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Old 10-07-2007, 03:57 PM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default 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.

Last edited by ericbsmith; 04-26-2016 at 04:47 PM.
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