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ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:44 PM

GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
The purpose of this FAQ is to collect some of the most frequently asked questions about the GURPS Character Assistant (GCA) and answer them, so that those questions may be linked to and referenced as need be. This is a replacement for, and addendum to, the previously posted GCA FAQ.

The thread will be closed, so that only moderators may add to or change the contents. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for this FAQ please feel free to open another thread in this forum and post them.

A special thanks for of our Data File authors.


FAQ Table of Contents

Q: What are the system requirements for GCA4?

Q: Does GCA work on a Windows Tablet?

Q: My computer crashed, where can I get another copy of GCA?

Q: Where can I obtain updates for GCA?

Q: Which updates do I need to install to get the latest version of GCA?

Q: What can I do if I'm having trouble installing GCA on Windows Vista or Windows 7?

Q: GCA is crashing or appears to be not responding - how can I fix the program?

Q: Why is GCA giving me errors regarding missing printer drivers?

Q: Will GCA ever have an Export to PDF feature built in?

Q: Will Data Updates for future books be free?

Q: How come GCA doesn't have a trait or template creation wizard, or some other feature I like to see in the program?

Q: I just downloaded the update and all the spells from GURPS Magic (or all the templates from GURPS Fantasy, or...) were not included.

Q: In what order should I load the data files in a data set?

Q: I see that some alternate character sheets are available. How can I use them with my characters?

Q: I did not know that alternate character sheets are available. Where can I get them?

Q: I've e-mailed a data file, character file or character sheet file to someone and now it it either won't load in GCA or is giving me errors when I attempt to load it. What's going on here?

Q: So you say the files GCA uses are plain text. What does it take to edit the files? What issues should I be aware of?

Q: I've read the previous section. I think I'm ready to make my own data file. How do I start?

Q: Can I distribute the data files I create for GCA?

Q: When I print or print preview with GCA why do I sometimes get weird text formatting in the printout?

Q: Is there a way to sort Spells by College, or Skills by Category, or Advantages by Type?

Q: What about on the printout?

Q: Is there a way to get GCA to do Ritual Magic (Spells as Techniques) or Clerical Magic (Spells have no defaults) instead of the default magic system?

Q: How come Magery isn't adding to my spell skill levels when using these variants?

Q: Can I have a character that uses more than one of the Magic systems?

Q: How do I add the same trait (advantage, skill, equipment, etc.) more than once?

Q: What does the blue d, red P or Exclamation Mark ! in a Yellow Circle mean?

Q: Can I export my character to a format I can easily edit (for posting on forums, writing articles, etc.)?

Q: How can I create new traits (Advantages, Disadvantages, Skills, Equipment, etc.) and then save it from one character into another?

Q: How can I create new templates for GCA?

Q: How can I obtain data files for the latest books which aren't included int the current Data Update?

Q: When I add a Racial Template or Meta-Trait to a character the component traits are not listed. Is there a way to display the component traits of Racial Templates or Meta-Traits?

Q: When I add a Racial template or Meta-Trait how come I cannot modify the components of the template? Is there a way to change them anyway?

Q: When I start GCA, or when I try do do a specific task in GCA, the installer for another program launches. How can I fix this problem?

Q: Why does GCA use page abbreviations when no other GURPS 4th Edition products do?

Q: What are the page abbreviations used in GCA?

Q: How do I apply the DR of armor to my character?

Q: How do I select which skill will be used for my characters default Block or Parry?

Q: How do I make some equipment not count towards encumberance?

Q: Am I allowed to I Install GCA on multiple computers?

Q: When adding traits (especially spells) a selection window opens asking me to choose between possible prerequisite chains; some of the prerequisite chains start with a prefix such as ST: or SK: - What do those prefixes mean?

Q: What are the Magery attributes I see listed as prerequisites when adding spells? e.g. ST:Magery Air or ST:Magery Fire

Q: How do I create a new Power set within GCA?

Q: I've selected a portrait for my character, but when I print there is no portrait. How do I include the portrait on the printout?

Q: How do I add Enchantments to equipment?

Q: How do I change the cost of Enchantments for my campaign?

Q: How do you implement Alternate Form in GCA?

Q: Why does GCA crash with an Error 6: Overflow whenever I use _New Racial Template or _New Meta-Trait?

Q: GCA is not responding - a window failed to open or opened off-screen, how to fix?

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:46 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: What are the system requirements for GCA4?

A: A Pentium II processor, 64MB of RAM, and 25MB of harddrive space are the absolute minimum requirements for GCA4. GCA4 benefits greatly from having a faster processor and more RAM.

GCA4 should run under virtually all versions of Windows. We've tested GCA on:
Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
Windows Vista 32-bit/64-bit
Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit
Windows 8 32-bit/64-bit
Windows 10 32-bit/64-bit

Note that only Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 are officially supported. Windows XP or later is highly recommended, as the memory architecture improves GCA4's performance dramatically.

Additionally, it is possible (but not supported) to run GCA4 under Wine for Linux.

Q: Does GCA work on a Windows Tablet?

A: GCA works fine on a Windows 8.0, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 Tablet. However, GCA was not designed with a touch screen interface in mind, which means you really need a mouse or trackpad in order to use the program effectively. There is a really good screen to trackpad program called TouchMousePointer which I use anytime I need a "real" mouse on my tablet. There are a couple different versions of the software,
but I recommend the older (freeware) version: Direct Download Link.

Q: My computer crashed, where can I get another copy of GCA?

A: If you bought it on CD-ROM just reinstall it from the disc, then get the updates mentioned below. If you no longer have the disc then, like any other software, you will need to purchase another copy, either on disc or from e23.

If you bought GCA from e23 then you can log into your e23 account and download it from Your Library. If you didn't create an e23 account when you purchased GCA you will need to contact e23orders@sjgames.com with as many details from your order as you can provide (your name, order number, etc.).

Q: Where can I obtain updates for GCA?

A: From time to time we release a Program Patch (which patches the program itself) and/or a Data Update (which updates the character sheets, export filters, and data files). You can obtain both files from the GURPS Character Assistant Update Page.

Be sure to run both the patch and the update. We've had occasional reports that the Program Patch has not correctly updated GCA. If you have a problem with the patch not being applied properly try rebooting your computer and running the patch again. As usual with software installation, it's a good idea to shut down background applications, particularly anti-malware software (Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, etc.), as those are most likely to interfere with normal patching operations.

Q: Which updates do I need to install to get the latest version of GCA?

A: Running both the latest Program Patch and the Data Update will fully update any previous version of GCA to the most current version.

Q: Is GCA compatible with GURPS 3rd Edition?

A: Yes, with some caveats. The first caveat is that the data files for 3rd Edition have had a lot less support than the 4th Edition files, so they lack many of the upgraded features that have become available in GCA since it's release, and they are far more unpolished. The second caveat is that you cannot really mix-and-match data files for GURPS 3rd Edition with data files for GURPS 4th Edition. Many of the changes between editions of the game, as well as changes in the way that GCA handles things internally, make these files incompatible with one another without doing some work to correct various issues.

