– November 2011 –
Hello everyone and welcome to this month's edition of our newsletter. It's been a busy month here in the Wolf Lair. We've had to over-indulge in Thanksgiving dinner, create new ways to use leftovers and try to find the holiday decorations. Not to mention that this has been one of the most exciting months in recent memory based on these updates we have to share:
Woo-hoo! Hero Lab for the Mac beta testing has started! The culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears was provided to our group of beta testers during the week of Thanksgiving. We've got almost two weeks of testing behind us and we've been very encouraged by the results so far.
We expect this initial round of Beta testing to conclude around Christmas. Once that's complete, we'll expand our testing to a much larger group, to make sure everything is solid before the official release. If you own Hero Lab and have been waiting for the mac version, you'll be able to download and check it out at that point!
We expect to resolve the remaining issues we uncover from wider testing in the following weeks, which puts us on track for an official January release. Stay tuned for more details on our website, Facebook and Twitter regarding the beta expansion!
We've reached another major milestone with Realm Works!
Yesterday, we announced that we're ready to take applications to participate in our first beta phase from interested GMs. This is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new product that will streamline your campaign's management. Information is available at our website.
As we've mentioned before, we expect to run multiple phases of beta testing, increasing the number of participants in each phase. If you want to be considered for the first phase of the beta, you must complete the survey before 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time on December 15. We'll review the submissions up to that point, select the initial participants and contact them before Christmas.
We'll continue to provide updates in the newsletter as we progress through the first phase of testing.
In the middle of November, we released some substantial updates to our Pathfinder data files. Within our Pathfinder Campaign Setting #7 package, we've added information from Book of the Damned—Volume 3: Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If you purchased the package after we released it with the content from Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the new material will be available after you download the update. If you haven't purchased the package yet, you should check it out. It contains a new prestige class, the daemon-worshipping souldrinker, and all kinds of daemon goodness!
For those of you that have purchased our Ultimate Combat add-on, you'll see the primitive materials from that book are now available within the data file. We've also included content from Pathfinder Adventure Path #52: Forest of Spirits and a whole slew of bug fixes. Download the update today!
As usual, we're planning to release the add-on package for the upcoming Pathfinder Bestiary 3 supplement at approximately the time the book hits the street, which is expected to be in late December. When that happens, we'll also be introducing a new discounted bundle for purchase as previously announced. Starting on that date, all three of the Bestiary add-on packages will be available for the low bundle price of $29.99. That's a savings of 15%!
Prior to Thanksgiving, we released an update to the Shadowrun data file, and we now provide full support for vehicles. Check out this screen shot, illustrating a combat mage with his spirits and a vehicle in the dashboard:
During the game, you can bring up the stats for any of these simply by clicking on the crosshair icon in the dashboard.
We were hoping to provide additional details about the Shadowrun supplements in this newsletter. Unfortunately, vehicle support and other features we've been implementing took significantly more time than we expected, and we haven't made the progress needed to get the supplement content available by the end of the year.
We're doing our best to get the supplement material into place and released - heck, we want to use the add-ons in our own games - and hope that you'll bear with us as we continue to work on them. We'll provide a further update on the status of the add-ons in next month's newsletter.
As we promised in last month's newsletter, the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition will be released in December, as a free update for all Savage Worlds users. We also have some details to share about the various Companion books.
Starting in December 2011, we'll be releasing supplement packages for the three Savage Worlds Companion books - Super Powers Companion, Fantasy Companion and the brand new Horror Companion. We'll offer each of these add-on data files for an introductory price of $7.99 apiece, with a Companion Book bundle option also available for purchase. For the bundle, we're offering an introductory discount price of $19.99 for all three books - that's a 17% savings on this bundle of awesomeness!
Each package will include the appropriate content from the rulebooks. Build heroes with amazing powers with the Super Powers Companion, fight dragons and delve dungeons with the Fantasy Companion, and run from eldritch terrors with the Horror Companion.
For users who purchase the bundle prior to the release of all supplement packages, the additional packages for subsequent books will be added to your license as a free update when they become available in early 2012. The Fantasy Companion add-on is expected to be released in January, with the Horror Companion to follow in February.
In this month's Did You Know installment, we're building on the information we provided last month about building encounter portfolios (in case you missed it, you can find the encounter portfolio info here). Our focus is Hero Lab's Tactical Console and we'll use it with the portfolios we've built. The Tactical Console is an excellent tool for GMs to manage all the encounters they throw at their parties. We've set up an encounter where our intrepid adventurers run into a scouting party of seven goblins, five orcs and a troll. That's a lot of stuff to keep track of and manage as a GM!
With Hero Lab's Tactical Console, you'll be amazed at how easy it becomes. We're using Pathfinder in this example, but this exact same technique can be used for each game system. Open the portfolio you created for the encounter after you've launched Hero Lab. As we described last month, all the party members and the NPCs or monsters contained in the encounter portfolio will be listed in Hero Lab's dashboard on the right of the screen. You can view information about any member by clicking the "crosshairs" button to the right of the name to make that member active.
No matter how you've created it, once you've loaded your encounter portfolio, launch the Tactical Console by selecting "Show Tactical Console" from the View menu within Hero Lab. You'll see a list of all the participants in the encounter in the Tactical Console along with brief summary information. You can click the "crosshairs" button in any entry to make that participant the active hero, allowing you to look up any specific information associated with them.
Here's a screen shot showing how our players and NPCs appear in the Tactical Console before the combat starts:
Click the New Combat button to start the encounter and "roll" initiative for all the participants. You can use what Hero Lab rolls or change a character's initiative to what the player rolls for their character and Hero Lab will put everything in initiative order. Within the Tactical Console, you can indicate whether each combatant acts or holds their action; once they've acted, they'll move to the bottom of the list with an indication that their turn is complete. Once everyone has acted, simply click Next Round or End Combat.
You can also apply or heal damage using the "Manipulate" button next to the saving throws for each player or NPC. Here's how the Tactical Console might look after a few rounds of combat:
Alternatively, if you already have all the player characters loaded in a separate portfolio, you can build an encounter portfolio containing only monsters. Load the PC's portfolio, import the portfolio of monsters using the Portfolio menu, and run the encounter. Once you're finished, you can remove the monsters from the portfolio by choosing "Delete Hero" from the Portfolio menu. Then, get ready to start your next encounter in the same way.
Give it a try 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!
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