April Newsletter 2014
Spring is here, and we have a ton of exciting news for all of you this month! Preparations for Gen Con 2014 have begun, and we’re looking for people like you to help us out. We also have updates for Realm Works® and Hero Lab®, news on Shadowrun 5th edition for Hero Lab, and an update on our Hero Lab iPad® app!
For more information about volunteering for Gen Con, or about one of our many updates and announcements this month, check out our news below:
- Gen Con Volunteers Wanted
- Realm Works News and Updates
- Shadowrun 5th Edition Available for Hero Lab in May!
- Hero Lab for iPad Update
- Hero Lab 5.1 Update
- This Month’s Pathfinder® Updates
Gen Con 2014, held August 14-17, is quickly approaching! We have a lot of exciting plans for Gen Con this year, and we’re looking for volunteers who can help us make it all a reality. We’re seeking experienced users of Hero Lab, with a preference toward Shadowrun and/or Pathfinder experience. You’ll be spreading the good word by demoing Hero Lab to Gen Con attendees. If you’re interested, check out these details, including the benefits of volunteering.
We’ll be making our selections at the start of June, so please voice your interest before the end of May by e-mailing us. Thanks in advance for your support!
Realm Works has been popping up in podcasts and blogs throughout the RPG community over the past month. Mark Knights (The Pathfinder Chronicles) called Realm Works “addictive, streamlined, and advanced”, and hailed it has the “next generation of Campaign Management software”. David Guyll (Points of Light) compared us to other tools and declared that Realm Works makes it “easier to create, organize, edit, and navigate through all of the content”.
Liz Theis, our Community Manager, sat down with Jeff from The Quest, Will and Chris from The Die is Podcast, and most recently Caleb and Michael from Dungeon Talk to discuss Realm Works and answer some frequently asked questions. If you’re still trying to decide if Realm Works is the right fit for you, be sure to check out these reviews and interviews. And if you know others who might be interested in Realm Works, share these blog posts and podcast episodes with them as well!
In addition to a gaggle of podcasts, April has been a busy month for the Realm Works development team! Users got their hands on two new updates this month, which introduced a variety of refinements and enhancements. A full list of changes can be found in the Release Notes within Realm Works.
The next priority item for our team is Realm Works Player Edition, which will allow players to access and review content revealed by the GM on their own computers outside of the game session. Players will be able to independently lookup information, review what they’ve learned, and even make notes with same powerful linking capabilities as the GM version for a small cost. We’re planning to share details on pricing and the release in the next month.
To stay up to date with the latest news and updates, be sure to keep up with our monthly newsletter, “like” Realm Works on Facebook, follow @lonewolfdevel on Twitter, or follow Lone Wolf Development on Google+.
Are you a blogger or host a podcast? Do you want to talk to someone about Realm Works? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is the newest version of one of the most popular and successful role-playing worlds of all time—a fusion of man, magic and machine in a dystopian near-future. With rules for character creation, magic, combat, Matrix hacking, rigging, and more, this new edition of the legendary tabletop roleplaying game has everything you need to face the challenges of the Sixth World.
We’re excited to announce that Shadowrun 5th Edition will be released with Hero Lab 5.2 in mid-May! We asked Mathias, our lead Shadowrun data file author, to tell us about some of the cool things Shadowrun 5 adds, and how Hero Lab supports them. Take it away, Mathias!
For those of you who are familiar with Hero Lab’s support for Shadowrun 4th edition, I wanted to share several of the new features to look forward to in our Shadowrun 5th edition files.
As we’ve mentioned in our previous newsletters, Shadowrun 5 allows you to enchant your gear, and in Hero Lab, we’ve added the “enchant” option to all physical equipment. You can add the spells you like, choose the trigger to use for them, describe how you customized the item in order to make it enchantable, and if your character is capable of enchanting, see the dicepools and drain target for the spell and trigger combination you’ve chosen.
We’ve also put a lot of work into how you spend points from the pools you’re granted by your priority choices within Hero Lab, like your skill point pool or your mental and physical attribute point pool, in order to make character creation as smooth as possible. Most importantly, we’re not making the user decide how much karma to spend on each skill and how many skill points to spend on each skill. For a given priority selection, Hero Lab calculates the optimal way to spend karma automatically.
For example, the Sprawl Ganger sample character (on pg. 126 of the rulebook) bought 45 points of skills, but is only using priority B for skills, which gives him only 36 points to spend. So, Hero Lab searches the list of skills that were chosen and calculates the most cost-efficient way to spend karma instead of skill points to cover the extra 9 points of skills. As you tweak your skills and decide where to spend your last few points, Hero Lab automatically rearranges points as needed, warning you if you spend too many of them.
With the importance of limits in the new Shadowrun, we’re calculating and displaying the limits for any tests you’re making whenever we’re displaying the dicepool for a test, including changes to the limit from the gear you’re using (like a medkit’s bonus to First Aid).
Finally, since it’s very important in Shadowrun 5 to know whether a device has an active wireless connection, all the pieces of gear that add wireless bonuses have an on/off button for their wireless, and at the top of the UI, there’s a pair of buttons to turn every wireless device on or off at once, for when you’re infiltrating the corporate HQ and need to be extra sneaky.
Mathias will be back to share more about Shadowrun 5 in the coming weeks!
Looking forward to using Shadowrun 5th edition in Hero Lab? 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.
