Linux is a plus. Even documentation of the file format would do.


As someone who used to maintain an app that parses that XML file (sadly obsolete now) I can tell you that the big problem with that file isn't necessarily parsing it (although their choice of certain approaches in the XML makes baby Jesus cry) the big problem is that since the file format is almost XML, and 'internal' to WotC, they feel free to change it at will. Sometimes, changing it in small ways, sometimes in big ways. So the trouble for 3rd party Import/Export tools is not deciphering the insanity, its repeatedly deciphering the insanity.

Further, the actual "XML" (note the quotes) is filled with references to internal IDs in their database; so one can't properly create these files without either cracking their DB (you'll get in trouble) or using CB to generate the full permutation of valid options, and extracting their IDs into your own system, and then using your system to generate the XML. You can't save the intermediate step, though, or you'll get in trouble (Illegal copy of their IP). Plus, you wouldn't want to anyway; those IDs are far from static.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What're your thoughts on i4xml? \$\endgroup\$ – Sohum Oct 20 '10 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll have to look it up when I get home; I'm not familiar with that application off the cuff. \$\endgroup\$ – GWLlosa Oct 20 '10 at 21:07

Most of it is pretty straight forward if you have a few examples to work from. It's missing quite a bit of information as others have pointed out. What you want to do with the file might help us get you going. For instance in i4e the import site can now create a new character without the .dnd4e file and you can then import it into the app as if you had started with one. I know the files pretty well at this point so if you run into something feel free to message me.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any plans to have some links between i4e and pathguy.com/cg4.htm ? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 20 '10 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ For anyone as confused as I was - i4e != iplay4e, and the former is the one that can create a new character and import it into an iOS (but not Android) app. AFAICT, there's no way to export the character, as .dnd4e or otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ – Sohum Oct 20 '10 at 8:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I'm trying to do is to find/construct a pathway for someone who doesn't use the official CB (because Linux etc.) to use tools like iplay4e. \$\endgroup\$ – Sohum Oct 20 '10 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hadn't even seen that cg4 thing until you just linked it. So slow. \$\endgroup\$ – CordaxMike Oct 23 '10 at 23:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is not a way to export as a .dnd4e file from i4e's import site. The import site is capable of holding much more information than is in the .dnd4e file and it would be quite painful to put it back I would think. \$\endgroup\$ – CordaxMike Oct 23 '10 at 23:30

I found this enworld thread that states:

Well, the .dnd4e file is nothing but a text file with XML in it.

That means you could open it up (and you might have to change the extension to .xml) and you should be able to look at it.

One issue (described in the same thread) is that power descriptions and text are stored in a database inside of the character builder app itself and are not included in the .dnd4e file.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That is actually probably a benefit - it means that anything which takes in the .dnd4e files would have to be able to link up to a db anyway, and the file itself doesn't need to worry about keeping them errata'd and accurate. \$\endgroup\$ – Sohum Oct 18 '10 at 23:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know the i4e importer parses the file, but having submitted close to 30 bug reports to the poor developer, I know just how much of a pain parsing it is. Creating it would be even more difficult without some sort of link to the compendium. I just run a VM when I want to use CB. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 18 '10 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sohum: True, but if I'm reading that thread right, the db is a WotC proprietary format, and the CB is the only way to get at it. \$\endgroup\$ – yhw42 Oct 18 '10 at 23:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @sohum, @yhw42 -- It depends a bit on your browser, and how the server sends the data to you. Both Firefox and Chrome (Windows) gave me the XML on a view source (right-click->View Source)... But neither of them auto-formatted it. Try a couple times throughout the day, just in case the server is sending cached markup instead of XML. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Oct 20 '10 at 15:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon ah, you're correct, thank you. wget works in reliably getting the xml. \$\endgroup\$ – Sohum Oct 22 '10 at 6:20

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