I don't want to sound negative, but what is the benefit?

My first impressions for this Alpha are not very positive. It’s extremely laggy, quite buggy, heavily lacking in content, and most of what is here is locked behind a paywall (which honestly doesn’t make a ton of sense for an Alpha Test…).

I apologize if this post is not in the appropriate spirit, and I don’t want to come across as negative, but I’m failing to see the benefit of the time and effort spent on creating this character builder when a fully-functioning and in-depth free option already exists in Pathbuilder, especially when Pathbuilder is already integrated into VTTs such as Foundry. Again, I’m not trying to come across as negative, I’m genuinely trying to discern what the benefits are for putting so much effort into this, but all I can really think of is that DnD had DnDBeyond, so Pathfinder has to have a version of it. But if that’s the case, especially with Pathbuilder already being so prevalent and useful, why reinvent the wheel first, before trying to build up the engine?

Again, I’m not trying to be negative, but at first glance, this appears to be a lot of work put in on something that will end up a lesser, paid version of something that’s already free and working extremely well…

I think the main benefit is having a unified hub where you can keep everything you need related to the game instead of having different websites open. I still have the other sites open along with this one whenever I play, since I don’t mind that, but there are people who want to have everything in a single place. I think it is a nice option to have, even if not everyone find it a necessary one.


That’s definitely fair, part of my point, though is why make this a priority over something like Campaign management or Vetted Community Submissions for adventures or something? Something to make Nexus more robust and attractive AS a main hub, instead of just a store that also has a character builder?

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There are a few journaling and quest tracking tools in the groups for campaign management. But, if I were to take a guess, I think it’s because everyone playing the game will be using a character sheet on some form or another. One-shots, short campaigns, casual groups and more might not bother with a campaign manager. There will be encounter managers in the future, so hopefully more campaign management tools will show up eventually as well.
As for the vetted community submissions, that would be awesome, but I imagine it would involve drafting new agreements and legal documents to set it up.

I definitely agree, character building is one of the most important parts of any rpg, and one of my favorite. But if I’m GM starting up a session, especially for people who might be new to Pathfinder, I’m definitely going to be recommending a free resource that, so far at least, is fully updated over one that has a vast majority of options closed off. Even if a player is dedicated enough to drop a hefty chunk of change just to get access to every background and ancestry, I can’t expect everyone to, and rather than limiting their options to have uniform functionality with character sheets, I’d have everyone use the free toolset. Again, I’m not saying a character builder is a terrible idea, I just don’t understand why it might be a priority over something as simple as providing a link to Pathbuilder on a page, or even collaborating with Pathbuilder as some VTTs have done.


As I’ve shared in several other posts and in the disclaimer when opening the tools while in Closed Alpha, we know the experience is not good or even close to complete at this stage. We have decided to allow people that want to opt-into it even with that disclaimer to help us test at a very early stage (and that testing has been valuable to us). We also have decided to keep content that would be locked once the character tools go public locked during the alpha, because taking things away from fans is not something we have ever seen be a good experience.

The pricing we have in place is based on the standard for all official tools licensed by Paizo. All game mechanics are available for free through the Game Compendium on Pathfinder NEXUS, where reading the content and using character options in the tools requires a purchase to unlock past what is freely-available in the Pathfinder Primer. I can’t speak to the way any unofficial tools work out there.

I completely disagree that what we are building will be a lesser version of anything out there - I believe it will be the best character experience available once we’re done. That’s completely fine if you don’t believe that now (how could you, it’s not close to complete?) or even if you don’t believe that once we’re done…it’s still the commitment and drive for our team internally.

As for the work, it’s worthwhile to us not only because we believe it will be the best overall character experience as I mention above, but it’s also important to note that the character builder and digital character sheet is functionality that we are building (using Pathfinder as a pilot) for the platform. We will support dozens of games, with Pathfinder being one of many. If you and your groups want to use another character management option for Pathfinder, you should do what works best for you. All the other games we have on our NEXUS platform might not have as many options.


