Pathfinder Is Coming To REALMWORKS
  • Pathfinder Is Coming To REALMWORKS


    Realmworks is a campaign management software product from the same company which produces the popular Hero Lab character management software. They've just secured a license with Paizo to support the Pathfinder RPG via the software. This means that all the Pathfinder books, adventure paths, modules, etc., will be available via Realmworks' content market from early next year.



    Lone Wolf (the developers) are best known for Hero Lab, a character creation app and manager for computers and tablets. It supports a lot of games, including Pathfinder - I just finished playing through Paizo's Kingmaker adventure path using it. It certainly speeds up high level 3.x play. Realmworks is perhaps not so well known, but it's been around a while - it was successfully Kickstarted back in 2013.

    What this is really about, though, is the new Content Market. "Debuting early 2016, the Realm Works Content Market will launch with adventures, settings, and source material from popular publishers like Paizo, Green Ronin Publishing, Kobold Press, Frog God Games, Engine Publishing, Hammerdog Games, and Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Highlights include Rise of the Runelords, Pirate’s Guide to Freeport, and Razor Coast."

    Campaign management software seems to be on the rise right now. Obviously there are many online web-based solutions (like City of Brass, Obsidian Portal, and EN World's Groups) which handle various things to different degrees - scheduling, reference, storing setting information, campaign journals, images, maps, and so on. There are also Virtual Table Tops which overlap with this category, handling some of the same workload (Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 are the two big ones, but there are others). And there's Trapdoor Technologies Playbook for PRD, which includes the Pathfinder Reference Document and character creation. So there's lots of competition in the marketplace for this sort of thing, which can only be good for us consumers.

    Lone Wolf will be releasing weekly previews and information. There's an overview of the software in the video below (this is from 2013, so long before this new Pathfinder license).


    Comments 23 Comments
    1. dpmcalister's Avatar
      dpmcalister -
      I'm still waiting for them to actually finish the product I backed! 30 months on from when it was meant to be finished and we still don't have the web interface but that hasn't stopped them starting the clock on the cloud service!
    1. Arius's Avatar
      Arius -
      I'm super stoked about this, it will save a ton of data entry and prep work.

      @dpmcalister - When did they start the clock on the cloud service, I didn't see anything about that in the recent announcement?
    1. dpmcalister's Avatar
      dpmcalister -
      They started it in November[1] last year! They then realised, in May[2] this year, that they didn't have everything ready so they suspended the expiration "until some point after the Content Market launch" promising at least one month's notice when that suspension ends. It works well I suppose if you've got the 6 months cloud service - as you've received at least another 6 months free, but not so much for those of us who backed at the 15 month level!

      [1] https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/1056928
      [2] https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/1217142
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Arius View Post
      When did they start the clock on the cloud service, I didn't see anything about that in the recent announcement?
      The cloud service clock started when Player Edition released, as cloud service is required for players to view content in their (separate) version of Realm Works. However, when we realized that Content Market was going to take longer than we had originally anticipated, we suspended the clock. Here's the key bit of information from that announcement:

      For thousands of users, the free six months of cloud service is currently set to expire on May, 17th, and the majority of those users will be faced with choosing to continue their service before being able to leverage published material through the Content Market. With this in mind, we’ve chosen to suspend the expiration and allow cloud service to continue for all users. All users with cloud service, regardless of purchase date, will continue to receive cloud service until some point after the Content Market launch. Users will have the opportunity to see what’s possible with the Content Market and cloud service combined. Since the exact timing for this remains fluid, we’ll provide users with at least one month’s notice before the extra free cloud service concludes.
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by dpmcalister View Post
      I'm still waiting for them to actually finish the product I backed! 30 months on from when it was meant to be finished and we still don't have the web interface but that hasn't stopped them starting the clock on the cloud service!
      I'm not sure what you mean by "we still don't have the web interface but that hasn't stopped them starting the clock on the cloud service"?

      During the Kickstarter, the benefits of cloud service was always presented in terms of Player Edition and the Content Market. In fact, the web interface was never in the immediate release plan for Realm Works. Here's a section from the Kickstarter FAQ entry: "Over time, we'll be replicating all the functionality of the client application onto the server through a web-based interface. The net result will be duplicate functionality with both a purely online interface and the client application, catering appropriately to anyone in any environment. At some point, the sands will have shifted enough that we leave the client application behind entirely."