You can obtain the files, and read more about the issues, by reviewing this post.

Q: What can I do if I'm having trouble installing GCA on Windows Vista or Windows 7?

A: First, make sure to right click on the installer, Setup.exe, and select Run as Administrator - it's important that anytime you install any software that you do so as an Administrator. If that doesn't allow the installation to complete, right click on the installer and select Properties then the Compatibility tab. We've had some reports that running the installer in Windows 98/Windows ME compatibility allows it to work properly. If that doesn't work try Windows 95 or Windows XP compatibility as well.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:48 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: GCA is crashing or appears to be not responding - how can I fix the program?

Note: A common cause of GCA seemingly "hanging" is a window opening off-screen. GCA isn't hanging, the window is simply waiting for a response. A resolution to this proble is answered in FAQ Entry #39.

A: Make sure you've installed both the latest Program Patch and Data Updates (as previously noted). If you've already done so, please try re-applying the updates again. If you're running Windows XP/Vista/7, please make sure to log in with an Administrator Account before trying to install any software (if you don't know what an Administrator Account is, or whether or not your account is one, chances are you're already logged in as an Administrator).

Also, before reinstalling (or running GCA if you're still having problems after a reinstall) please make sure to reboot your computer and then shut down any background applications that may be running - particularly any Anti-Malware programs (e.g. Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware programs). You'd be surprised how many program errors go away if you simply reboot the computer, and Anti-Malware programs can often times interfere with the installation of software.

If that does not work for you, there is a file in the GCA install folder called gca.ini which saves all the Program Options you've set for GCA. If this file becomes corrupted, either as a result of running the Program Patch or due to random operating system errors, it can cause program crashes or lockups. Deleting this file will reset GCA to the default Options, but will often times solve seemingly random program problems. This file is *NOT* deleted when you uninstall GCA - you have to delete the file to actually remove it.
To automatically delete the file (along with sheetoptions.ini, which saves your Character Sheet preferences) you can run the GCAClearAppData.exe which is normally located in your GCA install folder:
C:\program files\GURPS Character Assistant 4\GCAClearAppData.exe
In 64-bit Windows (7 or Vista) it should be located here:
C:\program files (x86)\GURPS Character Assistant 4\GCAClearAppData.exe

Be aware that this will permanently remove the application data; you will lose all of your personal settings and have to reset them manually.

Alternatively you can manually delete gca.ini. The default folder where gca.ini is located used to be C:\Program Files\GURPS Character Assistant 4\

However, with the latest patches it has been moved:
In Windows XP the file gca.ini should be located in the location:
C:\Documents and Settings\[..USER..]\Application Data\Steve Jackson Games\GURPS Character Assistant 4\

In Windows Vista or Windows 7 the file gca.ini may be located in the location:
C:\Users\[..USER..]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\GURPS Character Assistant 4\
C:\Users\[..USER..]\AppData\Roaming\Steve Jackson Games\GURPS Character Assistant 4\

Note: In either XP or Vista you'll need to replace [..USER..] with the user name you've logged into Windows with.

Clearing the Windows Virtual Store files for GCA may also fix some issues with GCA. A application to removes GCA's Virtual Store Files, GCAClearVirtualStore.exe, is also included in the GCA install folder:

C:\program files\GURPS Character Assistant 4\GCAClearVirtualStore.exe
In 64-bit Windows (7 or Vista) it should be located here:
C:\program files (x86)\GURPS Character Assistant 4\GCAClearVirtualStore.exe



If reinstalling hasn't worked, please follow the procedures for Rebooting, Logging to an Administrator Account, and shutting down background programs. Then uninstall GCA completely and delete the GCA.ini file as instructed above. Then try installing GCA from scratch, followed by applying the latest Data Updates and Program Patches.

GCA appears to be incompatible with DEP (Data Execution Prevention), which is normally only Enabled for Essential Windows Programs but can be enabled for all programs in Windows XP, Vista, or 7. If you have DEP enabled for all programs you must make an exception for GCA. You can alter the DEP settings by going to:
In Win XP
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced Tab -> Performance/Settings Button -> DEP tab
In Win 7 (and I believe Vista)
Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced system settings -> Advanced Tab -> Performance/Settings Button -> DEP tab

There's a much more through discussion of DEP and solving DEP issues in this thread.




Every time I start GCA an installer for another application starts running. Or Windows attempts to find the installer for another program but can't find it. What is going on here?
There have been reports of this happening with a few different programs and GCA, and many reports of this happening between other pairs of programs (such as Windows Messenger installer starting when Adobe Acrobat is started). This actually appears to be a case of Windows itself going slightly mad, and isn't really a problem with GCA per se. The registry entry for the other program's installer has somehow been corrupted and cross referenced with the GCA executable file, so when GCA runs Windows is calling up the other program's installer as well.

The cure for this so far has been to uninstall the other program and reinstall it, or if you already removed the other program you may need to reinstall it then properly uninstall it again (it may not have been properly uninstalled the previous time).

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:49 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Why is GCA giving me errors regarding missing printer drivers?

A: GCA uses your computers default printer drivers to help draw aspects of the Quick View Tab as well as for use during Print and Print Preview operations. If you do not have a Printer installed GCA may report possible problems from missing printer drivers. This may also happen if your printer drivers are outdated or corrupted. If you have an existing printer you should visit the manufacturers website and try downloading and installing the latest printer drivers.

If you do not currently have a printer you can work around this by installing one of the default printer drivers which ships with Windows (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes), just don't print a preview page.

See also the next question for another option on working around the missing printer drivers issue.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:51 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Will GCA ever have an Export to PDF feature built in?

A: No, there are no plans to incorporate an Export to PDF feature into GCA. Fortunately, there are several (Free!) virtual printer drivers which will allow GCA (and any other programs) to Print to a PDF file. You can find most of these programs by doing a search on the internet, however one that I personally recommend is Bullzip.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:52 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Will Data Updates for future books be free?

A: Absolutely. We already have complete data files for many of the current GURPS 4th Edition books available, and continue to work on data files for other books.

Be aware that the people working on these files are doing so as volunteers. This means that there is sometimes a lag between when the book is released and when the file is created. Please be patient.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:54 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How come GCA doesn't have a trait or template creation wizard, or some other feature I like to see in the program?

A: GCA was shipped as a fully functional character creation program, and it is that. There are plans to add trait and template creation wizards into the programs in future updates, but it was deemed more important to release the official GURPS character creation program than to include every feature we'd all like to see added. We are working on adding new features. Again, please be patient.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:57 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I just downloaded the update and all the spells from GURPS Magic (or all the templates from GURPS Fantasy, or...) were not included.

A: First, check the update page again and make sure you've downloaded and installed both the GCA 4 Patcher and the GCA 4 Data Update. Without the data update the new files for new books will not be installed, and without the latest program patch the new Data Files may not work.

Next you need to make a new Data Set which loads the new book information. To make a new Data Set, open GCA, use the menu to go to Tools -> Options -> Data Sets (tab) -> Browse (button). From the window that pops up you can create a Data Set with the new files included. Click OK, then Load Now to load the new files.

