– July 2012 –
Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's newsletter. We're busily ramping up for Gen Con in mid-August, and hope some of you will be joining us there! You can find complete details about the seminars we'll be hosting below. Even if you aren't heading to Indy, our updates this month are plentiful based on the huge amount of activity at the Wolf Lair:
We know many of you have been eagerly awaiting news about our products being available on tablets. You'll be happy to hear that our plans have solidified enough at this point that we're ready to share them. So, without any further ado, we're thrilled to announce that our first tablet products will be appearing on the iPad!
We're taking an incremental approach with our overall tablet implementation. We're starting with one product initially, which will be Hero Lab. Once that's complete, we'll focus on Army Builder for the iPad, mirroring what we did in developing our native Mac versions. By breaking the development effort into these types of chunks, we'll get more content onto your tablets faster.
In the interest of getting Hero Lab for the iPad ready as quickly as possible, we'll also be splitting that development effort into phases. The first tablet release will turn your iPad into an in-play character sheet specifically for Pathfinder. The tablet version will be fully interoperable with your PC or Mac version of Hero Lab, so you'll be able to create a character on your desktop or laptop, move it to the iPad for use during your game, and then move it back to your computer for leveling up.
Once we've released the in-play character sheet capability, we'll turn our attention to additional functionality. The first thing we'll be adding is full character creation capabilities. After that, we'll begin adding GM-related functionality, like the Tactical Console. As soon as complete product functionality is in place, we'll start incorporating other game systems into the tablet application as well. We'll provide updates on the timing of these features as well as on the introduction of Army Builder for the iPad over the course of the year as our development progresses.
We aren't yet prepared to announce an official launch date for Hero Lab on the iPad, but our current estimates show that we'll have it in time for the holidays. In fact, we've been hard at work for a few months now, and we'll have an early prototype available for you to peruse at Gen Con in a few weeks. We're also still working through some of the details regarding licensing and pricing. As all those various pieces fall into place over the next few months, we'll keep you up to date through future editions of the newsletter.
We know this decision is disappointing for those of you that have adopted other tablet platforms already, and we wish we could have found a way to effectively develop a cross-platform solution so everyone would be happy. However, after doing a great deal of research and evaluation of the various options, we concluded that the available cross-platform tools were simply not going to yield a "battery-friendly" application that offered all the power and flexibility you've come to expect from our products. Given the major differences between the various platforms and the fact that we simply don't have the resources to simultaneously develop across multiple platforms, we were forced to choose one platform to initially support. Our analysis led us to the iPad as the best platform to target first.
There's an important detail to remember for anyone who prefers an alternate tablet platform from the iPad. Once we have an iPad implementation in place, we'll absolutely be expanding onto other platforms, and we expect to be able to leverage a great deal of the work we're doing now when we begin work on other tablet platforms. We'll keep you abreast of our plans related to that as they take shape.
If you're going to be at Gen Con, we encourage you to stop by booth #1827 to check out the initial prototype of Hero Lab on the iPad!
Each month, we highlight new material that folks have created in the Powered By Hero Lab section of the newsletter. The available material continues to grow, and the publishers that have already released material for Hero Lab have been very positive about the feedback they've received. The option to provide Hero Lab files has become so popular that even more third party publishers are looking to create data files for Hero Lab.
Some publishers we've highlighted in the past have brought on a person to create Hero Lab files for their material. Others are still seeking periodic assistance, though. Given the strength of the Hero Lab user community, we want to try to help them. In that vein, if you've created data files for Pathfinder and are interested in assisting third parties by creating data files for them, we'd love to hear from you.
Please send us an e-mail at email@example.com if you're interested in helping to increase the amount of material available for Hero Lab. Please include your contact information, details of your experience with creating Hero Lab data files, and an indication of how much time per week you have available to work on projects. We'll check with you before we supply your information to anyone.
We look forward to hearing from you!
We've got some great stuff planned for Gen Con! First off, we'll have a booth at the convention, booth number 1827. If you're in Indy for the Con, we hope you'll stop by and say "hello". We'll be showing off some great things, including the current, updated version of Realm Works that will be used in our upcoming second phase of beta testing and our early prototype of Hero Lab on the iPad! If you saw Realm Works last year during its official unveiling, we think you'll be very impressed with the changes we've made as a result of feedback during the first beta testing phase.
