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v5.3 Thanks for trying Hero Lab! This document includes some basic information about the product,


Thanks for trying Hero Lab! This document includes some basic information about the product, including system requirements, technical support details, and more. For further details about using Hero Lab, please see the User Manual.


What’s new in this version of Hero Lab?


Product Installation


Minimum System Requirements


Technical Support


Removing Hero Lab


Using Hero Lab with Third Party content


Changes in Previous Versions


Legal Information


What’s new in this version of Hero Lab?

Enhancements and Changes:

1. In portfolios with multiple characters, changing the hero settings now takes much less time to complete.

2. Hero Lab now uses much less memory when compiling data files, especially for large games like Pathfinder.

Bugs Fixed:

1. Hero Lab would crash when loading a game with missing graphic files.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. On picks, the “intersect” target was not working properly when used in the “countsource” and “counttarget” modes.

2. You can now switch to the “agent” context in a description script.

Other Recent Changes

Shadowrun 5 th Edition is now available for Hero Lab! Add it to your license by going to the License menu and choosing “Purchase Data Package”.

Hero Lab’s new Encounter Builder is now available! You can access the Encounter Builder for most game systems via the new Gamemaster menu.

Windows 8.1 (except Windows RT) and OS X 10.9 Mavericks are now officially supported by Hero Lab! Both Windows and Mac versions can be downloaded from our downloads page.

Product Installation

On Windows, double-click the downloaded file to launch the installer, and follow it through to complete the installation. After installation, you can launch the product via the Start menu, in "Start -> Programs - > Hero Lab".

On the Mac, double-click the downloaded file. Once you accept the license agreement, drag the Hero Lab icon to your Applications folder to install it. After installation, you can launch the product from your Applications folder.

If you purchased the CD version of Hero Lab, follow the instructions on your Hero Lab license card.

Minimum System Requirements

To run Hero Lab, your computer must meet all of the following requirements:

1. PC running Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, or XP (with Service Pack 3) or Intel Mac running OS X 10.5 to 10.9 (Leopard to Mavericks) Note that Hero Lab will not run on Windows RT devices like the Surface RT and Surface 2.

2. Internet access (for licensing and to obtain data files)

3. Modern web browser (for example Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari)

4. 500MHz Pentium III class processor

5. 256MB RAM memory

6. 16-bit color video with minimum 800x600 display resolution

7. 250MB free hard disk space (includes storage for selected data files)

8. Mouse or other pointing device

User Manual

Once you install Hero Lab, you can launch the general User Manual by going to the “Help” menu, choosing “Help Topics” and then “Hero Lab Manual”. You can also view the manual for the current game system by clicking the “View Manual” button on the Configure Hero form for that game.

Technical Support

Questions? You can often get quick answers from the Hero Lab web site:

Otherwise, technical support for Hero Lab is provided only via email. You can contact our support staff at the email address below:

Please do NOT attempt to phone us for support, as we most likely will not be available to help you when you call, and no support calls will be returned. We do our best to ensure that all email support questions are answered in a timely manner, so please contact us via email.

Finally, our staff and many of our users are also present on our support forums, where you can post questions and share information with other users:

Removing Hero Lab

On Windows, go to the Control Panel and choose “Programs and Features” (or “Add / Remove Programs” in older versions of Windows). Find Hero Lab in the list of applications and double-click to uninstall it. Your saved files and images will not be deleted by the uninstall.

On the Mac, drag the Hero Lab icon from your Applications folder to the trash. Your data files, saved files and images will not be deleted by the uninstall.

Using Hero Lab with Third Party content

If you're a publisher who plans to formally publish Hero Lab data files and/or output in conjunction with your own RPG content, our requirements for usage can be found in the license agreement you agreed to when licensing the product. For more information, you can consult this page on our web site:

Changes in Previous Versions

A list of changes made in previous product releases can be found below. To see what was changed in this version of Hero Lab, see the “What’s new in this version of Hero Lab?” section at the top of this document.

Changes in v5.2b

Bugs Fixed:

1. Hero Lab could crash when saving a character with unusually long text on the Personal tab.

Changes in v5.2a

Enhancements and Changes:

1. In Mutants & Masterminds 3 rd edition, adding sample powers now constructs customizable versions of the powers based on the base effects. For example, instead of a separate “Blast” power, adding Blast adds the “Damage” power with the “Ranged” extra, which you can then change however you’d like. (This only applies to powers added with version 3.2 of the M&M3 data files - powers added to the hero with previous versions of the data files will be unchanged.)

2. In Mutants & Masterminds 3 rd edition, you can now choose between showing the full list of powers, or only the base power effects on the “choose power” form.

Bugs Fixed:

2. Under certain rare conditions, when told to round numbers up, Hero Lab would appear to round certain numbers incorrectly (e.g. the number “5.0” could be rounded up to “6”). We contacted experts who told us this is Not How Math Works and have now changed this behavior.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. Added support for “autoadds”, which allow adding of multiple things when the user adds a single thing to the hero.

2. In the editor, the forms for editing scripts now size themselves more sensibly to avoid showing large blank spaces when there’s only enough space to show half of a script.

3. You can now use “foreach gear in <pick>” to iterate through the items held by a container.

4. Assigning thing.holder and related tags at runtime was not flagging a thing as a holder.

5. Encoded text in user text fields is now displayed properly in statblock output.


Tags from the “usesource” group are now present on things and picks to indicate which sources they belong to.

7. Encoded text now supports {super}{/super} to turn superscript on and off.

Changes in v5.2

Enhancements and Changes:

1. Shadowrun 5 th Edition is now available for Hero Lab! Add it to your license by going to the License menu and choosing “Purchase Data Package”.