It is worth noting that Data Files within Data Sets are loaded in order, from top to bottom, replacing or adding to information from Data Files loaded earlier in the set. This means that you will almost always want to load the Basic Set file first, followed by any official book files you wish to use, followed by any official variant files you wish to use, followed by any unofficial or personal files.

You should load only those files that you wish to use in your current campaign; you can then create a different Data Set for each campaign with a different mix of Data Files loaded in each Data Set. Many Data Files contain information which is specific to the game world presented in the Worldbook(s), and even make changes to the way some of the standard traits work or remove some traits altogether. If you load all of the Data Files you may see seemingly odd behavior which is intended solely for a specific game world. In particular, any Data File with the phrase Remove Unnecessary Traits removes many traits from being displayed within GCA, as per the suggestions in that particular rulebook. There are files like this in the Variants folder as well as for several Worldbooks, including GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and GURPS Monster Hunters.

Q: In what order should I load the data files in a data set?
  1. GURPS Basic Set 4th Ed.--Characters.gdf must be first (unless you're using GURPS Lite 4th Ed.gdf instead)
  2. After that you can load any non-worldbook data files (the files in the base folder) in any order you desire, with a couple of specific exceptions the order really doesn't matter.
    • GURPS Power-Ups 3 Talents - Alt Cost.gdf requires that GURPS Power-Ups 3 Talents.gdf be loaded before it.
    • GURPS Power-Ups 2 Perks 4e - Charms.gdf and GURPS Fantasy 4e - Fixed Magic.gdf require that GURPS Magic 4e.gdf be loaded before them.
    • GURPS Supers 4e.gdf requires GURPS Powers 4e.gdf
    • GURPS Martial Arts 4e - Gladiators.gdf requires that GURPS Martial Arts 4e.gdf be loaded before it.
  3. Next you will want to load any worldbook files you will be using, and if there are more than one worldbook file for the gameworld you are setting up you should load them in increasing numeric order (that is, if you are loading a Dungeon Fantasy game you should load GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1 - Adventurers.gdf first, then you'd load GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2 - Dungeons.gdf, etc.). Then you can load any miscellaneous files for the worldbook, such as the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Pyramid.gdf file.Last you'd load the the Remove Unnecessary Traits for the worldbooks, assuming there is one (e.g. you'd load GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Remove Unnecessary Traits.gdf after all the other Dungeon Fantasy files).
    NOTE: Worldbook files are oftentimes destructive; that is, they make campaign level changes to the way that traits work. You should only load data files from ONE gameworld at a time to avoid errors and conflicts.
  4. Next you'd load any homemade or downloaded non-official data files.
  5. Last you'd load any Variant data files - those data files found in the Variants folder. Again, order doesn't really matter here, although you will want to load Variants which make changes before you load destructive Variants. For example, if you are loading a Variant file which changes Equipment to Metric you will want to load that before you load the file that removes Equipment above TL 4. The reason for this is more pragmatic than necessity; GCA unfortunately slows down loading dramatically if it is trying to make changes to traits that are no longer present in memory, so if you remove a whole lot of traits or equipment then try to make changes to those same traits and equipment the load times will balloon for no real gain.

Note that the data files have an ordering built into them; they know which files must be loaded before them in the data set order, and will pitch an error if you try to load them out of the expected order.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:58 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I see that some alternate character sheets are available. How can I use them with my characters?

A: First download and save the alternate character sheets to your GCA character sheets folder. The default location is:
Windows Vista / Windows 7:
%USER%\Documents\GURPS Character Assistant 4\sheets\
Windows XP:
%USER%\My Documents\GURPS Character Assistant 4\sheets\

When downloading from a webpage make sure to Right Click on the link and select Save Link As... If you open the file in your browser and then attempt to save it the formatting may be damaged and GCA may not be able to properly read the file.

Next, within GCA you can either do a Print/Print Preview Using... command, which will allow you to select an alternate character sheet for the current print/print preview, or you can go to Tools -> Options -> Default Character Options and select a different default character sheet which will be used every time you do a Print/Print Preview.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 04:59 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I did not know that alternate character sheets are available. Where can I get them?

A: Armin has posted several on his business website. These will also be made available with the official updates when they are posted:

http://www.misersoft.com/gca/sheets/

There are a several other very good fan created characer sheets available, which you can read about in the Updated/New Character Sheets thread.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:00 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I've e-mailed a data file, character file or character sheet file to someone and now it it either won't load in GCA or is giving me errors when I attempt to load it. What's going on here?

A: GCA uses a plain text format for all of its saved files. This is to improve the usability of these files for the average person and make them editable with just about any text editing program. Unfortunately, because they are plain text many e-mail programs will mangle the files when you attempt to send them (autowrapping lines, removing spaces, etc). It is usually best to use a program such as the free 7-Zip (or Windows XP's built in ZIP routine) to compress the files before you send them through e-mail.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:01 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: So you say the files GCA uses are plain text. What does it take to edit the files? What issues should I be aware of?

A: Any text editing program can open, edit, and save the files. Windows comes with Notepad and WordPad, which can be useful for most purposes. Be wary of using word processing suites, such as Microsoft Word, to edit these files. Word processors often have auto-formatting, auto-correction, and other features built into them that will insert non-standard characters or correct punctuation formatting to be grammatically correct, but will be incompatible with GCA. If, for some reason, you do use a word processor make sure to turn off these auto- features.

Editing GCA Data Files (.gdf) will be discussed in further detail below; normally you will not want or need to edit GCA Character files (.gca4). GCA Character Sheet files (.gcs) are written in VBScript, so if you know how to program with VBScript you will be able to modify and write these. If not, you would need to learn (I'm told that VBScript is an extremely easy programming language to learn).

If you wish to modify the official files it is best to do so by saving them under a different name. The official files are prime candidates to be overwritten by future updates.

When saving a new file for the first time (or an existing file under a new name) you should always use the Save As command so you can specify the file extension - .gdf for Data Files or .gcs for Character Sheets. That is, you would specify the name to be something like My File.gdf

You also want to make sure to always save in plain text format (Text Document within WordPad). If you save in Word, Rich Text, or any other format besides plain text, GCA will not be able to read the file and will give you errors if you try to load it in GCA. Whenever possible you will want to save in UTF-8 (without BOM) encoding; in Notepad there is an encoding option below the file name in the Save As dialog.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:01 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I've read the previous section. I think I'm ready to make my own data file. How do I start?

A: All data files follow the same basic layout, and almost anything that can be done with a data file has already been done in one of the official data files. The best way to get a grip on the layout of data files is to open up one of the official files and look it over.

For a lot more information on file structure I recommend going to the GCAWiki.

There is a also GCA Data File Reference available on the Docs page of Armin's Website.

The first two lines *MUST* be:

Version=3

* The version information above MUST be the first line of the data file

Following that the data files are divided into sections. Each section starts with the section header in brackets:

[Author]

[Advantages]

[Skills]

etc...


