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ChumSlinger
March 2nd, 2018, 19:37
The FG character creation capability is not shall we say ....... "elegant"
I tried the Hero Labs Online StarFinder character creator when it first came out (maybe a month ago) and was not satisfied with it.
Is anybody using another third party Character Creation tool for StarFinder that they really like?
Has Hero Labs Online improved significantly in the past 30 day?

Blacklamb
March 2nd, 2018, 21:24
I have been using PCGen, unfortunately it does not have a export yet for Starfinder for Fantasy Grounds but considering they have it for other rule sets like Pathfinder I expect them to soonish.

dberkompas
March 3rd, 2018, 00:59
Does PCGen support XSLT?

Gonna research that, maybe a nice project to take on.

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 02:23
I am pretty annoyed with Lone Wolf holding Starfinder hostage in the hopes that it will be the back-bone for some unlikely online subscription scheme. Why-TF they can't just release it for the regular Hero Lab app... They've been on a losing streak and are doubling down.

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damned
March 3rd, 2018, 02:30
I am pretty annoyed with Lone Wolf holding Starfinder hostage in the hopes that it will be the back-bone for some unlikely online subscription scheme. Why-TF they can't just release it for the regular Hero Lab app... They've been on a losing streak and are doubling down.

Top

Hey Top what do you mean by this?

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 02:44
I mean that in order to use Starfinder as a character generator for Hero Lab, you have to go with the new online version and pay a monthly fee. You don't just buy it. And Starfinder doesn't have a 'normal' set that you can purchase.

I own Hero Lab for Savage Worlds and it is pretty cool because I am able to actually add settings and extra rules to the thing. But online - that customization isn't going to happen. So that is a reduction in capabilities for me.

Anyhow, they are using Starfinder to push a new business model.

EDIT: I was told that the online version of Hero Lab _WILL_ support custom files such as those I mention.

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 02:51
https://i.imgur.com/SrP8kAA.png

Here is what I mean about being able to customize Herolab. The checked items are character generation rules that I created. The others were created by other players. None of that is going to be possible in an online model.

EDIT: I own Hero Lab - I bought into their system and paid through the initial price hurdle. That Lone Wolf decided to make another discrete system is ok, but making exclusive content for it is BS.

Bidmaron
March 3rd, 2018, 03:29
TopDecker, I am with you on this. I doubt I will continue buying content over there. The delays with RealmWorks are just beyond explanation.

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 03:59
TopDecker, I am with you on this. I doubt I will continue buying content over there. The delays with RealmWorks are just beyond explanation.

I actually _really_ like Hero Lab which is why I feel somewhat betrayed by the lack of Starfinder content. Who ever is at the helm over there is steering towards the shoals.

RealmWorks - I own it. It is wrong for me because I play online - it would be a lot more useful if I did more face to face gaming (and had the time needed to enter a lot of data and organize it). I will not talk it down beyond saying it was a belly flop at best - it has to have been a money pit.

Competing with yourself by making a SECOND character generation program while offering NOTHING to your existing customer-base is just so obviously flawed that a cranial-rectal inversion is surely in progress. I mean their head has to be WAY WAY up there.

It would have made a lot more business sense to add online character sheets (i.e. no character gen, but a fully functional and shareable character sheet) that are managed from their existing Hero Lab product. By paying a reasonable fee, you could as a GM allow your players online access to character sheets that a player and you can interact with in real time. THAT would have been admirable, much more achievable, and engage your existing customers.

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damned
March 3rd, 2018, 04:26
Thanks for the background.
I also backed realmworks to a reasonable level but never ending up using my subscription.

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 04:43
Thanks for the background.
I also backed realmworks to a reasonable level but never ending up using my subscription.

No problem. I also apologize for thread jacking.

They waived the subscription fee. You should activate and play with the software. I think what is there is well done and it is probably best used to glue together a ton of source material and have a cohesive, searchable end product. It could really tame down settings that span a lot of books.

