Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

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Ski
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Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Ski » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:05 am

With the PDF of DC Adventures out, I've built an Excel character generator. It was built in Excel 2007 and contains macros (but only for clearing out sheets).

I'd like some feedback and criticism because I want to continue to improve the sheet. The latest version is 1.04 and is mostly functional. It doesn't have support for bases or other equipment of that style.

I intended the sheet for people who are new to building M&M characters so I tried to make it as "step-by-step" as possible. You go from one sheet to the next until finally you have a completed character sheet. It does many of the calculations for you and shows you much of the math so you understand what's coming from where.

I'm not super happy about the way the output looks. The first iteration is just so you have something you can play with. I'll build a better version of the output based on user feedback.

Please take a look and tell me what you think. I've tested it on some of the pre-built DCA heroes and haven't run into many problems.

Version 1.28 (Excel 97-2003 Compatible)
http://www.box.net/shared/b4m59seun0

Version 1.28 (Excel 2007)
http://www.box.net/shared/fmm1s56ip7

If you do run into issues, post them here and I'll do my best to fix them right away.
Last edited by Ski on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:15 am, edited 19 times in total.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:35 am

Looks awesome! I'll see if it works well with Open Office's spreadsheet tonight, and post a review here tomorrow, if I get the chance. :)

(I'd be quicker on the turnaround, but I'm having Internet issues at home this week, and won't have someone out to fix it til Wednesday)
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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Bombaatu » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:08 pm

I noticed when I opened it in OpenOffice that your Batman sample was missing Close Combat (Unarmed) aand Ranged Combat (Batarang) skills.

EDIT: I should note that they are missing on the Skills tab - they show up on the character sheet.
EDIT 2: Disregard - I see they're in Advantages (this is what I get for not having the PDF yet - c'mon, payday! Get here already!!)

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Ski » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:24 pm

Bombaatu wrote:I noticed when I opened it in OpenOffice that your Batman sample was missing Close Combat (Unarmed) aand Ranged Combat (Batarang) skills.

EDIT: I should note that they are missing on the Skills tab - they show up on the character sheet.
EDIT 2: Disregard - I see they're in Advantages (this is what I get for not having the PDF yet - c'mon, payday! Get here already!!)


It's not your fault. It's confusing and I screwed up the math here once or twice.

You figured it out though... it's because he doesn't have skills dedicated to Unarmed or the Batarang. Instead, he has more generalized advantages covering Close Combat and Ranged Combat. Batman is just as good fighting with any type of close melee attack as he is at unarmed. Likewise, he can pick up any ranged weapon and be just as good as he is with the Batarang.

They show up on the output page because they are specified in the Calculations page. If he did have the appropriate skill, I could have chosen it in the Calculations... but he doesn't. He uses his Ability Values + his Advantage values.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Bombaatu » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:26 pm

I noticed that his Improved Initiative advantage didn't add to his Initiative score - don't know if that's an OpenOffice problem or not.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:51 pm

For the future, it'd be nice to have a non-graphical 'Text Block' version of the character sheet. Something I could quickly cut&paste to the forums, for example, so I don't have to retype the character to share it. :)

So far, though, I'm liking the organizational structure of it. I'm thinking I'll be using this sheet to help teach my players character creation.
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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Bombaatu » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:02 pm

As per this post, you should be able to select which ability score Expertise works off of. Examples are Zatana's Expertise: Performance (based on Presence) and note in the Vehicles skill description about Expertise: Riding (based on Agility). Currently in the sheet, Expertise is INT-only.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Karma » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:14 pm

Bombaatu wrote:As per this post, you should be able to select which ability score Expertise works off of. Examples are Zatana's Expertise: Performance (based on Presence) and note in the Vehicles skill description about Expertise: Riding (based on Agility). Currently in the sheet, Expertise is INT-only.

I'd like to point out that this is actually mentioned in the Expertise skill description itself.

Page 59, bottom of the first column:
Expertise Skill Description wrote:The ability modifier for Expertise is typically Intellect, but some areas of expertise may call for different abilities, perhaps depending on the task involved. For example, a technical expert might rely on Intellect to answer questions and handle day-to-day procedures, but need Dexterity to perform the actual functions of the job. Performance skills, such as acting or music, may rely on Presence. The GM sets the ability modifier as needed for a particular Expertise check.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Ski » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:29 pm

Easy enough to fix. I'll get that in the 1.6 version of the sheet. As for now, version 1.5 is posted.

As for the simple text-output for cutting-and-pasting into the forums, here's an example. I used Taliesin's Captain America build as the example. It's not perfect, but it's definitely usable.

(I apologize in advance to Taliesin. I did not get permission to use the Captain America build. I based the formatting off Cap and thought I would use him as the example as well. If this is a problem, let me know and I'll edit this post and change it to someone else).

Here's the example. Hopefully it shows that you could just cut-and-paste and with some very simple modifications, you'd be good to go.

