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Koro76
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Posts: 50

Old March 5th, 2020, 02:13 AM
While the product listing for the GMG seems to include the following:

- Custom Monsters and the option to customize existing monsters
- A wide variety of optional rules allowing GMs to customize many aspects of the game, such as permitting dual-classed characters, adding a Stamina system to PF2, or changing the list of ability scores used for characters
- Approximately 2 dozen artifacts, cursed items, and intelligent items, including iconic pieces like the bag of devouring, deck of many things, and sphere of annihilation
- 83 Generic NPCs, such as a beggar, cultist, or innkeeper, ready to be dropped into your adventures
- Custom Hazards (on the way)
- Custom NPCs (on the way)

It doesn't seem to include a bunch of other content from the book that would be extremely useful in HLO, such as:

- Item Building (Tools)
- Custom Intelligent Items (Tools)
- Custom Cursed Items (Tools)
- Relics (Tools)
- Custom Artifacts (Tools)
- Specific gems and art objects (Tools)
- New Afflictions (Tools)
- Stat blocks for (or the ability to create stat blocks for): Nations, Settlements, and Planes (Tools)
- A way to track Victory Points (Subsystems)
- A way to track Influence (or a way to create influence stat blocks) (Subsystems)
- A way to create Library stat blocks (Subsystems)
- Chase obstacles, or a way to build/run a chase (Subsystems)
- Infiltration obstacles, or a way to build them (Subsystems)
- A way to track reputation (Subsystems)
- A way to track Organization stats for the Leadership subsystem (Subsystems)
- Vehicle stats, or ownership (Subsystems)
- Deep Backgrounds (a similar system was in HLC for PF1) (Variant Rules)
- Level 0 Characters (Variant Rules)
- Automatic bonus progression (Variant Rules)
- High-Quality Weapons/Armor (Variant Rules)
- Proficiency without level (Variant Rules)

I realize that not all of these items are supported by the current features of HLO, and I wouldn't expect them all to be added immediately. Furthermore, some of these items may fall outside of the scope of HLO itself. May of them, though, are possible and desired as features. (I also didn't have time to go through each item and check if it was implememted, but the ones I did check, weren't.)

Is there a plan to implement more of the GMG as time goes on, or are the only forthcoming features/content the custom hazards and NPCs?

Last edited by Koro76; March 5th, 2020 at 01:15 PM.
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rob
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Old March 16th, 2020, 04:16 PM
I didn't see this thread until two days ago and needed to consult with the team to make sure I give you accurate information. Before I dive in, though, I need to point out that MANY of the items you flag as "missing" are either already in place (and not hard to find) or simply not suitable for support in a tool like Hero Lab (e.g. general guidelines for GMs are not concrete rules that can be codified in a program). The net result is that your post gives the impression that many things are missing that are not, which definitely seems disingenuous to me.

