Metacreator Questions


I've searched through and read a couple of threads about Metacreator, and I still have a couple of questions I was hoping users of the program might be able to help me with.

  1. There doesn't seem to be any releases since 2006ish, so none of the newer books Virtues Flaws and Abilities have been added. How easy are they to add on your own? Is it as simple as adding some text, or does it require amateur programing skills?

  2. How good is it at handling record keeping and advancement?


MC requires that you learn to use its methods, which can be frustrating if you like modern GUIs.

  1. adding them isn't trivial. You'll need to create a custom data sheet and add the elements you want into that. Depending on how complex the virtue or ability (etc) is mechanically used in game, there might also be some macro programming needed. I've done a few items in the past and don't do it regularly enough to be proficient.

  2. advancement is clunky. I tend to used MC for initial stats and do the rest by hand. Ie advancing a character 24 years in hard, a few is ok.

Let me know if you want more help, or try the Yahoo based user forum. The owners are really very good at responding to questions.


24 years at a time may be clunky, but day-to-day maintanance (that is, season-by-season) works rather well I think.

I've downloaded the demo and am playing around with it. Seems cool, but I am trying to figure out why it (properly) gives me by native language at 5 for free, but then also charges me 75 points for Living Language?

The Living language it adds is native language. it is notes as a cost of 0 because you must have this and can't choose not to. But it still formally costs 75 points of your your pool of Childhood exp.

Advancing a magus 24 years season by season is doable but time-consuming. You also need a covenant file with a fully stocked library to choose from when studying. Unless you want to manually choose details for books each season of study. You also need to know how much vis and which types are available to the magus at all times. Plus advancing a magus 24 years with no distractions resulta in a too powerful magus. remember in play there are all kinds of distractions from hardcore study and labwork - we call those stories. Sure, they have rewards of their own, but take time away from grinding arts and building devices.
It would be easier to design the magus from the start af 24 years post gauntlet and then spending the huge pool of exp during character design. However here you must keep a close eye on what levels you achieve and decide whether this is even plausible or balanced. Pooling all your exp into Mentem lets you be a true master of the art with levels beyond what books you would realistically actually have had during a saga. We had an example in a long-running saga where a character who had been played through many years had started delving into Nature Lore. But with the poor study qualities available he was not very skilled. And then a new player created a magus of the same age and spent a huge chunk of his 30 exp/year pool on Nature Lore and surpassed him by a lot. And we say the unbalancing effect this led to. He should not have had as easy access to high levels of Nature Lore as he should have had to e.g. Hermetic Arts where books are more common, and high level ones realistically exist.

When I designed the quite old maga Ferra of Bonisagus in Collem Leonis covenant from Through the Aegis I advanced her year by year in Metacreator, but I tried to allow for time for stories and other non-study distractions. In the end her exp total was quite close to what you'd get for 30 exp/year. So my advice is: Use common sense.

This happens e. g., if you have the box "add template data" checked in the "generate character" mask, and then choose a character type with no template, like "generic grog".

Don't worry about it. Just delete the Living Language and continue designing your character. And for the next character uncheck that box.


Sure enough, if I choose a specific template it applies properly and if I uncheck "add template data" it doesn't charge me. Odd bug but I am getting the hang of it. I'm beginning to like it, another thing surpassed me was there wasn't native PDF support but I was able to fix that with a free install of cutepdf.

It's remarkably nice for keeping track of bits and pieces.

Only issue I have is it uses the 2/3rds rule by default for affinities
(Normally an affinity multiplies the added XP by 1.5, metacreator uses the rule that instead affinitied abilities cost 2/3rds the amount. It works out approximately the same overall, but means tracking it manually for checking is hard.)

Here's another question. Can you manually add experience to a skill in play (and not screw up advancement). I allow Companions and Magi to trade 3 points of Confidence for a point of EXP in a skill that was used while adventuring.

I think it's a GIGO issue. As you provide contradictory input by explicitly requesting template data for a character type that has none, Metacreator can either generate a failure notice, or pick something at hand that looks like a template and use that instead.

You can reduce confidence points and add experience points in the appropriate masks. And these experience points you can use to advance abilities as usual (Data => Advance => Experience), without having to age the character a season.
As it slows everything down, I never would consider that during play, though: for this there's a character sheet and a pencil.


Thanks for the responses One Shot, it is making for an easier learning curve!

I purchased everything available, the $49 package, plus Societies/LatL, Rop:Divine and RoP:Magic. I managed to get everything updated. I do have a question about loading data sheets (i.e. the supplements). When I set them to load automatically on startup and launch the program, I get macro errors. Do you have this happen as well, and is it going to cause me problems? Thanks!

Macro errors, IIRC, are because the Ars Magica data sheet isn't loading first.

Thanks! Apparently I didn't set the Ars 5 sheet to load on startup...

A few comments:

  1. I find using Metacreator so easy for advancement that it is mostly why we have it. It's especially helpful for managing covenants. And if you've detailed your covenant's library, you can select a book from that to study, for instance.

  2. I've had some success at adding Virtues and such, but the learning curve is very steep. I frankly don't have the time to get usefully good at it.

  3. There is a Yahoo Group for it, run by the developer, but he is only indifferently responsive.

  4. The Session Manager is both wonderful and awful. I use it to track time and make quick skill checks for NPCs, but the combat feature turned out to be a massive disappointment because the developer doesn't seem to understand 5e combat - particularly and egregiously, the application does not handle trained groups at all. I asked about this and was met with thundering silence.