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For questions such as what HeroForge is, what it does, and who created it, please consult the HeroForge FAQ, which should accompany this document. This document covers how to create and maintain a character for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, version 3.5, using the HeroForge spreadsheet. While other versions of the HeroForge spreadsheet are beyond the scope of this document, the general principles described here should apply to some extent to other versions. For customization or modification of the HeroForge spreadsheet, please consult the “How to Modify” document, which will hopefully be available soon. To open this spreadsheet, you will need a copy of Microsoft Excel 2000 or higher. Please see the FAQ for more information. This document will assume that you have an elementary understanding of both spreadsheets, specifically Excel, and of the D&D game, specifically character creation and management. Opening HeroForge: Open the spreadsheet in Excel. If you receive a warning about macros, select the “Enable Macros” option. If you do not receive a warning about macros, go to Tools > Macro > Security, and select Low or Medium Security, depending on your own level of paranoia. The HeroForge spreadsheet will open to the Options sheet. The other sheets are lined up as tabs across the bottom of the window (Race & Stats, Classes, Skills, etc). Before doing anything else, we suggest you save HeroForge as a different name, perhaps the name of the character you’re generating, perhaps “HeroForge Test”. Some general hints: Save often! Any mistakes can be easily ignored if you saved your character five minutes ago. And having to download the sheet again is less of a hassle when you rename every character before getting halfway through it, and having it crash and corrupt your only copy. Most tabs will have a “Clear Sheet” button that allows you to reset the tab with default selections. This is very handy if you change your mind on, say, the Skills tab. Do not select more options than you need. The more options you select, the more you have to wade through to find what you want, and the more calculating HeroForge has to do to create your character. When in doubt, leave it out. HeroForge is not a substitute for knowing the rules, and knowing your character. It will not remind you to select your feats or ability bonuses as your character levels. Look at every page as you level, and as you create a character. Little red triangles in the upper right corner of a box will display a pop-up window if you hover over that box. Some of these pop-up windows are very useful.
Options: The Options tab allows you to decide which character options will be available for the character you are creating. At the top are three columns of options. The first (already selected) option will not display “Trained Only” skills that do not have any ranks in them. The next two are hit point options, and the next column concerns Gestalt characters. The last column allows you to track Living Greyhawk ARs and to create an initiative card for your character from within HeroForge. The Campaign drop-down menu defines deities and languages for the character, and pre-selects certain Optional Material for that campaign. It also pre-populates the “campaign logo” on the character sheet. • The Generic 3.5 D&D campaign selection uses the “default” Greyhawk deities and languages. Unless one of the other selections describes your campaign, we suggest you use this option. • The Living Greyhawk campaign selection is specific to the RPGA’s Living Greyhawk campaign, and uses special rules and interpretations specific to that campaign. If you choose this selection, we suggest you do not select other Optional Material without specific approval from the LG hierarchy. • The Eberron, Ravenloft and DragonLance selections will load the default deities and languages (and core sourcebooks) for those campaigns. The Optional Material section allows for further customization of the campaign options. Selecting a sourcebook will make all races, classes, feats, weapons, etc from that book available to your character. Note that HeroForge is not a substitute for owning sourcebooks. Certain aspects of the spreadsheet are intentionally vague for this express purpose. If you use a sourcebook, you should own that sourcebook. It’s not just legal; it’s the right thing to do. Race & Stats: The Race & Stats tab is where the core attributes of your character are defined: race, sex, alignment, deity, description, and ability scores are defined here, as are money and experience points. Let’s start at the top. Enter your characters raw ability scores in the green boxes. If you use the “Point Buy” method, your total point value will show below. If you roll randomly, feel free to ignore this section. When you select a race, any relevant modifiers will be automatically applied (among other calculations). As you gain levels, the pull-down menus on the right will allow you to select inherent ability gains. Until the appropriate level, these pull-down menus will display a red X. If you wish a randomly generated age, height and weight, select a character class first (next tab). Random numbers were only programmed for those races that have them defined in the source material. If your character takes levels in a Monster Class, select your Monster Class levels on this sheet not the Classes tab until you have fulfilled the entire progression in the Monster Class. At that point you then select Full Race from the Monster Class dropdown and then add classes as normal. If your character is a Shifter (from the Eberron Campaign Setting), select the type in the dark blue box. And if your character is Dragonborn, select the race and trait in the appropriate dropdowns. Classes: Here is where you select the class(es) for your character, and decide on certain options as he or she levels up. Use the pull-down menus on the left for each level, or enter the “class number” corresponding to it in the green boxes to the right of the pull-downs. If not predetermined (see the Options tab), raw Hit Points are entered in the green boxes for each level. HeroForge will automatically adjust the roll as necessary, and will give you the total for that level, which will be displayed at the bottom of the column of classes.