Bugs Fixed:

1. There was a significant delay when opening the list of deities in Pathfinder.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. The “setchosen” target can now be used to set the field to a thing.

2. Added “initiative override” mechanics to allow an actor to sort before or after all other actors in the tactical console, regardless of initiative.

3. Added the “state.initresort” transition to allow the data file author to resort the list of actors after initiative has changed.

Changes in v5.1a

Bugs Fixed:

1. When adding items on choose forms, Hero Lab would occasionally crash for a few users.

2. Fixed a bug that caused a crash when loading Shadowrun 5 th Edition characters on the Mac.

3. On later versions of OS X, the last words in text would be cut off (this was especially noticeable on the Import form, for example).

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. On the “Choose Tag” form in the editor (and on other similar forms), you can now filter the list of things displayed to only show those with some specified text.

Changes in v5.1

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. In the Encounter Builder, certain games now allow you to filter the list of monsters by their rating. For example, in the d20 System and Pathfinder, you’ll be able to limit the list of monsters to (for example) CR 5 to CR7 monsters only; in Mutants & Masterminds, you’ll be able to limit characters by power level in a similar way. Note: This will require the April Pathfinder data file update to use in Pathfinder, and is available now for selected other game systems.

Bugs Fixed:

1. On Windows XP and Vista, an unsuitable color was being used for the background color when you clicked on an incrementer to type text into it.

2. Several minor bug fixes were made to improve drag & drop support (for example, dragging and dropping no longer occurs over edit controls, as it would interfere with dragging and dropping to select text.)

3. In certain situations, Hero Lab would fail to import heroes in demo mode.

4. On choose forms, the transaction panel wouldn’t update properly in some situations (for example, when choosing augmentation grades in Shadowrun).

5. When creating a new Hero Lab portfolio from Realm Works, a warning message would incorrectly be shown.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. On the “Choose Thing” form in the editor, you can now filter the list of things displayed to only show those with some specified text.

2. Fixed a crash caused by inheriting from a tag group that wasn’t defined yet.

3. The “hasminion” target is now available on things and picks and returns non-zero if the thing or pick has a minion.

4. You can now use “foreach bootstrap in minion” to iterate over the things bootstrapped to a minion on a thing or pick, and “foreach root in <pick>” to iterate over the picks that bootstrap the specified pick.

5. Creating a tag with an order of more than 255 would produce unexpected behavior, and is now reported as an error.

Changes in v5.0

Program Enhancements & Changes:


Hero Lab’s new Encounter Builder is now available! The Encounter Builder is a powerful new tool, making it easier than ever for GMs to build encounters from the hundreds of stock characters included with most game systems. Try it from the new Gamemaster menu!

2. The Fate Core game system is now available for Hero Lab! All licensed Hero Lab users now receive full access to this game system at no additional cost.

3. You can now drag and drop picks within certain tables (for example, the dashboard and the table of class levels in Pathfinder) to re-order them.

Bugs Fixed:

1. Certain incrementers (such as the “number to add” incrementer in Pathfinder) had text which was too light to see.

2. Text in buttons on OS X was being positioned a few pixels too far up.

3. On OS X, the Help menu now appears properly for the Tactical Console.

4. On Windows, when maximized, the Tactical Console form could appear under the task bar.

5. Heroes with certain unusual characters in their names, such as characters with accents, could have errors reported when trying to save portfolios including images.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. Added the “titlecase” and “sentencase” intrinsic functions.

2. Added “Set Portfolio Sourcebooks” option on the “Develop” menu.

3. The “addbehavior” setting on components is now respected for auto tables.

4. Certain combinations of bootstraps in data files could give a timing error.

Changes in v4.3a

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Hero Lab should now load game systems more quickly than it used to, letting you get to your characters several seconds faster than before.

Bugs Fixed:

1. When ordinal numbers were generated, numbers ending 11-13 were labeled “11st”, “12nd” etc instead of “11th”, “12th”.

2. On OS X 10.8 and above, corrected a problem where spacing for text with formatting would often be incorrect.


On the Mac, most text controls no longer automatically replace text with characters that cannot be used in Hero Lab.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. The “Skip Supplement Packages” option on the Develop menu has been replaced with “Choose Supplement Packages”. You can now selectively disable individual packages you have access to, to test what happens without them being present.

2. Hero Lab no longer crashes when you add a pick to a table with a non-existent autothing.

3. Choosers can now be included in templates, with some limitations.

4. You can now drag and drop user-added picks between tables.

Changes in v4.3

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Hero Lab now saves out less information in saved portfolios, resulting in portfolios that are 10- 20% smaller.

2. In the editor, game systems with a lot of tabs can now organize them into separate groups. This will allow us to add additional tabs for some content in Pathfinder.

3. After adding something from a long list, like the list of spells in Pathfinder, Hero Lab no longer “freezes” for several seconds.

Bugs Fixed:

1. If the data files changed in certain ways, loading a pick from a saved file could generate incorrect error messages.

2. The width and height of certain images in Pathfinder was not being set properly.

3. Hero Lab was hanging for some mac users after interacting with a long list on a choose form, like the list of spells in Pathfinder.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. The agent pick could not be properly accessed in certain scripts, such as the headertitle script.

2. The user identifier set in the editor can now also contain numbers, although we recommend you only use uppercase letters.

Changes in v4.2d

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. In the editor, you can now specify a 2- or 3-character “user identifier” that is automatically added to the unique id of records you create.

