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Archive of .pcg characters?

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  • lzaikoski2001
    Does anyone know of a site where .pcg files (the actual characters) are shared or posted? I ve only found data files and other sources, not actual characters.
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 24, 2006
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      Does anyone know of a site where .pcg files (the actual characters) are
      shared or posted? I've only found data files and other sources, not
      actual characters.

      It would be nice to have a collection of stock/pre-made NPCs to use for
      adventure building and when "winging it" during a game.

      How about .pcg files for the "standard" NPCs as defined in the DMG,
      that can be loaded and customized (or not) when needed? Need an 11th
      level druid, load him up and print out the stat block in just a few
      clicks....
    • karianna03
      That is actually a fantastic idea! I m not sure if there are any fan repositories out there, but if not I ll happily get one started. K
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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        That is actually a fantastic idea! I'm not sure if there are any fan
        repositories out there, but if not I'll happily get one started.

        K

        --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "lzaikoski2001" <lzaikoski@...> wrote:
        >
        > Does anyone know of a site where .pcg files (the actual characters) are
        > shared or posted? I've only found data files and other sources, not
        > actual characters.
        >
        > It would be nice to have a collection of stock/pre-made NPCs to use for
        > adventure building and when "winging it" during a game.
        >
        > How about .pcg files for the "standard" NPCs as defined in the DMG,
        > that can be loaded and customized (or not) when needed? Need an 11th
        > level druid, load him up and print out the stat block in just a few
        > clicks....
        >
      • Kent P
        Please keep us posted Kar, I would happily send good karma your way as it would make life much simpler when launching off-the-cuff games. Kent
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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          Please keep us posted Kar, I would happily send good karma your way as
          it would make life much simpler when launching off-the-cuff games.

          Kent


          On 10/25/06, karianna03 <martijnverburg@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > That is actually a fantastic idea! I'm not sure if there are any fan
          > repositories out there, but if not I'll happily get one started.
          >
          > K
          >
          > --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "lzaikoski2001" <lzaikoski@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Does anyone know of a site where .pcg files (the actual characters) are
          > > shared or posted? I've only found data files and other sources, not
          > > actual characters.
          > >
          > > It would be nice to have a collection of stock/pre-made NPCs to use for
          > > adventure building and when "winging it" during a game.
          > >
          > > How about .pcg files for the "standard" NPCs as defined in the DMG,
          > > that can be loaded and customized (or not) when needed? Need an 11th
          > > level druid, load him up and print out the stat block in just a few
          > > clicks....
        • Brass Tilde
          ... I think the biggest challenge there would be to make sure that such a repository contains characters that can be used by everyone, i.e. only use the
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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            > > Does anyone know of a site where .pcg files (the actual characters)
            > > are
            > > shared or posted? I've only found data files and other sources, not
            > > actual characters.

            > That is actually a fantastic idea! I'm not sure if there are any fan
            > repositories out there, but if not I'll happily get one started.

            I think the biggest challenge there would be to make sure that such a
            repository contains characters that can be used by everyone, i.e. only
            use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
            data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain non-OGL
            material.
          • Eddy Anthony
            ... How much of a problem is that really? They might contain non-OGL material but unless the user owns those sets the .pcg files are useless. From discussions
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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              On 10/25/06 12:23 PM, "Brass Tilde" <brasstilde@...> wrote:

              >> That is actually a fantastic idea! I'm not sure if there are any fan
              >> repositories out there, but if not I'll happily get one started.
              >
              > I think the biggest challenge there would be to make sure that such a
              > repository contains characters that can be used by everyone, i.e. only
              > use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
              > data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain non-OGL
              > material.

              How much of a problem is that really? They might contain non-OGL material
              but unless the user owns those sets the .pcg files are useless. From
              discussions I've read in this forum before I don't believe copyright law
              prevents the sharing of characters made with closed content datasets, but I
              could be wrong.

              Segregation would be a good thing though, since the open data in PCGen all
              comes in one package you could have all characters which use any open data
              in one section, the feature which allows data to be loaded with the
              character makes this easy. They would also need to be segregated by PCGen
              version since PC's made in 5.8 might not work correctly in 5.10.
              --
              ~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
              ~ PCGen BoD, Data Content Second, Doc Chimp
            • Kent P
              I think that any non-OGL info that get s attached to a character file would be well within fair use. The character remains useless without compatible data
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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                I think that any non-OGL info that get's attached to a character file
                would be well within fair use. The character remains useless without
                compatible data seats. There is no restriction (I'm aware of) on
                providing a copy of your character to other people or online. It
                should easily pass the "less than substantial" terms of copyright law.

