Character Builder Beta Suggestions thread

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Please use this thread to make suggestions for features that you would like to see in the character builder.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Please don't make it IE and/or Windows only. I really really want to give you my money. So do all of these people:

http://blog.boxee.tv/2008/10/30/why-we-launched-boxee-for-mac-before-windows/

I promise I will give you cookies if I can use it on my MacBook Pro.
While I understand that in the beta version you need to manually imput speical modifications (like custom feats and stuff) I find that in the full that might get annoying. So I suggest that when the user creates a custom feat the data boost that it gives can be added to the character sheet automatically. This might be easy for some custom feats (for example, if they say something like +2 to stat) and it might be hard to impossible for other custom feats. But still, its existence would be a useful one.
"What is loved...endures. What is built...endures. And Babylon 5...Babylon 5 endures." -Babylon 5 "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. It is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we becomes victims of the darkness." -Justice William O. Douglas
Please don't make it IE and/or Windows only. I really really want to give you my money. So do all of these people:

http://blog.boxee.tv/2008/10/30/why-we-launched-boxee-for-mac-before-windows/

I promise I will give you cookies if I can use it on my MacBook Pro.

Seconded to the MAX!!! I paid for DDI, so I should get all the nice things that go with it.
Please don't make it IE and/or Windows only. I really really want to give you my money. So do all of these people:

http://blog.boxee.tv/2008/10/30/why-we-launched-boxee-for-mac-before-windows/

I promise I will give you cookies if I can use it on my MacBook Pro.

Well, we know that it uses the .NET Framework 3.5, which means there are three (and only three!) routes available for making it usable on Mac or Linux:

#1: Mono (http://mono-project.com/) is an open source implementation of large parts of .NET for all platforms. It's not complete, however, so it might not be able to handle all features used by D&Di. And it most certainly will not be able to handle either of the DirectX applications, as that is not yet implemented in Mono (the Character Visualizer & Game Table). The Character Builder is as-of-yet untested on Mono, and even if it works, will likely require some coercion to get installed (possibly requiring copying from an already-installed version of it, or through Wine)

#2: Virtualization, provided by programs like Parallels Desktop or the free VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/), involves effectively running a copy of the target OS (in this case Windows) in your computer.

#3: Dual booting, the least creative and easiest option (on Mac, done through Boot Camp) is the painful method of rebooting your computer every time you want to switch OSes, and buying a cheap secondary computer is probably preferable, unless you are on a laptop and plan on using Windows a lot.

I will personally be trying to get the Character Builder running under Mono, and providing feedback to Wizards to try and help push towards the goal of platform interoperability, at least for the non-DirectX applications.
wine would be a #4, but the .net framework builds 3+ don't work at all in wine, and this si built with 3.5(irony?) .net .

also I imagine the character builder is also direct x (2d graphics) dependant.
Crossover Games might be a 5 (or a 4.x). Just depends. I believe it's based on Wine as well, so it may not work. I'll try most of those options (2, 3 and 4.x :P) as soon as it's available...
yea, crossover/wine/cedega/wine-doors all the same framework (which .net 3.5 runs horribly[not at all] on)
Yep. It barfed on the .net install immediately in Crossover..

So far it's plodding along with that part in Fusion.
Just tried out the character builder and love it

Couple things I would like to see

Ritual Section: Add in source and page reference for easy lookup, Option to print ritual details, Ritual book having pages that get used up by spells and rituals

Powers cards: Option to print more than one action card, Hit point tracker card for the player. option to print rituals on cards, In damage on each card add in what character does on a crit eg(20+1d12)

Great program I feel like my year long subscription is totally worth it now

Roll Player and GM since 1986  Calgary Canada

First of all I hope the desktop icon will not be that scanned pic of Drizzt.

Second suggestion. I don't like the print dialog. It pops up a dialog for each page of the character sheet. How about something more like a standard print dialog with options for printing all the pages, some of the pages or the current page? That would also allow those of us with duplex printing to print on both sides of a page should we so wish without having to run the paper through the printer a second time.

Otherwise looking pretty good so far.

Regards,

Kalex the Omen

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

Also, I second the change for the application icon...
I went into the Character Builder to put in my Human Wizard that I just started playing recently and ran into a couple of problems ...

Problem #1:
Picked the Lurar background which gives me access to an additional language, and then clicked next step. This immediately took me onto my Ability Scores. So, I figured I would pick my additional language later. After I finished my character and had not been prompted for the additional language I figured out that I had to go back to the Race tab to pick the additional language.

Suggested Fix #1: Either prompt the user on that screen with a pop up or in the text box below to pick their bonus language or when the user clicks on the Next Step button send them back to the Race tab.


