– March 2012 –
Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's newsletter. Good-bye winter, hello spring! With the days getting longer and warmer, there's plenty of activity in the Wolf Lair. This month, we're happy to share the following updates with you:
Thanks to everyone who has provided us with feedback based on using Hero Lab for the Mac. We've gotten a lot of great feedback, and really appreciate it!
Over the course of the expanded beta testing, we've addressed the vast majority of issues that have been discovered. Most users of the Mac version are encountering no issues whatsoever, and we're particularly excited by that fact. That being said, we still aren't completely comfortable with how the software works in particular circumstances. Therefore, we decided to extend the beta period while we address these remaining issues, rather than compromise the quality of the initial release.
The beta version of Hero Lab for the Mac will remain open to all current Hero Lab users during this time. You can enroll in the beta here. We'll continue to release new beta versions as we address various issues. Currently, we believe we'll have wrapped up the work we want to complete in late April or early May, at which point we'll officially release Hero Lab for the Mac.
Last month, we announced our plans to release PDF compilation add-ons for Shadowrun. We're happy to announce that the stars aligned, and we've made that content available in Hero Lab a month ahead of schedule! Our new packages include content from Catalyst's various PDF-only products, including content later published in the "Runner's Black Book".
PDF Bundle #1, our first new package, will initially include data from four of the first five PDF-only products released for Shadowrun - "Digital Grimoire", "This Old Drone", "Way of the Adept", and "Mil Spec Tech". "Parazoology" will be the final book added to this bundle, once we've tied up some loose ends to allow us to support Critters properly. This bundle is available now, priced at $9.99.
PDF Bundle #2, our second new package, will initially include content from the remaining "Runner's Black Book" chapters - air vehicles from "Unfriendly Skies", nautical vessels from "Deadly Waves", and weapons from "Gun Heaven". We'll soon be adding content from the recently-released Safehouses PDF, and one more unannounced PDF from Catalyst will be added later to complete the bundle. This bundle also costs $9.99 and can be purchased now. As usual, anyone purchasing either of these PDF bundles before the final books are added will receive free updates to the data once they're released.
Not only have we released the PDF bundles, we've also updated our "Street Magic" add-on package. In addition to a number of bug fixes, we've fully implemented Spirit Possessions and Inhabitation Merges from "Street Magic"! This advanced functionality marks the completion of material from the first three books we've released as add-on packages, "Arsenal", "Augmentation", and "Street Magic". Check out what happens to a simple dwarf after he's possessed by a Wasp Insect Spirit!
In other news, we've now turned our attention to "Runner's Companion", which we'll release in two installments as mentioned previously. We'll release the first installment, which will support everything except the alternate character creation rules and character concepts, in April.
Each of the data packages for Shadowrun can be purchased separately for $9.99. We think you'll really like the Basic Suite bundle, which currently includes "Arsenal", "Augmentation", and "Street Magic", and will also include "Runner's Companion" and "Unwired" once they're released. You can purchase the Basic Suite bundle of those five add-ons for $34.99 and save 30%! For users who purchase the Basic Suite bundle prior to the completion of all five supplement packages, the additional packages will be added to your license as a free update when they become available. If you purchase the Basic Suite bundle or "Runner's Companion" as a stand-alone add-on, you'll receive a free update with the alternate character creation rules and character concepts when we release them; we currently expect to release this update in May.
Our current expectation for completing the last book in the Basic Suite bundle, "Unwired", is the beginning of May. However, if you purchase this bundle before we release "Unwired", we're going to get some of the material from this book to you sooner. We'll provide purchasers of the Basic Suite bundle with access to the new qualities contained in "Unwired" in mid-April, hopefully taking away some of the sting of tax season.
The corps have rules, but so do the streets, and with Hero Lab it's now easier than ever to keep your edge. If you haven't already, check out the Shadowrun data files today!
March marked the incorporation of our data files for the Pathfinder Beginner Box into Hero Lab! All licensed Hero Lab users can now use the "Pathfinder Beginner Box" game system to save and print Beginner Box characters. You can easily switch between Pathfinder and the Beginner Box, depending upon which game you're playing - just choose the appropriate game system from the Select Game form in Hero Lab.
We've also added many previously-unimplemented abilities into the full Pathfinder data files. This month, we've added support for a number of archetypes and other abilities that revolve around improvised weapons, like the Breaker Barbarian, Monk of the Empty Hand and Cad Fighter archetypes, as well as the Rondolero Duelist, along with many other abilities.