It’s been a busy quarter here at Lone Wolf, with our recent releases of Realm Works and the Hero Lab Encounter Builder. Now that those are behind us, we’re pleased to report that we’ve been making some great process on Hero Lab for iPad these last few months! We’re happy to finally be able to reveal more about our plans for the future, which you can read about below.
We’re now working on a major upgrade for Hero Lab for iPad that, in addition to it’s current character sheet capabilities, will allow users with a Hero Lab license for Pathfinder to create and advance Pathfinder heroes just like they do on the desktop! With this new update, you’ll be able to create new heroes, tweak pre-existing characters, and then use Hero Lab during the game just like you can today.
Our initial focus for this update is to allow the creation of Pathfinder player characters only. We’re hoping to expand the iPad app later with additional support for NPCs, plus advanced features like kingdoms, armies, and GM support, and we’ll keep everyone updated on our progress over the next few months.
Once the new update is released, you’ll have all of your purchased Pathfinder content at your disposal for creating a character on your iPad. To activate this content and the new character creation capabilities, you’ll link the app with one of your Hero Lab licenses, just like you would do with any other “computer”. Since you can’t use the same license code on different computers, you’ll have one license code for your desktop/laptop, and you’ll use a separate secondary license for your iPad.
Remember, each copy of Hero Lab includes one additional, free secondary license code, so your initial purchase enables the use of two devices, such as your desktop and your laptop (or soon, your iPad!). You can also obtain additional licenses for Hero Lab to run on even more devices that you own. Each additional license beyond the first two costs only $10, granting full access to all the content you’ve purchased. Already at the maximum device limit of 4? Don’t worry, we’ll be raising that limit – exact details will be shared in upcoming months.
By now you may be thinking to yourself: “This is great! When do I get this?” We don’t currently have a release date for Hero Lab on the iPad, but we’re hoping to be able to share more information as development continues and we get a better handle on our progress. Look for an update in next month’s newsletter for more details!
So, what’s next after Pathfinder character creation on the iPad?
As we work on this iPad update, we’re continuing to think about the future of Hero Lab on tablets. After we have a solid version of the Pathfinder app completed, we’re hoping to be able to bring more of the games we support to the iPad, so that players of those games can enjoy using Hero Lab at the game table too. We don’t have any specific games or release dates to announce right now, but we’ll keep you informed in future newsletters as our plans take shape.
Another avenue of development we’d like to take concerns Hero Lab on Android and other tablet platforms. As a small company, we’re unfortunately not in the position to have multiple development teams working on different aspects of Hero Lab simultaneously, so we need to focus on one thing at a time. In the upcoming months, that’s going to be Hero Lab for iPad and Pathfinder, likely followed by additional game systems on the iPad. Once we’ve worked through those tasks, we’ll be in a better position to make more concrete plans for Android tablets and other platforms, and we’re hoping to be able to support Android as soon as it’s practical for us to do so.
Hero Lab 5.1 is now available for all Hero Lab users. This update brings some exciting new changes to the Encounter Builder! Mutants and Masterminds users are now able to filter NPCs by Power Level, and filtering by Challenge Rating (CR) has been added for Pathfinder Beginner Box, d20 System, and soon Pathfinder users. Finally, even more images for encounter characters are being added for Pathfinder users to help bring the story to life!
Let us know what you think of the new Encounter Builder by joining the conversation on our forums!
Earlier this month, we announced that “Inner Sea Gods” was nearing completion. We’re excited to share that it should be releasing this week! As you travel through the Inner Sea, all characters can seek favor from this new pantheon of gods. With access to over 300 deities within Hero Lab, you can build your character with exciting new feats and prestige classes. Over 100 new magic items are also at your disposal for all character classes! You don’t need to be a religious class to take advantage of what this book has to offer. Bring new gods to your world soon with “Inner Sea Gods” for only $9.99!
The undead control the streets of Wati. You and the rest of your party must scour the city to find the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, and the necromancer that is using it to raise the dead. But you aren’t the only ones searching for it. A mysterious group is looking for the mask, hoping to use it to bring an ancient pharaoh back to life. This update for Pathfinder will include everything players need to find the mask and defeat the necromancer in the latest Adventure Path, “Empty Graves”. We’ll be adding all the player content from this Adventure Path into Hero Lab as a part of this month’s free update, available soon!
If that wasn’t enough, there are also two new Player Companion books releasing this month! First, gather the tools and skills to defeat the zombies and other undead foes. Take advantage of new class archetypes, new spells, new feats, and a ton of new gear in “Undead Slayer’s Handbook”. Next, is your character an alchemist? “Alchemy Manual” has almost 100 new alchemy items, and new crafting rules to bring into your game. Both books will be added to the newest player companion package. Player Companion #15 will be available soon for only $4.99! As always, you can add new packages to your Hero Lab license by going to the License menu within the product and choosing “Purchase Data Package”.
Excited for the “Inner Sea Combat” campaign setting? That book will be releasing as a part of the May Pathfinder release next month. The Hero Lab team worked their tails off trying to get this book into April’s release, but given the number of new releases and when we were provided with the material, we had to make the tough decision to push it off until May. Sorry everyone! We’ll do our best to catch up soon.
Finally, you’ll find a number of enhancements and bug fixes included in this month’s update as usual. You will be able to find a full list of the changes on our forums after the update is released. Keep up with the latest Hero Lab news and “like” Hero Lab on Facebook, follow @lonewolfdevel on Twitter, or follow Lone Wolf Development on Google+.