Class abilities are defined for many classes on this sheet. If your character class or level allows for certain class abilities, look for them on the right side of this sheet. Finally, if you are seeking a Prestige Class for your character, you can see how close you are by selecting that Prestige Class from the drop-down list at the bottom of the page. They are ordered by source. Domain Select: (Hidden by default) This tab will only unhide if your character is granted a domain by class, feat or ability. Prestige Classes I, II, & III: (Hidden by default) If you take a prestige class that allows for special options to be chosen (like bonus spell caster level) one or more of these tabs will unhide for use. Marshal Auras: (Hidden by default) This tab will unhide if you are playing a Marshal from the Miniatures Handbook for selection of your Auras known. Skills: Select the skill points your character is expending. HeroForge will automatically determine ranks and final skill bonuses. Note that green boxes are class skills, blue boxes are cross-class skills, and grey boxes are not selectable. If your character has any magical bonuses to skill checks, feel free to enter the bonus in the Magic column. Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession skills must be manually entered. Please spell the skill names correctly and completely, as some modifiers will look for certain text. Languages: Select your character’s languages here. If you spent enough skill points to learn a new language, the number of languages your character can learn will be automatically adjusted. Languages are sorted according to source. Maneuvers & Stances: (Hidden by default) This tab will only unhide if you are playing class from Tome of Battle. This tab is mainly used for character sheet and pre-requisites tracking. The main descriptions and abilities will be handled in SpellForge. Feats: The first thing to do here is click the “Calculate Feat Availability” button. This will open up all available feats for your character. The feats are alphabetical by sourcebook, and a handy “table of contents” is in the upper right. You’ll note that selecting a feat will decrease the “Available Feats” counter in the upper left. Bonus Feats are selected in the powdered-blue section. And free feats (such as a Fighter’s armor proficiency) are greyed-out and the text is in a pleasing turquoise. Certain feats will require you to select the appropriate weapon, skill, school of magic, etc. Finally, if you select a feat that is a prerequisite for another feat, but that other feat doesn’t become available, click on that “Calculate Feat Availability” button again. Armor:
This is where you will select your character’s armor and shield, and any magic enhancements and special materials. These selections will add to your characters AC and Shield bonuses automatically. Attacks: This is where you will select your characters weapons. Just select the weapon, any enhancements, special materials, feats, etc., from the drop down menus for each attack mode. These attack mods and their bonuses will automatically appear on the character sheet. Enhancements: This is where you can add any misc. enhancement bonus granted you character. These bonuses will automatically calculate into the appropriate places on the sheet. Here you can also unhide the Buffs and Magic Equipment tabs. Character Sheet I: This is the first page of your character sheet. This sheet displays information such as: Character and player name, Deity, Classes and levels, Skills and Attacks. Character Sheet II: This is the second page of the character sheet. This sheet displays information such as: Armor and shield information, Race and class abilities, Feats, special abilities, turning info, equipment, carrying capacities, and notes. Character sheet III: This tab is for the overflow of Character Sheet II’s special abilities section and additional notes. This tab is for displaying your Racial and Class abilities, feats and special abilities in a larger font then is on Character Sheet II.
There a many optional sheets that you can make use of. These sheets are detailed below.
Custom Race: This tab allows you to enter stats for a custom race. But it can also be used to modify house ruled changes to existing races. To create the custom race, whether one you have created completely on your own or whether it comes from a sourcebook not yet added to HF, simply follow the instructions on the sheet. The type/subtype you select will drive racial abilities and proficiencies automatically, so you do not have to track those on your own. Make sure to pay close attention to the little “red triangles” in the corners, as they give you helpful hints as to what type of information is required. Please note that certain information on this sheet is not included in any calculations anywhere. The feats, for example, will show as racial abilities, but will not qualify as a prerequisite. If the race gets a standard feat as a racial ability, please use the feat override on the Feats tab instead. Custom Class: This is where you can create your own class, if not already available in HF. Most of the information on this sheet should be self explanatory. However, a few sections deserve some detailed explanations. Bonus caster levels: here you can enter how many bonus caster levels the class grants over the course of all class levels. HF does not keep track of what types of caster levels are gained, or at which class levels.
