View Single Post
Senior Member
Volunteer Data File Contributor
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago, IL (USA)
Posts: 10,727

Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:20 PM
Table of Contents:
Glossary of Terms:
  • 1st File - A .1st file is a special type of XML file that is made for HL and is the very first set of files loaded into memory. Most of the time the larger community created addons use this file to setup the Sources. Especially if you would like to have "Parent" sources that can not be checked mark and have "Child" sources below them. This can only be done using a .1st file. HERE is a info how to create a .1st file.
  • Authoring Kit - A separately purchased piece of software that is used to create whole NEW games for Hero Lab. All existing games (ie d20, Pathfinder, Shadowrun) come with an Editor built in to make changes.
  • Bootstrap - In HL terms this means to attach one Thing to another Thing so when the first Thing gets added to a character the 2nd Thing comes along. In example if a Class Ability gives the Dodge feat for free you would Bootstrap the Dodge Feat (Thing) to the Class Ability (Thing) so that when the class ability was added to a character the feat would get added also. For real fun see the wikipedia entry.
  • Configure Your Hero - So when you start HL then pick Pathfinder you are presented with a little window called "Configure Your Hero". In this window on the right side is where you can pick different options or "books". These are often called and referred to as "Sources" by the editor. You can also get to this window by going to "Character->Configure Hero" or pressing "CTRL-K".
  • Data (.user) file - This is the user created files that allow new or modified stuff for a game system. These files can be opened by the HL Editor and can be modified or changed directly. The files themselves are XML files and if you wish can be opened up by a Text Editor and modified directly but this is NOT recommended.
  • Dirtying Up a .por - This means to make a change to your character, put a space in the name up/lower a skill bonus, so that the Hero Lab software detects the change. This way when you save the file it will actually be saved. Otherwise the Hero Lab software does not actually save the file if nothing was changed.
  • Eval Scripts - Another name for the scripts that run behind each Thing in Hero Lab. In example the "Alertness" feat has a Eval script that gives a +2 bonus to the Sense Motive and Perception. If the character level is 10+ the eval script gives an additional +2 bonus.
  • Field - A field in the editor is a place in memory where a Pick or Thing can hold a numeric or string variable of data. In an eval script a field named abDC would be reference as field[abDC].value.
  • Gizmo - A gizmo is used to "inherit" the properties of an existing Thing. So a Magic Longsword would have a Longsword Gizmo so that it has all the same properties as the Longsword. This way any changes made to the base weapon will happen to the magic version also.
  • Hero - This is the generic term for the Character. It is also the highest level "Container" that contains all the other Things of the character.
  • Hero Lab Editor - The free included software for making changes/houserules for the Pathfinder game system.
  • HL - Short for Hero Lab.
  • Import (.hl) files - These are special compressed files (like a zip file) that holds data files, custom character sheets, or portfolio files that will be automatically installed into the correct locations for you.
  • LW - Short for Lone Wolf the company that makes the Hero Lab software.
  • Pick - A Pick is a "Thing" that has been chosen and attached to a the hero/character also known as being "Live" on the character. In example the feat "Dodge" is a "Thing" in HL but once a gamer selects Dodge at 1st level it changes from a "Thing" to a "pick" on the hero then. For programmers a Pick is the same as a instance (ie Thing = Object; Pick = Instance). A Pick can have tags assigned, deleted, or changed in addition to Field values.
  • Portfolio (.por) files - These are the Hero Lab files that hold one or more characters created inside of Hero Lab.
  • Powered By Hero Lab - This is a feature that allows third parties to provide data sets that can be updated inside of Hero Lab just like official updates. The community is currently using this to provide several data sets. See THIS thread for full details.
  • Stock Files (.stock) - These files contain multiple characters inside. They allow for easy selection from inside of HL by going to "Gamemaster->Encounter Builder". To make a .stock file you simply rename a .por file to the extension .stock.
  • Sources - This most often refers to the different Options or Books that are available from the "Configure Your Hero" window.
  • Tag - A preset string of characters made up of a Group dot Tag. In example Hero.NPC is a tag that resides on the hero marking the character as a NPC. Tags can be deleted, assigned, pulled, pushed and tested for. They are most useful for grouping together Picks on a character. Like tagging all Natural attacks with wGroup.Natural tag. Examples of working with tags: perform hero.assign[Hero.NPC].
  • Thing - When capitalized this is the generic term used by HL to represent Feats, Spells, Traits, Magic Items, and anything else created in the HL Editor. Specifically it refers to a something that is in the HL database but has not yet been put onto a character. For programmers this is the same as an "object". A feat that is not yet "chosen" is a Thing but once selected and added to a character it becomes a "Pick" (ie Thing = Object; Pick = Instance). A Thing can NOT have tags assigned, deleted, or changed nor can its field values be changed.
  • Test Now! - The "Test Now!" button in the editor is used to convert the "Text" based information of a "Thing" into a Binary representation that HL can work with. The other solution to doing "Test Now!" is "CTRL-R" which will do a quick restart of HL and it will compile everything in the .user files.
  • Transitioning - This means in a script to make sure you are on the correct Pick when doing logic. For more detailed info see THIS post.
  • Unique ID - Every Thing defined in the Hero Lab editor must be given a 10 character value that has to be unique to all of Hero Lab. The first letter or letters often help to identify what the Thing is. For example the "Dodge" feat has a unique id of "fDodge".

Hero Lab Resources:
Pathfinder - d20pfsrd and Pathfinder Pack Setup
3.5 D&D (d20) - Community Server Setup
5E D&D - Community Server Setup
Hero Lab Help - Hero Lab FAQ, Editor Tutorials and Videos, Editor & Scripting Resources.
Created by the community for the community
- Realm Works kickstarter backer (Alpha Wolf) and Beta tester.
- d20 HL package volunteer editor.

Last edited by ShadowChemosh; March 24th, 2017 at 04:49 PM.
ShadowChemosh is offline   #1 Reply With Quote