Only decent 1e Character Generators I could find were online, and of the three I bookmarked, 2 disappeared in the last year as sites went down. So, I decided to code my own, with the added benefit of brushing up on coding that I hadn’t touched in a decade or more.
After four hours of agony of the ‘Why the f**k does it not like this subroutine when it is defined exactly the same as the other three it liked?’ variety, I started to get the hang of things again.
Right now, the program (I refuse to use the silly phone-lingo of ‘app’… an app is something you run on a cellphone…PROGRAMS run on computers) is fully functional. But a bit of the checks on player entry are not in yet (you can make race/class selections forbidden in the Players Handbook for example).
The things left to do are:
- Set race limits on class selections…for example, no dwarven cleric PLAYERS in 1e, so I need to block that and similar combinations from appearing. IMO, the ‘Certain races can only play certain classes’ rule made for variety and prevented the kind of Cheese Combinations you see in powergamed 5e.
- Figure out how to implement printing so characters / NPC’s can be generated and printed. I might drop this, depending on my frustration level.
- Compile into a stand-alone program and put up in files section of the website.
The things I do not plan in implementing:
- Stat caps for female characters. I know of women that can bench press far more than I ever could, so other than 70’s Misogyny. I see no reason for reducing stats for female characters. It also ignores a genre of female characters (from Red Sonja to Xena) that could beat the living hell out of most males, hero or villain alike.
- Stat caps by race. Gygax was incredibly Humanocentric, feeling that too many non-humans in a party would somehow destroy the entire game. So stat penalties were his way of forcing the issue on other GM’s instead of just controlling his own campaign. They serve no purpose but punishment for not genuflecting to the humans-only viewpoint of Gygax.
- Minimum stats to be a race. Not sure if I will or won’t implement this. It’s just a matter of another subroutine to populate the Races box based off the initial unmodified stats. But I have NEVER seen a DM actually go ‘No you cannot play a dwarf because you have an unmodified 11 Constitution and the minimum is 12’ so not sure it is WORTH the time and extra program size to implement something I’ve not seen anyone ever use.
- Multiclassing. The code, due to me having forgotten so much coding over the years is already convoluted. Adding all the dual and triple class combinations, and limiting them by race AND stats for each class in the combo….I don’t really have the patience for it right now. But I may revisit the code at a later date.
When I release it, it will run, it will generate single-class characters using 95% of the Players Handbook rules…and if someone out there downloads it and goes ‘Oh neat!’, well then my work here is done. 🙂 Hoping to have it up on the site by the end of the weekend.