View Full Version : How solid is this to help GM a Pathfinder's Game?

February 15th, 2014, 21:58

We play a non-online game of Pathfinder. All standard Paizo rules with Core+all official rulebooks.
I was wondering if FG would help my game. I was looking for a tool to help me DM (get some of the math out of me) and to store PCs in case someone's Sheet is ever lost to a glass of soda or similar.

How solid is the Pathfinder Ruleset?
Is the community adding new stuff that is released to the Ruleset?
Is the ruleset limited in some way (I know some ruleset like GURPS doesn't have any math behind it)?


February 15th, 2014, 23:09
While it is not licensed by Paizo and lacks any official support other than what is OGC, there are a lot of really great community made modules to supplement the the basic PFRPG rules. I don't think you would be disappointed with the amount of stuff that is available. Also, FG is not a character creation system. While some have created very nice draggable modules to create a character, it is still almost just like using pencil and paper. It does automatically help create the very basic aspects of a character (abilities and skills). It also adds all the things that the ability modifiers need to be added to, like skills, HPs and AC. I suggest using Hero Lab to create characters, which can then be imported into FG. Hero Lab also has a lot of official support from Pathfinder. Hero Lab and Fantasy Grounds work great together.

In my opinion, FG is the best online game managements system for Pathfinder. I have rarely found any limitation when playing my Pathfinder games. Anything that it doesn't calculate automatically, you can quickly do manually. When I am running a game, in person, I still use FG for game management! It does an amazing job of keeping things organized, calculating encumbrance on inventory, giving quick access to dice for skill and ability checks, and communicating secretly with players. The combat management is great and does most of the work, including initiative tracking, subtracting HPs, automatic critical rolls and stability checks. The mapping system, with the included tokens, is just as good as hundreds worth of miniatures. The item identification feature is one of my favorite features of FG. Also, the community Language extension is amazing and one of my players' favorite features.

February 15th, 2014, 23:12
Well, the Pathfinder ruleset is an official ruleset, meaning that you get it with the FG package. So it is not community developed. Not that any of the community rulesets are all bad. There are various degrees. GURPS has no math in it becuase of SJG digital rules.

As for an aid in a f2f game... I am not sure, yes, the Combat Tracker is something that would be cool to have, but otherwise I am not sure. To tell it that your NPC is attacking a PC you have to have them on a map in FG. I mean I like FG, but not for F2F games. My 2 coppers.


February 15th, 2014, 23:24
It is solid. I'm looking to replace all my papers and cards for my live game with a laptop running FG.

The SRD has been parsed into modules too, so you have almost all the Paizo content formatted for use already.

February 16th, 2014, 00:09
Personally I despise seeing laptops in on the game table (with the exception of the GM) as they are way too distracting from the game.

Character sheets are probably better done on google docs, mythweavers, or similar. That way players can update as required and print off easily.

At a table keeping track of initiative isn't hard so I wouldn't actually use FG for that, but you can put in most of the monsters and keep track of attacks, damage, and hitpoints easy enough. Though I'm not sure it would be faster than just using notes and having the srd monster page open *shrug*. Main reason is that you have to change characters for each one and go to each page for attacks/spells. You would have a better record of what happened, but is that really needed?

Now for an online game FG is one of the best I have seen, it's MUCH better than maptools or roll20 or whatever. Only issue with these is it's extremely hard for a GM to fudge rolls (combat).

February 16th, 2014, 04:18
Ay men, on technology distracting players. That said, I've used it on a tablet (with pen/stylus) and a laptop to run modules and characters at conventions. Initiative and effects are easily tracked, pulling up information on monsters, spells, feats, etc is a thousand times faster then books, and 100 times faster then PFSRD on a device. If you take the time to prep your story in FG, the time it takes to double check anything is much shorter.

Points that will save you time during gameplay:

Put story into FG: YOu can place Headers to help break up sections of text,
LINKS: You can put clickable links in many areas, wherever you can apply style formats to text, to anything else: other story entries, notes, NPC's, tables, traps/haunts, spells, combat encounters, treasure parsels, maps/images, items, anything.
COMBAT ENCOUNTERS: You can create combat encounters easily. Drag monster from library or NPC gallery drop into combat encounter, apply # used.
TREASURE PARCELS: Create treasure parcels, for easy reward handling
PARTY SHEET: Track XP earned from combat encounters and quests as well as individual's amounts; track inventory they have found, quick easy look at everybodies skills, stats, and defences
IN-GAME CALENDAR: that can have notes placed on dates
COMBAT TRACKER: Auto Inititive for NPCs, easy access to full monster info, quick access to defences, attacks, effects (stuff like DR/10 silver, Shield +2 AC, Ref, Dazed 3 rounds, etc), Easy tracking of turns, rounds, quick removal of disabled/dead NPCs, Have to stop in middle of combat? Type '/save' just to be safe then close FG. Next session, open the combat tracker and all the information is right there, ready to pick up and no questions on whose turn and what round.
TABLES: need a random effect or encounter, open table click dice to roll. BAM! Result.

This doesn't include some of the extensions that exist from community support. Most extensions are more useful for online play, but a good one is Town/City; need to know how many people, and gold limit real easy, what NPCs there are? If you've entered that info, BAM! Click, click, there it is.
New monster, easy to copy paste, easier to run through parser.
Character tracking easy, can put in by hand, or if someone has hero labs, there is a converter, also can convert from some free web one.

February 16th, 2014, 08:28
How solid is the Pathfinder Ruleset?
Is the community adding new stuff that is released to the Ruleset?
Is the ruleset limited in some way (I know some ruleset like GURPS doesn't have any math behind it)?
Others have given their more detailed responses, but ill chip in too:
- yes the pathfinder ruleset is very solid.
- there are lots of data modules created by the community available, most are listed in this thread: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?16074-List-of-Modules
- nope, I can't think of any way the ruleset is limited.

February 16th, 2014, 22:20
I can tell you right now, just the organizational capability alone with the software makes it AMAZING. I started out over at Roll20, but after a couple months I couldn't deal with the whole "just use tags for organizing all your stuff, it's loads better". They did have excellent map functionality however, but I decided id rather go with FG since it was more established and id rather pay a one time lump sum for the ult license then a monthly fee.

Right now I'm introducing my party to the fun that is Rappan Athuk, and separating the various chunks of the book into modules makes it extremely easy to chunk off the information and make it easily accessible.

February 17th, 2014, 00:18
Another thing to think about is if you have a projector system set up, you can run a second instance of FG (i.e. the player's screen) and have the projector put that up onto your desired surface (wall, or table if you're inspired).

February 17th, 2014, 15:47
Yes, for in-person games, a projector would be excellent... failing that, a group laptop would help.

February 17th, 2014, 18:29
Actually, the easier thing to do is to run it through a TV using appropriate connections. Since many video cards have HDMI outputs anymore you can run it on a TV and use a wireless mouse for PCs to control movement, while having a combat tracker open for initiative or sharing images. Using the '/scaleui ###', you can adjust stuff so that they are more visible.

February 18th, 2014, 23:01
Thanks all for the great replies. I've been playing with the Demo so far. If it proves fruitful I will get a license!