HeroLab Online: Quite a (Miserable) Experience


Product Discussion

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pauljathome wrote:
AJCarrington wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Pathbuilder is still incomplete in its implementation of PF2 but it, basically, rocks. I'd suggest people give it a try.
I'd love to, but it appears to be limited to Android devices...???

I think that's true.

No idea how well it would run on an android emulator

Works fine so far. I'm using it from my gaming laptop.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
I had to go to the forums where some NON employee pointed me at a FAQ that had no apparent link to it.

It is linked from the company’s home page under the support menu.


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As someone who owns Hero Lab for PF1 with *every* option - I have 0 plans to use Hero Lab online - I did try it - and I've found Fantasy Grounds does a better job building a character than it does - which says quite a bit as Fantasy Grounds is *not* a character builder.

Just my two cents.

I've also converted 3rd party stuff into Hero Lab classic - so I really invested in that system - it's very frustrating/sad to see it go away.


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I have most of the options in Hero Labs Classic. I have Hero Labs Online and it is barely adequate to generate my PFS2 characters. I will probably never buy any add in for it. Despite all of time it was available for Starfinder, HLO still feels like a beta test product to me.

Silver Crusade

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TomParker wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
I had to go to the forums where some NON employee pointed me at a FAQ that had no apparent link to it.
It is linked from the company’s home page under the support menu.

Fine. I looked for it for at least a couple of minutes and couldn't find it.

Support is NOT where I go to find fundamental pricing information on a product. It really isn't


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Ckorik wrote:

...I've found Fantasy Grounds does a better job building a character than it does - which says quite a bit as Fantasy Grounds is *not* a character builder.

.

I've actually been curious about that. I'm not sure if it is worth it to make characters for printing out for non laptop people.


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Saint Bernard wrote:
I have most of the options in Hero Labs Classic. I have Hero Labs Online and it is barely adequate to generate my PFS2 characters. I will probably never buy any add in for it. Despite all of time it was available for Starfinder, HLO still feels like a beta test product to me.

Alpha to me, beta is a feature complete but still not ready for release product. HLO isn't feature complete.


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redcelt32 wrote:

Hero Lab Classic is a thing of beauty, and you can keep it forever, regardless of whether the company continues in its current form or not.

Herolab Online is slow, clunky, has a recurring charge, requires a constant internet connection to use, and there is no guarantee of service continuance or speed from their servers as the number of users progresses. I am sure this was conceived as a great move to the cloud, etc, but all I see are many many detracting elements and no improvements over Herolab Classic. Even though I understand the reason for the slow rollout of Realmworks, that whole experience did not fill me with confidence regarding large IT projects from Lone Wolf. Moving more functionality and responsibilty to their side to maintain does not fill me with confidence.

YMMV and hopefully time proves my current feelings regarding this app wrong, but right now I am going to let my current account lapse with no plans to renew in the near future.

On the bright side, my table will soon have lots of paper character sheets and no tablets and PCs for players to surf Facebook, IG, or play Civ 6 on during the game LOL...

Don't forget that Herolab Classic will go into demo mode if certain things change on your computer or certain other things happen. All you have to do is reactivate your license but you will not be able to do that if the company goes under. No server to connect to and check your license.


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Bandw2 wrote:

the supposed benefit is they have reduced overhead from developing for linux, windows and mac versions and instead everything is run from a server and displayed via html so they only need 1 version of the software for all devices.

there's really no consumer benefit, and they're unlikely to do an offline model unless they completely abandon the current model as they would gain nothing if they also had an offline system.

The consumer benefit, at least nominally, is the stuff you already named: the same web app now runs on all platforms, instead of needing to adapt the system to multiple platforms as native apps (like how they never released an Android app, probably because the iOS one sucked up all the time effort available to work on mobile stuff). I've worked on phone apps, and even simple ones can eat up a ton of time and duplicated effort if you're trying to keep functionality in sync across multiple platforms, so I'm not at all surprised that they'd want to move away from that.

The problem here isn't really the subscription stuff, IMO, but that whatever server setup they're using has just enough lag in making changes that it just doesn't feel good to use. There are contrasting examples in many online-only shared wiki apps (for example, Notion), which have editing that feels real time enough that you don't notice it, even though it's also live updating for any other users looking at the same page.

