Metacreator How-To

Over in another thread, Xavi was asking about how to implement his house rules in Metacreator. I figured it is time to have a thread about using this great program.

Xavi's specific concern is editing the weapon stats. To do this,

  1. Go to File->Merge Data Sheet...
  2. In the dialog box for loading files, open C:\Program Files\Metacreator\ArsMagica5\ArsMagica5.mds. (Your location may very depending on where you installed metacreator)
  3. Save this file under a new name, say XavisHouseRules.mds or whatever.
  4. Now edit your data sheet to your heart's delight. Some things like the weapon stats are easy to change. Even the rules are possible to change if you can figure out the macro language and know where to look.
  5. Under File-> Load Data Sheet, in the right-hand column marked "Always Loaded," select ArsMagica5.mds and click the "remove" button. In the left-hand column, "Data sheet files," select XavisHouseRules.mds and click "Load Always."

Bingo! Now Metacreator will use YOUR rules instead of the official rules.

If all you want to is add things (say new spells or even new weapons and armor), then it's better to create your own data sheet from scratch and don't edit the ArsMagica5.mds sheet.

This is the basic procedure. A bit more advanced would be to split the ArsMagica5.mds into two datasheets, ArsMagica5Official.mds and XavisHouseRules.mds, and delete things from the sheets so that they don't overlap at all. That way if you upgrade to a new version of Metacreator and you get a new version of ArsMagica5.mds you don't need to re-create your house rules. (All you would need to do is delete from the new ArsMagica5.mds anything that is covered by your house rules sheet, save that as ArsMagica5Offical.mds, and set Metacreator to load it always.)

Hope this helps,

-Andrew G.

I haven't touched metacreator for years because I couldn't get it to work and the folks on the metacreator forums didn't have anything helpfull for me when I brought my issues to them. (ok and because I find paper and pencil to be a great deal simpler - it's everywhere, I don't have to figure out how something is entered, it's easily searched, I don't have to wait for it, it has a wonderful tactile feeling interface...)

My specific issue if I recall correctly was that once I put in an activity for a magus the time did not advance , in fact I could not find a way to make time advance (the metacreator forum people said it advanced automatically but it clearly didn't on my installation).

On another subject, does anyone have a way to make metacreator do affinities as the rules say rather than going off a different experience scale? (It's a little thing but I find that it bothers me.)

Regarding Advancing Time.

Some activities do not automatically advance time. Some give you a checkmark to decide to advance time if you choose (since some lab activities can be combined into one season, for example - multiple CrIg spells that all fit within your lab total).

If time does not advance as seen in your History panel, then you can go to - I think - Data: Advancement: Aging Roll. I believe this just advances you a season, and if you're not old enough or it is not the appriopriate time for an aging roll, nothing occurs.

This is my dim recollection. I had to discover it via trial and error. The new help system might have more info...


a bug was recently found with regards to charged items and seasons passing.
I've been promissed that it has been corrected in the most recent version.

I tried to intall the demo and got an "invalid Win 32" EXE application mistake using Windows XP.

I just downloaded and executed the demo under XP successfully. It looks like you had some kind of download error.

Clear your browser cache (Tools > Clear Private Data under Firefox, or delete the temporary files in the Browsing History section of the Internet options for Explorer), and download the demo again.

I'm curious - Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults exists as a supplement, and I own it for MC.

I am curious if there is any way to create beasts using the beast rules in Mystery Cults, the book.
They could be lurking in there, and I might just be missing them. Has anyone run across them?

Bruce: If that's not in there, is there any way it could be added? It seems like it's a system not concerned with balance so much as correct representation of a creature, of which a few are noted and given statistics.



I've always found the beast creation rules extremely confusingly open-ended, precisely because its system is apparently not concerned with balance. To me it seems to say "just load up your beast with whatever bonuses seem right". Not having a great intuition about combat stats personally, I'd rather have something more systematic that arrived at appropriate numbers, rather than have to judge for myself whether to toss another Improved Defense (or whatever) into the shopping cart.

