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A Character Builder for Pathfinder


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I'm looking for...well, honestly, something like 4e's Character Builder but for Pathfinder.

Things I have found:

PCGen: Played with this a little. Looked very feature-rich. Wish the output was a little more like the official Pathfinder character sheet but that's a minor quibble. Step-by-step program instead of Excel-based. The UI could use a little polish but it was certainly usable.

Heroforge: I may be missing something, but I only saw 3.5 support.

The Only Sheet: aka TOS+. $10 (which is fine - I don't mind paying for what I want). Excel-based. Didn't play with the demo yet but I will.

sCharGen: Another Excel-based product.

The Pathfinder Character Excelerator: Another Excel-based product.

Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

So...


  • Did I miss anything I should look at?
  • Any recommendations? (Obviously I just started looking at some of the ones listed above).


raindog308 wrote:

I'm looking for...well, honestly, something like 4e's Character Builder but for Pathfinder.

Things I have found:

PCGen: Played with this a little. Looked very feature-rich. Wish the output was a little more like the official Pathfinder character sheet but that's a minor quibble. Step-by-step program instead of Excel-based. The UI could use a little polish but it was certainly usable.

Heroforge: I may be missing something, but I only saw 3.5 support.

The Only Sheet: aka TOS+. $10 (which is fine - I don't mind paying for what I want). Excel-based. Didn't play with the demo yet but I will.

sCharGen: Another Excel-based product.

The Pathfinder Character Excelerator: Another Excel-based product.

Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

So...


  • Did I miss anything I should look at?
  • Any recommendations? (Obviously I just started looking at some of the ones listed above).

Neceros automated character sheet. It is not really a character builder, but it does speed things up. There are bugs such as the +3 for class skills not added for perception, but the bugs are minor and it is freer

Silver Crusade

raindog308 wrote:


Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

I think you're doing HeroLab a disservice. It only needs to authorize once, so even if the servers go down, or you don't have an internet connection, you can continue to use the program (I use it without an Internet connection all the time). It has the occasional bug, but they don't crop up very often, and it's Pathfinder support is phenomenal. A really great program, overall.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ogre sheet is the best in my opinion. Feature rich excel file and fantastic response by the author. APG work is still in progress, so don't expect that yet.


raindog308 wrote:

PCGen: Played with this a little. Looked very feature-rich. Wish the output was a little more like the official Pathfinder character sheet but that's a minor quibble. Step-by-step program instead of Excel-based. The UI could use a little polish but it was certainly usable.

Try csheet_fantasy_statblock5.htm for a Pathfinder character sheet in html. You can also use statblock5 on the 'character sheet' tab to see how it will look.

raindog308 wrote:

Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

I believe that when you purchase HeroLab it comes with two (maybe 3) licenses so it can be used on both your laptop and desktop.

Also, erian_7 (user on this board) has a spreadsheet that is quite good, and works with Open Office (ie. Mirco$oft excel not required). Look at his profile for the link.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Cheliax

PCGen UI Overhaul Project

I like PCGen. It has a few bugs, but they are very quick in fixing them when you point them out.


raindog308 wrote:

I'm looking for...well, honestly, something like 4e's Character Builder but for Pathfinder.

Things I have found:

PCGen: Played with this a little. Looked very feature-rich. Wish the output was a little more like the official Pathfinder character sheet but that's a minor quibble. Step-by-step program instead of Excel-based. The UI could use a little polish but it was certainly usable.

As someone noted, there are a few different outputs and if you're tech-savvy enough you might be able to customize your own and add it to the options.

Quote:


sCharGen: Another Excel-based product.

If you mean SCoreGen, it is--but it's an excellent character generator. I used it before PC Gen got the major bugs fixed with the Pathfinder ruleset. The biggest problem is that the creator doesn't have time to do updates anymore and it doesn't have APG support, but I believe, especially since it's Excel-based, he's released it out so other people can start work on it.

Quote:


Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

I am in complete agreement with you. I actually bought HeroLab for use with Mutants and Masterminds and sure, it's a decent program, but it comes with too many strings attached. I also have issues with its UI (the dashboard sizes/resizes horribly) and I don't like ITS output sheets (at least as of the last time I used it, which was many months ago). I've never even bothered reinstalling it on my new computer. PC Gen does everything it can when it comes to Pathfinder (I did play with the demo mode for Pathfinder stuff), it's just less pretty, and I found a good Excel sheet for my M&M needs.

