I really want to like the new D and D Character builder. I love the old one, and the new one is all shiny and new and we know how much I love shiny things. Unfortunately, it is so buggy that I can’t even say I hate it. I don’t know how I feel about it yet because I can’t even make characters.
Well to be fair I have made 2 characters and imported two more so I do have a couple of things I can tell you. On the plus side I was finally able to update my son’s slayer from the red box to 3rd level. Oh and it’s really pretty… That’s about it. Seriously I think WOTC just said lets distract them from our DRM nonsense with a shiny coin. Oh look its catnip. Look over there a MONKEY! I am happy to finally have the essentials stuff in the character builder so I can make some shiny new Mages… But wait I can’t do that.
So right now I can’t make any characters except for essentials only quick characters because the CB crashes any time I (or anyone else) tries to make something different. I think this will make one of my friends happy because he says he doesn’t want to mix 4e and 4.5 at his new game. It actually kind of reminds me how when 4e was announced at Gencon the WOTC website went down except for a page that said 4dventure. Are you trying to tell us something? Actually they have said they are working on the bugs “soon.” If you don’t know what I mean you can look for “soon” on the WOTC community page.
Other than the epic fail there are some other minor issues. I’m really not happy about paying to beta test this product. As several on the WOTC boards have said WOTC should have continued to support the offline builder until the online builder was at a minimum working. Better would be to keep supporting it until the two had equal functionality. Here is a short list of things the New CB can’t do that the old one could.
1. Share characters. There is no export feature on the new Builder. It is coming “soon” As a DM I really need to have copies of my players’ characters and with the old CB I could easily tell that they were legal and could easily offer advice and help for new players.
2. Houserule support. I gave out bonus feats in my game and also had some custom deities and other stuff. Coming “soon” Are you sensing a pattern?
3. Adjustable Character sheet. Many of my players made custom sheets especially a landscape layout. The two character sheets that come with the new Builder are kind of pretty, but are missing some key features like an action point card and Passive Perception and insight. I have to say I do like the essentials character sheet, but not all of my players do. Perhaps most telling you could track HP and powers used as well as gold and lots of other stuff from the character sheet viewer in the old CB. You can’t in the new CB. I haven’t tried to print to a pdf and I don’t have a pdf editor so your mileage may vary. Character sheet options coming… you guessed it “soon”
There is one other problem I have had. I said I had imported two characters I’m playing a Bard in one game and a warlord in another both are under 5th level and are fairly simple characters. When I imported them I lost several bits and had to rebuild part of them no big deal except I lost a magic weapon for my warlord and I can’t find it in the new builder.
The final thing that upsets me about the new builder is I was really looking forward to making an essentials assassin and the essasin isn’t in the new builder. As an aside the final, not the FINAL final essasin was posted today by mistake and many people are complaining about it. I’m bummed about the loss of unseen spearhead which was my favorite power even if it required work. I could always put in a houseruled power for it if the new builder would let me. I guess I’ll just have to wait because it must be coming “soon.”