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ShadeRaven
March 3rd, 2018, 16:09
I am a big fan of Hero Labs. This is unfortunate news. :( I was hoping, as we start to look at Starfinder as a new campaign system, that HL could be the backbone to character creation that would allow me to verify and toy with different options/builds.

Bidmaron
March 3rd, 2018, 17:21
It probably will be, but you can only do it on a subscription basis. It is hard for me to believe they will make more money doing that than the purchase content model they use now for the legacy Hero Lab.

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 17:45
On their forums, I asked flatly when we can expect a Starfinder module for Hero Lab (local). Maybe I am wrong and they actually plan on releasing it in a non-online offering. Otherwise, they need to tombstone Hero Lab and say that it is being obsoleted.

Bidmaron
March 3rd, 2018, 19:04
They have stated that they never intend to support SF on legacy HL. However, they have also said that the content we have already purchased will continue to work in legacy forever. I have my doubts and am not purchasing any further content. I intend to put my resources here. (as I have been, but moreso)

Topdecker
March 3rd, 2018, 19:37
Thanks, Bidmaron. I was unaware that they'd made a statement.

They should make a product so good that I want to move; instead, they are holding IPs hostage and rendering my existing investment in their product less valuable. PATHETIC.

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Azaran
March 4th, 2018, 09:46
Thanks, Bidmaron. I was unaware that they'd made a statement.

They should make a product so good that I want to move; instead, they are holding IPs hostage and rendering my existing investment in their product less valuable. PATHETIC.

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Noticed this too, they're obviously not generating enough revenue from standalone herolab.

Tbh, FG drives you enough through the process even at this early stage. The only thing it lacks is full self validation which what they've done with skill and attribute points goes a very long way to achieve that. We have to remember that as GMs, we do have some admin work to do :)

Nylanfs
March 5th, 2018, 19:15
Does PCGen support XSLT?

Gonna research that, maybe a nice project to take on.

We totally do, here's our doc's (http://pcgen.org/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/index.html) look at the section for Output sheets. We are also transitioning to using Freemarker (http://wiki.pcgen.org/FreeMarker_Output) for the template system.

In addition to our old Yahoo! mailing lists:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/pcgen/info
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PCGenListFileHelp/info

Our Forums:
http://groups.pcgen.org/

And our Chat Rooms:
https://www.hipchat.com/gmddByrFS

Our Twitter channel:
https://twitter.com/PCGen

Our blog:
http://pcgen.org/blog/

Or our Help email:
[email protected]

If you jump into the chat room the best people for OS questions is @Regan or @Andrewmaitland.

dberkompas
March 5th, 2018, 19:18
Thanks Nylanfs, appreciate the links!


Dave

Full Bleed
March 5th, 2018, 23:39
RE: Realmworks


They waived the subscription fee.

Permanently? Last I looked they just seemed to be continuously delaying the onset...


You should activate and play with the software. I think what is there is well done and it is probably best used to glue together a ton of source material and have a cohesive, searchable end product. It could really tame down settings that span a lot of books.

I always liked the idea of Realmworks, but could not buy into the subscription/online model. I saw no reason that it shouldn't have been an local/offline program with personal cloud support should we wish to store our info there.

There was no way I was going to invest hundreds of hours into something that could "go away" with a company implosion.

Bidmaron
March 6th, 2018, 06:15
Well, it wouldn't exactly go away anymore. There are some add-ons folks have created that let you take an RW export file and make it into html or pdf. It won't work with copyrighted stuff but will do great with your own in-house material.

As for the cloud fee -- it is suspended until the full-blown content market becomes available. As to when that will be, well, that is the source of much frustration over there. They are blaming delays on Paizo sync setup delays.

