now that herolab is unuseable--what other options are there?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

The title says it all.

Are there any other options like Herolab Classic but for PF2 and/or Starfinder that actually work?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't use Herolab so I'm not sure exactly what you get from it, but perhaps Pathbuilder 2e App? There is a review of that free app on the Know Direction site.

Silver Crusade

Pathbuilder2e for the android is good. It doesn't have support for deities so domain spells and related things have to be done manually. It only has the CRB included. Not sure if there are plans for the app to get updated.

It is free, so if you have an android device it is worth downloading.


corwyn42 wrote:
Pathbuilder2e for the android is good.

There are emulators for windows too run android apps on windows too.


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Pathbuilder 2e isn't perfect, but considering I didn't even like Herolab 1E, it's an improvement. I like Pathbuilder 2e for its user interface and easy-to-follow character building and such, it's nice. A lot of the base features are there and is updated regularly with content releases (more frequent than AoN website!)

It does have additional features (such as no on-screen ads as well as familiar and animal companion support) for a $5 nominal fee (one charge for your account device, non-recurring), as well as potential custom buffs/items/materials, but those do require some more fleshed out mechanics and codes to truly take advantage of them in the way that a lot of non-app customization rules currently do. If Pathbuilder 2e does come up with those sorts of things that can adjust any sort of character math (such as providing non-type bonuses to a subset of benefits instead of just a blanket bonus), it would probably trump anything that any potential Herolab release could muster.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, Bluestacks is a solid Android emulator for Windows. Not sure about other operating systems. I would absolutely recommend Pathbuilder2e. I happily paid the extra $5 to remove ads and support the dev. Hell, I'd probably do it a second time.

Not only is it a fantastic character builder app, but ever since it also added being able to apply conditions (including custom conditions! So I made a few for things like Rage and a couple custom buff spells my party uses), there's literally no reason for me to look at Herolab again.

Oh man, and if the dev is able to continue with his idea of making a Steam version? Hells yes.

Silver Crusade

corwyn42 wrote:

Pathbuilder2e for the android is good. It doesn't have support for deities so domain spells and related things have to be done manually. It only has the CRB included. Not sure if there are plans for the app to get updated.

It is free, so if you have an android device it is worth downloading.

It also has the Lost Omens books included. You just have to select things with the drop down menus.

Its not perfect but its pretty darn good. Insanely good value for the money. It makes creating a character (mostly) a snap.

Its a Herolab killer for darn sure.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Do we have anything good for running games remotely? Roll20 doesn't seem to be handling the increased traffic well. I was gonna default to maptools but there might be a better paid program out there like Fantasy Grounds.


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Just a few clarifications, when people say it has ads it means a tiny window at the bottom under everything that in no way obstructs or slows use in any way. Also it has all the latest content, from erata to GMG options (dual classing), to uncommon AP options to options from gods and magic. The only down side is having to pay for animal companions.
Other then that, I would say I think it's far and away better then anything else, super simple to use and all first time PF2 users should get it to help get a straight forward idea of how character building works. The dev is also working on a starfinder version, though slowly since he's keeping both pathbuilder 1 and 2 updated with content and bug fixes.


OrochiFuror wrote:

Just a few clarifications, when people say it has ads it means a tiny window at the bottom under everything that in no way obstructs or slows use in any way. Also it has all the latest content, from erata to GMG options (dual classing), to uncommon AP options to options from gods and magic. The only down side is having to pay for animal companions.

Other then that, I would say I think it's far and away better then anything else, super simple to use and all first time PF2 users should get it to help get a straight forward idea of how character building works. The dev is also working on a starfinder version, though slowly since he's keeping both pathbuilder 1 and 2 updated with content and bug fixes.

To be fair, Gods and Magic was just added like 12 hours ago.

I've been checking every day since the book came out.


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

We all have our idiosyncrasies. I don't do Android (or Windows), for example. And I haven't seen any evidence that Herolab Online is "unusable". I was just using it yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pathbuilder 2e pretty much means HeroLab is history. Unless you're an Iphone user, in which case you're just discovering that being a member of the turtleneck and chain elite does come with some downsides :P

Liberty's Edge

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Can people stop talking about Hero Lab like it's dead and buried? The service sees more regular updates and is releasing new updates more often than AoN, Pathbuilder, Easytools, or any other tool.

