log in or register to remove this ad

 

DM's Familiar: New Version

DMFTodd

DM's Familiar
A new version of DM' Familiar is available at www.paladinpgm.com/dmf. Some of the improvements for this version:

Codex Tree now supports shortcuts to files. Use this to organize all those PDF adventures you've downloaded, play files in game, or to show graphics.

Combat Board now makes it easy to apply the same amount of damage to multiple targets.

The Dicebad and Codex Tree output windows can now be "Always On Top" to keep you more organized.

Monsters can now be turned into a PC with a click of a button. Handy for customizing familiars, PC mounts, or to class a monster.

PCs/NPCs can be copied to quickly make new entries.

And other goodies...
 

log in or register to remove this ad


cyberProlix

First Post
I went to the site to d/l the update. The link for downloading the update is http://www.paladinpgm.com/dmf/downloads.htm# - which of course due to the # just takes you back to where you started.
I've installed it, and only just barely looked at it. Why is Krom the default PC? The background needs a minor edit - wanted instead of wanting.

I installed the main program on my USB HDD. I've only opened the program once and saw the not so useable interface (The CB tab is missing the C for Combat). I have d/l'ed the skills and feats that are posted, but I haven't yet installed them. I'll load them and see how I like the program. However, I'm unsure I'll play with it too much during my 30 trial. If I don't purchase the program in that time frame, can I uninstall it and re-install it with another 30day trial? Why won't I use it all that often, you ask...Because of the interface. RA and RPM are both free and from what I've been able to see may do what DM's does. It appears that none of these have a "useable" interface. I may be in the miniority here with a laptop and external HDD that I use during my games. But even if I did not use the PC during a session, I'd want a workable interface.
 

DMFTodd

DM's Familiar
Do you remember where you found that broken link? I'd like to fix it but can't find it anywhere.

Why is Krom the default PC?
As opposed to what? I made up a dummy PC so that users would see something besides a blank screen when opening the PC/NPC form.

The CB tab is missing the C for Combat
You're on a fairly old version. You can install the update from the website to fix it or if you haven't started entering any data yet, install the new Setup program from the website. The new Setup has all of the SRD Monsters, Spells, Skills, and Feats already in it.

can I uninstall it and re-install it with another 30day trial?
Yes.

saw the not so useable interface
OK, thanks for the criticism, but do you have anything constructive to add? What's wrong with the interface?
 
Last edited:

cyberProlix

First Post
At the Downloads page you have 2 boxes. One that says "Click to Download..." (The other box references having a CD mailed to you) - clicking just takes you to - http://www.paladinpgm.com/dmf/downloads.htm# - see the problem is when your at the downloads.htm page and click the link all it does is add the # - so nothing is downloaded. "Get the Update" does the exact same thing - meaning that it moves you up to the first set of boxes.
The Projects box takes you to the projects as it should.
Other than my short observations I do not have anything to mention. As I said, I did not look at the software in detail - becasue of the interface. The buttons for PC / CB / and the others (I'm trying to run off memory) were not "enticing". The Program itself may very well be extremely useful. However, I like *flash*. I want to see stuff. Boring buttons do not make me wish to purchase the program.

A car is functional. A 4x4 is also functional. I'm in the Land Rover club not because I want to drive around town. I want to drive around the mountains, rocks, rivers, trees and stuff. Any Jeep can get there. But a LR looks good doing it and does it with style. When you return, you hit a button and it naturaly lowers itself allowing you to easily exit.

I want a program that is both functional and good looking. The PC Demo may be an old Yugo as far as functionality, but looks like a VW Bug. The PCGen may look like a VW Thing but functions like a Jeep. Neither is a Land Rover, but if you were able to combine the talents - you'd at least have a Freelander.

I hope that helps. Maybe once I'm able to d/l a new update then I'll play with it.
 

cyberProlix

First Post
I'm taking another look at the code for the website for that problem with the update link.
From what I can see, the link from that box that says to click here to download - for me just shows that same page /dmf/downloads.ht# - but when I look at the code I can see the link as http://sites.renterspassport.com/dmf/update_download.htm - I take it that this is the correct link? I am using IE 5.5. Not sure if this is an issue or not.
Hope that helps.
 

Mean DM

Explorer
cyberProlix said:
The buttons for PC / CB / and the others (I'm trying to run off memory) were not "enticing". The Program itself may very well be extremely useful. However, I like *flash*. I want to see stuff. Boring buttons do not make me wish to purchase the program.

:rolleyes: Nuff said.
 

DMFTodd

DM's Familiar
Hmm, both of those links for me pop up a form that gets your email. Don't know why it wouldn't work for you. Checking my log, I see 100+ downloads today so it must be working for someone. Don't you just love computers?

Anyways, here are the direct links for you. Maybe they'll work better.