If they could fix that, I feel like a lot of other complaints might vanish because it would then feel 'good enough' to make a daily driver despite the other shortcomings of a web app.

Grand Lodge

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Roadie wrote:
The problem here isn't really the subscription stuff

Maybe not for you. I don't care how good their program gets, or how good their servers are. I will 100% never pay them a subscription fee for it.

I will absolutely go and use a program that is not as high a quality, or not as updated, etc. to avoid subscription fee based software.

I use outdated versions of things like CorelDraw, Illustrator, etc. for exactly the same reason.

They can either lose the subscription model or lose my business.


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Slyme wrote:
Roadie wrote:
The problem here isn't really the subscription stuff

Maybe not for you. I don't care how good their program gets, or how good their servers are. I will 100% never pay them a subscription fee for it.

I will absolutely go and use a program that is not as high a quality, or not as updated, etc. to avoid subscription fee based software.

I use outdated versions of things like CorelDraw, Illustrator, etc. for exactly the same reason.

They can either lose the subscription model or lose my business.

Based on current trends of Software as a Service I would hypothesize that it simply isn't going to happen the way you want.

Liberty's Edge

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

Here is my experience so far with Herolabs Online for both Starfinder and Pathfinder 2nd.

Character Generation at home on my home PC is awesome and works really well. It is intuitive and does a great job in walking you through the process.

That is where the awesomeness ends.

It hurts not having the ability to add my own data like I did on Herolabs Classic. It sucks not having custom character sheets.

Here is where it really sucks, using it live during a game on my iPad Pro. (Only used it for Starfinder, have not tried PF2 yet live)

It constantly freezes, reloads, disconnects and is much slower then Herolabs classic on my iPad. I suspect it will work much better on a laptop. I have tested the live version on my PC at home and it works much better and quicker. The little lightning icon it uses in Strafinder to use abilities are hard to select on the iPad because it is so small, and it takes a few times to actually work.

The scrolling you need to do to see your entire character is annoying and I prefer the on page version of Herolabs classic.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One thing that bugs me is that they always have killer features on the horizon, but they never seem to arrive.

Ship building was one of the main reasons I decided to go forward with Starfinder HeroLab and it's still missing with no ETA.

The printout was decent, with some customization options, then it got downgraded to the uselessness it is now. Changes are constantly on the way, but as it is I'm having to manually write up characters like a caveman.

Group licenses are supposed to be on the way, but there's no indication of what they'll actually look like or when they'll arrive.

Every time it lags there's musings about how it'll get better after X event ends, or that they're working on optimizing things, but I'm consistently waiting ages for pages to load and I have no expectation that this'll change to any significant degree.

As a tangent with respect to Software as a Service, not only is it the trend, I think it's a good thing in the long run. In fact, more things *should* be a service. The problem is pairing upfront costs with a service fee and then not allowing use of the software after letting the service lapse.

In industrial software, you buy a package, then pay to maintain, but when you stop maintenance, you can keep using whatever version you left on.

With things like Adobe Creative Suite, you (should) not have to pay any upfront fees, but pay to have access to options as long as you need them.

Online games like MMOs are moving away from the pay upfront then maintain, but even then such a huge amount of server expense makes the maintenance fee reasonable.

If I were coming to HeroLab as a new user with no prior knowledge, I would expect either:

1. All the packages I buy to be usuable forever with the maintenance fee buying me additional functionality like online storage or access to other users.

or

2. Be able to use absolutely all the packages with a reasonable monthly fee, but only with an active account.

If they went with option 1 they should build an offline mode, and I think lots of people would be happy. If they went all in on option 2, you might see a surprising number of people interested in the service. The fact that they're in a weird in-between means they turn off those who want the reliability of 1, as well as those who want the convenience of 2.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AJCarrington wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Pathbuilder is still incomplete in its implementation of PF2 but it, basically, rocks. I'd suggest people give it a try.
I'd love to, but it appears to be limited to Android devices...???

This!

This is one of the primary reasons that an online model is the only real way - in my opinion - that small companies will continue to survive in the software industry; Moving to the SaaS model.

I can use HLO on any of the desktops I have access to without regard to their OS or having to install anything. I can use it on my Surface. I can use it on my flippin' phone.

Is HLO clunky to use? For me it's no more clunkier than HLC. There are some features that I'm waiting for (other than rules systems) before it's a complete HLC replacement for me. But for character creation/management it's currently working pretty smoothly for me and I use it regularly for my Starfinder and PF2 games.

