What is HeroForge?
HeroForge is a free Excel spreadsheet designed to facilitate character generation and management for the Dungeons & Dragons game (version 3.5). It was created by fans of the D&D game, and a large community of volunteers improves and supports it on a continuing basis.
What is the latest version of HeroForge?
The latest release is version 220.127.116.11 which was released on April 5, 2010.
What sourcebooks does it currently support?
HeroForge version 6.1 supports the following books:
Setting Specific Sources
Is there anything in those books that it doesn't support?
Yes. Racial Substitution Levels and some of the Variant Class features, certain templates, certain special materials, and sidebar feats to list a few. HeroForge just can't do it all and the sheet was designed for making player characters, so races that progress by hit dice are not supported.
Who made HeroForge, and why?
HeroForge was originally created by Shannon Greene and Christopher Mathieu to help them create and manage characters for their own campaign. It was released onto the web, and was picked up by any number of gamers.
Who currently supports HeroForge?
HeroForge is currently supported by the work of many volunteers, who do everything from advanced Excel and VB programming, to data entry, to testing and bug reporting. More information can be found at the HeroForge Yahoo! Group at:
Where can I find HeroForge?
HeroForge can be found at:
This is currently the only site with the most current updates. There are still some old mirror sites what stop at around version 5
A quick trip to your favorite search engine may reveal more sites.
What license is it published under?
There is no licensing scheme for HeroForge. The HeroForge team makes no claim of ownership of the information or property, nor do we intend to limit the use of HeroForge. This is a fan-supported spreadsheet that is entirely fueled by volunteer effort. All we ask is that anyone using the sheet use it in accordance with existing intellectual property rights law. And if you modify it, please explain on the Notes Worksheet that it is a modified HeroForge sheet, to avoid confusion over versions.
I have seen a similar document on someone else's web-site that is not listed here, who do I report it too?
Because HeroForge is not published under a license, anyone can use it. The HeroForge development team would appreciate credit for their work, however. If you find a copy that does not mention its origins, please contact the HeroForge development team at (to be updated soon).
What can I do with HeroForge?
Gamers can create and manage D&D characters without worrying about the math, or what bonuses stack, or how various combinations work.
Gamers can 'test drive' various combinations of classes and feats to find the ones you like, in a very short amount of time.
DMs can create entire squads of unique individuals in less time it used to take for creating one unique boss and a squad of identical mooks.
DMs can customize the spreadsheet to fit their house rules, from simple to complex.
Players can run their characters directly off the spreadsheet, using HeroForge to instantaneously calculate various effects on their character.
What can't I do with HeroForge?
HeroForge is not a substitute for owning sourcebooks. Certain aspects of the spreadsheet are intentionally vague for this express purpose. If you use a sourcebook, you should own that sourcebook. It's not just legal; it's the right thing to do.
HeroForge is not a substitute for knowing the rules of the game. We didn't write the sourcebooks, or choose which ones are allowed in your game; we didn't write the campaign setting you're playing in; and we're not your DM. We are not responsible for teaching you the rules, nor for interpreting them as your DM would. Just because HeroForge allows something, doesn't mean that your DM will allow that same thing.
You cannot apply a license or claim ownership of HeroForge or any spreadsheet or tool created from HeroForge.
HeroForge cannot be used to create a Darkwood Buckler. Don't ask why. If you do try to create a Darkwood Buckler by way of the Special Properties overrides, the members of the HeroForge Project cannot be held responsible by you or any of your heirs or assignees for any injury, death, or dismemberment resulting from your actions. Don't say we didn't warn you.
What do I need to use HeroForge?
A legitimate copy of the sourcebooks you will be using in your game.
Windows-compatible computer. (Note: There is a recurring bug with Mac computers; so currently HeroForge is not working on Mac OS. We are trying to track this down.
A copy of Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 or 2007.
HeroForge will not run reliably on Office 97 or earlier versions, and will not run at all on other spreadsheet software (OpenOffice, etc). This is the main reason for HeroForge not working on Mac OS. The version of Excel for Mac runs off the Office 97 structure.
How do I use HeroForge?
Open the spreadsheet in Excel. If you receive a “Security Warning”, you must select “Enable Macros” for the sheet to work properly.
Start at the beginning tab (worksheet), filling in your character's stats as you go. By the time you've worked through all the tabs, you should have a completed character.
More information can be found in the “How to Use HeroForge” document, generally available at the same location HeroForge is. A similar page will be added here in the future.
All these options! As a DM, do I need to use all this/buy all these books?
Heck no. We provide options for character creation and management. Just because something is allowed by the rules does not mean that it is allowed by the DM. A good DM masters the rules, instead of letting the rules master him (or her).
First off, you need to own the books you're playing from. Period. If you don't have legal rights to that material, HF will not tell you how to use is, nor will this FAQ.
Second, entire websites and forums are dedicated to the manipulation of the D&D and d20 rules to create the most powerful characters possible. If that's your game, then have fun with it. If you want to play an “SRD-only” campaign, or limit classes based on race, then have fun with that too. We provide a sheet that everyone can use; don't let the number of options force you into thinking that you need to provide all of them as well.
They allow a character to be saved out as an .HF document, which is a much smaller file than the full HeroForge document. (Example: HeroForge is approximately 19.5 MB, and a saved HF file will be well under 500 KB, or less than half of one percent.
You cannot use the “Save/Load Character” buttons to move a character from or to a different version of HeroForge. You must use the same version that was used to create the character. The spreadsheet will inform you of version incompatibility if you attempt to load a character saved under a different version.
Can I modify HeroForge for my own House Rules/Campaign?
Certainly. The more you know about Excel, the better your chances of success. “Save as…” is your friend.
More information can be found in the “How to Modify HeroForge” section, which will be available in the future.
Does HeroForge support the RPGA's Living Greyhawk campaign?
Absolutely. You need to know all the rules you will be playing by; HeroForge does not claim any responsibility for interpreting the rules of any game.
What other campaign settings are natively supported by HeroForge?
Forgotten Realms, Eberron Ravenloft and DragonLance are all supported by HeroForge, although not all of the books are currently integrated with the spreadsheet. As the 'default setting', Greyhawk is also supported.
It sets the deities, languages, races, etc from that campaign's core book. Additional sourcebooks for the campaign may be selected as well, but the “fundamentals” are set by the campaign selection pull-down. If for some reason, you wish to use a deity from outside the campaign setting, there are overrides for custom deities and favored weapons.
Why are the Fractional Saves not calculating right?
Whenever you take the first level in any class, you must check the box next to that classes dropdown. This will make them add up correctly.
Why am I allowed to select two different Prestige Classes at each level when Gestalt rules state that I can't?
It is not the job of HeroForge to “police” the rules all the time. So this is something that you the player and your DM will have to track.
What's up with the languages in Ravenloft?
According to the Ravenloft Campaign Setting, there is no “Common Tongue”. Each domain has its own language, and each character must select a domain language instead of Common. Additional domain languages may be taken as bonus languages.
Why is my character that has Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus in the bastard sword losing his Weapon Focus bonus when wielded one-handed.
The bastard sword is only a martial weapon when used two-handed. If you do not have Exotic weapon proficiency in it and try and use it one-handed, you lose all benefit of the feats you have chosen with the bastard sword.
How do I get Skill Focus for my Dragon Shaman at 2nd, 8th, and 16th level?
You must select your skills from the Skill Focus drop downs on the Classes tab right below where you choose your Auras. Do not choose these bonus feats from the Feats tab.
I'm creating a monstrous character, with levels in Monstrous Humanoid. Anything I should know?
Yes. It was unclear in the rules whether an inherent stat bump at the 4th hit die was granted to that class, so we designed HeroForge to include that process. If you choose not to use that feature, it's easily ignored.
How do I go about creating a Gestalt character?
First, you need to understand exactly what it is you're trying to do. This is not the venue for that, so assuming you have Unearthed Arcana, you need to select the following boxes on the Options sheet: Gestalt.
Please note that monster classes differ with Gestalt rules. You can't add class levels until after your last level of the monster class. The same goes for creatures that start with x number of racial levels. Class levels start after the last racial level.
Why is there no familiars listed in the dropdown on the Classes tab when my class grants me one?
There have been some issues regarding this. If need be you might have to create a custom familiar or use the bonus feat override on the feats tab to choose Improved Familiar as a extra feat.
Why are the short descriptions so vague?
Short descriptions are intentionally left vague so that HeroForge cannot be used as a substitute for owning the sourcebooks.
What does "Not Verified" mean? (Next to a feat, prestige class, etc)
HeroForge does not always check for all prerequisites for a feat, prestige class, etc. Some prerequisites are not based on game mechanics (such as besting a certain type of opponent under specific circumstances). Some prerequisites are not easily verified (such as requiring a certain ability minimum to use a feat with certain weapons). HeroForge assumes that you know the rules well enough to manage this part on your own. Just because something shows as available, does not mean that it truly is available; the prerequisite for that feat or class may not verified by HeroForge.
I didn't choose the Spell Compendium as a sourcebook, why do the page numbers on the spell descriptions refer to it?
Per the guidelines published by Wizards of the Coast, the most recently published version of a rule is the one that will be used. This is regardless of whether your campaign includes the book that has the most recently published version; the changes generally can be found in the errata for the original book. In the case of the Spell Compendium, none of the SRD spells have changed (see Spell Compendium, page 285), although the page numbers have been updated in SpellForge to follow the Wizards of the Coast policy.
Why doesn't HeroForge calculate my (whatever) correctly?
HeroForge only calculates modifiers that apply in all circumstances. Certain modifiers and bonuses only apply in specific circumstances, like the feat Force of Personality.. HeroForge does not calculate these 'circumstantial modifiers'. The user is expected to know when and how these modifiers are applied. But some of these conditional modifiers can be handled on the Buff's tab.
Why can't I pick a draconic deity for my draconic character in Living Greyhawk?
Deselect the “Limit deity list based on alignment & race” checkbox, and the Draconic deities will become available for your character.
Why does the weapons I selected under Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, etc change when I add a different class?
Any time you add a class that would give you proficiency with more weapons. They get added to the list of available weapons for those feats and sometimes push the previous selected weapons down the list. Just double check every time that you add a class that might add weapon proficiencies.
How do I add the Martial Weapon Proficiency I receive for being a Dread Necromancer or Human Paragon?
There are dropdown menus on the Classes tab to handle this feature. Just select the weapon from the correct dropdown and you will gain the feat in that weapon free.
How do I add the weapon focus feat for my Swordsage?
Just select any three discipline weapons in the Weapon Focus dropdowns. The check boxes next to them should not need to be selected.
How do I get the right sword to be chosen as Kelanen's Favored Weapon?
There is a drop down menu on the Classes tab right below the reset button that you must use to have the sword you have chosen to gain Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus in.
Why is my race that should only have x number of languages available at first level showing more then I should get?
There are certain races like the Warforged that don't get any bonus languages and the Kobold that only can take 2 bonus languages. If you have a high Int score the languages extra languages will still show as available even if you have no choices to take. This is something that you the user, will have to track.
Why is it under Living Greyhawk when I select x # of ranks in Knowledge (Core, Nyrond, etc) in the green Knowledge cells on the Skills tab, PrC's don't recognize it as Knowledge (local) for other Pre-req's?
This is just the way the sheet is. You can still select anything that requires the Knowledge (local) skill as a pre-req and the sheet will show it as selected. Basically trust yourself in this case not the sheet.
I added a second weapon so that I can fight Two-Weapon style. Why are the bonuses not calculating correctly?
When doing Two-Weapon or Multiweapon, you need to have your Primary and Secondary next to each other on the Attack Tab. The Primary must be listed first and then the Secondary.
How do I add descriptions to the User-Defined feats?
Type the description of the feat in the area next to the feat name where the other feats display the pre-req's.
What issues does HeroForge have under Office 2007?
If when you open HeroForge, the InfoBar shows "Security warning: macros have been disabled", then click on "Options" in the InfoBar, and select "Enable Content". This will enable macros for that opening of the document. Below I talk about the most convenient way to enable it for good.
If macros are completely disabled, you need to change your macro settings. Click on the icon in the upper left. Select Excel Options. Select "Trust Center". Select "Trust Center Settings". Select "Macro Settings". Select "Disable all macros with notification"
For real convenience with continuing security, make a directory for HeroForge characters. Go the Trust Center Settings (as above), and select "Trusted Locations". Add your HeroForge character directory as a trusted location. Then Excel will allow macros for all files in that directory.
Where can I learn more about HeroForge?
How can I help develop HeroForge?
Something's definitely not right. Where can I turn in a bug report?
Before we go opening bug reports, let's do some basic troubleshooting:
- Did you use a fresh copy of HeroForge?
- Did you enter the information correctly?
- Did you check the rules and errata for the sourcebooks, to make sure your rules interpretation is the 'official' one?
- Is it a 'conditional' or 'circumstantial' modifier?
If you think you've found something, please go to the HeroForge Mantis bug reporting site and enter a bug report, explaining completely the steps you went through, the results you expected, and the results you received. If you're good with Excel, feel free to tell us where you think we went wrong.
How do I get involved in Beta-testing of HeroForge?
Go to the Beta Hero Forge Yahoo group, and ask to join up. We're looking for data entry, programmers, and beta testers.
How do I submit data that I have put together?
There are several methods. You can make a post on the yahoo groups and one of the developers dealing with that section will contact you with an address to send it to. You can submit it to the Mantis site. Finally, you can talk about it on the discussion part of the page that corresponds to the worksheet in question.
Does HeroForge 6.x Support Pathfinder?
No, but there are ongoing negotiations to include Pathfinder in the up-coming stand-alone application HeroForge.
What do the bug statuses mean?
- New: This is a new issue that a user has posted.
- Feedback: This is an issue that needs attention from either the submitter or the developers.
- Acknowledged: This issue has been acknowledged by the developers, and will be looked into.
- Confirmed: This issue has been confirmed to be an issue.
- Assigned: This issue has been assigned to a developer and likely has a target version to be fixed.
- Resolved: This issue has been resolved in the current development sheet.
- Closed: This is a resolved issue in a released version of the sheet, a duplicate of another bug, or conflicts with the mission of the HF Dev Team.