Full Setup Program: http://www.paladinpgm.com/download/setup.exe

Latest Version:
http://www.paladinpgm.com/download/DMUpdate.exe

Thanks for clearing up the User Interface question. I'll concede your point. DMF *does* look a little boring. I've concentrated much more on steak than sizzle.
 

cyberProlix

First Post
I want to give a little feedback on the DMF.
I've now done a complete fresh install. I installed the 12-18-01 update and then the latest 01-20-02 update. I should be "fresh".
Also, as a note, I didn't see an FAQ on the site. I've been around the boards - esp. the software ones - and don't recall seeing anything like it either (although with all the upgrades and changes, I wouldn't be suprised if I missed it)

Again, I've stated that I first look at *flash*. I've got enough other stuff that I'm ignoring as it is to try to play with both a difficult interface and a high learning curve.
To make the interface better - maybe instead of using the Periodic Table initials (i.e. Fe) - list Feats. The whole word should fit. Why is the order feats, monster, PC's, skills, etc...? I'd think that it should be PC's, Skills, Feats, Spells, Monsters, Combat, Codex Tree (although at this moment I haven't looked at that to know what it does), and then Dicebag. This way it fits and follows with the PHB / DMG / MM order of things. Unless their is some sort of database rationale reasoning for it's order....

All the below notes come with a caveat. I've only just opened the program and below are what I've noticed in not using the program. I'm looking for fuctionality in under 1min. I take more time writing about each section than I do using it. Of course I might find all these answers and more if I did not spend the time finding questions instead of answers. But then I guess I could go ahead and do my Editing for Journalism homework instead as well.

Feats: Only the A's appear to have information regaring them. Is this becasue of either the d20 or OGL? Is this becasue of a lack of time/interest to input the info? Or is the rest of the info in those little .fpt/.dbf files that I d/led back in Decemeber? Since too many people believe that what Monte writes is gospel - if these are put into another update - can they be taken out? Or do these not follow OGL? (I'm not all that up on OGL so I don't know about this type of stuff). Ok, what if I like the stuff from AEG's Dungeons/Evil/Dragons/Undead/War - but not Oriental Adventurers. Can I easily take these out if JoeBlo writes all of them in an import/export file?

Monsters: It only goes to Umber Hulk. Ack... Can I add picutres? One of my old players drew pictures - and a basilisk was one of them. Can I import it and use it? I want to use a picture of an olve (that's elf to all those fr people [so notice the subtle change coming up...]) for Goblins (becasue elves are ugly).

PC's: Wasn't Krom, Conan's God of choice?
It doesn't look like a report can be printed out. I guess that isn't the idea of it. If I gain Wpn Spec. are the bonuses automaticly configured? Is it just me or...I wanted to give Krom a dagger +2. I was at the attacks skills section. I tried to add it. Nope. I was able to delete his longsword. Opps. Since I deleted it, I closed it. His longsword was still gone. I didn't know that it was automaticly saved. Och. Is that fixable? The automatic save?

Skills: Wow. They are all finished. How come Feats have a source but skills don't. That was the first thing that I saw. What if a skill has a new useage - or as I like to call it a subskill. Like Knowledge - Knowledge Religion - a standard d20 skill isn't listed. So I guess it's just a basic Knowledge that's in the system?

Spells: I have Acid Fog and Aid. Is something wrong?

Codex Tree: What exactly is this?

Dicebag: Default is either 1d20 or unassigned. Why do I have to re-assign these? Don't all dice bags have a: 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20, 1d100. Some even have a 1d16. There should be a default with these choices. Add more as you come along.
Theres 16 buttons. First button on left is 1d20. The Big space above the first row is for what? I see the little R for roll and then the ?.
This isn't the easist dice rolling utility. I could easily roll my whole dice bag and have the results quicker. Besides not many Gamers are willing to give up their dice. Are you? I tried to change the name of the second button - it rolls a 1d6 but the text says unassigned. I tried it with the 4th button. its also unassigned. I changed it to 1d10. Some sort of error popped up. It said you could either ignore it or something else. I ignored it and then the button changed to say 1d10.
The output button doesn't show up - it's behind the dicebag. I had to move it to see the output.

I hope this helps. I don't have a lot of positives becasue I wasn't looking for any. But I think the Monster section has the best bet going for it. But I haven't compared it to the MonsterDB program that is out and free.
 

DMFTodd

DM's Familiar
I didn't see an FAQ on the site
The included Help file would have answered the majority of these questions. Each screen in DMF has a little button with a "?" on it. Hold the mouse over the button, a tooltip will say "Help". Click it. You'll get a topic telling you how the screen works.

To make the interface better - maybe instead of using the Periodic Table initials (i.e. Fe) - list Feats. The whole word should fit
Hold your mouse over the button, you'll get the whole word. I suppose I could have put the whole word on there but then someone would complain that the interface is too cluttered. I went with the standard Windows method of using a small button. I'd put a picture on there but can't draw a lick.

Unless their is some sort of database rationale reasoning for it's order {The Buttons}
It's a bizarre database rationale known as "Alphabetical Order".