I'm not crazy about the idea that SaaS is the trend that will push out most of the old application pricing models, but I do understand it.

Yes, LWD charges for the software and then charges for the rules packs. Everyone seems to ignore the fact that LWD doesn't own the content in the rules packs. They have to license it from the content creators (Paizo, FASA, etc.). And the content creators have a lot of clout when it comes to the control of the license. As an example, 5e (other than the SRD) still isn't available even in HLC.

In the end everyone gets to decide for themselves if the model works for them. For me, I will happily pay $24.00 a year to be able to use HL freely on any device with a net connection.

If that doesn't work for you then feel free to use a pencil and paper, spreadsheet, Pathbuilder or any other application.

Use what works for you.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i'm using that android app on my PC thanks to an emulator, so i don't think that that is much of an issue.

I don't really care about SaaS i just don't like it being through a browser i want an actual software package using my CPU not their server to run.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:

i'm using that android app on my PC thanks to an emulator, so i don't think that that is much of an issue.

I don't really care about SaaS i just don't like it being through a browser i want an actual software package using my CPU not their server to run.

I totally understand that. I've been in IT (and software development) for a number of decades now and from a user perspective, I much prefer a simple run-time on my machine.

From a developer perspective, though, I completely understand why they've gone web-based. In fact, just this last year, we (the company I work for) just finished the final transition from an in-house developed application (in C++) that we've used for years to a web-based replacement (still in-house).

From a development and system-support standpoint, there's no contest - I'll back web-based any day. Particularly for a company with only a few developers, I totally get where LWD's shift comes from.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I get all the reasons people don't want a SaaS approach. For me, it's not a deal-breaker.

I don't like the combination of SaaS and iterative data package costs. For me, it's not a deal-breaker.

The biggest problem is that it sucks. It's an okay idea executed terribly.

- It's slow (but hey, it's also usable on my tablet, where it's also slow).
- I often have to make selections multiple times because the first one gives an error, but often the error is bogus because the selection went through so repeatedaattempts don't do anything and the best option is to make a totally unrelated change to trigger a client refresh and then undo the unrelated change
- It's got random inaccurate stuff (a little inevitable, and honestly I was impressed they were mostly able to keep up with playtest changes, but they seem worse with the final material)
- The printouts are worse than the original version they had in the playtest, which also sucked (now they don't have the action icons, and the gear/ability descriptions miss all kinds of stuff)
- Tracking some of the fiddly things like alchemist formulas is entirely manual (i.e.,they give a notes section) , despite them having a functional system for spellbooks they could have started from (although spellbooks are painful, because the slowness is so bad)
- Those workarounds don't print anywhere, which is useless for my players
- They're not being transparent or forthcoming about timelines for anything, even on their internal forums
- Since PF2 launch, I've run into about 3 or 4 days where it just doesn't work at all, which is a pretty high percentage of attempts
- It's useless for tracking combat or conditions or anything, although thankfully that's a lot less of a headache in PF2 anyway
- They're being outdone by one dude writing an Android app
- I usually can't even fix the stuff that's broken with manual adjustments like I could with the offline app

My players have actually all chosen to use the fillable PDF I made from the official sheet, which seems totally bonkers to me. At this point, if someone basically creates a webapp that lets you make check off a bunch of feats/skills/gear/spells and build printable reference sheets, I won't really see a reason to use Hero Lab again. (I've already suggested it to the dude making the pf2.easytool.es site, which is a great reference tool).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Itzi wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

i'm using that android app on my PC thanks to an emulator, so i don't think that that is much of an issue.

I don't really care about SaaS i just don't like it being through a browser i want an actual software package using my CPU not their server to run.

I totally understand that. I've been in IT (and software development) for a number of decades now and from a user perspective, I much prefer a simple run-time on my machine.

From a developer perspective, though, I completely understand why they've gone web-based. In fact, just this last year, we (the company I work for) just finished the final transition from an in-house developed application (in C++) that we've used for years to a web-based replacement (still in-house).

From a development and system-support standpoint, there's no contest - I'll back web-based any day. Particularly for a company with only a few developers, I totally get where LWD's shift comes from.

i too have IT and software development experience, and know why they did it, still nothing i want from it. it's just simply now a severely worse product than others out there, while HLC was the best, imo.


