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–  Licensing  –

Hero Lab is distributed using a licensing mechanism designed to mitigate piracy. Whether you purchase Hero Lab on CD-ROM in a retail store or via an electronic download, you will always utilize a unique license number to unlock the product. This section describes how the licensing mechanism works and what the rules are.

The information on this page does not apply to Hero Lab Starter Edition. See the separate Hero Lab Starter Edition page for more information about that product.

The full Hero Lab license agreement can be found here.

  1. Game System Support is Licensed
  2. Product Versus Data Files
  3. Licensing Basics
  4. How Devices Are Identified
  5. License Reassignment
  6. Running Hero Lab on Multiple Devices
  7. Running Hero Lab on Windows, Mac and iPad
  8. Activating Your License
  9. License Terms
  10. Frequently Asked Questions

Game System Support is Licensed

Lone Wolf Development must license game systems from their publishers in order to support them. As such, for each person who uses a game within Hero Lab, we pay a royalty to its publisher.

Because of this, and the months of development time associated with adding a new game to Hero Lab, each copy of the product includes access to one game system. This game is chosen by you as part of the initial license activation process.

After activating your Hero Lab license, access to more games can be enabled - see our pricing page for more details. (Until then, other games are only available in demo mode.)

Publishers also have final say on the content that is available for their game systems, and the supplements that are included with the core data package or supplement packages. Because of this, the list of books and supplements available for each game will differ.

Please note that while Hero Lab on Windows and Mac support our full list of games systems, Hero Lab for iPad only currently supports the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Product Versus Data Files

The core Hero Lab software is separate from the data packages for each game system. This allows us to update the product itself independently from each game. It also allows us to update the data package for one game system independently of the data package for another game.

When you purchase access to a specific data package, your copy of Hero Lab will thereafter be able to download and utilize that data package. If corrections or additions are made to that data package, you will be able to download and use the updated version. Each data package is distinct, so access to one package does not necessarily grant access to any other package. This is an important distinction, since some game systems will have multiple data packages available - the core set and multiple supplements. Purchasing access to one supplement will not confer access to a different supplement for that game system.

Since customers are being charged separately for each game system they want to utilize, Lone Wolf Development has chosen to include the core Hero Lab software at no cost. This does not mean that Hero Lab is considered free software. The core software is simply bundled with the purchase of the data packages, making it much easier for us to manage the multiple licenses with RPG publishers.

An important implication of this free bundling is that updates to the core Hero Lab engine will be free to all users. Lone Wolf Development is considering additional components which incorporate new capabilities for Hero Lab. These add-ons may be sold separately as optional components. However, there will be no requirement for existing users to purchase these optional components in order to continue utilizing the core engine and data files.

Licensing Basics

When you purchase Hero Lab, you are issued a unique license number. This license number can be used to unlock the product on a SINGLE device of your choice - this can be a computer running Windows or OS X, or an iPad. Completing the licensing wizard within Hero Lab binds the product to the device on which the license is installed. The wizard is accessed via the "Activate License" option under the "License" menu within the product on Windows or Mac, or from the "Activate Hero Lab License" button on the iPad. Licensing is accomplished via a key file that the wizard retrieves from our servers and installs on your device. This key file is uniquely tied to both your license and your device, so it cannot be used with a different license or on a different device.

When you first activate your license, you may be required to select a game system. If your license has not already been associated with an initial game system, you must choose the game system to which you initially want access. Choose carefully, since you will not be able to change your mind later. Once the initial game system is chosen, access to additional game systems and supplements can be purchased for a nominal fee.

The data files you purchase will be tied to your license number. If you attempt to utilize the data files purchased in conjunction with one license on a device running Hero Lab under a different license, the data files will fail to load. Consequently, if one person purchases access to a given set of data files, those data files will not work for someone else, even if that person has purchased a valid copy of Hero Lab. Since Lone Wolf Development is providing the data files under license from the RPG publishers, we are obligated to properly secure those data files and ensure that the data is not shared inappropriately.

How Devices are Identified

Hero Lab uses a few key pieces of information to establish the "identity" of your device. This information is configured when the operating system is installed on your device. No identifying information about you or your device ever leaves your device. The identifying information of your device is distilled down into a short string of characters that "uniquely" reflects your device. This short string is transmitted to our server. It is impossible to reverse the operation and determine any identifying information about your system from the short string, so your privacy is secure.