                A repository could easily be divided into 3.0 and 3.5, and further into:

                1) Needs OGL only
                2) Needs Core data sets
                3) Don't bother unless you have spent a small fortune on extra data sets.

                Even if it gets a lot of submissions, likely it could be handled via
                half a dozen zip files.

                It would certainly fill a need for a lot of people who like the extra
                colour of fully fleshed out NPCs, but lack the time to develop them
                all.

                Kent

                On 10/25/06, Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
                > I think the biggest challenge there would be to make sure that such a
                > repository contains characters that can be used by everyone, i.e. only
                > use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
                > data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain non-OGL
                > material.
              • Brass Tilde
                ... Do the PCG files not contain the names of races, equipment, spells, etc, that are potentially Product Identity? Or do you think it they won t mind as long
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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                  >> use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
                  >> data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain
                  >> non-OGL
                  >> material.
                  >
                  > How much of a problem is that really? They might contain non-OGL
                  > material
                  > but unless the user owns those sets the .pcg files are useless.

                  Do the PCG files not contain the names of races, equipment, spells, etc,
                  that are potentially Product Identity?

                  Or do you think it they won't mind as long as it's not the full blown
                  information that appears in the datasets? Note that I'm asking the
                  question, not asserting that anybody from a publisher will actually
                  *care* about, or take action concerning, including, for example, the
                  word "Bigby" in a character file. I'm not asserting that they *won't*
                  care, either.

                  > From discussions I've read in this forum before I don't believe
                  > copyright law
                  > prevents the sharing of characters made with closed content datasets,
                  > but I
                  > could be wrong.

                  Except that the physical file that contains the character definition can
                  also contain actual PI. I don't know how that impacts things.

                  > character makes this easy. They would also need to be segregated by
                  > PCGen
                  > version since PC's made in 5.8 might not work correctly in 5.10.

                  "Might" not? Have you actually been able to load a 5.8 character in
                  5.10, then? :)

                  Brad
                • Eddy Anthony
                  ... Probably. ... Also probable. ... I don t either, I m not trying to make a case for doing it because I think no one would care, I think we should find out
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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                    On 10/25/06 1:38 PM, "Brass Tilde" <brasstilde@...> wrote:

                    >>> use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
                    >>> data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain
                    >>> non-OGL
                    >>> material.
                    >>
                    >> How much of a problem is that really? They might contain non-OGL
                    >> material
                    >> but unless the user owns those sets the .pcg files are useless.
                    >
                    > Do the PCG files not contain the names of races, equipment, spells, etc,
                    > that are potentially Product Identity?

                    Probably.

                    > Or do you think it they won't mind as long as it's not the full blown
                    > information that appears in the datasets?

                    Also probable.

                    > Note that I'm asking the
                    > question, not asserting that anybody from a publisher will actually
                    > *care* about, or take action concerning, including, for example, the
                    > word "Bigby" in a character file. I'm not asserting that they *won't*
                    > care, either.
                    >
                    >> From discussions I've read in this forum before I don't believe
                    >> copyright law
                    >> prevents the sharing of characters made with closed content datasets,
                    >> but I
                    >> could be wrong.
                    >
                    > Except that the physical file that contains the character definition can
                    > also contain actual PI. I don't know how that impacts things.

                    I don't either, I'm not trying to make a case for doing it because I think
                    no one would care, I think we should find out the legality if we can. I just
                    didn't want to see the idea dismissed out of hand.

                    >> character makes this easy. They would also need to be segregated by
                    >> PCGen
                    >> version since PC's made in 5.8 might not work correctly in 5.10.
                    >
                    > "Might" not? Have you actually been able to load a 5.8 character in
                    > 5.10, then? :)
                    >
                    > Brad

                    I have, I transitioned all my groups characters from 5.8 to 5.10. It's been
                    a while since I did that but I recall it did take some editing of the .pcg
                    files and some tweaking once I got it loaded. It didn't strike me as
                    difficult but then I've acquired a pretty good knowledge of the inner
                    workings of the data.

