Summary of Features
Pathfinder Character Manager can automate many calculations, so you can focus more on the game and less on arithmetic. For example, it has built-in knowledge of Pathfinder’s Core, Base, Alternate, and Hybrid classes. Once you’ve input your class, level, and base stats it can calculate base attack bonus, combat maneuver bonus and defense, armor class (ordinary, flat-footed, and touch), skill checks, spells per day, your saves, and the saves required when you cast a spell on someone else. If you fill in the appropriate information about the items you carry or wear, it can use your strength score to determine encumbrance and armor check penalties. It allows for seamless basic multi-classing, for up to three separate classes. It keeps track of your character’s most important statistics on an easily-accessible ‘ Overview’ page, while allowing you to view and modify more detailed data on various other tabs. And, if you don’t like the automation or you choose a non-standard class, you can turn off automation and use it like a traditional character sheet.
Plenty of Space
Have you ever run out of space for notes on your character sheet? Tired of writing your spell list on a grain of rice? In Pathfinder Character Manager, nearly every item/ability/spell/etc. has built-in space for taking notes, which will be saved with your character, all in one small and portable file. It also has a character journal, accessible from the menu or by pressing Ctrl-J, where you can take notes about... whatever!
Pathfinder Character Manager includes offline databases of spells, feats, and magic items, and you can add info from the database to your character sheet with the click of a button, which means less typing, less searching, and more playing. If you need additional info, you can quickly find what you need from the Search box, which connects directly to d20pfsrd.com.
In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the process of creating a character for use in the Pathfinder Character Manager, with pictures so you can follow along.
Alright - so you've downloaded the Character Manager, ensured that the .NET framework is installed and functional, and run it for the first time! You should see a daunting, blank character sheet:
Let's get started and bring that page to life by creating a character! First, visit the “Character Profile” tab and type in your character’s basic info. If you’ve already selected a class, go ahead and type it in the “Class” box. It will auto-suggest classes that Pathfinder Character Manager recognizes. For the tutorial’s purposes, use one of these. If you have a picture or drawing of your character, click on the portrait on the right, and select the file you’d like to display. This image will be saved with your character. I chose to be a wizard:
Now click over to the “Statistics” tab. Using whatever character creation method you prefer, determine your ability scores. I use 4d6 drop 1, which SimpleDice can perform. Let’s try it. Hit Ctrl-D to open SimpleDice, then hit the “>” to expand the advanced options. Type “4d6 drop 1” in the custom roll box, and hit enter. It should give you a result. Do this six times, and take note of the results. Assign each result to one of your ability scores (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA). Now look up your chosen race using the Search bar, and find how it affects your ability scores. As a human, I get to add 2 to any ability score, and I added it to my intelligence. Here’s how it looks:
Your BAB, CMB, CMD, and Saves should have all been generated by now. If you’re not a medium-sized creature, change your size category now, as it will factor into your statistics. Next, roll hit points. This isn’t automatic, but you can find your hit die by looking up your chosen class. Type your class into the “Search SRD” box at the top, and it should open in your browser. Find your class’s “hit die.” Keep this page open, as you’ll need to refer to it a couple more times. Usually, for the first level, you take the maximum possible roll on this, but have to roll for it each time you level up. You add to the roll your constitution modifier, and any other applicable modifiers (such as favored class bonus, or the Toughness feat). As a wizard, my hit die is a d6, and my constitution modifier is only +1. I’ll also add one hit point for my favored class bonus, so I have a total of 8. So, go ahead and change your max hit points (the second HP box at the top) to your total hit point value, and it will update the current hit points box (the first one) to match as soon as you leave the box.
Just for fun, let’s pop back over to the “Overview” tab. It should now be updated with the numbers from your “Statistics” page:
Let’s continue on to the inventory page. Check the SRD page in your browser for your class’s starting wealth. For a wizard, it’s 2d6 x 10 gold, plus an outfit worth 10 gold or less. I rolled, and got 90 gold to start. I’ll add that to my “gp” box. Notice that it calculates the weight of those coins and adjusts your encumbrance accordingly. I’ll begin with a Scholar’s Outfit and a Signet Ring, which are together worth 10 gold. For each, I’ll choose the Item Category “Equipment,” and click “Add to List,” so that these items will be available on my “Equipment” tab:
You may have noticed that suggestions pop up as you type in the Item name box. These are magical items from the database, and if you select one and hit “Autofill,” it will fill in some of the details of that item automatically:
For illustrative purposes, I’ll add a couple of weapons and some ammunition, choosing the correct category and clicking “Add to List” for each:
Now let’s head over to “Attacks.” If you’ve added any weapons to the list, you’ll see them here. Otherwise, you’ll just see “New attack.” The hit bonus field is slightly automated, but mostly manual; this is because there are so many possible modifiers in Pathfinder that I can’t possibly predict them all. Notice that if I make my crossbow “Ranged,” it will show a drop-down menu that includes any ammunition I’ve added. The information you put here will be accessible from the “Overview” tab, so it will be convenient to view your various attacks. You can also create several versions of a weapon’s attack for different circumstances (for example, if you are using Power Attack, or if your bard is inspiring courage). After selecting an attack in the list, use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V to copy and paste, then you can edit the two independently. Items can be moved up and down on the list by selecting one and pressing Shift-up or Shift-down. Items can be deleted with the Delete or Backspace key. These shortcuts can be used on the Inventory, Attacks, Equipment, Feats, and Abilities lists. For a more substantial list of tips and keyboard shortcuts, see below. Like so:
Let’s take a look back at the “Overview” tab. The attacks we’ve entered should now be available under the drop-down menu at the top-right:
Ok, onwards! Click on the “Equipment” tab. Here you should see any items you’ve added to the equipment list. If you input the correct info about a piece of equipment (which armor slot it occupies and what kind of bonus it provides), the program will automate your armor class. The check-box by the item’s name indicates whether or not it is currently equipped. I’ll equip my outfit, but it doesn’t provide any armor:
Open the “Skills” tab. The number of skill ranks you get per level is determined by your class, so go back to the SRD webpage with your class’s info. I’m a wizard, so I get 2 plus my intelligence modifier (4). Humans get an extra skill point per level, so I get 7 total. The program should already know which skills are class skills for you, but you can change this as necessary. To add a rank to a skill, choose the skill from the list and increment the “Ranks” box. There is a shortcut for this too - just click on the skill in the list and use the right or left arrow keys to add or remove ranks. The value on the far left of each skill is the total modifier to add to rolls. This takes into account ability scores, ranks, class skill bonuses, and armor check penalty, as well as any miscellaneous modifier you might add (from equipment, feats, etc.). Skills that you haven’t put any ranks in are in parentheses; skills that can’t be used untrained will have an ‘X’ by them until you add your first rank. You can also record the languages your character speaks on this tab. Here’s what I did:
For the “Spells” tab, the program can tell you how many spells of each level you can prepare or cast per day, but you’ll have to visit the SRD webpage to find out how many you have available to you to start. As a level 1 wizard with a +4 intelligence modifier, I have all of the level 0 spells in my spellbook, plus seven level 1 spells. You can add spells in a couple of ways. Option 1: click the ‘+’ to add a new spell entry. Type its name in the box, and the program will suggest options from the database. Select one, and click “Autofill” to get its description. The other data may need to be filled in manually. Option 2: click “Open Spell List” and find the spell you want. Click “Learn” and it will automatically be added to your list. Here’s what my list looks like, once I’ve added spells and prepared some:
On to “Feats.” This list works much like the spell list. Add your feats, and use the “Autofill” button to fill in their info. There are too many feats to automate them all, so make sure to apply their effects manually. The “misc” bonus boxes on various pages are useful for this. As a human wizard, I get two feats to start:
On the “Abilities” tab, you can fill in anything that didn’t fit into Spells or Feats. I usually fill this with class features – domains, arcane schools, rogue talents, etc. It can keep track of limited-use abilities, too. For example:
While you’re at it, check out your character journal! Open it from the “Tools” menu or else by pressing Ctrl-J. Create a new entry for your character’s back-story, if you’d like:
(Belshazzar never stopped to consider how ironic it was for a man with 4 charisma to be so concerned with beauty.)
So that’s it! Take a look at the tips and tricks below for some very useful advice. I hope you enjoy the program. Slay a goblin for me!