In general, there are only three conditions under which the identity of your device should change:

  1. Installing a new operating system will change your device's identity. This is the same as switching to a new device or re-installing the same operating system after re-formatting your hard drive.
  2. Upgrading your current operating system will often change the identity. (This does NOT include automatic updates and service packs.)
  3. Editing system information that should never be modified after operating system installation can sometimes trigger an identity change. This can occur if you use various hacked versions of games.

License Re-assignment

The license mechanism is designed with the expectation that users will occasionally upgrade or replace their devices. When this occurs, the "identity" of your device will change based. Your license can be re-assigned to the new identity by simply running the license activation wizard within Hero Lab again. This is accomplished via the "Move License To This Computer" option under the "License" menu within Hero Lab on Windows or Mac, or via the "Activate Hero Lab License" button on Hero Lab for iPad.

In an effort to mitigate piracy, each license can only be re-assigned once every 120 days (about 4 months). The typical user upgrades or replaces his/her device once every 18-24 months, so this restriction should rarely present a problem for the user. Life is anything but predictable, though, and we fully understand that disk crashes, virus attacks, and assorted other nastiness can strike at any time. To accommodate these events, exceptions can be made if you need to re-assign your license before the waiting period elapses. If this situation should arise, contact technical support and we'll usually be able to get things sorted out for you quickly.

Running Hero Lab on Multiple Devices

Lone Wolf Development realizes that many of our users have more than one device available to them (e.g. a laptop, a computer at work, an iPad, etc.). To enable use of the product on additional devices, users are offered a FREE secondary license for use on a separate device. This secondary license can be obtained automatically via the License Administration website at www.lonewolfdevel.com, or by selecting the "Obtain Secondary License" option from the "License" menu within Hero Lab.

For users with more than two devices, we offer the ability to purchase up to three additional secondary licenses for $10.00 each, supporting a maximum of five (5) total license numbers. You can purchase these additional licenses via the License Administration website at www.lonewolfdevel.com.

All secondary licenses are tied to the primary license. Consequently, they share the same access password. More importantly, each secondary license provides full access to the same sets of data files purchased under the primary license. This means that any data files purchased under the primary license will be fully accessible from the devices running the secondary licenses.

There is one key difference between these secondary licenses. Each secondary license has an independent "clock" that tracks the waiting period between re-assignment, thereby simplifying the management of the licenses across different devices under different operating systems. For example, if you upgrade the operating system on one device, you can do the same for a separate device running a separate secondary license without having to worry about the waiting period impact from the first device.

Running Hero Lab on Windows, Mac, and iPad

Hero Lab is currently available for Windows, Mac, and iPad (currently limited to Pathfinder only). Our licensing mechanism ignores the distinction between different operating systems. Windows computers, Macs and iPads are treated equally by our license management system.

This means that you can license Hero Lab on either a Windows PC, a Mac, or an iPad, whichever you prefer. You'll also be able to use the free secondary license we provide on a Windows PC, a Mac, or an iPad, regardless of what type of device the primary license is being used on.

If you want to transfer a Hero Lab license to another device, its type - PC, Mac, or iPad - doesn't matter. As long as you're outside our standard license transfer time requirement, you'll be able to automatically transfer an existing license from a PC to a Mac or iPad, or vice versa.

To summarize - Hero Lab licenses are usable on all 3 platforms without any extra fee, and activating a license on the Mac or iPad is treated just like activating a license on a Windows PC.

Activating Your License

On Windows or Mac, until unlocked with a valid license, Hero Lab runs exclusively in Demonstration mode. While in Demonstration mode, you will only be able to utilize the data packages for various game systems in Demonstration mode.

On iPad, until unlocked with a valid license, Hero Lab runs exclusively in Play mode. While in Play mode, only the "Play" tab of the Pathfinder game system is available, allowing you to use Hero Lab as an electronic character sheet, but not create or advance characters.