Full Bleed
March 6th, 2018, 21:22
Well, it wouldn't exactly go away anymore. There are some add-ons folks have created that let you take an RW export file and make it into html or pdf. It won't work with copyrighted stuff but will do great with your own in-house material.
So, if I'm understanding you, I wouldn't lose the content because it can be exported into one of those other formats? But the functionality of the actual program does still rely on their cloud, correct? I have no interest in purchasing copyrighted material for it, so that's a non-factor for me. I saw it as a strictly organizational tool but can't see spending time organizing everything into their complex format/structure and then not being able to access it accordingly. I still see no reason they should have ever made the program reliant on their cloud.


As for the cloud fee -- it is suspended until the full-blown content market becomes available. As to when that will be, well, that is the source of much frustration over there. They are blaming delays on Paizo sync setup delays.
Oddly enough, the lack of a fee is a selling feature for me. But if it's "coming soon" it's a moot point.

Bidmaron
March 6th, 2018, 21:40
No you do not need the cloud at all. However you do need to hit their web site for license validation (same as most applications of FG). You can work locally though. You only have to have cloud if you want their cloud backup and to access content market

ChumSlinger
March 6th, 2018, 22:19
I don't mind paying a small subscription fee for Hero Labs online but the StarFinder content needs to be paid for separately ($34.99) and I found it buggy and, in my opinion, cumbersome. It also appears to be the only content available right now for Hero Labs Online. (they do offer three months of server access when you buy the SF license)

Topdecker
March 6th, 2018, 23:35
We totally do, here's our doc's (http://pcgen.org/autobuilds/pcgen-docs/index.html) look at the section for Output sheets. We are also transitioning to using Freemarker (http://wiki.pcgen.org/FreeMarker_Output) for the template system.


I had looked at PCGen, but was on a Surface Pro and java doesn't seem to scale UI's at all (which made using it more than difficult). Is there an easy way to scale the UI?

Thanks!

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Nylanfs
March 7th, 2018, 16:52
Was it using a 4k screen? If so this might help.

Right click PCGen app, Select Properties, then Compatibility, then turn on Override High DPI scaling

Topdecker
March 8th, 2018, 00:03
Was it using a 4k screen? If so this might help.

Right click PCGen app, Select Properties, then Compatibility, then turn on Override High DPI scaling

I will give that a try, thanks

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daplunk
March 14th, 2018, 11:07
Competing with yourself by making a SECOND character generation program while offering NOTHING to your existing customer-base is just so obviously flawed that a cranial-rectal inversion is surely in progress. I mean their head has to be WAY WAY up there.

This would be true if they were the most popular character generator on the market. They aren't though. Sure in Pathfinder circles it's the most popular character editor but that's due to the complexity and sheer amount of content that's available for Pathfinder. Looking at the numbers from various sources (Fantasy Ground, Roll20 ORR Report) only about 15%-20% of people are playing the system where they are popular. Making it web based was an intelligent choice as it opens them up to practically anyone playing a game system that they support. They stand to massively increase their market share if they can pull this off.

Yes they will lose some loyal customers along the way. People hate change, so they will have considered that. The overwhelming success of DnDBeyond shows that people are open to this model though.

Honestly I'm super hopeful they can turn it into something successful. I love Realm Works and that tool needs the cash influx to get its development back on track.

Bidmaron
March 14th, 2018, 12:47
Daplunk what are you saying is the most popular generator? The only other contender I know about is pcgen.

daplunk
March 14th, 2018, 14:06
Daplunk what are you saying is the most popular generator? The only other contender I know about is pcgen.

There are many many character editors on the market. Different game systems tend to have differed favoured solutions. This is where Hero Lab should have the advantage. Their's is one of the few tools (PCGen being the other one) that can be configured to support nearly any game system. But they only support PC and IPad's and have not been able to penetrate the large amount of the market that don't game on those OS's.

Consider the impact they could have on the whole table-top market if they can successfully pull this off. Offer licensed support for multiple game systems on the one tool across basically any OS. Once the tool is used and trusted the word of mouth will spread and continue to spread even as players change game systems. Implement the API as they are talking about and the VTT crowd will likely flock to it too. Then the players can take their characters with them outside the likes of Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 but have the tool interact directly with the VTT during play.

