– December 2012 –
Hello, and welcome to another edition of our newsletter. We hope everyone had an enjoyable Holiday Season! It's been a great year in the Wolf Lair, and we wanted to say "Thanks" to everyone for making it that way. As the year winds down and we look forward to the New Year, we're enthusiastic about the future and hope you are as well. Before we pop the champagne, though, we have a set of updates which we hope you find as exciting as we do:
The public release date for Realm Works is officially set for this July! It's going to include all sorts of awesome features, but we want to include MORE! So we've decided to launch a Kickstarter focused on accelerating our development efforts. That way, we can pack more features in.
As you're likely aware, we've been evolving Realm Works for three years, with the last year including extensive feedback from over 100 gamers. We're now beginning the final round of refinements and entering the home stretch towards release. So why do a Kickstarter if we're this close to launch? With a product of this scope, there are numerous features we want to include at launch that we simply can't implement without additional resources. Our solution is a Kickstarter that provides those resources for the final stretch run, letting us accomplish more.
The primary features that will benefit most from the Kickstarter are the cloud server and community repository components. We'll be detailing these more fully within the Kickstarter and on our website shortly. We'll also leverage your support to further refine the overall user experience and enhance the core Realm Works feature set. If we exceed our funding goal, we have a set of stretch goals that we'll be able to deliver early, including advanced functionality for GMs and players, plus some great new setting and adventure content from well-known creators, ready to take advantage of Realm Works' time-saving capabilities.
We've got some great rewards lined up for everyone who backs our Kickstarter. You can even get early access to Realm Works before its public release and help influence its future evolution! Obviously, your support is critical in making this a success, so please spread the word to everyone you know. When we formally launch the Kickstarter, we'll send an update with the link. We'll also be releasing some video snippets showing Realm Works in action!
Stay tuned to find out how Realm Works can streamline and augment your game!
Work continues on Hero Lab for the iPad! As we've shown in previous newsletters, we're spending some extra time re-evaluating many aspects of Hero Lab's user interface as we implement the tablet. Doing this helps ensure that we create a well-designed iPad application, rather than simply a desktop app being displayed on a smaller screen.
This month, we're showing off one of the critical parts of the electronic character sheet - tracking your hit points. We want tracking damage and healing to be just as easy as it is using pen and paper, but without the math and eraser marks. Here's what we've come up with so far (remember, this is a work in progress, so it may well change before release):
From the main character sheet, a single tap on the "hit points" button summons the "popover" shown here. A tap on a value in the grid asks you whether you want to subtract that much damage from your hit points, or add that much healing. That's just a few taps to record the damage, then you can get back to adventuring!
You can also track lethal or nonlethal damage, just like on Hero Lab for the desktop, and undo previous results if you make a mistake. The grid of hit point values scrolls so you can access higher values that won't be used as often, but are still available. If you've taken a huge hit, don't worry – Hero Lab can take it (even if you can't).
So far, we've shared the phased approach we're taking with iPad development, several images of the user interface and information about licensing. Next month, we'll share more with you about the on-going project to implement Hero Lab on the iPad, including release date targets!
We're happy to announce Hero Lab support for FATE 3.0 and Spirit of the Century!
Fate is Evil Hat's multi-award winning RPG and is available online for free. Spirit of the Century, a complete, stand-alone pulp role-playing game based on Fate, is a fantastic example of this innovative game system. With approval from Evil Hat, we're releasing Spirit of the Century as a free game system for all Hero Lab licensees!
We'll add Spirit of the Century to the full version of Hero Lab, as well as to the free version of Hero Lab. It will join the Pathfinder Beginner Box in the free version of Hero Lab as something anyone can use. There's an added bonus for everyone with the full version of Hero Lab, though. With the full version of Hero Lab, you'll be able to use the Hero Lab Editor to customize additional content for your Fate games! We currently expect to release "Spirit of the Century" at the end of January.
Based on the overwhelming success of Evil Hat's Kickstarter for Fate Core, they'll be releasing a new version of Fate in 2013. When it's released, we'll update Hero Lab to support this new chapter of Fate as well.
We hope everyone enjoys the free release of Spirit of the Century!
This month, player content from the newest Pathfinder Adventure Path, "Into the Nightmare Rift", was added to Hero Lab's core Pathfinder package as a free update. This is the fifth chapter in the "Shattered Star" series. A variety of dangers face your heroes as they try to secure the sixth fragment of the ancient relic they seek.
