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112647Re: [pcgen] Digest Number 7932

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  • hadley belcher
    Jul 21, 2014

      On Monday, July 21, 2014 3:50 AM, "pcgen@yahoogroups.com" <pcgen@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      PCGen News and Notes

      4 Messages

      Digest #7932


      Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:12 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      PCGen - Who does what?
      Last Edited: Aug 19th, 2009

      Please see http://wiki.pcgen.org/index.php?title=Explanation_of_Teams for the latest version of this document


      You'll quickly notice the PCGen has a Monkey theme. Bryan McRoberts chose "Chief Code Monkey" as his title when he first made PCGen available to the public, and later adopted the title of Benevolent Dictator. Other teams formed to focus on different aspects of PCGen, and all have taken to referring to themselves as Monkeys. In the Documentation provided with PCGen and in the About box of the actual software we try to list everyone who has contributed to PCGen in chronological order.


      In keeping with the Monkey theme a ranking system has evolved as a way to express appreciation and confer status to those who have contributed their time and energy to the project. The highest rank is that of Silverback, the Silverbacks are the leaders of the teams that make up the PCGen project and hold seats on the Board of Directors. The Silverbacks have a 2nd for each sub team. Promoting Monkeys is generally the privilege of the teams Silverback. The ranks are (in decreasing order) 2nd, Chimp, Gibbon, Tamarin, Lemur. The rank of Lemur is conferred when a volunteer first contributes something useful (whether it be large or small to the project).

      Joining the project

      PCGen is an Open Source Software Initiative and as such relies entirely on the efforts of many volunteers. The project is always in need of more volunteers, if you would like to join we would love to have you. The easiest way to join is to post a message to the pcgen message board with the subject of "I want to help" and you will be contacted by a Tracker Monkey and asked what area you would like to contribute to. You may also contact the Silverback of a team you are interested in joining directly. A list of the Silverbacks can be found in the BoD

      Board of Directors

      The Board of Directors (BoD) is the steering committee of PCGen, its members consist of the Team Leads from each team. It had overall governance of the project and is lead by the Chair Monkey.


      This team works on the medium and long term gnarly architectural issues for PCGen, dealing with things such as Internationalization, replacing the data layer etc.


      This team works on the Java code, fixing Bugs and developing FREQs.


      Content encompasses Data, Documentation, Output Sheets and other non-Java code project files.


      This team works on the data for all the books you load in PCGen. They help answer data questions at the PCGenListFileHelp. They have pcgen_experimental group where they actually work on the different books we're trying to get into PCGen.


      This team works on the Documentation, this is a massive effort combing How To guides, Data and OS tags, FAQ and much, much more.


      This team works on the output sheets which are used to export to character sheets in PCGen. These templates involve XML, XSL, PDF and HTML/XHTML.


      This is the team that administers the project as a whole. They amongst other things monitor the http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pcgen yahoo site and consist of two sub teams.


      They also prioritize all Issues and provide assistance to all teams in a co-ordination role.


      This team gathers all the elements and compiles the code to create the packages that are released to the public.


      This team is the newest formed team; it's first tasked with finding a permanent website space to call home and building a fully operational website to facilitate our many needs. Once phase I is completed they will monitor and maintain the website. They have a tough job currently of merging our many groups and websites into one unified and professional website with the full capabilities we already enjoy today, plus more enhancements.

      Public Relations
      ------------ ----

      The PR team covers dealing with the various stakeholders in PCGen's community, in particular the Publishers.

      Publisher Liaison
      ------------ -----

      This team servers as the contact for all the Publishers. This way all contact with Publishers can be more easily managed and consistent.


      This team is named after the Open Gaming License that made the popularity of 3e/3.5e possible. This team makes sure that all material included in PCGen meets any license requirements (not just the OGL).


      This team deals with PCGen's advertising budget and where and when the advertising should occur.

      That should just about cover it!

      Chair Monkey - BoD, Moderator

      Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:12 am (PDT) . Posted by:


      Last edited at 26th April 2010 - This document is an amalgamation of existing documentation we have.

      Important Links

      The following links will lead you to a wealth of information on PCGen

      Website: http://pcgen.sf.net
      FAQ/Docs: http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/index.html
      Wiki: http://wiki.pcgen.org/
      Issues: http://jira.pcgen.org/
      SF Site: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pcgen/

      What is PCGen?

      PCGen is a character generator and maintenance program aimed at supporting any RPG material we can get our hands on. Currently our focus is on material released under the Open Gaming License (OGL). A secondary goal is to support as many house rules as possible. PCGen is meant to be easy to modify to suit your own campaign, and users are encouraged to share their creations.

      Where are the official releases of PCGen?

