Metacreator worth it?

I'm wondering about buying the AM metacreator package- I'd use it for creating starting Magi, Companions and Grogs for players new to the system. Is the output in a useful format for such a need? Does it explain what various virtues do for example or give a page reference to look up?

Also can character sheets be saved as PDF as I'll have to print from work rather than the metacreator PC?



I had a play with the demo which you can download from the metacreator website, give it a go:

And it seemed OK, though somewhat incomplete (and pricey for what it is!) if you have many of the books beyond the rulebook. I personally decided against, but it was a close call, and you may find it is what you want,

I don't think it does native .pdf printouts, but if you download something like Bullzip:
Which is free (and pretty useful anyway), you can output pdf files on a virtual printer (you "print" the document using Bullzip and then simply choose a filename for the output), so you could use that to generate pdfs so you can print at work,

Worth. Every. Penny.

It is my constant Ars Magica companion. It doesn't cover all the books (I believe they're currently working on adding more) but it does provide full coverage for the all twelve Houses and includes mystery initiations (if you're going that deep in).

I don't think it prints directly to PDF. I tend to use CutePDF as a stand-in printer anyway so it's not so much of an issue for me. But it does export to rtf and html formats.

The app itself provides all the ability/virtue/spell references you're probably after and you can also add your own notes, which get printed into the character sheet.

Really good quality product. Ars Magica is a game that promotes a large cast and progression over stories, seasons, and years. And there are a lot of options other than "stick an XP into that" or "gain a new spell on leveling up", so Metacreator is an absolute boon.

/Agree with every word from Mark.

I should also add that it helps a lot when you need to spont: I use the "design a spell" feature, select the Technique and Form, guideline, R/D/T and it calculates everything. This is very, very quick, a lot more than having to skip through a single book, even more so multiple ones.

Oh yes!! I sure hope so! :smiley:

I've recently downloaded the demo. It's seems ok but I don't really like the interface.

Out of curiosity, would it work on an Ipad?



The application doesn't. It's Windows only but I and others hereabouts have run it through Wine on Linux.

I agree with those people praising Metacreator. It is good.
Sure, not all books are covered by it, yet. But as long as the 12 Houses are, it's fine by me.
While it might not have all explanations of all abilities and spells, nor page references, it does feature the spell guidelines and all the spells from the books it covers. So when you Invent or Design spells you just tale the easy picks.
To begin with I primarily used MC to fiddle with between sessions and then print the character. But since a session might include a season or two of projects while we play a story, I just sit with the lap top.
The windows with all the data might not be pretty to lok at on screen, but you can drag and pull the sections most useful as you want to, so I'm ok with that. What you look at at that point is the tools, the mechanics so it will look utalitarien. It's like looking at the engine of a car - it's less streamlined than the photu you'd see in a catalogue. But just make a print preview then. Under the menu "Data" you can quickly pull up the data needed.I sometimes think character sheets become too long when printed, because of Notes and History.

There are some printing options available in the Utilities command Game Systems Preferences. You can turn off printing History there, just by unchecking the box Print Character History in Notes.

We're currently working on Realms of Power: Magic.

Thanks for all your support for Metacreator!

Peggy Kvam

I use Metacreator in all of my AM campaigns. I find it useful to have something which records the season-by-season actions of characters, and helps to avoid anyone making math mistakes along the way. It also means that players can upload new copies of their characters to the wiki I keep for my campaigns, so that I, as the Alpha SG, can see and clear whatever advancement they're doing. It's a great tool.

Having said all that, part of the reason Metacreator seems so great is that it's the only tool. There's nobody else trying to produce a character manager for 5th ed. The interface is often unintuitive, and the program lacks undo functionality, so if you're getting ready to do something potentially complex, save beforehand so you can restore if you make a wrong step in the series. There is the occasional bug, though I don't think I've ever seen a catastrophic one.

Peggy - is there anyway to put the character sheet output into some sort of character sheet PDF file? At the moment, I'm thinking I'm going to have to create characters on metacreator, print off the RTF file and then have the players transcribe from the print out and handwrite it into the official character sheet. Which essentially is a manual process that I'd kinda expect a character generator to automate for me.



I use CutePDF to "print" the character sheet directly into a PDF file. It works perfectly fine for me. Sure, an inbuilt PDF option would be great, but in the meantime I make do.

Why? You can just print out the character.....

Mostly because I dont have a printer connected to my home PC with metacreator. If I could get the printed character sheet as some sort of output file I could email to my work PC then that would be great as I can print it there. But I'm told its only PDF and HTML text. I might be missing something as I've only had the program for 24 hours, so tell me if I'm wrong.


Do you mean RTF, not PDF?

I can see the standard output, an rtf cut down sheet, and html.

If you're on Windows Vista/7, you should have an XPS printer auto installed. This is Microsoft's own "pdf" format. There's a reader built into the more recent versions of IE. The output is, as far as I can see, just what you'd get with the standard output.

So just print it through the standard Template (not Filter), and select the built-in XPS printer. That will create a file on your drive that you can mail to where you can print. It's exactly the same as the other app I mentioned works.

XPS isn't terribly well supported by anyone outside MS just yet, but I reckon it won't be too long before other platforms have dedicated readers. That said, a quick google shows up an XPS reader for each of Android and iOS platforms.

Hopefully this will tide you over.

Okay, those of you who are loya fans, I do apologize for the harshness of my following statements.

Metacreator is a worthless piece of garbage. What? It does the math for you? I have a calcuator. I have pen & paper.

Indeed, I do not see the usefullness of Metacreator at all. It is an unessecary complication, and before I can use any character made with it, I have to transcribe data over into Forum format or some other style.

Metacreator is a useless waste of money. It preys upon human laziness. I mean, if you have money to burn and you wanna new toy, go for it. Money better spent on a new book though, or maybe even a decent meal for a small family.

Sheer bloody luxury i say! and Laziness of an extreme nature. :stuck_out_tongue:
I went to school in the dark ages , when all we had were slide rules and logarithm tables.
Hell , i even purchased a book of 8-digit log tables , because the school ones only went to 4.
We were shown an abacus as a historical curiosity and the joy of doing maths with roman numerals to boot.

You should throw away that vile electonice device and eschew the unsound hindu numeration immediately.

(actually got to use my first calculator in high school , circa 1972 , being one you plugged into a wall socket)
I still have my Hewlett Packard 27S
which has stood me in good stead all these years.

If you build characters by the RAW, it seems to be a useful tool. You need to get used to it, though. I downloaded the demo and was unimpressed by the interface. Too clunky for myt tastes. Besides, we use so many house rules that I would need to reprogram half of it. So it is not really worth it for me. As you have seen, others cann't live without it, though! :smiley:

I would download the demo version and toy around for a while to see if you are happy with the results.


I have tried it.

And it didn't do the maths correctly when you take some combination. I recall some kind of "warrior" + "affinity with weapon" bug: the xp from warrior weren't modified by 1,5 and this was boring. Besides, bugs with the "you can't take more than 5 minor flaws" when I only had 4 and 2 major virtue, and another "virtue != flaw" when i tried to create a mythic companion with it.

Besides, the interface is totally outdated and the many buttons linking to weird pages are not easy.

The only part of it I found useful is to calculate laboratories characteristics, where it is really fast (as the combination aren't a lot!) compared to pen&paper (or excel file as I'm doing it)

I must say I agree with Marko : my last characters sheets are simple word documents, calculated by mind (and with excel sheet to manage the XPs for old characters). And it's easier to create/modify or reset.

Oh, Mark...