– October 2011 –
Hello everyone and welcome to this month's edition of the newsletter. Despite all the time we've spent thinking about our Halloween costumes, we've managed to accomplish quite a bit this month and we're happy to share the following updates with you:
Progress on the Mac versions of our products continues, and we'll be entering the final stages of their development soon. Here are a couple screenshots so you can get a sense for how they'll look:
We'll be starting preliminary beta testing for the Mac version of Hero Lab before the end of November! Beta testing for the Mac version of Army Builder won't be far behind and we'll provide more information on this in the next newsletter. We want to thank all of you who have offered to help us with our beta testing; we've got a full cast ready to start putting the software through its paces as soon as we can get it to them.
At this time, we won't be taking any additional applications for beta testers, so please don't send us further inquiries via email or on the forums. If something happens and we need additional assistance, we'll let everyone know on our forums as well as on Facebook. We'll continue to keep you updated on our testing progress via the newsletter, forum, Facebook, and Twitter.
Since the unveiling of Realm Works, our streamlined campaign management tool for players and GMs, we've had a lot of requests for information on when it'll be ready for beta testing.
The good news is that development on Realm Works has been progressing steadily, and we've made considerable progress since our last update. Sometime in November, we'll be posting full details about applying to participate in the initial beta phase. Watch for more information on our forums, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
You can learn more about Realm Works on the Realm Works section of our website.
We're happy to announce our support plans for the Pathfinder Beginner Box. We're creating a separate tool specifically for the Beginner Box that will be FREE!
Just like the Beginner Box, this is intended to be an entry level tool, so it will essentially be a Lite version of Hero Lab. Much of the advanced functionality of Hero Lab will be omitted to keep the tool focused and extremely simple for new players. We'll be releasing this tool before Christmas, so stay tuned for more details in next month's newsletter.
One of the more frequent Hero Lab enhancement requests has been to provide an output option for Pathfinder that would more closely resemble the standard character sheet. With a little help from our friends (as that awesome song goes), that's now a reality!
We want to send out a very special "Thank You!" to Dave Thaler, aka armidale on the forums. Dave used the custom output feature of Hero Lab to create a standard version of the Pathfinder character sheet, which he made available to the community of users.
We know there's a lot of interest in this particular character sheet format, so we've made arrangements with Dave to distribute it directly through the Updates Mechanism in Hero Lab. Here's a preview:
The character sheet is now available alongside our other downloads in Hero Lab's list of updates, so check for updates within Hero Lab and download your copy today!
Also, since our last newsletter, there's been additional material released by third parties supporting Hero Lab. The following content is now available:
More and more publishers are adding Hero Lab support for their products, so keep watching this newsletter to find out about upcoming releases!
Since the release of the Shadowrun data files, we've added support for Spirits and Sprites, as well as Agent, IC, and Pilot programs that add full characters for their minions. We've also added support for Shadowrun Missions and the Season 4 contacts, as well as a bunch of bug fixes. Make sure to update to the latest version of the data file if you haven't already!
Before Thanksgiving, we'll be releasing an update that will cover the complete vehicle rules from the core rulebook - vehicles will behave like separate sub-characters which can be fully customized with weapons, equipment, and more. We're also working on support for the Shadowrun supplement books, as we've mentioned in our previous newsletters. In next month's newsletter, we'll provide more details around the release date for these add-ons, so be sure to check back next month!
It's been a few months since the Savage Worlds Deluxe edition came out, and we've had a lot of requests for Hero Lab support for the new edition. We're happy to announce that the Deluxe Edition data files are nearing completion - if you've purchased the Savage World data files, Deluxe Edition support will be part of the core data files and be available as a free update!
We're also working on the Fantasy and Super Powers Companion books, and expect to release these add-on data files before Christmas. We'll announce full details regarding them in next month's newsletter.
Last week, we released two new add-ons for Pathfinder, Campaign Setting #7 and Golarion #2. As we've done in the past, each one of these packages will be starting off with a single book and we'll continue to add content to them as it becomes available.
For Campaign Setting #7, we'll be launching that package with material from Lands of the Linnorm Kings. Get your inner Viking on and stand up to the savage beasts of this realm! Shortly after the release of Book of the Damned 3, we'll add that content to this package.
Faiths of Corruption will be the first book we include in our Golarion #2 add-on package. Put an incredible accumulation of evilness at your disposal and teach those goody two-shoes a lesson they won't soon forget!
As always, you can see the list of available packages and add new ones to your license by selecting "Purchase Data Package" from the License menu within Hero Lab.
We've been focusing on our Realm Works and Hero Lab projects for a while, trying to get the Realm Works beta and Hero Lab Mac beta ready for launch. As we worked towards those critical milestones, we had to re-evaluate the status of one of our other upcoming products, Tournament Ace.
We were originally hoping to release Tournament Ace in tandem with our other products sometime this year. Unfortunately, getting those products into shape took enough of our resources that we simply couldn't commit the time and energy to Tournament Ace that it deserved. We're a tiny company, and we've discovered we just don't have the resources to work on multiple large projects at once like this.
That means we've had to temporarily suspend work on Tournament Ace so that we could focus on Realm Works and our upcoming Mac products. Tournament Ace is still a concept to which we're committed, and we'll be resuming work on this product sometime after the release of Realm Works.
For future Tournament Ace updates, keep an eye on our newsletter - we'll be sure to post updated information here when we have some.
We're back with the second installment of "Did You Know...?" and this month we're focused on helping GMs manage various aspects of encounters by building Encounter Portfolios. You can build these portfolios so that you have instant access to information on the party, the NPCs and even the monsters! In next month's newsletter, we'll build upon this by introducing Hero Lab's Tactical Console. The Tactical Console is an excellent tool for GMs to manage all the encounters they throw at their parties. Imagine 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!
First, let's build a portfolio that contains all the player characters. Open the first party member's portfolio in Hero Lab. To add the rest of the party members to the portfolio, select "Import Hero From Portfolio" from the Portfolio menu in Hero Lab.
As you import additional heroes, each one will be added to the dashboard on the right. You'll also be prompted to indicate whether the hero you are importing is an "ally" or an "enemy" of the party. Once you've added all the party members, select "Save Portfolio As" from the File menu and give your group a name, such as Party Members.
During the game, you can quickly switch between characters to find information. Click the "crosshairs" button to the right of the Hero's name in the dashboard and make that hero the active hero. You can also select a hero using the Portfolio menu.
Next, you can add the monsters and NPCs to this party portfolio. For an example, we'll use Pathfinder, but this exact same technique can be used for each game system. When the encounter starts, simply open the Encounter Portfolio to have all the information you need at your fingertips! From the Portfolio menu, select "Import Stock Hero". This will open a window listing your available options, including NPCs and monsters. For this encounter, first select "Miscellaneous Monsters (E-H)". Scroll through the list of monsters until you find "Goblin", use the right-arrow to increase the number from "0" to "7", click "OK", and then confirm your selection. Hero Lab will add the seven goblins to the dashboard on the right.
Use "Import Stock Hero" in the same manner to add the five orcs and the troll to the encounter (the portfolios for orcs and trolls are included in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 1 add-on package or you can build them yourself using the Editor). Once you've added everything, select "Save Portfolio As" and give the Encounter Portfolio a name, like "Encounter One". When the party runs into this group of 13 monsters, just open the portfolio and you'll have all the information you need for the encounter..
In next month's newsletter, we'll describe how you can manage the entire encounter using Hero Lab's Tactical Console. Until then, we hope you find this information useful.
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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