                    Something which might have an effect on the legality is what form this
                    archive takes: are we talking about something like a folder in a yahoo group
                    or something to be included in a release package?
                    --
                    ~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
                    ~ PCGen BoD, Data Content Second, Doc Chimp
                  • Richard Bowers
                    ... I d agree - PCGen has worked really, really hard to go above and beyond what the law requires. I think it would be a bad idea to throw that away. If
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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                      On 10/25/06, Brass Tilde <brasstilde@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >> use the provided data sets. Characters that use other, proprietary,
                      > >> data sets, would have to be screened, since they might contain
                      > >> non-OGL
                      > >> material.
                      > >
                      > > How much of a problem is that really? They might contain non-OGL
                      > > material
                      > > but unless the user owns those sets the .pcg files are useless.
                      >
                      > Do the PCG files not contain the names of races, equipment, spells, etc,
                      > that are potentially Product Identity?
                      >
                      > Or do you think it they won't mind as long as it's not the full blown
                      > information that appears in the datasets? Note that I'm asking the
                      > question, not asserting that anybody from a publisher will actually
                      > *care* about, or take action concerning, including, for example, the
                      > word "Bigby" in a character file. I'm not asserting that they *won't*
                      > care, either.


                      I'd agree - PCGen has worked really, really hard to go above and beyond
                      what the law requires. I think it would be a bad idea to throw that away. If
                      someone creates a character based around a certain famous dark elf with a
                      pair of scimitars, with the same name, and whose stats happen to match
                      what's in a closed content book, then I think they would care, even if you
                      didn't have the feat descriptions there. If you put the text of his history
                      into the notes for the character, they would care even more.

                      I think you're right to focus on whether or not they would care, rather than
                      whether or not it's legal. I wouldn't want to suddenly get on WOTC's bad
                      side because Hasbro's lawyers found one of our sites by googling for their
                      trademarks.

                      > From discussions I've read in this forum before I don't believe
                      > > copyright law
                      > > prevents the sharing of characters made with closed content datasets,
                      > > but I
                      > > could be wrong.
                      >
                      > Except that the physical file that contains the character definition can
                      > also contain actual PI. I don't know how that impacts things.


                      I know enough not to make statements of law or give specific legal advice.
                      Anyone who's doing this, you might want to mention which state/country
                      you're licensed to practice law in...since if you're not licensed, it's a
                      really bad idea to be providing that kind of advice, especially on the
                      record. Is what's being suggested legal? Could it be? Get a real IP lawyer
                      on retainer and ask them what your risk is.

                      As one of the posters on groklaw says: I could give a legal opinion, but I'm
                      not a licensed lawyer, so it would be an illegal opinion. :)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Brass Tilde
                      ... Absolutely not. If for no other reason than I, as a DM, would like to see such a repository of characters for me to send up against my players. :) ...
                      Message 10 of 18 , Oct 25, 2006
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                        >> Except that the physical file that contains the character definition
                        >> can also contain actual PI. I don't know how that impacts things.
                        >
                        > I don't either, I'm not trying to make a case for doing it because I
                        > think no one would care, I think we should find out the legality if
                        > we can. I just didn't want to see the idea dismissed out of hand.

                        Absolutely not. If for no other reason than I, as a DM, would like to
                        see such a repository of characters for me to send up against my
                        players. :)

                        > I have, I transitioned all my groups characters from 5.8 to 5.10.
                        > It's been a while since I did that but I recall it did take some
                        > editing of the .pcg files and some tweaking once I got it loaded.

                        Fortunately, we are using relatively low-level characters right now, so
                        it's not very onerous to simply recreate them in a new version. As we
                        move up, though, I suspect it will be increasingly difficult to change
                        versions, especially for the wizards in our group.

                        > It didn't strike me as difficult but then I've acquired a pretty good
                        > knowledge of the inner workings of the data.

                        Aye, there's the rub. One of the things I'd like to see is a conversion
                        utility that converts characters, even if it does it imperfectly, such
                        as not converting equipment or spells to new names or such. Given that
                        I can't write such a thing, however, I'm not holding my breath.

                        One thing that might help in that regard is for PCGen to *retain* the
                        names of things not found, even if just in a text field on the relevant
                        tab, so that the user can see what's missing, instead of having to write
                        them down as they appear one at a time in dialog boxes on character
                        load.

                        > Something which might have an effect on the legality is what form this
                        > archive takes: are we talking about something like a folder in a
                        > yahoo group or something to be included in a release package?

                        Why not both? Admittedly, a release would likely have to be careful
                        about distributing PI, but a repository of characters, that had
                        character *sheets* instead of PCG files, might be safe, even if some of
                        them used PI items.

                        Brad
                      • karianna03
                        Hi all, I ve read all of the various posts, it s great to see enthusiam for this idea! I m flagging this for our OGL/PI team to get an initial opinion from
                        Message 11 of 18 , Oct 26, 2006
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                          Hi all,

                          I've read all of the various posts, it's great to see enthusiam for
                          this idea! I'm flagging this for our OGL/PI team to get an initial
                          opinion from them on the OGL/PI issues.