IMHO, without any Character Builder, you won’t attract players that are used to something like DDB… They do not want to have to roll dice on another webpage and then have to tell the GM, GM might not want to have to wrangle character build on an Excel Sheet, on Pathbuilder, on other sites where you can build characters, etc…

Also, being able to integrate the character to an Encounter builder needs character to be “correctly build” to populate everything automagically.

Being able to share rolls (eventually) a la DDB, is also a good thing, but you don’t want that to simply be “typed in” manually, or it’ll be the same as using Discord, rollz.org or other “RPG Chats” out there. Many GM prefers that than to have to setting up dice rolling bots to really be sure that their Munchkin Players really have rolled Yet-Another-Crit ™.

As much as PF2 players loves PF2, it’s not the Biggest Guy on the block so if you want to “steal” market/mind share, the easier the move is from D&D to PF, the less resistance/inertia you’ll encounter and the more players you’ll eventually have.

Also, because Demiplane has quite a few DDB creators & developpers it reassures a lot of players that they will get something that will, more or less, work like DDB


All fair points, and I do want to apologize for my poor choice of words. I did not mean to deride or diminish the efforts Demiplane has put forth, nor did I mean that, at the end of those efforts, that the finished product would not turn out to be one of quality.

My main point of confusion, however, is the decision to put efforts into a character builder for Pathfinder at all at this particular time. Absolutely, having a character builder would be a huge benefit, I’m definitely not disputing that, and as one of the replies to my thread had mentioned, having a main, one-stop hub for all things Pathfinder-related would be incredibly beneficial. I also understand that one of the points of Nexus is to have a base platform or template for all the games that have partnered with Demiplane. The tricky part, in my own mind anyway, is that, unlike several of the other rpgs included in Nexus, Pathfinder already has third party companies making extensive content for the system. Archives of Nethys has a fully comprehensive rules and information section, for free, and, as mentioned, Pathbuilder already has every character option fully available, and free. What’s missing for Pathfinder, when compared to D&D Beyond, is the content aspect of it: articles, community submissions, events, etc. I know these will come in time, but that’s my point.

I know there’s a lot of work being put into the Nexus for Pathfinder, absolutely, and I know there’s a huge effort being put in to make Nexus in general a user-friendly experience for every game platform hosted. I was just wondering what would be the result if resources were diverted from making a character builder to making a more robust main hub.

Connecting all that has been said. Pathfinder is what most people will be searching for when they find demiplane. Having the character creator for pathfinder will show a hint of what’s to come for the other systems. I know it is not meant to put one system front and center, but Pathfinder will act, in some ways, as the cover for what demiplane represents for each system. We have focused on Pathfinder since those are the character tools that we have access to test so far, but the Alien and Avatar have already been announced. If I am not mistaken, @BadEye please correct me if I am, they will all share some of the infrastructure, so progress made helps build all character creators, not just the pathfinder one. I do completely see your points that Pathfinder has a ton of resources out there and that community content would help a lot.

The tricky part, in my own mind anyway, is that, unlike several of the other rpgs included in Nexus, Pathfinder already has third party companies making extensive content for the system.

In the various discussions as well as the video updates on youtube, they said that doing it for PF2 - which has a pretty crunchy character creation - it will serve pretty much as a baseline and will create almost all the parts they’d need for most systems, including the recently annouced 5E Nexus (Granted, it’s not at the level HERO System, but compared to say, Vampire, it’s Crunchy as hell)

And it would seems pretty weird to have a 5E Nexus with character creator without having a PF2 Nexus without character creator.

The Character creator is only a part of the overall goal, not the Endgame. As such, it’s pretty much required for integrating the various data (books, adventures, etc) to the encounter builder and the like. Also, if you don’t have a character creator, you’re not really a Hub, you’re only a “Forum” to contact other players… and the’re plenty of those around

A One Stop Shop, that’s the goal of Nexus

Now, if it could eventually integrate with Foundry and Voice/Video Chat… :slight_smile:


Another way to think about it - and the precise way that we think about it - is that we are not making a Pathfinder Character Builder and Pathfinder Digital Sheet.

