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Thread: FG & DnD Beyond

  1. #1

    FG & DnD Beyond

    Hello;
    I've been looking into both and resource (books & etc) wise both appear to be similar but, unless I'm mistaken, only FG seems to have a virtual tabletop. I haven't played D&D since I was 10 years old, and now, almost 40 years later, I'd like to get started again. I'm just trying to weigh out the best way to start playing again, FG, roll20, &/or DnD Beyond without buying books more than once. Thanks in advance for any wisdom or advice!

  2. #2
    damned's Avatar
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    hey mlesnews

    They are different products.
    Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 are more like direct competitors than DnD Beyond.
    Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 have different strengths.
    Obviously the folk here are going to recommend FG over other products but it really is an amazing platform.
    If you have already bought physical books then any electronic platform you try - if you want all the content there online without entering yourself - then you will be re-buying online as well.
    Fantasy Grounds is the most cost effective platform for buying 5e content digitally but more than that - it is by far the most feature packed 5e platform.

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  3. #3
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Hey, welcome to the forums.

    Obviously most of us will be pretty biased towards FG. But I think were also pretty reasoned people and when I did similar research on '15 I came to the conclusion for FG.

    So, first, you are right, DnD Beyond is not a virtual table top. It does have some capabilities that a VTT (like FG and Roll20) do not have. Mainly around the ability to create hyperlinked files. But I'm not a user of DDB and only played with the beta.

    Comparing FG and Roll20;
    Price - Roll20 does have a free option, but many people don't think it provides the features they want. Also, the 5E material is half the price on FG than it is on Roll20, so even with an FG license, if you are playing FG, the cost is probably much less. Their is a recent video on You Tube about this, I will try to post a link at the end of this. Also, the various Roll20 paid levels are about what functions or features you have. With FG, all the licenses have the same functions and features with the exception of how many free players they can host.
    5E D&D Material - FG has everything, and it releases on the early release for WPN stores (i.e. about 2 weeks prior to Amazon). Roll20 only has some of the stuff and I don't think the new stuff is releasing early, but I'm not sure.
    GM Prep - From the research I've done, most GM's who have used both FG and Roll20 feel prep time is much less with FG,
    Community - The FG community is exceptional. Very friendly, helpful and almost completely devoid of trolling. Plus, you can actually discuss the competition. Which you can't do on Roll20's forums.
    Support & Customer Service - IMO, SmiteWorks is perhaps the most customer focused company I have ever bought a product from. They have a money back guarantee and are constantly making improvements to their platform and though they may not do everything we (the community requests) they do a great job of prioritizing and implementing the most important things.
    Architecture - FG is a client-server architecture. Meaning that you install the software on your own computer and you have all of your content on your computer (though be aware that official products are encrypted so you can't duplicate or modify it directly). This does mean that their can be issues around networking and port forwarding. But their are several community members who can help you figure this out if your network is one of the unusual ones that require something special. Worst case is you may have to buy a VPN service with a dedicated IP or setup your own VPN server. I think the cost is around $20/year, but I'm not sure. Roll20 is a hosted solution. Meaning you always have to be online to use it, all of your content and creations are hosted on their servers, and if they go out of business you lose everything. But it also means you never have network issues if you can use the internet.

    More info:
    - https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...unds-vs-Roll20
    - http://battlegroundsgames.com/vtt-comparison-chart/
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gHmxi4EydE

    There's lots more that can be said. But we'll wait for your questions

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  4. #4
    I thought that I had saw on Twitch that DnD Beyond had a client, i.e.- virtual tabletop but in perusing their forums I don't see any mention of it. For that reason, FG seems also where I'm leaning as well as there seems to be more traffic here. FG appears to be a complete package as roll20 is more just the virtual tabletop and DnDB seems to be just an online library with char creator and item db.

    Thanks for the quick response damned, I know they are different products. It is just difficult to wrap my head around it all.

    LordEntrails, I think you just summed up the type of response I was looking for. Yes, I was hesitant about asking about competitor's products. Personally I think that they are all great and it depends mostly on how a person uses them to get the most out of it. Choices are always nice!