Most sections will be divided into sub-sections (such as skill categories or spell colleges). Each sub-section starts with the sub-section header in angle brackets:

<Mundane Mental>

<Combat Techniques>

<Meta-Spells>

etc...

Each individual item is formatted with a name followed by a cost (for advantages, disads, modifiers) or type (skills, spells) followed by one of many tags. Tags are specific information contained within parenthesis. Each of these must be separated by a comma. Example:

Absolute Timing, 2, page(B35), cat(Mundane, Mental)

Absolute Timing is the name of this advantage. It costs 2 points. The page number is held within the page() tag. The cat() tag is used to specify which categories this advantage will fall into. It might be found in a data file like this:

[Advantages]

<Mundane Mental>

Absolute Timing, 2, page(B35), cat(Mundane, Mental)

It is often easier to format items within GCA so they take up multiple lines; this makes it much easier for the human eye to read and for you to pick out errors in a particular item. GCA uses two characters as a line wrapper, a regular comma or an underscore. A comma is used to line wrap after a closed tag(), an underscore is used as a line continuation of a single tag.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:02 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Can I distribute the data files I create for GCA?

A: Yes!!! Fans are welcome to create GCA Data Files, GCA Character Sheets, or GURPS Characters created with GCA and to host online collections of those files, provided the provisions of our Online Policy are followed. We ask that no one post a file unless they are willing to have it hosted in others' collections, and we ask that those who host collections have the courtesy to credit the original creators.

One such collection is The GCA Repository, maintained by Thomas Michael Edwards. At that site you may browse and download files, and if you create an account you may upload your own files to share. There is also a discussion thread in this Forum about the Repository if you wish to peruse it.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:06 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: When I print or print preview with GCA why do I sometimes get weird text formatting in the printout?

A: There are a variety of things that can cause printing issues. The printing routines used in GCA are a bit sensitive to memory issues, especially in Win95/98/ME. All the standard advice applies here:
  1. Reboot the computer when experiencing issues
  2. Make sure your printers drivers are fully up to date
  3. Shut down background applications, especially those that might use large amounts of memory
  4. Try changing your default printer, e.g. by installing a virtual PDF printer driver.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:31 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Is there a way to sort Spells by College, or Skills by Category, or Advantages by Type?

A: Yes! If you look carefully at the top of each of the Trait Tabs there is a drop-down menu which will allow you to filter out each trait type by category. This doesn't work in the Quick View Tab, but will work in the pop-up windows which open from the Quick View Tab buttons.

Q: What about on the printout?

A: Some character sheets do support printing different trait types by category. You can look to turn on these features (and many others) in the Character Sheet Options under Tools.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:36 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Is there a way to get GCA to do Ritual Magic (Spells as Techniques) or Clerical Magic (Spells have no defaults) instead of the default magic system?

A: You need to load the alternate Data Files for GURPS Magic - i.e. GURPS Magic 4e - Ritual Magic.gdf or GURPS Magic 4e - Clerical Magic.gdf. Read about how to load Data Files in a new Data Set in Post #8 of the FAQ.

Q: How come Magery isn't adding to my spell skill levels when using these variants?

A: You will want to look for the advantages Ritual Magery and Power Investiture for Ritual Magic and Clerical Magic, respectively.

Q: Can I have a character that uses more than one of the Magic systems?

A: Yes, you can create a character that uses spells from more than one of the different Magic Systems, with Magery, Ritual Magery, and Power Investiture giving appropriate bonuses to their respective spells.

You will need to get the latest Program Patch and Data Updates for this feature to work - at least program v4.0.371 and the 15 AUG 2008 Data Update. Previous versions of the program and data files didn't allow you to mix the Magic Systems on a single character.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 05:48 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do I add the same trait (advantage, skill, equipment, etc.) more than once?

A: Right click on the trait and select Duplicate Selected. This will duplicate any modifiers you've added to the trait, so you will want to duplicate it before you've started personalizing the trait. Note that duplicating traits which give differing bonuses with each level (e.g. Wealth or Appearance) can cause problems, but most traits can be duplicated without issue.

Alternatively, you can select the trait and click on Edit then change either the Name or Name Extension. This will allow you to add the original version of the trait without issues.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 06:02 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: What does the blue d, red P or Exclamation Mark ! in a Yellow Circle mean?

A: The blue d means that the skill is defaulting from another skill, either at the default level or being bought up from the default.

The red P means the trait is missing a Prerequisite. You can see which prerequisites are missing by right clicking on the trait and selecting Needs or by selecting the appropriate Needs from the top menu.

The Exclamation Mark ! in a Yellow Circle Means that the trait is currently failing a taboo check - that is, you have two possibly mutually exclusive traits loaded on the character or the racial template/meta-trait normally doesn't allow a particular trait on the character. An example of this might be a character that has both Blindness and Acute Vision. Note that sometimes mutually exclusive traits are perfectly fine to have together, such as a character that has Mitigated Blindness with Bionic Eyes which also provide Acute Vision. The taboo check is just a warning, not an automatic prohibition against taking mutually exclusive traits. This warning has no effect other than to alert the user of a possible conflict - feel free to ignore this warning if you wish.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 06:17 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Can I export my character to a format I can easily edit (for posting on forums, writing articles, etc.)?

A: From within GCA4 go to File -> Export. From there you can select an Export Filter and export the character to Plain Text, RTF, HTML, or a couple other formats.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 06:42 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How can I create new traits (Advantages, Disadvantages, Skills, Equipment, etc.) and then save it from one character into another?

A: First create the new trait using one of the _New Item fill-in-the-blank traits within GCA. Then select the trait, click Edit, then Full Edit Window, then Save to Data File (in the upper-right hand of the window). You will then need to load that data file into your data sets and reload the data set. Once you've reloaded the data set you can add the trait to any character.

We highly recommend that you create your own (new) data file to save these traits into, since if you save into one of the data files included in the Data Update it will be overwritten next time you run a Data Update, losing any changes or additions you've made to the file.

ericbsmith 10-07-2007 06:47 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How can I create new templates for GCA?

A: That depends on what kind of template you wish to make. If you want to make a Racial Template, Meta-Trait, or "static" template (one with no selection for it's components) then the easiest way is to create the template as you would a character, adding any traits or attribute changes you wish the template to have. At this point I recommend you save the template as a normal character (so you can later re-open and make changes to the template). After you've saved as a normal character file you can then go to File -> Save As... and select Template within Data File from the drop down menu at the bottom of the Save dialog box.

If you wish to create a Character Template - one which offers many choices of traits for the player to choose from - then you will want to use the Template Builder (under the Tools menu). It offers more options for adding or creating traits as well as the capability to add selection boxes (at the bottom of the Builder window) where you can offer groups of traits to select from.

We highly recommend that you create your own (new) data file to save these templates into, since if you save into one of the data files included in the Data Update it will be overwritten next time you run a Data Update, losing any changes or additions you've made to the file.

ericbsmith 10-10-2007 01:51 AM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How can I obtain data files for the latest books which aren't included in the current Data Update?