It's far from dead, in fact, it's a better tool than it ever has been before.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Themetricsystem wrote:

Can people stop talking about Hero Lab like it's dead and buried? The service sees more regular updates and is releasing new updates more often than AoN, Pathbuilder, Easytools, or any other tool.

It's far from dead, in fact, it's a better tool than it ever has been before.

It's purely online. Dead and buried to me.


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I got a $50 budget Android device for gaming apps. It lives in my game club bag. You can get a better deal if you shop around but the easy option is the 7" kindle fire from amazon. They do not have the google play store out of the box but an internet search tells you how to sideload it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
corwyn42 wrote:

Pathbuilder2e for the android is good. It doesn't have support for deities so domain spells and related things have to be done manually. It only has the CRB included. Not sure if there are plans for the app to get updated.

It is free, so if you have an android device it is worth downloading.

I use it. And it had the LO Character Guide options months ago.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Can people stop talking about Hero Lab like it's dead and buried? The service sees more regular updates and is releasing new updates more often than AoN, Pathbuilder, Easytools, or any other tool.

It's far from dead, in fact, it's a better tool than it ever has been before.

It charges you for content and a subscription vs Pathbuilder not charging you for content and payment being optional to unlock some additional functionality. At this point, building a CRB+LOWG+LOCG+LOGM character in HeroLab requires you to pony up 59 USD. The same character in Pathbuilder costs you ... 5 USD if you need it to handle animal companions and cloud storage. This is a no-contest on that count alone.

Also, HeroLab, despite having had an opportunity to overhaul its design philosophy with the online version, is still stuck somewhere in the late 90s with a clunky, unresponsive interface that runs crap even if you're running an i9+32GB machine, because outdated web design is outdated web design. I wouldn't say Pathbuilder 2e is perfect, but it at least exists in XXI century.

Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics, to say at least. Strike three. Friendship with HeroLab ended, Pathbuilder is my new friend now. I'm only now waiting for HeroLab's owners to close the shop and start new careers in the used care sales industry ... and I think I've just insulted all self-respecting used car salespeople out there.

Silver Crusade

Gorbacz wrote:


Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics,

Would you care to expand on this?

Scarab Sages

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Can people stop talking about Hero Lab like it's dead and buried? The service sees more regular updates and is releasing new updates more often than AoN, Pathbuilder, Easytools, or any other tool.

It's far from dead, in fact, it's a better tool than it ever has been before.

I have to disagree with you there. I am finding Herolab slower and slower to release content....us Starfinder players are still waiting for AP support for AP volumes that are now over a year old, and there is still no sign of AA3, which came out more than 6 months ago. I have been actively hunting around for something else to create my characters, and just have to swallow the sunk cost.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
It's far from dead

It struggles to compete with a 100% free product even after requiring paying twice... It might not be dead but i wouldn't say it's healthy either.

Gorbacz wrote:
Pathbuilder 2e pretty much means HeroLab is history. Unless you're an Iphone user, in which case you're just discovering that being a member of the turtleneck and chain elite does come with some downsides :P

LOL Yeah, somehow I like pathfinder a bit more because it doesn't work on apple stuff. ;)

Ed Reppert wrote:
And I haven't seen any evidence that Herolab Online is "unusable". I was just using it yesterday, as a matter of fact.

I know the times I've tried it, the lag was truly horrific. I have a fast connection on a fast computer and getting dial-up speeds on the program. While I could call it technically usable, it was very aggravating experience.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics,
Would you care to expand on this?

They've hired Owen K.C. Stephens' partner. Owen quit Paizo to relocate together with her. Once she started her job, some month or two into it HeroLab decided to disband the whole department she was hired to work in and of course, fire everybody. Without notice.