It merely allows you to specify that the class over time grants X bonus caster levels. The actual bonus caster levels are assigned on the Prestige Classes I sheet (which automatically unhides). Bonus manifester level or turn/rebuke undead progression: see bonus caster levels above. Class abilities by level: for shorter prestige classes, there should be plenty of room. However, for full 10level prestige classes (or new base classes especially) or classes which are “ability heavy” the room may be very restrictive. Please make good use of what room there is. Do not track bonus feats here, but rather use overrides on the Feats tab instead. Also, please note that no abilities are actually used in calculations. If the class grants Uncanny Dodge, it will not automatically calculate as a prerequisite where applicable. Again, pay close attention to the little “red triangles”, as they provide helpful information which will assist your data entry. Also, please note that you can only specify one custom class. If you need access to more than one custom class you have two options: 1) Edit HF as applicable to add the needed classes, with all the complexity involved in such an undertaking 2) Combine the class abilities of both classes as well as you can, manually keeping track of the differences that may arise (such as class vs. cross-class skills, proficiencies, etc) Custom Familiar: On this tab you can add stats for your own familiar, in the event that your class/familiar has not yet been added to HF. It also allows you to create a completely house ruled or custom made familiar. Once added, the familiar will appear in the familiar dropdown on the Classes tab under whatever name you give it. You need only worry about base creature stats, such as speed, abilities, attacks, and basic skills. Any level dependent benefits (such as hit points, familiar abilities, etc) are calculated automatically. The master’s benefit (such as +2 bonus to Fortitude saves for having a rat familiar) are also included automatically if the applicable type is selected. For skills, use the left column for any skill ranks the familiar may have. Use the right column for racial and/or size modifiers. Please ensure that the data is entered as indicated by the examples next to each field. Templates: This tab is for selecting any templates your character might have or acquire. All bonuses and penalties will calculate into the sheet automatically. Variants: This tab is for selecting any variant class abilities your character has taken. All the appropriate areas of the sheet will update automatically. Skill Tricks: This is the tab for selecting all your tricks if you use this option from Complete Scoundrel. Traits: This tab is for selecting your traits when you are using that option from Unearthed Arcana. All bonuses and penalties will calculate into the appropriate places in the sheet automatically. Flaws: This tab is for selecting your flaws when you are using that option from Unearthed Arcana. All bonuses and penalties will calculate into the appropriate places in the sheet automatically.
Buffs: This sheet is most useful if you game off a laptop. This tab allows you to keep track of what bonuses and penalties you character might have to deal with during a typical encounter of any level. Spells, class abilities, and even penalties you might have due to the same can all be handled on this tab and the stacking is handled for you. All these bonuses and penalties will automatically calculate in the appropriate places in the sheet. Magic Equip: Here is where you can select any magic equipment your character might have equipped that grants a bonus. This tab is designed to handle magic items that are equipped only. It is organized by the slots that this equipment takes up on the body. It currently doesn’t support un-slotted items. But all bonuses granted will calculate automatically in the appropriate parts of the sheet. Character Sheet IV: This tab is for displaying your Racial and Class abilities, feats and special abilities in a larger font then is on Character Sheet II. Character Sheet V: This tab is for displaying your Racial and Class abilities, feats and special abilities in a larger area then is on Character Sheet II. This is mainly for use with high level characters Game Log: This sheet is designed to help you track you game sessions with areas for notes, XP gained, GP gained, etc. It will even give you an option for using these entries for use in other parts of the sheet. Living Greyhawk Game Log: This sheet allows you to keep track of AR information. Just enter the information into the appropriate cells and this information can be used in conjunction with the LG Item Access Track tab to help keep track of favors and item access. MIL sheet: This sheet was designed for use in the Living Greyhawk RPGA campaign. But I find it quite useful in all my campaigns. It is a user entry sheet for keeping track of all magic items you might own and there prices. LG Item Access Tracking: This sheet works in conjunction with the Living Greyhawk Game Log to help you keep track of item access. Initiative card: This is a printable sheet of all info your DM might need to use for keeping track of initiative. Table Tent: This tab is a printable table tent for your character.