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pauljathome wrote:
AJCarrington wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Pathbuilder is still incomplete in its implementation of PF2 but it, basically, rocks. I'd suggest people give it a try.
I'd love to, but it appears to be limited to Android devices...???

I think that's true.

No idea how well it would run on an android emulator

While pathbuilder its still in development it seems ok - But.... it doesnt offer the same play experience.

You can't add just add the spell "bless" adjustment and it calculates the changes in bonuses etc... or any of the other conditions ... that may be coming. but its not there yet.

Could I work it out myself - sure - but do I want to spend timein game looking up each buff or debuff - No.

Right now though - Herolab Online is the only real option for Ipads that I know about.

I'll end up buying HLO soon - as my partner has only just started playing and she is overwhelmed by the mechanics - so for her ticking a box and having it make changes makes her fell less frustrated at the table... I may use it for character creation, but I'll probably stick to pen and paper until HLO improves.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Itzi wrote:
...the content creators have a lot of clout when it comes to the control of the license.

FYI, while we at Paizo are happy to provide our opinions and advice to our licensing partners, we don't dictate how they run their businesses.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Itzi wrote:
...the content creators have a lot of clout when it comes to the control of the license.
FYI, while we at Paizo are happy to provide our opinions and advice to our licensing partners, we don't dictate how they run their businesses.

While I'm sure that's true, I'd also find it really unlikely that HL people aren't paying some kind of licensing fee to include all that unredacted text, including the deity names, etc left out of the SRD.

Grand Lodge

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Claxon wrote:
Based on current trends of Software as a Service I would hypothesize that it simply isn't going to happen the way you want.

There will 100% always be viable options that do not follow the SaaS model.

Don't want to pay a monthly fee for:

PhotoShop...use GIMP
Illustrator/CorelDraw...use Inkscape
MSOffice...use OpenOffice

There are freeware or pay once programs available for just about everything out there, and the tools for making them are become cheaper and easier to use, so more and more people are creating.

Absolute worst case scenario would be I go back to playing TTRPGs the way I did for my first 35 years of play...pencil and paper, and the software companies can kiss my money goodbye. LoneWolf will never get another cent from me if they stick to their SaaS model, and I am 100% fine with that, I absolutely don't need their product.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Slyme wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Based on current trends of Software as a Service I would hypothesize that it simply isn't going to happen the way you want.

There will 100% always be viable options that do not follow the SaaS model.

Don't want to pay a monthly fee for:

PhotoShop...use GIMP
Illustrator/CorelDraw...use Inkscape
MSOffice...use OpenOffice

I would love it if that were the case. But as someone that's had to deal with both item 1 and item 3 on your list, from a commercial perspective, the options you offer are not options.

Perhaps for a hobbyist or really light use. But from a multidesk perspective that depends on the software to keep the doors open and pay the bills ... Neither GIMP nor OpenOffice/LibreOffice will replace their commercial counterpart.

I've tried, fought that battle and lost. They just don't hold up to the commercial requirements for most businesses.


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Itzi wrote:
From a developer perspective, though, I completely understand why they've gone web-based.

I get that. The frustrating thing is that often the benefits don't feel like they translate to the end-user. The designer gets lower overhead by not needing to dev multiple versions and the end-user gets... higher prices because now they have a subscription fee attached to the same product they were using before and reduced usability by no longer having offline options and possibly dealing with lag. Woo.

This is the problem with SaaS too. There are real reasons while service-oriented business models can be beneficial for all parties, but in practice it just feels like it turns into a way for enterprises to charge ridiculous subscription fees for the same product (looking at you, Adobe).


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In HLO I chose the wrong alignment the other day. I couldn't click it to replace it with a different one. I had to click the gear symbol next to my old alignment, click "Delete", respond to a prompt asking me "Are you sure?" by clicking "Delete" again. Then I clicked the new Plus sign which appeared after a full page reload, I clicked the alignment I wanted, then clicked "Add Choice", and still I was stuck staring at a useless list of greyed-out alignment. I had to click the "X" in the corner to close the window, even though the system already prevents me from adding a 2nd alignment.

The whole interface would benefit from dropdown menus or other UI features that I've become to used to. The current interface makes me feel like I'm walking in tar.

