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  • pcgen@yahoogroups.com
    Welcome! 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
    Message 1 of 337 , Jun 1, 2004

      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 houserules as possible. PCGen is meant to be easy to modify to suit
      your own campaign, and users are encouraged to share their creations.

      Where is Wotc's non-SRD material?
      The System Resource Document (SRD) can be found at
      It's basically a subset of what's in the PHB, DMG, MM and PsiHB, the real
      difference being that some spell names are changed. The non-SRD material
      (Defenders of the Faith, Sword and Fist, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, etc. all
      TM of Wizards of the Coast) requires a special license and is available from
      the folks at www.codemonkeypublishing.com

      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
      liason team (Michael Beaver and Paul King) 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 me (merton_monk@...) or post on our yahoo
      message board if you'd like more information.

      Where are the official releases of PCGen?
      Currently PCGen is released at http://pcgen.sf.net

      How often are releases?
      We try to put out a beta release every week. 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.

      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 and
      Special Projects) 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're currently discussing if we should
      put the Documentation under a special open-source type license. 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!

      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!

      Where can I discuss PCGen and interact with the developers?
      If you login to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pcgen 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
      REPORT] in its title, or by going to Bug page at the sourceforge 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 FREQ list at the sourceforge 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 requires Java JRE 1.3 (this can be found at www.sun.com), which means it
      will run on any OS that supports that version of Java. This means that Max OS
      8 & 9 users will need to have Virtual PC since those OSes only support Java
      1.1.8. There are 3 zip files which make up a PCGen release. Unzip all three
      files into the same directory and you're good to go. Java 1.4 is now
      available from Sun for most platforms (except Mac OS X), and it seems to run
      java better, so we recommend that for users. Development is currently being
      done using java 1.3, so you can use that if that's what you already have. We'll convert our development to use java 1.4 once Mac OS X also supports it.

      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 http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?atid=450173&group_id=36698&func=browse where one of us, including our very own
      Portal to the Negative Plane, will make sure it gets included in the next

      Is there an "on-line" version of the documentation?
      Yes - at
      There's a "Troubleshooting" guide there if you have any trouble getting PCGen
      to run.

      Thanks, and welcome aboard!

      Bryan McRoberts (merton_monk@...)
      Benevolent Dictator of PCGen
    • Andrew
      Active is a loose term, but when I last checked, membership was over 7,000.
      Message 337 of 337 , May 2, 2017

        Active is a loose term, but when I last checked, membership was over 7,000.

        On 5/1/17 10:49 PM, John Kantner jkantner@... [pcgen] wrote:
        How many active members of this group are there? Any idea, Andrew?

        On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 9:10 PM, Andrew drew0500@... [pcgen] <pcgen@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


        Those settings were set up before my time, but at a guess, back then we had a lot more people who exhibited troll-like tendencies, started flame wars, and generally didn't play nice with others. Since that really isn't the case any longer, I can turn off the monthly repeating messages.



        On 5/1/17 4:13 AM, Eric 1ballistic1@... [pcgen] wrote:
        So, is anyone else getting the templated welcome emails every month?
        i'm getting the Welcome, the Greetings from Moderator Monkeys, and the MonkeyTeamsExplained ones over and over.
        Not so much annoying as odd...usually you get this kind of thing once?

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