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Paul Grosse

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Last edited at Nov 28th, 2018 - This document is an amalgamation of existing documentation we have.

NOTE TO SPAMMERS: Don't bother posting. We aren't interested in anything you are peddling. All posts are moderated and you'll be wasting your time. All you'll get for your effort is a lifetime ban from our groups.

This group is meant to discuss PCGen and items related to PCGen and tabletop gaming in general (table-top role-playing, character creation & maintenance, or RPG news).

Important Links

The following links will lead you to a wealth of information on PCGen

SF Site:

What is PCGen?

PCGen is a character generator and maintenance program aimed at supporting any RPG material we can get our hands on. Currently our focus is on material released under the Open Gaming License (OGL). A secondary goal is to support as many house rules as possible. PCGen is meant to be easy to modify to suit your own campaign, and users are encouraged to share their creations.

Where are the official releases of PCGen?

Currently PCGen is released at

How often are releases?

We try to put out an alpha release every two weeks.  We put out a production release whenever we reach a significant milestone in terms of functionality and we certify that the release is stable after rigorous testing.

Why is book <X> not included in PCGen?

There are a few possible causes for this situation and the explanation hold true for both datasets that have never been in PCGen and some which have been in PCGen but were removed.

(1) If the book is closed content, then we may not have permission from the publisher, or may not have permission to include enough data to allow the data to be useful to our users.

(2) If the book if partially or completely OGL content, then we still require permission from the publisher because the publisher name and book title are both trademarks. Under the OGL, we require permission to use those to identify the source of the data. We believe if we cannot identify the source of the data, then the value to PCGen users is lost (how do you find the data?), so we will not include a dataset for that source.

(3) It is possible that PCGen does not have the features to support a sufficient amount of the data from a given source, and thus is not included in our production release (or is included as an alpha source)

For more information on what sources are available in PCGen and explanations for those that are not, please refer to our Publisher Permissions page at:

If you find we are unable to publish data for a source you are interested in, you may wish to contact the publisher directly to express your interest in having a dataset for PCGen available (either a free one distributed by PCGen or a commercial dataset distributed by the publisher or a third party).

Where is WotC's non-SRD material?

When 3rd edition came out in 2000, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) also created the Open Gaming License (OGL). This would allow 3rd party publishers to use Open Game Content (OGC) as long as they followed the rules laid out in the OGL. WotC took most, but not all, of the material in the PHB, DMG and MM and created the System Reference Document (SRD). They declared this to be OGC, which is what the 3rd party publishers initially used. At a later date, WotC added material from the Psionics Handbook to the SRD.

When d20 Modern came out, WotC created the Modern System Reference Document (MSRD). This contains material from d20 Modern, d20 Future, Menace Manual and Urban Arcana.

When 3.5 came out, WotC created the Revised System Reference Document (RSRD). This contains material from the 3.5 PHB, 3.5 DMG, 3.5 MM, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Deities and Demigods (not everything in this material was converted to 3.5), Epic Level Handbook (as Deities and Demigods) and a little bit from Manual of the Planes.

When 4e came out, WotC chose to use a MUCH more restrictive Game System License (GSL) which was abandoned and completely excluded PCGen from supporting more than the bare mechanics.

When 5e came out, WotC went back to the original OGL and produced a much more selective SRD for it. Instead of nearly all the information from the books it was released as more of a style guide for publishers to make compatible books.

Any material that WotC did not place in the various Reference Documents is not available for 3rd party publishers to use. The Red Wizard of Thay did not make it into the RSRD, so PCGen can not include that in our distribution.

Also see:

When will you support my favorite book?

We try to get everything in that we can as quickly as we can.  We've made our process more formal as our project has matured, so now we have "data monkeys" who test the data, then send it to the publisher for their approval before it gets included in our releases.  This takes a bit of time and we only have so many monkeys working on the data, so if you want to jump in and help out on the book(s) you're specifically interested in, post a note about it on the message board and we'll put you to work!

Also see:

Will PCGen include everything that it can?

