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Help a frustrated Pathfinder newbie, please


Advice

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I bought Hero Lab awhile ago, and I have to say I was more excited about it before I actually got it. Before I go on, let me explain that I'm probably not a typical user of Hero Lab. I make probably 3 characters a day. I'll read the forum and get an idea and want to see how it plays out or just get an idea and wonder how the feats will work together, whatever, I make a lot of characters. If you only have your favorite character that you level up, and then make the occasional character for different pick up groups, you might not have the issues that I do.

I have found a lot of errors in Hero Lab. So much so, that I don't trust it to make a PFS on its own. I use another program (The Only Sheet, which I love, but has issues all its own), and if they disagree I do the math out myself. Don't believe the hype that you can just add whatever ability or feat. You have to read everything you add, because sometimes it includes a note at the bottom which tells you that the feat or ability is a marker only, its effect isn't integrated into the sheet.

Then there are things that are just frustrating, the most recent example: Titan Mauler Archetype for Barbarian which reduces (or eliminates) the penalties for wielding weapons not sized for you. By default, you can't do this in Hero Lab. If you add a weapon that isn't sized for you, you get an error meaning you can't integrate it into the sheet. You can't see what would happen if you used two of them with two-weapon fighting. Now there may be a way to fix this. It's flexible enough I'm sure, but the question is: Why should I have to? I paid extra money to make sure the Ultimate Combat was integrated into the sheet so I wouldn't have to muddle with custom making things. To be fair, a lot of the Ultimate books are full in the sheet and work fine, but enough of isn't that it's very frustrating.

The other thing I think is probably a little overstated is the "Large community". I have to admit that I'm not a frequent visitor to their forums, but it doesn't look like too many people are frequent visitors. There is one guy who should absolutely be on their payroll because if he left, I don't know if anything would be done by the community (ShadowChemosh)... Okay that might be a slight exaggeration, but not much of one.

I have only really found 2 custom sheets beside what comes with the program. Your only choices are: The default one, or if you go custom you'll see 6 options, sounds okay right? Until you analyze them: 2 of them are for online games (d20pro and Fantasy Grounds), 1 is just the status box output, and one is a generic XML file. That leaves two real outputs (Armidale's and AcientOne). If anyone has a line on something else, please share.

Bug fixes aren't quick in coming either, still waiting to add the STR damage from Composite Bows to the output, and a Monk's flurry of blows doesn't show in the output either without one of ShadowChemosh's mods (unless you have a Zen Archer, which doesn't work even with the mod). The monk's flurry may not seem like a big deal, but if it doesn't get added to the weapon output, it doesn't integrate everything, like BAB or STR bonuses. All it will tell you is the base BAB for flurry (-1/-1 at first level etc.) meaning you have to do all the math yourself ... so why did I buy character creation software again?

I don't want to sound like a complete downer, the software is neat, it does a lot, it just needs more polish that I think they were hoping to get from the community, but it hasn't happened yet.


I have to throw in my 2 cents and agree with most everyone else here.

1) Hero Labs is awesome, it's a bit of cash to get everything you may want to have all the options available, but it makes life much easier to create and edit characters very easily. It checks for errors and they update it frequently - so it's well supported.

2) http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ is one of your greatest friends for looking up rules. Make a bookmark to it on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet and you are good to go to look up anything you need.

3) I understand what you mean about the math especially as you level up and there are more attacks to keep track of. To that, I'm pretty good with Excel and did my own spreadsheet so that I can calculate automatically what my added damage and attack bonuses are for each scenario.

51 to 52 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
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