It sometimes becomes necessary to release data files for for newer books without including them in the full Data Update. Sometimes this is because the file is too incomplete, sometimes it hasn't been rigorously tested (it's still in "beta"), sometimes it's because the file (or book) wasn't done in time for the full Data Update.

At any rate, all such files which are available will be linked from a sticky thread in the GURPS Character Assistant forum. These files are generally made available in a ZIP format and must be unzipped before they can be used by GCA - you can use a program such as WinZip or WinRar (or Windows XP's built in ZIP routine) to unzip the files. Once unzipped you should place them in the My Documents\GURPS Character Assistant 4\Data Files\ folder.

You will also need to create a new Data Set to load the new files. See Post #8 of the FAQ to read about creating new Data Sets.

ericbsmith 11-04-2007 08:04 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: When I add a Racial Template or Meta-Trait to a character the component traits are not listed. Is there a way to display the component traits of Racial Templates or Meta-Traits?

The components of templates are not displayed because that is the way templates are displayed on sample characters in the books (see, for example, Iotha on p. B317 or Lord Claudius Maskill in GURPS Banestorm p. 95).

There are different methods of showing a templates components depending on where you want them to be displayed. In the Templates tab you may right click on a template and select Show -> Show Components to display the components within that tab. In the other trait tabs (Disadvantages, Skills, etc.) you may right click in the right pane and select Show -> Show Hidden Items to show the hidden components of templates within that section.

On the printout you will need to modify the Character Sheet options for the sheet you're using by going to Tools -> Character Sheet Options from the top menu, then selecting the sheet you're using from the drop-down menu - the default sheet is charactersheet.gcs. The option to list component traits for charactersheet.gcs is under the header Template/Meta-Trait Item Options. Similar options are available for some of the other character sheets.

If you load the data file Variant - Unhide Templates.gdf as part of your data set the components of templates will not be hidden when adding templates - they will show up under the regular sections in the trait listings within GCA and on printout. This is the only way to display the components within the Quick View tab in GCA.

Which option you wish to use is largely a matter of taste in how you want the components displayed within the program and on printout. Try out the different options to decide which you prefer.

ericbsmith 11-25-2007 11:53 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: When I add a Racial template or Meta-Trait how come I cannot modify the components of the template? Is there a way to change them anyway?

All Racial templates and Meta-Traits are locked at the request of SJGames. If you wish to disable a template trait you will need to go into the Template tab, Right Click on the template and select Show > Show Components, then select one of the components, Right Click on it and select Component > Disable.

If you wish to change the level of one of the components of a template you will first need to disable the one on the template then re-add the trait at the desired level.

Alternatively, you may Right Click on the Component and select Duplicate Selected to add a duplicate copy of the trait to the character.

Another option is to load the data file Variant - Unlock Templates.gdf at the end of your data set, in which case none of the official templates will be locked by default anymore, allowing you to add or remove components or change their levels.

ericbsmith 04-10-2008 04:21 AM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: When I start GCA, or when I try do do a specific task in GCA, the installer for another program launches. How can I fix this problem?

This appears to be less a problem with GCA than it is a problem with Windows itself. This problem has been reported with quite a few programs completely unrelated to GCA, and with several different installers - apparently Windows will occasionally erroneously cross-link some functions of one program with the installer of another program, causing the installer to start when the program is running. The cure is usually to uninstall the other program (the one who's installer is starting, not GCA), reboot the computer, then reinstall the other program (assuming you want to reinstall it).

ericbsmith 04-16-2008 02:46 AM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Why does GCA use page abbreviations when no other GURPS 4th Edition products do?
When printing out the page references on a character sheet an abbreviated page reference both looks cleaner and takes up a lot less space, so we've decided to use abbreviated page references within GCA. These references are not "official" and are not used in any other products, they are simply a convenience for the unique requirements of GCA.

Q: What are the page abbreviations used in GCA?

Code:

A1:XX    Action 1: Heroes
ATE1:XX  After The End 1: Wastelanders
B        Basic Set 4th Edition
Bio      Bio-Tech
BS        Banestorm
CR        Crusades
DF1:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventures
DF2:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons
DF3:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 3: Next Level
DF4:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 4: Sages
DF5:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 5: Allies
DF6:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 6: 40 Artifacts
DF7:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics
DF9:XX    Dungeon Fantasy 9: Summoners
DF10:XX  Dungeon Fantasy 10: Taverns
DF12:XX  Dungeon Fantasy 12: Ninja
DF14:XX  Dungeon Fantasy 14: Psi
DF15:XX  Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen
DFM1:XX  Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1
DR        Dragons
F        Fantasy
GF        Gun Fu
HT        High-Tech
LFM      Lair of the Fat Man
PG1:XX    High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1
PG2:XX    High-Tech: Pulp Guns 2
H        Horror
IW        Infinite Worlds
LoT      Lands Out of Time
L        Lite 4th Edition
LT        Low-Tech
LT2:XX    Low-Tech Companion 2: Weapons and Warriors
LT3:XX    Low-Tech Companion 3: Daily Life and Economics
LT:IA    Low-Tech: Instant Armor
M        Magic
MA        Martial Arts
MA:FC    Martial Arts Fairbairn Close Combat Systems
MA:GL    Martial Arts Gladiators
MH1:XX    Monster Hunters 1: Champions
MH4:XX    Monster Hunters 4: Sidekicks
MHL      Monster Hunters Loadouts
MY        Mysteries
P        Powers
PU1:XX    Power-Ups 1 - Imbuements
PU2:XX    Power-Ups 2 - Perks
PU3:XX    Power-Ups 3 - Talents
PDK      Prime Directive: Klingons
PDR      Prime Directive: Romulans
PD        Prime Directive
PP        Psionic Powers
Psi      Psis
P1/YY:XX  Pyramid 1 (the original Print version), issue YY, page XX
P3/YY:XX  Pyramid 3 (the current PDF version), issue YY, page XX
S        Space
SC:AS    Supporting Cast Age of Sail Pirate Crew
SS2:XX    Spaceships 2: Traders, Liners, and Transports
SS4:XX    Spaceships 4: Fighters, Carriers, and Mecha
SU        Supers
SV        SEALS in Vietnam
T:IW      Traveller: Interstellar Wars
Th        Thaumatology
Th:UM    Thaumatology Urban Magic
TS:CT    Transhuman Space: Changing Times
TS:ST    Transhuman Space: Shell-Tech
TSP      Tales of the Solar Patrol
UT        Ultra-Tech

In addition there was an official list of page abbreviations for GURPS 3rd Edition that may be used in unofficial conversions of 3rd Edition files into 4th Edtion or in the data files for using 3rd Edition in GCA4.

ericbsmith 05-26-2008 04:18 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do I apply the DR of armor to my character?
Q: How do I select which skill will be used for my characters default Block or Parry?

Go to View -> Protection or click on the Shield Icon on the Toolbar. From left tab of the the Protection Window you may select, among other things, which skills (or traits) are used for the default Block and Parry options. From the right tab you may apply specific pieces of armor to the characters DR.