We are making a Character Builder and Digital Character Sheet for all NEXUS toolsets, and we have chosen Pathfinder as the pilot for several reasons, a few keys ones being 1) Pathfinder is the most complex game system of any that we would support and is therefore a great stress test for making sure the platform can cover any of those complexities (i.e. if we can make Pathfinder work with the massive amount of options and underlying complexity, we can make any game work), 2) Paizo is very interested in us building these tools for Pathfinder (and eventually Starfinder) and we appreciate and want to support Paizo as a partner, and 3) we have seen community demand for character tools for Pathfinder even with the other options you mention being already available.

I’ll end with a quick note on this one - some of what you’re mentioning here can and will be done in parallel to character tool development efforts, as they would require and involve different teams. We simply haven’t pressed our foot to the gas on any of these things yet because with the house under construction and not truly ready for guests yet, we aren’t quite ready to blast out the invites to a dinner party. Those dinner parties will absolutely come once the house is built.



Thanks so much for the replies, that answers my questions! There’s more I wouldn’t mind discussing on this, but I’ve definitely already taken the Thread far away from the main spirit of the Forum, and I appreciate everyone indulging me as much as you have!

I would still think about reconsidering this. In my mind, stress-testing the whole system would be more valuable than a reduced capacity of it, especially when many of the issues I’ve seen on the forums are talking about specific classes/ancestries/etc., and I feel that those that had signed up for an Alpha testing would understand that they would have access to functionality that might end up unavailable once the Alpha closes. But, I definitely do not have any personal experience with that, so obviously take any suggestion with a grain of salt!

Thanks again for all the responses!

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@BadEye It would be nice if we could IMPORT characters from say… Pathbuilder, to Nexus… (it exports in JSON format so… could be possible). I DO hope that all the rule options will be available and not just those Paid For, because they’re available on all other tools freely

(as an aside, Having used HERO Builder some years ago, I understand why you precised “PF is the most complex game system of any that we sould support” :stuck_out_tongue: )

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Anyone who has used DnDBeyond knows that this will be a Character Sheet worth waiting for. Pathbuilder is good but it’s lacking the polish that I expect this tool will have eventually. The true cloud experience for example will be much easier.

No worrying about have you purchased on your phone vs your browser and which version of the character sheet are you currently using because my version isn’t synced with your version.

Pathbuilder has room for improvement, and all Character Tools will need to pay attention to Demiplane because these guys don’t mess around. You go and have a look in the 5e channels and people don’t even talk about (well didn’t, the OGL mess changed that) other character sheets anymore to a point that people don’t even know what alternative options are out there.

Pathbuilder won’t go away. There will still be lots of people that expect a free tool. But there will also be lots of people who are happy to pay for a more premium experience, and anyone providing services (Hero Lab Online) to that user base should pay close attention to Demiplane imho.


I know i’m late to this convo, but id like to add my thoughts in answer to your questions:

  1. Not everyone is in love with pathbuilder… it has many shortcomings.
  2. As i recall, pathbuilder charges a fee (albeit small) for each device and user.
  3. Not all content is available, reliable, or easily usable in pathbuilder, the port to Foundry is limited and nonexistent to roll20 or FGU.
  4. Did I mention not everyone is in love with the other options? (Dare I mention HeroLab???).

While I agree the stateof the alpha was very buggy and im looking forward to much improvement in a beta, and I think the decision to focus on this now is correct in the SDLC of Demiplane.

I dont’t see Demiplane as trying to steal market share from D&D Beyond, WOTC & Hasbro are the real cause of players walking.
The character builder is still in early dev, @BadEye has been very open and transparent on this and people are hammering the app to make sure it’s as good as possible. Comparing it to a mature app like pathbuilder is like comparing a seed to a sapling. Also Pathbuilder is ok if you have the source material to refer to, but don’t have the explanations or details this will; I know several new players who were frustrated by pathbuilder, even with archives of nethys to refer to.

