Get an early look at this month’s Pathfinder update!

Psst! Yeah, you! Over ‘ere – I got some new Pathfinder features for ya! Nah, don’t ask me where I got ’em, just take a look…

With this month’s Pathfinder data file update, we’ll be making a change we wanted to show off a bit early – we’re going to be update the way you buy weapons, magic items, and other gear. Our improvements will make it harder to do the “wrong” thing, will allow the mechanism to be more consistent, and will be easier for new users to get to grips with.

Read on to find out more, or if you want to try it yourself, check out the beta link at the bottom of this post!

In the current version of the Pathfinder data files, it’s unfortunately a little too easy to make mistakes when buying gear. Here are a couple of common situations we see people running into:

  • When purchasing more than one copy of an item (for example, a stack of 10 daggers), changing the number of daggers doesn’t automatically update the price to pay, unless you click the “Set” button afterwards. If you forget to click the button, you just got 9 daggers for free.
  • When purchasing a custom magic weapon or armor, the price is set to 0 by default, no matter the actual cost of the item. This is inconsistent with the behavior of other places you can make purchases, and makes it too easy to accidentally get a magic weapon or armor for free, rather than paying for it if you intend to.

This month, we confined one of our hard-working data file authors to the salt mines, accompanied only by dire threats not to return until these issues were fixed. Days later, he emerged! Clutched in his grubby hands was a new purchase mechanism that’s designed to “do the right thing” by default, while still allowing the customization you need for your games. (We confiscated it and sent him right back to work, of course.)

Here’s an example of how the new mechanism works:


The left-hand image is what you’ll normally see when purchasing gear. Hero Lab automatically calculates the total cost of your purchase, including the extra cost of additional items or bonuses (such as the cost of a composite longbow’s strength bonus), and deducts it from your current cash.

If you want to pay a different amount (for example, if weapons are plentiful or the seller has a bone to pick with you), just check the “Custom Cost?” checkbox, and you can choose exactly how much to pay, as you can see in the right-hand image.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to add a new option for characters with Crafting skills and feats. You can now check the new “Crafted” checkbox, and the cost of the item will be reduced to the cost of the materials it would take to craft it (typically 1/3 or 1/2 the regular cost). Buying an item like this also counts it as having a lesser cost when calculating the hero’s total gear value, which can be important when you’re building a PC or NPC to hit a certain wealth limit.

Along with these great new features, you can still buy items for free, and Hero Lab will still make change for you automatically. Purchasing gear is still just as flexible as before – we’ve just spent some time streamlining things to make it easier for new (and existing) users.

If you want to download the beta and try out these changes before next week’s Pathfinder release, you can do so on our forums:

If you do, please leave us a note to let us know what you think! Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy these new features!