With that said, I'll address each of the items that you flagged:
  • Item Building (Tools)
    This section is really just a bunch of general guidelines for GMs and not something concrete that could be codified into a tool like Hero Lab.
    .
  • Custom Intelligent Items (Tools)
    Same as above
    .
  • Custom Cursed Items (Tools)
    Same as above
    .
  • Relics (Tools)
    Going out on Wednesday (18th)
    .
  • Custom Artifacts (Tools)
    What are you referring to here? The book simply provides some general guidelines for creating an artifact that supplements the basic item building section, which is addressed above. From what I can tell, there's nothing here that we can codify.
    .
  • Specific gems and art objects (Tools)
    There are "Custom Art Object" and "Custom Gem" options already available that allow creation of anything you want. You don't have to be limited to the examples given in the book and can enter whatever you want with the custom elements.
    .
  • New Afflictions (Tools)
    Going out on Wednesday (18th)
    .
  • Stat blocks for (or the ability to create stat blocks for): Nations, Settlements, and Planes (Tools)
    Those are capabilities that are vastly better modeled in a tool like our Realm Works product. They don't really make sense within a product like Hero Lab.
    .
  • A way to track Victory Points (Subsystems)
    This is something that will ultimately be tracked by building on planned functionality for Campaign Theater (i.e. flexible note attachments to campaign elements). However, it's not something we'll have within the next few weeks. In most ways, this mechanism (and all of its derivations below) is something far more appropriate to manage/model through a tool like Realm Works.
    .
  • A way to track Influence (or a way to create influence stat blocks) (Subsystems)
    This is just a concrete example of Victory Points and will be possible to track once that mechanism is supported via Campaign Theater. Creating the statblocks is not rule-based and entirely ad hoc by the GM, so there is no logic to codify - it's merely arbitrary notes with some structure. You could model this currently within HLO via the Placeholder NPC by attaching the appropriate statblock as notes.
    .
  • A way to create Library stat blocks (Subsystems)
    Just like Influence
    .
  • Chase obstacles, or a way to build/run a chase (Subsystems)
    Just like Influence
    .
  • Infiltration obstacles, or a way to build them (Subsystems)
    Just like Influence
    .
  • A way to track reputation (Subsystems)
    This was part of the initial GMG release. It's accessed via the Background tab and quite flexible.
    .
  • A way to track Organization stats for the Leadership subsystem (Subsystems)
    This will become possible through features of Campaign Theater that are due relatively soon.
    .
  • Vehicle stats, or ownership (Subsystems)
    There has been little interest in vehicles for both Starfinder and PF1. Both of those games have vehicles and we haven't yet added them to those games either. In all that time that vehicles have been documented in the rulebooks for those games, we've only received a small number of inquiries about adding them into Hero Lab. Consequently, we're holding off on vehicles until there's a meaningful level of interest demonstrated by users.
    .
  • Deep Backgrounds (a similar system was in HLC for PF1) (Variant Rules)
    This is just a bunch of random tables that many GMs will revise/augment to suit their world, and they are all readily accomplished via the existing Custom Background. So determine the choices by whatever means you wish and add a Custom Background with the details.
    .
  • Level 0 Characters (Variant Rules)
    Fully supported already
    .
  • Automatic bonus progression (Variant Rules)
    Fully supported already
    .
  • High-Quality Weapons/Armor (Variant Rules)
    Fully supported already
    .
  • Proficiency without level (Variant Rules)
    Fully supported already
    .
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rob
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Old March 16th, 2020, 04:40 PM
For those wondering what IS in place within HLO for the Game Mastery Guide, plus what's coming in two days, here's the rundown:
  • Building Custom Creatures and NPCs
  • Building Hazards (Wednesday the 18th)
  • All sample hazards from the book, plus those from the core rulebook (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Building Magic Items (via the Custom Magic Item option in HLO) - not to be confused with adding arbitrary custom powers for use on items
  • Item Quirks
  • Intelligent Items (those from the book)
  • Cursed Items (those from the book)
  • Item Curses (for application to items in general)
  • Custom Relics (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Artifacts
  • Custom Gem and Art Objects
  • Afflictions (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Diseases (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Drugs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Victory Point Tracking (statblocks can be managed via attaching the statblock to Placeholder NPCs) - includes Influence, Research, Chases, and Infiltration, which are different expressions of the Victory Point mechanic
  • Reputation
  • Gradual Ability Boosts
  • Point Buy Ability Scores
  • Alternative Ability Scores
  • Extreme Good and Evil
  • Incremental Alignment
  • No Alignment
  • Moral Intentions
  • Deep Backgrounds (via arbitrary custom background support)
  • Dual-Class PCs
  • Free Archetype
  • Ancestry Paragon
  • Simplified Ancestries
  • Simplified Skill Feats
  • Level 0 Characters
  • Automatic Bonus Progression for Magic Items
  • High-Quality Items
  • Proficiency Without Level
  • Skill Points
  • Stamina Points
  • Resolve Points
  • Courtier NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Criminal NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Devotee NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Downtrodden NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Explorer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Forester NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Healer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Laborer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Magistrate NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Mercenary NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Mystic NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Officer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Performer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Publican NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Scholar NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Seafarer NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Tradespeople NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)
  • Villain NPCs (Wednesday the 18th)

Last edited by rob; March 16th, 2020 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Clarified a couple items
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Koro76
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Posts: 50

Old March 17th, 2020, 02:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob View Post
I didn't see this thread until two days ago and needed to consult with the team to make sure I give you accurate information. Before I dive in, though, I need to point out that MANY of the items you flag as "missing" are either already in place (and not hard to find) or simply not suitable for support in a tool like Hero Lab (e.g. general guidelines for GMs are not concrete rules that can be codified in a program). The net result is that your post gives the impression that many things are missing that are not, which definitely seems disingenuous to me.
Thanks for responding, Rob. My apologies if I came off as disingenuous. I'm a long-time owner of many LWD products, and this list was genuinely intended to help drive improvement and inclusion of published content. I hope to break out my intent and feedback in greater detail lower in this message.