Bugs Fixed:

1. During data file compilation on Windows, if a lot of third-party data files were loaded, Hero Lab could run out of memory and be unable to compile.

2. On certain MacBook Pro computers, Hero Lab should now run on the integrated graphics chipset, rather than causing a switch to the discrete GPU.

3. If the dice roller rolled a number less than zero, it would be displayed incorrectly.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. If you specify text too long for an XML element, the error message now reports how far over the limit you were.

2. Added the “dossier” option for labels, to allow easier display of statblocks in printed output.

3. Edit controls can now specify placeholder text to be displayed when empty. See the authoring kit wiki for details.

4. Added the “ordinal” and “digitgroup” intrinsic functions to make formatting numbers in scripts easier. See the authoring kit wiki for details.

Changes in v4.2c

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. You can now press the “integrate” button in Realm Works to import characters from Realm Works directly into a running copy of Hero Lab.

Bugs Fixed:

1. In some circumstances, if a tooltip was showing (e.g. on the “Apply damage” button), it would prevent you from clicking on buttons until dismissed with a click.

2. If no email client is installed, trying to email someone (by choosing the “Contact Technical Support” menu item, for example) now displays a more helpful message.

3. An invalid character is no longer shown at the bottom of HTML statblock output.

4. When rounding numbers towards zero, numbers like -0.1 would be unhelpfully rounded to -0 (negative zero, which is not really a thing) instead of 0.

5. In some circumstances, the “Print” dialog could end up behind the main Hero Lab window.


When using the mouse wheel to scroll up and down fast in the main window, display corruption could occur.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. The “hero” transition now works more reliably in scripts with a type of “none”.

2. The editor now lets you set “assignval” attributes of unlimited length, rather than imposing an artificial limit of 100 characters.

3. Added the batchadd/batchplace mechanism to enable easier design of class tabs.

Changes in v4.2a

Bugs Fixed:

1. On Windows, tweaked our internet code to hopefully fix some annoying problems some users experience with bad cached downloads. We also no longer ignore invalid HTTP certificates.

2. Hero Lab on the desktop can no longer import data files for Hero Lab on the tablet (and vice versa), which is good because doing that would cause problems.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. When exporting third-party data files, HLExport no longer enforces the product version requirement, as this was causing incorrect behavior when trying to import files into Hero Lab for the iPad.

2. HLExport no longer allows you to export package files.

3. Added the “fieldisempty:” check to use in tag expressions.

Changes in v4.2

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. The Spirit of the Century game system is now available for Hero Lab! All licensed Hero Lab users now receive full access to this game at no additional cost.

2. Due to improvements in our package format, future data file releases will be around 25%+ smaller, meaning they’ll download 25% faster! We’re hoping to achieve further size reductions in a separate release, coming soon.

Bugs Fixed:


Users without the Pathfinder game system couldn’t load the Pathfinder Beginner Box, which is now free to all licensed Hero Lab users as it should have been.

2. Line breaks in personal description text would not be output correctly in HTML or Wikitext statblocks.

3. Users with a ‘+’ or other non-alphanumeric characters in their email address would sometimes get error messages when retrieving updates.

4. Using the hero# transition in a containerreq expression would sometimes cause a crash.

5. Saved portfolios of sufficient complexity (I’m looking at you, character with 26 Shadowrun vehicles) would not load properly into Hero Lab.

6. Text would incorrectly appear above “Notes” buttons.

7. Hero Lab would crash if you tried to print a character with no live sheets defined.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. The “Selection List” debug info window now shows more information about the source of picks.

2. Using “Find Thing” in the editor wasn’t replacing the selected text properly under OS X.

Changes in v4.1b

Bugs fixed:

1. Hero Lab could crash when tables over a certain size were created. Too much memory was being allocated to draw those tables, which would cause a failure for some Windows users.

Changes in v4.1a

Program Enhancements and Changes:

1. If you copy an HTML statblock to the clipboard, other programs that understand HTML (such as word processors) will now be able to paste it with formatting intact.

2. Clicking a label with mouseover text will now immediately show the mouseover text, as if you had just hovered over it. This should make Hero Lab more useful to anyone using it without a mouse, for example on Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro tablet PCs.

3. Files in the temporary folder will no longer be added to the “recent files” list, as they’re temporary and thus likely to disappear before you can re-use them.

4. The options under the License menu for reactivating your license have been clarified.

Bugs Fixed:


Hero Lab could crash when you deleted the last level of certain classes, if other classes which shared the same abilities were still present.



you ran Hero Lab on Linux under Wine, saving a portfolio would cause a crash.



you moused over an info button to get the information from that button, clicking on the

button to dismiss the information would dismiss it, then register a click on the button, bringing

the description up again. Now, the information will disappear without reappearing again.


On the Mac, fixed some crashes that would very rarely occur after holding the mouse down over


control and closing a form.


Hero Lab could crash when you tried to edit notes and the notes button wasn’t set up properly by the data file author.


Hero Lab no longer requires a mouse to start, as many tablets are starting to appear with a touch screen and no mouse connected.


Total encumbrance on minions was not being calculated properly for certain game systems, such as Savage Worlds.


On the Mac, fixed another issue where the “buy” panel on the choose form was drawing text without clearing the old text when you changed the quantity to purchase.


After opening a large number of saved portfolios (for example, by using the “Prepare Portfolios In Folder For Distribution” menu item), Hero Lab would hit an OS resource limit and crash.