"Mystery Monsters Revisited" introduces new creatures inspired by real-world folklore. Among the beasts to vanquish (or feed, depending on your rolls), you'll find The Sandpoint Devil, yetis, death worms, and the notorious, blood-sucking chupacabra! We've included the content from "Mystery Monsters Revisited" in our Campaign Setting #9 add-on, now on sale for $4.99. In addition to the new content, this add-on contains material from "Inner Sea Bestiary" and "Artifacts and Legends". If you already own this add-on package, the new material was added as a free update. If you haven't picked it up yet, give it a look. You'll get a wide array of monsters for use in Hero Lab at an incredible price.
If you're a fan of vampires that don't glitter, you'll want to check out the newest addition to our Golarion #4 Player Companion data add-on, "Blood of the Night". It's got exactly what you need to play a vampire, a dhampir, or a hunter of these nasty beings, including new traits, feats, equipment, and spells. The new content creates an interesting counterpunch to the "Knights of the Inner Sea" already found in the add-on, giving you a great mix of good and evil for only $4.99. We expect to add at least one more book to this add-on as well, and you'll get that as a free update if you buy it before we've added the last book. For those of you who have already purchased this add-on, the content from "Blood of the Night" has been added as a free update to your license.
We continue to work through the NPC Codex, and will have more information regarding its release in next month's newsletter. As we've announced previously, we'll be supplying the NPC Codex material as a free update to the Pathfinder core package.
Finally, in case you haven't seen this yet, we want to draw your attention to a cool contest that was announced on Paizo.com's blog. The winners get some great prizes, including Hero Lab stuff! The deadline is January 2, so you'll want to jump on this quickly.
In early January, we'll conclude our implementation of "Hazard Pay" with the release of the stock NPCs from that book. See if your 'runners can claim the bounties on Kurt Broach, Emma Jean Chevalier, Herman Dyar, or Oblivion for some quick cash. Better yet, try to nab those toxic shamans known collectively as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After all, who couldn't use a cool 1,000,000 nuyen for getting all four? "Hazard Pay" can be found in our Shadowrun Sourcebook #2 package, currently on sale for $9.99. In addition, this package contains material from "Spy Games" and "State of the Art 2073".
We'll expand the Shadowrun PDF Bundle #3 add-on with additional content from "Runner's Black Book 2074" in early January. The upcoming release will include the chapters for "Used Car Lot" and "Eurowar Antiques". If you already own this add-on, the new content will be added as a free update. Otherwise, you should check it out. For $9.99, you'll get some great new options, including material from "Gun Heaven 2". Additionally, "MilSpecTech2", another chapter from "Runner's Black Book 2074" will be added to this package soon. And it's got Tanks, more guns and other cool toys!
Finally, the announcement about Shadowrun Fifth Edition has generated a lot of excitement and questions. Our plan is to support Shadowrun Fifth Edition, barring any unforeseen circumstances. We expect to be able to share more information in a few months, and will update everyone in the newsletter once all the details are nailed down.
We're happy to announce the availability of another Savage Setting for Hero Lab! "Hell on Earth" is now available as a free download. This marks the fourth Savage Setting now available for Hero Lab, and we want to thank Pinnacle for allowing these Savage Settings to be provided at no cost. As you may recall from previous newsletters, members of the community volunteer their time to create these Savage Settings for everyone's enjoyment. We'd like to take this opportunity to say "Thanks" to Lenny Zimmerman (aka Zarlor on the forums) for his contribution in expanding the material available through Hero Lab for Savage Worlds.
In addition to "Hell on Earth", you'll find "Rippers", "Deadlands: Reloaded", and "The Savage World of Solomon Kane" through the Update Mechanism in Hero Lab. Just click the "Find Updates" button from the "Select a Game" window, find the Savage Setting you want in the list, and download it! Once you've installed it, you'll be notified of any updates. New titles will appear in the list periodically, so check back now and then to see if your favorite is among them.
Just after the New Year, we'll release an update for Savage Worlds. This release will address some of those pesky bugs that slipped through our testing. The primary fix will cover magic items from the Fantasy Companion and their bonuses, and you'll find the bonuses they provide will now be applied correctly. We've also addressed some of the issues from the Super Powers Companion and the Horror Companion.