      Currently PCGen is released at http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/

      How often are releases?

      We try to put out an alpha release every two weeks. We put out a production release whenever we reach a significant milestone in terms of functionality and we certify that the release is stable after rigorous testing.

      Why is book <X> not included in PCGen?

      There are a few possible causes for this situation and the explanation hold true for both datasets that have never been in PCGen and some which have been in PCGen but were removed.

      (1) If the book is closed content, then we may not have permission from the publisher, or may not have permission to include enough data to allow the data to be useful to our users.

      (2) If the book if partially or completely OGL content, then we still require permission from the publisher because the publisher name and book title are both trademarks. Under the OGL, we require permission to use those to identify the source of the data. We believe if we cannot identify the source of the data, then the value to PCGen users is lost (how do you find the data?), so we will not include a dataset for that source.

      (3) It is possible that PCGen does not have the features to support a sufficient amount of the data from a given source, and thus is not included in our production release (or is included as an alpha source)

      For more information on what sources are available in PCGen and explanations for those that are not, please refer to our Publisher Permissions page at: http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/acknowledgments/publishersandsources.html

      If you find we are unable to publish data for a source you are interested in, you may wish to contact the publisher directly to express your interest in having a dataset for PCGen available (either a free one distributed by PCGen or a commercial dataset distributed by the publisher or a third party).

      Where is WotC's non-SRD material?

      When 3rd edition came out in 2000, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) also created the Open Gaming License (OGL). This would allow 3rd party publishers to use Open Game Content (OGC) as long as they followed the rules laid out in the OGL. WotC took most, but not all, of the material in the PHB, DMG and MM and created the System Reference Document (SRD). They declared this to be OGC, which is what the 3rd party publishers initially used. At a later date, WotC added material from the Psionics Handbook to the SRD.

      When d20 Modern came out, WotC created the Modern System Reference Document (MSRD). This contains material from d20 Modern, d20 Future, Menace Manual and Urban Arcana.

      When 3.5 came out, WotC created the Revised System Reference Document (RSRD). This contains material from the 3.5 PHB, 3.5 DMG, 3.5 MM, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Deities and Demigods (not everything in this material was converted to 3.5), Epic Level Handbook (as Deities and Demigods) and a little bit from Manual of the Planes.

      Any material that WotC did not place in the various Reference Documents is not available for 3rd party publishers to use. The Red Wizard of Thay did not make it into the RSRD, so PCGen can not include that in our distribution.

      Also see: http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/index.html

      When will you support my favorite book?

      We try to get everything in that we can as quickly as we can. We've made our process more formal as our project has matured, so now we have "data monkeys" who test the data, then send it to the publisher for their approval before it gets included in our releases. This takes a bit of time and we only have so many monkeys working on the data, so if you want to jump in and help out on the book(s) you're specifically interested in, post a note about it on the message board and we'll put you to work!

      Also see: http://wiki.pcgen.org/index.php?title=Data_Wishlist

      Will PCGen include everything that it can?

      We sure plan on it! It takes a lot of time to complete the data for a book, but it's time well spent. :) We ask publishers for their permission before we include anything, and those of you who are familiar with the OGL know that this formality isn't required. However, we at PCGen wish to be courteous to the publishers and respect their wishes - if a publisher doesn't want us to include their material (or just a specific book) then we won't include it. As long as we comply with the OGL we could legally include anything that is OGL without needing the publisher's permission, but that goes against the long-standing policy we've had for PCGen.

      For D20 and OGL Games Publishers:

      Please read our OpenLetter to all D20 Games Publishers at:


      We'd love to convert your material for use with PCGen. We have a Publisher Liaison team who are the ones to contact about getting your material into PCGen. They're also the team that will seek you out about getting your permission, and will send you the files for your approval before we include it in a production release. If you have anything declared as product identity, we can mark it clearly as such within PCGen or not include it. This is a free way for your material to get widespread use without without giving out so much detail that purchasing the material is no longer necessary. Email us or post on our yahoo message board if you'd like more information.

      Also see: http://wiki.pcgen.org/index.php?title=Publishers

      What does the Board of Directors of PCGen do?

      A few people have asked about the Board of Directors (BoD) and their role in PCGen, so I thought I'd try to come up with a short and sweet explanation.