Hero Lab no longer refuses to start if the minimum resolution of your screen is too low, but still displays a warning message the first time you run it on a screen that doesn’t meet the requirements.



you clicked within a scroll bar to scroll a window up or down, then moved the mouse out of

the scroll bar without releasing the button, moving the mouse back into the scroll bar could cause scrolling to resume incorrectly.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

3. Added “Save Statblocks for Portfolios in Folder”, “Save Custom Output for Portfolios in Folder” and “Save d20Pro Output for Portfolios in Folder” items under the Develop menu. These allow you to generate several forms of output for a large number of saved portfolios at once.

4. The “Prepare Portfolios in Folder for Distribution” menu item now gives you the option of preparing portfolios in subfolders as well as the folder you select.

5. The “Prepare Portfolios in Folder for Distribution” menu item would sometimes report a nonsensical number of portfolios had been prepared.

6. The “Prepare Portfolio for Distribution” menu item no longer ignores certain picks that are bootstrapped to a gizmo, like the Dancing Wasp sword needing the Jade Regent and Ultimate Combat sources.

7. Added two new modes of operation to the "intersect" target - "countsource" and "counttarget". "countsource" returns the number of tags on the source that match tags on the target, and “counttarget” returns the number of tags on the target that match tags on the source.


Scripts with a type of “none” can now transition to the hero context, making them significantly more useful for holding functionality that can be used in multiple different places.

Changes in v4.1

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. The Hero Lab saved portfolio format has undergone major changes. Instead of being a simple XML file, each saved portfolio (.por file) is now a zip file containing text, html, and XML statblocks and images, as well as the Hero Lab internal file format. This makes each saved portfolio much smaller, and allows third party tools to read saved portfolios created by Hero Lab! See the “Reading Hero Lab Saved Portfolios” section of the Hero Lab manual for full details. Files saved in previous versions of Hero Lab will still load in Hero Lab 4.1 without a problem, but files saved by Hero Lab 4.1 will no longer load in previous versions of the product. If your friends have trouble reading your Hero Lab portfolios, make sure they’ve updated Hero Lab.

2. Importing new data file updates should now be 50-70% faster, thanks to improvements made to our import mechanism.

3. Windows 8 (except Windows RT) and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion are now officially supported by Hero Lab.

4. Hero Lab and its associated tools are now signed with digital certificates on the Mac, which make it easier to run on Mountain Lion.

5. Running Hero Lab on Windows 2000 is no longer supported. All Windows 2000 users should be aware that future versions of Hero Lab may not run on that operating system.

Bugs Fixed:

1. On the Mac, the “buy” panel on the choose form was drawing text without clearing the old text when you changed the quantity to purchase.

2. Changing the settings for a hero was not marking the portfolio as “needs to be saved” properly.

3. Some items in choose forms were not being sorted correctly, for example the weapons list in Pathfinder when “Only Valid Items” was selected.

4. In some cases, the validation summary bar at the bottom of the Hero Lab window was not being updated properly.

5. Hero Lab could crash if an invalid logo bitmap was present for a game system.

6. Certain things in the editor (for example, the Wizard class in Pathfinder) could not be copied properly.

7. If you had a custom output type installed and a new update was released, the new update would not prompt you to download it appropriately.


When saving custom output, images would sometimes be saved with incorrect file extensions. This problem may unfortunately persist with old portfolios, but custom output generated from portfolios created with Hero Lab 4.1 or later should label the images correctly.

9. When saving a portfolio, some selections would incorrectly be flagged as “changed by user”, resulting in unnecessary warnings appearing when the portfolio was loaded back in.

10. If an error was encountered while exporting heroes, it wasn’t being reported properly.

11. The list of sources generated for a thing with both sources and preclude entries would be formatted incorrectly.

12. When a file failed to save properly (for example, trying to save in a folder that Hero Lab couldn’t write to), an error was not being properly reported.

13. Hero Lab wasn’t reporting script errors properly in some particularly obscure cases, giving a generic error message instead.

14. Very occasionally, extracting files from an import file could fail and cause a 0-size file to be created, but with no actual error being reported.

Authoring Enhancements, Changes and Bug Fixes:

1. Added the "principal" target reference to get the principal version of a pick. The principal pick is guaranteed to be the same each time it’s used within one evaluation. This can be useful when you need to share information between multiple copies of the same non-unique pick.

2. Using hero.child[thingid] to transition to a different pick is now guaranteed to select a live copy of that pick if multiple copies are available.

3. Added a new “Prepare Portfolios in Folder for Distribution” menu item, which allows you to run “Prepare Portfolio for Distribution” on an entire folder of portfolios at once.

4. The “Prepare Portfolio for Distribution” menu item was ignoring picks on gizmos, such as magic item powers for Pathfinder, and producing incorrect results.

5. XML generated by custom output is now in the more sensible UTF-8 encoding, and should now be properly indented (and thus much easier to read) when generated on Windows.

Changes in v4.0c

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Hero Lab now loads large portfolios even more quickly than before. Depending on the size and complexity of your portfolio, it should load anywhere from 10% faster to 200% faster. The more heroes and minions in the portfolio, the more it’ll benefit from this improvement.

2. Hero Lab and its associated tools are now signed with digital certificates on Windows, which should make the messages when you try to install the product for the first time slightly less distressing.


Accessing “Manage License” and related functions from the License menu now automatically sends you to the secure version of our web site.

4. You can now specify a local file (or a file on a network drive) as an additional updates source, by using the syntax “file://c:/path/to/file.xml”.

Bugs Fixed:


On the Mac, if you did certain things with the trackpad like switch desktops or open Mission Control, Hero Lab could freeze.


On the Mac, certain users could not run Hero Lab in demo mode, as it incorrectly detected other copies of itself running.


On the Mac, if one user installed Hero Lab and another user tried to run it, Hero Lab would give an error message.