This month, we have an awesome release to highlight for everyone. We're happy to announce that Frog God Games has created another fantastic add-on for Hero Lab. "The Tome of Horrors Complete" is a must have accessory for all you Pathfinder players out there. This highly rated compendium of over 700 monsters updated for Pathfinder will be on sale directly through Hero Lab for $29.99, starting in the first part of January. An incredible array of challenges awaits any heroes brave enough to face them.
Each monster from the Tome has been re-created in Hero Lab, complete with art work from the book! You can use them as they appear, or modify them to suit your needs. With the material in Hero Lab, it's readily exportable to your favorite virtual tabletop software like d20Pro as well. Frog God Games has made liberal use of Pathfinder's options, so you'll need the Hero Lab add-ons for the "Advanced Players Guide", "Ultimate Combat", "Ultimate Magic", and "Bestiary 1", at a minimum. Some of the templates provided in the Tome's data file will only work if you also have "Bestiary 2" and "Bestiary 3", as these templates use creatures from those sources as the base for the template.
We've expanded the choices of images for fantasy characters, NPCs and monsters you can use in your Hero Lab portfolios. Check out the collection of new black and white sketches that have been graciously provided at no cost by Louis Porter Jr. Design! Select the "LPJ Design" folder that you'll find in the Hero Lab Images folder to view the new artwork. A special "Thank You" goes out to Louis for making these available!
This month, we've come across a couple things that really caught our attention. Both are Kickstarters that recently launched, and we hope you find one or both as enticing as we do.
The first project we want to highlight is from Frog God Games. "Razor Coast" is the long anticipated Caribe-Polynesian flavored, Age of Sail swashbuckling RPG campaign envisioned and designed by Nicolas Logue. It has been praised for its ambitious and original design, its epic flavor and its lurid, full-color art – including a cover by the award winning Wayne Reynolds. Logue tapped a team of veteran designers to help develop and write "Razor Coast", including Lou Agresta, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, and John Ling. "Razor Coast" isn't just an adventure, it's part setting, part adventure path, and part toolkit to build your own unique campaign. It's non-linear and will never play the same way twice.
It's filled with corrupt municipal Dragoons, dastardly smuggling rings, weresharks – lots of weresharks - desperate naval battles, oppressed tribes craving heroes, witches, cursed islands, legendary treasure troves, an impending apocalypse or two, demon pirates, retired assassins, undead worms, gator men, failed heroes waiting to be redeemed, dark conspiracies brewing in the oceans depths, vengeful ghosts...oh – and mutating cannibal pygmies. Who doesn't like those? The estimate is that the final book will come in at over 250 pages, delivered in 100% full color, tightly bound with their infamous stitched-bound hardcovers -- or secured by genuine leather covers for the serious collector.
The second project we want to highlight looks like an awesome adventure to be undertaken by the brave and the foolish! "The Grande Temple of Jing" is making its bid to become the dungeoncrawl that rules them all. You'll explore the dungeon home of a trickster god, Jing, the god of mischief and pranks, thievery, fortune, and misfortune. He has played tricks on kings and gods alike, taking from them their most valued possessions and hiding them in his home. Jing welcomes anyone to visit him and take whatever treasures they can carry. The trick? They have to find their way out.
The Grande Temple is a mega dungeon designed for the Pathfinder system. It can be easily modified for use with your favorite fantasy RPG. The adventure is set in a nearly infinite dungeon and is for characters level 1-20. Dungeon levels are modular, and the GM can easily rearrange them and add their own content. The Grande Temple can be run as a mega dungeon campaign, as a series of themed adventures, or as a bunch of one shots. Detailed maps, concise writing, and informative icons help the GM to run the game with little to no preparation. And it is, of course, epic in scope. Being the home of a trickster god, magic is everywhere, and virtually anything can happen within its walls. Special mechanics ensure that GMs are free to run the game the way they prefer, and that players are free to explore, have fun, and take risks – just like adventurers should.
The Grande Temple of Jing features several celebrity contributors including Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams. It is Kickstarting all through January and some contributors will be allowed to add content to the book. A level design contest is planned in the near future.
We hope you'll check out both!
As always, you can keep up to date with what we're doing by checking out the following social networking sites!
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