Yeah, maybe there is a slightly better way to organize those buttons. If the order of a few buttons is truly a big issue to you though, then I doubt that DMF, or any other program, will ever meet your requirements. That has nothing to do with a "not so useable interface".

Feats: Only the A's appear to have information regaring them
Monsters: It only goes to Umber Hulk.
Spells: I have Acid Fog and Aid.
In my earilier post I suggested "if you haven't started entering any data yet, install the new Setup program from the website. The new Setup has all of the SRD Monsters, Spells, Skills, and Feats already in it." You opted not to do that and only installed the latest update. So, yeah, all of the SRD material is not in the version you're using. They can be easily imported as well but you choose not to do that either. So, yeah, that information is not going to be there with the setup you've choosen.

If I gain Wpn Spec. are the bonuses automaticly configured?
No. DMF is not a calculation tool. It's a free-form tool that will let you setup things the way you want them to be. If you want Kromm to have a +2 Dagger and he has a BAB of +3 you enter "Dagger +5" as the attack and "Dagger 1d4+2" as the damage.

Yes, that is not as powerful as it could be. Free-form entry has the advantage of being totally flexible. It's the direction I want DMF to go.

if these are put into another update - can they be taken out?
You have total control over all those entries and can change anything you want. Was that the question? You also have total control over the Import/Export process. You can choose to Import only some of the entries included with an Import file. You can mark entries in the database to be never overwritten regardless of what the Import file has in it (So you're Goblins will always stay exactly as you set them up).

? I want to use a picture
DMF does not at this time store pictures. It may or may not in the future.

Codex Tree: What exactly is this?
It's a word-processing/outline tool to use for whatever you like. It can also hold references to all of the database objects to instantly open them up (Monsters, Spells, etc.). There's a real good description of it in the Help file or on the website in the "Features" section.

Dicebag: Default is either 1d20 or unassigned. Why do I have to re-assign these? Don't all dice bags have a: 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20, 1d100
Yes, I could have given the defaults to all of those buttons but then someone would complain that they didn't like my defaults and had to change them.

Considering that the buttons can all be setup for whatever you like in about a minute, I don't see that it is really an issue.

The Big space above the first row is for what? [Dicebag[
It's for entering any diceroll you would like to make. You can enter "10d6", "5 Magic Missle 1d4+1" and things along those lines. The Help file explains more.

This isn't the easist dice rolling utility. I could easily roll my whole dice bag and have the results quicker.
You're joking now right? Once you've programmed the buttons, which takes all of a mihute, you just have to click a button. You can search through your dice, find the 12 sider, and roll it faster than clicking a button? Or here's a test. Let's do that Wizard's 10d6 fireball. I type 10d6 in the blank spot and hit enter. I'm done. How long does it take you to find the 10 dice, roll them, and add them up?

not many Gamers are willing to give up their dice. Are you?
If you want to roll your own dice, go right ahead. There's nothing in the program making you use it and that's a tiny little feature of the overall program.

Do I give up my dice? Yeah, when fighting the orcs, making a simple appraisal check, or other mundane things, I use the Dicebag. It's faster and easier. When my players have the final showdown with the Vampire Lord, I break out my dice.

The output button doesn't show up - it's behind the dicebag. I had to move it to see the output.
All of the screens in DMF can be moved whereever you like and the program will remember where they are and put them there next time. Most of the screens can also be resized and DMF will remember the size you wanted them at.

Yeah, I could have put default locations in for all of the screens so that they are nicely arranged but then someone would complain that they didn't like my arrangement. Bottom line is that the screens remember where you put them and what size they should be. With about 30 seconds work you can have things laid out exactly as you want.


But I think the Monster section has the best bet going for it. But I haven't compared it to the MonsterDB program
If you want to be able to reference Monsters, Spells, Skills, Feats, PCs and NPCs quickly; have a Combat Board to speed up your combats; have a word-processing/outline tool that is intergrated with all that other information; be able to Import/Export all that information to share with other people; have a Dicebag to make things a little easier; then use DM's Familiar.

If the only thing you want to do is look up a monster reference, then, yeah, use the MonsterDB program. If all you want is a cup holder, there's no need to buy a LandRover. :)
 
Last edited:


cyberProlix

First Post
I attacked your "baby". Did you see Angel a few nights ago. All the bad guys were trying to get his baby. He kicked their ass for it. Defending your creation may sound pissy. I don't take it that way; I don't think you meant it that way. My notes were not meant to be pissy or hurtful. I wanted to give my opinion. I think I'm like the everyday joe gamer... and gave you what I'd give most things I'm thinking of buying. I used Weather Master for less than 15 min before giving my credit card. Same with a few other products.

I'm not rich - far from it (I'm a full time student working part time for less than half of what your program costs - and have all the other costs associated with being 30) - but I spend my money on stuff that will make me happy. I'm just trying to give you a fair shake at my $20, and what it takes to get it from me!
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top