We sure plan on it!  It takes a lot of time to complete the data for a book, but it's time well spent. :)  We ask publishers for their permission before we include anything, and those of you who are familiar with the OGL know that this formality isn't required.  However, we at PCGen wish to be courteous to the publishers and respect their wishes - if a publisher doesn't want us to include their material (or just a specific book) then we won't include it.  As long as we comply with the OGL we could legally include anything that is OGL without needing the publisher's permission, but that goes against the long-standing policy we've had for PCGen. 

For D20 and OGL Games Publishers:

Please read our Open Letter to all D20 Games Publishers at:

We'd love to convert your material for use with PCGen.  We have a Publisher Liaison team who are the ones to contact about getting your material into PCGen. They're also the team that will seek you out about getting your permission, and will send you the files for your approval before we include it in a production release.  If you have anything declared as product identity, we can mark it clearly as such within PCGen or not include it.  This is a free way for your material to get widespread use without without giving out so much detail that purchasing the material is no longer necessary. Email us or post on our yahoo message board if you'd like more information.

Also see:

What does the Board of Directors of PCGen do?

A few people have asked about the Board of Directors (BoD) and their role in PCGen, so I thought I'd try to come up with a short and sweet explanation.

The BoD is a group that brings together the leaders of every team (Code, Data, Docs, Publisher Liason, OGL/Licenses, Output Sheets etc) to make sure that inter-group communications are working. It also decides on general policies to guide the project in general. One example is that we discussed and decided to drop d20 compliance for PCGen.  We also discuss what kinds of requirements we might have on any 3rd party group that would want to claim compliance with PCGen. Another issue is where to host data - the preferred place is in the official releases, but there are a couple of situations that would preclude that from happening: if a publisher wants to host the data themselves and not include it in an official release (we'd require that the data be free) or if a special license was required then the publisher or some other site that was compatible with that license would need to host the data - in all circumstances the data would be free. The BoD also discusses any key issues for each group - like "What does the data team need from any of the other teams to finish off book X?". The BoD does not assign anyone to book X or to fix the bugs/features related to that book. The BoD simply helps facilitate discussion between the teams so the team leads can then decide who they want to assign to those tasks. This is a volunteer project, so someone who is assigned to something doesn't have to do it, but hopefully the volunteer will tackle it out of a desire to see book X completed, or out of pity for the team lead! :)

This is an open source project, and as a community project, this means that everyone is giving their time and talent to improve a product for the entire PCGen audience. The BoD helps direct the project by providing groundrules and policies to keep things running smoothly. In return for the volunteer's aid and compliance with those policies, the BoD promises to make it's policies transparent and fair as possible. This way there are no surprises for anyone on any team. The BoD recognizes that its policies aren't perfect, and is very willing to accept suggestions!

Where can I discuss PCGen and interact with the developers?

Generally speaking you can login to:

You can check out the PCGen page from which you can view and post Messages. If you have any questions about PCGen, that's the place to send your question. Most of the developers hang out there on a regular basis, and a number of other very involved non-developers are also available to answer any questions you might have.

Where/How do I report Bugs or request features?

You can submit a bug either by posting a message to the yahoo group with [BUG] in its title, or by going to Bug page at the JIRA site and entering a bug there directly.  We commonly refer to the feature requests as FREQ for short, and you can either post a message with [FREQ] in the title or enter it directly in the JIRA site.  In both cases, the more detailed a bug/FREQ is, the more likely it will be addressed in the near future.  We prefer FREQs be posted at the yahoo group initially so others can help iron out any details or brainstorm on how to improve the functionality.

* What do I need to run PCGen?

PCGen 6.08.00 (and above) requires JRE 11 (and above - this can be found at, which means it will run on any OS that supports that version of Java.  Many of our installers now remove the need for you to worry about installing Java.

What's available at the site?

In the Files page there are a number of folders you should know about - there's Campaign+Central folder where lots of user added Campaigns are available. There's a folder for new character sheet templates that aren't included in the standard releases, and there's a folder for Character PCG files when users have problems that they need help diagnosing. Users who want to send in corrections or updates to anything that's included in the official releases of PCGen should upload those files to our JIRA system where one of us, including our very own Portal to the Negative Plane, will make sure it gets included in the next release. 

Thanks, and welcome aboard!

Bryan McRoberts (Benevolent Dictator of PCGen), Karianna (Chair Monkey of the BoD) and the Moderators

--Paul Grosse
--PCGen BoD, PR Silverback