We'll also be running our popular Character Creation Station outside the Pathfinder Society Organized Play area. You can try out Hero Lab by building a character for any events in which you're participating! Even if you just want to make sure your character meets all the necessary requirements, feel free to stop by and check out Hero Lab. Existing Hero Lab users are also welcome to update their characters between games. Just look for the big Character Creation Station banner!
Over the course of Gen Con, we'll be hosting three seminars as well. Stop by and check out any or all of the following:
Our own Colen McAlister, whose voice many of you may recognize from the numerous podcasts on which he's participated, will also be participating in a panel discussion on the topic of "How Technology is Changing RPGs". This panel will be held on Saturday, August 18, at 2:00 pm in the Crowne Plaza's Victoria Stn C/D and should prove to be a very interesting overview of technology's role and impact on the games we love.
We wish you safe travels to Gen Con, and hope to see you there!
We're happy to announce several new releases for all you Pathfinder players out there. If you've been adventuring in the island chain known as the Shackles, you'll find plenty of useful material in the latest download. We've incorporated the content from "Island of Empty Eyes" and "The Price of Infamy", the fourth and fifth books for the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, into Hero Lab. This is a free update for everyone with the Pathfinder game system.
Speaking of free updates, that's also what we've done with "Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition". Celebrate the fifth anniversary of this awesome Adventure Path with this free update and bravely face the multiple perils before you! Since this was a special release from Paizo, we also did something special for this – the monsters from the Bestiary in "Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition" are included as part of this free update!
This month, we expanded the content of two current data add-ons. "Magnimar, City of Monuments" became the third book in our Campaign Setting #8 add-on, which also includes "Giants Revisited" and "Lost Kingdoms". The Golarion #3 Player Companion add-on now contains content from "Blood of Angels" in addition to the material from "Blood of Fiends". If you've been looking forward to options for celestial characters, now's the time to pick up this add-on. Each of these add-on packages can be purchased for $4.99. We'll add at least one more book to each of these packages as well. If you buy either package before we've added the last book, the additional content will be added as a free update when it's released.
Finally, we wanted to provide an update related to the major new books Paizo is releasing at Gen Con, "Ultimate Equipment" and "Paths of Prestige". Both of these books require a substantial amount of work to implement in Hero Lab. "Ultimate Equipment" contains thousands of items, a large number of which are new, while "Paths of Prestige" encompasses 30 new prestige classes. Each of these alone represents a large amount of content for us to add, but the two combined are huge.
Unfortunately, we only recently received "Ultimate Equipment" and "Paths of Prestige". This means that we have substantially less lead time than usual to get these two massive books entered into Hero Lab.
We've already begun incorporating both of these books into Hero Lab. Based on where things currently stand, we wanted to let everyone know that we do not expect to have add-ons for "Ultimate Equipment" or for "Paths of Prestige" available in time for Gen Con. We will release these add-ons as soon as they are ready and will keep everyone posted as to their potential release dates.
Please note that it remains our goal to release material for Hero Lab at the same time new books are released. Based on recent discussions with Paizo, we believe it will be easier to achieve this goal in the future. Unfortunately, those changes will not help with these two upcoming books.
Thanks in advance for everyone's patience as we scramble to get these books ready as soon as possible.
This month, we increased the amount of material available for Shadowrun again!
Two new add-ons, focused on Shadowrun sourcebooks, are now available for purchase! Our Shadowrun Sourcebook Bundle #1 contains material from "War!" and "Attitude". This add-on covers a wide array of possibilities, including new gear and 'runner options. The Shadowrun Sourcebook Bundle #2 includes "Spy Games" and "State of the Art 2073"; we'll also be adding at least one more book to this add-on in the future. Whether you're looking for new information on Awakened plants, new vehicles, or cutting-edge surveillance gear, this is the package for you! Each Sourcebook Bundle is now on sale for $9.99. As always, if you purchase Sourcebook Bundle #2 before it's complete, you'll receive a free update when the remaining material is included.
This month, we also made some significant progress incorporating additional Shadowrun PDFs into Hero Lab. Parabotany has been added to our Shadowrun PDF Bundle #2, and is the final component of that add-on. If you've already purchased PDF Bundle #2, you received Parabotany as a free update; if you haven't yet purchased that add-on, you should check it out. In addition to the Awakened plants that every 'runner needs to know about, PDF Bundle #2 contains material from "Safe Houses", "Unfriendly Skies", "Deadly Waves", and "Gun Heaven". Unleash the mayhem from all these PDFs for only $9.99!
