I've just started playing around with PCGen and it's pretty great. Unfortunately, while it has support for a lot of source books, it doesn't support everything, to say nothing of various homebrew feats or traits. I'd like to add two or three of these into PCGen, rather than having to deal with manually copy/pasting text blocks onto the PDF every time I update the rest of the sheet.

Unfortunately, I cannot, for the life of me, find any documentation anywhere as to how to do this.

Is this just not something that's possible with PCGen? Or is there a way to do this that I am just too stupid to figure out?

(For what it's worth, and/or, if you're interested in providing an example, I'm trying to get the Pragmatic Activator Pathfinder trait added, to start with.)

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ As a software developer: our failure to communicate well how to do something often ends up with the users feeling stupid for not being able to figure it out. But you're not stupid. We just didn't communicate as well as we should have. So don't beat yourself up for not figuring it out. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 2:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I found the documentation! I had to troll through the Yahoo group to find the link since the main site entirely fails to link to it. I haven't used PCGen in a very long time so I'm not fit to give an answer, but this might help: PCGen documentation > click List Files and read that > then click Important Things to Know to skip past the doc standards. Apparently it's as easy (for some value of "easy") as learning the syntax, editing or creating text files, and putting them in the right location. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The doc is also accessible from the Help menu > Documentation. It will open the version of the docs that come with your current version of PCGen. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


Yes all of the above, plus the online documentation, which is marginally more up to date than the doc with the prog.

And there's some video's also. http://pcgen.org/get-help/videos/

Here's the full step by step answer

Step 1 In the PCGen data folder, create a folder labeled mystuff in the Pathfinder Homebrew folder, you structure will look like this \data\pathfinder\homebrew\mystuff

Step 2 Create a text file called "mystuff.pcc" in the step 1 folder

Step 3 Edit "mystuff.pcc" file with Notepad (or bbedit if mac) paste the following into it

SETTING:My Homebrew Campaign


Step 4 Create a text file called "my_abilities.lst" in the step 1 folder

Step 5 Edit "my_abilities.lst" file with Notepad (or bbedit if mac) paste the following into it

Pragmatic Activator
KEY:Pragmatic Activator ~ Trait
CATEGORY:Special Ability
PREMULT:1,[PREABILITY:1,CATEGORY=Special Ability,Pragmatic Activator ~ Trait],[!PREABILITY:1,CATEGORY=Special Ability,TYPE.MagicTrait]
DESC:While some figure out how to use magical devices with stubborn resolve, your approach is more pragmatic. You may use your Intelligence modifier when making Use Magic Device checks instead of your Charisma modifier
BENEFIT:While some figure out how to use magical devices with stubborn resolve, your approach is more pragmatic. You may use your Intelligence modifier when making Use Magic Device checks instead of your Charisma modifier
BONUS:SKILL|Use Magic Device|max(CHA,INT)-CHA

Step 6 Load PCGen, you should see a "My Stuff" source on the left. Load that and create your character.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't a yes or no question. Though I allowed for the possibility that I was asking for something impossible, I thought I was pretty clear in my use of the word how, that a simple link to the manual is not a Good Answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited for the correct video link. Also look at the documentation section called PCC & LST files explained. And then read the list file classes specifically lessons 1, 2, 12, & 13 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 22:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is not a useful answer - you've linked to a generic video page that may not even contain explanation of the asker's concerns. It would be useful if it actually said: "Here, these three videos explain how to add your own abilities". If that information you've provided in a comment just now is relevant, I suggest you add it to your answer as well, and link to whatever it is that should be read. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 22:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem is that the original question is about the same as "How do I make a website". It can be really involved, but it all basically comes down to "read a bunch of instruction manuals" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 3:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not nearly that broad, and you are still obligated to link to relevant instruction manuals - not a book store. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 4:05

There are a few resources in PCGen that can help you with this:

This group is a small tutorial about working with List files, very useful for starting: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LSTfileclass/info

And this group is for answering questions about List files: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/pcgenlistfilehelp/info

If you don't want to join groups, you can also use the online docs: http://www.pcgen.org/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/

In particular the part List Files->LST File Classes which is a nice intro/overview/tutorial. I would start with this and then use the groups to ask questions if needed.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Linking me to the manual, (which I was aware of, and cannot make heads or tails of, so I assume that it's not particularly clear, which in turn leads to my asking my question here), and someplace else on the internet to ask the same question is not a particularly good answer. A good answer would actually, y'know, answer the question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your question was if it's possible to do this. Linking documentation on how to do it implies that it is possible to do it. But if you want confirmation, it is possible indeed. I have ported a big chunk of Birthright mechanics to PCGen in the past (Bloodlines, Blood Abilities, Blood Scores, Races, Feats,...). Edit: and if you don't make head or tails over the LST documentation after reading the section I recommended, I linked you the LST help group which is a group that addresses specifically questions like yours, not a random or general forum. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ My question was not if it's possible. My question was how. There's a reason that link-only answers are generally frowned upon at StackExchange. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Open ended questions are also frowned upon in SE. Yours is very open ended (maybe you don't realize that as you don't know how PCGen works). Edit: knowing what you tried to do to add the ability to PCGen would help, or what you don't understand from LST files exactly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 1:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LessPop_MoreFizz He answered the question you posed. Edit your question if you have a different question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 2:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .