|Developer(s)||Code Monkey Publishing|
|Stable release||1.666 / 2006|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||RPG playing aid|
e-Tools: Character and Monster Generator is a software application initially developed by Fluid Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast (WotC). The software contains several related tools designed to assist with hosting and playing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, though it can be altered to work with most games that use the d20 System.
The first incarnation of this software program was as a software demo that was simply called "Character Generator," which came free with early printings of the 3rd Edition Player's Handbook. A software patch was eventually released to fix the most glaring data errors and bugs. This early version is now available as a free download from Fluid Entertainments website.
Soon after this release, WotC announced that a software tool they called Master Tools was in development. Under this product name, WotC and Fluid Entertainment (their chosen developers) originally announced that the program would include not only a character and monster generator, but many other advanced campaign tools such as a 3D map making tool. However, for various reasons the scope of the project was reduced drastically over time and many changes were made during development cycle. Due to these changes, the project was eventually renamed to "E-Tools: Character and Monster Generator".
The initial full-version was released in 2002 at Gen Con. At first, the software was very limited and did not have the versatility demanded by many Dungeon Masters. WotC quickly moved to address many concerns and released a large patch three months after the initial release. In addition, several free third party add-on programs, such as Davin's "ET Helper," were created to allow the insertion of custom content.
WotC then contracted Code Monkey Publishing (CMP) to continue software bug fixes and improvements, handing them control of future e-Tools development and granting them a license to distribute all published D&D rules content in database form for use with e-Tools as well as the Open Source PCGen character generation software. Improvements to the software at this stage included major bug and data fixes as well as eventual introduction of optional 3.5 Edition D&D rule data sold separately by CMP. CMP's developmental involvement lasted until November 30, 2006 when WotC declined an extension of their agreement. A company representative simply explained their decision as being "because of future product considerations".
- The Past, Present and Future of E-Tools, Code Monkey Publishing, June 25, 2004.
- The Other Shoe, Code Monkey Publishing, November 13, 2006.
- Ask Wizards: 09/04/2007, Wizards of the Coast, September 4, 2007.
- Character Builder Open Beta, Wizards of the Coast, December 11, 2008