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or "The How, Why, and Huh? of Chummer"


What are the system requirements for Chummer?

The only requirement for Chummer is that you have a Windows PC with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 installed. Mono is not supported, though it may work. For more information on Mono, please see Does Chummer work with Mono? below. It has been confirmed that Chummer does work with Wine on both Mac OS X and Linux. For more information on Wine, please see Does Chummer work with Wine? below.

I've found a bug! Where can I report it?

You can report bugs in the official Chummer Character Generator thread on the Dumpshock Forums. Having them reported in one place makes addressing issues much more manageable.

I've reported a bug or requested a feature but it hasn't been addressed yet. What gives?

A lot of it comes down to a matter of priority. I generally put bug fixes first, then feature requests. Things that are common throughout all types of characters (such as Weapons or the underlying application classes) tend to have a much higher priority than something that is only used by one type of character (like Spirits). Things like how quick something should be to implement and what I feel like working on also factor into this. So you can see it's a highly scientific way of doing things. :) Some times changes that seem like they should be trivial are actually much more complex than they appear to be.

An error was supposedly corrected in a data file, but I don't see the change on my character. What's happening?

When an item is added to a character, Chummer creates a copy of the item's data and attaches it to the character. This is easily fixed by removing the offending item, then adding it back to the character.

This copying of information to the character is done for a couple of reasons. One is to reduce the number of times any given data file needs to be read. It's much faster to read it from the character in memory than opening a file and looking for it each time something is clicked. The other is that Chummer allows you to create custom items using Custom Data Files. Let's say you have your custom data on a desktop computer and create your character there. Come game night, you copy your character over to your laptop but forget to copy your Custom Data Files as well. When you get to the game and open your character, it doesn't open because those Custom Data Files are missing and it can't find those items. Now you're stuck! By creating a copy of these items in your character, it doesn't matter if your forgot those Custom Data Files; the character already has all of the information it needs. You can't add anything new from those missing files, but at least your character still works.

Will you be including/can you include full item descriptions?

No. Period. Too many people could exploit this and use the information from books that they do not legally own. My intention is to supplement the existing game materials, not replace them. While the data files contain information on how they affect a character directly, they lack the detailed information on their use, circumstantial modifiers, and the like. I hope that by providing book reference information, it encourages people to go out and purchase books they might not have.

Why does the Weapon page number point to the Weapon's description instead of the table?

Since the information shown in Chummer already shows all of the information on the table, regardless of the type of item (Weapon, Cyberware, Gear, etc.), referring you back to the page that contains the table seems silly. It is more practical to point you to the description of the item, especially in the case of things like Cyberware, Bioware, and Gear. The page numbers should have the same meaning throughout the application, rather than some pointing to one type of information while other point to another type, so all page numbers refer you to the item's actual description.

My Cyberweapon appears in both the Cyberware and Weapon lists

This is by design. It appears in your Cyberware list because it is a piece of Cyberware that was added to the character, has an Essence cost, and so on. The Cyberware list, however, does not describe Weapons. The Cyberweapon also appears in your Weapons list so you can easily see it as a Weapon, along with its damage, reach, AP, etc. When you print out your character, the Cyberweapon will also appear in your Weapons list, meaning that all of your weapon information is in one place and easy to find.

Why can't I select a quantity for a Weapon?

There are two reasons for this. One is that sooner or later, players seem to decide to modify one of those Weapons in a different manner from the rest. This would mean having to reduce the Weapon quantity, then buying a new one to take its place so that the modifications can be made. The bigger reason, however, is that once a character enters Career Mode, the Weapon's ammunition count and type can be tracked. Having a quantity on a Weapon would not allow you to accurately track and fire similar Weapons independently.

Where are Grenades and/or Ammunition and/or Throwing Weapons? Shouldn't they be with Weapons?

These things behave differently than standard Weapons because you can have a quantity (see "Why can't I select a quantity for a Weapon" above). Grenades in particular since they can be both thrown items and Ammunition for Grenade Launchers. All of these items can be found in Gear in the Ammunition Category. To make things easier, you can search for an item name. When you add an item like a Grenade to your character, it will appear in your Gear list. This allows you to attach Accessories to it if needed (such as Combat Chemicals and Toxins) and also lets you select a quantity. This will also create an item in the Weapons list for the same item, letting you see the damage, reach, AP, etc. for it. When you print out your character, the Grenade will appear in both the Weapons list and Gear list. By having it in the Weapons list, you can easily see its information along with the rest of your Weapons, while having it in the Gear list keeps it together with the rest of your Ammunition and consumable items.