    It is very tempting to leap on in and buy the full/complete package. I missed the DDB sale on Christmas, and it was probably a good thing as I think that FG will be a better fit for me personally. Both forums actually just recommend getting a base package and taking it for a spin before diving deeper. There is good logic in that, despite the temptation of a sale. I think perhaps, my initial impression that the easiest way to get into a game is with FG (forums) opposed to other methods. It can be confusing with all the different forums and social media, so FG lfg forums it is.
    Last edited by mlesnews; January 4th, 2018 at 05:18.

  5. #5
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Oh, checkout FG Daze coming up January 20th. It's a free little mini-con where you can get in on a on a one shot. It's a great time to learn FG or a new rule system. http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums...!-January-20th!

    Also, if/when you do go the FG route, the folks over at the FG College can help get you up to speed if you need or want it. http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums...-and-then-play!

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  6. #6
    Not sure if you're looking to DM or just play, but I recently started using FG to do both. I can say from personal experience that getting started is fairly inexpensive.

    What I did was purchase a standard license and then play a couple of one shots. After that I bought the PHB and got into an ongoing campaign. Then, after I was pretty comfortable with the application, I purchased the DMG, the MM, and Lost Mines of Phandelver and started DMing my own campaign.

    Since then I've picked up Princes of the Apocalypse so I can roll the Phandelver group into that campaign. I recently picked up most of the WOTC rule supplements and the Tome of Beasts because I am now working on creating my own home brew campaign. I've sort of eased myself into all of this without spending too much money at any one point.

    i was in the same boat as you. I hadn't played since I was kid almost 30 years ago, and now I'm a player in one group and a DM in another. I'm enjoying it and, while there are things that I wish worked differently in FG, I'm really happy with the investment. I can also easily roll into another rule set using FG if I want, so that's a plus too.

  7. #7
    JohnD's Avatar
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    And your cost of entry can be even lower if you go with a ruleset that isn't 5e. Welcome... you're making the right choice IMO.
    DMing since 1979. Ultimate License holder.

    Currently GMing:
    * Yggsburgh and Castle Zagyg - Castles and Crusades Greyhawk (Mon/Fri - on hiatus)
    * Temple of Elemental Evil - Castles and Crusades Greyhawk (Thursday - on hiatus)
    * 2e Greyhawk (Wednesday)

    Thanks for 7+ years of gaming via FG my friends (2e / 3.5e / Rolemaster Classic / Castles & Crusades / Pathfinder / Savage Worlds / 5e).

    There/Their/They're are all different words and do not mean the same thing.

  8. #8
    Well I succumbed to the sale and went all in with the complete bundle and bought the ultimate license as welll. I know I didn't have to but I was really eager to read all of the content and get started. I really appreciate all of the feedback guys. Thanks and happy adventuring!

  9. #9
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlesnews View Post
    Well I succumbed to the sale and went all in with the complete bundle and bought the ultimate license as welll. I know I didn't have to but I was really eager to read all of the content and get started. I really appreciate all of the feedback guys. Thanks and happy adventuring!
    *lol* Welcome again then!

    Do check out FG DAze, to play or to run a game, and the FG College too.

    Lots here to enjoy. Don't think you have to know or use everything. Start simple. If you prefer reading their is the User Guide, wiki and forums. If you like videos, their are lots of those too. Just understand that CoreRPG is the base that 5E is built off of, so almost anything you learn about Core will apply for 5E.

    The one rule I will say, it always add creatures to a map from the combat tracker. That allows targeting and automation.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
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  10. #10
    JohnD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlesnews View Post
    Well I succumbed to the sale and went all in with the complete bundle and bought the ultimate license as welll. I know I didn't have to but I was really eager to read all of the content and get started. I really appreciate all of the feedback guys. Thanks and happy adventuring!
    Well you know the saying... in for a penny in for $688.
    DMing since 1979. Ultimate License holder.

    Currently GMing:
    * Yggsburgh and Castle Zagyg - Castles and Crusades Greyhawk (Mon/Fri - on hiatus)
    * Temple of Elemental Evil - Castles and Crusades Greyhawk (Thursday - on hiatus)
    * 2e Greyhawk (Wednesday)

    Thanks for 7+ years of gaming via FG my friends (2e / 3.5e / Rolemaster Classic / Castles & Crusades / Pathfinder / Savage Worlds / 5e).

    There/Their/They're are all different words and do not mean the same thing.

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