Quote:
[*]Item Building (Tools)
This section is really just a bunch of general guidelines for GMs and not something concrete that could be codified into a tool like Hero Lab.
.[*]Custom Intelligent Items (Tools)
Same as above
.[*]Custom Cursed Items (Tools)
Same as above
.[*]Custom Artifacts (Tools)
What are you referring to here? The book simply provides some general guidelines for creating an artifact that supplements the basic item building section, which is addressed above. From what I can tell, there's nothing here that we can codify.
As a whole, I sincerely hope that this isn't the beginning of a trend of "use the custom _____ and enter whatever you want" for a lot of customization options. If this does end up being the case, I'd like to see some more fleshed out custom entry tools, like tagging, a way to add actions and bonuses onto custom items that get added to the Play sheet, and some kind of saving/sort for user-created things across characters or NPCs in HLO. Particularly, for the purpose of creating custom intelligent items, I'd like a place to break out the attributes (alignment, skills, ability scores, etc.) that isn't a plain text box.

Quote:
[*]Specific gems and art objects (Tools)
There are "Custom Art Object" and "Custom Gem" options already available that allow creation of anything you want. You don't have to be limited to the examples given in the book and can enter whatever you want with the custom elements.
I think that having these valuables, their rarity levels, and their approximate values is a great tool to help GMs to adjudicate what valuables are appropriate to give for a batch of treasure. Also, as it stands, the valuables list only contains "custom art object", "custom gem", and "custom valuable". It would be great to see the selection fleshed out more. Even cooler if there was a button to input a value and "roll" valuables for that amount.

Quote:
[*]New Afflictions (Tools)
Going out on Wednesday (18th)
.[*]Relics (Tools)
Going out on Wednesday (18th)
Glad to hear that these will be coming soon! The GMG product description only mentioned that custom hazards and NPCs were on the way.

Quote:
[*]Stat blocks for (or the ability to create stat blocks for): Nations, Settlements, and Planes (Tools)
Those are capabilities that are vastly better modeled in a tool like our Realm Works product. They don't really make sense within a product like Hero Lab.
I'm actually an owner of Realm Works, and have used it for campaigns in the past. With the announcement that Realm Works is no longer being worked on, I had hoped that things like this might find a home in a tool that is actively being worked on, and is more integrated into the new web model. Perhaps I was mistaken.

Quote:
[*]A way to track Victory Points (Subsystems)
This is something that will ultimately be tracked by building on planned functionality for Campaign Theater (i.e. flexible note attachments to campaign elements). However, it's not something we'll have within the next few weeks. In most ways, this mechanism (and all of its derivations below) is something far more appropriate to manage/model through a tool like Realm Works.
.[*]A way to track Influence (or a way to create influence stat blocks) (Subsystems)
This is just a concrete example of Victory Points and will be possible to track once that mechanism is supported via Campaign Theater. Creating the statblocks is not rule-based and entirely ad hoc by the GM, so there is no logic to codify - it's merely arbitrary notes with some structure. You could model this currently within HLO via the Placeholder NPC by attaching the appropriate statblock as notes.
.[*]A way to create Library stat blocks (Subsystems)
Just like Influence
.[*]Chase obstacles, or a way to build/run a chase (Subsystems)
Just like Influence
.[*]Infiltration obstacles, or a way to build them (Subsystems)
Just like Influence
.[*]A way to track Organization stats for the Leadership subsystem (Subsystems)
This will become possible through features of Campaign Theater that are due relatively soon.
Glad to hear that this stuff is on the way!

Quote:
[*]Vehicle stats, or ownership (Subsystems)
There has been little interest in vehicles for both Starfinder and PF1. Both of those games have vehicles and we haven't yet added them to those games either. In all that time that vehicles have been documented in the rulebooks for those games, we've only received a small number of inquiries about adding them into Hero Lab. Consequently, we're holding off on vehicles until there's a meaningful level of interest demonstrated by users.
This answer is a bit disappointing to me, especially since vehicles in PF2 are SIGNIFICANTLY less complicated than say, building a starship in SF. They're basically an item that has a mini monster stat block.

Quote:
[*]Deep Backgrounds (a similar system was in HLC for PF1) (Variant Rules)
This is just a bunch of random tables that many GMs will revise/augment to suit their world, and they are all readily accomplished via the existing Custom Background. So determine the choices by whatever means you wish and add a Custom Background with the details.
The main reason I brought this up is because something extremely similar existed in HLC for PF1 (the "History" tab). It also seems to occupy about as much practical application use as Item Quirks. I understand if you no longer want to support this kind of feature.

Quote:
[*]A way to track reputation (Subsystems)
This was part of the initial GMG release. It's accessed via the Background tab and quite flexible.
.[*]Level 0 Characters (Variant Rules)
Fully supported already
.[*]Automatic bonus progression (Variant Rules)
Fully supported already
.[*]High-Quality Weapons/Armor (Variant Rules)
Fully supported already
.[*]Proficiency without level (Variant Rules)
Fully supported already
This was my bad. I couldn't find these until literally today. For anyone wondering, all of these (except reputation) are under "Settings" under "Character" under "Navigate Character" in the upper left when you're viewing a character. Some of them are pretty far down, so you might need to scroll a bit or collapse some sections.