      The BoD is a group that brings together the leaders of every team (Code, Data, Docs, Publisher Liason, OGL/Licenses, Output Sheets etc) to make sure that inter-group communications are working. It also decides on general policies to guide the project in general. One example is that we discussed and decided to drop d20 compliance for PCGen. We also discuss what kinds of requirements we might have on any 3rd party group that would want to claim compliance with PCGen. Another issue is where to host data - the preferred place is in the official releases, but there are a couple of situations that would preclude that from happening: if a publisher wants to host the data themselves and not include it in an official release (we'd require that the data be free) or if a special license was required then the publisher or some other site that was compatible with that license would need to host the data - in all circumstances the data would be free. The BoD also discusses any key issues for each group - like "What does the data team need from any of the other teams to finish off book X?". The BoD does not assign anyone to book X or to fix the bugs/features related to that book. The BoD simply helps facilitate discussion between the teams so the team leads can then decide who they want to assign to those tasks. This is a volunteer project, so someone who is assigned to something doesn't have to do it, but hopefully the volunteer will tackle it out of a desire to see book X completed, or out of pity for the team lead! :)

      This is an open source project, and as a community project, this means that everyone is giving their time and talent to improve a product for the entire PCGen audience. The BoD helps direct the project by providing groundrules and policies to keep things running smoothly. In return for the volunteer's aid and compliance with those policies, the BoD promises to make it's policies transparent and fair as possible. This way there are no surprises for anyone on any team. The BoD recognizes that it's policies aren't perfect, and is very willing to accept suggestions!


      Where can I discuss PCGen and interact with the developers?

      Generally speaking you can login to:


      You can check out the PCGen page from which you can view and post Messages. If you have any questions about PCGen, that's the place to send your question. Most of the developers hang out there on a regular basis, and a number of other very involved non-developers are also available to answer any questions you might have.

      Where/How do I report Bugs or request features?

      You can submit a bug either by posting a message to the yahoo group with [BUG] in its title, or by going to Bug page at the JIRA site and entering a bug there directly. We commonly refer to the feature requests as FREQ for short, and you can either post a message with [FREQ] in the title or enter it directly in the JIRA site. In both cases, the more detailed a bug/FREQ is, the more likely it will be addressed in the near future. We prefer FREQs be posted at the yahoo group initially so others can help iron out any details or brainstorm on how to improve the functionality.

      * What do I need to run PCGen?

      PCGen 5.10.2 (and above) requires JRE 1.5.0_11 (and above - this can be found at http://www.java.com), which means it will run on any OS that supports that version of Java. Many of our installers now remove the need for you to worry about installing Java.

      What's available at the Yahoo site?
      ------------ --------- --------- -----

      In the Files page there are a number of folders you should know about - there's Campaign+Central folder where lots of user added Campaigns are available. There's a folder for new character sheet templates that aren't included in the standard releases, and there's a folder for Character PCG files when users have problems that they need help diagnosing. Users who want to send in corrections or updates to anything that's included in the official releases of PCGen should upload those files to our JIRA system where one of us, including our very own Portal to the Negative Plane, will make sure it gets included in the next release.

      Thanks, and welcome aboard!

      Bryan McRoberts (Benevolent Dictator of PCGen), Karianna (Chair Monkey of the BoD) and the Moderators

      Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:34 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


      At one time, there was a version of pcgen that included material from the d20MSRD Weapons Locker and Green Ronin's Modern Magic: is this material still available?

      Also, what is the most current version of pcgen? I'm afraid I may be behind a little bit.

      Many Thanks!

      Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:10 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "Andrew" Drew0500


      The latest version will have all the available materials up to that
      point. We haven't implemented any targeted releases where we exclude
      materials. Frankly, a bit too much work to keep everything in order if
      you ask me.

      You have two choices for recent versions:
      Stable release 6.02.1 (Production)
      Most recent release 6.03.03 (Alpha)

      However, anything we made for Green Ronin Publishing has been pulled out
      of distribution due to the Publisher's desires by not allowing us to use
      the Product Name to identify the books. If we can't identify a book, it
      doesn't do any good to distribute it.

      I don't have time to look in the wayback machine and see when that
      happened, but my hunch is 5.6/5.8 is the last versions containing any
      such materials.


      On 7/20/2014 10:03 PM, hbbelcher@... [pcgen] wrote:
      > At one time, there was a version of pcgen that included material from
      > the d20MSRD Weapons Locker and Green Ronin'sModern Magic: is this
      > material still available?
      > Also, what is the most current version of pcgen? I'm afraid I may be
      > behind a little bit.
      > Many Thanks!

      Related Lists
      PCGen's release site: http://pcgen.sourceforge.net
      PCGen's Mailing Lists and Links: http://wiki.pcgen.org/Mailing_Lists_and_PCGen_Links
      PCGen's alpha build: http://pcgen.sourceforge.net/07_autobuilds.php
      PCGen's JIRA Tracker: http://jira.pcgen.org

      PCGen List File Help: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/PCGenListFileHelp/
      (for assistance in creating new homebrew or official list files)

      PCGen Experimental: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pcgen_experimental/
      (for new official data source development)