On the Mac, when a “dead key” was pressed (like the ` on a Swedish keyboard), Hero Lab could crash.


On the Mac, clicks on disabled controls were not always being ignored properly, resulting in some odd behavior.


On the Mac, using Hero Lab in “high-dpi” mode (for example, on a Retina Macbook Pro) would cause it to run very slowly.


On the Mac, using certain custom output types could cause Hero Lab to crash.


On Windows, the Hero Lab window would not redraw for a time after resuming your computer from hibernation.


On Windows, made some changes that will hopefully resolve internet access problems for a number of users.


Fixed a nasty bug that would cause inexplicable crashes at random times, making their cause very hard to identify.


If you set a choose form to show “Only valid items”, then came back to it later when there were no valid items to see, there was no way to re-open the choose form. Hero Lab now automatically changes the setting back to “Show everything” in this situation.


In a large portfolio, changing the settings for a hero would take a very long time, due to the portfolio being re-evaluated unnecessarily.


In the editor, saving a read-only file in the current game folder with a new name now “unlocks” it so it can be edited.


Sortsets were not comparing tags on linked things properly, so any sortkey testing tags on a linkage was effectively being ignored.


When you clicked on the timing report error message to load the timing report, a “file not found” error would be displayed.


Hero Lab should have been reporting an error if a thing tried to replace itself, instead of hanging during data file compilation.

Authoring Enhancements & Changes:

1. Authoring: Added the "arraypush" and "matrixpush" targets to array and matrix fields. These find the first empty row in an array or matrix, and sets values or text into it. If you have, for example, an array of strings that need to be kept separate so they can be spliced together with a variety of delimiters later, you can use this target to push them one by one onto the array without having to search for empty rows in the array yourself.

2. Authoring: Added the "listpick" and "listfield" attributes to output tables, which do for the list expression like "candidatepick" and "candidatefield" do for the candidate expression.

Changes in v4.0b

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Hero Lab now creates minions and loads characters with multiple minions much more quickly (10-100x more quickly for examples like the Shadowrun Drone Rigger).

2. Authoring: Sort sets can now contain 10 sort keys, up from 7.

Bugs Fixed:

1. On the Mac, trying to print the World of Darkness character sheet could cause a crash.

2. On the Mac, clicking to show a tooltip and then clicking the Hero Lab dock icon (after switching away from the app, for example) would cause Hero Lab to hang.

3. Made some changes which will hopefully resolve internet access problems for some users on Windows.

4. Loading certain saved portfolio files which included “bad” links to other heroes inside the file could crash Hero Lab.

5. Improved the error message reported when fonts are missing, since people seem to be running into that a lot on the Mac.

6. On the Mac, clicking the “Add XP” buttons in the Journal would sometimes not clear the contents of the edit controls to specify how much XP you wanted to add.

7. On the Mac, following links to the main Hero Lab manual from the game system manuals would not work.

8. Hero Lab no longer crashes when more than 7 sort keys are defined for a sort set.

Changes in v4.0a

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. In scripts, the “setchosen” target can now be used within regular scripts, but only to set the selection for the first time, and only if the script was marked as trusted with “trustme”.

Bugs Fixed:

1. On the Mac, when dragging the columns of a grid to resize them, a document icon would appear and the resize cursor would be displayed off-center.

Changes in v4.0

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Hero Lab is now available for the Mac! You can run Hero Lab on any Mac running OS X 10.5 to 10.7. Both Windows and Mac versions can be downloaded from our downloads page. If you have questions about transferring your license to a Mac, see the “Running Hero Lab on Windows and Mac” section of our licensing info page.

Bugs Fixed:

1. Exporting a hero would sometimes fail.

2. The Validation form would sometimes show outdated information or fail to select the current actor when displayed.

3. Importing data files would fail if the “Delete files not replaced” box was checked.

4. The “Total Cash” controls on “Buy Custom Wand”, “Buy Custom Magic Item”, “Buy Equipment” etc forms would sometimes slowly shrink until they disappeared.

5. Borders around controls would sometimes not be refreshed.

Changes in v3.9f

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Improved the error message generated when Hero Lab tries to adjust condition timings to avoid sequencing problems with bootstraps.

Bugs Fixed:

1. If you clicked a droplist in the editor, then clicked elsewhere to dismiss it, clicking it again would not always open the droplist properly.

2. Hero Lab could crash when leaving certain choose forms.

3. The custom output definition DTD was not present in the documentation.

Changes in v3.9e

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. The Pathfinder® Beginner Box game system is now available for all licensed Hero Lab users! Anyone with a Hero Lab license can load this game system and save and print characters. If you don’t have a license, you can save and print characters for this game with the free Starter Edition of Hero Lab, which you can download from our web site.

2. Redesigned the Help menu, to make it easier to find more common commands. In addition, you can now access the Hero Lab readme through the menu.

3. HLExport has a new icon, making it easier to distinguish from Hero Lab.

4. data file debugging is enabled, Hero Lab now warns you if you use fonts that are not present on both OS X and Windows. This behavior can be disabled by unchecking “Warn About Platform- Specific Fonts” on the Develop menu.

5. Added a new shortcut key – Ctrl+K (Command+K on the Mac) for “configure hero”.


Bugs Fixed:

1. Using the space bar to trigger the “Add Item” cell of a table was not working if there were no items in the table.

2. Hero Lab could crash if things were created with very long description text.

3. Title bar scripts on choose forms were always using the hero as their starting point, not the container as documented.

