Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Character Builders

I'm seriously considering some character building software. The 4E offline builder opened the door, the ICONS Character Folio opened it a lot more (it's a lot of fun), and now I'm really sliding down the slope.

First, I'm thinking about HeroLab because it seems to be the standard and I could use it for Mutants and Masterminds right now. There are some things I want to convert from M&M 2E and software would make it much easier. The Apprentices impressive lack of ability to keep up with their character sheets for most games is also a consideration here. The character sheet output looks nice too. Beyond that it has sets for Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, and it interfaces with DDI. I might dig into the authoring tools as well and see if I couldn't learn something and tune it up for some other games.

Second, I'm thinking about signing on to DDI - despite my dislike of the subscription-based approach - for two reasons: The Monster Builder would save a lot of time on my conversion activities and I still like to have a printed monster sheet in front of me when I play. Additionally I think it's time to pull down all of the 4th Edition material while it's available and I'm running some campaigns. No, WOTC shouldn't pull it all off of the web just because a new edition is coming or after one launches - it's not like there's much expense in keeping it available - but it has happened before and there is some good stuff on there that I don't have. As much time as I spend running 4E games, I feel like it's worth ten bucks to try it out.

Finally I'd like to get Hero Designer just because I like to tinker with Champions characters and that's easier to do in software than on paper. Also it supports 5th and 6th edition and some 5E updates of some of the old 3E/4E characters would be a lot of fun and less time consuming with it. No I'm not running a Hero game (yet) so this would be a total indulgence on my part. I try to have a real use for the gaming stuff I buy, and I try to focus my money on games I am actually running, and this would not fall into that category. I'm still thinking about it. Mostly I'm thinking about which day this week to do it.

If any readers have any personal experience with any of these, I'd be interested in what you have to say. If I proceed with any of them I will share my experiences.

1 comment:

Mick said...

I have both Hero Designer and Hero Lab and they are amazing. Hero Designer helped me convert some old 3e characters easily, and also speeds up things by allowing you to create package deals and equipment templates. Hero Lab is also excellent and we use it a lot in my PF gaming sessions as we all have a laptop at the table. It will be even better when Realmworks is released.
Besides, I have created some Greyhawk and FR content for Hero Lab that allows me to add some extra fluff easily in the record sheets.