Quote:



  • Did I miss anything I should look at?
  • Any recommendations? (Obviously I just started looking at some of the ones listed above).

I think the only thing you missed was RPGXplorer which is dead software anyway. The creator (whose personal life just fell on his head and squashed him, according to the forums) WAS supposed to release the source so other people could take it on so I sometimes keep an eye on it for that.

There are a few other Excel sheets (Erian7s and Ogre's come to mind) but it sounds like you're trying to avoid those.

I wonder if Pathguy could be talked into making a browser based one like he did for d20 products.

Qadira

This is the Pathfinder Character Gen my group always uses.
We like it and it allows for custom races, custom classes, custom feats, skills, traits and new stuff is being added regularly. I'd recommend giving it a try.

Qadira

I swear by HeroLab for PFS. I found it easy to use. Character creation in 5 or 10 mins. I have it installed on both a laptop and a desktop (you simply get a second registration for free, there's a menu inside the app for it.) all the AP's, all the books and supplements. The ability to automatically grey out the feats and traits unavailable to Society. The character sheet is intuitive with the most commonly used items upper left or in bold. If you choose to use a pc while playing all the situationals can be easy applied (slowed, entangled, poisoned). items can be bought or sold for 0% / 50% / 100% or you can set a custom price. It has journal tracking for Society adventures - including Prestige, experience, gold.

No I am not a shareholder, just a happy user


raindog308 wrote:

I'm looking for...well, honestly, something like 4e's Character Builder but for Pathfinder.

Things I have found:

The Only Sheet: aka TOS+. $10 (which is fine - I don't mind paying for what I want). Excel-based. Didn't play with the demo yet but I will.

I've been using this for years and swear by it. Its VERY flexible, and always being worked on (APG stuff is being added now and available to beta testers). It does have a higher learning curve because of the power available. It can do just about everything though. And the Forums are full of helpful people to get your custom or non-core classes coded into the product via downloaded files (classes, races, ect...)

It is really pretty amazing.

-Mike

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

dot.

also, you are all beautiful, fantastic people. stay classy!


LoreKeeper wrote:

Ogre sheet is the best in my opinion. Feature rich excel file and fantastic response by the author. APG work is still in progress, so don't expect that yet.

I have used all the others listed on here and this one is far and away the best. The levels tab alone is worth the money the OTHER ones charge.


raindog308 wrote:

Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop. Good reputation if that isn't an issue for you but I didn't bother. I might have paid $30 for this were it not for the SA. Makes me sad. On the other hand, I briefly played with it and while it was a little more polished than PCGen, it seemed similar.

All of the tools you've looked at are solid options, each with its individual strengths. I just wanted to clarify a few of your assertions above with regards to Hero Lab.

1. I can understand your concern about the software activation, as I've been burned by a few small operations myself. In our case, Lone Wolf Development has been in business for 16 years now, and has been publishing tools for gamers for more than 12 years. We still fully support the activation mechanism for old products that have been abandoned for a decade (e.g. Army Builder V1 and V2), as there are still a small number of people using those old products.

2. Hero Lab's overall accuracy and stability equals or exceeds the other tools available. Like many software companies, we encourage users to report bugs on our support forums, enabling other users to be aware of those bugs and helping to avoid duplicate reports. We release new updates for Pathfinder almost every week, adding new content and fixing whatever bugs may have been reported. I don't think many (if any) of the other tools can match that level of responsiveness.

3. Users receive a FREE secondary license to run Hero Lab on a second computer. So there's no "pain" in running the product on a desktop and a laptop.

4. The activation mechanism allows users to re-use a license on a replaced or upgraded computer every 4 months without any need to contact us - it just works automatically. Since the typical user upgrades or replaces his computer every 18-24 months, very few users run into this problem. When it does occur, we can usually get users up and running again in less than 24 hours.

Perhaps most telling, Hero Lab is the only tool that Paizo has seen fit to officially license for use with Pathfinder. Given that Paizo is generally considered to be a discerning company with high production values, that seal of approval may be of note to many Pathfinder players when considering which tool best fits their purposes, both today and into the future. :)

For anyone with additional questions or concerns about Hero Lab, please don't hesitate to post them - either here or on our support forums.

Andoran

I picked up Herolab a couple weeks ago.

