Today I downloaded Hero Lab and plan to use it for Pathfinder to help me generate my characters and NPCs. My brother-in-law was in town and convinced me to try it and the program is pretty well made. I prefer to make PCs on my computer, because I am lazy and I like it if the program works to keep me honest. If I use the 20 point buy for ability scores, and tweak all my scores back and forth and all over seeking the best combo, it keeps me from over spending. If the DM says I can bump an ability up because of a home rule the program lets me do that too. I think the people at Lone Wolf did a great job with Hero Lab. The best part, is that they built a general foundation usable across multiple games allowing you to buy access to different rules packages, say, for, Serenity RPG, you can. And yes I tried the free java program that is out there, but never got it to work for me. This program works.
The options for supported game systems as of this writing are:
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (Paizo Publishing)
Mutants & Masterminds (Green Ronin Publishing)
d20 System SRD 3.5 (Wizards of the Coast)
World of Darkness (White Wolf Publishing)
4th Edition D&D (included with the Authoring Kit – Wizards of the Coast)
Savage Worlds (included with the Authoring Kit – Pinnacle Entertainment Group)
Cortex System (Margaret Weis Productions)
Authoring Kit (create your own games using Hero Lab’s powerful scripting engine)
When you buy from Lone Wolf you get to choose one game system to support; you can add more game systems later. Something that intersted me was that Cortex System support is for Battlestar Galactica RPG, Serenity RPG, Demonhunters RPG and Supernatural RPG. Being a brown coat at heart, Serenty RPG caught my eye.
Is it perfect? no, but Greentiger talked with support a couple times and said their support was very professional. I think he plans to write more about this program I am just giddy about it and had to write something…
I installed it on a virtual Windows XPpro machine, and had only one glitch, it dropped me to Demo Mode after I installed it, saying I was on a different computer, which was true, I downloaded it to my MacBook Pro (Mac OS X v10.5.8). I ran Parallels 4.0 (Build 4.0.3846) and installed it from inside the Windows XP image on my MacBook Pro. To fix this I just went to “License” in Hero Lab and selected “Activate License…” and followed the prompts and within moments I was up and running the full version of Hero Lab.
Today, just goofing around building a one shot party of 4th level PCs ended up being fun and enlightening.
Cool stuff: you can allocate where you put your equipment like: my wineskin is in my backpack. Hovering my mouse over my backpack shows that I have rope squirreled away in there, along with my wineskin and torches. Nice. I am sure there is way more cool stuff I am just making a quick note…
Little Glitches: We wanted to make a Cleric with the good domain but could not pick align weapon (good) for second level domain spell, which is an apparent typo between 3.5 PHB good domain: 2nd lvl=Aid and PF good domain: 2nd lvl=align weapon (good only) is the second level good domain spell. We found it making a cleric with Good and Luck domain and noticed only one selection for second level (aid).
I like the program so far. If you are looking for a decent program to generate PCs this may be the one.
Note: my brother-in-law is a savage so I don’t let him on my home computer network except to browse the internet (Apple Airport extreme guest network option for savages) so he is emailing me the characters he is building and I am opening them up in my Hero Lab program and printing them. I also downloaded the pdf plugin and that works well even with my old acrobat 7 reader.
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