OggDude

Another Character Generator

9,122 posts in this topic

A fair warning, but if you're including the material for the core rulebook, don't be surprised if you one day see a Cease & Desist letter from FFG or Lucasfilm/Disney.

 

Back in the day, a chap over on the Holonet Forums by the handle of Balrog created a pretty kick-ass program/application for the OCR/RCR version of Star Wars that included everything, from class abilities to feats to gear, and was set-up to allow folks to add their own custom elements.  After several months of this program being around, he got a C&D letter from WotC, since he was infringing on various copyrights by having a dedicated program (LucasArts) and material from the rulebooks (WotC & Lucasfilm Publishing).  Thing was, WotC only issued the C&D letter because Lucusfilm told them to do so; pretty sure WotC was aware of the program, as JD Wiker even planned to talk to his boss about making it an officially-sponsored WotC app but was let go before that conversation could happen.

 

Bren_Waynero's Excel spreadsheet gets around this by being an Excel spreadsheet rather than a custom-built program as well as not including the full text on the various talents and gear.

 

That said, what you've got looks pretty cool.  But I'd be remiss if I didn't at least provide a note of caution based on what I've seen in the past with similar instances.  FFG might not have an issue themselves, but if Lucasfilm or Disney (both of which can be pretty intense about protecting their IP, especially if they think that you're costing them sales) catch wind of it, you might find yourself in a similar boat as Balrog did.

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It might be best to leave the database blank and have people fill it in themselves.

Yes, this will be a pain to people using it, but I can really see this being shut down super fast if released as is.

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It might be best to leave the database blank and have people fill it in themselves.

Yes, this will be a pain to people using it, but I can really see this being shut down super fast if released as is.

There's a chap by the handle of jasonjrr over on the d20 boards that has a chargen program that does just that.  The format for the system is there, but you've got to enter all the information yourself.  I've not used it, so I've no idea what the format or final character sheet looks like.

 

it's annoying, but it beats getting into legal trouble with the license holders.

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A fair warning, but if you're including the material for the core rulebook, don't be surprised if you one day see a Cease & Desist letter from FFG or Lucasfilm/Disney.

 

Thanks for the warning.  What exactly do they beef about?  The flavor text?  Names and terms?  You'd think that they'd be happy someone is promoting their game and not receiving any money for it.

 

I could take out all of the descriptions.  Heck, they were a pain to enter in anyway :)  But it'll be kind of hard to remove terms like "Brawn" or "Soak"...

 

Oggy

Jarrik likes this

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Also, just to add so I'm not just coming in here doom and gloom: the generator itself looks really nice! Though I personally don't see a need for a generator for EotE that is really some snazzy design you came up with.

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If you can build a character without the need of the book, then there will probably be problems.

 

BTW... That looks awesome!

Edited by Dex Vulen

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I don't think you need to remove titles, but details such as Talent descriptions and other game mechanics. Make sure, as noted above, that you still need the book to create a character.

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So, you think removing the flavor text and, say, putting reference page numbers in their place for where to find the information in the Core Rulebook would do the trick?  I could do this for pretty much all of the descriptions, such as for obligations, characteristics, motivations, skills, attachments, weapons and gear, etc.  I don't add any long-winded descriptions to the character sheet, only short synopses of a few things, such as talents and force powers.  And, of course, the entire purpose of a character generator, when it comes down to it, is creating a character sheet :)  So as long as the sheet doesn't get affected, the generator is still serving its main purpose.

 

The only other things, I suppose, are the logo (easily replaced) and pictures of equipment, which are cool, but optional.

 

Oggy

Jarrik likes this

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Thanks for the warning.  What exactly do they beef about?  The flavor text?  Names and terms?  You'd think that they'd be happy someone is promoting their game and not receiving any money for it.

 

I could take out all of the descriptions.  Heck, they were a pain to enter in anyway :)  But it'll be kind of hard to remove terms like "Brawn" or "Soak"...

 

Oggy

As others have said, if your char-gen app replaces the need for the books at all, then you're probably going to be in trouble (as was the case with the Okina-Rdae program), especially if you're announcing your intent to create said program right on the company's forums.

 

Removing the descriptions of the talents (namely, what they do) and equipment (leaving just the hard mechanical numbers and quality names) should alleviate most of that concern.  But I'm not a legal expert, so even just the fact that you have the species, talents and specializations included could be to "too much" form where the companies involved are concerned.

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If anyone from FFG would chime in on this, it would be helpful :)

 

In the meantime, let me know what you all think about the app.

 

Oggy

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I often wonder why more RPG companies dont invest in the tech side of things, like a simple character builder.  The character builder that WOTC had for 4e for awhile was incredibly helpful, especially for newer or less experienced players.  Its also less of a headache for GM to double check every thing is legal/correct math when a player makes a character.

 

I look forward to giving your app a shot, get crackin!

Edited by Diggles
billw2 likes this

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Here's an example of what I did with the flavor text (in this case, for motivations).  I've removed all descriptions and replaced them with page numbers.  Talents and force powers, however, have a shortened version of the flavor text that shows up on the character sheet.  This is the text that appears in the spec tree, as opposed to the text in the talents (or force) chapter.  If I eliminate this, it affects the character sheet.