In order to unlock Hero Lab's full capabilities, you need to complete the license activation wizard within the product. This process contacts our licensing servers with your license information and obtains the necessary key file to unlock the software. Windows and Mac users should follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Hero Lab.
  2. When the "Get Your Copy of Hero Lab Now" form appears, click the "Activate" button.
  3. Follow the instructions presented by the wizard and enter the information it asks for. If you purchase the CD-ROM version of Hero Lab, you will need to enter the Access Code code provided with your license number. If you purchase an electronic license for Hero Lab, the Access Code can be omitted.
  4. At the completion of the licensing wizard, Hero Lab contacts the Lone Wolf Development servers. The server authenticates your information and returns to your device, which is then copied into place correctly by Hero Lab.
  5. When you next launch Hero Lab, the license should be properly installed and the product fully functional.

iPad users should follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Hero Lab.
  2. When the "Select Portfolio" screen appears, press the "Activate Hero Lab License" button.
  3. Follow the instructions presented by the wizard and enter the information it asks for. If you purchase the CD-ROM version of Hero Lab, you will need to enter the Access Code code provided with your license number. If you purchase an electronic license for Hero Lab, the Access Code can be omitted.
  4. At the completion of the licensing wizard, Hero Lab contacts the Lone Wolf Development servers. The server authenticates your information and returns to your device, which is then copied into place correctly by Hero Lab.
  5. Your Hero Lab license should be properly installed and the product fully functional.

License Terms

The complete License Agreement for Hero Lab can be always be found on the License Administration server at www.lonewolfdevel.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the most common questions we receive about Hero Lab's licensing mechanism. If you have a question about something other than licensing or are encountering a problem with Hero Lab, then it is probably addressed in one of the other Support sections. Please refer to those sections if the topic is not covered below. If you have questions that are not covered on this website, or if the information provided is not sufficient to answer your particular question, please contact technical support for further assistance.

1.

What's the difference between the CD version and electronic license?

 

With both formats, a licensing mechanism is utilized and the product must be unlocked using the issued license number. Consequently, once Hero Lab is installed on your computer and licensed, there is NO difference between the two formats. The only practical difference between the two methods is that the CD version includes the license number in the product packaging and you can install the product from the CD, while the electronic version requires downloading the product and delivers the license number to you via email. The licensing mechanism used is otherwise identical.

2.

How will I know if my computer's identity has changed?

 

If your computer's identity changes for some reason, Hero Lab will revert to "demo" mode. In general, you will also be informed about the identity change when you next launch the product. When this happens, getting Hero Lab unlocked again is easy. Simply go to the "License" menu and select "Activate License". Go through the same wizard that you used when you first licensed Hero Lab, using the same license number and email address, and your license will be updated for your computer. For more information, please look here.

3.

What if I lose my license?

 

If you lose your license, you can have your license(s) automatically sent to you via email by our license administration server. You can access the server at any time via the "License" menu within Hero Lab. The only requirement is that you keep your email address updated on our server so that we can send your license(s) to the correct place. Updating your email address is easily accomplished via the appropriately named option on the "License" menu within Hero Lab.

4.

How complicated is installing my license?

 

It's easy. Within Hero Lab, go to the License menu and select the "Activate License" option. A wizard will walk you through the process. All you need is your license number and either your access code or email address (depending on whether you purchased Hero Lab in a store or online). Hero Lab will take the information you enter, contact our license administration server, and retrieve the necessary key file to unlock the product. For more information, please look here.

5.

What if I upgrade or replace my system?

 

This exact topic has been addressed in the general section on how licensing works, which can be found here.

6.

What changes to my system will require Hero Lab to re-assign my license?

 

This exact topic has been addressed in the general section on how licensing works, which can be found here.

7.

What if I want to run Hero Lab on multiple computers?

 

This exact topic has been addressed in the general section on how licensing works, which can be found here.

8.

What if I have to re-install the operating system before the waiting period is over?

 

Life is anything but predictable, and we fully understand that. Disk crashes, virus attacks, and assorted other nastiness can strike at any time. Our goal with the waiting period between license re-assignment is to mitigate piracy with an interval that works for 99.9% of our users. We have no desire to punish honest users. So if you run into a situation where you need to re-assign a license before the waiting period has elapsed, contact technical support and we'll usually be able to get things sorted out for you quickly.
Be aware, however, that we won't look kindly on those who abuse this lattitude. All license activity is tracked, and abusers will be held to the established waiting period.
For addition information on licensing, please look here.