Alrighty. Some of you out there in the internet land might have a subscription to the D&D Insider. And if so, you might have had access to the old Character Builder. Fantastic piece of software in my opinion as a player and GM. It loaded up all of the current data and errata from the WotC D&D 4E database - which included all of the current books, like the Player's Handbook, and the Dungeon Master's Guide, as well as errata from the now WotC published Dragon Magazine*. So it provided tons and tons of information for players/GMs to get their hands on even if they didn't actually own all of the source books the builder had on file.
Unfortunately a few months ago, Wizards decided that they no longer wanted to have an offline version of their character builder, and so they started work on a new version that you can only access through their website. It runs on Microsoft's Silverlight....and its a big pile of stinking poo! It's slow, and not user friendly. Just don't use it. Do yourself the favor.
It's actually because of Dark Sun that this entire post came about. I got bit by the gaming bug. We haven't had a game since before Christmas, and I'm starting to get itchy. So I went to the shelves of source books, and the Dark Sun Campaign Setting jumped off the shelf and I was forced to defend myself by opening it's cover and reading it's contents. Truly a tale of woe.
It was after reading through the book, about the third or fourth time that I got the hankering to actually use the character builder to make a Dark Sun character. So I logged in to the WotC site and loaded up the online builder, and went to town. And I found that I was wholly dissatisfied with the result. It was a miracle from up on high that happened this past week, when one of my friends and also my GM, Fred, sent me a link to a forum where they are keeping the offline character builder alive with all the current data/errata. Its called Enemy of Fun. I joined the forum, and found the information I was looking for to make my old, unused offline character builder, the lean mean monster killing machine it used to be. Maybe that was a little over the top. Maybe. After a bit a tinkering, and getting help from Fred, I was able to get the offline character builder to use all the Dark Sun data, and I started churning out sample characters - various race/class combinations at different levels, with different Dark Sun character templates. Oh what a joy to be using the offline character builder again! If you're at all keen on using your offline builder (if you have it) go to the forum. Get the downloads you want/need. Make your offline builder work for you again.
*I think I mentioned last year in a post about how WotC pulled the plug on Paizo Publishing producing all of the magazines for Wizards. Wizards decided to do everything in house, and Paizo went on to make Pathfinder, etc., etc.