Captain America
PL13


Abilities
Strength 5, Stamina 5, Agility 7, Dexterity 7, Fighting 15, Intellect 2, Awareness 4, Presence 7

Powers
Super-Soldier Serum:
Enhanced Trait 2 [Diehard, Great Endurance], Regeneration 2, Speed 1 [4 MPH]
Vibranium-Steel Shield:
Damage 2 [Strength-based, Ranged, Burst Area 4, Selective 4]
Enhanced Dodge 2 [Sustained], Enhanced Parry 2 [Sustained], Impervious Toughness 8 [Sustained]
Damage 2 [Strength-based]

Equipment

Standard Equipment
Motorcycle (10 ep)

Advantanges
Agile Feint, Assessment, Close Attack 4, Connected, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Equipment 2, Improved Initiative 1, Inspire 3, Interpose, Languages 3 [German, Greek, Japanese, Russian], Leadership, Luck 1, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Attack 1 [Ranged, Cover], Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 7, Takedown, Teamwork

Skills
Acrobatics 10 (+17), Athletics 12 (+17), Deception 4 (+11), Expertise: Military 18 (+20), Insight 8 (+12), Perception 4 (+8), Persuasion 13 (+20), Ranged Combat: Shield Throw 5 (+12), Stealth 4 (+11), Treatment 4 (+6), Vehicles 4 (+11)

Offense
Initiative +7
Shield Bash +19, Damage 7, Close
Shield Throw +19, Damage 7, Burst 4, Selective 4
Unarmed +19, Damage 5

Defense
Dodge 17, Parry 17
Toughess 8 (Def Roll 3), Fortitude 12, Will 14

Power Points
Abilities 104 + Powers 19 + Advantages 36 + Skills 43 + Defenses 21 = Total 223

Complications
Nemesis: The Red Skull
Patriotism: The United States of America

Design Notes

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:45 pm

How would I go about buying more ranks of an Extra than I have in a power? For example, damage powers that are based on Strength need to have anough ranks of the Extra to cover the power and the strength. I have a speedster with Strength 2 and 5 ranks of Damage, so she's going to need 7 ranks of Area Effect: Burst... I think. How would you do this in the Power Component section?
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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:49 pm

Nevermind, I just added the extra two ranks as 'Flat modifiers' and described 'em as Area Effect Burst on Strength. :)
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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:46 pm

Awesome sheet, I love the new 'Forums' output. Is there a way to copy the information from an existing, earlier version of the sheet (I used 1.04) to the new 1.05 version? I got it working for some information, but several information fields are empty because the code wasn't set up on the page they're looking to. Is there an easy way to copy that information without re-entering the character?

Thanks again, Ski, this stuff is awesome!!
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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Ski » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Shadowchaser wrote:Awesome sheet, I love the new 'Forums' output. Is there a way to copy the information from an existing, earlier version of the sheet (I used 1.04) to the new 1.05 version? I got it working for some information, but several information fields are empty because the code wasn't set up on the page they're looking to. Is there an easy way to copy that information without re-entering the character?

Thanks again, Ski, this stuff is awesome!!


I can't think of any way to import that data, unfortunately. I know it's a pain to put the information in again, especially when the sheet will have multiple new versions in the future as we find more bugs and new features are added.

I don't know if I am smart enough to come up with an input feature. I can see how it -could- be done using macros... but I just don't know if I'm smart enough to plot it all out logically.

I'll put some serious thought into it though. I don't want to have to input my own playgroups' sheets multiple times so I know no one else wants to either.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Raws » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:05 pm

As a suggestion, you could think in a way to build "powers inside powers", for making devices, for instance...

Like thor's hammer in Taliesin's Build, for example.

Dont ask me how, you seem to be the "guru" of the spreadsheets... its just an idea for a future feature.

It's already a great job! Thanks for the effort.

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Re: Excel Character Generator for DCA/3E

Postby Shadowchaser » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:06 pm

Ski wrote:
Shadowchaser wrote:Awesome sheet, I love the new 'Forums' output. Is there a way to copy the information from an existing, earlier version of the sheet (I used 1.04) to the new 1.05 version? I got it working for some information, but several information fields are empty because the code wasn't set up on the page they're looking to. Is there an easy way to copy that information without re-entering the character?

Thanks again, Ski, this stuff is awesome!!


I can't think of any way to import that data, unfortunately. I know it's a pain to put the information in again, especially when the sheet will have multiple new versions in the future as we find more bugs and new features are added.

I don't know if I am smart enough to come up with an input feature. I can see how it -could- be done using macros... but I just don't know if I'm smart enough to plot it all out logically.

I'll put some serious thought into it though. I don't want to have to input my own playgroups' sheets multiple times so I know no one else wants to either.


Even if there's a cut-and-paste option that'll work, a walkthrough on that would help. :)

Is the Forums Output sheet done? It doesn't seem to want to output anything other than the first power, and I don't think I screwed anything up there...
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