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Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 01:03 AM #1
Lama (Lvl 13)
Proposal: Allow Character Builder summary sheets in place of EW templates
The template format for PC creation is long, fidgety and error-prone, and requires judges to carefully study each section for mistakes.
Wizards' Character Builder is a wonderful technology allowing players to create a character of any level in about 15 minutes and to post it in a format that allows a judge to import it, look for the "legal" checkbox, and then just do a quick check for the few items that are houseruled out.
I'm not suggesting players be required to have CB, but that those who have it be allowed to use it. GMs should have access to the program, and judges definitely should, but don't they already? I don't know any serious 4E players without it. I think it would lower a significant barrier to participation and make the judges' job easier.
In my sig, the first two characters are templates, the third is a CB summary. Copying and importing it into CB instanty results in a full character sheet with power cards. Try it and see if you agree it gives you what you need to GM with (I'm assuming the GM will be using the resulting character sheets for power details etc, not just the summary).
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Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 02:10 AM #2
Well I'm pretty sure that not all players, GM's and judges have CB so that in itself would cause issues. Then the whole 'legal' checkbox fails after 5th since we add free expertise in.
All in all, it's handy to add if you have it but it shouldn't be use instead of anything.
Oh, and the only reason I have CB access now if I have a friend that lets me use their password. Without that, I'd be unable to use it.
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 02:21 AM #3
Defender (Lvl 8)
And of course no one here read the above post because the ddi liscence covers only one user.
As someone who has access to the CB and is actively using it to review characters I am opposed to this. DMs should be able to DM a player without having the CB, and we need to be able to view a sheet for that. As a DM I also like to have multiple sheets open at once.
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Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 02:27 AM #4
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
The issues, I believe, isn't the sheet. I think the issue would be in the math checking (everything below the top part).
This discussion has happened before in various forms. I'll restate my opinion (which is only that over here as I am not a L4W judge):
- We need a summary section (as SC said). I prefer the LEB format to the L4W here.
- We need some way of verifying math. Here, I think we should just require a player to provide one of (1) CB Summary, (2) The math templates, (3) Something else like the Google Spreadsheet that was started (but not finished)
There are judges w/o access to the CB. Now, how many of them are highly active in review? I don't know. I know r1 does a lot of them and I'm pretty sure he does have it. I'm for making the barrier of entry lower.
As for CB access for multi-folks: There is a reason the CB can be update five times per month (its almost enough for a gaming group of five/six).
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 05:57 AM #5
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
It seems to me that, however we decide to check characters for errors, we still need a sheet that provides DMs and other players who don't have DDI with information about how the powers, etc., work. Character builder summaries are short and sweet precisely because they provide almost no information except for the names of things. The reference sheet which actually contains rules information, however it is assembled, has to be checked for accuracy, because some people will be using it as a reference.
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Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 06:20 AM #6
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
I'd certainly be very happy to be able to use the DDI summary instead of templates for the Math section (not the summary section of the sheet). I haven't checked characters, however. I do know that two of my friends who have recently considered or started playing here were pretty put off by the amount of work putting the sheet together. Allowing the DDI summary to be used for Math would significantly cut down the amount of work required.
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 06:24 AM #7
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 06:58 AM #8
Lama (Lvl 13)
My notion was that the summary itself would not be used either to approve characters, or for GMs to run their games. The summary is just an easy way to post and send a character sheet, where all the info is spelled out. If I were GMing with such characters, I would have multiple instances of the CB open with everyone's character sheet (obtained by importing their summaries) and so have original Compendium-grade text for all powers, and all the math for to-hits etc., reliably at my fingertips. Or print out the character sheets if I really liked the feel of paper. This seems at least as good as having multiple Enworld windows open to everyone's template.
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 07:24 AM #9
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
There is another reason that the DnDi summary isn't quite up to snuff: Housruled items. If I create a house-ruled power/item and place it in there, it's only going to include the name. How is my DnDi Creator going to know the info for that power/item based on just the name? Has anyone tested this?
Monday, 22nd February, 2010, 08:22 AM #10
When he saw everything he had to do to convert it to a L4W template, he said forget it and started playing Borderlands. The play-by-post style is already pretty off-putting for most people - for him, he could put up with that much, but the template was too much.