Why aren't Metatypes costing Karma when I choose to build a character with Karma?

As per the standard rules from Runner's Companion, Metatypes do not actually cost Karma. They instead affect the amount of Karma the character can spend elsewhere. There are, however, optional rules within the sourcebooks to have Metatypes cost Karma, and Chummer can handle this. Open the Options window and click on the Optional Rules tab. Turn on the optional rule for "Metatypes cost Karma equal to their BP". By default, Metatypes cost 1 Karma per BP, but you can change this multiplier to suit your game.

A Weapon in the book shows RC as being one value but Chummer shows a different one. Why?

The books show a Weapon's RC as its base value and total possible value if all of the Accessories and Mods that come with it are installed, such as 1(3). Since Chummer knows the RC values for the Accessories and Mods attached to the Weapon and whether or not they're currently installed, Chummer instead shows you what the Weapon's current RC value is based on all of the installed items. As items are added or removed from the Weapon, the Weapon's RC is updated to reflect these changes so you don't have to do the math each time a change is made or if you happen to forget what its current value is.

Why do the data files have a negative version number?

I originally started the version numbers at -999 for development purposes and intended on moving them to a positive number once Chummer was released. However, since I released a "preview" development copy for people to look at and just kept pushing out updates from there, the "official" release never happened, and I have just kept rolling with the numbers.

Does Chummer work with Mono?

The latest build of Chummer appears to work with Mono as long as you're using GtkSharp 2.12.10 or higher. (I've tested this on a Windows XP virtual machine with GtkSparp 2.12.10 and MonoDevelop 2.8.1 using the debug executable process so everything is running in the GtkSharp/Mono context.) I'm no expert with Mono or GtkSharp so I unfortunately can't help you figure out what you'll need, but it seems that GtkSharp 2.12.10 is what you'll need. I've included the dump of all binary version information from MonoDevelop below if anyone can make use of it to figure out what they'll need to grab.

MonoDevelop 2.8.1

Operating System:
	Windows 5.1.2600.196608

Runtime:
	Microsoft .NET 4.0.30319.225
	GTK 2.16.6 (GTK# 2.12.0.0)