Note that currently the DR is "dumb" - that is, it cannot add the DR of multiple layered pieces of armor together. This is largely because of the complexity of the DR listings in the books - split DR values can mean different things; sometimes they represents the DR of specific hit locations, other times they are the DR value for specific types of damage (e.g. cut or imp). Tracking which is which has proven to be quite complex.

ericbsmith 05-26-2008 04:23 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do I make some equipment not count towards encumberance?
or "Why is my horse's saddle encumbering my character?"

You can make equipment load-outs from the Load-Out Manager window, which you may access from View -> Load-Out Manager or by clicking on the Box icon from the Toolbar.

An equipment load-out is a set of equipment which your character is carrying on him at a particular time. You can make multiple load-outs with different sets of equipment, including or excluding any equipment you wish.

ericbsmith 08-25-2008 05:24 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Am I allowed to I Install GCA on multiple computers?

We treat GURPS Character Assistant much the same way as we do our e23 PDFs. As long as it is for personal use, you can move it around or put copies of it on any computer you like. All we don't want people doing is giving other people free copies of the program. So, if someone owns more than one computer they can put the program on every machine they own. There is no limit to the number of machines you can install it on. Since you payed for the software, and you'll be the one using it, this isn't a problem. It only becomes a problem if, for example, the purchaser installed the program on all of his friends computers.

ericbsmith 10-25-2008 12:19 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: When adding traits (especially spells) a selection window opens asking me to choose between possible prerequisite chains; some of the prerequisite chains start with a prefix such as ST: or SK: - What do those prefixes mean?

Those prefix tags tell the program what type of trait it's looking for, differentiating between traits types such as Advantages and Skills. The full list of prefix tags is as follows:

ST: or AT: Statistic/Attributes (synonymous)
AD: Advantages
PE: Perks
PO: Powers (GURPS 3rd Edition compatibility, not used in GURPS 4th Edition. Powers & Perks share the same tab in GCA, so PE: and PO: are effectively synonymous)
DI: Disadvantages
QU: Quirks
TE: or PA: Template/Package (synonymous)
GR: Groups (as defined under the [GROUPS] header)
SK: Skills
SP: Spells
EQ: Equipment
LI: Lists

SAMECAT: refers to an item from the specified category, of the same type as the item being needs checked.
CA: or ADCAT: refers to an item from the specified category, for advantages
DICAT: or DISADCAT: refers to an item from the specified category, for disadvantages
CL:, SKCAT: or SKILLCAT: refers to an item from the specified category (class), for skills
CO:, SPCAT: or SPELLCAT: refers to an item from the specified category (College), for spells
EQCAT: or EQUIPCAT: refers to an item from the specified category, for equipment
TECAT: or PACAT: refers to an item from the specified category, for templates/packages

ericbsmith 10-25-2008 12:27 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: What are the Magery attributes I see listed as prerequisites when adding spells? e.g. ST:Magery Air or ST:Magery Fire

It has been a very popular house rule for many years that you may take some levels of Magery without limitations and additional levels of Magery with various limitations such as One College Only. i.e. Magery 2 [20] and Magery +2 (Fire College Only, -40%) [12]. This results in an effective level of Magery 2 for most spells but Magery 4 for Fire Spells. In GURPS Thaumatology this house rule has been made an official optional rule.

In order to track the exact level of Magery that applies to each college within GCA it became necessary to create these "dummy" attributes/statistics. The attribute that's listed in the prerequisite selection window is simply saying what combined level of Magery is necessary in that college in order to fulfill the prereq. It can only be fulfilled by taking enough combined levels of Magery and Magery (One-College Only).

ericbsmith 01-10-2009 09:57 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do I create a new Power set within GCA?

That's a rather complicated question to answer. First I will direct you to GURPS Powers page 7 for a full description on how to create a power in GURPS.

To create a power we need to start out by designating a Source and a Focus. The easiest way to do so in GCA is to start out by adding the advantage _New Parent Item and designate it's name as the Source (and Focus) for your Power. To sort a power to the top of the advantage listing when printed place an _underscore at the beginning of the name. e.g. for a Psychokinesis power you may wish to name it:
_Psionic (Psychokinesis)

Next, apply all modifiers to the newly created _New Parent Item which you wish to apply to all of the abilities within the Power. The most important modifiers for Powers are contained within the Modifier groups _Power Modifiers and _Psionic Power Modifiers which you can access from the drop down menu at the top of the Modifiers window.

Once you've added all of the modifiers to the Parent Item you may then right click on the newly created Parent Item and select Copy Modifiers *TO* Buffer then right click on an ability within your Power and select Copy Modifiers *FROM* Buffer to apply those modifiers to individual advantages. You may select multiple advantages to target by holding down the CTRL key as you click on them.

Next you will want to group all of your Powers abilities together under the Parent Item (a Parent item is a "container" under which you can file other abilities within GCA). To do this select all of your powers advantages by holding down CTRL and clicking on them, right click on them and select Make Child Of... selecting your Power advantage as the Parent.

Last you will want to take an appropriate Power Talent from the advantage category Talent - Powers, or create a new one by adding the advantage _New Power Talent. Once added you may apply modifiers to any Power Talent which allow you to specify which skills and advantages will receive a skill bonus from that talent.

ericbsmith 01-18-2009 10:04 AM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: I've selected a portrait for my character, but when I print there is no portrait. How do I include the portrait on the printout?

Unfortunately, the design constraints of the standard Character Sheet don't really leave any room for the portrait to be printed into. Currently you have to go into:
Tools > Character Sheet Options > charactersheet.gcs > Miscellaneous Options
and set the Print the Character's Description and Notes starting on a new page? option to Yes to force the notes to a new page and make room for the portrait on that page.

For better handling of the portrait you may want to try using one of the alternate character sheets, such as Armin's Color Flow or Phoenix.

ericbsmith 04-19-2009 10:37 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do I add Enchantments to equipment?
Enchantments are treated as modifiers in GCA; they may be added to a piece of equipment by selecting the equipment and clicking on the Modifiers button. All Enchantments have a tilde (~) at the beginning of their name - this ensures that they are listed alphabetically at the end of the Modifiers list.

Q: How do I change the cost of Enchantments for my campaign?
You will need to make a custom data file which contains several Enchantment Attributes which are campaign dependent and affect the cost of Enchantments:
EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost is the cost, per point of energy, of enchanting using the Slow And Sure method of Enchanting.
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost is the cost, per point of energy, of enchanting using the Quick And Dirty method of Enchanting.
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold is the energy cost of an enchantment at which it is cheaper to use Quick And Dirty Enchanting rather than Slow And Sure Enchanting. If an Enchantment has energy equal to or less than the Threshold number the price will be based on EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost, otherwise it will be based on EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost.
EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier is a multiplier applied to the energy cost of a Slow and Sure Enchantments. The energy cost is rounded up before multiplying by SlowAndSureCost.


