Hi all! Some of you are possibly looking for a review on the Pathfinder 2E Gamemastery Guide. I have been super busy all week and so have only read a little over a quarter of it so that may need to be pushed back to next week. I just wanted to drop in and say a few words about the Campaign Management Tool that I like to use. I got reminded of this a little in the past couple of weeks as my online game is switching to a new game. We decided it was among a few games but in the end, it was left to me to find the system. We did want a system that was fully supported by a virtual tabletop (VTT) but in the end, because I like games that were left of centre we could not find one. I decided instead to use the MoreCore system in Fantasy Grounds to run a game of Super Squadron (an 80’s Superhero RPG).
Not reinventing the wheel
I was running a game of this, probably 4 to 5 years ago and the players remembered it fondly. I had done a bit of work on it in a program called Realm Works by Lone Wolf, the people behind Hero Lab. I had received an email from them several years ago telling me it was cut off or something similar (it was a review copy). I did not necessarily want to reinvent the wheel so I started searching online to see if there was a way I could get the data from a Realm Works database. It was in this search that I found out the email I received only related to the online component of Realm Works and so I downloaded a copy and opened it up.
I had multiple Realms available to me and I spent a bit of time looking in each one. I remember them all and also remember not putting a massive effort into some of them, but there was SO MUCH in each Realm! I was in awe of this program. Some Realms were just frameworks of places and people but the way it was structured made me instantly realise what I was doing.
Lone Wolf Newsletter
I received a newsletter several weeks ago from the team at Lone Wolf. It was to talk up the future but also had a feeling that they have struggled through the Covid years. A lot of places have. I have to admit that I have not been to their store during that time and so I decided that I was going to right that wrong. I wanted to hook my Realms up online again so I went for a bit of a fact-finding mission to find prices and the like. What I found was the details of all of this is fractured and is in many places. I literally could not find a link to the price for an Online connection for Realms. The closest I came was a forum post that listed a price that made my heart stop a little.
I then thought that I would use it offline and wanted to see the depth of supporting information out there. I was sure I would find a wealth of information for me to brush up my skills with. I again was met with a discordant amount of information. There were tutorials but they dated back to 2014 and the program has come a long way since then.
A New Hope
I have to admit that I was pretty disheartened by this search. But I was determined then to push on. I hit the link in the program to renew to see if the price I had been quoted was true. It was NOT! It was possibly a little higher than I thought it might be, but it was less than I spend on coffee in 4 days and it lasts me a full year. So I quickly signed back into the sync service. I then turned my attention to the skills I needed to brush up on and found a bunch of material out there but it is all over the place with different versions and the like. The solid stuff comes from Lone Wolf but it is pretty old. Liz does a lot of the tutorials. I had interviewed her at the time I was offered a sneak peek, and she knows her stuff.
Deep in the forum, I found a note from one of the good staff there that the manual is in the program itself. I went looking and sure enough, there was a link in the help section to the Manual, Tutorials and a FAQ. The problem here is the Tutorials that are linked are the ones from 6+ years ago largely. The link to the FAQ throws a 404 error (page not found) so probably does not exist anymore and all of the manuals say last updated version 1.0 of the program. Admittedly the version number now is 1.0.1097.257 so maybe they have been updating the manuals – it is impossible to tell. Lone Wolf people, we need to get some current data about there and a much easier source of information, because what is out there is fragmented and poor.
I still totally recommend this
Honestly, if you want to build your own world or campaign and you want to record it electronically you need this program. I use it just to plan things out because it is intuitive, powerful and allows for a lot of different ways to view the data. There is a player license if you are going to use the online option which allows players to log on and review the data they have discovered. I have not used that very much so can’t say too much about it, but the short play I had with it yesterday looks super impressive.
I would love to see this integrated into my VTT but I don’t think that will ever happen. But on the other side of the conversation, that is the only complaint I have about this program! The Pathfinder game I will be running in person is based directly on a Realm I built for AD&D 2E in this program. I did not spend a huge amount of time on it but there is SO MUCH information in the Realm here. I just need to alter some stats and it is ready to go. So little time to build such powerful environments. I cannot say enough that this is the best Campaign Management software on the market today. There is a content market with a bunch of material (a lot of Pathfinder stuff, but other material too) so you could plug that straight in. Seriously, take a look at this software. It has a 60-day money-back guarantee, so if you buy it and don’t like it they give you the money back.