One can call it "that's how capitalism works", I'd call it "that's how people who run it are dicks and/or idiots" because that's what setting up a department and hiring people for it only to blow it up 3 months later is, business-wise.


krobrina wrote:
I got a $50 budget Android device for gaming apps. It lives in my game club bag. You can get a better deal if you shop around but the easy option is the 7" kindle fire from amazon. They do not have the google play store out of the box but an internet search tells you how to sideload it.

LOL Mine was a $25 7" kindle fire [we got a 4 for $100 deal and split them up], $19 for 128gb sd card and it can hold every game pdf I have and much more: so for $44 dollars and a free download, I'm golden for Pathbuilder 2e use on the go. ;)


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I'm another that is all about Pathbuilder 1 and 2e. Paid the money for each, not that the ads were troublesome, but to make sure the dev feels he's supported and will continue on with updating everything.


VestOfHolding wrote:


Oh man, and if the dev is able to continue with his idea of making a Steam version? Hells yes.

He ran into technical problems with his Steam version. He is developing a web version instead, which will require a small monthly subscription. But it will have GM support, and it looks like he has already made a lot of progress.

I like Pathbuilder enough that I paid the $5 and support him on Patreon. I think his tools are going to become the community standard, if they are not already.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Do we have anything good for running games remotely? Roll20 doesn't seem to be handling the increased traffic well. I was gonna default to maptools but there might be a better paid program out there like Fantasy Grounds.

FoundryVTT and Astral are both cool options to look into, and Astral has its pro options free for a couple months while a lot of us are hunkering down.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Sapient wrote:
VestOfHolding wrote:


Oh man, and if the dev is able to continue with his idea of making a Steam version? Hells yes.
He ran into technical problems with his Steam version. He is developing a web version instead, which will require a small monthly subscription. But it will have GM support, and it looks like he has already made a lot of progress.

Ah, fair enough. I'm down for that too. It'll be varied how much I can use it, but I at least appreciate that the web version will be an alternate possibility, and the android version isn't going anywhere.


This thread title and the comments here give me pause about continuing with HLO. I've relied on HL since 2013 or so because I run different RPG groups and an afterschool middle class. This means that I need to keep about 100 characters up to date and be able to update their gold amounts and magic items, output appealing-looking PDFs that give them all the rules knowledge they need at the table, be able to incorporate pictures for their characters, etc. I also store each person's several character files and PDFs in a shared Dropbox folder that I can access from anywhere, and edit on any device.

What functionality will I lose, if any, if I migrate completely to Pathbuilder?


graystone wrote:
krobrina wrote:
I got a $50 budget Android device for gaming apps. It lives in my game club bag. You can get a better deal if you shop around but the easy option is the 7" kindle fire from amazon. They do not have the google play store out of the box but an internet search tells you how to sideload it.
LOL Mine was a $25 7" kindle fire [we got a 4 for $100 deal and split them up], $19 for 128gb sd card and it can hold every game pdf I have and much more: so for $44 dollars and a free download, I'm golden for Pathbuilder 2e use on the go. ;)

It’s actually an unbranded budget 10” for the Chinese internal market - but the Amazon fires are perfectly fine.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Pathbuilder sounds great..does it have starfinder content too?


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You want to install Bluestacks and within Bluestacks install Pathbuilder 2.

Bluestacks:
https://www.bluestacks.com/

Pathbuilder:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redrazors.pathbuilder2e&a mp;hl=en_US

Have fun! It should look like this.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I appreciate Pathbuilder 2 ever since I found out about it soon after PF2 launched. I build my characters with it and AoN or my PF2 PDFs.

This thread makes me want to pay for the ads-free version just to support the dev. Amazing work.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
And I haven't seen any evidence that Herolab Online is "unusable". I was just using it yesterday, as a matter of fact.
I know the times I've tried it, the lag was truly horrific. I have a fast connection on a fast computer and getting dial-up speeds on the program. While I could call it technically usable, it was very aggravating experience.

I haven't seen any lag problems.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:

This thread title and the comments here give me pause about continuing with HLO. I've relied on HL since 2013 or so because I run different RPG groups and an afterschool middle class. This means that I need to keep about 100 characters up to date and be able to update their gold amounts and magic items, output appealing-looking PDFs that give them all the rules knowledge they need at the table, be able to incorporate pictures for their characters, etc. I also store each person's several character files and PDFs in a shared Dropbox folder that I can access from anywhere, and edit on any device.