Silver Crusade

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This thread got me curious (I'm a HLC user but not a HLO user) so I went over to the HL forums. Seems like people here are NOT the only unhappy ones. Even on their own site (which I'd expect to be mostly populated by mostly happy customers) there were a fair few unhappy people.

I tried a demo of HLO when it first went public and that seems to stop me from downloading a demo version again. I suspect I could call them and get that fixed but really doesn't seem worth the bother.

Yay Pathbuilder :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There was talk at one point of them having an API. I'd love to see an API, where you can use the API to download your character into an app and use the app for when network or other issues present themselves.

Otherwise, my Office 365 is subscription based and I don't have an issue paying a small subscription fee to keep the servers up.


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pauljathome wrote:
This thread got me curious (I'm a HLC user but not a HLO user) so I went over to the HL forums. Seems like people here are NOT the only unhappy ones. Even on their own site (which I'd expect to be mostly populated by mostly happy customers) there were a fair few unhappy people.

As a frequent visitor over there, some of the most vocal unhappiness occurs on their forums...

Have a read of the stuff that goes on the Realmworks folder... in there from time to time you can almost envisage groups with pitchforks and torches.

:-)


I am a huge HLC person, having purchased every package that's ever been made available. I'm hooked so many people on the application I've lost count! When HLO was released, I was quick to try it out as well.

I've been using it for both Starfinder and PF2 and while it could be better, I find it is amazing. The amount of time that it saves me in developing characters is worth any inconvenience of an interface that is different than HLC, but still functions just fine. I wish all of my HLC content was available in HLO so that I no longer had to worry about updating it and worrying about which device I was able to use it on.

LWD you guys rock and I'll keep paying for HLC/HLO as long as their is content available! The product is superior to everything else out there. Yes you can use PCGen for free, but it looks and feels like a free program compared to what HLx offers. It's worth the money for me!

Realmworks on the other hand, ugh. I am Jack's complete and utter disappointment.


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The Rising Phoenix wrote:
I've been using it for both Starfinder and PF2 and while it could be better, I find it is amazing. The amount of time that it saves me in developing characters is worth any inconvenience of an interface that is different than HLC, but still functions just fine.

As lag-tastic as it is, I'm amazed to see anyone say it saves time. I've seen it in action a few times and it would have been quicker for me to hop in a car, drive to the next town, buy the books, come home and make a character by hand... That's PER character... Years ago I used to have dial-up modem that loaded pages faster. :P

After seeing in action I downloaded an emulator and Pathbuilder. Best money I never spent. ;)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
The Rising Phoenix wrote:
I've been using it for both Starfinder and PF2 and while it could be better, I find it is amazing. The amount of time that it saves me in developing characters is worth any inconvenience of an interface that is different than HLC, but still functions just fine.

As lag-tastic as it is, I'm amazed to see anyone say it saves time. I've seen it in action a few times and it would have been quicker for me to hop in a car, drive to the next town, buy the books, come home and make a character by hand... That's PER character... Years ago I used to have dial-up modem that loaded pages faster. :P

After seeing in action I downloaded an emulator and Pathbuilder. Best money I never spent. ;)

That sucks.

When they first released PF2 (on GenCon weekend) it was slow as molasses. However, my experience since then is it has done nothing but get faster. At this point in time - for me, at least - it beats the heck out of my bank's web interface or PayPal's business portal. It's not quite as fast as HLC, but for the trade-off of not having to install multiple applications on every single system I use, I'll take the minor hit.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

hmmm, for me installing it on multiple computers was the minor hit, while using it felt like constantly dragging gravel over a chalk board.

seriously, pathbuilder has all the functionality and a significantly better UI. it's not just faster from lag, the way it has you build character's is just so much more intuitive.


Itzi wrote:
It's not quite as fast as HLC, but for the trade-off of not having to install multiple applications on every single system I use, I'll take the minor hit.

Pathbuilder was pretty easy to load and didn't take up much room: this is even including having to install an emulator for the PC and sideloading it on a kindle.

Itzi wrote:
However, my experience since then is it has done nothing but get faster. At this point in time - for me, at least - it beats the heck out of my bank's web interface or PayPal's business portal.

I can only say lucky you. ;)

My friend uses a gaming rig and has a crazy fast internet connection and the last time I heard it's still a sizable lag any time you do anything with it.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hero Lab definitely beats Pathbuilder in terms of house rules and homebrew. Can't add bonus feats in Pathbuilder as far as I can tell.


