Now Available—Rise of the Runelords for Hero Lab!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Well met, adventurers! I travel here from the far-off lands of Hero Lab, bringing good tidings for GMs and players alike. Sit by the fire and heed my tales, and you shall discover how Hero Lab makes it easier to run your games!

As a GM who's been running Pathfinder and its forebears for almost 20 years, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas and stories to share with my players. Luckily, Paizo has the answer -Pathfinder's Adventure Paths have become indispensable tools for GMs like me, with nearly 100 pages of story, background information, and combat encounters released every month. We already include player content from each Adventure Path for free, and we're excited to announce that we're now bringing the encounters to Hero Lab!

The first Adventure Path up for release is the classic Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition. This new add-on package for Hero Lab gives you everything you need to run the combat encounters from Rise of the Runelords, including full details for every NPC and monster—even those referenced from other sourcebooks.

That means if a monster comes from the Bestiary, or an NPC uses a class from Ultimate Combat or gear from Ultimate Equipment, no problem! Hero Lab provides all the information you need to run the encounters, all included in this one convenient package. No more worrying about whether you have the right books or Hero Lab packages, or looking up statblocks during the game—this new package provides everything you need for use in all the Rise of the Runelords encounters. Every encounter and NPC is available to view, print, or use within Hero Lab's integrated Tactical Console.

And there's more! Are your players over- or under-levelled, or has an extra player unexpectedly dropped in to your game? Hero Lab has you covered - not only are all the Adventure Path encounters pre-built and ready to use, you can customize them to your heart's content by bumping up (or down) each adversary's challenge rating in seconds. With just a few clicks, you can add and remove templates, class levels, or even entire groups of enemies with our built-in Encounter Builder. Hero Lab automatically recalculates all the NPC and monster stats based on your changes, and the encounter is ready for use in seconds.

GMs (and players!), don't delay—Rise of the Runelords released for Hero Lab this week, so order your copy today! We're also planning to release a second Adventure Path in May—so GMs, keep an eye on our news page for more details, and players, tell your GMs to be on the lookout!

Not a Hero Lab user yet? Now's a great time to try Hero Lab for free, on Windows, Mac, and even the iPad!

Happy adventuring, and don't let those Runelords get you down!

Colen McAlister
Lead Developer
Lone Wolf Development

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Licensed Products Pathfinder Adventure Path Rise of the Runelords

Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

Liberty's Edge

Berselius wrote:
Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

You also had to pay for WotC's D&D Insider Tools. It's never really been free.

This comes a year too late for me to take advantage of. It's really only of use for people with the basic HeroLabs licence, as there are lots of fan files that have already done this.
But theoretically handy.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

There is no possible way to have a character builder with the level of functionality of Hero Lab, with nearly day-of-release support and reasonably expect it to be free. Entering the content alone (without updates to the actual software for big changes, performance updates, etc) would easily be a full time job for at least one person (maybe two). Lone Wolf uses contractors and splits the work, so they don't need to have dedicated staff, but still, there is a lot of labor involved and that labor deserves compensation (Full disclosure: I used to be one of those contractors).

Back in the 3.x days, there were a handful of folks who worked on the "HeroForge" spreadsheet for Excel and did it for free as a labor of love. They tried to incorporate most of the WotC material into the spreadsheet (focusing on stuff that was usable in Living Greyhawk), but it was at their own pace and it could be months before a new book was incorporated into the sheet. In addition, it had only a small fraction of the functionality; it didn't automatically apply spell or magic item effects and at least early on you could only use the spreadsheet on Windows PCs (as it required VisualScript functionalities that weren't available on Mac OS). I used it and honestly loved it, but at the same time, it was the best horse in the race and if there had been a program that did everything that HeroForge did and more, I would have happily paid for it (there were other paid programs available, but they offered even less functionality than that spreadsheet did).

Sorry for the rant, but the whole "give me free stuff" thing is a pet-peeve of mine.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

I agree with everything Robert Little said above.

"Free" basically requires that people volunteer to do it. There are already free character generators out there if you look for them. But there are reasons why Hero Lab has a lot of customers, and those are its functionality and that it is always kept current.

Bemoan the lack of a free, Hero Lab-quality character generator, sure. But what you're asking for simply isn't going to happen.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

Try PCGen? It's free and open source. A year ago or so, it was snail paced when I loaded in a bunch of resources for PFS, but they have made some updates since then, so I may have to try it again.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Sigh, yet even more Paizo Publishing promotion for what is, in a nutshell, just another version of Wizards of the Coast's "D&D Tools" (aka a stat block generator we have to pay for). One day we'll get a free stat block generator I guess...one day...one sweet sweet day...

