Long time player, first time poster here. Some might remember me from the berklist from aaaaages ago.

I'm about to start a new Saga, and I'm seriously pondering Metacreator for Saga management, as opposed to my old trusty methods (pencil, folder, plenty of paper). However, playing around with the demo, it seems awfully fiddly, and I'm unsure whether using Metacreator will seriously cut down on Saga admin work time. And it only covers a limited range of books, so I guess I'd need to do some data input myself to have all the info from the books I'm unsing. Plus, the printed charsheets produced by Metacreator seem somewhat ugly...

What is eveyone's opinion on Metacreator? What did you do with it? Did it help you significantly regarding prep time / admin time? Looking forward to hear your thoughts...

I'm a big, big fan. You'll find it covers a lot of the really important books that you might want to use, such as the various House books, the Mysteries, Divine and Magic, and Covenants.

The covenants add-on alone is great as it allowed me to keep a much better handle on vis and all the little rules crunch stuff this time around than I had with previous sagas.

Is it a little fiddly? Well, I think there's a learning curve, but I think if you want to start off nice and easy, pick the core options, the core spells etc. and work from there you should be good.

And I have to say, the support from the guys who develop the software is fantastic. They're always ready to answer questions that might fox the many people here on the forum that use Metacreator.

I like it a lot, too. I mostly use it for character generation, where it takes much of the crunching off my mind and lets me concentrate on being creative. Also the help file is great for checking out what virtues etc. do without digging through books. I find I am constantly expanding my use of it as I learn more while using it. But yeah, learning curve.

Add me to the list of people who like Metacreator.

It's really good for character generation, npcs and monsters too. I think it's less useful as a saga-running aide.

MetaCreator is great for character generation. It feels a bit fiddly for covenant management, to be honest.

I use it, personally, for developing character ideas. I then do advancement by hand and then update the metacreator saves also in case I need to reprint the sheets.

I love it. I have all my npcs, grogs and the ongoing covenant sheet in it, plus making characters is easy and fun. I'm able to regularly update the covenant record, save it as a pdf and put it in our troupe dropbox. I recently emailed the developer about a "no print" option for things I didn't want my players to see, and he/she put that in the next update within a few weeks.

Like someone posted above, I find myself learning a little more every now and then, but you don't have to know much for it be VERY useful. I like the character sheets. If you use the template ones, they are just like the ones in the back of the book.

EDIT: Just as a note, I use a PDF printer program to export to pdf.

I love Metacreator. There's an initial learning curve, but I also think it's actually easier than it looks, since most of those boring-looking windows work the same way. And defitinely, the Alter Ego guys are also really responsive to any doubt.

Yes. That's awesome too.

I've been on the iffy side of getting metacreater for Ars Magica for a while now. Sure does sound handy, but whenever I have $50 to spend I always buy books.

I just rely on excel.

Hi all, thanks for the many replies so far.

@Gilarius, Jonathan.Link: I find it very interesting that you both state that Metacreator isn't the best for Saga management, since that's what I'd like to use Metacreator chiefly for. Do you have suggestions for better options? What is it that you use.

@Silveroak: I'm pondering building up everything I need in Excel myself. Did you build your sheets yourself, or are there any Excel ressources on the web?

Admittedly, I'm still on the fence. Characters I can do all day just using the books. The help file is rather nifty, though...

What would be nice for metacreator to have is a relationships link diagram.

So when you open the covenant, you can then select the "Display relationships" button and it'll show the covenant, then the names of the labs assocated with the covenant, and the magi associated with those labs, and the grogs associated with the covenant (which you'd assign)

I'd find that kind of useful for saga tracking purposes.

I'm too cheap for a lot of things, including Metacreator, so I can't speak to that, but my biggest time saver for a big-ish covenant is a "grog advancement sheet." It's basically a six-column table with every grog's name in the left-most column, and then columns for spring, summer, autumn, and winter (last column is a check-off to remind me if I need to make an aging roll in winter). For every season, I mark down what the grogs who aren't adventuring are doing and resulting experience, so that at the end of the session or the year I can just add it all up instead of going over every sheet.

