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Import/Export Characters

Score + 165
1413517814
Josh
Pro
Next to the archive button, have an export and an import button. Export would simply save the character in XML format. Import would, of course, simply create a character in the journal and populate it based on the data. This would be useful in several ways. For instance 3rd party sites (like the pathfinder npc database at pathfindercommunity.net) could store NPC information this way and greatly speed up the campaign setup process for GM's. The Roll20 store could even carry sets of them. It would empower GM's. And technically, there is no reason that this should be limited to characters. Roll20 must store map and handout information in a similar way. Archiving is fine, but apparently it slows down the loading process of a campaign. This would allow GM's to store them locally. Example: &lt;character&gt; &lt;name&gt;Malachi&lt;/name&gt; &lt;injournals&gt;&lt;/injournals&gt; &lt;editcontrolled&gt;&lt;/editcontrolled&gt; &lt;tags&gt;archenemy,npc,human,cleric&lt;/tags&gt; &lt;bioinfo&gt; Lots of bio info entered here... &lt;/bioinfo&gt; &lt;gminfo&gt; Lots of gm info entered here... &lt;/gminfo&gt; ... more tags including attributes and abilities &lt;/character&gt; Note, there is another suggestion that mentions exporting, but I think that the main idea for that one was for printing character sheets: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1242365/print-or" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1242365/print-or</a>...
1413830362
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Import: The ability to import existing content from an online SRD would be a Godsend. As a GM, I'm constantly bringing data(text) over to roll20 and having to enter it entirely by hand. It would be nice to copy/paste(parse) a statblock and have it "auto-populate" the appropriate fields/attributes. Export: Although there could be many uses for an export option, I would like to see it added to enable printing character sheets.
1417940494

Edited 1417940511
Crap. I made a very similar suggestion before I saw this! Anyway, This is definitely a thing to want! +1
1419961109
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Import from <a href="https://www.obsidianportal.com/" rel="nofollow">https://www.obsidianportal.com/</a> anyone?
1419987474
Josh
Pro
The nice thing is that if it's saved in XML, it is a simple format that is a well known standard. Any site could easily make characters available in it.
XML is great because it can be used anywhere, but I'd like to see (editable) PDF as well. Covering these two formats should solve the vast majority of use cases.
Could this idea work with character sheets?
1422546985
Josh
Pro
Definitely. I'd bet that character sheets are stored internally in a format pretty close to this already. Even if it's just html and css, it would be easy to translate. It could work with any roll20 game asset. It should even be possible to set it up so that you can export a map, retaining the positions of all images, tokens and their current settings (they would just have to also save a reference to the image path or url in the xml). The work involved is writing one routine that would output the roll20 asset settings in xml format, and then another routine that uses the xml information to create an asset from it. They would have to add error handling for bad xml, and for xml that contained incorrect references to game objects. To the roll20 crew: Ping me if you would like another coder to help out. I've been a programmer for over 20 years.
1432506947
Setting up my first campaign as a GM and adding characters takes so much time. This would help me a lot and I would love to make xml of the characters available for others. +1'd.
For the mentors of you, there are scripts that help a lot with importing. there aren't however any scripts for exporting as far as I'm aware.
1435262014
The Aaron
Forum Champion
API Scripter
Julix said: For the mentors of you, there are scripts that help a lot with importing. there aren't however any scripts for exporting as far as I'm aware. I actually have one written and in private testing right now.... =D
Aaron, how is your testing going?
1436968804
The Aaron
Forum Champion
API Scripter
Eddie G. said: Aaron, how is your testing going? Pretty well, I've got a couple bugs to fix and a UI to write, and some generalization to do.
1436985321
Josh
Pro
That's great to hear! Would you mind posting here when you're done?
1437054715
The Aaron
Forum Champion
API Scripter
Can do. =D
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Edited 1437925352
So I have a question for Josh. Is he proposing something like this? I have a plus or pro account I have an XML file (Perhaps generated by PCGen or some other character management tool.) sitting on my local machine.&nbsp; I go to "Character Vault" after logging into Roll20 I click the "Import Character" button It gives me the option to point to the file on my own machine&nbsp; And upload that data into the Roll20 application If so, that's a huge labor saving idea of nucleonically dense awesomeness! And not just characters but other data could be brought into the Roll20 application this way. It would save a lot of data entry and reconciling!
1438090901
Josh
Pro
Mr Farlops: Yes. &nbsp;Something very much like that. &nbsp;I was thinking of "Import Assets" and "Export Assets" buttons on the settings page. &nbsp;The XML would define what the type of asset was. I'm not sure the Roll20 crew would support the exact XML format output by PCGen. &nbsp;They would probably export and import the xml in an arrangement that more closely fits their business logic. &nbsp;However, writing a program that could translate something like PCGen xml character information into the format that Roll20 has decided on is trivial for anyone with a little bit of programming experience. &nbsp;Even if Roll20 decided against trying to support the myriad xml arrangements output by other programs, either someone (like me) would create a tool to convert the files exported by the major programs out there, or those programs may decide to support exporting the Roll20 format.
Josh said: &nbsp;Even if Roll20 decided against trying to support the myriad xml arrangements output by other programs, either someone (like me) would create a tool to convert the files exported by the major programs out there, or those programs may decide to support exporting the Roll20 format. Yeah, I've got a search and replace tool with full regular expressions and scripting support that might make easy work in converting PCGen's XML to the dialect of XML that Roll20 decides to support--if it ever comes out with a feature like this. Or if I were a shell diva I could make a shell script in Linux with sed, grep and maybe a little perl or python. Anyway, thanks for the clarifications. And I join the chorus in voting for this suggestion!
1440366036
This would be a major plus, &nbsp;+1 I just got done asking if there was a character repository. <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2333091/5e-pre-gen-repository" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2333091/5e-pre-gen-repository</a> This seems directly connected. &nbsp;In fact, I believe that if we coudl import/export, someone would make a repository natuarally...
Bumping this thread to see if we have any progress here. &nbsp;
1447171762
jflo
Pro
API Scripter
So i've requested a feature that I think is pretty key to making this work: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co</a>... Anyone interested in parsing character files from other tools should upvote that feature request.
1450110901
I am more then interested!!!!
jflo said: So i've requested a feature that I think is pretty key to making this work: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co</a>... Anyone interested in parsing character files from other tools should upvote that feature request. Well, just so long as this proposed XPath parser is compatible with the XML PCGen puts out, I'm for it too.
1452894925
James W.
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Oh dear lord, YES PLEASE.&nbsp; I'd love to have a path towards importing data from Hero Lab, seeing as I (and many PFS players I've played with) use it to manage their characters.
1479343288
Jen
Pro
Considering [REDACTED] seems to already support XML import, I'd love to see roll20 support it as well.&nbsp;
Poking this thread to keep it on the first page of the suggestion forum.
1497126919
Brian
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Mr. Farlops said: jflo said: So i've requested a feature that I think is pretty key to making this work: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co</a>... Anyone interested in parsing character files from other tools should upvote that feature request. Well, just so long as this proposed XPath parser is compatible with the XML PCGen puts out, I'm for it too. If the XML that PCGen puts out is valid XML, then any XPath library should handle it correctly.
Brian said: Mr. Farlops said: jflo said: So i've requested a feature that I think is pretty key to making this work: <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/2591721/xpath-co</a>... Anyone interested in parsing character files from other tools should upvote that feature request. Well, just so long as this proposed XPath parser is compatible with the XML PCGen puts out, I'm for it too. If the XML that PCGen puts out is valid XML, then any XPath library should handle it correctly. This is an example of the PCGen xml export using the "csheet_fantasy_generic_export.xml.ftl" export sheet. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/ztox71q0icbo29z/Theo%20Reifman%20%28PCGen%29.xml?dl=0" rel="nofollow">https://www.dropbox.com/s/ztox71q0icbo29z/Theo%20Reifman%20%28PCGen%29.xml?dl=0</a>
It may interest some here in this thread that-- Only a few minutes ago did I discover a set of files in API library called PCGenPFImport . These were written by Norman G and were designed for Pathfinder character output from PCGen and then importing that data into Roll20 character sheets. It seems to me that this XML output template and script file could be tweaked in minor ways to support PCGen's D&D 3.5 output and PCGen's 5.0 output. This would at least solve the problem for moving data from tools like PCGen. I've never tweaked PCGen template files before, but I've set myself a project to adapt this code and markup to 3.5--as I've a lot material in that rules system.
1497978815
This would be a great feature. I know I love using character building software but hate manually importing it to roll20. Heck, I'm working on a character builder right now and this would be handy&nbsp;to have a roll20 export button. +2 votes from me!
1498404229

Edited 1498404455
+1 Edit: Just noticed the age of this thread. It would seem to suggest that this is not a priority for the developers.
RESURRECTION POKE&nbsp;
Lendosan said: RESURRECTION POKE&nbsp; Seconding the necro thread poke.
1514260511
Another resurrection poke. Please! This is an amazing feature! I can almost guarantee that if someone made an easy way to import XML character sheets into Roll20, the existing random character generators out there on the interwebs would start formatting for it. Perhaps someone could even build a pack of NPCs on DMs guild or something like that to work from?
Trying to keep this thread alive using True Resurrection. Maybe this time it will stay alive.
In particularly crunchy rule sets, character management is an error prone chore. There are lots of management tools out there now that make things easier for you. It's totally cool that Roll20 already allows you to host character sheets but, you have to tediously and sometimes erroneously retype everything to get started. As a GM this can be quite a chore.&nbsp; It seems that Roll20 shouldn't have to reinvent the character management wheel. Instead they can simply support the tools that are already exist by supporting the uploading of data from these tools by delimited text or XML files. I know everyone will love this. They could make it a premium feature if they want.
1517692663
Matt Carpenter
Pro
Sheet Author
There is nothing preventing this today, it just needs to be added to the character sheet.&nbsp; Simply copy and paste xml/json into a textarea and have a sheetworker parse and import.&nbsp; Thats what I did with my Mythras Sheet and the Mythras Encounter Generator.
In addition, this makes it easy to edit, or organize sheets that are less than... easy to modify. The exalted 3e sheet at the moment is a bit wonky to move stuff around for example, and shifting data in a json array or the like allows myself to fiddle with organisation, or be backwards compatable with it if I decide to make my own sheet.
Matt Carpenter said: Simply copy and paste xml/json into a textarea and have a sheetworker parse and import.&nbsp; Just so I'm clear on the jargon here, "sheetworker" is?
1517881172
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Mr. Farlops said: Matt Carpenter said: Simply copy and paste xml/json into a textarea and have a sheetworker parse and import.&nbsp; Just so I'm clear on the jargon here, "sheetworker" is? Basically, just a limited set of JavaScript that can be used to manipulate attributes. <a href="https://wiki.roll20.net/Sheet_Worker_Scripts" rel="nofollow">https://wiki.roll20.net/Sheet_Worker_Scripts</a>
1517918674

Edited 1520744570
Vince said: Mr. Farlops said: Matt Carpenter said: Simply copy and paste xml/json into a textarea and have a sheetworker parse and import.&nbsp; Just so I'm clear on the jargon here, "sheetworker" is? Basically, just a limited set of JavaScript that can be used to manipulate attributes. <a href="https://wiki.roll20.net/Sheet_Worker_Scripts" rel="nofollow">https://wiki.roll20.net/Sheet_Worker_Scripts</a> Okay, so I'd need a sheet worker script of the right sort to work with the XML/JSON, I have, right? For example: my character management tool can export D&D 3.5 characters as XML Then I use a XML/JSON converter to make that into JSON Then I have the D&D 3.5 compatible sheet worker script (Or will just any do?) Attach that correct sheet worker to character sheet I want to use Then paste the JSON from step two into the appropriate text field (I assume this is in modified character sheet of step four?) Save my changes and all the data from step two is brought in? So, in the case of step three, I assume I need to find or write a sheet worker that is compatible with the JSON I finally derive from PCGen's D&D3.5 XML? It would be nice to find some clear, step-by-step documentation on how to do this--preferrably with a variety of character manament tools and sheet working scripts--so, I can stop polluting this thread with my questions. Heck, I'd be willing to write such documentation myself and put it in the Wiki if that's what it takes. :-D
I am not an API or Sheet Author, but I do programming and requirements generation for a living.&nbsp; It's not as simple as import local sheet x into Roll20 sheet y.&nbsp; I believe that each Roll20 sheet would need to have specific code written for it to auto-populate the appropriate fields from an imported xml file.&nbsp; Exporting is another story, would be a lot easier to do, but the resulting xml would likely not be in the right format to import it into a character generator.&nbsp; PDF export would be a little more difficult since there are a lot of multi-tab, scrolling text box character sheets on Roll20 with a bunch of API compatibility features thrown in there. Best option I believe for a group wanting to have a specific char gen tool to be able to import from / export to would be to actually write it into the character sheet code or create an API for it.&nbsp; It would be too much for the Roll20 dev team to manage, even for a few char gen tools, seeing as how they frequently get updated.
The following thread contains an import/export script that allows the export of characters already setup in roll20 to a json. However reimporting can be tedious and require you to divide the json down into smaller pieces to reimport if you are importing a large number of characters with a large number of attributes and abilities set.&nbsp; <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1755413/imports-" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1755413/imports-</a>... It works only when mobs are exported from one type of sheet and re imported to the same type.
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Edited 1528385958
So I wonder how the The Charactermancer, once it's implemented on the live server at all subscription levels, is going to figure into the subject of this thread?
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Edited 1528385969
Jen
Pro
Ooh, interesting. (Forewarning to others, you can only see that Charactermancer post if you're a Pro-level subscriber.) Time will tell! I would say more about it, but it sounds like they don't want anybody advertising it yet. This is just the testing period.
1528379973
Kastion
API Scripter
Josh said: It could work with any roll20 game asset. It should even be possible to set it up so that you can export a map, retaining the positions of all images, tokens and their current settings (they would just have to also save a reference to the image path or url in the xml). I like to make big dungeons. (I recently finished a 3-floor dungeon with each floor 100x100 using the Instant Dungeon art assets I bought from the Marketplace.) If I had to option to export a map with all the "furnishings" I'd easily be able to import that dungeon into a new game (I run my campaign separated across multiple games to fix lag / RAM issues) I could easily copy the "furnishings" (tokens) into another game/page and move them around to make a whole new room using the same tables, chairs, doors, rugs, chests, etc etc. It would save a lot of my time spent searching and adding art assets to new maps. +1
Kastion said: Josh said: It could work with any roll20 game asset. It should even be possible to set it up so that you can export a map, retaining the positions of all images, tokens and their current settings (they would just have to also save a reference to the image path or url in the xml). I like to make big dungeons. (I recently finished a 3-floor dungeon with each floor 100x100 using the Instant Dungeon art assets I bought from the Marketplace.) If I had to option to export a map with all the "furnishings" I'd easily be able to import that dungeon into a new game (I run my campaign separated across multiple games to fix lag / RAM issues) I could easily copy the "furnishings" (tokens) into another game/page and move them around to make a whole new room using the same tables, chairs, doors, rugs, chests, etc etc. It would save a lot of my time spent searching and adding art assets to new maps. +1 Which is indeed a very cool, labor saving, feature suggestion and is worthy of its own thread--which I'd certainly give an upvote for--but, I'd rather the developers keep focused on the main idea that Josh suggested at the top of this thread: importing and exporting character data to text/xml files to support third party tools, like PCGen, DMGenie and others. Some of us Roll20 users work in very crunchy rule systems like GURPS, Hero, D&amp;D 3.5, Pathfinder and so on, where accurate numbers really matter. Manually retyping all those numbers into Roll20 should be avoided. Keeping Roll20 data synchronized with third party tools would be wonderful. Letting the machines handle all this would be ideal. And now that the Characteromancer is being implemented, it would be nice to tack that on as an additional feature on the touted tool. &nbsp;
Poking the thread as this would really be a great function to have.
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Edited 1541610218
Scott C.
Forum Champion
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Just going to point out that this is something that is better suggested to the individual sheet devs in my opinion as the capability already exists. Take a look at the heroLab importer for the PF community sheet as an example of what is possible. The problem of course is that there are nearly as many character creation tools as there are users and each of them accepts/outputs a different data structure with different "attribute" names and differently organized data even when the overall structure is the same.
Hmm, I'll have to learn or brush up on my PCGen XML and JavaScript skills then. Because at the moment all that exists is one of these scripts for Pathfinder .&nbsp;