With regards to its priority, there are online communities galore already; there is little Demiplane could do to shine amongst that, whilst a char builder which links to content you own in, has a decent V/C system and session planning and will be system agnostic is a damned fine goal. This is where Demiplane will absolutely shine, taking those alternative systems and presenting them in a consistent manner with similar toolsets (as much as the systems’ idiosyncrasies allow).

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I feel @BadEye answered my questions already, but maybe just a quick summary…

The original post was about why Demiplane would focus effort and resources on a character builder FIRST, before community content or other functionality when there are already other resources freely available, not why should they bother making one at all.

I’ll paraphrase what I took out of the answer, so if I’m mistaken, absolutely reclarify, but the answer was twofold: Pathfinder has a very robust character creation system, and if they can build a character builder for it successfully, they can use that as a template for most of the other RPG systems they partner with and only need to do some minor tweaking to make it work for them, saving a ton of time and resources. The second part is that they absolutely will have community content, but they want to get the character builder fleshed out more before putting in that functionality, which makes a lot of sense considering, in my mind, how much longer the character builder is going to take to complete versus how much time organizing forums and adding content tabs will take.

If you’d like my personal opinion on these choices, you can keep reading, but I definitely consider the thread answered, and that those are valid points, especially given that this Thread is in the Character Tools Feedback and not in the General Discussion.

My personal opinion is that this character builder for Pathfinder will be an enormous benefit for new players as soon as it’s up. People can buy their books and immediately begin plugging them into characters, and then use those characters for whatever else they put in Nexus. That’s awesome for them and for Pathfinder and Demiplane for the revenue it generates. But, as a person who has already gotten most of the books, I would have definitely rather had a centralized forum for community submissions, or some other functionality, first. Until they put in place something like the piecemeal purchases like D&DBeyond had, which I am absolutely certain is coming as well, I’m definitely not spending another 34.99 just so I can make my character a Cook. I don’t personally see a benefit for me.

I absolutely realize that not everything is about me, which is why I asked the reasoning behind doing the character builder FIRST before extra Hub content, and the response I got answered that. And, the faster they can get their Character Builders up for every system, the faster they can encourage new players to spend money on books, and the faster they can incorporate those characters into other functionality, to draw in even more players. And, once they have the templates up, they can move towards things like piecemeal content for every game system, which is a huge benefit to players, Demiplane, and the respective system owners.

I realize there are already a ton of forums and community sites out there already, but I didn’t see why it would be more beneficial to put a community hub on the backburner while they fleshed out a character builder, when even just google searching a character builder returns a very functional and updated version versus trying to find a good forum site away from Nexus. Now I know the reasoning behind the decision.

Again, just my opinion to a thread that I already consider answered, so take with all the salt you wish!


I’ve run into two issues so far:

  1. It’s surprisingly slow. Like molasses slow. Sometimes I click on a simple selection and wait 20-30 seconds for it to refresh. I kind of assume this is because it’s in Alpha, and not given man resources?

  2. I know your’e adding more, and I’ve read that all of the Pathfinder ruleset is available online elsewhere, but why are the base rules not reachable from within the builder? Like, I can see character stuff, but not the rules of combat etc. It doesn’t seem to be linked through, or if it is, I’m just not seeing it.

#1 From my experience, responsiveness varies from browser to browser. Firefox was exceptionally slow for me last week.

#2 I think that they have all the books in the “Source” section, but the actual coding of the various character creation rules/options isn’t all done (doing a spellcaster has a lot of missing bits right now)

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Please consider the following regarding unlocking/locking of content that is aimed at players and player characters. As I recall, Hero Lab has essentially done the same; if you have purchased the PDf/book/module, etc. through their platform you can use its options to character create. I think that if the GM has purchased that content, the players should have the ability to character create using the GM’s purchases as if they had purchased it themselves for that particular game. This would obviously change the options if the player joined another GM’s game. However, if the GM has not purchased it, but the player has purchased it, the player should likewise be allowed to use that purchased content for character creation. My two cents.