FAQ and Help

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This is just some tips to help along. It'll be a repository of Frequently Asked Questions and Help Tips that we've encountered a lot.


Java 7

PCGen versions prior to 5.17.11 (including the current production version, 5.16.4) are not compatible with Java 7. This is now the default version Java installed for most system types. Open JDK 6 on Linux exhibits the same problems and the same fix applies.


When you start PCGen, all character tabs other than the summary tab are blank (i.e. the table outline is there but there is no table displayed and thus no races, classes, equipment etc. can be seen). The advanced sources tab is also empty.


There are two options to fix this:

  1. Install Java 6 and ensure PCGen uses that (may require downgrading

Java or using a batch file to start PCGen with Java 6)

  1. Use PCGen 5.17.11 or later. At the time of writing the current alpha version was 5.17.14. See PCGen Alpha Downloads

Windows Installations

  • Vista & Win7 (32 & 64 versions) Install and Running
    • If you are running 64-bit versions of Vista or Win7, the bat file may not find JAVA. You may have to hard-code the path to java.exe. To edit those either Right Click on my Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Environment Variables OR Control Panel -> System -> Advanced Syystem Settings -> Environment Variables.
    • You can modify the PATH by adding your JAVA path to it.
    • Example of a Direct Reference to Java:
    • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java" -Dswing.aatext=true -Xms1024m -Xmx1024m -jar pcgen.jar
    • Put that in your PCGen Bat File.
    • If you're using the BAT, feel free to up the memory usage. I have mine set to 512 and 1028 (Just edit the bat file in a text editor). Set the memory to what your system can handle.
    • Install in a NON-default directory (not c:\program files) Vista and Win7 seem to have directory permission issues at times. (Especially Win7) The UAC in both can cause problems in some cases.
    • Setting the Permission of the FOLDER to the highest level can help
    • 5.17.0 onward have an exe file that solves the JAVA issue.
    • Make sure you have a current version of JAVA installed (Not normally an issue for Windows Users)

  • 1) Create a pcgen.cmd file with the following in it:
    • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe" -Dswing.aatext=true -Xms256m -Xmx1024m -jar "C:\Program Files (x86)\PCGen\PCGen5161\pcgen.jar"
    • 2) Put the pcgen.cmd file in your C:\program files (x86)\pcgen\pcgen5161\ directory.
    • 3) Change your shortcut link to the pcgen.cmd file.

Homebrew OS Sheet for working 5.17.16 and forward

As part of an improvement to Display all the Allowable Range Increments properly for Thrown and Ranged Weapons, some changes were made to the BASE.XML file and the reliant XSLT files. Sadly, this change will break home-brew OS sheets going forward.

You have two options going forward.

Option 1: You'll need to make the following change to the section listed in your XSLT files that contains this:

Replace that entire Section with this new code.

PCGen Pastebin Link to Updated Ranges Template

Option 2:

Replace the BASE.XML file shipped by us and using an older one (But this will mean you lose the newer functionality)

Changing a Character's Sources

Sometimes you may need to change the sources a character is associated with, you could be adding a new source book you have started using or removing a book that is unused. Here's how to do it:

  1. Turn off the "Load Sources with PC" option in Preferences > Sources
  2. Load the desired sources
  3. Load your character
  4. Save your character again (I'd recommend saving to a new file)
  5. Reactivate "Load Sources with PC" in preferences.

The saved character will now be registered against the new sources which will be checked each time you load the character.

Another option is to use a pre-saved source selection. This can then be used by a number of characters and just updated when you want to add books. You can create a pre-saved source selection using these steps

  1. Open Sources > Select Sources and switch to the Advanced tab
  2. Select the game you are using in the first drop-down.
  3. Select the sources you would like to use (using Add Selected)
  4. Once happy click the Save Source Selection button and enter a name for your source set.
  5. Select the new set on the Basic tab and load it.

Then when you want to update the sources used for those characters just repeat the process using the same name. You should select the original saved selection first before switching to the Advanced tab and then the old books you selected will be already selected.

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