It was worth every penny.


Like Rob mentioned, Hero Lab is currently the only official character management software for both Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society.

In fact, one of my goals is to increase the visibility of Hero Lab at Society events going forward. I love it and I'm using it right now while going over an upcoming Society scenario to double check stat blocks.

Hyrum.


raindog308 wrote:
Hero Lab: Disqualified because they used software activation, which leaves you stranded if they ever go out of business, is buggy according to their forum, and is a pain when you upgrade your equipment or want to use it on both your laptop and desktop.

+1; I have a personal policy to avoid all products with Digital Restrictions Management.

DRM lets the vendor tell me where/when/what I'm allowed to do with the product. So, if the US government releases cash that lets me tell the vendor where/when/what they allowed to spend it on, then we'll be even.

Until that time, if they're free to spend my cash, then I need to be free to call the shots on the products for which I've exchanged that cash. Anything less is a non-starter.

Andoran

Yeah, remove the DRM and then I'll buy it from you (wink, wink).

Seriously, though, Hero Lab has been great.

Taldor

another_mage wrote:

+1; I have a personal policy to avoid all products with Digital Restrictions Management.

DRM lets the vendor tell me where/when/what I'm allowed to do with the product. So, if the US government releases cash that lets me tell the vendor where/when/what they allowed to spend it on, then we'll be even.

Until that time, if they're free to spend my cash, then I need to be free to call the shots on the products for which I've exchanged that cash. Anything less is a non-starter.

Well said (aka +1).

The folks that write Hero Lab are always quick to tell us how easy it is to deal with the DRM (as they already have on this thread) every time someone indicates its a concern (or stopper for many of us). There are plenty of people who have purchased Hero Lab despite the DRM... but I don't think you'll find a single person who bought it because of it. Imagine how many more people would buy it if this silliness simply went away. I'm definitely one of them. Don't want DRM. Don't trust DRM. Don't care about 16 years of business... as all the business commercials say, "Past performance is not a guarantee of future earnings." Hell, even GM went belly up and I don't think the government is gonna bail out a character generator... even if it has the Paizo Stomp of Approval.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

The DRM and especially the operating system lock-in disqualify this product from my point of view. Also, in my view, the price is too high.

Disclaimer: I am a developer on PCGen.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Hyrum Savage wrote:
Like Rob mentioned, Hero Lab is currently the only official character management software for both Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society.

What does this mean? What is the difference in using the official software or using an unofficial one when playing society? Your statement sounds as if people aren't allowed to manage their PFS characters with any other kind of software. It would be a sad day, if Paizo ever decided to go a way like that.


roccojr wrote:
There are plenty of people who have purchased Hero Lab despite the DRM... but I don't think you'll find a single person who bought it because of it. Imagine how many more people would buy it if this silliness simply went away. I'm definitely one of them. Don't want DRM.

I can imagine two things here. First, the number of additional people who would buy the product due to eliminating the DRM. Second, the number of people who would NO LONGER buy the product due to removing the DRM. Based on more than a decade of concrete experience selling products to gamers, the latter number would far exceed the former.

What you are arguing for is essentially "trust" licensing. Give the person a license and let him do with it whatever he chooses, without restrictions. That would be great if everyone - heck, even if most people - could be trusted. Sadly, based on our experience with past products, the majority of gamers will happily share software with everyone else in their gaming group - and often well beyond that group. So the net result is that we maybe sell one copy to each gaming group instead of separate copies to multiple members of each group.

When the final numbers are tallied, the total units sold ends up being much less when using the "trust" method that you're advocating. That converts a viable business into a non-viable business. Lots more people will happily be using the product, but less revenue comes in and the company ultimately flounders.

As a regular reminder of this, we get multiple groups of gamers every year at GenCon pooling their money right in front of us to share a copy amongst them. If that brazen behavior goes on right in front of the company, how often is it happening in the privacy of the gaming group? Our experience shows that, without the use of a secure DRM, about 3-4 copies are pirated for every one copy sold. And the total number of copies sold is significantly less than is achieved with the use of DRM.

Unfortunately, DRM is the only reliable way that we've found, and it's allowed us to steadily grow the company and develop better products. Is DRM perfect? Not in the least. But piracy is a reality, and it's HUGE amongst gamers, so we need to take the necessary steps to keep the company thriving so we can continue producing quality tools.

