‘Hero Lab: Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path’ - Package Review

As a gamemaster running roleplaying games, there is a lot to manage at the table. You have to keep track of player actions, non-player character (npc) actions, all of these characters' health and spells or once-a-day abilities, and, on top of that, make sure you tell a good, entertaining story which is the most important part. It is no wonder that many gamemasters are turning to computer-based tools to help them manage some of the minutiae of gaming. Luckily, Hero Lab, the software program that helps gamemasters craft characters and monsters for their games, has now turned their sites to helping gamemasters run their games, as well.

Hero Lab’s latest tool is a Tactical Console that helps GMs manage initiative turn order, player and npc actions, and character aspects that change during battle such as health, spells, consumables, and conditions. In addition to this great, new tool, Hero Lab has released Paizo’s Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path package. This package includes all of the encounters from the now classic adventure that launched the Pathfinder roleplaying system in an encyclopedic database that loads easily into the Hero Lab system and the new Tactical Console.

This new package allows gamemasters to load an entire encounter with a click of a button and add in their player characters' portfolios. GMs can then adjust the encounter, adding enemies or changing stat blocks to alter the difficulty of an encounter as needed. (I even used the combination of the Tactical Console and the stat blocks to playtest tough encounters before my game session, to find trouble areas, and adjust encounters accordingly.) When the game starts, GMs can click New Combat, and the Tactical Console will determine initiative order randomly (including initiative modifiers). GMs can roll their mouse over buttons to see defensive stats such as armor class and saving throw modifiers or offensive abilities such as attack modifiers, and you can easily bring up a character's full stat block in Hero Lab to switch out weapons or add conditions.

The Tactical Console is great, but the depth of the Rise of The Runelords package is incredible. They have every encounter from big boss fights to simple battles with guards. Everything you need to run this incredible adventure path is available right at your fingertips. Couple this with the added customization capabilities of the Hero Lab program and the easy-to-use, new Tactical Console, and you have an amazing, new tool for gamemasters.

More information regarding the new Hero Lab: Rise of the Runelords package and a demo of Hero Lab can be found online here.

Jason Enright, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

 

Favorite Superhero: Cyclops
Favorite Animal: Anklyosaurus
Favorite Game: Pathfinder RPG
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