Havard wrote: ↑
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:19 pm
I have never seen the need for digital systems to generate characters. Why do people find it so useful? Asking because I would like to know
That's like asking why people find calculators useful.
If you have ever met a tabletop player that spends ages struggling with creating a PC and levelling up, that's the sort of person that software like Hero Lab is aimed at. Instead of flipping books and looking for rules, the designers get people to import them into some sort of database, where a user can select them all. WotC originally gave away a free CD with the 3e PHB, that had software similar to Hero Lab on it.
The problem with tools like this is that the usefulness comes down to the question: "Are all the rules you want to use available?" That's what this petition is about. They are trying to get more content onto Hero Lab.
There is some information on the Hero Lab
website, that shows you the features you can get from it now.
You can also get Hero Lab Starter Edition
for free. It's a cut down version of the application that only works with Pathfinder Beginners Box and Evil Hat's Spirit of the Century.
There is even a "Powered by Hero Lab
" program, for publishing content that gets supported by Hero Lab. I know you help look after Blackmoor: The MMRPG. It might be possible for you to use that program...or some other way of importing files into Hero Lab, for the folks over at The Comeback Inn to create a Blackmoor Hero Lab collection that includes all the content of those adventures (so that Blackmoor fans that use the MMRPG don't have to type it all in themselves). I bet that, if you asked a few people you knew about "Does anyone want Blackmoor content on Hero Lab" you would find a few people who were interested.
I am not totally sure, but I believe that users of Hero Lab can already buy 5e books and type everything in. But the petition is asking for WotC and Lone Wolf Development to get together and make some sort of downloads that include everything that a Hero Lab user would want to type in.
I don't actually use Hero Lab, so that's about as much as I can tell you.
is more like a content management system (CMS), for a GM to organise their game. You could probably use any other
CMS to do the same thing. Obsidian Portal
have gone the other way and tried to get people to fill up a wiki over on their website...and also run virtual games there.
There is no doubt, that if we are going to have virtual tabletop gaming, we are going to need online tools that do things like this.
I don't know if the industry can try to brute-force things (like WotC has tried to do with D&D Beyond and DMs Guild, where they make all the decisions) or if consumers are going to be able to force some sort of openess, like they are trying with this petition.
I think that my biggest concern with any of these things is that there are licence agreements. And having seen how D&D has discontinued support for Conan, Lankhmar, World of Warcraft, Kingdoms of Kalamar, Paizo's PDF store, DDI and some other things I can't recall, I'm not sure that people buying the electronic content are going to be able to continue to use it.
If I was going to use Hero Lab (and it would be with 3rd Edition) I think I would rather type in 3rd Edition Spelljammer conversions manually, than pay for content that vanishes when 6th Edition D&D comes out.