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An occasional data tap into Peter Burkholder’s brain

#DNDwKids: Back to HeroLab After DndInsider #dnd

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Last spring and fall I ran a Pathfinder game with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at my sons’ school. Each term I had to turn away kids ‘cause I had to cap participation at six players, and even that was too many for the attention span of some of the kids.

Now that I’ve gotten two kids (6th grade and 7th grade) interested in DM’‘ing, I’m going have them run two games while I provide support, feedback and guidance.

But we’re switching to DnD 4e since Jesse and Harry each have stacks of 4e books and know the rules much better than for Pathfinder.

At our first session we just worked on converting our existing characters, and rolling up new ones for those who have just joined. I know there are a lot errors but that I would resolve them all by moving from paper to …, well from paper to DnD Insider Character Builder (CB) is what I thought but, jeez, what a beast that is.

I’d used HeroLab last fall and thought it pretty good, but got the sense that the WOTC online tools would be better suited for 4e. So I thought I would be ready to roll once I signed up for 3 months. But the tools require Silverlight, burn through my CPU, and really, really laggy, turning a data entry task into what seems like 15s of waiting between advancing between fields. Creating just one character took about an hour.

Also, it’s clear we’ll be using 4e for at least of couple of years, and there’s rumors that 4e support will be coming to an end.

So, I’m going to give 4e a whirl on HeroLab. The starting process is a bit arcane. First, since I’d already had a fully licensed HeroLab with Pathfinder, I didn’t seem to be able to use the 4e support in demo mode (I may be mistaken on that) unless I purchased the 4e license. Since LoneWolf offers a money-back option within 60 days, I thought I would lay down my $20 and hope for the best.

The 4e package for HeroLab has no content, since LoneWolf doesn’t have a license from WOTC, but instead has a downloader tool. Since I have a DnDInsider subscription it uses those credentials to d/l the data files.

I’m hoping once this completes I’ll have a faster, more usable character management system. Let’s see…