4. The “Choose Thing” form in the editor had the wrong tooltip for the list of things.

5. Hero Lab would sometimes crash when loading certain portfolios if the data files had changed in

a certain way since they were saved.

6. In certain situations, the selected item would not be properly displayed in droplists.

7. Hero Lab could fail to compile data files or crash when too many user files (100+) were loaded at the same time.

8. Scripts set to use “childfirst” ordering were not applying that between heroes, only between containers on the same hero.

Changes in v3.9b

Bugs Fixed:

1. Fixed a crash bug that occurred when Hero Lab tried to import a file with a bad “file modified” date. This affected user import files that were downloaded from some web sites.

2. Fixed a crash bug that would occur if you created a thing in the editor and deleted its name. The editor no longer allows you to leave the “name” field blank.

3. The “Show” droplist in the “Find Thing” dialog in the editor now shows things from the correct component set when used.


Printing certain portfolios (for example, portfolios with lots of spells) could cause Hero Lab to print very slowly and possibly hang.

5. Trying to assign a tag with a wildcard in it would cause Hero Lab to crash, and now reports an error when compiling.

6. Changes how internet access behaves, which will hopefully solve internet problems for a number of users.

Changes in v3.9a

Bugs Fixed:

1. Heroes with a minion were giving an error message after being saved in Hero Lab 3.9.

2. HLExport would stop exporting files if it encountered an empty folder.

Changes in v3.9

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. When you run Hero Lab for the first time, if you choose to check updates automatically, an immediate check is performed instead of asking you if you want to do it.

2. You can now specify a filename without a game system on the command line, and Hero Lab will ask the user which game system they want the file created for.

3. Many minor changes to prepare for the Mac version of Hero Lab.

Bugs Fixed:

1. Printing from the print preview form would sometimes cause an error for some users.

2. Fixed many issues which could potentially have crashed Hero Lab in occasional circumstances.

3. Hero Lab now launches correctly under Windows 8. However, please note that Windows 8 is not yet a supported operating system to run it on.

4. In a dual-natured header cell of a printed table when printing multiple heroes, the wrong actor could be used in template and portal scripts.

Changes in v3.8a

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. When loading a saved portfolio that includes source settings which are not present in your copy of Hero Lab, warning messages are no longer displayed if those sources are not active. Additionally, Hero Lab now remembers the state of all "missing" sources and saves them at their original values when the portfolio is changed. (If you want to manually remove the missing sources, you can do so from the "Strip Missing Sources" item under the Portfolio menu.)

2. The "Get Updates" button has been relabelled "Find Updates" and is now more prominently displayed on the Select Game form.

3. Added a new "Explore Folders -> Game System Data Folder" menu item under the Tools menu, allowing easier access to the folder for the current game system.

4. When generating export files containing saved portfolios, subfolders of the folder you select are now included by default, for consistency with how folders under the game system folder are included by default. Previously, folders under the saved portfolio folder were omitted from the list and could not be selected.

5. When a user action causes a minion to be added, Hero Lab now displays a progress message during the operation, as it can take many times longer than simply adding a regular pick.

6. The new default size for "small images" is 250x250 instead of 150x150, as it looks better on the printout while consuming only negligible additional disk space.

7. Added a new "List User Files" option under the Diagnostics menu to aid debugging.

8. Edit things in the editor can now specify default values for the "has own mode", "is inherit" and "live field" flags on minions.

9. The Windows "Choose Folder" form is now used in a number of places, instead of our own custom form. This fixes a number of issues where certain folders like the Dropbox folder could not be selected as the alternate save folder for a game system.

10. Added a new "Skip Supplement Packages" setting under the debug menu that allows you to reload the current game system without supplement packages compiled, for easier testing.

11. Custom output types can now generate XML files by specifying the "outputextension" attribute on the output type. See the manual for details.

12. Added an @islive special symbol to "chosen" scripts on choosers, so you can tell whether the selected pick is live or not.

Bugs Fixed:

1. The description of the d20Pro custom output type was not being displayed properly.

2. Some weapons in Shadowrun (like the Ares Alpha) would incorrectly report errors when a saved portfolio containing them was loaded.

3. A crash could occur when trying to print preview a Vehicle or HQ in Mutants & Masterminds.

4. The editor is now properly closed when you switch game systems by loading a file from a different game.

5. The editor would crash when a "custom bootstrap" edit thing was selected that had no input things under it.

6. When you changed a record in the editor, the length of text in the button for that tab could change, which could make the button bar itself take up more or less lines than it used to and

appear at the wrong position. The editor now repositions everything appropriately when this occurs.

7. The color of some text on the "Third-Party Update Sources" form and "Import Hero" forms was incorrect under certain game systems.

8. The tooltips for the "Add" and "Add & Close" buttons on the choose form were reversed.

9. "Ghost" entries would appear on the "Manage Third-Party Updates" form.

10. Links from game system manuals to the Hero Lab manual have been fixed.

11. Menu text would not be updated in certain situations, such as in the Vanities table in Pathfinder when multiple factions were present and an item was added.

12. In the Shadowrun editor, some labels would be incorrectly disabled after scrolling or switching between tabs.

13. Preclude elements can now be applied to things which are enmasse'd or bootstrapped.

14. The "showinvalid" attribute now operates properly for choosers.

15. Non-live things on choose forms and picks on the hero now report that they are an invalid selection as a pre-requisite failure.

16. Hero Lab no longer gives an error when starting in 256-color mode. Please note that 256-color mode is not supported, and we don't recommend you use it.

17. Trying to save a file in the editor with an unchanged "Preclude" entry would cause a crash.

Changes in v3.8

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. The Shadowrun game system is now supported!

