my PC specs or the version Java I am running. It's because the program is clunky and very slow to respond to my actions.

Well, I hate to claim that this program is written better, but...I'm pretty sure this is written better. ;) Like Leichenreiter said, everything works almost instantly when you click a button, and there's no noticeable delays except maybe when loading a class with lots of associated powers.

think EL meant if any class gets for example +3 strength / +1 Constitution or anything other than a +2.

That is what I meant. Thanks for the info, animunculi.
If you include the MM races with PC stats you have the following:

All of them get 2 abilities with +2
Vision: normal, low-light, darkvision
Languages Common + sometimes a second language
Skill bonuses: 1 or 2 at +2
2-3 racial features, also drow have a feature that includes two powers in it that they choose which to use 1/encounter
This really looks like a simple to use and effective program that'll put out some attractive results. Kudos to you guys!

I'm looking forward to playing with it soon.

Will you be asking for anything in return or just hearty back slaps?
Was just pointing out the MM races since they don't quite follow the PHB races in the number of some things (like skills) and that there are races that have darkvision so that should be in the available list for the race creator.
Maneuevers for Ki/Soul

Meditations. I associate manoeuvres with martial classes, due to Bo9S AND think that meditations fits the flavour.

Cheers, LT.
Heya Folks!

We could use a little help! :D

Right now we've added all named powersources. We are looking how to name the powers of a specific source. So right now we use:

Talents for Psi
Channelings for Primal
Mysteries for Shadow
Maneuevers for Ki/Soul
Invocations for Elemental

If you guys got any better Ideas (or Ideas at all) just let us know and post away!

Thanks,
James and Chris

I think you and I had this conversation once in another thread . I still feel that Primal powers should be talents and Psionics should be gifts.

In my forthcoming monk update, I'm using Ki Techniques. Technique is an ugly translation for kata or Jutsu which is where I figured WotC would go with Monks and other Ki sources.
This looks awesome guys. I'll give a try the moment you release it and give full credit anytime I post my work. I'm already hashing out ideas for some giant toads (since the MM1 seems to lack these guys).
I would find it odd to call being bashed in your face by a monk a "meditation", you know?

While it's not perfect, I think it's not much odder than getting bashed by a paladin with a sword with a "prayer".

Cheers, LT.
Evilholyguy: Can you please reduce the overall size of your 'No!' as it causes this webpage to stretch too much to be confortable to read. kthxbai

Serious now, this looks to be an interesting program. I have to ask though, why Java? I have problems running PCGen (also Java-based) and it's not cause of my PC specs or the version Java I am running. It's because the program is clunky and very slow to respond to my actions.

Having been programming with Java for over 3 years at my current job I can state with a fact that bad programming can make Java applications very slow while good programming can make applications nearly as good as native.

For instance, programmers trying to do too much in the event dispatch thread and not farming the work out to SwingWorkers or background threads can cause GUI programs to become very unresponsive.

I'm not sure how to resolve the formatting issue offhand, but if I run into a possible resolution I'll post it here.

Something I did want to point out from looking at your screenshots is that it seems you're using the standard metal theme instead of the system-specific one. You can try using this code to see if you like the look-and-feel any better:
try {<br /> UIManager.setLookAndFeel(UIManager.getSystemLookAndFeelClassName());<br /> } catch (ClassNotFoundException e) {<br /> e.printStackTrace();<br /> } catch (InstantiationException e) {<br /> e.printStackTrace();<br /> } catch (IllegalAccessException e) {<br /> e.printStackTrace();<br /> } catch (UnsupportedLookAndFeelException e) {<br /> e.printStackTrace();<br /> }

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