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

The issue I have with HLO is unpredictable downtime. Over the last two weeks it has gone down during a game on three occasions which is problematic to say the least. I don't object to a subscription model as long as I get a reliable product for my money. At the moment, HLO is not that and it's souring my PF2E experience as a result.

Silver Crusade

WatersLethe wrote:
Hero Lab definitely beats Pathbuilder in terms of house rules and homebrew. Can't add bonus feats in Pathbuilder as far as I can tell.

Can you do this in HLO? One of the major complaints I've seen is that HLO is FAR less customizable than HLC.

Note - this is a genuine question. As noted above, I can't even try out the demo of HLO right now


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Hero Lab definitely beats Pathbuilder in terms of house rules and homebrew. Can't add bonus feats in Pathbuilder as far as I can tell.

Can you do this in HLO? One of the major complaints I've seen is that HLO is FAR less customizable than HLC.

Note - this is a genuine question. As noted above, I can't even try out the demo of HLO right now

The Permanent Added Abilities section of HLO lets you add absolutely anything that already exists to a character, so you can add all the appropriate bonus feats there. It's been great on the bonus feat front. It also lets you add class abilities or features, if you wanted to hodge podge some stuff.

What you can't add is wholly new feats or mechanics, unless you don't mind just writing a note somewhere.

Silver Crusade

WatersLethe wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Hero Lab definitely beats Pathbuilder in terms of house rules and homebrew. Can't add bonus feats in Pathbuilder as far as I can tell.

Can you do this in HLO? One of the major complaints I've seen is that HLO is FAR less customizable than HLC.

Note - this is a genuine question. As noted above, I can't even try out the demo of HLO right now

The Permanent Added Abilities section of HLO lets you add absolutely anything that already exists to a character, so you can add all the appropriate bonus feats there. It's been great on the bonus feat front. It also lets you add class abilities or features, if you wanted to hodge podge some stuff.

What you can't add is wholly new feats or mechanics, unless you don't mind just writing a note somewhere.

Thanks for answering.

In HLC I fairly often want to add 1 to my AC, or add another feat, or add 2 to a skill, or the like. Fairly arbitrary math additions. Because of a house rule or a workaround when I want to use a feat/spell/trait/whatever from a source that I don't own the herolab file for.

Can I do this in HLO?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

HLO has permanent adjustments that can be used for that kind of thing yeah. Unlike most areas of HLO though I find the UI to be a big step down for this piece (In most areas I prefer the new UI but wish it would run faster - part of that could be Australian latency to the US servers).

The only thing that stands between me and using HeroLab Online is that I really don't like the character sheets it generates. Given it's not 100% reliable to be online (Both from the HLO track record and also internet where I play), if it's going to be how I track my characters I have to be happy to play off it's offline sheet & currently it just has a bit too much clunk to it. I'd love an offline webpage option, and I'd love faster performance, but I can't go without an offline export I'm willing to play off & that's stopping me buying it atm (I tried, but I ended up resorting to rewriting it onto a real character sheet).


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This might be of interest:
An Update From Rob


As a backer.. sad to hear Realm Works isn't doing so well and is being suspended. I do understand it though... haven't even used it in a looong time. It's not even installed.

But I have been enjoying what is going on with HLO.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Silver lining: HL troubles might hopefully lead to Owen returning to Paizo - he left and moved out of Seattle because his wife got a job with Hero Lab ... which lasted untill today.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

HLO works great for character generation, but after that its been ever frustrating with fees and and more fees.

To top it off, this weekend, I needed to pull something up on a PC I as playing and the lag was so bad, it slowed the entire game down. I will be going with Paizo pre-made character sheets from here on out. HLO needs to get faster and I want it like HLC and be able to download it. If LDW decides not to do that, and since I am getting double tapped for a subscription and fees for new additional content, I highly doubt I will continue with it. 2nd Edition is simplified enough that with time, I wont need it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I am also an HLC user who has been happy for years. I purchased all of the data packages (at least the Paizo ones).

I tried HLO and I found it difficult to use. For me it did not seem intuitive. I made one character and felt it was a horrible experience. I recently received an email reminding me that my membership needed to be renewed. I don't think so presently.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shem wrote:

I am also an HLC user who has been happy for years. I purchased all of the data packages (at least the Paizo ones).