What functionality will I lose, if any, if I migrate completely to Pathbuilder?

The thread title seems intended to provoke exactly that reaction. It's also the usual internet hyperbole. Squared.

I don't know the answer to your last question. Given the tone of this thread, though, I doubt you'll get an accurate answer here.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics,
Would you care to expand on this?

They've hired Owen K.C. Stephens' partner. Owen quit Paizo to relocate together with her. Once she started her job, some month or two into it HeroLab decided to disband the whole department she was hired to work in and of course, fire everybody. Without notice.

All true :(

Question ... partner?


Ed Reppert wrote:
graystone wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
And I haven't seen any evidence that Herolab Online is "unusable". I was just using it yesterday, as a matter of fact.
I know the times I've tried it, the lag was truly horrific. I have a fast connection on a fast computer and getting dial-up speeds on the program. While I could call it technically usable, it was very aggravating experience.
I haven't seen any lag problems.

Even if the problem is the user's internet connection and not the site itself, it's still a problem that online services face and have to deal with.

edit: I've never used it until just now. I went there myself and clicked around. I can say that I had a couple of seconds wait for the main page "never leave a character behind" animation to load, and I'm on a good connection. Whether that's a lag spike on my end, poor UI programming for that animation, or overload on their end, I can't say.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
VestOfHolding wrote:
Sapient wrote:
VestOfHolding wrote:


Oh man, and if the dev is able to continue with his idea of making a Steam version? Hells yes.
He ran into technical problems with his Steam version. He is developing a web version instead, which will require a small monthly subscription. But it will have GM support, and it looks like he has already made a lot of progress.
Ah, fair enough. I'm down for that too. It'll be varied how much I can use it, but I at least appreciate that the web version will be an alternate possibility, and the android version isn't going anywhere.

I hope he is able to tackle the “offline” issue with this. While I’d prefer a Steam solution, I don’t have have an issue with a sub, but would be concerned if there is an “online always” requirement...a major challenge for HLO today.


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Herolab online may suck for a variety of reasons, but it mostly works and is hardly unusable.

I would direct people elsewhere for now though.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics,
Would you care to expand on this?

They've hired Owen K.C. Stephens' partner. Owen quit Paizo to relocate together with her. Once she started her job, some month or two into it HeroLab decided to disband the whole department she was hired to work in and of course, fire everybody. Without notice.

All true :(

Question ... partner?

I tend not to assume that people are married/engaged/in a life partnership unless it is explicitly spelled out, so "partner" is a safe bet when the first two links I read don't mention what is their status :)

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Finally, HeroLab is run by people of ... questionable business ethics,
Would you care to expand on this?

They've hired Owen K.C. Stephens' partner. Owen quit Paizo to relocate together with her. Once she started her job, some month or two into it HeroLab decided to disband the whole department she was hired to work in and of course, fire everybody. Without notice.

All true :(

Question ... partner?

I tend not to assume that people are married/engaged/in a life partnership unless it is explicitly spelled out, so "partner" is a safe bet when the first two links I read don't mention what is their status :)

Ah ... ok.

It’s definitely his wife, that’s why I was confused by your comment.

Moving on ...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I mostly said it was unusable because of the costs now..wanting you to pay for all the books and pay a monthly subscription is ridiculous. I loved the classic Herolab and was perfectly happy to pay for book content in the app, but having to pay a subscription fee on top of that, made it unfeasible for me to use anymore.

Pathbuilder looks good, I will check it out.


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Marc Radle wrote:


Ah ... ok.
It’s definitely his wife, that’s why I was confused by your comment.

My wife is my partner


Ed Reppert wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:

This thread title and the comments here give me pause about continuing with HLO. I've relied on HL since 2013 or so because I run different RPG groups and an afterschool middle class. This means that I need to keep about 100 characters up to date and be able to update their gold amounts and magic items, output appealing-looking PDFs that give them all the rules knowledge they need at the table, be able to incorporate pictures for their characters, etc. I also store each person's several character files and PDFs in a shared Dropbox folder that I can access from anywhere, and edit on any device.

