My group is playing D&D 5E, and as DM I use Hero Lab to manage the character sheets because I find it easy to use (normally), and it can be used via tablets, which saves on ink and paper cost.

The PCs just reached level 3, and one took on the Beast Master archetype for the ranger. I'm having trouble trying to add an animal companion onto his character sheet.

At first I found the Add Animal Companion option in the Adjustments tab, but it didn't really help me add anything.

Has anybody else tried to do this? Am I missing something obvious? Or is it just a feature that hasn't been properly coded into Hero Lab 5E yet?


1 Answer 1


The Hero Lab material is based on the 5e SRD. That's not the full corpus of PHB/DMG/MM, it's just the 400-pages or so that they have "open-sourced". If you look at sites like 5esrd.com, which are based on the SRD, you will notice that they have limited class information. In particular, the Beastmaster Archetype is not part of the SRD, so the core product can't support it.

To side-step the limitation, Hero Lab has a Community Pack for 5e. This means that everything outside of the SRD is supported by Community developers. If you don't yet have the Community Pack installed, please start there.

As of right now, the only officially licensed full character generator for 5E is Fantasy Grounds. I know that Hero Lab is "working on it", but it's not yet a reality.

UPDATE 2018:

  • D&D Beyond is currently the gold standard for character generation. You have to pay for the character pieces you need. But they have this nice piece meal system that lets you pay for just the content you want for your character without buying whole books.
  • Likewise, the Roll20 team has launched the Charactermancer that lets you build and play characters within their Virtual Table Top. As with D&D Beyond you have to pay for the material you want included in your character sheet. They are still rolling out support for all of the books, but if you're reading this in 2019 I would expect everything to be fully available for purchase.
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I did download the community pack, but perhaps the community has not put it all together as well. I'ts a shame but, i think i'll just have to have separate sheets for Animal Companions for now. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2016 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ "As of right now, the only officially licensed full character generator for 5E is Fantasy Grounds." - This is no longer true, if it was at the time; DNDBeyond exists, and has a character creator. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 24, 2018 at 21:15

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