Hero Lab Classic is holding them back. Sadly, because I love it. But I cannot see how Hero Lab Online is a bad move for them.

Topdecker
March 15th, 2018, 01:33
PC market: 85%
iOS market: 13%
Linux: 2%

Pretty typical industry numbers - if anything, a bit hopeful for Linux.

If we're considering the mobile market, I don't think that a crowd where an expensive app is $5 is gonna start licking their chops to get involved.

Sorry, man, but I don't see this as opening horizons. It is nice to develop for a single platform but that is about it.

The way I see it, I bought a razor. I want more blades - and now I am being told that I need another razor. I bought into the system once and I won't be screwed over by them again.

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daplunk
March 15th, 2018, 03:48
If we're considering the mobile market, I don't think that a crowd where an expensive app is $5 is gonna start licking their chops to get involved.

I'm absolutely considering the mobile market. PC is not even in competition with Mobile IMO when it comes to tabletop role players. VTT is having a huge surge in popularity but there is still a significantly larger portion of players playing face to face and in those situations PC is not king.

And I agree that players will always seek out the cheapest options. But the chatter I've seen indicates there are a few things that will make them open their wallets.

Availability - The free tools generally don't offer the full solution due to legal limitations (SRD limitations).
Laziness - Where the tool cannot provide the whole solution, they usually provide a way for the players to fill the gaps, people are lazy though and will in a lot of cases open their wallets to avoid the effort (The lawyers in the 5e circles ensure this is an effective factor).
Reliability - Will new books come out in an acceptable time-frame? Can the data be trusted when it does? How long does it take for support to fix something?


This can always been seen in the Pathfinder groups when discussion occurs between HLC and PCGen. Sure there are some people that talk up PCGen but there is always more people talking about a poor experience with PCGen, the lack of content, the delay of new content, the quality of the content being in question. Those people paid for HLC because of those reasons.

So while they may not lick their chops at the idea there will still be a large % of people who will open their wallets to ensure they get a quality solution with limited fuss.

We are starting to see this trend in the 5e circles with DnDBeyond. Originally the player base was split. People swore they would never touch it. A few months in some of those people are returning to the discussion saying they tried it, found it reliable and convenient and now swear by it, people are seeing their feedback and in turn getting curious enough to try it. The domino effect continues.

HLO have a long way to go before they reach this stage but they are getting closer with every update. They just released the ability to create custom monsters and npcs for example.

22637

https://pasteboard.co/HbWVUBm.jpg

Bidmaron
March 15th, 2018, 05:01
daplunk, my frustration with them is that those of us who sunk our bucks into the offline version get nothing for our investment. So after years of support and over $1000 (never added it up, but it has been a butt ton), the best they can do is promise me that my offline version will always work (but never get any better)? And now their two premier tools are diverging, as RW shows no indication of moving to an online model (the db tool they based it all on won't support it). I have never personally seen a company with such a dysfunctional development team. It is almost like the RW team and the HL team worked in different universes. Maybe they are doing something different, and I just don't know it. I am so upset with them that I doubt they will ever see another of my $ at this point, and I have stopped following HLO and offline entirely. I still follow RW, for all the good that is doing.

daplunk
March 15th, 2018, 10:31
daplunk, my frustration with them is that those of us who sunk our bucks into the offline version get nothing for our investment. So after years of support and over $1000 (never added it up, but it has been a butt ton), the best they can do is promise me that my offline version will always work (but never get any better)?

This doesn't make me angry in the slightest. Hero Lab Classic has been around for what 11 years? I can't think of any other software that I use that has not been refreshed in that time that is still being actively developed. That's a bloody good innings really and for them to promise that it will always work just means it's better value for money. Given the editor support and community support I have complete faith that it will get better. LWD aren't necessarily required to continue to add value to this program. That's one of the benefits of it being an offline program.