Mono for Android not installed
Loaded assemblies:
mscorlib                              4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\mscorlib.dll
MonoDevelop                           2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\MonoDevelop.exe
MonoDevelop.Ide                       2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\MonoDevelop.Ide.dll
MonoDevelop.Core                      2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\MonoDevelop.Core.dll
Mono.Addins                           0.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Mono.Addins.dll
System.Xml.Linq                       4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Xml.Linq\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.Xml.Linq.dll
System                                4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.dll
System.Core                           4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Core\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.Core.dll
System.Xml                            4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Xml\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.Xml.dll
gtk-sharp                             2.12.0.0 C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC\gtk-sharp\2.12.0.0__35e10195dab3c99f\gtk-sharp.dll
glib-sharp                            2.12.0.0 C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC\glib-sharp\2.12.0.0__35e10195dab3c99f\glib-sharp.dll
atk-sharp                             2.12.0.0 C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC\atk-sharp\2.12.0.0__35e10195dab3c99f\atk-sharp.dll
gdk-sharp                             2.12.0.0 C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC\gdk-sharp\2.12.0.0__35e10195dab3c99f\gdk-sharp.dll
Mono.Posix                            2.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Mono.Posix\2.0.0.0__0738eb9f132ed756\Mono.Posix.dll
Mono.TextEditor                       1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Mono.TextEditor.dll
Mono.Cairo                            2.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Mono.Cairo\2.0.0.0__0738eb9f132ed756\Mono.Cairo.dll
Mono.Addins.Setup                     0.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Mono.Addins.Setup.dll
Xamarin.Ide                           1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Xamarin.Ide.dll
Mono.Posix                            4.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.MonoDroid\Mono.Posix.dll
MonoDevelop.MonoDroid                 2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.MonoDroid\MonoDevelop.MonoDroid.dll
WindowsPlatform                       2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\WindowsPlatform.dll
System.Configuration                  4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Configuration\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.Configuration.dll
Mono.Cecil                            0.9.4.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Mono.Cecil.dll
System.Drawing                        4.0.0.0  C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Drawing\v4.0_4.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.Drawing.dll
pango-sharp                           2.12.0.0 C:\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC\pango-sharp\2.12.0.0__35e10195dab3c99f\pango-sharp.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger                  2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger\MonoDevelop.Debugger.dll
Mono.Debugging                        0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Mono.Debugging.dll
MonoDevelop.DesignerSupport           2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.DesignerSupport\MonoDevelop.DesignerSupport.dll
MonoDevelop.NUnit                     2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\NUnit\MonoDevelop.NUnit.dll
nunit.core                            2.4.8.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\NUnit\nunit.core.dll
nunit.core.interfaces                 2.4.8.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\NUnit\nunit.core.interfaces.dll
nunit.framework                       2.4.8.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\NUnit\nunit.framework.dll
nunit.util                            2.4.8.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\NUnit\nunit.util.dll
MonoDevelop.Deployment                2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Deployment\MonoDevelop.Deployment.dll
MonoDevelop.SourceEditor2             2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.SourceEditor2.dll
MonoDevelop.XmlEditor                 2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.XmlEditor\MonoDevelop.XmlEditor.dll
MonoDevelop.AspNet                    2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.AspNet\MonoDevelop.AspNet.dll
MonoDevelop.Moonlight                 2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Moonlight\MonoDevelop.Moonlight.dll
Xamarin.Ide.Windows                   1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\Xamarin.Ide.Windows.dll
libstetic                             0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.GtkCore\libstetic.dll
libsteticui                           0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.GtkCore\libsteticui.dll
MonoDevelop.GtkCore                   2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.GtkCore\MonoDevelop.GtkCore.dll
MonoDevelop.VersionControl            2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\VersionControl\MonoDevelop.VersionControl.dll
monodoc                               1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\bin\monodoc.dll
Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack.Shell    1.1.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack.Shell.dll
Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack          1.1.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack.dll
Mono.Debugging.Soft                   0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft\Mono.Debugging.Soft.dll
Mono.Debugger.Soft                    0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft\Mono.Debugger.Soft.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft             2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.MonoDroid   0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.MonoDroid\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.MonoDroid.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.AspNet      0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.AspNet.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.Moonlight   0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Soft.Moonlight.dll
MonoDevelop.Debugger.Win32            1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger\MonoDevelop.Debugger.Win32.dll
CorApi2                               0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger\CorApi2.dll
CorApi                                0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Debugger\CorApi.dll
MonoDevelop.VersionControl.Subversion 2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\VersionControl\MonoDevelop.VersionControl.Subversion.dll
SubversionAddinWindows                1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\VersionControl\SubversionAddinWindows.dll
MonoDevelop.VersionControl.Git        2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\VersionControl\MonoDevelop.VersionControl.Git.dll
NGit                                  1.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\VersionControl\NGit.dll
MonoDevelop.Autotools                 2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Autotools\MonoDevelop.Autotools.dll
MonoDevelop.CodeMetrics               2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.CodeMetrics\MonoDevelop.CodeMetrics.dll
MonoDevelop.Gettext                   2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.Gettext\MonoDevelop.Gettext.dll
MonoDevelop.WebReferences             2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.WebReferences\MonoDevelop.WebReferences.dll
Mono.TextTemplating                   0.0.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.TextTemplating\Mono.TextTemplating.dll
MonoDevelop.TextTemplating            2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.TextTemplating\MonoDevelop.TextTemplating.dll
MonoDevelop.AspNet.Mvc                2.6.0.0  C:\Program Files\MonoDevelop\AddIns\MonoDevelop.AspNet.Mvc\MonoDevelop.AspNet.Mvc.dll

Does Chummer work with Wine?

Yes! Yatokya has managed to get Chummer working on a Mac with Wine. He has been kind enough to post a guide on Geting Chummer to work on OSX (and possibly Linux) over on the Dumpshock forums so be sure to check that out! We have both confirmed that it does run on Linux as well! While Chummer isn't officially developed for non-Windows platforms, I do what I can to fix any bugs that are reported while using Wine.