                          My initial thoughts are to include the PCs/NPCs with the releases
                          themselves. This has the added benefit of aiding our testing!

                          If OGL/PI becomes an issue, we can take user submissions (we'll use a
                          private mailing box) and have the OGL/PI team strip out any 'bad'
                          references and replace with SRD or custom equivalents before putting
                          into the repository.

                          As the SVN repository is publicly accessible, users can straight away
                          use the PCs/NPCs as opposed to waiting for a release.

                          Ironically enough, I've spotted a few characters that Bryan put in
                          there many many moons ago, naturally they don't load anymore, so we
                          need to update for those for a start!

                          K

                          --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "Brass Tilde" <brasstilde@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > >> Except that the physical file that contains the character definition
                          > >> can also contain actual PI. I don't know how that impacts things.
                          > >
                          > > I don't either, I'm not trying to make a case for doing it because I
                          > > think no one would care, I think we should find out the legality if
                          > > we can. I just didn't want to see the idea dismissed out of hand.
                          >
                          > Absolutely not. If for no other reason than I, as a DM, would like to
                          > see such a repository of characters for me to send up against my
                          > players. :)
                          >
                          > > I have, I transitioned all my groups characters from 5.8 to 5.10.
                          > > It's been a while since I did that but I recall it did take some
                          > > editing of the .pcg files and some tweaking once I got it loaded.
                          >
                          > Fortunately, we are using relatively low-level characters right now, so
                          > it's not very onerous to simply recreate them in a new version. As we
                          > move up, though, I suspect it will be increasingly difficult to change
                          > versions, especially for the wizards in our group.
                          >
                          > > It didn't strike me as difficult but then I've acquired a pretty good
                          > > knowledge of the inner workings of the data.
                          >
                          > Aye, there's the rub. One of the things I'd like to see is a
                          conversion
                          > utility that converts characters, even if it does it imperfectly, such
                          > as not converting equipment or spells to new names or such. Given that
                          > I can't write such a thing, however, I'm not holding my breath.
                          >
                          > One thing that might help in that regard is for PCGen to *retain* the
                          > names of things not found, even if just in a text field on the relevant
                          > tab, so that the user can see what's missing, instead of having to
                          write
                          > them down as they appear one at a time in dialog boxes on character
                          > load.
                          >
                          > > Something which might have an effect on the legality is what form this
                          > > archive takes: are we talking about something like a folder in a
                          > > yahoo group or something to be included in a release package?
                          >
                          > Why not both? Admittedly, a release would likely have to be careful
                          > about distributing PI, but a repository of characters, that had
                          > character *sheets* instead of PCG files, might be safe, even if some of
                          > them used PI items.
                          >
                          > Brad
                          >
                        • Paul W. King
                          ... IIRC, the code team has asked for NPCs to aid in unit testing, so this would be a good thing. ... An issue I have with this is PI. The folks reviewing the
                          Message 12 of 18 , Oct 26, 2006
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                            > My initial thoughts are to include the PCs/NPCs with the releases
                            > themselves. This has the added benefit of aiding our testing!

                            IIRC, the code team has asked for NPCs to aid in unit testing, so this would be a good thing.

                            > If OGL/PI becomes an issue, we can take user submissions (we'll
                            > use a private mailing box) and have the OGL/PI team strip out
                            > any 'bad' references and replace with SRD or custom equivalents
                            > before putting into the repository.

                            An issue I have with this is PI. The folks reviewing the characters will have to be fairly versed in the books used to generate the character, especially when PI and/or special licenses are involved.

                            Paul W. King
                            PR SB, BoD
                          • lzaikoski2001
                            ... will have to be fairly versed in the books used to generate the character, especially when PI and/or special licenses are involved. Well, I m glad to see
                            Message 13 of 18 , Oct 26, 2006
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                              --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "Paul W. King" <paulking.rhochi@...>
                              wrote:
                              > An issue I have with this is PI. The folks reviewing the characters
                              will have to be fairly versed in the books used to generate the
                              character, especially when PI and/or special licenses are involved.

                              Well, I'm glad to see my idea was a good one! :)

                              I don't think it would be too limiting to restrict NPC submissions to
                              OGL-only, if the legal considerations cannot be worked out ... there's
                              almost no character concept that can't be played out core-only ... PrCs
                              and alternate classes only add to options, or make things easier.