Problem #2:
I clicked on the roll dice option because this is what I did with my original character and then went to adjust the stats a little bit to make them fit. WELL, using the +/- buttons I could not reduce my Str to 9. I tried to click on the bubble to be able to type in my Str but to no avail there either. Looked around the screen for help and could not find anything for a help or advice. I was able to figure out that I could either manually edit the white box to the right or first the other stat below that was below 10 to a value above ten and then it would allow me to adjust my Str down to a 9.

Suggesed Fix #2: Check the scores when the user clicks next step for illegal/house ruled stats. Add a note to the information on the right of the screen telling the user that they can manually edit their stats in the white boxes.
The ability to set your own value for the number of points used to create a character would be awesome.

i.e. Change from the default 22 point to a 26 point campaign.
I am merging this thread into the official Character Builder Suggestion thread.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
Also, I second the change for the application icon...

THIRD ... I love the character but would rather see something more generic
When you make the power cards, It would be nice to have an option to not print your totals for things like to hit and damage. Some of us like to laminate the power cards (I have been using special home made cards since 4e came out) and write with a wet erase marker our stats so that we dont have to print and laminate over and over again every level.

So if you gave us an option to leave boxes blank it would be nice.
Just tried out the character builder and love it

Couple things I would like to see

Ritual Section: Add in source and page reference for easy lookup, Option to print ritual details, Ritual book having pages that get used up by spells and rituals

Powers cards: Option to print more than one action card, Hit point tracker card for the player. option to print rituals on cards, In damage on each card add in what character does on a crit eg(20+1d12)

Great program I feel like my year long subscription is totally worth it now

I would like the ability to print rituals as cards as well, even if you have to have a less than complete version of the text. Also the ability to edit text fields on the cards would be nice as well
Problem #1:
Picked the Lurar background which gives me access to an additional language, and then clicked next step. This immediately took me onto my Ability Scores. So, I figured I would pick my additional language later. After I finished my character and had not been prompted for the additional language I figured out that I had to go back to the Race tab to pick the additional language.

I had this problem too.

I also noticed that some of the descriptions for Race Features are getting truncated. For example Eladrin Will lists the +1 to Will but the saving throws at "+5 to saving throws against" and ends there. Same with "Trance". I haven't had a chance to see if this is fixed on printing the Character Sheet but it is certainly a problem while "browsing" it.

My approach to the NPCs of previous editions.

Show
I always saw the High Level NPCs as shepherds of the Realms not its defenders. Making sure that not too many sheep were lost as they milled around (as they are wont to do) and bringing on the young'uns into the job. In that way a shepherd never has time to go and hunt down all of the wolves but is pretty dashed effective at keeping them away from the sheep when they rear their heads.
"It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand." - Terry Pratchett
Following up on the languages thing, I noticed that the option to choose languages wasn't present at all, unless I missed it somewhere.

All around helpful simian

Just tried the Character Builder and am impresed! moreso than I thought I would be. 3 things I have noticed off the bat:

1) The ability to have more than 1 stat under 10. I know, I know - but flexibility should be an option.

2) For things that adjust with level (be it the Tiefling Fire resist, The Dark One's Blessing tHP, or a racial or class ability that relies on a level or stat) be able ti view it as a final number instead of an equation. In the middle of gameplay, I just want a number and not have to add.

3) For healing abilities, I would like to see a final number similar to a damage number. For instance, a Cleric's Healing Word can read at the end: "Heal 1 surge + 1d6+4 HP" including the level mod and class/racial healing keyword adjustments such as healer's lore.
This is an excellent program. I'm finding it hard to provide constructive feedback.. Very clean, efficient, and user friendly.. could create a lvl 1 cha in 5 min if you know what you want...

first of all i second the ability to lower your scores if you want to.

In the equipment tab it would be useful to sort them ascending or descending according... eg.. in the wepons click on group to have all the light blades together and maces together ect.

the character sheet layout options are cool, but somewhat ineffective at this point... what i mean is that you can move or delete panels but you never end up actually saving space if you wanted to (personally i find a single page to be more convenient).. I would like the ability to collapse the panels to more efficient stat blocks... especially

: initiative : ability scores : Defenses : Movement : senses : damage workspace : action points :

everything else is fairly efficient as it is -- of course the alternative to this is just using the cards...

also, page numbers for reference are nice... not very necessary in the program itself as it already has full descriptions, but they can be useful for the Character sheet it-self as an option.

Finally it would be nice for it calculate the starting gold for a higher lvl character, and inform you while in the equipment screen.
This was the worst surprise that I've had in a while! At least some warning that this wasn't going to be compatible with Macs would have been nice. I already knew that i wasn't going to be able to use the Character Visualizer and the Game Table on my Mac because they were kind enough to put System Requirements on the Coming Soon pages. But the Character Builder had no such warning and now i'm really regretting paying for a year of D&D Insider.

