It’s Like Christmas Every Month

So, big projects for the end of the semester are kicking my butt and keeping me from my appointed rounds of bloggery… but I just had to take a moment and weigh in on how much I love the Character Builder. This freakin thing is like getting a present every month. I wait anxiously to do the update, and immediately hop on and start trawling through the new stuff. This month was particularly exciting because of the PH3 material. Ever since I got my hands on the book I’ve been working on a Goliath Runepriest and just waiting for the chance to print out his shiny new character sheet and find a game to play him in. Too bad I don’t have one of those right now… Gonna have to work on that.

This also brings up the point about using these tools. I get so much grief from one of my friends in particular about how I never wanted to use computers for gaming stuff, never wanted to use Mech-builders and preferred to build everything by hand, on paper. But the fact is, most of the tools he was trying to get me to use, 7+ years ago just weren’t very useful. I mean, I could do the job better by hand than by using the computer. Now that the CB is so user-friendly, and I know that I can count on that update every month, I am more than happy to pay for a solid tool. Usability = good.

Thank you DDI. I love the Character Builder.

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6 responses

  1. It is, in a word, outstanding. Seriously, I make characters on it just for fun. I always have a handful of character ideas for any given game that I will never play, but thanks to the CB, I’ve got at least a dozen ready-to-go 4e characters…that I will never play.

    Also, leveling up. Whether you’re adding a new level to a character you’re already playing or starting a character at a higher level, super easy.

    And then there are quick characters. I refuse to use them, even though the character that I build is probably going to be pretty damn close to the quick character anyway. Just feels so dirty.

    1. So I’m replying to me to test something out.

  2. I love the character builder as well. I’m just sad that they haven’t focused on their DM tools as much as their player tools.

    The Adventure/Monster builder is not very user friendly. I basically use it as a single database for all of the monsters (so I don’t have to crawl through all of the books and Dragon/Dungeon magazines). It is nice to be able to specify a level and type of monster and get a set of possible creatures, but the rest of the functionality is sub-par at best.

    I’m sad that they never finished the character visualizer. I know that it was a very ambitious and near-impossible idea, but it still would have been awesome to be able to create any character you could think of.

    I would also love for Wizard’s to create a map builder. It wouldn’t have to be very feature filled – I would just like to have a database of their dungeon tiles that you could arrange on a map, and then be able to print out.

    Also, could you imagine how popular a mobile version of the character builder would be?

    So, the bottom-line is that I’m nit-picky and want too much :-). However, I think Wizard’s is missing a lot of opportunities to make DDI really great.

  3. Wizards said at PAX East I believe that they are still working on the digital gametable too. Maybe it’ll really happen.

    1. When 4e first came out I was poised to run a game online via the gametable. I was very excited about that. Then…no gametable. Three years later, no gametable. Now I’m not sure I could do it even if the resources were there. I’d probably try though.

      I’m not holding my breath. Gametable will be here when it gets here, or it won’t happen. If it does happen, it’ll be a nice surprise. The service is still worth it, though, which I really wasn’t expecting.

      Jennybeth, are you using the downloaded Adventure Tools program, or the Monster Creator that was on the website? I found the latter to be almost useless when I tried to create a solo monster encounter and it DIDN’T WORK. I haven’t tried to use the Adventure Tools to create any monsters, but it does seem very handy for populating your adventures if you don’t own all the books or don’t feel like digging through a stack of them.

  4. @kodak18 – Yes, I’m using the Adventure Tools program. And it’s great to be able to search through a database of all the monster published so far.

    BUT…

    Everything else about it is useless! My main gripe is that when you drag and drop a set of monsters to become an ‘encounter’ and try to print them out, you do not get the stat blocks! In order for me to get the stat blocks, I have to select the monster, do a screen capture, put it in paint, cut the stat block out, and then paste it into a document. For 4 or 5 different types of monsters in an encounter (times 3 or 4 encounters for a play sessions), I was spending more time getting the stat blocks than actually planning the encounters!

    Now, I will concede that I did not delve too far into the options or search the Internet for solutions and I haven’t actually touched the program for a few months – so it could have changed; however, it is definitely not as polished (and a lot more buggy) than the character builder.

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