Pathfinder 2.0 Virtual Character Creation and "Keep" - An Idea


Paizo General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Greetings!
Now, this is closely related to questions about Pathfinder expanding its market and making itself more accessible to new audiences, but I think it deserves a separate thread.

The basic notion is simple. I think Pathfinder would greatly profit from an official virtual character builder, but perhaps on a bit more ambitious scale than what is seen so far. And Pathfinder 2.0 would be the perfect time to launch something like that. Perhaps not right away, but during the first year or two, as 2.0 finds its legs and hopefully becomes even more popular than 1.0.

This could go far above D&D Beyond, for example, especially when it comes to visual representation. It would even go beyond WoW Armory. The concept I'm proposing also sounds very Kickstarterable, if you ask me, but feel free to correct me if you think there would be no interest in something like that. With growing popularity of D&D and related systems, I think the timing is ideal. And the very nature of Pathfinder lends itself organically to something like that.

Like... what exactly?
Now, a bit more elaborate idea is this - the Pathfinder is all about having all the stats easily accessible, anywhere you are. This app / site would be a place where the Pathfinder players could create their characters, with full range of stats and skills and feats and everything else already programmed in the app. All the choices and options in drop down menus. And GMs would have all the info readily available as well. It would look like a keep, with very nice UI and slots for everything your character has. Sort of like what happens when you press "Character" and "Inventory" in any fantasy RPG on your computer. :)

You would have a visual representation of your characters, and if you hover over their helmet - for example - a box would appear that would tell both you and the GM and all the other players who are looking at the mobile phone / tablet at the moment, exactly what kind of helmet your character has. The same would go for weapons, equipment, potions and the like. It would be your virtual character sheet, in essence, but there would still be an option to print it out as a regular character sheet.

There would be no intricate animations, the whole thing could be like a glorified character sheet, - or it could be much more in-depth - but in any case, it would look amazing, it would be incredibly accessible and transparent and would be very easy to update.

Playing itself would be much more fluid, no more - Oh, you had that necklace? Ah, no, then you're not actually dead. - the GMs could see the virtual sheets of players before the session, and if it isn't in the sheet, your character doesn't have it. The GM could even have all the players' sheets open during the session, and they would, of course, have them as well, so everything could be double-checked in an instant.

With much fuss and preparation, I suppose something like that could be done even now, with PC Gen or other unofficial programs, but I'm talking about an official push, an official Paizo approved app that would be regularly updated, with content extensions as new things come out and nice visuals. That way, you wouldn't even be able to equip irregular stuff, just pre-approved equipment. Can you imagine how accessible the boons would be? Or names of sessions you played through? Your animal companions and everything they carry?

You could truly showcase your character to the world that way. It would be a breeze to update as you level up, with no room for mistakes, since the app would calculate everything for you, sort of like progress in a video game. Something like that would be a true marriage of pencil and paper and new technologies and I think it would appeal to new audiences who want everything right now, easy, approachable, user-friendly.

There's no end to the heights this could go to if the initial idea finds purchase amongst the players - for example, visual packs could be added so that you can actually SEE that cool new mace you bought, not just see stats change in the tool tip box, but those are bells and whistles for another day. I don't want to bore you with the details even further, so I think I'll stop here. :) Besides, perhaps something like this is already in the works - or perhaps even exists and I just haven't heard about it. :)

Just in case it isn't, and it doesn't, what do you guys think about it?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Are you aware of Hero Lab Classic and Hero Lab Online? Both are by Lone Wolf Development. I believe they are officially approved by Paizo and LWD currently provides the Character Creation Station for PaizoCon and GenCon for Paizo.

HLC supports PF1, HLO supports Starfinder and Playtest/PF2E.

Classic has the GM tools that allow them to have a copy of the players' characters to include in the encounter builder with the opponents/monsters when running an encounter.

HLO has the GM tools under construction with an announcement expected at PaizoCon and hopefully a release by GenCon. They also plan to some form of real-time sharing between characters if desired.

While not everything you are looking for is currently supported, much of it is. I enjoy using these tools and the ease of real-time adjustments during the game.

Silver Crusade

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numbat1 wrote:

Are you aware of Hero Lab Classic and Hero Lab Online? Both are by Lone Wolf Development. I believe they are officially approved by Paizo and LWD currently provides the Character Creation Station for PaizoCon and GenCon for Paizo.

HLC supports PF1, HLO supports Starfinder and Playtest/PF2E.

Classic has the GM tools that allow them to have a copy of the players' characters to include in the encounter builder with the opponents/monsters when running an encounter.

HLO has the GM tools under construction with an announcement expected at PaizoCon and hopefully a release by GenCon. They also plan to some form of real-time sharing between characters if desired.

While not everything you are looking for is currently supported, much of it is. I enjoy using these tools and the ease of real-time adjustments during the game.

Thanks for the info!

I've heard about it, but kind of suppressed that information, because I was told that it was quite expensive. :) Now I've tried the free demo, and yeah, it looks much too close to what I had in mind for my idea to ever see the light of day, I'm afraid. Or rather, I think that Pathfinder would have to be considerably more popular than it already is for something as ambitious as my suggestion to actually get off the ground.

Ah well. One can dream! Perhaps one day the circumstances will allow for something akin to the "Pathfinder Keep" to exist. In the meantime, I think I'll create my Playtest character via Hero Lab Online. :)

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