If someone were to propose an alternate method that will DEMONSTRABLY and RELIABLY produce equal or better results for our target market, we'd love to hear it. Thus far, we haven't seen such an alternative.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
Hyrum Savage wrote:
Like Rob mentioned, Hero Lab is currently the only official character management software for both Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society.
What does this mean? What is the difference in using the official software or using an unofficial one when playing society? Your statement sounds as if people aren't allowed to manage their PFS characters with any other kind of software. It would be a sad day, if Paizo ever decided to go a way like that.

I am 99% certain that that is *not* what Hyrum meant at all. I think he's simply giving a voice of support to a licensee, and sharing his own use of it.

After all, PFS doesn't even require a specific character sheet, let alone a char sheet generator.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber
Zaister wrote:

The DRM and especially the operating system lock-in disqualify this product from my point of view. Also, in my view, the price is too high.

Disclaimer: I am a developer on PCGen.

I think it's great that there are alternatives out there. As a Mac user I currently use PCGen.

The great bits:
It works on my MacMini
It's free
It's very powerful
You can modify everything using the list editor and doing editing.

The awkward bits:
It sometimes can be very, very frustrating to use. It's nice to be told to select the racial class skill bonus in the summary - but sometimes you can search high and low to find where to find what you are supposed to add.
And editing while in principle possible - well. I once spend 3-4 hours to add the Captains Blade trait and in the end just noted it in the biography as a foot note. I know it can be done - I thought I did everything right - but I must have missed somewhere a tiny small detail that just prevented it from appearing.
Also when I upgraded from 16.2 to 16.3 suddently my silk rope and a few other items where no longer recognized.
My level 5 Wizard currently is corrupted. I know I did something that I should NOT have done - I removed levels and added them back. This happened because I had build him up as a third level wizard and only very late figured out how to add a specialization to it. For unknown reasons it's now a 24 point build and the CMD is 64.
I should just scratch the character and start fresh with all the knowledge I have now most of it should be fine this time around. But useability can be awkward at times and there is a steep learning curve.

If this comes over too negative. All pieces of software have their flaws. PCGen has some very good features and it's free. Try it out and build your own opinion.

Thod

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

lonewolf-rob

What is the progress for a Mac version?

I know something like this takes time. What I feel is wrong is that whenever I google HeroLab and Mac to get an update the most prominent answer is - there won't be a Mac version (you own webpages !!). This is a several year old statement.

It would help to replace this statement with at least something like - it's in work. You mentioned this around middle-of-August here on the Paizo pages.

Or has this been discontinued?

Thod

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I don't have a problem with DRM as long as it meets the following criteria:

1. Activation code method. Herolab meets this.
2. A pledge to release a patch to remove the DRM if the company ceases operations.

The only real bone I have with Herolab is the output style of the Character and spell sheets, PCGen while far from perfect scores major points on this. It lets me output a variety of sheets and several styles of statblocks.

A major plus is the Paizo licensing which is a strong seal of confidence, althugh that does not mean that the Paizo staff have any active hands in development.


Zaister wrote:
Hyrum Savage wrote:
Like Rob mentioned, Hero Lab is currently the only official character management software for both Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society.
What does this mean? What is the difference in using the official software or using an unofficial one when playing society?

There are three main distinctions that I'm aware of between Hero Lab and tools that have not been officially licensed.

1. With Hero Lab, users have a product that is regularly reviewed by Paizo, which helps to ensure greater quality and accuracy. As Hyrum mentioned above, Hero Lab is now being used in-house by members of the Paizo staff to verify the accuracy of material before it is published.

2. The license allows Hero Lab to include Product Identity content that is not available for use under the OGL. For example, proper names cannot be legally utilized in tools that rely on the OGL, such as deities, the names of various spells, assorted magic items, etc.

3. Through the license, Lone Wolf gains early access to new supplements, allowing the content to be incorporated into Hero Lab and submitted to Paizo for review prior to the release of the supplement. This should allow Hero Lab to provide support for future supplements concurrent with the release of the supplement (or very close to it).

There may be more that Hyrum can cite, such as any details pertaining to PFS play that may exist.


Thod wrote:

lonewolf-rob

What is the progress for a Mac version?

I know something like this takes time. What I feel is wrong is that whenever I google HeroLab and Mac to get an update the most prominent answer is - there won't be a Mac version (you own webpages !!). This is a several year old statement.