I agree with everything Robert Little said above.

"Free" basically requires that people volunteer to do it. There are already free character generators out there if you look for them. But there are reasons why Hero Lab has a lot of customers, and those are its functionality and that it is always kept current.

Bemoan the lack of a free, Hero Lab-quality character generator, sure. But what you're asking for simply isn't going to happen.

I agree. All you guys who want free stuff need to buck up buttercup. All RPGs are done so the designer makes money. Otherwise, they can't employ the talented staff to do the things you want. It's pay for play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm just curious as to whether this is going to expand at all to modules outside the Adventure Path line, especially with the ability to tweak encounters. Might be a good resource for GMs who try to fit modules into Adventure Paths where it might be appropriate -- Carrion Hill into Carrion Crown, for instance.


The fact that you can adjust encounters on the fly has just sold me. After Emerald Spire I am finally going to run Runelords, so this just went on my "must have" list. My group has 6 players and often seems overpowered for most encounters. I usually spend my lunch hour at work beefing up the encounters. This is going to be a fantastic time saver.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
MythicFox wrote:
I'm just curious as to whether this is going to expand at all to modules outside the Adventure Path line, especially with the ability to tweak encounters. Might be a good resource for GMs who try to fit modules into Adventure Paths where it might be appropriate -- Carrion Hill into Carrion Crown, for instance.

Current plans from LW is that they will not doing any Paizo Modules just the APs. But don't you worry because the Community has you covered. The "Pathfinder GM Pack." supports many Paizo Modules.

Once installed you can download the "Encounter Zip Files" from d20pfsrd which go hand in hand with the GM Pack or GM Mythic Pack.

Please note if you are just a "Player" in one of the above modules you can install just the "Pathfinder Basic Pack" to get access to Feats, traits, and magic items from these paizo modules in HL.

Please note the Community AP stuff is going away now that LW supports AP encounters.

Current list of Paizo Modules from the community:

Academy of Secrets
Broken Chains
Carrion Hill
City of Golden Death
Crypt of the Everflame
Cult of the Ebon Destroyer
Curse of the Riven Sky
D0 - Hollow's Last Hope
D1 - Crown of the Kobold King
D1.5 - Revenge of the Kobold King
D2 - Seven Swords of Sin
D3 - The Demon Within
D4 - Hungry are the Dead
Dawn of the Scarlet Sun
E1 - Carnival of Tears
E2 - Blood of Dragonscar
Fangwood Keep
From Shore to Sea
J1 - Entombed with the Pharaohs
J2 - Guardians of Dragonfall
J3 - Crucible of Chaos
J4 - The Pact Stone Pyramid
J5 - Beyond the Vault of Souls
LB1 - Tower of the Last Baron
LB2 - Treasure of the Chimera Cove
Masks of the Living God
Master of the Fallen Fortress
Murders Mark
No Response from Deepmar
Realm of the Fellnight Queen
S1 - Clash of the Kingslayers
TC1 - Into the Haunted Forest
Tears at Bitter Manor
The Emerald Spire Superdungeon (GM Mythic Pack required for some monsters)
The Feast of Ravenmoor
The Godmouth Heresy
The Harrowing
The Midnight Mirror
The Ruby Pheonix Tournament
The Witchwar Legacy
Tomb of the Iron Medusa
U1 - Gallery of Evil
U2 - Hangman's Noose
W1 - Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale
W2 - River into Darkness
W3 - Flight of the Red Raven.
Wardens of the Reborn Forge
We Be Goblins


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
ShadowChemosh wrote:


Please note the Community AP stuff is going away now that LW supports AP encounters.

Is that so?! I find that surprising and kind of bad form by LW. They see a good idea done by the (excellent) HL community, snatch it, and then prohibit the community from further offering it? That seems really greedy.

Also, the official encounter packs do not require any additional sources while for the community packs to work you need the source of each monster/NPC. So I don't even really see them competing with each other! And I'm quite sure that the getting the setup for free but needing the source to properly run it caused a few sells for LW that they otherwise would not have made.

All in all, I think that is a really bad move.

(And ShadowChemosh, thank you for all your awesome work for HL, by the way!)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Do you have evidence for your assumption that LW has prohibited the community from providing AP stuff, other than "it's going away"?

Seems to me that could just as well mean that whoever has been running the community effort has decided to pull the community AP stuff, with no input whatsoever from LW.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:

Do you have evidence for your assumption that LW has prohibited the community from providing AP stuff, other than "it's going away"?

Seems to me that could just as well mean that whoever has been running the community effort has decided to pull the community AP stuff, with no input whatsoever from LW.