Bugs Fixed:

1. Hero Lab could crash when outputting a long debug string.

2. The "addpick" and "addpickfocus" targets now work properly with auto-tables as well as dynamic tables.

Changes in v3.7a

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. The format for custom output has been changed, to allow us more flexibility for changes in the future. You can find an explanation of the changes here:


The "Develop" menu now includes a "Prepare Portfolio for Distribution" option. This menu item is intended for data file authors who are preparing portfolio files for distribution to players - see the "Main Menu" section of the manual for details.

3. Improved how errors occurring during custom output are reported to the user.

4. If a pick was added from the editor, it could produce extra error messages in some situations. Those messages now also advise you to reload the game system to fix them.

Bugs Fixed:

1. The links to the Hero Lab manual in the Start menu were not working properly.

2. Data file manuals were not being formatted correctly, because the styles applied to the manual are in a different place under the new folder structure.

3. When saving HTML files, Hero Lab now removes all characters which might be problematic in web site addresses (anything but letters, numbers, dashes and the underscore) and replaces spaces with underscores in the default name for a file.

Changes in v3.7

Program Enhancements & Changes:

1. Custom output is now available for selected game systems! This feature allows users to define their own custom output types, which can then generate custom character sheets. See the manual for details.

2. When printing your hero or generating a statblock, you can now choose to output every hero in the portfolio, allowing you to output multiple characters at once.

3. Hero Lab has a new installer, and now installs by default into the "Program Files" folder. The first time you install HL3.7, your old files and settings will be migrated to new locations, and your old pre-HL3.7 install will be removed. This means that Hero Lab is now better-behaved than before, and you no longer have to run it in administrator mode when installed under Program Files.

4. The Hero Lab installer now automatically adds an exception for Hero Lab to your firewall, which should hopefully alleviate internet access problems for a number of users.

5. Files opened in Hero Lab now display in the windows 7 "Jump List" (when you right-click on HL's icon) and "Recent Documents" lists.

6. Entire tabs and summary panels, where appropriate, can now be scrolled up and down if they're too big to fit on the screen. This will make it easier for users with small screens to use Hero Lab, especially on tightly cramped tabs.

7. Hero Lab can now use multiple "secondary updates" sources, instead of just one. You can choose other addresses to download updates from the bottom of the Settings menu.

8. You can now use HLExport to generate "third party updates". These updates do not include a definition or config file, and track their version separately from that of the main game system.

This allows users or third-party publishers to create their own updates, which Hero Lab can then check properly to see if the latest version is installed.

9. Users can manage and remove properly-configured third-party updates from the Tools menu, allowing you to easily remove a third-party update you installed.

10. After importing data files, any .user files that are totally empty will now be automatically deleted, as they don't serve any purpose.

11. When importing updates, any update that doesn't include a definition or configuration file (e.g. a third party update for a game system) now disables the "Delete files not replaced by import" checkbox, since those updates shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the rest of the game system.

12. In the editor, the tab names now show the total number of records under that tab (for example, "Ability (7)" indicates 7 records on the Ability tab).

13. When saving HTML files, Hero Lab now removes all characters which might be problematic in web site addresses (anything but letters, numbers, dashes and the underscore) and replaces spaces with underscores in the default name for a file.

14. You can now tell Hero Lab to use an alternate preferences file, so that two people on the same computer can have different configuration settings. To do this, run Hero Lab with the -prefs=XXX parameter (where XXX is the new preferences filename, such as -prefs=james). See the manual for more details.

15. You can now specify a game system and a filename on the command line, and Hero Lab will offer to create a file with that filename. Passing the -autocreate flag automatically creates the file. E.g.:

herolab.exe sample "c:\mycharacters\filename.por" -autocreate

16. If an internet connection error is encountered, Hero Lab now directs you to a web page with information on how to fix the error.

17. Streamlined the behavior of the Tactical Console when initiative changes. Instead of disabling the "next action" button until changes to initiative are accepted, Hero Lab now implicitly accepts changes and resorts the list when you next take an action.

18. d20pro export extensions now include user images and multiple heroes.

19. When activating your license for the first time, the logo of the game being activated is now displayed.

20. Dynamic tables and choosers can now specify a "chooseheadertemplate", which allows them to choose a template to appear as a table header on the choose form.

21. Improved the display of grid lines between individual cells on choose forms.

22. Added the "addbehavior" attribute to components. This allows you to customize how picks with gizmos are treated when added.

23. Added the @isprimary special symbol to transaction setup, buy and sell scripts.

24. Added the @notransact special symbol to transaction setup scripts, and the @issingle special symbol to transaction buy scripts.

25. Added the "movetest" script, which allows gear to be moved between different picks, and the "move" script which runs after a pick is moved.


Added the "defchild" and "defminion" attributes to edit things, allowing things to be defined in the editor with a default thing or minion which is automatically set up, and the "defstack" attribute, allowing you to choose the default stacking behavior.

27. Added the "target" attribute to tag and bootstrap input things. This means the editor can now allow the user to edit tags and bootstraps assigned to the gizmo or minion of the current thing, simplifying editing for games with complex Gizmo or Minion behaviors.

28. Added the "thing", "pick" and "hero" assignval behaviors. This means you can now initialize the contents of menu fields on bootstrapped picks.

29. Added the "it_entitycheck" input thing, allowing you to add or remove a child entity in the editor with a single click.

30. The list of actors in combat is now resorted, if necessary, after the "newpass" script runs. This allows you to make changes to initiative in the "newpass" script and have them applied immediately.

31. Trailing zeroes after the decimal point are now trimmed automatically by Hero Lab. You can modify this behaviour with the new "trimdecimals" attribute.

