Is Hero Lab Online going to ruin PF2 for my group?


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HLO isn't finished yet they are now charging the ongoing fee if today's email is to be believed. Despite them saying they wouldn't until it was feature complete.

-laughs-

Silver Crusade

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

HLO isn't finished yet they are now charging the ongoing fee if today's email is to be believed. Despite them saying they wouldn't until it was feature complete.

-laughs-

Out of vague curiousity, what fee are they charging?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
Out of vague curiousity, what fee are they charging?

The annual fee is $25.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

while i like hro online well enough there is also pathbuilder which works quite well
and you can run it on an emulator if you don't have an android


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Coming form a 5e group who were heavily using DnD Beyond, it has been a very rude awakening. Possibly a fatal one as my group want to go back just because of the tooling. The big killer is cost. Yes, I know they are talking about group licensing, but they have been doing so forever, and judging by recent posts, they haven't even figured out how they want to do this yet. But as things stand, the expectation is pretty much that every player at the table buys every book that will be used. Including adventure modules. My group's reaction has been along the lines of "is this some kind of Joke?". Perhaps they have been spoiled, but fact is, that is that the competition have been offering excellent content sharing for years.

I would also note that in dnd beyond, when you buy a book or adventure, you get the full hyperlinked text of that adventure or book as well. You don't need to buy it as a physical copy at all if you don't want to.

So long and short of it, HLO is in inferior, far more expensive version of D&D beyond, and is absolutely without a doubt, if not actually hurting sales of PF2, definitely not promoting them in the same DnD Beyond does for 5e.

I have seen people here argue but poor Lone Wolf is only 6 people compared to Curse's hundreds. We can't expect the same quality of product from them even if we are paying much more. Well, to be perfectly honest, and in the nicest possible way, that is utterly irrelevant to me as a customer. I have zero, nil, nadda interest in their size, their organisation or their level of profit. I wish them well of course, but it pretty much ends there. I am not buying an inferior product, at a higher cost, because they are small. (And after the realmworks debacle, and how they let down their customers, I really would really raise a doubting eyebrow at how great they are anyway). Bottom line, if they are too small to develop and support this product properly, I strongly advise Paizo to find someone who can, because they are hurting Pathfinder2. This is

I know I'm coming across very harsh here and I do wish Lone Wolf well, but as Abadar teaches us, that is the reality of being a business.


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

I have been using Hero Labs for quite a while and honestly, I have had zero issues with it. I used to run PF1e using Hero Labs Classic and when I saw they were switching to a subscription model I had very similar thoughts to everyone here. After buying the subscription for PF2e and actually using Hero Labs Online, I have found it to be very intuitive and mostly error free. Any bugs I have found I reported and they were fixed within the week.

None of my other players have HLO, nor would I require them to. I simply ask them to use Archives of Nehtys to put together there character and I enter it into HLO as a check to make sure we didn't miss anything in character creation. I also use it as a quick rules check when we need to question something in the game. I do this for both offline and online games that I GM as well as characters play with.

Lone Wolf has also started incorporating a Campaign feature into the service for running encounters which will eventually include the ability for users without a Hero Lab license to use the GMs content to create there character.

As a developer myself, I know that these things take time. Soon enough Hero Labs will have the features you are looking for and they will either lure you back or you'll have found a suitable replacement like Pathbuilder. I have a player right now using Pathbuilder to make his character for our Extinction Curse game starting next week.

For those comparing HLO to DnD Beyond, I'll say that while it is a different model, I feel like I have personally paid much more than a subscriptions worth to get what I want from DnD Beyond, essentially boiling down to them getting my money to maintain there servers and make a profit. It's just a different business model that is going to accomplish the same thing and I honestly prefer how HLO presents my characters than DnD Beyond.

All of this is just my opinion but give HLO a try or find a replacement like Pathbuilder. Some company will fill that want for you.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
GougedEye wrote:
So long and short of it, HLO is in inferior, far more expensive version of D&D beyond, and is absolutely without a doubt, if not actually hurting sales of PF2, definitely not promoting them in the same DnD Beyond does for 5e.

Interestingly, D&D Beyond as an exclusive digital tool for the books is one of the things that killed my interest in 5e before I could even get started. Paizo has absolutely spoiled me with the subscription's physical+PDF bundle, and making the core PDFs so cheap (+ OGL source) means my players all have good options. In the long run I'll switch to 100% PDF again for PF2, because I don't want to cart around all these books.

Having 5e digital books locked behind a proprietary platform was basically a no-go so I never even looked at the tool's other capabilities.

I'd much rather pay for character creation separately than have the books integrated into a proprietary platform (although there's no reason WotC *had* to do it that way).

As for Hero Lab Online, my initial subscription is about to expire any day now. I logged in to check out the combat manager or whatever they're calling it and found it fairly unintuitive and cumbersome (although I didn't spend a bunch of time on it). I'm literally a technical consultant who regularly learns new systems just to advise clients on how to use them effectively, so that's a pretty strong level of unintuitive.

I'll keep an eye on it. The long-term vision sounds fine, but the group licensing is also key for me. I'll buy the content, even with a subscription, but there's no way I can ask my players to do the same. In the meantime, I'll keep using fillable PDFs, Pathbuilder 2 (though I keep finding small bugs here and there too), and Maptool (for actually tracking combat initative/health/conditions, where I used Hero Lab Classic in the past for PF1).

I hope Lone Wolf figures it all out. They've taken on a hard challenge, and probably bet the company on it. I'm rooting for them, but it's not at a point where they have more of my money.


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Yeah, 5e's lack of proper digital distribution has been a pretty big buzzkill for me too. Beyond seems like a nice platform but I'm not sure why they don't just let me buy a PDF.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's what killed our group. GM disavowed the system when it was announced there wouldn't be official PDFs.


Squiggit wrote:
Yeah, 5e's lack of proper digital distribution has been a pretty big buzzkill for me too. Beyond seems like a nice platform but I'm not sure why they don't just let me buy a PDF.

I assume they're trying to limit piracy. It killed my interest in the whole system... but I guess I didn't pirate anything at least.


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Garretmander wrote:
I assume they're trying to limit piracy.

This is not a statement condoning or admitting to any illegal activity but...

This has not worked out for them if that's their goal.


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Squiggit wrote:
This has not worked out for them if that's their goal.

Not in the least... Even a little.

Garretmander wrote:
but I guess I didn't pirate anything at least.

Yeah, you got to love it when a plan comes together...

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