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ronlugge
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 14

Old February 6th, 2020, 10:41 PM
I'm trying to figure out how to build custom NPCs in the campaign tool. Seems like something that should be easy, but instead is proving annoyingly difficult.

As an example, I built a trio of NPCs for a game a few weeks ago -- I called them cleric, thug (fighter-ish), and flanker (rogue-ish).

But if I want to import them to herolab, there's no way to even start -- it demands I select an ancestry, which basically loads an entire existing stat block for me.
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Sjmarshall
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 28

Old February 7th, 2020, 09:15 PM
I can customize NPCs for almost anything until it requires custom abilities. You need to create a new PC otherwise your options that I describe below will be severely limited in the permanent abilities modifications. Not sure why, but you have very limited modifications when creating a NPC or Monster. You can select a custom ancestry which will allow custom size, speed, hp, etc... Using permanent adjustments to set final values of stats, and custom weapons to create custom attacks. The only part I get stuck is with custom abities. If you have specific questions for modifying specific things just let me know. It's not the easiest, but it gets me what I need.

Last edited by Sjmarshall; February 7th, 2020 at 09:17 PM.
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Dami
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 731

Old February 8th, 2020, 01:03 AM
I thought the idea was to create Heroes in HLO, then put them into the Campaign Theater, not the other way around. HLO does the "bookkeeping" and CT is an add-on to connect GMs and Players.

Current RPG's: Pathfinder (GM), Pathfinder (Player), Gamma World (GM, Pathfinder homebrew).
HeroLab: 3.5 & Pathfinder. HL User Files for PF: Greyhawk Setting, Gamma World (WIP).

DM and player of D&D since 1980.

Last edited by Dami; February 8th, 2020 at 01:06 AM.
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talsharien
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Leeds UK
Posts: 236

Old February 8th, 2020, 02:03 AM
To be fair to LW, GM's guide which contains rules for Monster & NPC creation has not been released yet. We all have access to the free download which Paizo released last year detailing an early copy of that chapter, but this has not been implemented into HL.

I suspect that when GM Guide is released at the end of the month, LW will release a package which will expand our options for Monster and NPC creation (well I hope anyway lol).
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ronlugge
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 14

Old February 14th, 2020, 09:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dami View Post
I thought the idea was to create Heroes in HLO, then put them into the Campaign Theater, not the other way around. HLO does the "bookkeeping" and CT is an add-on to connect GMs and Players.
I'm talking as the GM, who wants to use it to track NPCs.
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ronlugge
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 14

Old February 15th, 2020, 07:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjmarshall View Post
I can customize NPCs for almost anything until it requires custom abilities. You need to create a new PC otherwise your options that I describe below will be severely limited in the permanent abilities modifications. Not sure why, but you have very limited modifications when creating a NPC or Monster. You can select a custom ancestry which will allow custom size, speed, hp, etc... Using permanent adjustments to set final values of stats, and custom weapons to create custom attacks. The only part I get stuck is with custom abities. If you have specific questions for modifying specific things just let me know. It's not the easiest, but it gets me what I need.
Problem is I need to create a *new* NPC, not a customized variant of an existing one.

For example, two weeks ago I need a series of generic NPC thugs in varying flavors -- I quickly named them 'anchor', 'flanker', 'thug', and 'buffer'. My anchor was, basically, a tank: there to take damage and die and buy time for the rest of the enemies to manuever into position 'on screen'. Flankers were rogue types, designed to introduce the importance of feint and harrass with mobility. Thugs were my main damage dealers. And of course, the buffer was a cleric to shed some blessings, magic weapons, and then fleet step the hell out of trouble.

I used the NPC creation rules to come up with this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

I'd _love_ to use the HLO campaign tools to run my fights, they look awesome, and probably better than scratch paper. But if I can't add my custom NPCs to the battle, how am I supposed to run a fight there?
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Sjmarshall
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 28

Old February 16th, 2020, 04:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronlugge View Post
Problem is I need to create a *new* NPC, not a customized variant of an existing one.

For example, two weeks ago I need a series of generic NPC thugs in varying flavors -- I quickly named them 'anchor', 'flanker', 'thug', and 'buffer'. My anchor was, basically, a tank: there to take damage and die and buy time for the rest of the enemies to manuever into position 'on screen'. Flankers were rogue types, designed to introduce the importance of feint and harrass with mobility. Thugs were my main damage dealers. And of course, the buffer was a cleric to shed some blessings, magic weapons, and then fleet step the hell out of trouble.

I used the NPC creation rules to come up with this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

I'd _love_ to use the HLO campaign tools to run my fights, they look awesome, and probably better than scratch paper. But if I can't add my custom NPCs to the battle, how am I supposed to run a fight there?
What I see in that document you should be able to create no problem in HLO. Just create new PC. Select custom ancestry and set the values for that. From there go to Permanent Adjustments and Permanent Added Abilities. There are options there to change the values for the character. You can then use that character as your base and create copies and tweak as necessary. If you have additional questions, or if I'm not quite understanding what you mean please let me know.
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TheYsconator
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 10

Old February 17th, 2020, 02:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjmarshall View Post
What I see in that document you should be able to create no problem in HLO. Just create new PC. Select custom ancestry and set the values for that. From there go to Permanent Adjustments and Permanent Added Abilities. There are options there to change the values for the character. You can then use that character as your base and create copies and tweak as necessary. If you have additional questions, or if I'm not quite understanding what you mean please let me know.
So in my case for example, I'm trying to create the |Caustic Wolf| from The Fall of Plaguestone. Using a custom NPC here seems a bit overkill, and does not even appear to fully work.

The 'overkill' part (having to skip over all kinds of boxes, like starting gold) is annoying, but not a problem per se.

However, what would the class of such a beast be? And even after picking just something and doing the rest with permanent modifications, creating a new NPC instead seems to be the way to go for such animals. However, these don't have a 'custom' ancestry (which I think is rather odd).

How'd you go about re-creating such monster in HLO?
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Sjmarshall
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 28

Old February 17th, 2020, 03:43 AM
Name the custom ancestry the name of the NPC. For Example, in Age of Ashes I created a Charu-ka Dragon Priest with a custom ancestry called Charu-ka Dragon Priest. When you create a NPC from the vault you'll see that the Ancestry is the name of the creature.

Regarding class, you won't need to select one because you'll be using the Permanent Adjustments and Permanent Added Abilities to set values for almost everything that isn't covered by the custom ancestry settings. The NPC will not be valid, meaning you'll have the red exclamation on the top right of the screen.

Here are some screenshots that might be helpful.
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dacoobob
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 215

Old February 17th, 2020, 08:23 AM
Campaign Mode updates have been coming quick and fast since they released the beta, hopefully a simpler method for custom npc/monster creation will be added soon.

in the meantime, by far the easiest way is to use Stand-Ins. from the Cast Members screen, click Add, then Create New, then in the Type drop-down menu select PC Stand-In. then you can type in the creature's attack bonuses, AC, HP, saves, etc directly rather than screwing around with building everything from scratch and adding a bunch of adjustments and overrides.
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