Doh! We need to get that updated on the website, don't we?

Work on the native Mac version is ongoing. Early last month, the first major milestone (out of four) was completed successfully towards getting the Mac version operational. This next milestone (#2) is the most complex, but everything seems to be ontrack at this point. We're not making progress as quickly as we wanted, but we're definitely making steady headway. Our best estimate at this point is that we'll have something into Beta testing in the first couple months of next year.

Feel free to bug me again for an update late next month. Hopefully, we'll be nearing completion of milestone #2 at that point and I'll have good news to report. :-)


Zaister wrote:
What does this mean? What is the difference in using the official software or using an unofficial one when playing society? Your statement sounds as if people aren't allowed to manage their PFS characters with any other kind of software. It would be a sad day, if Paizo ever decided to go a way like that.

You're free to use whatever software you want. However, out goal is to get Hero Lab stations set up at our larger events and we'll be using it to run and track events as well.

Hyrum.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I paid for and use Hero lab and for me it was worth every penny. I also paid for several addons which include Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Ed, PF Bestiary and PF APG.

I like the interface and find it fairly easy to use. I also have no issue with the DRM / activation software as I actually paid for my copy and it's legit. I've moved from any different machines due to crashes, moving the software to virtual stations (I'm on a mac so I have it running on Parallels via Windows XP on my MacBook Pro and Windows 7 on my MacPro) whatever.

I've played with PCGen and found it fine (I actually just downloaded the latest rev to look at again) but a little clunky in terms of user interface for my tastes. I notice though it's the same people who pop up in these threads to basically attack HeroLab so I thought that I should show up to lend my support to a product that I like and pretty much wholeheartedly support.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

@lonewolf-rob :

Just to say that I'm a new (since september) and very happy customer of PF Herolab (PF+Bestiary+APG). I'm still learning the fine points but it's really easy to use and powerful.

As a player, I was able to convert my 3.5 lvl 11 duskblade in our PF upgraded Savage Tide campaign into a Magus 11 for a playtest only a few days after said playtest was released on the Paizo site. My DM has also bought Herolab so we were able to exchange the files and validate the conversion online.

As a DM and a Bestiary license owner, I'm no longer spending hours to build custom stat blocks. It took me 15 minutes to get a printed statblock for my low level boss, a half-orc Druid 2 skeletal champion. I wish I had it at the end of my Shackled City campaign, when monsters and high level NPC took hours to convert into the new (at the time) statblock format.

I know the other players in our both campaign found Herolab really interesting (they're all players and DM) so watch for new customers from France very soon ;)

Bran.

Osirion

I'm a "tech" person in real life, but this is all I ever use:

http://www.dreamstime.com/legal-pad-and-pencil-image3620015

Old school.


lonewolf-rob wrote:
Thod wrote:

lonewolf-rob

What is the progress for a Mac version?

I know something like this takes time. What I feel is wrong is that whenever I google HeroLab and Mac to get an update the most prominent answer is - there won't be a Mac version (you own webpages !!). This is a several year old statement.

Doh! We need to get that updated on the website, don't we?

Work on the native Mac version is ongoing. Early last month, the first major milestone (out of four) was completed successfully towards getting the Mac version operational. This next milestone (#2) is the most complex, but everything seems to be ontrack at this point. We're not making progress as quickly as we wanted, but we're definitely making steady headway. Our best estimate at this point is that we'll have something into Beta testing in the first couple months of next year.

Feel free to bug me again for an update late next month. Hopefully, we'll be nearing completion of milestone #2 at that point and I'll have good news to report. :-)

I will not only buy myself a copy of Herolab, I will buy a copy for EVERY MEMBER OF MY GROUP, when (not IF) you get the Mac version of Herolab out. I am deadly serious.

I have two groups of players - 16 people in all - and not a one of them uses Windows on their laptops. It's Apples all the way down, man. We'd love to use your product. The sooner you're set to take our money, the better. :D

That being said, I'm not sure what the technical hurdles are you're facing, but I would imagine that they're a lot smaller in the past several years, since the Mac went to x86 and OS X...


Just to clarify, it looks to me like HeroLab is a quality product. And personally I don't have a problem with the price. It's merely the SA part.

I do wish that part of the SA mindset from the provider's side was "if we ever go out of business, we promise to release a patch that would remove the SA part of our products so you can keep using them". I do use SA product in cases where I have no choice - for business reasons, I need to use Windows, for example. Ditto for Adobe products.