                              I just think it would be nice to have a site with NPCs that can be
                              loaded and modified as desired. I generally use PCGen for any NPC
                              that's likely to have more than 15 minutes "stage time."
                            • karianna03
                              Hi all, ... OK, I m going to open up submissions for PCG files, please send them to martijnverburgATgmailDOTcom * They need to be 5.10.1 * They need to be OGL
                              Message 14 of 18 , Oct 27, 2006
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                                Hi all,

                                >> --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "Paul W. King" <paulking.rhochi@>
                                >> wrote:
                                >> An issue I have with this is PI. The folks reviewing the characters
                                >> will have to be fairly versed in the books used to generate the
                                >> character, especially when PI and/or special licenses are involved.
                                >
                                > Well, I'm glad to see my idea was a good one! :)
                                >
                                > I don't think it would be too limiting to restrict NPC submissions to
                                > OGL-only, if the legal considerations cannot be worked out ...
                                > there's almost no character concept that can't be played out core-only
                                > ... PrCs and alternate classes only add to options, or make things
                                > easier.
                                >
                                > I just think it would be nice to have a site with NPCs that can be
                                > loaded and modified as desired. I generally use PCGen for any NPC
                                > that's likely to have more than 15 minutes "stage time."

                                OK, I'm going to open up submissions for PCG files, please send them
                                to martijnverburgATgmailDOTcom

                                * They need to be 5.10.1
                                * They need to be OGL only (and no home brew sets either please)

                                In other words they need to be compatible with the latest version of
                                PCGen is if it was freshly downloaded by a new user.

                                I'll add them to the repository after trying them out with 5.10.1 and
                                5.11.x. Once I have a few I'll post the link to the repository so
                                that people can start using them straight away.

                                Karianna
                              • Paul Grosse
                                Kar, the only restriction is that most NPC s from books are not OGC. Of course this is refering to named NPC s from the books, not Orc #5, Goblin #202 etc.
                                Message 15 of 18 , Oct 27, 2006
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                                  Kar, the only restriction is that most NPC's from books are not OGC. Of
                                  course this is refering to named NPC's from the books, not Orc #5,
                                  Goblin #202 etc.

                                  Also this might become a moot point if Aaron's little project works out
                                  they way he hopes. :) Oh did I just say that in text?? <EG>

                                  Paul Grosse
                                  Motorized Chassis Engineer
                                  Monaco Coach Corp.
                                  606 Nelson's Parkway
                                  PO Box 465
                                  Wakarusa, IN 46573
                                  (800) 650-7337
                                  (574) 862-7388 (ext. 7388)
                                • karianna03
                                  ... Duly noted ... Not having seen it on the latest nightly builds one couldn t possibly comment, oops! ;p K
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Oct 27, 2006
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                                    > Kar, the only restriction is that most NPC's from books are not OGC.
                                    > Of course this is refering to named NPC's from the books, not Orc
                                    > #5, Goblin #202 etc.

                                    Duly noted

                                    > Also this might become a moot point if Aaron's little project works
                                    > out they way he hopes. :) Oh did I just say that in text?? <EG>

                                    Not having seen it on the latest nightly builds one couldn't possibly
                                    comment, oops! ;p

                                    K
                                  • Tir Gwaith
                                    ... For those curious, they are referencing this commit comment from Aaron: Version 0.001 of NPC Generator. It kinda broke some things to the point where the
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Oct 27, 2006
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                                      > > Also this might become a moot point if Aaron's little project works
                                      > > out they way he hopes. :) Oh did I just say that in text?? <EG>
                                      >
                                      > Not having seen it on the latest nightly builds one couldn't possibly
                                      > comment, oops! ;p

                                      For those curious, they are referencing this commit comment from Aaron:
                                      "Version 0.001 of NPC Generator."

                                      It kinda broke some things to the point where the Alpha release was
                                      postponed. But even so, I'm a bit excited. :)

                                      --
                                      Tir Gwaith
                                      PCGen LST Chimp
                                    • Kent P
                                      ... That is definitely something to look forward to. On the other hand, exciting though that is, I ll take some kind DM s carefully crafted NPC over an auto
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Oct 27, 2006
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                                        On 10/27/06, Tir Gwaith wrote:
                                        >
                                        > For those curious, they are referencing this commit comment from Aaron:
                                        > "Version 0.001 of NPC Generator."

                                        That is definitely something to look forward to. On the other hand,
                                        exciting though that is, I'll take some kind DM's carefully crafted
                                        NPC over an auto generated one any chance I get. I don't imagine it
                                        will completely displace the repository unless the repository becomes
                                        too difficult to maintain.

                                        Kent
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