      The Content Market (and backer rewards) are the final remaining pieces from the Kickstarter. That said, initial web-access is currently our priority following the initial launch of the Content Market.
    1. Ashran -
      Yeah, okay for pathfinder, it's a good news

      Now a even better news would be to have a 5th edition similar deal.
    1. Random Bystander's Avatar
      Random Bystander -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ashran View Post
      Yeah, okay for pathfinder, it's a good news

      Now a even better news would be to have a 5th edition similar deal.
      If WotC opened all of their editions' contents to sale on Hero Lab/related software, there would likely be a buying frenzy. The ability to make a character for any edition using electronic software? Legally? That would be something I'd be willing to spend money on.
    1. dpmcalister's Avatar
      dpmcalister -
      Quote Originally Posted by LWDLiz View Post
      I'm not sure what you mean by "we still don't have the web interface but that hasn't stopped them starting the clock on the cloud service"?
      I mean the same as my unanswered question from the May update. You shouldn't have started the cloud service clock until the product was finished.

      I backed the early release version but found very quickly that, without the web interface, it was useless to me. I was happy to wait for that but starting the cloud service clock before the final product is ready is wrong in my opinion.

      If I could ask for a refund I would happily take it and never touch Realm Works again!
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Random Bystander View Post
      If WotC opened all of their editions' contents to sale on Hero Lab/related software, there would likely be a buying frenzy. The ability to make a character for any edition using electronic software? Legally? That would be something I'd be willing to spend money on.
      We would love to support D&D in both Hero Lab and Realm Works! On the Hero Lab side, we're planning to support 5E if/when they release an OGL.
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by dpmcalister View Post
      ...
      I believe I've answered all your questions both here and on Kickstarter. If I've failed to answer anything, please feel free to restate them here and I'll make sure they're answered.

      It sounds like you're most frustrated by our cloud service, being a backer at 15 months. Let me clarify a few things.

      We suspended cloud service 4 ˝ months after Player Edition release. The announcement can be found here. After the Content Market launches, we’ll be waiting at least a month or two before announcing anything about resuming the cloud service clock. Once we make the announcement, users will have at least a month before the clock resumes. So at the end of it, anyone who got cloud service through the Kickstarter will end up with a minimum of three months back (we expect more) out of the 4 ˝ months "spent" after the Player Edition released. That's in addition to the more than two years of cloud service prior to the Content Market launching.
    1. JohnLynch's Avatar
      JohnLynch -
      So is this a meant to be a roll20 replacement or an obsidian portal replacement?
    1. pickin_grinnin's Avatar
      pickin_grinnin -
      Quote Originally Posted by dpmcalister View Post
      I'm still waiting for them to actually finish the product I backed! 30 months on from when it was meant to be finished and we still don't have the web interface but that hasn't stopped them starting the clock on the cloud service!
      Yep! I gave up on them earlier this year. It's obvious that they aren't going to really complete the things they promised in any reasonable amount of time.

      As for the content market, I'll believe it when I see it. Their past record for getting things out on time (or at all) is really bad.
    1. the_redbeard's Avatar
      the_redbeard -
      Quote Originally Posted by LWDLiz View Post
      We would love to support D&D in both Hero Lab and Realm Works! On the Hero Lab side, we're planning to support 5E if/when they release an OGL.
      WotC has said that their deal with Fantasy Grounds is not exclusive. Which means that some kind of fee based license is available for some kind of negotiation.

      I use both 5e and Realmsworks and would love to have the 5e support within Realmsworks.
    1. the_redbeard's Avatar
      the_redbeard -
      Quote Originally Posted by JohnLynch View Post
      So is this a meant to be a roll20 replacement or an obsidian portal replacement?
      This is realms management, so more like Obsidian Portal. Other than player journals, I've gotten more use out of Realmsworks in 6 sessions than I think I did in a two year campaign in obsidian portal. It it that much better for campaign management for me.

      Yes, still waiting for web view, individual player reveal and other nifty things. Hopefully the pathfinder deal will provide funds for more staff to work on Realmsworks.
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      Quote Originally Posted by the_redbeard View Post
      WotC has said that their deal with Fantasy Grounds is not exclusive. Which means that some kind of fee based license is available for some kind of negotiation.

