May 2014 Newsletter #1
Your eyes do not deceive you, this is a middle of the month newsletter from Lone Wolf Development. We’re considering bumping our newsletter up to twice a month, and May seemed like the perfect month to try it out! We hope this new approach will make it easier for Lone Wolf fans like you to keep up with the latest news about your favorite products.
Speaking of, here are some of the highlights we’d like to present for May:
- Shadowrun 5th Edition Releasing for Hero Lab May 23rd!
- Why Realm Works is the Best Tool for Your Campaign!
- Gen Con 2014 Events
- Latest Community Army Builder Updates
- Pathfinder: Inner Sea Gods for Hero Lab
- Lone Wolf is on Google+!
We were excited to announce earlier this month that Shadowrun 5th Edition is releasing for Hero Lab on May 23rd! Soon, you’ll be able to create your own characters to face the challenges of the Sixth World. Will you build an Eco Mage, Combat Adept, Street Shaman, Technomancer, Brawler, or something else? If you’ll be printing your character to use at the game table, here’s what you’ll see for the Street Samurai archetype:
Once Shadowrun 5 is available, you can buy Hero Lab at our online store for $29.99, which includes one game system of your choice. If you’re already a Hero lab user, you’ll be able to add Shadowrun 5th Edition to your license for only $20 once we release it in the upcoming weeks.
Realm Works is out, and as you saw last month, that means we’ve been on the podcast and blogger circuit. To be more specific, I’ve been on the podcast and blogger circuit! My name is Liz Theis, Community Development Manager for Lone Wolf Development, and I’d like to share some of the details that make Realm Works such a great tool for managing your RPG campaigns.
While chatting with these podcasters and bloggers, similar questions kept popping up. Realizing that these questions might be ones that some of you have, I thought it would be helpful to share some answers via the newsletter. For example, one common question was brought up almost every time – “How is Realm Works different from the wikis that Game Masters already use?”
Wikis and wiki-style tools are common campaign management solutions used by many GMs, and many wiki users are already familiar with these tools. If I was one of those GMs looking at something new, I’d also wonder how Realm Works compared. There are many differences that make Realm Works superior to wikis, but I wanted to highlight some of the ones most valuable to GMs in this newsletter.
For convention attendees or Game Masters, wikis can be a pain. To access your content, you’ll need to pay for convention internet (ouch!), which is often notoriously unreliable and slow despite the cost, or you can pay to have your phone work as a hotspot (double ouch!). With this in mind, we built Realm Works specifically so GMs can access their work without needing access to the internet. Internet access is required in certain rare situations (like when you install the product for the first time), but after that you can access all your work offline! No need to buy shaky convention internet access –you can save your money for the exhibit hall!
How else does Realm Works differ from Wikis? One of the wiki’s biggest draws for GMs is the ability to create links within your content. With those links, you can navigate through your world from page to page with just a click of the mouse. We recognized the power of linking content like this, but saw many opportunities for improvement.
One annoyance with traditional wikis is that you need to manually create the links in your content. That means selecting some text, creating a hyperlink to another article, and repeating the process for potentially dozens of links. Not only is this process time-consuming, but it’s prone to human error. Realm Works will automatically create links for you, leaving you more time to work on your game!
Let’s say I have an NPC named “Queen Seliese”. When I create her Kingdom, I mention “Queen Seliese” about a dozen times as I describe the kingdom’s history, political plots, and more. Manually creating all of those links would be error-prone and take up a lot of my time. Instead, Realm Works recognizes her name and offers to link all mentions back to her article. One click to tell Realm Works to automatically create the links, instead of dozens to link them all manually! And just like a webpage, you can use those links to move through your content. We even have back & forward buttons and tabs, just like a web browser, to make navigation even easier.
Another potential situation for human error is keeping track of connected pages. If I have a wiki page for the “Royal Family of Meerena”, I’ll definitely create a link to that page on my “Queen Seliese” wiki page, but I’d also have to add a second link to Queen Seliese on my “Royal Family of Meerena” page if I wanted to be able to navigate back to her. If I create new wiki pages for additional royal family members, I’ll naturally link from them to the Royal Family’s page, but I could forget to update the list of family members on that page. Sounds frustrating and time consuming for just managing simple navigation? That’s because it is. Our question when building Realm Works was, “why can’t we automate this process?”
Realm Works fills that gap by showing you all the pages that link to whatever you’re currently looking at (in this example, it’ll show you the list of royal family members on the Royal Family’s page). On the Royal Family of Meerena page, Realm Works automatically shows a list of all pages that link to the “Royal Family of Meerena”, allowing you to use that list to navigate to those pages.
As you can see, many of these great features in Realm Works were responses to the difficulties users run into with wikis and wiki-style tools. We saw the potential to take some of the great aspects of wikis, and make them even better! But link lists, offline access, and automatic linking is not the only way Realm Works stands out as a roleplaying tool! Stay tuned for a future newsletter issue where we’ll talk more about how Realm Works differs from wikis. In the meantime, learn more about Realm Works or purchase a copy from www.GetRealmWorks.com. Realm Works is available now for $49.99, and includes 6 months of free standard tier cloud service (a $24.99 value). Find out why Realm Works is quickly becoming the go-to tool for Game Masters everywhere!
