Data File Types
[Context: Basic Concepts and Terminology]
HL utilizes a variety of different file types for defining all the particulars of a given game system. Each of the various file types is summarized below, with their specific contents being specified in the Kit Reference section.
definition file Definition files provide the basic foundation for a particular game system, defining the fundamental characteristics that are shared across all aspects of that game. Definition files are only utilized when creating data files for a new game system from scratch. See Definition File Reference for details. augmentation file Augmentation files offer the ability to modify and extend the contents of definition files separately from those files. While the there is some material that may only be specified within the definition file, most material may be freely distributed among augmentation files. This is extremely useful for carving up the information into multiple smaller files when creating your own set of data files. See Augmentation File Reference for details. data file Data files are where all of the user-manipulated things are specified for a game system, including classes, spells, skills, equipment, magic items, etc. Data files build upon the material in the definition and augmentation files. See Data File Reference for details. configuration file When package files are used, the configuration file contains basic details about the game system, allowing Hero Lab to display appropriate entries for the game system for user selection. If packages are not used, then the configuration details always reside within the definition file and no configuration file should be present. package file Package files are pre-built collections of data files that are distributed by Lone Wolf Development. Packages provide a convenient way to distribute material to users, as well as offering security-restricted access. A package file that your license is not authorized to access will simply be ignored by Hero Lab during compilation of data files. If your license grants access to a package, the package is equivalent to having all of the data files present within the game system data directory.
IMPORTANT! Although there is a specific file type of "data file", the general term "data files" is often used to collectively reference ALL of the various files which are created for a particular game system. Therefore, a reference to the "d20 System data files" would be referring to any definition file, augmentation files, data files, package files, and/or configuration file for the d20 System game system. When a reference is exclusively referring to a data file for a game system, it will either be spelled out within the Kit documentation or be clear from the context of the reference.