Who needs a FAQ or Rulebook? Just ask / use Herolab!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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And no, this isn't some "praise" or "tip of the hat" that people might think this is (as much as I would like it to be), this is an expression of passive-aggressive outrage to the fact that Paizo themselves are using third-party associates to create rules answers/revisions, all without having to go through their own system of FAQ/Errata. I mean, what's the point of possessing a Rulebook, or looking up the FAQ page, when I can just use a single program which does all of that for me without wasting hours of my time trying to find a specific rule I'm looking for?

Sure, I understand that Herolab is a program designed to speed up the process of creating/leveling characters, but when Herolab is receiving official answers that should be open to everyone, NOT just owners of the Herolab program? Yeah, there's a major problem here.

Seriously, I do question the authenticity and requirement of the FAQ/Errata system when Herolab has more accurate and responsive answers than anything the boards or FAQ section have to offer. Hell, they also have the PFS rules hardwired into its configurations. Who needs a document that lists all of the things PFS allows or disallows when I can just use a program that tells me whether so-and-so is legal? I mean, why should I use any other source for rules or character creation, for fear of it being inaccurate or disallowed?

Because if it comes to the point that I have to use third-party associates to make sure that I'm legally playing a first-party game, then I question why they're even separate parties to begin with? If this keeps up (Herolab being used to acquire official answers from Paizo themselves instead of going through the FAQ/Errata system Paizo themselves implemented like everybody else has to), then Paizo should just as well purchase the rights and ownership of Herolab from them, because Herolab is becoming too much of a fundamental and required asset to the game.

At one point, I fear that I will no longer be able to play this game without the use of Herolab, to which point I might as well should just buy Herolab and ditch every single Paizo book that I possess, because there's no reason to use an outdated and inaccurate book when a program that Paizo gives more attention to than their own FAQ system does everything that they do, except better.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Herolab doesn't get everything right, and there's no way as a user of the program to determine if how they do something is due to a clarification from paizo or because they just read things the wrong way. And as for clarifications from paizo, those may not be 'official' insofar as it is the collective response of the PDT versus whatever developer fielding the question on their own (so the response would have as much weight as a developer response on the forum, e.g. it's probably solid but it is not official).

Also, "Hell, they also have the PFS rules hardwired into its configurations. Who needs a document that lists all of the things PFS allows or disallows when I can just use a program that tells me whether so-and-so is legal? I mean, why should I use any other source for rules or character creation, for fear of it being inaccurate or disallowed?"

You answered that bit earlier on with "Sure, I understand that Herolab is a program designed to speed up the process of creating/leveling characters" -- that's the entire point why the program exists, to speed things up and collect all that information so you don't have to. The remainder of your post raises a valid point (like I wish whenever Lone Wolf asks for something they'd just release an FAQ on that topic with whatever the reply was, because if they're asking about something chances are a whole bunch of people on the forums already have too), but mixing in a jab at why herolab exists is not conducive to arguing your main point and just serves to make your argument as a whole look like a petulant rant against the program.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You're complaining that a licensee is working closely with their licensor so the licensee can provide something that supports the licensor's main product?

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

I'm curious to know where this information that "HeroLab is getting official FAQ updates while the rest of us aren't" is coming from.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
I'm curious to know where this information that "HeroLab is getting official FAQ updates while the rest of us aren't" is coming from.

See here for a recent example. Note that there is no indication that these are "official" responses, just that paizo is responding to Lone Wolf's questions about the game.


It's coming from the recent post that Invulnerable rager can't benefit from the improved DR rage power and the fairly recent post that Gauntlets are unarmed attacks and benefit from AoMF and can't be enhanced on their own.
These posts are showing that they put in a bug request and got shown the email from Paizo saying how it works. The one about gauntlets we were confirmed that it was real and that Mark replied after talking to Jason. So either they are off the cuff answers that herolab shouldn't trust, or they are "official". Since it seems like they are "official" then they should just be published to the forums by an official FAQ. If they are off the cuff answers that shouldn't be given any weight then herolab shouldn't rely on them.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, if you say yo do not need rule books any longer, only HeroLab. How do you know how combat works, how a combat round works, what actions are, how combat maneuvers work? How magic works, how schools interact? How to craft magic items?

This is just silly.


Zaister wrote:

So, if you say yo do not need rule books any longer, only HeroLab. How do you know how combat works, how a combat round works, what actions are, how combat maneuvers work? How magic works, how schools interact? How to craft magic items?

This is just silly.

I have access to the 3.5 SRD


this is not the 1st time that had happen. It happen with Courageous property for magic weapons. someone asked hero labs why it was not working on barb rage. They replied with a answer SKR gave them when he was a Dev. it started the whole debate about the weapon property, which lead to the FAQ months later, then it revision in the recent errata.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hero Lab is a great tool, but it's just that, a tool. On top of that, it's really only a tool for building characters and encounters. As Zaister notes, it doesn't help with any of the other rules.

They also get things wrong, and it's often interpretation issues. I've had a couple bugs corrected, and others are still in the pipeline. I would expect that a product that is licensing Paizo's rules system would have their ear, since Paizo is paid to provide it.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KainPen wrote:
They replied with a answer SKR gave them when he was a Dev. it started the whole debate about the weapon property, which lead to the FAQ months later, then it revision in the recent errata.

