Screenshot of PCGen running on Ubuntu Linux
Developed by Bryan McRoberts et al
Latest release 5.16.4 / November 20, 2010
Preview release 5.17.4 (Alpha / November 29, 2010
OS Cross-platform
Platform Java
Genre RPG playing aid
License LGPL software, Various (incl. OGL) for data
Web site

PCGen is a character creation and role-playing game playing aid program for d20 System-based games, such as Dungeons & Dragons.

The software is written in Java and runs on any system that supports Java 1.5 or later.

The program has won ENnies (EN World awards) at Gen Con twice; in 2003 bronze for Best Resource/Fan Site[1] and in 2005 gold for Best Electronic Product[2].


The software allows players and DMs to create d20 System player characters, and subsequently maintain the character sheets in electronic format, tracking both the character statistics, their equipment and possessions, and other information related to the characters.

The software makes sure the characters are consistent with the d20 System rules. All of the data the program uses, and all of the character data, is stored in data files that are in plain text format. Custom rules can be specified by writing new data files.

PCGen ships with a Data Set Converter that will assist in the conversion of user created data sets to the latest version of PCGen. This feature only works with data sets that are compatible with PCGen v5.14.1 or later.

The character sheets can also be exported in various kinds of XML, HTML, and PDF formats. For example, the software allows character data exported in datablock format similar that is used in pre-built adventures, or character sheet format similar to the official D&D character sheets.

Licencing of Data[]

Traditionally, the stumbling block with computerized RPG play aids has been the publisher's reluctance to allow their published rules to be redistributed in another form. However, the OGL, an "open-source-like" license created by Wizards of the Coast allows PCGen to include all of the material found in the System Reference Document as well as other related material. Other, non-OGL content publishers have also allowed their content, under separate agreement, to be converted to PCGen format and included in data sets shipped with PCGen. PCGen's permissions policy, and a complete list of current permissions, can be found on the Publishers and Sources Page

There have been a few license disputes; for example, while Wizards of the Coast did not want some of the source book data to be shipped with PCgen, they later allowed Code Monkey Publishing to work on commercial versions of the WotC book data sets. However, WotC did not renew CMP's license, which expired on November 30th, 2006.


  1. "2003 Archives". The ENnie Awards. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. "2005 Archives". The ENnie Awards. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 

External links[]