And now their two premier tools are diverging, as RW shows no indication of moving to an online model (the db tool they based it all on won't support it).

What's your source on the online model? Last update I heard about that was it's still on the 'To Do' list but with no update of substance since that YouTube Video (https://youtu.be/Vmfq8UR4WCI).


I have never personally seen a company with such a dysfunctional development team. It is almost like the RW team and the HL team worked in different universes. Maybe they are doing something different, and I just don't know it. I am so upset with them that I doubt they will ever see another of my $ at this point, and I have stopped following HLO and offline entirely. I still follow RW, for all the good that is doing.

This I agree completely with. They need to get their s**t together which I know they are trying to do. They have hired new developers, promoted BJ to VP so she can manage the company and allow Rob get's back to coding Realm Works. The launch of Hero Lab Online is part of the plan. It's a step in the right direction but only time will tell if that's enough to get them back on track. They are not doing themselves any favours with how Realm Works is being managed.

Topdecker
March 15th, 2018, 12:55
I am not gonna pick on RW - it is just too easy. Ok, screw it. Not being able to open a JPG larger than 5mb is just poor for a program that needs to deal with world maps. It should at least be able to keep pace with the Windows image previewer instead of lagging behind.

We'll see about LWD and HLO. Small companies only get so many mis-steps and I suspect that this is a critical year for them. RW and HLO has them bleeding red and now HLO probably needs to be a success - and I don't see it happening.

daplunk
March 15th, 2018, 13:45
Not being able to open a JPG larger than 5mb is just poor for a program that needs to deal with world maps. It should at least be able to keep pace with the Windows image previewer instead of lagging behind.

God yes please give us 64bit. My attempt at an interactive Forgotten Realms Atlas is almost guaranteed to cause a crash on opening the primary map.

Nylanfs
March 15th, 2018, 17:20
Hero Lab is in the exact same location that PCGen is in in regards to Pathfinder and 5e. HL can use SRD and licensed material for PF, we use the Community Policy which amounts to the same thing. And for 5e HL only uses the SRD, and other materials are supplied by the community. Same with PCGen.

daplunk
March 17th, 2018, 13:10
Hero Lab is in the exact same location that PCGen is in in regards to Pathfinder and 5e.

Datawise sure. Once they put it on HLO though HLC moves away from comparisons with PCGen.

SpringheeledJak
April 24th, 2018, 00:18
I used to be a programmer for HeroLab, so I can safely say I have an intimate knowledge of their software. Their company line was that the reason they created HeroLab Online and Starfinder wouldn't be available in HeroLab Classic was that Starfinder needed mechanics that HeroLab Classic didn't support. To test this theory, I tried coding it myself. I was able to make HeroLab Classic do everything it needed to. I was even able to manipulate the Eidolon creation system for summoners into a ship creator. I used the ship equipment as if it was evolutions attributed to ship slots and it seemed to work just fine so duplicating that mechanic for a ship creator wouldn't be too hard. I also don't understand separating the two since Pathfinder content is supposed to be convertible or compatible with Starfinder. I 100% agree with the assumption that HeroLab Online is a lame attempt to milk subscription fees on top of the normal charges for the datasets.

So far the history of Lone Wolf Development is a series of failed promises:

They promised an iPad and Android version of HeroLab. All we got was an iPad Character sheet before they completely abandoned mobile apps.
They promised a boat-load of ReamWorks content market and features. Instead it's over 4 years later and none of that has happened.
They promised that HeroLab Online profiles would be accessible during server issues. Their recent server outage proved that wasn't true either.
They promised MORE functionality than HeroLab Classic. Even simple features like searching for text in a list (like finding all chaotic neutral gods or specific weapons) wasn't even in the beta (given the preceeding items in this list, I refuse to pay anything for HeroLab Online).



We definitely need more alternatives.

Nylanfs
April 26th, 2018, 01:06
Welcome to the forums and FG Community SpringheeledJak!