Given some baselines in the book and the Book of Beasts, I think you can eyeball a bunch. A system for beasts that actually somehow "built" correct hawks, boards, etc. seems a bit impossible. Any sort of build-it effects based system is going to have to just at some point accept that "this is close enough to a dog as far as these rules are concerned"

Additionally, it's what the rulebooks have given us, so if it can be slipped into Mystery Cults somehow, or if it already exists there and I just haven't figured out how to access it, then if feels like it's enough for me.


I have found that Bruce has been very responsive to many questions. I have had problems (mainly) with MC handling of MT scores. Due to my experiences there have been three fixes concerning MT.

I have used the demo for an hour or so. I find it greatly complicated compared to my old pen and paper (well, more precisely Word tables and printed pen and paper) method.

Thanks a lot for all the info, though. Greatly appreciated.


I've created a custom data sheet for MC to add Crossbows into the core ArM app. The only trick was modifying the damage to not include strength in the damage calc - which requires editing the Damage formula after you add the crossbow. The datasheet includes the rules forcing the Crossbows ability to initially require a virtue or flaw that grants the Martial ability group, or to be a character in-play. Also added it as an Equipment item.

I'm not sure if crossbows have been added by any of the other supplements as yet (as I'm still getting around to purchasing them), but as they are published in Lords of Men web sup, I think it might be useful to others too.

My plan is to work through other material and add the odds and ends that my players are asking about too, but I thought the crossbows part might be handy to a few folks here too. Let me know (via PM) if you are interested.


I've been using MC to build over a dozen covenants over the past 50-100 years. It's been a learning process so if anyone has some questions, I might be able to help as well.

If I design a magic device within metacreator using it's wizard, it is very easy. It does all the macro, MC stuff for me. However, if I want to remove this item from the character sheet, but save it in my HouseRules.mds data sheet for future use, how do I do that? I tried to just go to the data sheet and plug in each field, but not only was it tedious, it didn't have exactly the same fields, and it wanted Macro mumbo-jumbo that I did not understand.

Can I just save a created item, spell or effect straight to a data sheet?

You can cut/copy from the character into a covenant sheet or other character sheet. So, you could make a sheet that is a master, and copy all of the items you make into it...

I find metacreator relatively simple to utilize, but I am a full time IT technician who deals with systems designed to drive end users insane after a week of use :wink:

Other than the affinities issue, which I do wish it did the correct way, it works reasonably well from my experience. Though personally, I use it to generate the character as they are at the start of play, then I proceed from there by hand. Mostly because printer paper is annoyingly costly.

I do like that a side effect of their implementation of affinities is that you don't have fractional XP, or situations where you put 1 xp into something, which then increases to 1.5 xp with an affinity and then rounds to 2. I really think that the affinities virtue should be reworded to something like the following.

Affinity with (Art/Ability)
You have a natural understanding of the Art/Ability. Track experience points as normal, but when computing your score for an ability, multiply your XP by 1.5 to determine your actual score, round up.

This topic was peacefully dead for three years and you guys got into it without missing a beat. I've never seen necromancers of such skill.

This means that if you acquire an affinity in play it retroactively applies to all of your previous study. That's not how I see the virtue . I see it as a person who learns the art or ability more quickly than others. It also involves repeated extra calculations.

Someone (I'm sorry I forgot who it was) recently had proposed that the virtue becomes cleaner if less powerful if you just don't do any rounding at all and live with fractional xp totals. I love the simplicity of this thought, but I'm not personally bothered by rounding 1 xp up to 2 at all.

Yeah, and I'm ok with that. As an SG, I'm the one who decides when affinity comes due to a Twilight Episode. I can't think of any mysteries off the top of my head that does grant an affinity, although I'm sure there is one. It makes bookkeeping a lot easier, and bookkeeping in Ars is a big enough issue already.

I think that might have been me. I'll admit that the rounding thing, especially when 1 goes to two is a pet peeve thing of mine that just bugs me.