Is there any hope of this being re-released in a Mac compatible version? Otherwise, a lot of people, myself included, are going to be pretty unhappy about getting the shaft.
I can't recall who mentioned it, but someone on the WotC team had mentioned a "forum view" option for character information that could be easily copy-pasted into a forum post so folks could share their characters on the forums.

Me being the Overlord...er...VCL of the Play by Post area forums, I would love to see that kind of option incorporated into the Character Builder. :D

All around helpful simian

When you make the power cards, It would be nice to have an option to not print your totals for things like to hit and damage. Some of us like to laminate the power cards (I have been using special home made cards since 4e came out) and write with a wet erase marker our stats so that we dont have to print and laminate over and over again every level.

So if you gave us an option to leave boxes blank it would be nice.

I would like to see the reciprocal option. I want my power cards to tell me how my power works NOW & to eliminate any maths needed (biggest in game time waster IMO). I would like to be able to print the cards with no formulae just with the stats from whatever weapons I have selected.
Thanks everyone for the great feedback, we are making good use of it.

And we are glad to hear people are enjoying the program!
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
Other suggestions one a bug really.

1) Two weapon defence shows a bonus to AC only (not to reflex) & describes it as Misc not feat.

2) I cannot find any way to show my throwing hammer as a secondary ranfged weapon - it's not off hand or main hand. This really needs a whole box of its own.

3) Ranger powers have very many melee/ranged ones. I would like to see both summarised in the appropriate box.

4) Ranger powers have off hand/main hand attacks. Again I would like to see both statted up in the power cards.

5) The item lists are huge already - it may help to have some way of flitering them. they are pretty easy to navigate now though.

I meant to say - the program looks great apart from this. However a massive amount of functionaliy in the power cards for me is eliminating arithmetic so they are rather disappointing. They are very busy.
I just caught something else:

Climber's Kits and Thieves Tools do not update the Skill values or annotate the +2 somewhere. Obviously, items that provide bonuses don't (neccessarily) work for every instance of the skill (i.e. Pickpocketing)

I don't know if this is intentional or an oversight, but again, being a straight forward player, I like to have a single number to work from.

EDIT: also, it just occurred to me when using the program that shuriken are not usable in the Off-Hand. That seems silly
some more starting point options!
none of my groups uses the 22 points. we use 26 or 28.

please!

anyway, you get a for this nice tool!

AKW
Thanks everyone for the great feedback, we are making good use of it.

And we are glad to hear people are enjoying the program!

Hey as a DM anything that makes stuff easier and smoother is great and I can already see how this program will do just that. I have a player with a "math problem" and if it could have his attack damage and crit numbers on his cards it would shave 1 to 5 mins off of every round of combat haha

Roll Player and GM since 1986  Calgary Canada

Expanded spellbook does not eliminate the power choices from the list as they are selected for spellbook slots. If you choose the same power again, it bumps (correctly) the power from where-ever you had it guaranteeing it is only have it once. However, it is not removing the entry as a choice in the list above (needs to be fixed).
Add me to the list that would like to see a Mac version. Fortunately my job has provided me with Parallels and Windows XP. I can confirm that the Character Builder works just fine in this configuration. But a native app would be much easier to use.

Some things I noticed with a brief session:
Automatically generating characters is VERY nice. It will make it easy for a GM to have a good supply of pregen characters for whatever level his game is at so that new players can hop right into the game.

The Feat section needs a check box to display disallowed feats. Of course selecting such a feat would flag the character as homebrew. But I wanted to see the requirements for Two Weapon Defense and couldn't. The compendium could answer this type of question, but not nearly as conveniently.

I was able to exchange a feat with one it was a prerequisite for. But the now invalid feat was correctly marked as homebrew, so this isn't really a problem.

My biggest request is to have some way to display characters online. A Mac could simply print the character sheet to a pdf file, but that doesn't seem to be an option for Windows. As mentioned above, even having something that could be cut and pasted into a forum window would be good. Though in that case I'd like to see the power descriptions included with the powers so that character would be playable without having the books handy (often the case with online games. Here's a manually created example of what I'm talking about:
Harknail
I purchased an Adventurer's Kit for a character and was pleased to see that I can see what's in the kit during character creation. However, when I create a character sheet it just says "Adventurer's Kit" in the equipment section. I would like to see everything in the kit listed on the character sheet.
Allow direct placement of character ability stats so that previosly 4d6 rolled characters can be stored on the character builder.

P.S. the links for bug report/feedback just keep dumping me to the account user info update page. I've updated the security questions and it still just keeps dumping to this page.

Looks great so far. Can't wait to see the Visualizer.
Add me to the list that would like to see a Mac version. Fortunately my job has provided me with Parallels and Windows XP. I can confirm that the Character Builder works just fine in this configuration. But a native app would be much easier to use.