I tried HLO and I found it difficult to use. For me it did not seem intuitive. I made one character and felt it was a horrible experience. I recently received an email reminding me that my membership needed to be renewed. I don't think so presently.

I think Hero Lab Classic was also unintuitive; you're just used to it. HLO is similar, in that the way things are organized feels okay once you know where everything is and whatnot. There are still some of the HLC quirks like editing money not being a thing you directly do (either buy/sell things or use a journal entry) but that's not really any more an issue than HLC.

That doesn't address any of the other issues with the product, though.

Liberty's Edge

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

On unintuitive vs intuitive of HLC vs HLO.

When I first started using HLC I hated it, It was by far the most complicated Char Gen program I am ever used. I complained constantly that it needs to be simplified. Then I got better at it and I no longer thought that.

HLO is by far much easier then HLC ever was, it is just missing all the bells and whistles I miss from HLC and it is way to slow for in game use which cuts down it usefulness drastically.

The Play UI sucks and needs to be adjusted. I would recommend they look at their own iPad app as a better example.

My biggest problem with the play UI is that it requires scrolling which gets hit hard with lag and causes freezes all the time that require me to refresh the page. And the UI does not work well with touch screens compared to the HLC iPad app.


Slyme wrote:
I still use an older version of Corel specifically because it doesn't require a subscription service like Illustrator does.

Google Serif Affinity. I bought Affinity Designer for £30 and have never looked back.


If you are looking for an alternative, consider TOS 2nd CORE edition, which is a very powerful PC Excel workbook that much of the math for you.

The new build released today (Oct 7th, 2019) adds a DashBoard worksheet that you can use to play Dynamically at a gaming table. This means you can apply spells, conditions and abilities on the fly to your Character... (i.e focus on playing, not on adding or comparing numbers). You can even track the combat rounds with a single click.

You can, of course, print out your character if you prefer Paper. Many sheets are available for your PC. There are really too many features to list then all here, but some of them are listed on the product page on the Paizo store.

You can check out the release notes of version 1.2.086 here and the preview section for images. Note that this tool does not focus on 'fluffy' colors schemes, but rather functionality!!

Happy Gaming!
The Only Sheet


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Only Sheet wrote:

If you are looking for an alternative, consider TOS 2nd CORE edition, which is a very powerful PC Excel workbook that much of the math for you.

The new build released today (Oct 7th, 2019) adds a DashBoard worksheet that you can use to play Dynamically at a gaming table. This means you can apply spells, conditions and abilities on the fly to your Character... (i.e focus on playing, not on adding or comparing numbers). You can even track the combat rounds with a single click.

You can, of course, print out your character if you prefer Paper. Many sheets are available for your PC. There are really too many features to list then all here, but some of them are listed on the product page on the Paizo store.

You can check out the release notes of version 1.2.086 here and the preview section for images. Note that this tool does not focus on 'fluffy' colors schemes, but rather functionality!!

Happy Gaming!
The Only Sheet

If you buy a subscription, can you continue to use the version you stopped on if you let your subscription lapse?

Does the sheet allow house rules, like double bonus feats and early access to multiclass feats?


WatersLethe wrote:
If you buy a subscription, can you continue to use the version you stopped on if you let your subscription lapse?

Absolutely! You can forgo the Subscription altogether and get the version on the Paizo's Store.

WatersLethe wrote:
Does the sheet allow house rules, like double bonus feats and early access to multiclass feats?

Yes. This effect will grant your Bob Character one extra Class Feat AND ignore its Prerequisites!:

Effect Name: Extra Feats for Bob
Permanent?: Yes

Effect #1 Name: Feats: Class
Effect #1 Type: Unnamed
Effect #1 Modifier: 1

Effect #2 Name: FEATNAME Feat Prerequisites
Effect #2 Type: Unnamed
Effect #2 Modifier: 1

So the first part of the effect grants an extra Class feat of your choosing (even Archetypes feats!), while the second part allows you to IGNORE any Prerequisites for the FEATNAME feat!!

The Ability of the TOS Character sheets products line (TOS+, TOS FIVE and TOS 2nd CORE edition) to easily create effects is the reason these products are the most powerful ones available for their respective Rule systems...!

TOS Admin

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