I am looking for a software suite or a set of separate applications that would fulfill the following requirements:

  • Able to build characters for Pathfinder
  • Has all the contents published by Paizo that you can find on PFSRD, including prestige classes
  • Is able to generate stats for Animal Companions, familiars and mounts
  • Is able to calculate damage output
  • Is able to plan the character from lvl 1 to lvl 20
  • Prevents me from making mistakes (e.g. choosing a feat that I do not have the prereqs for)

Can anyone recommend me such an application if there is one at all?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this question should be closed as obsolete re: tool-recommendation tag. It does however retain it's usefulness. \$\endgroup\$
    – eimyr
    Mar 4 '16 at 11:41

PCGen is a completely free Open Source character generator and maintenance program, and can do what you are looking for. And even a bit more.

I personally use it for GMing a group of six very different characters, print out their character sheets, and I also can create monsters with unique abilities, having additional levels in various classes etc.

The software might not be very pretty, but it is absolutely helpful: There is an area in the lower left corner of the window which lists all feats, traits, specials etc. that are not yet configured for the current character, so you won't forget to add these details.

PCGen runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux, as it is Java based, and has a large community of people helping out with the software.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to modify species (thus adding new ones?) for example one of my player plays a taininim which isn't a species created by pazio itself but from a 3rd party. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Aug 9 '14 at 7:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. I never personally created additional files for PCGen, but there is a how-to video which shows clearly how to add a completely new race for PCGen. Hope that helps! youtube.com/watch?v=VNSdgSb0Ep8 \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Aug 11 '14 at 6:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, there are some other videos to watch on pcgen.org/get-help/videos , and of course there are other types of documentation on the website pcgen.org \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Aug 11 '14 at 7:04

Hero Lab is the premier character generation software for Pathfinder (and a variety of other game systems). It's commercial and costs more than PCGen but it's also way more usable. You have to buy content packs, and it can get expensive to get them all, but they have the content available for all new Paizo books (and some third party) available at or very close to the release of the book. Including every NPC from NPC Codex, etc. You can download it and make Beginner Box characters free, so it's easy to try it out.

It also allows you to apply conditions and activate abilities in play - so for example, you can add that Bless spell, turn on your Smite Evil, indicate you're flanking - and it calculates everything for you on the fly. It's well supported - bugs etc. are taken and fixed quickly and there's a community that generates more files of content, character sheets, etc. You can write your own custom data files as well.

If you have the spare money, nothing else cuts down on your prep time like Hero Lab. It's great to use in play as a player and as a DM I'm not sure I'd be willing to run Pathfinder campaigns above about level 6 without it, that's just so much wasted work and time to do manually.

They support Windows, Mac, and iPad interchangeably. You get a couple machines worth of license when you buy it and can get additionals if you want it on a bunch of boxes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I use hero lab and it's very usable, can add up in cost for the extra modules though as mentioned however. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Oct 14 '14 at 9:21

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