EXAMPLE: The default setup is that Enchanter is an Average Job. Enchanters make on average $33 per day at TL3; this sets EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost to 33 and EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost to 1. Medium sized circles are fairly common, allowing enchantments up to 60 energy to be produced; EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold is 60. The energy costs are exactly as listed in GURPS Magic, so EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier is 1.

Don't forget, if you're making a new data file you need to include proper headers. See FAQ #13 for full details:

Code:

Version=3
* The version information above MUST be the first line of the data file
[ATTRIBUTES]
EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier, basevalue(1), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost, basevalue(33), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold, basevalue(60), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost, basevalue(1), display(no), hide(yes)

EXAMPLE: In my TL 3 campaign Enchanter is a Comfortable Job, while Master Enchanter is a Wealthy Job. This doubles the cost of enchantments. EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost becomes 66, while EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost becomes 2. Largish enchantment circles are fairly common, making it possible to use Quick And Dirty enchantments up to 100 energy; EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold is set to 100. Enchanters can put up to Enchantment skill level in energy into a spell per day; since all costs are going to be based around skill 15 the average enchanter can put 15 energy per day into an enchantment. This means I have an EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier of 1/15 = 0.066666666 for my campaign.

Code:

Version=3
* The version information above MUST be the first line of the data file
[ATTRIBUTES]
EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier, basevalue(0.066666666), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost, basevalue(66), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold, basevalue(100), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost, basevalue(2), display(no), hide(yes)

Running the Numbers:
Using the formula's on Magic p. 22 using the Typical Monthly Pay from p. B517 we can come up with the following costs for Enchanters at various tech levels:

Code:

TL    Daily        Q&D
      Pay          Cost
  0    30        x0.79
  1    31        x0.82
  2    32        x0.85
  3    33        x0.9
  4    38        x1
  5    42        x1.4
  6    47        x2
  7    100        x2.75
  8    124        x3.3
  9    171        x4.5
 10    267        x7
 11    386        x10
 12    505        x13

We can use @indexedvalue() to set these variables based on Tech Level as follows:
EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost will be based on the first column:
@indexedvalue("ST:Tech Level::basevalue"+1, 30,31,32,33,38,42,47,100,124,171,267,386,505)

EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost will be based on the second column:
@indexedvalue("ST:Tech Level::basevalue"+1, 0.79,0.82,0.85,0.9,1,1.4,2,2.7,3.3,4.5,7,10,13)

Code:

Version=3
* The version information above MUST be the first line of the data file
[ATTRIBUTES]
EnchantmentEnergyMultiplier, basevalue(1), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentSlowAndSureCost, basevalue(@indexedvalue("ST:Tech Level::basevalue"+1, 30,31,32,33,38,42,47,100,124,171,267,386,505)), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyThreshold, basevalue(60), display(no), hide(yes)
EnchantmentQuickAndDirtyCost, basevalue(@indexedvalue("ST:Tech Level::basevalue"+1, 0.79,0.82,0.85,0.9,1,1.4,2,2.7,3.3,4.5,7,10,13)), display(no), hide(yes)


ericbsmith 07-07-2011 10:00 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: How do you implement Alternate Form in GCA?

As an ability Alternate Form is a bit tricky, regardless of whether you're using GCA or not. Lets start out with a quick explanation of how Alternate Form works in GURPS rules, then go through how it works in GCA.

Alternate Form allows you to swap out the character's Racial Template for a different Racial Template. This essentially means that the player must keep track of multiple character sheets, one for each Form the character can turn into, marking all of the differences. For extremely simple forms this can be hand-waved away, but for templates that make significant changes, especially to attributes, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a character sheet for each form in order to properly reflect all of the changes that are made in attributes, secondary attributes, skill levels, and other calculated values such as damage.

This requirement does not change just because you are using GCA. You will need to maintain multiple copies of the character, each with a different Racial Template applied to it. Or, alternatively, you can remove one Racial Template then add the other Racial Template to the character, then print out the character once with each Racial Template applied (printing out multiple versions of the character). Either way you will wind up with multiple versions of the character.

So, step by step, to create a character with multiple forms you will need to:
  1. Create the character, including the base Racial Template (if it's Human you will not need to add a Racial Template, because GCA assumes the character is Human by default until you add another Racial Template).
  2. Add the Alternate Form advantage to the character, including the appropriate level of the Difference in Point Cost modifier. If the character is Human [0] and you are creating a Wolf that costs [40] then you will take Difference in Point Cost at level 40 for [36] points. If the base Racial Template is an Elf [30] then the Difference in Point Cost would be level 10 (40 - 30 = 10) for [9] points.
  3. Save and/or Print the character with the base Racial Template.
  4. Remove the base Racial Template (unless it's Human)
  5. Add the alternate Racial Template.
  6. Save the character under a different name and/or print the character again with the alternate template(s) abilities.

ericbsmith 10-16-2012 04:17 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Special thanks goes out to all the Data File Authors, those people who have taken time to bring new features and templates into GURPS Character Assistant 4:

Staffan Björk (bjork), Richard Brown, Stephen E. Brown (bumbot), Alex Camacho, Scott Ellis, Martin Etherington, Rob Kamm, Mike Kuehn, Jason Levine (Rev. Pee Kitty/PK Levine), Phil Masters, Renne Rantakoivu [a.k.a. Sergen], Craig Roth, Emily Smirle (Bruno), Eric B. Smith, Orin Sonders, Armin D. Sykes, Jared D. Voshall, David L. Watkins, Roger Burton West, and Otto R Whitehead

  • GURPS After The End 1 - Wastelanders.gdf
    • Jason "PK" Levine
    • Mike Kuehn
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Action 1 - Heroes.GDF
    • Rob Kamm

  • GURPS Action Remove Unnecessary Traits.GDF
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Banestorm 4e.gdf
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Basic Set 4th Ed.--Characters.gdf
    • David L. Watkins
    • Armin D. Sykes
    • Craig Roth
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Bio-Tech 4e.gdf
    • Renne Rantakoivu [a.k.a. Sergen]
    • Emily Smirle
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Dragons 4e.gdf
    • Jared D. Voshall
    • Martin Etherington
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Pyramid.gdf
    • Rob Kamm
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1 - Adventurers.GDF
    • Rob Kamm
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2 - Dungeons.gdf
    • Marvin Zak (Orin_Sonders)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 3 - Next Level.gdf
    • Scott Ellis
    • Rob Kamm
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 4 - Sages.GDF
    • Rob Kamm
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 5 - Allies.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 7 - Clerics.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 9 - Summoners.gdf
    • Stephen E. Brown (bumbot)
    • Orin Sonders

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 10 - Taverns.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 12 - Ninja.GDF
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Remove Unnecessary Traits.GDF
    • Rob Kamm
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)

  • GURPS Fantasy 4e - Fixed Magic.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Fantasy 4e - Roma Arcana.gdf
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Fantasy 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Gun Fu 4e.gdf
    • Alex Camacho