I do appreciate LoneWolf showing up here and interacting. It's made me think a little bit more.


raindog308 wrote:
The Only Sheet: aka TOS+. $10 (which is fine - I don't mind paying for what I want). Excel-based. Didn't play with the demo yet but I will.

Please keep in mind that the DEMO is quite limited (the whole staking rules system was removed to reduce Software Piracy). TOS+ is most likely the product that contains the most Integration and can be used either for Printouts and Dynamic Play (The Dynamic Play Video section can show you what Dynamic Play is all about if you are a Laptop user)

If you have any questions, you can post them on the friendly community forum for The Sheet.

Happy Gaming!

admin
http://TheOnlySheet.com

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
raindog308 wrote:


Heroforge: I may be missing something, but I only saw 3.5 support.

There is a separate trunk and code base for D+D 4th Edition, but the coders only work on what they themselves personally play and none of them play Pathfinder.

Andoran

If people are against DRM and are willing to bypass Hero Forge because of it, why are people accepting Excel based spreadsheets? Microsoft is one of the worst companies in the world when it comes to overpriced software with draconian DRM as part of it.

I really wish someone would produce one of those Spreadsheet based sheets through OpenOffice instead. Perhaps it's something I ought to try, but there's that first step of learning OpenOffice macros or basic.

As a side note, PCGen works great for me. I trust a third party generator far more than a first party .. especially when the first party updates their online content to reflect rules changes that you don't know (D&D Essentials, I'm looking at you).

*goes off to start reading about OpenOffice scripting options*

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
raindog308 wrote:
I do wish that part of the SA mindset from the provider's side was "if we ever go out of business, we promise to release a patch that would remove the SA part of our products so you can keep using them".

I believe that as part of Lone Wolf getting the Paizo licensing deal, they had to agree to something similar to what you mention above. I can't find the specific post, but I think either Colen or Rob from LW mentioned this previously.


Gulo wrote:
If people are against DRM and are willing to bypass Hero Forge because of it, why are people accepting Excel based spreadsheets? Microsoft is one of the worst companies in the world when it comes to overpriced software with draconian DRM as part of it.

You mean Hero Lab. Hero Forge is a different product.

Because Hero Lab isn't a major operating system and software suite required to access many documents and files used as standard by a majority of major worldwide corporations and academic institutions, where many users are essentially required to own it to do day to day things and get their jobs and other work done. Since they already have the software and have learned to use it, they may as well use it. Sure, you could tell those people to quit their jobs and their schools to find a better OS and software, but I can't say that would necessarily be useful advice.

This is NOT a defense of Microsoft, but you're kind of comparing an orange to the Great Pumpkin. People CAN easily choose not to use a luxury product (which is what HeroLab is).

Sure, if you are able to run on another OS and use OpenOffice, more power to you. I doubt anyone here is morally against those things and would like to support them when they can. If I could easily get through my work and life without using anything by Microsoft I would, believe me.

I can't remember where, but I have seen an OpenOffice character sheet... maybe if you look around you'll find it.

Quote:


I really wish someone would produce one of those Spreadsheet based sheets through OpenOffice instead. Perhaps it's something I ought to try, but there's that first step of learning OpenOffice macros or basic.

And if you're not willing to bother, why should anyone else in your shoes? You want to see it happen, make it happen.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group is usually stingy with cash. I bought hero lab and all add ons. I made my players create their characters in hero lab as I wanted a copy of their characters to verify against. By the time they were done using two took out their laptops and bought herolab...and a 3rd wants it for his birthday.

Good product. Wish it were cheaper...but its pretty good and I'll pay for quality

Cheliax

Hero Lab is the best $40 I've spent, such good quality characters, makes my life easy. But as a full disclaimer, I would probably pirate it if they didn't have the good copy protection. And I think most others would too.

It's expensive, but they were so careful to make every aspect of Pathfinder work, and make NPC generation easy. I've used the Excel-based to some success, but like a few others I'm now an Open-office devotee, so don't have Excel macros to draw upon.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really don't like the idea of the DRM and price of Hero Labs but I found myself in the position where I felt I needed to buy it. I regularly GM and multiple players started using the tool. I didn't feel comfortable with its use without knowing exactly what I was getting into by allowing people to trust it to do everything right. Add to that the ability to track your character in-play without a sheet and it was just one of those things you just need to bite the bullet and do as a GM.