      I use both 5e and Realmsworks and would love to have the 5e support within Realmsworks.
      This. Instead of waiting for an OGL that might never materialize (at least in a form that would allow such things), I would be glad if a deal could be struck with WotC for a license, both for Realmworks and for Hero Lab.
    1. JohnLynch's Avatar
      JohnLynch -
      Quote Originally Posted by the_redbeard View Post
      This is realms management, so more like Obsidian Portal.
      I've run two sessions straight from obsidian portal with my iPad. Without similar functionality I don't know how useful this would be to me (then again, I don't know how useful obsidian portal will be to me longterm. I've just recovered my old wiki I had on my PC so I'm inclined to just use that and drop the player-facing campaign tools).
    1. chibi graz'zt's Avatar
      chibi graz'zt -
      A game as complex and voluminous in rules optimization needs this ;-)
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      Quote Originally Posted by chibi graz'zt View Post
      A game as complex and voluminous in rules optimization needs this ;-)
      Realmworks is about managing a campaign, i.e. characters, plots, places, maps. It has very little to do with game rules.
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by pickin_grinnin View Post
      It's obvious that they aren't going to really complete the things they promised in any reasonable amount of time.


      As for the content market, I'll believe it when I see it. Their past record for getting things out on time (or at all) is really bad.
      We fully admit that development has taken longer than expected. Following the Kickstarter, we provided a lot of information about development progress, and our best-guess estimates. Unfortunately, that led to two issues. 1) Users would critique development decisions based on incomplete information or draw incorrect assumptions based on the information we provided. This required a lot of development resources to respond to and correct the false assumptions and misconceptions. 2) The “best-guess” estimates were interpreted as promised release dates and when we “missed” them, it led to a lot of (understandable) frustration among our users.

      That experience forced us to change our approach. Instead of continuing to provide estimates and extensive information on development progress as in the past, we’ve instead focused on showing visible progress as we hit milestones – for example, the sneak peek of Realm works on the web a few months back and now the Realm Works Spotlight Series. "But Liz, you shared an estimate in the announcement." Yes, while we've been specifically avoiding estimates, we're far enough along in development to feel confident when we say "early 2016."

      While I understand where your skepticism is coming from, it's important to keep one key point in mind: Paizo is very business savvy company, and they don't enter into licenses casually. If they didn't believe that we could deliver, this announcement wouldn't exist.

      Quote Originally Posted by the_redbeard View Post
      WotC has said that their deal with Fantasy Grounds is not exclusive. Which means that some kind of fee based license is available for some kind of negotiation.
      We have been in talks with Wizards of the Coast about a license. If we're not able to come to terms, we've committed to support Hero Lab through an OGL, should they release one.

      Quote Originally Posted by JohnLynch View Post
      I've run two sessions straight from obsidian portal with my iPad. Without similar functionality I don't know how useful this would be to me (then again, I don't know how useful obsidian portal will be to me longterm. I've just recovered my old wiki I had on my PC so I'm inclined to just use that and drop the player-facing campaign tools).
      While Realm Works is currently Windows-based, we're also working on a web version. You can view a sneak peek here. Initial web access will be available sometime after the Content Market launches.
    1. LWDLiz's Avatar
      LWDLiz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
      Realmworks is about managing a campaign, i.e. characters, plots, places, maps. It has very little to do with game rules.
      It can actually help out with rules! Imagine you're running an adventure and an NPC comes at the party with a Ride-by Attack. If you need to recall the detail of the feat, currently you have a few options - grab your Core Rulebook and flip through it to find the entry, search a PDF, or look it up on a SRD web page. All of these options require another resource of some kind. If you have the Core Rulebook (or another rulebook) in Realm Works, then those skills, feats, and abilities in the adventure can be cross-linked to the skills, feats, and abilities in the rulebook.

      Here's an example of what that could look like:

      Name: rideby attack.png ► Views: 196 ► Size: 2.0 KB

      By clicking "ride-by attack," you can navigate to the entry with details on the "ride-by attack" feat. Now the rule details are in the same place as your campaign, and you don't need to open and search through a web page or flip through a book.
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