In the past, whenever Hero Lab has offered official support for a particular book/line, some community authors have independently pulled their data files. In some cases, it was because the author's of the community files had their work purchased by Lone Wolf and their files became the basis of the official product and as part of that agreement the author's agreed to no longer freely distribute the files.

One thing about LW taking on the AP files is that the community no longer has to support it - they don't have to worry about bug fixes when a new major revision of the Pathfinder files happens; its all on LW now. That can leave the community time to focus on other options like more spell adjustments :)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Robert Little wrote:
One thing about LW taking on the AP files is that the community no longer has to support it - they don't have to worry about bug fixes when a new major revision of the Pathfinder files happens; its all on LW now. That can leave the community time to focus on other options like more spell adjustments :)

This is one of the reasons I am pulling our community AP stuff. It opens up more time that can be focused on Modules and 3PP stuff.

My point of view is that the Community should support areas that LW is not officially doing. Otherwise I am competing against the very software that I am trying to make better. =)

I think these Official AP's work much better than the community ones because they give you access to all the 'one-off' monsters. Many of the AP's pull single monsters from campaign setting books like Book of the Damned. With the new LW AP you get access to that "one" monster from the Book of the Damned. For the community version you would had to have purchased that whole book license. =(

As one of the main community members I fully support LW's new AP stuff and think it will really help out those running an AP. And having all those "bug" reports going to LW instead my email is very nice! ;)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, I did not realize that this was done voluntarily. Sorry if I was a little too harsh on LW, then.

I respect your decision, ShadowChemosh, and see your point, but I have to say, I still don't think that this is such a great development. Sure, with the community files, you had to get all the books to make them work. But for me that meant I built up my library as a side effect!
With the official files, you buy the encounters (for the price of a book or a bundle of smaller books) and then have nothing else but those encounters! I am not sure if I would rate the potential better service quality so high that it justifies that.

But as I said, of course I respect the decision of the authors.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ShadowChemosh wrote:
MythicFox wrote:
I'm just curious as to whether this is going to expand at all to modules outside the Adventure Path line, especially with the ability to tweak encounters. Might be a good resource for GMs who try to fit modules into Adventure Paths where it might be appropriate -- Carrion Hill into Carrion Crown, for instance.

Current plans from LW is that they will not doing any Paizo Modules just the APs. But don't you worry because the Community has you covered. The "Pathfinder GM Pack." supports many Paizo Modules.

Once installed you can download the "Encounter Zip Files" from d20pfsrd which go hand in hand with the GM Pack or GM Mythic Pack.

Please note if you are just a "Player" in one of the above modules you can install just the "Pathfinder Basic Pack" to get access to Feats, traits, and magic items from these paizo modules in HL.

Please note the Community AP stuff is going away now that LW supports AP encounters.

Are you pulling all of the AP material, or just the AP's that LW publishes?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Are you pulling all of the AP material, or just the AP's that LW publishes?

So as LW puts out an official version of the AP the community version will come down.

So for example we have Way of the Wicked which is a 3PP and we have no plans to not support that. I would also like to start adding support for other 3PP AP (like Throne of Night) and for things like the Psionics Bestiary.


Well, now its going to take 20 years till get to iron gods...
And as i live in brazil it will going to cost me around 70 R$ which is a lot of money...
It was good until it lasted, thanks for all the work ShadowChemosh!


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Okay, so the question now is whether this AP stuff is actually available now. I just went and bought the "2015 pack" which supposedly includes the RotRL encounters (unless I read it wrong), but I don't see the encounters in the updates. There's what appears to be a "teaser" update, which I downloaded and which has I think one monster (some kind of goblin swarm, or something, as I recall) but nothing else I can find. I would have thought this would have ended up as an item in the "Encounter Library", where I already have an entry for "we be goblins" or "we be goblins too" one or the other. But there's nothing there.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
Okay, so the question now is whether this AP stuff is actually available now. I just went and bought the "2015 pack" which supposedly includes the RotRL encounters (unless I read it wrong), but I don't see the encounters in the updates. There's what appears to be a "teaser" update, which I downloaded and which has I think one monster (some kind of goblin swarm, or something, as I recall) but nothing else I can find. I would have thought this would have ended up as an item in the "Encounter Library", where I already have an entry for "we be goblins" or "we be goblins too" one or the other. But there's nothing there.

So the 2015 Pack does not include the AP Encounter Library's. Its a separate package to buy for 25 bucks. Once you do a new "download" will show up where you can download the RotRL Encounter Library.

I don't work for LW so feel free to send them emails about such questions actually. Posting here on a blog post of Paizo will most likely mean your question is not seen by LW.

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