  • GURPS High-Tech 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS High-Tech Pulp Guns Volume 1.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS High-Tech Pulp Guns Volume 2.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Infinite Worlds 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Lands Out of Time 4e.gdf
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Lite 4th Ed.gdf
    • David L. Watkins
    • Armin D. Sykes
    • Craig Roth
    • Eric B. Smith
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Low-Tech - Instant Armor 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Low-Tech 4e.gdf
    • Emily Smirle (Bruno)
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Low-Tech Companion 2 - Weapons and Warriors.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Low-Tech Companion 3 - Daily Life and Economics.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Magic 4e - Clerical Magic.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Magic 4e - Ritual Magic.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Magic 4e.gdf
    • Otto R Whitehead
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Martial Arts 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Martial Arts 4e - Gladiators.gdf
    • Andy Normansell

  • GURPS Monster Hunters 1 - Champions.gdf
    • Jason "PK" Levine
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Monster Hunters 4 - Sidekicks.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Monster Hunters Remove Unnecessary Traits.GDF
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Mysteries 4e.gdf
    • Jason "PK" Levine
    • Martin Etherington

  • GURPS Powers 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith
    • Jason "PK" Levine

  • GURPS Power-Ups 1 Imbuements 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Power-Ups 2 Perks 4e - Charms.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Power-Ups 2 Perks 4e.gdf
    • Staffan Björk (bjork)

  • GURPS Power-Ups 3 Talents.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Psionic Powers 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Space 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Spaceships 2 Traders, Liners, and Transports 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Spaceships 4 Fighters, Carriers, and Mecha 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Supers 4e.gdf
    • Emily Smirle

  • GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol 4e.gdf
    • Stephen E. Brown (bumbot)

  • GURPS Thaumatology 4e - Path-Book Magic.gdf
    • Richard Brown

  • GURPS Thaumatology 4e - Rune Magic.gdf
    • Richard Brown

  • GURPS Thaumatology 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Transhuman Space Changing Times 4e.gdf
    • Roger Burton West
    • Staffan Björk (bjork)

  • GURPS Transhuman Space Shell-Tech 4e.GDF
    • Staffan Björk (bjork)
    • Phil Masters

  • GURPS Traveller Interstellar Wars 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

  • GURPS Ultra-Tech 4e.gdf
    • Eric B. Smith

GURPS Character Assistant Design and Programming by Armin D. Sykes
GURPS Character Assistant Produced by Chris Maka
GURPS Game Design by Steve Jackson
GURPS Fourth Edition Revision by David L. Pulver and Sean M. Punch
Cover Art by John Moriarty, Torstein Nordstrand, and Bob Stevlic

GURPS System Design: Steve Jackson
GURPS Line Editor: Sean Punch
GURPS Data File Coordinator: Eric B. Smith
Production Manager: Monique Chapman
Production Artists: Alex Fernandez, Armin D. Sykes, and Marzo Sette Torres Jr.
Print Buyer: Monica Stephens
Marketing Director: Paul Chapman
Sales Manager: Ross Jepson
Errata Coordinator: Andy Vetromile
GURPS FAQ Maintainer: Stéphane Thériault

Iconic Characters Created by Kenneth Hite
Proofreading by Scott Haring, Steve Jackson, Chris Maka, and Sean Punch

Additional Materials and Assistance: Thomas M. Edwards, Craig Roth, Eric B. Smith, Stuart Stinson, Marzo Sette Torres Jr., Jim Trigg, David L. Watkins

Playtest: Orion Adrian, Monique Chapman, Paul Chapman, Nathaniel Eliot, Alexander Grimgoth, Steve Jackson, Shawn M. Kelley, Chris Maka, Sean Punch, Giles Schildt, Emily Smirle, Dan Sugalski, Stéphane Thériault, Thomas Weigel, Loren Wiseman

ericbsmith 02-03-2014 10:38 AM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Why does GCA crash with an Error 6: Overflow whenever I use _New Racial Template or _New Meta-Trait?

Unfortunately this is a known issue which cannot be fixed, but does have an easy workaround: Load fewer data files when using _New Racial Template or _New Meta-Trait.

The error is caused when some of the trait lists used in these template builders get too long for GCA to handle; the trait lists get too long when too many data files are loaded. To make sure that these list don't grow to be too long you need to load fewer data files when using them. On an existing character you will also need to Resynchronize the Groups after loading the new Data Set and before using the _New Racial Template.

Alternatively you can create a new Racial Template or Meta-Trait by creating a new character and adding all of the traits you'd like, then going to File -> Save As -> Template within Data File (the last bit is found under the Save as Type drop down below the file name). You can thus save the character as if it were a Racial Template/Meta-Trait into a data file then add that data file to your data set, at which point the new template you created will be available in the Templates tab.

ericbsmith 09-10-2020 06:34 PM

Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: GCA is not responding - a window failed to open or opened off-screen, how to fix?

A: GCA has two types of sub-windows it will open. Some, like the Modifiers and Edit windows, GCA will remember the position of and place them back in the same position the next time you open them. If your monitor configuration changes this means they can open off-screen if you had previously placed them on a monitor that is no longer present.

The second type, "Modal" windows, are general response windows such as the ones that open when you need to specify the specialization of a skill or advantage. These normally open on the same monitor that GCA is active on, but can sometimes open on another monitor, including in the desktop space where a monitor used to be - meaning they can also open off-screen.

When these windows open off-screen it can seem as though GCA is not responding, since these sub-windows have the focus and the main window is inactive until the window closes. Pressing the Escape key should close these windows and should return focus to the main GCA window.

To reset the position of all remembered windows, you can Clear the App Data as described in FAQ entry #3. This will reset all user settings for GCA, not just window positions, so may not be be the best way of resolving the issue. It also won't affect the "modal" windows positions if they are opening off-screen.


If you are using Windows 10 you can reposition most program windows by pressing the Windows Key + Arrow keys to move an active window around. Pressing Win+Right once will snap the window to the right half of the screen; Holding Win and pressing the right arrow a second time will move the window to the next monitor; continuing to tap right again moves the window to the next next monitor. So if a window opens off screen just hold Win and start tapping the Right Arrow until the window moves onto a usable monitor.

Win+Left Arrow works the same way, but pins to the left and moves to the previous monitor.
Win+Up Arrow maximizes a window.
Win+Down Arrow will unmaximize a maximized window and minimize an unmaximized window.

Clever, and easy to remember. However, this generally only works for the non-modal windows in GCA, such as the Edit and Modifiers windows. For modal windows - the response windows - you'll need to use the next method of moving them.


An old trick that should work with all of GCA's sub-windows and in all older versions of Windows (going back to Win 3.1 and NT) is to press Alt+Space. This opens the old system menu for a window; The top option of that menu is Move, which you can select by pressing M. If you then press an arrow key this will move the window a few pixels in that direction *AND* attach the window to your mouse cursor, which should then allow you to move your mouse around and drag the window onto your screen. If that doesn't work try using Alt+Tab to select GCA as the active program and then try Alt+Space again.

Thanks to Bruno for telling us about the old trick trick, as I had to look up her old post (again) to remember it.


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