Announcing the new Hero Lab Encounter Builder

Hero Lab

Hello everyone! Colen, lead developer of Hero Lab, here. We recently brought two new developers on board, and to mark the holidays, we let them out of the salt mines to talk about the new feature they’ve been working on. When released, this feature will be available for all game systems supported within Hero Lab. If you’re a GM who uses Hero Lab, or a prospective GM checking out the product, read on – I think you’ll like what you see!


Hi, I’m Michele, one of the new Hero Lab developers, and I’m very excited to share a new feature we’ve been working on!

One of the really cool things about Hero Lab is that GMs have access to an incredible library of premade “stock” characters and monsters to use in their games. However, if you’re familiar with our current mechanism for accessing this library of characters, we admit, it’s kind of clunky.

With over 3,500 stock characters in Pathfinder alone, just finding the character you want is a little awkward. First, you need to select the portfolio the character is in – for Pathfinder, there are over 100 stock portfolios to choose from. Once you’ve selected the stock portfolio, characters are listed in alphabetical order with very minimal information and no way to filter or search.  If you want to import characters from other portfolios, you must complete or cancel the import and start all over.

This process requires you already know where to look for the character you want, and there isn’t really an easy way to browse the thousands of cool and interesting characters and monsters available to you. Nor is there a way to automatically total the difficulty of the selected characters to make sure you have a balanced encounter for your players before you import them into Hero Lab.

We wanted to streamline this process and make it easier for GMs to build fun, interesting, and balanced encounters for their players. I’ll turn things over to Steve to give you a first look at what we’ve been working on for the last 2 months – the new Encounter Builder!


Greetings! My name is Steve and I’m also a new Hero Lab developer. Now that you’ve read about the way things work now, I’d like to introduce you to the new Encounter Builder feature. Recently, I’ve been using it to put together encounters for Pathfinder. It’s still under development, but I can choose monsters for my encounter already. Check out this screen shot:


Pathfinder Encounter Builder Sneak Preview

Right now, I’m building a tough encounter for a party of level 10 characters. The Pathfinder Core Rulebook suggests a CR 12 encounter with a budget of 19,200 XP.

I want my encounter to be in the desert, so first I type “desert” into the search field. Hero Lab checks the name, description, and statblock of every stock character for that word or phrase, and displays the list of characters with a match. Initially, I consider using a single Adult Blue Dragon, but that seems sort of ordinary. To mix it up a bit, I decide to use a Young Blue Dragon and a Desert Giant henchman instead. Every dragon needs someone to run errands for them!

The Encounter Builder calculates this is only a CR 11 encounter, so I’ve still got some XP left in my budget. I add a bit of a twist by including a couple of Greater Basilisks on team monster. With any luck, they won’t turn their boss into stone! My CR 12 encounter is now complete.

Once this new feature is complete, I’ll be able to click “Import” to add the characters into my current portfolio, where they can be saved, printed, and/or used in the Hero Lab Tactical Console.

I’m hoping we can bring the new Encounter Builder to everyone soon!


Shadowrun Encounter Builder Sneak Preview