In addition, we released a new bundle, the Shadowrun PDF Bundle #3. This first installment contains the things almost every 'runner needs—more guns! Keep your characters up to date with the latest in advanced weaponry with this add-on that currently includes "Gun Heaven 2". We'll be adding at least three more PDFs into this $9.99 bundle. In September, "Magical Societies" and "Used Car Lot" will be released as part of this package. If you purchase this bundle before it's complete, you'll receive a free update when the remaining material is included.
Good luck on your next Run!
As we mentioned at the start of the newsletter, Powered By Hero Lab is really starting to take-off, and there's been some great content released since our last newsletter! This month, we're highlighting the following new material:
When you create a new character in Hero Lab, the first thing you see is the Configure Hero window. This window is where you specify which content from add-ons you've purchased or downloaded you want to use for this particular Hero. (You can also access the Configure Hero window while you're working on a character by selecting "Configure Hero" from the Character menu.)
In addition to the content control available using Configure Hero, you can also set a variety of additional criteria, such as advancement speed or firearm availability in Pathfinder or the Character Generation method for Shadowrun (build point, karma, or priority system) with the Runner's Companion add-on. Some games also include pre-set house rules that you can use. In fact, almost all the games supported in Hero Lab offer selections for customizing how certain rules or requirements are handled for a given character.
We wanted to highlight some of the optional rules that you can use when creating characters for Pathfinder or Shadowrun. You can see the Configure Hero window for each game system below; the listed optional rules are displayed as well:
In the Pathfinder Configure Hero window, you can see that we've selected one of our favorite optional rules, no coin weight. By simply right-clicking on the text "No Coin Weight", you'll see a pop-up window that defines what the rule does. In this case, "No Coin Weight" means that Hero Lab will not count coins you carry against your weight limit when calculating encumbrance – this can be helpful if you don't want to worry about how to haul away the 10,000 gold pieces you found last week. Depending upon your game and the GM's style, other options you may want to utilize include "No Encumbrance", "Free Upbringing Feat" and "Don't Require Memorized Spells".
For Pathfinder, one thing to keep in mind is that some of these optional rules are automatically invoked if you have selected "Pathfinder Society Organized Play Character" in the Configure Hero window or have selected a particular add-on package. For example, by right-clicking on the text "Use Prestige Awards", the pop-up window you'll see will explain that this option, which activates the Prestige Award capability on the Journal tab and lets you spend those on the In-Play tab, is automatically enabled for a Pathfinder Society Character. The "Use Archetypes" optional rule is automatically enabled if you've selected the Pathfinder Advanced Player Guide as a content option as well.
Specifically for Shadowrun, a number of the optional rules are organized based on the Sourcebook in which they appeared. In the image above, you can see that the Shadowrun Configure Hero window shown displays optional rules for "Arsenal" and "Augmentation", and there are also optional rules from "Runner's Companion", "Street Magic", and "Unwired" that can be applied to your character.
If you don't have an add-on for the Sourcebook, some of these optional rules may be greyed out. But others can be used even if you don't have the add-on. As an example, the optional rule "No Encumbrance for One Piece of Armor" can always be selected if you want to eliminate an encumbrance penalty associated with a second piece of armor in particular circumstances.
If you want one or more of the selections you've made in the Configure Hero window to always be selected, you can make this happen by updating the Defaults for Configure Hero. When you select an item in the Configure Hero window, you'll see a Change Settings window like the one shown here:
Simply click the "Set Defaults" button, and Hero Lab will retain your changes for any new characters you create going forward. If you ever have any questions about what a particular option in the Configure Hero window might do, you can also display a comprehensive list of the options and their description by clicking the "? Details..." button instead of hovering over the text with your mouse as described above.
We hope this information proves useful in your next game!
As always, you can keep up to date with what we're doing by checking out the following social networking sites!
Army Builder is a registered trademark of Lone Wolf Development, Inc. The Army Builder logo and the Lone Wolf Development logo are trademarks of Lone Wolf Development, Inc.
Hero Lab, the Hero Lab logo, Realm Works, and Fog of World are registered trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc.
Tournament Ace, Card Vault, Powered By Hero Lab, the Card Vault logo, the Realm Works logo, and the Tournament Ace logo are trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc.
Copyright © 1998-2018 by Lone Wolf Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
Apple, the Apple logo, iPad and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
Other product names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners. See our Legal Details page for further information.