We do something very similar, except we usually don't bother with the pdf, but rather keept the raw .chr files in the dropbox.
This allows some (limited) interaction, like asssisting in the lab, making longevity rituals for eachother, and handling a shared library.

Metacreator has that already, though perhaps not in the best possible way.
WARNING: This may (or may not - I honestly have no idea) require the covenant add-on.
Have you tried opening the members subsection of a covenant .chr? You can associate characters directly, and they will be noted on the printed version.
With full character sheets if you're not careful.

That ... kinda depends.
Exactly what do you mean by Saga admin work?
If you mean "Keep track of plots, plotnodes and NPCs", that's not what it's designed for. Sorry. We keep a wiki.
If you mean "Keep track of covenant resources, meaning Vis, money and books." it does that very well I think - but you might (will) need the Covenants add-on.
If you mean "Auto up date all the grogs, so I don't have to worry about them." against, that's not what it's designed for, sorry.
If you mean ... something else, could you clarify?

That worries me as well - even though in practice, 90+% of what I need/use is covered.

I'm sorry, I have no sense of visual aestethics, so can't really comment on that.
I do know some (minor) changes can be made - I believe the Mad Irishman has a font-fix, for example.

As mentioned above, we keep a .chr file for the covenant in a shared folder (via dropbox). This folder also contains most of the PCs (Magi, Companions, Grogs and Labs), so if anyone wants a look, just open up that file.
In some sagas, we have also sheets for eg. a friendly covenant whose library we can access without a story (just a minor payment), intiation scripts or the like.
These are kept in the metacreator format, to make studying easy.

Metacreator also handles labwork, which some in the troupe (mostly newer players) have sometimes found complicated.

We combine this with an external Wiki.

Mostly as a player I suppose - but since we play troupe style, everyone is a player.
And my impression is that it has helped some of the newer players handle the idea (and workload) of multiple characters, which means I don't have to handle every grog myself.

Well, it makes managing the covenant something that falls on the person with MetaCreator. I created a vis flow worksheet for one saga that anyone can edit, where there's one page for revenue and one page for expenses, put the year and everything auto-calculates. This allows individual players to consume vis, or i can be managed by whomever is the vis treasurer for the covenant. Books are also better managed by having an online magi planner, rather than MetaCreator. Everyone sees what everyone else is doing and can identify if a desired resource is in use, and if so, negotiate for access to it. This also applies to the vis flow worksheet, if one of the techniques or forms of vis stocks should go negative. I don't really care about managing silver... and managing labs are, by and large, the responsibility of the magus. With regards to silver cost of labs, I tend to say that the upkeep of a lab is limited to a certain level...

Well, MetaCreator can make developing a character an all day long exercise to an hour long exercise. :wink:

It does? Hot diggety.

I have pretty much every expansion they've released to it thus far. I'm disappointed by the lack of ROP: Faerie thus far, but that's an irk rather than a fault.

I used paper, in a folder :smiley: Past tense, unfortunately, since I have a voice problem and have had to retire from GMing. My characters tend not to speak much anymore!

Running and upgrading the covenant can be delegated to the players, and discussions about resources, books, vis, etc can then be done in character as the Covenant Council. The covenant secretary/autocrat (who is usually an npc) writes down what is decided, and that can form the record of what is happening. Obviously, this would be harder in an on-line game.

I don't worry about upgrading each individual grog/npc/monster/etc - important ones have character sheets which are simple to change using Metacreator; unimportant ones tend not to have any numbers attached until they are needed. And then they can be invented on the spot.

My Meatcreator is version 3.9.7 what is the actual Version?

The latest version of MetaCreator is 5.3.4!

Ops! :open_mouth:
I should update my Meatacreator. :exclamation:
The Update function did not work anymore. :frowning:
Hopefully I will get that Update don’t want to by it again. :confused: