UPDATE, May 13th, 2009 - Read the interview with Robert Daneri, lead designer of Heroforge 4E, exclusively here on The Core Mechanic.Heroforge, a system of RPG templates and tools for use with Microsoft Excel for everything from character creation to town generation. The Heroforge toolset was originally developed for 3.x Edition Dungeons & Dragons, but development has continued on a number of HF tools for 4th Edition D&D as well - namely a stand-alone version (which would be new, and potentially compete with DDI) and another version that requires MS Excel.
Stand Alone Version of 4E Heroforge
This version of Heroforge has, for the most part, had a major set back due to licensing concerns over developing software for the 4E. For example, the GSL, if you sign onto it, prohibits software development for any 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons product. Fortunately, the HF development team posted this announcement on their website yesterday:
So, it looks like progress is being made, which is awesome! If DDI is truly going to DIE DIE DIE due to WotC layoffs and other problems - then 4E players like myself may be able to fall back on Heroforge for their software RPG needs. I'm looking forward to the continued development - I just wish they would add me to their BETA test dammit! Here are some screenshots...This is a programmer well known... 80% of the work take 20% of your time... while the other 20% take the other 80%... Once again, this rule was verified... We'r near the end of the project... but small things left to do take an infinite amount of time... and as we all have to also work to earn our living... you see the feeling. But we won't give up... we'r still doing our best to provide you with a beta before the end of the year... what's why the status wasn't updated... small things... huge work... As an example, we ran on a problem with a Clerical Paragon Path Feature... Weapon Training... that give you a free weapon proficiency to choose among Heavy Blades... Simple you think... errr... far from being so simple ! First we didn't think you could have to choose a weapon proficiency... and more, we didn't think you could have a feature which will let you choose... The choice was easily handled... it only take us a few hours... yet... to let you enter a custom feature, which will permit a weapon proficiency choice between a said Weapon Category or Weapon Group... this was a whole new story... Always the same thing... We could have took the easy way... to code all features and let you with another anonymous generator... but we choose to offer you the full power of customization... and this has a price._________________
AKA David CASTELLI
HeroForge™ Software, LLC
IT Manager & Site Administrator.
Excel Versions of Heroforge for 4E
In the meantime, if you can use the 4E HF tools with MS Excel. Currently, there are a few different character sheets and a tool called "Monster Forge". All of them are downloadable from this site: D&D 4E Heroforge Files. Enjoy!