 

But... if that's the way they want it, I'll take out the talent and force power text as well.That means I'll have to create an editor so you can put them in yourself.  The special dice and symbols, as well as bold, italic, various headers, etc., can be added to straight text using substitution fields.  For instance, a threat symbol would be entered as "[THREAT]", ability dice as "[ABILITY]", bold as "" and "", level 4 header as "[H4]", etc.  So, if someone else wants to enter in the flavor text, copying it from their own copy of the book, for their own personal use, blah blah blah, they can :)

 

Just for giggles, here's all of the embedded codes that I support for descriptive text:

 

Dice and Symbols:

 

[ABILITY]

[ADVANTAGE]

[bOOST]

[CHALLENGE]

[DARK]

[DESPAIR]

[DIFFICULTY]

[FAILURE]

[FORCE]

[LIGHT]

[PROFICIENCY]

[sETBACK]

[sUCCESS]

[THREAT]

[TRIUMPH]

 

Other tags:

 

 Bold on/off

    Italics on/off

[H1] [h1] Header 1 on/off (large blue/gray header)

[H2] [h2] Header 2 on/off (dark brown header)

[H3] [h3] Header 3 on/off (olive right-justified header)

[H4] [h4] Header 4 on/off (smaller lighter brown header)

[P] New paragraph

[bR] Break/new line

Small text (such as for talents)

[T] [t] Talent text for the character sheet

[TA] [ta]  Talent text for alternative lines (lt brown background)

[W] [w]  Weapon text for the character sheet

[WA] [wa]  Weapon text for alternative lines (lt brown background)

 

Plus, you can put in HTML if you want, as I'm rendering descriptive text using web browser controls using an embedded style sheet.

 

Oggy

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I think you should be fine with the text that is on the trees as we are allowed to photocopy them for use.

I also don't necessarily think you need any additional text for the obligations/motivations, just leave it as page numbers and also a space for notes about the details of the specifics in relation to the character.

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You are probably fine (if they end up allowing this) with keeping the basic numbers (encumbrance, damage, etc) for gear along with their names.

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In regards to Force Powers and Talents, you're probably good with just using the names and a page number.  It's what I did for my Ways of the Force fan supplement when listing talents from the core rulebook.

While we can photocopy the talent trees for personal use, loading them onto a freely available program that anyone can download falls outside of "personal use."

 

For some of the Control Upgrades, I'd suggest coming up with some kind of descriptive name to tag onto them, such as "danger sense" for the Sense Control Upgrade in the left-hand column of Row 2 and "sense thoughts" for the right-hand column Control Upgrade in the same row.

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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THIS SHOT shows exactly what they will probably have a problem with. You have copied the descriptions from the book verbatim. That is the exact definition of breaking copyright. You have copied it exactly and it is not covered under "fair use".

 

Also, most companies do not like their official logos used. This is why SRD type systems like Pathfinder have a "special logo" to use for compatible products. They are similar but not the same.

 

That said, looks cool.

Edited by BrashFink

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so what type of program is it going to be? is it going to be excel or what type?

It's a Windows executable written in .NET using the .NET 4.0 framework.

 

Btw, here's what I've done so far on the data editor.  It'll allow you to edit the descriptions of all the various pieces of data used by the generator.  I'm also working on allowing you to add your own items to certain collections, such as weapons, armor, gear, and probably skills.

 

Oggy

Sturn likes this

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.Net is a great language for most any design these days. Can I ask, are you doing it in C#?

 

What is your data held in? XML Flat files? portable DB? As long as descriptions can be imported through some kind of file, I think this looks great.

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.Net is a great language for most any design these days. Can I ask, are you doing it in C#?

 

What is your data held in? XML Flat files? portable DB? As long as descriptions can be imported through some kind of file, I think this looks great.

 

Yes, I'm doing it in C#.  Data is stored in serialized XML for ease of access and portability.  You don't really need the data editor, of course, as I added everything by hand to the XML during development, but it makes it easier :)  As far as geeky things go, all of my data items are derived from a standard base class, so all of the description editing was done completely generically.  Adding new items, of course, required special forms for weapons, armor, gear, and skills.  Also, all tangible items (weapons, armor, and gear) are derived from another base "moddable item" class which is also derived from my standard data item class, so adding mods to items works the same across the board, assuming an item has hard points. This also allowed me to add base mods to gear that doesn't have hard points, such as the encumbrance boost for backpacks and utility belts, as well as the stat and skill boosts for cybernetic limbs and implants.

 

Oggy

Valdier likes this

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THIS SHOT shows exactly what they will probably have a problem with. You have copied the descriptions from the book verbatim. That is the exact definition of breaking copyright. You have copied it exactly and it is not covered under "fair use".

 

Also, most companies do not like their official logos used. This is why SRD type systems like Pathfinder have a "special logo" to use for compatible products. They are similar but not the same.

 

That said, looks cool.

 

Well, I still want it pretty for my own use, but when I release it, all of that will be gone and replaced with a data editor so you can type them in yourself.  And no, I'm not heartbroken about this, as the most boring part of this project was typing in text from the book.

 

I'm replacing the EotE logo with the "triumph" symbol, which is also the app's icon, as well as the generic image for equipment that doesn't have its own picture.  Hopefully, they won't have issue with that, as it's a fairly generic symbol.  If they do, I'll just make up something else that looks Star-Wars-y (crossed lightsabers?).

 

Oggy

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