What functionality will I lose, if any, if I migrate completely to Pathbuilder?

The thread title seems intended to provoke exactly that reaction. It's also the usual internet hyperbole. Squared.

I don't know the answer to your last question. Given the tone of this thread, though, I doubt you'll get an accurate answer here.

I'm willing to manage the price of HLO and it's currently vital for my purposes. Not seeing any responses to my query here, however.

So do I need to provocative, too?...

Is this whole thread hyperbole?


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The Rot Grub wrote:
I'm willing to manage the price of HLO and it's currently vital for my purposes. Not seeing any responses to my query here, however.

Myself, I can't answer you: I never got HLO to work well enough to actually finish a character [the lag was that hideous], let alone manage upkeep and print one out. As such, I have no way to determine what differences you'd have. Now if you want any insight into pathbuilder I can answer those.

Sovereign Court

With regard to any functionality you may lose, pathbuider allows you to have many different characters that you can swap between, having set your options for each level you can generate a PDF character sheet based on the CRB one giving the relevant information. I think it has an option to print out the descriptions for feats and maybe spells, but I’ve not really used that as I mainly use it to plan a character and manually write it on a sheet.

You should then be able to export the PDF of the character sheet and then save that in Dropbox or wherever. Without having use HL at all, it appears what you currently use it for is available based on what you say there. Best thing is to give it a try - bluestacks to download it to your computer if you don’t have an Android device to test it first would seem to be a simple way to check yourself.


Ellias Aubec wrote:

With regard to any functionality you may lose, pathbuider allows you to have many different characters that you can swap between, having set your options for each level you can generate a PDF character sheet based on the CRB one giving the relevant information. I think it has an option to print out the descriptions for feats and maybe spells, but I’ve not really used that as I mainly use it to plan a character and manually write it on a sheet.

You should then be able to export the PDF of the character sheet and then save that in Dropbox or wherever. Without having use HL at all, it appears what you currently use it for is available based on what you say there. Best thing is to give it a try - bluestacks to download it to your computer if you don’t have an Android device to test it first would seem to be a simple way to check yourself.

Thanks. Where are characters stored? Are they accessible from different devices, and can I organize them into folders?

Grand Lodge

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The default storage is on your device, if you pay the $5 to upgrade it has cloud storage.

Even if you don't pay for the upgrade, you can still save your characters as PDFs and store the pdf anywhere you want.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
We all have our idiosyncrasies. I don't do Android (or Windows), for example. And I haven't seen any evidence that Herolab Online is "unusable". I was just using it yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Yeah, I would argue its far from unusable.

I understand if people don't like the cost structure of it. I'm not a particular fan of that either. But I still think HeroLab Online is a good product which is why I continue to use it.

Silver Crusade

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HeroLab Online is actually pretty good and constantly improving. Are there some issues...sure...but it's already fairly solid and only getting better. It already has pointed out the "errors of my ways" on more than one character when I questioned why/how it applied certain stats.


Slyme wrote:

The default storage is on your device, if you pay the $5 to upgrade it has cloud storage.

Even if you don't pay for the upgrade, you can still save your characters as PDFs and store the pdf anywhere you want.

Thanks. Sounds promising and I'll try it out.

My hesitation is that it seems someone is being extremely generous in programming Pathbuilder and that it might not be sustainable in the long run to keep with all new content into the future ad infinitum, without reliable revenue.


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The Rot Grub wrote:
Slyme wrote:

The default storage is on your device, if you pay the $5 to upgrade it has cloud storage.

Even if you don't pay for the upgrade, you can still save your characters as PDFs and store the pdf anywhere you want.

Thanks. Sounds promising and I'll try it out.

My hesitation is that it seems someone is being extremely generous in programming Pathbuilder and that it might not be sustainable in the long run to keep with all new content into the future ad infinitum, without reliable revenue.

He has 180 patrons [his goal was 50] + [ads or $5 to remove]. It seems like it's well within the projected range to be viable.

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