That tells me the process is working as it should. HL as a licensee needs to know how rules work, after some back and forth, Paizo provides an update to the licensee, then issues the correction for the rest of the public.


skizzerz wrote:

Herolab doesn't get everything right, and there's no way as a user of the program to determine if how they do something is due to a clarification from paizo or because they just read things the wrong way. And as for clarifications from paizo, those may not be 'official' insofar as it is the collective response of the PDT versus whatever developer fielding the question on their own (so the response would have as much weight as a developer response on the forum, e.g. it's probably solid but it is not official).

Also, "Hell, they also have the PFS rules hardwired into its configurations. Who needs a document that lists all of the things PFS allows or disallows when I can just use a program that tells me whether so-and-so is legal? I mean, why should I use any other source for rules or character creation, for fear of it being inaccurate or disallowed?"

You answered that bit earlier on with "Sure, I understand that Herolab is a program designed to speed up the process of creating/leveling characters" -- that's the entire point why the program exists, to speed things up and collect all that information so you don't have to. The remainder of your post raises a valid point (like I wish whenever Lone Wolf asks for something they'd just release an FAQ on that topic with whatever the reply was, because if they're asking about something chances are a whole bunch of people on the forums already have too), but mixing in a jab at why herolab exists is not conducive to arguing your main point and just serves to make your argument as a whole look like a petulant rant against the program.

If by "they don't get everything right," you mean "they ask questions which Paizo gives them an answer to that is a different conclusion than what was drawn," then yes, I'd agree. A lot of people would tell you that's not the same definition, however.

Which is fine, in most cases. But that's not all the program is doing at this point. When it's being used as a means to receive a FAQ/Errata-like answer without going to the FAQ/Errata system that Paizo has developed? Yeah, that's something much more than just "a program designed to speed up the process of creating/leveling character." It's being used as a means to clarify/rewrite rules, and that's clearly not something that applies to what I used to originally describe Herolab.

To clarify, THAT'S what I have a problem with. If Herolab adhered to what its original design purpose was (to simply be a program that allowed you to create/level up characters in a quick and efficient manner), this thread wouldn't even exist, and I'd probably have more respect for it. But the fact that it's been used previously to clarify/rewrite rules answers, when a system is already in place, defeats the entire purpose of having that existing system (which is, of course, the FAQ/Errata system that Paizo uses, or I presume they use).

@ Zaister: If rules answers and character options are being clarified/rewritten through Herolab, and those rules answers and character options are being applied to options available to Herolab, which makes them more official and by-the-rules than anything Paizo has currently published, I imagine it's not difficult to code the rules of combat, action economy, combat maneuvers, magic, etc. into the Herolab system either. It'd make the application much larger in size, but quite frankly, since Paizo is supporting them with actual rules answers that differ from what they've published, not only would that be possible, but it'd also be more rules-accurate too.


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Yeah. The fact is that if you don't follow Herolab or read the one specific thread on the paizo fourms, in the off-topic section no less!, where it was discussed you'd have no idea gauntlets are the only manufactured weapon in the entire game that can't be enchanted or made masterwork.

And that seems like a problem.


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If by "they don't get everything right," you mean "they ask questions which Paizo gives them an answer to that is a different conclusion than what was drawn," then yes, I'd agree. A lot of people would tell you that's not the same definition, however.

I mean exactly what I said: they don't get everything right. They read the rules and draw incorrect conclusions all by themselves without any input from paizo.

Furthermore, nowhere has it been stated that they receive "FAQ-like or errata answers" or that they are "rewriting the rules." In fact, the answer from the Invulnerable rager indicates that the status quo is exactly the opposite -- they get clarification on how the rules as written actually work without modifications, and get told that in order for things to work as they were intended to work that an actual FAQ or errata would need to be issued. No rules are being rewritten here.


yeah seems fine to me, as long as question gets answers.

I personally can't stand hero labs, I find their character sheets leave off a ton of necessary information and I find the lay out jumbled and inconsistent. Maybe it has been fixed by now but a year ago it was a mess. I had a guy come in to our group that made a oracle, he sent me his character sheet so I could input into d20pro VTT. and I had no clue what his mystery or curse was. it listed the revelations in several different spots and immunities but not where they were from. It was also letting him pick revelations that were not part of the mystery.

It also make it hard to make a character with house rules changes. without turning off the check system. which then leads to more mistakes on the character. I mean if I am going to have to look over a character sheet, and double check it, it may as well just be on a normal character sheet and written in by hand.

I can see why people get upset with it the process. Why not post the answer as soon as you give it or with in few days of it. Why does the answer have to come 6 months to a year down the line. letting the players debate and argue about it that whole time when you had an answer already. I think the OP has a point in asking hero labs is actual a better way of getting answer for stuff that effect character generation item functions ect., obviously the way things action economy, charging rules ect. must be handled and answered out side of hero labs.


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Yes they are, because by the rules they should work together. Same with courageous and gauntlets. Nothing to very little in the rules indicate that they work they way paizo is telling Herolab to run it.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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To add to this,

Herolab sends us questions on a regular basis. The nature of their program is such that they come up with a wide variety of issues, some of which are back-end and totally invisible to many groups. Others have more wide ranging implications. Up to this point, we've been relatively low-key when it comes to posting official FAQs on some of these issues because of the effort it takes and the "corner case" nature of some of these rulings. We instead rely on our FAQ system to tell us what needs our attention. It is starting to seem like we might need to scan Herolab's questions a bit more to ensure that any larger issues also make their way to the general FAQ.

As for the specifics of this issue (gauntlets and such), I will review these with the team next week and we will address this further then.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Inc.

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