That being said, other than a bunch of really irritating bugs, it's as accurate as any other automated system and the interface is fairly easy to use. I'm not the massive fan a lot of others seem to be (I found Excel spreadhseets to be more flexible and in some ways easier to use) but I find it an acceptable product to use.

One thing though. The output is horrid. Not just bad, but downright disgustingly awful. Weapons should not be found on both page one and two. It shouldn't be a buried option to include the long descriptions for abilities. I'm not blind, my sheet doesn't need to be in a 14 point font. I literally could go on for hours here. Hero Labs could learn a lot from people who make simple, easy-to-use, and nice-looking PDF sheets and interject a little of that design aesthetic into their tool. Really, if this sounds only a little vitriolic, I'm still not getting across how much I hate Hero Labs printable character sheets. They really need to beef up that section of the program.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Customized charsheets is something I would kill for in HeroLab. Seriously, the default output is fugly.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MisterSlanky wrote:
That being said, other than a bunch of really irritating bugs, it's as accurate as any other automated system and the interface is fairly easy to use.

I'm looking at purchasing Hero Labs, could you go into a little more detail on these bugs?

Andoran

Gorbacz wrote:
Customized charsheets is something I would kill for in HeroLab. Seriously, the default output is fugly.

Definitely. I got the APG as an unexpected gift, and the money I was going to spend on it went to HeroLab instead. I really like this program, and it's cut the time for making PCs in half or less, but I'm really looking forward to new options for the character sheet output.

For GM use though, the stat block output option is nice, and the PDF export option let's me drop a sheet into DropBox and view it on my iPod Touch.


I really do hope the guys at Paizo decide to make an app or have one made for phones like the BB because I don't own a computer at the moment so all of my "computer" time is on my BB. Makes me sad I try to do all my sheets on here just don't look very good and simple mistakes get missed.


lonewolf-rob wrote:
3. Users receive a FREE secondary license to run Hero Lab on a second computer. So there's no "pain" in running the product on a desktop and a laptop.

Hehe, if only I'd known that before purchasing a license for my laptop...:D

Oh well, guess that'll teach me to be thorough when reading about the software!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
havoc xiii wrote:
I really do hope the guys at Paizo decide to make an app or have one made for phones like the BB because I don't own a computer at the moment so all of my "computer" time is on my BB. Makes me sad I try to do all my sheets on here just don't look very good and simple mistakes get missed.

Paizo has already stated that they were working on a mobile app in the past; however, being an Apple-based shop, they're working on an iPhone app, not a BB, Android, or Winmo app.


MisterSlanky wrote:
havoc xiii wrote:
I really do hope the guys at Paizo decide to make an app or have one made for phones like the BB because I don't own a computer at the moment so all of my "computer" time is on my BB. Makes me sad I try to do all my sheets on here just don't look very good and simple mistakes get missed.
Paizo has already stated that they were working on a mobile app in the past; however, being an Apple-based shop, they're working on an iPhone app, not a BB, Android, or Winmo app.

Thus my sadness remains.

Cheliax

Hyrum Savage wrote:
Like Rob mentioned, Hero Lab is currently the only official character management software for both Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society.

I need something MAC compatible.

Qadira

Pathfinder Maps, Tales Subscriber

Hero Lab impressed me enough to fork over the cash and purchase it.

As to the DRM issue - seriously everyone - it's 2010 - get over it.

We no longer exist in the days of physical media being the only medium available. The people who work hard to come up with the products you want to use - and note the word "use" - I did not say "own" - deserve to get paid. If they were doing it for fun, they wouldn't charge you for it, and hence wouldn't protect it.

It isn't as though most people/companies that employ DRM in their products are ripping people off; they are merely securing a paycheck to purchase food for their families and entertainment if there is anything left over. You don't work for free, so why should they?

As a society, we no longer pay for as many products as we do services and agreements. When you buy insurance, do you think you are paying for the paper your policy is printed on? When you put money in the bank, is the agreement that they hold onto the specific notes that you are giving them?

I find that the people who complain about DRM are people that had to pay for something instead of getting it for free... People only complain about the cops stopping them for speeding when it is them getting pulled over - not when it is the guy ripping around in a residential area where your kids are playing...

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