Phew! That took a bit! I hope that this response has helped clear up some of the potential misgivings about my initial post. I really don't want to be someone who comes to these forums and "just complains". Rob, you guys are doing a great job so far, and I hope that your standard of excellence continues to rise.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to suggest a greater amount of documentation or some kind of instructional video on the ins and outs of HLO. As complexity increases (As it did with GMG), so does the learning curve, and hopefully this kind of thing will reduce the number of "how do I...?" questions in the forums, and maybe even increase adoption, by making HLO more approachable.

Last edited by Koro76; March 17th, 2020 at 02:53 AM.
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rob
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Old March 17th, 2020, 10:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
As a whole, I sincerely hope that this isn't the beginning of a trend of "use the custom _____ and enter whatever you want" for a lot of customization options. If this does end up being the case, I'd like to see some more fleshed out custom entry tools, like tagging, a way to add actions and bonuses onto custom items that get added to the Play sheet, and some kind of saving/sort for user-created things across characters or NPCs in HLO. Particularly, for the purpose of creating custom intelligent items, I'd like a place to break out the attributes (alignment, skills, ability scores, etc.) that isn't a plain text box.
We gotta walk before we can run. One thing we've begun doing is to surface all the individual abilities and whatnot for items. The goal is to ultimately allow users to cobble together whatever they want from the component elements. With everything on our plate, that's gonna show up incrementally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
I think that having these valuables, their rarity levels, and their approximate values is a great tool to help GMs to adjudicate what valuables are appropriate to give for a batch of treasure. Also, as it stands, the valuables list only contains "custom art object", "custom gem", and "custom valuable". It would be great to see the selection fleshed out more. Even cooler if there was a button to input a value and "roll" valuables for that amount.
The question then becomes whether HLO should completely replace the book or provide a means to enter whatever the GM chooses from the book. At the moment, we've opted for the latter, but we could potentially circle back and do the former. My guess is that somebody will create a website that provides a whole bunch of random tables, which will include a myriad additional options beyond those in the book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
Glad to hear that these will be coming soon! The GMG product description only mentioned that custom hazards and NPCs were on the way.
We kept the marketing text brief and only hit the most important items.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
I'm actually an owner of Realm Works, and have used it for campaigns in the past. With the announcement that Realm Works is no longer being worked on, I had hoped that things like this might find a home in a tool that is actively being worked on, and is more integrated into the new web model. Perhaps I was mistaken.
Realm Works remains a very powerful and flexible tool. The original goal was to evolve both HLO and RW in parallel until both ultimately blended together down the road. That proved to be too big of an effort for us to attain, though. So now we're focused on HLO. I would very much like to see HLO evolve into a tool that combines both RW and HL features, and you'll definitely see a few bits of that in not-too-distant future. But that end goal is far off at this point, so I'm not going to actively say "that's coming" when it's not envisioned anytime soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
This answer is a bit disappointing to me, especially since vehicles in PF2 are SIGNIFICANTLY less complicated than say, building a starship in SF. They're basically an item that has a mini monster stat block.
No argument on them being relatively simple. But even a relatively simple mechanism requires a non-trivial chunk of development time. Please note that I said we're holding off until there's a meaningful level of interest demonstrated. In the meantime, I'd much rather focus our very limited resources on things that LOTS of users want instead of something only a few users want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
The main reason I brought this up is because something extremely similar existed in HLC for PF1 (the "History" tab). It also seems to occupy about as much practical application use as Item Quirks. I understand if you no longer want to support this kind of feature.
The tables for Deep Backgrounds are something that just about every GM I've ever known would throw out and tailor to fit their own world. So what we did instead was make every ability from those backgrounds available to be chosen, allowing GMs to define the combinations that make sense in their worlds and then let the players use those combinations freely. This seemed to be a vastly more flexible approach than an assortment of hard-wired options to choose from. Is there something here than we're overlooking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koro76 View Post
I'd also like to take this opportunity to suggest a greater amount of documentation or some kind of instructional video on the ins and outs of HLO. As complexity increases (As it did with GMG), so does the learning curve, and hopefully this kind of thing will reduce the number of "how do I...?" questions in the forums, and maybe even increase adoption, by making HLO more approachable.
No arguments on the benefits. Unfortunately, our resources are severely limited and we don't have the ability to generate good videos. In fact, this is why we just launched a contest asking users to come up with cool videos (announced in our newsletter this past weekend). We'd love to see great tutorial videos, and the winners may find themselves commissioned to create more such videos!
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Deathe25
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Old August 24th, 2020, 11:17 PM
i been lookin to buy a wagon for a custom campagin an couldnt find it an not i know why
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