What tools are you using to develop Chummer?

Chummer is developed using Visual Studio 2010 and written in C#. All data files are standard XML and written using Notepad++. Bug tracking/feature requests are tracked through BugNET. Version control is handled with TortoiseSVN and VisualSVN Server. All of these are free tools.

Is Chummer open source? Can I help you develop it?

No. I have had too many bad experiences working with open source projects - people making undocumented changes, making unapproved changes without discussion, checking in half-implemented changes that don't work, never checking things in, being a general pain in the butt, and people fighting to become the project lead even when one has already been established and is the most active person. While I do appreciate the offers for development help, I'm just not willing to make this open source and deal with those problems right now. You're certainly welcome to create custom data or character sheets though and share with in the Custom Data for Chummer Character Generator thread on Dumpshock though and is one of the main reasons I decided to use XML for everything I could. There may be a point in the future where I finally do decide to make this an open source project. In the mean time, an outdated version of the source code can be found on Google Code. I've put the code here so that others can look at what has gone into making the application and perhaps use it as a jumping off point for a mobile version.

How many lines of code is Chummer and its data files?

As of February 27, 2013, there are 121,116 lines of code that make up Chummer's inner workings and 131,267 lines of XML in the data files. This does not include any of the code that is written to create Chummer's UI which is done by Visual Studio.

Magic/Resonance isn't being affected by Essence loss. Fix it!

This is working as intended. In Create Mode, it always assumes that the MAG score you have set is the final number you want, so if you start with MAG 4 and add a piece of 'ware to reduce your ESS, MAG maximum goes down to 5 but it leaves your current MAG at 4. It does deduct the 10 BP for effectively "buying back" your 4th point of MAG though (being reduced to 3, then spending 10 BP to get back to 4). The only time it forces your current MAG down is when the MAG maximum goes below your current MAG value (such as going from a maximum of 4 to 3, in which case MAG is forced down to 3). As an example, a new character with Adept and MAG 4 will have spent 35 BP. When they add a piece of Cyberware to bring their ESS to 5.8, their MAG stays at 4, but their BP spent increases to 45 to reflect their effectively going down to MAG 3 and buying back up to MAG 4.

When the optional rule is turned on, you do not lose the extra 10 BP for "buying back" the point of MAG since only the maximum value is decreased.

Is Chummer available in different languages? Can I translate it to my preferred language?

Yes, Chummer does have translation support! At the moment, French, German, and Japanese translations exist but I would love to see more languages! Translating all of the content is no small task so if you can get someone to help you out, it will make things much easier. Check out the Language Support page for information on translating Chummer into other languages.

Can I create my own custom content? Does it require some programming knowledge or some weird, proprietary code? What about character sheets?

Yes, you can create your own content and character sheets! Chummer uses XML for everything to help encourage this and to make creating your own content easier. All you need is a text editor and a bit of time. The Custom Data Files page will also point you in the right direction. XSLT is used for character sheets. See the Custom Character Sheets page for more information.

Why don't the categories for Gear match the ones from the books?

At one point they did. The big problem is that all of the earlier books made up all of their own categories, so items that logically belong together ended up having completely different category names. This resulted in an incredibly long list of categories that each had only a few items. When the Runner's Toolkit came out, the Compiled Tables booklet did a great job at consolidating a larger number of these categories into better organised ones, so I merged everything to match. The newer books seem to be doing a better job at trying to keep similar items together. So Gear is still placed into the categories they're found in within books, they just happen to be using a newer book.

How will Shadowrun 5th Edition affect Chummer?

Chummer for SR5 will be a separate application. Once SR5 is available, I will likely stop working on Chummer for SR4 apart from fixing crashes. As a result, I will likely avoid adding new features that require an extensive amount of coding/reworking in the very near future as I do not want to introduce new problems, though changes for new books released between now and SR5 will still be made as required. Chances are I will spend a large amount of time between now and then working on consolidating, cleaning up, and simplifying the code to make it more manageable and easier to maintain. The source code for the SR4 version of Chummer is already available through Google Code (see Is Chummer open source? Can I help you develop it? for link) and I plan on putting my final build of it up there when I move over to working on the SR5 version in case someone wants to take over making changes to it. You can also take a look at the Chummer SR5 FAQ.

© ChummerGen.com, 2013