It’s hard to believe, but Gen Con 2014 is less than 3 months away! Event registration begins on this Sunday, May 18 at 12-noon Eastern / 9 am Pacific. We have 7 seminars scheduled this year, so be sure to add some of them to your Wish List and sign up once event registration goes live!
- 2-4pm – SEM1453918 Hero Lab® – Introduction to Adding Your Own Content – Learn how to add content to Hero Lab for Pathfinder and other games, from one of our data file authors! This session is for users that haven’t used the Editor before, or are just getting started.
- 11am-1pm – SEM1453920 Realm Works® 101 – Streamlined Campaign Management for GMs & Players – Find out why Realm Works is the tool every GM has dreamed about for managing campaigns! This seminar focuses on the basics of content development and organization. Transform the way you run your game!
- 2-4pm – SEM1453919 Hero Lab® – Advanced Tips & Tricks for Adding Your Own Content – Learn how to take Hero Lab authoring to the next level! This session is for users that are familiar with the basics, but want to learn more. Bring your “.user” files for help on specific problems!
- 4-5pm – SEM1453921 Realm Works® – Tips & Tricks – Join us for a detailed look at some of the powerful tips and tricks available for experienced users of Realm Works. Hosted by the lead developer of Realm Works, you’ll be learning from the best!
- 5-6pm – SEM1453922 Preparing Content to Share through the Realm Works® Content Market – Whether you plan to publish content or share it freely, this seminar will delve into techniques for preparing content to share or sell through the Realm Works Content Market.
- 1-2pm – SEM1453924 From Print to Digital: Changing the RPG Landscape – As gamers find more uses for technology, publishers are finding new ways to bridge the gap from print to digital. Hear from some of the big names in RPGs discuss what they’re doing to adapt.
- 4-5pm – SEM1453923 Transforming the Player Experience with Realm Works® – See for yourself how Realm Works can immerse the players in your story! This session will demonstrate some of the ways Realm Works can be leveraged to more deeply engage players at the table.
Sound pretty epic? Yeah, we’re excited for our events too! Make sure you save a seat and add them to your wish list before event registration goes live on Sunday. Less than three months, and we’ll see you all in Indianapolis!
Only two weeks in, and this month has already been a busy one for Army Builder’s community data file authors! These hardworking volunteers have put out updates for Battletech Alpha Strike, Warhammer 40K, and Warhammer Fantasy! As a reminder, users should report all bugs to the data file authors. Each author has a different way of handling bugs, but when in doubt you can check the forums.
Updates to game system files can be downloaded automatically from the updates mechanism for any user with an active license.
Remember, Active Army Builder Licenses Don’t Expire
As a reminder, Army Builder licenses purchased after August 1st, 2012, or extended past August 1st, 2013 will no longer expire. This means you can continue to receive all future updates to Army Builder 3 without having to pay for any future license extensions.If you currently have an expired Army Builder license, you can extend your license and start taking advantage of Army Builder’s time-saving updates mechanism. Check out our website for more information!
Earlier this month, we released Pathfinder’s Inner Sea Gods for Hero Lab, now available for only $9.99! This exciting new package provides users with a list of over 300 deities to choose from, and also new feats, items, and spells!
What else is awesome about this new supplement? We asked our two data file authors who worked on Inner Sea Gods, Aaron and Hollis, to tell us their favorite things about the book. Take it away, Hollis:
The thing I like most about Inner Sea Gods is all the information it gives on the various gods and goddesses. I always love reading setting material, and having so much of it all in one place is great – the suggestions on playing characters that are worshipers of the various gods are really helpful as well.
I also really like the new Deific Obedience feat, which gives a way for characters to benefit from their devotion to a deity in a deity-focused way, without having to actually be a cleric, inquisitor, or other religious class. Deific Obedience is going to be the next feat my Pathfinder Society character takes, and will give me some nice bonuses!
Aaron also had some ideas:
I’m a big fan of paladins, so I was very pleased to see the new god-specific paladin codes. Giving a bit of role-play differentiation depending on the worshiped god is great, and it got me to thinking about making similar codes for my own homebrew gods.
I also liked the way that Inner Sea Gods organized the different deities into groups and gave clear domains and subdomains for all of them. This let us rework their presentation in Hero Lab and correct a number of data entry errors we found along the way. In grouping stuff together, we also implemented a system to hide groups and individual deities, and made it possible to customize what’s available for a home game without the usual Golarion deities. We hope you find it helpful!
Thanks Aaron and Hollis! As you can see, they’re really excited with what Inner Sea Gods can bring to their Pathfinder games, and we hope you all enjoy the new package as well! Grab Inner Sea Gods for only $9.99 by logging into your account on www.lonewolfdevel.com or by selecting “Purchase Data Package” from the License menu in Hero Lab.
Many of you currently follow Lone Wolf Development on Twitter, or you’ve liked your favorite products, (Army Builder, Hero Lab or Realm Works) on Facebook, but did you know that Lone Wolf Development is on Google+? It’s true!
If you’re on Google+, be sure to add Lone Wolf Development to your circles and keep up on all of the latest news!