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  1. #1

    Drawing on Maps: Is It Bad, Or Am I Bad? (And Other Questions)

    So I ran my first session with Fantasy Grounds yesterday, and overall it was positive. I had to fight with the interface a bit - not realizing you can click the arrow in the corner of maps to throw them to the background lost me a lot of time in the first encounter I ran, but then I figured that out and things went fairly smoothly.

    My biggest frustration, however, was with how limited the "draw on map" tools appear to be. Specifically, I was running an encounter that involves a fire spreading during the encounter. Since there doesn't seem to be an easy way to duplicate a token, I resorted to drawing on the map to show which squares were on fire. However, I couldn't figure out how to draw anything except thin black lines with the drawing tool. Even more frustratingly, it seemed like the eraser tool only erases in thin lines, which makes it very hard to cleanly erase anything without just deleting the entire drawing layer. Maybe I'm biased, coming from Maptool's fairly full-featured set of drawing tools, but the limitations combined with the drawing tool feeling a bit slow and laggy overall made the encounter a lot more annoying to run than I expected.

    I had a similar issue with vision masking when we got to the dungeon exploration part of the adventure - the dungeon has a lot of diagonal lines in it, which made the masking tool only unmasking in squares hugely inconvenient. Is there any way to draw freeform shapes with the unmasking tool?

    A couple other small issues that came up during the session as well:
    -My players like to roll their own dice, including damage. I couldn't figure out how to apply a set amount of damage to a monster without rolling, other than just manually calculating the monster's new damage value and typing it in.

    -Initiative seems to come up a bit weird when I try to use the combat tracker to roll initiative. At one point I had a player with a +7 Perception end up with an initiative of 2. In another case, a hazard that the book says has a +5 initiative modifier somehow ended up with a -4 initiative when I added the encounter to the combat tracker.

    -If I add creatures to an encounter, how do I preset their locations? It's very handy that the prebuilt encounters have locations defined, but I have a large party and often have to add extra creatures.

    -How do you include multiple attack penalty in a creature's rolls?

    -Is there a way to bring up a player's character sheet from the combat tracker? Double clicking on their picture doesn't work, although on the battle map it does.

    -Is there a way to share with my players a larger version of a token's image, so that I can quickly show them what a monster looks like?

    -A couple of my players are on laptops and don't have mice. When a map is in full screen mode, is there a way other than middle click+drag to move your view around the map?

    Despite these gripes, I have to say I came away from the session feeling very positive about Fantasy Grounds. Being able to quickly reference rules elements without having to pick up any books was fantastic, and having all of the maps and encounters pre-built for me saved a huge amount of time compared to using Maptool (although the issues I had with masking did make exploring the dungeon a little slower as players had to wait for me to carefully unmask diagonal hallways).
    Last edited by MaxAstro; October 7th, 2019 at 16:17.

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAstro View Post
    Since there doesn't seem to be an easy way to duplicate a token...
    Drag/drop the same token from the token bag.

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  3. #3
    A lot of your questions would probably be better asked in the House of Healing or Tavern forums, but I can answer some of them.

    The drawing tool is very limited. The eraser, on the other hand, is solid. Drag it in an arc and you'll see how you can outline a shape to erase.

    You can hold shift before clicking to unmask to freely draw a shape to uncover. Ctrl will remask.

    Once you've added creatures to an encounter, tokens will appear. Drag the tokens to the map where you want the creatures to be, then close the encounter box. Note: the players can see these tokens, so do it ahead of time if you want to keep things hidden.

    There is a +/- button in the upper left that includes modifiers like cover, concealment, and multi-attack penalties.

    To share a larger version of a token, I suggest linking a proper image of the creature in the creature's Other tab, where you can easily reach it. That's good advice in general—link everything to everything.
    A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, stab it in the back.

  4. #4
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAstro View Post
    -Initiative seems to come up a bit weird when I try to use the combat tracker to roll initiative. At one point I had a player with a +7 Perception end up with an initiative of 2. In another case, a hazard that the book says has a +5 initiative modifier somehow ended up with a -4 initiative when I added the encounter to the combat tracker.
    Look at the actual initiative modifier for the PC (on the main tab) and the NPC record. This is what is used to roll Initiative. If you see something weird, check these values. If it still seems weird then please use the relevant thread to post the problem (with either the DLC or the ruleset, depending on where the problem is) - including full details and screenshots to help describe the issue. Thanks.

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  5. #5
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAstro View Post
    -Is there a way to bring up a player's character sheet from the combat tracker? Double clicking on their picture doesn't work, although on the battle map it does.
    Always look for the FG link button - this is the most common button to open the related data. It's on the far right of the PC (and NPC) row in the combat tracker.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAstro View Post
    -A couple of my players are on laptops and don't have mice. When a map is in full screen mode, is there a way other than middle click+drag to move your view around the map?
    See "Pan image inside viewport" here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/wiki/...Images#Viewing

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  6. #6
    Thank you so much!

    Being able to get fast responses here on the forums to issues like this is definitely a huge plus.

    Regarding duplicating tokens, it looks like the issue was that I was trying to drag a new token from the combat tracker - which of course just moves the existing token.

    It seems like the vast majority of my issues just came from not being familiar with the interface and controls. Sounds like the second session should run much more smoothly.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    When my group did that encounter, the DM just added/size increased square pointers to indicate fire squares

  8. #8
    <Deleted> ugh
    Last edited by Alex Craft; October 7th, 2019 at 19:26.
    Alioops77

  9. #9
    you can do it this way as well for the multi-attack penalties.
    Multi-attack.jpg
    PC: if the attack has agile or finesse or both, don't forget to add those in the extra trait field,it will compensate for the +1 on 2nd,+2 on 3rd for Agile
    NPC: attack's name +? (agile,finesse), Damage 1d? ouch
    Last edited by Alex Craft; October 7th, 2019 at 19:30.
    Alioops77

  10. #10
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Craft View Post
    PC: if the attack has agile or finesse or both, don't forget to add those in the extra trait field,it will compensate for the +1 on 2nd,+2 on 3rd for Agile
    NPC: attack's name +? (agile,finesse), Damage 1d? ouch
    Only the agile trait affects the multi-attack penalty, the finesse trait doesn't.

    See here for more info: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/wiki/...m_Sheet#Traits

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