Hero Lab is it worth it?

Discuss Lone Wolf's Hero Lab, the official licensed Mutants & Masterminds superhero creation and advancement tool.
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Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby VIRTUE » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:05 am

I own the d20 version of Hero Lab and I really like it. I just started bumbing around with the demo and it seems really good
What is the cost for the whole MNM line it looks like it costs more for Ultimate Power and Mastermind guide

What flaws have you guys found with it?

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby Darrin Kelley » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:47 pm

Whatever flaws there have been found, they have been taken care of pretty quickly by the staff very quickly.

I own Hero Lab with the M&M set, plus Ultimate Power and The Mastermind's Manual. It's a good investment. Allows for endless tweaking of your characters, without much hassle. I've spent quite a lot of time working with it. Input over 100 characters with it. And I've really never had a problem.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby roguescribner » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:14 pm

I love it. I'd never want to attempt to make a character by pen and paper. I wish some of the listed alternate power types listed in Ultimate Power would make their way into the program (just because I'm lazy and would rather not build the power myself), but overall it's a very good program.
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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby charlieluce » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:29 pm

According to the well-concealed information on the web site, if you already own Hero Lab the core M&M data set costs $20 and the UP/MM add-on another $19.99 for $39.99 total.

I found Hero Lab extremely useful as a GM, and that's considering that I didn't use the combat controller. Entering and tweaking villains is a snap with Hero Lab.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:38 pm

charlieluce wrote:According to the well-concealed information on the web site, if you already own Hero Lab the core M&M data set costs $20 and the UP/MM add-on another $19.99 for $39.99 total.

I found Hero Lab extremely useful as a GM, and that's considering that I didn't use the combat controller. Entering and tweaking villains is a snap with Hero Lab.


The only bad thing I've really had to say about it is that it didn't come out while I was still running the game.
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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby Invictus » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:03 am

Well, since you're asking because you liked the d20 dataset so much, my perspective may be just the one you need. I've already gone the way you're contemplating, but from the other way. I bough HL for M&M, and later added d20 because I liked the M&M set so much.

I was very much dissappointed with the d20 set because it's so much less useful for the game in question than the M&M set was. At least some of that has to do with the effect-based structure of M&M itself vs. d20, so I'm not blaming the folks at HL as far as that goes. Reasons aside, though, for the purpose of this discussion the M&M ruleset totally kicks the ass of the d20 set.

So if you like the d20 set, you'll love the M&M set.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby Arkrite » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:55 pm

For M&M Hero Lab is wonderful.

I introduced a friend of mine to Hero Lab and he'd built himself a character within a fifteen minute span with only minimal input from myself.

It makes building characters quick and easy, keeps track of the important rules to keep you from accidentally overbuying abilities and powers, makes a nice easy to track character sheet, and is designed to be modifyable as your playing should the character progress or you're just "ill" during a mission.

Personally, if you have any interest in playing M&M for more than a short period of time I'd say you should buy it.

Personally I've never had any problems with it, beyond the fact that the staff maintaining it is so dilligant that I'm constantly being told it's being upgraded and made better.
And if that's a problem I could stand to have more problems in my life! ;~)

And I have to mention that there is a person on their staff who works on this program who checks these boards for suggestions and bugs that the people who've been using it have found.
And from what I've seen he's been friendly, helpful, and informative. (He could be planning world domination, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt ;~) )

So, basically, simplifies character building so that anybody can do it, keeps track of all of the useful information in an easy to understand fashion, gives discriptions of all the powers and feats (extremely useful), regularly maintained, and friendly staff.

Yeah, if you're doing M&M I'd say go for it.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby VIRTUE » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:00 pm

Yes it is worth it I purchased it about an hour ago and have already made 2 NPCs

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby FuzzyBoots » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:41 pm

I've only used the Demo Version which may mean I'm missing something in the process, but I'm not a big fan overall. It's nice for what it does, but I have the same problem using it as I do using Microsoft Visual Studio for coding. You click a button and there's a blip of time before you see the results. I could see it being very useful for people new to the system, but as it is, I feel like it's faster for me to write things out on paper or to use Simpson's Spreadsheet. I do like that the archetypes from Instant Superheros is available. I'm sure that that would save many GMs a lot of trouble by being able to drop in a set of six demons from the book and immediately play. Overall, I feel like it could be a handy tool, but $50 is a bit steep for something that's only a little handy for me. It may also make a difference that I do a lot of my power building using cut-and-paste and grouping. Taking the same power and having to rebuild it for every AP that's a bit different, for example. In the Excel sheet, I can largely cut and paste. Here, I have to click everything in again.

^_^ I'm just now downloading an update, so it could be that all of my complaints above are null and void. If so, I will post retractions as necessary.

The program reminds me very greatly of RolePlayingMaster by Luke Jones, which was a D&D 3.5 program for similar usages including the ability to bring in new datasets and build your own. Similarly, within the core abilities and powers, it's very powerful, but the moment you want to step outside of that, it gets more clunky.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby VIRTUE » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:28 pm

Like I have said on many posts since I purchased this thing I went from thinking about characters and never writing them down to making a whole bunch of characters and now having them and knowing that they are correct by the rules

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby Paragon » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:58 am

While I in general like HL quite a bit, I do agree with FuzzyBoots about one thing; it could seriously use some cut-and-past ability. This is particularly noticeable when you figure out you made the core power in an array the wrong one, and there's no way to address it except by deleting the whole array and doing it over.
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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby DarkMaster » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:00 pm

The only inconvenience with Hero Lab that I have encountered is that you can't buy any hyperlink data sets. Other than that no real problems, and with the editor you can make any powers, equipment, and so on. So like I said it's not really a problem more of an inconvenience.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby noseman » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:42 am

Yes. For all the reasons mentioned so far, and one more: the tactical console is a GMs wet dream. You can run your combats right from the tactical console, pull in new NPCs easily on the fly, and generally speed up combat. I could not have run my campaign effectively without it. I highly recommend this product.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby dragonexx » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:25 am

Personally I find hero lab incredibly useful. It allows me to create characters with ease. And since i run my games PBP style it allows me easy access to stats and information. Plus the tactical console and dice roller allow me to test characters before i use them. I have no idea how to do it pen and paper style (personally i have no intrest in learning either.) Either way in my opinion hero lab is worth the money and it saves a lot of time.

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Re: Hero Lab is it worth it?

Postby mr_dud » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:32 pm

It's not worth the hassle of getting the thing online or not I bought a hard copy and it NEVER allowed me to activate it right and after 20 attempts to activate it including 3 reinstalls and removing it from the registry before the final install. The demo copy ran like a champ and I hoped the full version would be better, NO
just a big hassle.


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