We've also updated our Bestiary data add-ons this month. The variant monsters from Bestiary 2 and Bestiary 3 are now included in their Hero Lab data packages, and Bestiary 1 will be updated within the next two weeks. We hope these monster options provide hours of enjoyment as your players' characters try to combat them (cue evil GM laugh track). Anyone who has access to these add-ons receives the new content as a free update, as always.
Earlier this month, we released the Fantasy Companion for all you Savage Worlds players. This add-on package gives you access to additional Professional and Racial Edges, some new gear and weapons, and some new spells to bulk up your spell selection as you adventure in various realms.
We've now released two of the three Companion books for Savage Worlds, the Super Powers Companion and the Fantasy Companion! You can buy the Savage Worlds add-ons individually, or through our Savage Worlds Companion Book bundle option. This bundle includes the two Companion books already available, with the brand new Horror Companion on the way.
Each add-on will be $7.99 apiece, but with the Companion Book bundle option we're offering an introductory discount price of $19.99 for all three add-ons - that's a 17% savings on this bundle of awesomeness! For users who purchase the bundle prior to the release of the Horror Companion add-on package, it will be added to your license as a free update when we release it, currently expected to be in May.
This month, more material was made available using Powered By Hero Lab, and we're happy to highlight the following items of interest:
Army Builder provides a wide array of functionality that you can customize to your preferences, and this month we want to highlight some of the options you have available when printing your rosters. These output features are the perfect complement to our earlier overview on adding images to your rosters. By combining these two capabilities, you can create a roster tailored to your needs. Impress your opponents with your fancy rosters, which will no doubt leave them too intimidated to counter the whipping you're about to provide!
Once you've built your roster, select "Print Roster / Save Roster as PDF..." to open the Print Output form, which you can see here.
Select "Preview" from the options available (if you prefer, you can also select "Print Preview" from the File menu). You can make the same modifications while in preview mode that you can make directly from the Print Output form, but doing so in preview mode allows you to see the changes as you make them, so we recommend doing it this way until you're certain of the options you want to use. As you become more familiar with how these options work, you may want to make your adjustments without using the Print Preview window. All the functionality we'll detail can be accessed directly from the Roster Output window, as well as from the Settings menu in Army Builder.
Your Print Preview window will look something like this:
Along the top you'll see an assortment of controls for the Print Preview window. Several of them are probably familiar to you already, like the Print button, the PDF button to save your roster as a PDF, the navigation buttons to move between pages, and the zoom buttons. Immediately to the right of the zoom buttons, you'll see buttons that control your print orientation; you can switch between landscape and portrait mode simply by clicking these buttons.
The remaining buttons provide additional customization capabilities, which we'll now explore. At any point, you can hover over a button for a pop-up explanation of it.
The "View" button appears directly to the right of the "landscape orientation" button. This is one of the more powerful customization options, as it allows you to change the order and size of columns displayed on your roster's output. When you click the "View" button, you'll see a listing of all the information for units that could be placed on your print-out.
When you click on a field in the list, the arrows will illuminate if you are able to move that field. You can't move the first two fields in the list, but most others can be placed however you'd like them. Select the field you want, then use the up and down arrows to change its placement in the list. As you move the field, you'll see the Sample View at the top of the window automatically update with your changes.
When you select "OK", you'll return to the Print Preview window, and Army Builder will update the preview to show the new placement of the columns you moved. Using our Example Game System, you can see how the column Hit Points has moved when compared to the initial preview of the roster above.
You can also change the size and visibility of columns from the View form. The visibility of each group is set by checking a box in one of the three columns to the right of the tag group. When the Column box is checked, that tag group is visible as a column in the window, and you can adjust its width. If the Info box is checked, that tag group's data is shown in the info text for the unit (in info windows, or below the statline on the printout). If you check the Hidden box, you will not see that information anywhere. If you wish, you can check both the Column and Info boxes for a given tag group. This displays the contents in both places.
As you check the various boxes, the Sample View at the top is automatically updated to reflect the changes you've made. This provides a convenient means of verifying what the results will look like if you save your changes.
Once you've got a layout you like, select the "Save View" button. You'll be prompted to name your view, and then you can instantly select it from the "Select a View" dropdown list. This provides easy re-use of your favorite views. If you don't like how the layout has turned out, you can always use the "Reset" button to revert back to the initial, default settings for column layout, and give it another go.
Next month, we'll review the remaining functionality, Advanced Output Settings and Output Font Configuration. If you can't wait for next month's issue, you can find all the information you'll need to continue customizing your roster output in the Help topic's User Manual under Roster Output.
Good luck in your next battle!
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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