Tips and Shortcuts
Ctrl-J: Opens character journal
Ctrl-D: Opens SimpleDice
Ctrl-Shift-S: Save as
Ctrl-N: New file (in new window)
Ctrl-O: Open file
Lists (inventory, feats, etc.):
Shift-Up: move selected item up in the list
Shift-Down: move selected item down in the list
Delete or Backspace: delete selected item
Ctrl-C: Copy selected item
Ctrl-V: Paste selected item
Left: Decrement or unequip
Right: Increment or equip
C: on “Inventory” tab, toggle whether the item is carried (affects encumbrance calculation)
Click on the black HP box at the top left and type a number to quickly add or subtract hit points.
Click on the 20-sided die icon to roll a single 20-sided die without having to open SimpleDice.
Notes input on the Attacks page will appear in the small box to the center-right of this page.
If your HP box turns yellow, you are staggered. If orange, you are unconscious. If red, you are dead. This does not take feats or special circumstances into consideration.
Your initiative modifier and perception check modifier are conveniently displayed here, and reflect the data on the Statistics and Skills tabs.
Character Profile tab:
Click the portrait to choose a different picture. You can even use a picture from the internet. Just copy the URL, and paste it into the “File name” line.
Type an experience gain into the “Add” box and hit enter. It will increment your experience points accordingly.
Click “Add Class” to multi-class. Up to three classes are currently supported.
If you modify your constitution score, your max hit points will automatically adjust to reflect this change.
If you modify your max hp, your current hp will automatically adjust by the same amount.
Under the “Options” menu, you can choose whether to have your wealth displayed in separate denominations (copper, silver, gold, and platinum), or as a decimal value all in gold. Be careful – if you switch to the gold-only method, all of your other coin denominations will be converted. ***NOTE: THERE IS CURRENTLY A BUG WITH THIS CONVERSION. DON’T RELY ON IT! IT WILL BE FIXED IN AN UPCOMING UPDATE***
You can also use this for keeping track of buffs. It can even automate armor-class effecting buffs. Just make sure to mark the correct type of AC bonus, and it will do the math for you. Then, when the buff is placed you can simply equip it, and remove it when it ends. Remember that AC bonuses of the same type generally don’t stack.
At the bottom of the list, there are additional Craft, Perform, Profession, and Knowledge skills for custom use.
If you press “Set,” Pathfinder Character Manager will remember your current configuration of prepared spells. Then, when your character sleeps, you can press “Load” to restore them. This is useful if you prepare the same spells daily. Options -> Reset Dailies will load your saved spell configuration, and reset all of your limited use abilities from the “Abilities” tab to their full value.
If you choose a spell from the Spell List, the Character Manager knows which classes can cast it; if you create a custom spell, or modify one from the Spell List, the Character Manager will display it for all of your classes. If you take more than one spellcasting class and you find this inconvenient, you might consider using your character journal (Ctrl-J) to store your prepared spells instead, until a better solution can be found.
Options -> Reset Dailies will reload your saved spell configuration, as well as setting all of your limited-use abilities to their full maximum. ***NOTE: The page doesn’t always refresh correctly here, but the data seems to be right. It is a known bug which I haven’t yet gotten around to fixing.***
The “Separate coins” option leads to inaccuracies if you switch back and forth. I recommend you don’t use it yet.
When you “Reset Dailies,” the Abilities tab does not always correctly refresh.
Export to XML has not yet been implemented.
Help -> Bug Report leads to a nonsense URL. I’ll fix it in an upcoming update. For now, if you find a bug not listed here, please let me know via the Contact page.
Help -> Register .cms does not yet work, but I’m not sure why. I will keep working on it. It is meant to add file associations for .cms files.
If tab-switching is a little slow and annoying, uncheck Options -> Textured BG and it will speed up.
This is a work in progress, but hopefully it will help you focus more on the game, and less on paperwork and arithmetic. Although paper character sheets have a certain charm, I find this program makes the game proceed faster, which makes things more exciting for everyone. Let me know if you have suggestions, comments, or bug reports, and if you enjoy my work, please consider making a donation using the link at the top of this page, or in the program’s “Help” menu. Thanks, and happy dragon-slaying!