Review: Character Builder

Okay, after at least an hour of toiling, I finally got this fucker to install AND run properly. This actually took me longer to fix than the Beta did, and the error was similar (it for some reason cannot create folders in My Documents, whether or not they already exist). Unlike last time, it wasnt a simple matter of moving the folder that it couldnt make out and making a new one, I had to change the location of the Documents folder so that it could make a new one from scratch. After that, it was just a matter of waiting as my computer moved 115 Gb of data back where it belonged. Yargh.

So, the Character Builder.

I played with the Beta version and really had no complaints except for the fact that all of my characters were already past level 3. This builder goes up to 30. With every class, including the artificer and barbarian. It includes other preview classes, but they only go up to 3. That being said, if you want to start a new campaign, you can indeed build a druid, invoker, or bard. No news on the warden or sorcerer, yet.
Other than that, the only things that have changed are some of the previously locked options such as Houserules, and the layout. The layout actually got me, because after I leveled up my warlord in Adrian's game to 7, it took me a couple minutes to figure out how to navigate about and see what I chose. The answer is that everything about your character is located under the Build tab. There are smaller sections that I overlooked that let you go to specific parts of your character (Class, Background, Ability Scores, etc).
This seems way more organized than the other one is, but it might confuse you for just a bit. No biggie.

I can see myself mostly using this to build a character in concept. I dont think that people are going to constantly print out updated characters, and I certainly woudlnt. If you have a laptop, this is great for managing a character digitally since you dont have to be online to use it. Myself, I prefer to use a PSP with an uploaded pdf file of my character and a small scratch pad for managing information that changes often (namely hit points and healing surges). Once a week I can update it, print it as a pdf, and then upload the new file. If I'm at my house, I can also just have it displayed on one monitor and still use a scratch pad. Saves myself costs on paper and ink, and looks great.

Otherwise, I havent encounterd any bugs. I know others have, and also that apparently it wont print journal entries yet (listed as part of the known bugs during startup). That being said, I really like this. Its much better than E-Tools ever was (meaning, that we actually use this). A few of the players in my group dont have DDI subscriptions, but are going to get them now because of this update. So, good job Wizards.

1 comment:

  1. I like the character builder for the convenience of exploring your options, but I think it's annoying because all the snotty old-school 2e/3e veterans I know have come to rely on it, and instead of i dunno, making some kind of attempt to learn the rules they bring gameplay to a halt by having to keep checking and scrolling their laptops all the time. More on that in a post.


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