32. Entities can now specify a buy template and transact special value, which are inherited by things which use the entities without their own values for these.

33. Hero Lab now warns you before you add 10+ individual items to a hero, in case you accidentally typo'd or chose "add individual items" instead of "add new stack" on the choose form.

34. Added the "deletereq" pick target, which can only be used from within a trigger script. This displays a message asking the user if they want to delete the pick, and deletes it if they say


35. Added the "isbuying", "isbuychild", and "buystacks" pick targets, which allow you to determine if

a pick is the primary pick for a transaction that's taking place, or if it's the child of such a pick.

36. Added the "addpickfocus" which works like "addpick", but sets the new pick to the focus after it's been created, allowing you to modify fields on it.

37. HLExport now has a Tools menu with a "Select Only .user Files" option, to allow collections of .user files to be packaged up more easily.

38. Added state.pushfocus and state.popfocus, turning the focus into a stack. This allows you to push the focus stack, temporarily use another focus, then pop the stack and return to using the original focus.

39. Added the "childfirst" attribute to eval scripts and rules, allowing you to specify scripts that run on child picks before parent picks.

40. Added the new "silentchild" loadmod, allowing authors to add or change the child entity used by

a pick.

41. Clarified the message reported when a non-live pick was present on the hero.

Bugs Fixed:

1. Hero Lab would occasionally crash if you tried to install a new version from the updates mechanism, but only if you summoned it from the "Select Game System" form.

2. When fetching gear from another hero, Hero Lab would sometimes crash.


When buying a custom magic weapon in d20 or Pathfinder, the "buy panel" would sometimes display incorrect information just after selecting a weapon.

4. The "Move Contents To" submenu for top-level holders like "Dropped to Ground" now correctly lists all holders on the hero.

5. Buying multiples of a custom magic weapon now correctly adds N copies of the weapon, rather than allowing you to buy N different custom weapons.

6. When downloading files larger than 42mb, the download progress bar would reset to 0 near the end. We have increased Hero Lab's supply of numbers to compensate.

7. The "dynamic" flag on templates would cause a crash if used on gizmo forms.

8. Pushing tags from a pick to its gizmo would cause tags to be unnecessarily duplicated on both source and target.

9. Fixed a bug which could cause the wrong container to be used if a prereqtarget was specified on

a table.

10. The wrong "agent pick" was being used in several places, which could cause unexpected error messages to appear.

11. Any thing that attaches a minion is automatically flagged as "cannot stack with other things".

12. When querying field history for a field with "best" history tracking, you can no longer ask for the starting value to be returned - it's implied if the query returns nothing.

13. Items like the "standard clothing" or "money" picks in Pathfinder, or any non-user-added picks, were being ignored when "gearcount" was called to determine how many items a container held.

14. In the editor, selecting "No tag" twice in succession in a droplist would bring up the "Add New Tag" dialog.

15. Fixed a display issue in the editor that sometimes happened when the comments control was the focus.

16. Selecting "Only Valid Items" on an Advancement form could add the incorrect items to the list.

17. Splicing show-only things in the editor was not assigning the proper thing.showonly tag.

18. Hero Lab would sometimes crash if a large number of very long validation or validation summary messages were being displayed.

19. Hero Lab now gives an error message instead of crashing if data.hlz cannot be opened (due to being open in another program, for example).

20. Using the bag icon on the dashboard to transfer gear between heroes would cause Hero Lab to behave oddly until another change was made to the hero.

21. multiple bootstraps had unnamed containerreq expressions and ran at different times, Hero Lab would incorrectly report a timing error for them.

22. The Tactical Console no longer shrinks to an unusually small size after being minimized.

23. When heroes were moved in the initiative order, the secondary intiative of the last hero in the tactical console would be overwritten.

24. Certain pick lists, such as the lists displayed in advancement tables for some game systems, were not being sorted properly when no sort set was specified.



25. updates were retrieved at exactly the wrong moment, Hero Lab could crash on the "select game system" form.


If there were no heroes ready to act in the Tactical Console, making a hero who had delayed his action act would cause him to be moved to the wrong place in the initiative order.

27. If the "Buy for free" checkbox was checked, the next time the "Choose" form appeared it would treat the checkbox as checked but display it unchecked.

28. If more than one "preclude" element was defined for a thing, a compilation error would be reported.

29. Fixed a crash that could happen in the editor when creating or testing a thing with exprreq elements.

30. When testing a thing with a maxlimit set in the editor, you would receive error messages if the maximum number of things was already present on the hero.

Legal Information

This software product is the property of LWD Technology, Inc. and is protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties. The software is NOT sold, it is licensed. This license grants the licensee to use the software on a single computer workstation and to make a single copy of the software for archival purposes only.

This software is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and of fitness for any purpose. The user assumes the full risk of using the software.

While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the correct operation of this software, LWD Technology does not warrant the accuracy, performance, or results you may encounter by using this software. In no event will LWD Technology be liable for direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages resulting from the use of this software or any defect within the software, even if LWD Technology has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Any liability of LWD Technology will be limited to the refund of the purchase price.

For complete license details, please refer to the license agreements installed with the product. The complete license agreement for use of the product in Demonstration mode will be found on the contents page of the User Manual. A separate license agreement for use of the product in conjunction with a Hero Lab license number will be found within the product by going to the "License" menu and initiating the license activation wizard.

Hero Lab is Copyright © 2006-2014 by LWD Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are registered trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. The Lone Wolf Development logo is a trademark of Lone Wolf Development, Inc.

Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.