Some things I noticed with a brief session:
Automatically generating characters is VERY nice. It will make it easy for a GM to have a good supply of pregen characters for whatever level his game is at so that new players can hop right into the game.

The Feat section needs a check box to display disallowed feats. Of course selecting such a feat would flag the character as homebrew. But I wanted to see the requirements for Two Weapon Defense and couldn't. The compendium could answer this type of question, but not nearly as conveniently.

I was able to exchange a feat with one it was a prerequisite for. But the now invalid feat was correctly marked as homebrew, so this isn't really a problem.

My biggest request is to have some way to display characters online. A Mac could simply print the character sheet to a pdf file, but that doesn't seem to be an option for Windows. As mentioned above, even having something that could be cut and pasted into a forum window would be good. Though in that case I'd like to see the power descriptions included with the powers so that character would be playable without having the books handy (often the case with online games. Here's a manually created example of what I'm talking about:
Harknail

To see feats that you are not qualified for click the house rule button at the top right corner of the feats list (scroll up first).
Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D
Well, we know that it uses the .NET Framework 3.5, which means there are three (and only three!) routes available for making it usable on Mac or Linux:

#1: Mono (http://mono-project.com/) is an open source implementation of large parts of .NET for all platforms. It's not complete, however, so it might not be able to handle all features used by D&Di. And it most certainly will not be able to handle either of the DirectX applications, as that is not yet implemented in Mono (the Character Visualizer & Game Table). The Character Builder is as-of-yet untested on Mono, and even if it works, will likely require some coercion to get installed (possibly requiring copying from an already-installed version of it, or through Wine)

#2: Virtualization, provided by programs like Parallels Desktop or the free VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/), involves effectively running a copy of the target OS (in this case Windows) in your computer.

#3: Dual booting, the least creative and easiest option (on Mac, done through Boot Camp) is the painful method of rebooting your computer every time you want to switch OSes, and buying a cheap secondary computer is probably preferable, unless you are on a laptop and plan on using Windows a lot.

I will personally be trying to get the Character Builder running under Mono, and providing feedback to Wizards to try and help push towards the goal of platform interoperability, at least for the non-DirectX applications.

As Mac person I would love a native application as well....


Of course the best option would be to use QT (which WotC owns via Code Monkey Publishing....)
When you make the power cards, It would be nice to have an option to not print your totals for things like to hit and damage. Some of us like to laminate the power cards (I have been using special home made cards since 4e came out) and write with a wet erase marker our stats so that we dont have to print and laminate over and over again every level.

So if you gave us an option to leave boxes blank it would be nice.

Would be great to be able to print Power Cards/Character Sheet separately!
Choosing a level: Right now I'm making higher than level one characters, but to do this from the start I need to choose start new, then goto the finish tab. Then goto the level up button and select level 2 or 3. Then I can go back to the races tab and start making the character.

A little prompt when making a new character that asked what level would be nice and save me a minor annoyance. :D


Following up on the languages thing, I noticed that the option to choose languages wasn't present at all, unless I missed it somewhere.

If you choose Dragonborn, Dwarf, Eladrin, or Elf (or any of the other races with set languages) you will not get to choose a language as they have set languages. If you selected another the choice for a language should immediately become available after selecting the race.

If you choose the linguist feat it should also send you back to the races tab to choose a language before letting you finish. (I just tried and it did for me at least)
A couple of small serious problems on the equipment list:

Sunrods can only be bought or used 2 at a time.

Rations, trail has the price and weight of 10 days of rations for a single days rations.

Neither of the above combines with what is in the Adventurers kit.

There is no way to expend items out of an Adventurers kit such as use one of the two sunrods or eat any of the rations.

There is no way to use part of a 50' length of rope (such as cut off 10' to tie someone up and leave them behind).

Multiple items can be purchased (such as 200 GP of reagents), but these items can only be deleted 1 at a time. A quantity field is needed for the delete button (or use the one for the buy button).

And another enhancement request: A play screen to allow the builder to be used instead of a printed character sheet. This would be a tab to record such things at hit points taken, surges used, action points available, second wind used, current conditions, etc. This is a common feature of Excel based character builders.
Problem: When purchasing all my equipment my printed sheet says I still have 100g.

Solution: Buy more stuff.

Alternate solution: Fix program. ;)


As a GM I don't like this, but as a player I'm all for it.
Problem: When purchasing all my equipment my printed sheet says I still have 100g.

Solution: Buy more stuff.

Alternate solution: Fix program. ;)


As a GM I don't like this, but as a player I'm all for it.

Click the "Shopping Mode" check box and it will deduct money when you purchase something. Just remember to uncheck it when your DM gives you something (or you'll be charged for it)