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  1. #1

    Potential new user, moving from Roll20 to Fantasy grounds.

    Hello everyone.

    I been primary playing DnD for a good 25 years, with long breaks but a few years ago we picked up roll20 as a platform, the decision was not mine, as someone else was GM.
    Soon after I been the GM for several large campaigns in this setting but due to certain events I am uncertain i want to remain with Roll20 or move to Fantasy Grounds.

    FG have better prices for modules and campaigns as well, and of course Im looking at buying the ultimate licence and all source material possible, and probably most of the campaigns.

    I am creating ALOT of content myself, and in every campaign I GMd, Storm Kings Thunder to home brew campaigns, I alter every major NPC to player classes. Meaning I fully create major NPCs as player class.

    This is very easy to do in Roll 20, also adding stats, setting up your own backgrounds which obvoiusly you write yourself, is all very easy.

    How is it in Fantasy Grounds? For example in my current campaign there is a Warrior Monk of Horus-Re, Eye of Horus-Re, specialized vampire hunter.
    Long story very short, this specific character recieved a +1 wisdom bonus and + proficency bonus on his Ki point total.
    Is things like this easy to just add to character sheets?

    Also as a DM I tend to be very sparse with items, although at times I create home brewn potent items but in general, I prefer characters to learn new skills.
    For example during extensive training, with the suitable mentor opting to train after maybe completing a high difficulty module, they might get the chance to learn a new fighting style, as an example.
    Is this easy to add in Fantasy Grounds? In roll20 I just manually can add anything to any character, with the click of a few buttons.

    Overall I feel FG seems just much more suitable to my needs as DM, above all the inbuilt resource system which roll20 lacks more or less completely is a massive sales point.
    Dynamic lightning however is a massive negative point, I know its coming in Unity, but does players, until Unity, have global vision of the complete map? So they can see secret doors, or through closed doors on battlemaps?

    The price is not a problem for me, actually FG is cheaper then Roll20 by miles if you take into consideration we been using Roll20 for 3 years now and probably will use Fantasy Grounds for 5-10 years. We have a core group of players that always played together for the past 30 years, however as we live in different countries and are no children anymore, our children are at the age we started playing, the VTT for role playing is fantastic.

    I have tried to watch alot on Youtube but quite frankly, people have a hard time getting to the point, you watch a 1hr video of something that could be explained in 5 minutes or less. Nerdologic I guess

    Anyone have experiene with Roll20 and then moving to FG?

    Ohh, the hosting, how is that? Do you need a powerhouse of a computer to host, or an incredibly fast internet?
    In Unity there will be a network Hub, this will definately be great.
    Will the game developers ever consider hosting on servers, so we as buyers can use our content "online" as in Roll20?

    How is it for other players to view their material.
    Say I run a campaign, but during the offline period of a few days, a few players want to go over their characters.
    Do I need to log onto my FG as Im hosting, or can they save their character and view and possible make background adjustments and then export back to the host later? Or is all stuck at the host?

    Well Im not one that easy get to the point either I guess cause i belong to the very group myself.

    As I said to my friend today "You realize primarily only highly educated people such as ourself play roleplaying games, why is that?"........"Its not cause we are highly educated, its cause we are nerds"
    Good answer.

  2. #2
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums Gissur.

    Too many questions really for one post and I’m not at my computer. I’m going to link you to some more videos but these are short and to the point I promise.
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...l-Video-Series
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...reation-Videos
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...-Videos-for-5E

    I would suggest that what you do is take out an Ultimate subscription fir FG for one month. If you don’t like what you see within that period Smiteworks give you a full refund if you cancel the sub within 30 days, so you can try before you buy.

    Many of your questions you can answer by playing around with the software itself but briefly, yes it is easy to create character classes, races and backgrounds (more videos linked below), no you don’t need a beast of a machine, there is fog of war so players only see the parts of the map you reveal, players can view their characters whilst not joined to your game but cannot edit them, it is extremely unlikely that FG will ever become a web based application.
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...Creation-Video
    If there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea to the wish list http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/

  3. #3
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums I'll just reply here and not in both threads, easier that way

    First, know that FG has a 30 day money back guarantee (no questions asked) if you buy from the FG store. So you can pick up FG, try it out and see if it's all that we think it is
    That said, don't try and figure it out yourself. FG has a very different UI than Roll20 does and NPCs and tokens behave very differently. I strongly suggest you take the time to read the user manual. Also try the tutorial campaign and/or signup for some free classes at FG College.

    Now onto your other questions and things;

    FGU will not be available to non-Kickstarter backers before December (and maybe later than that). That's not a promise, but pretty reliable assumption. You could buy now and then refund within 30 days. You could also do a subscription for a month or more (and still access the refund) if you wanted to go longer term but didn't want to worry about the upgrade price.

    Modifying NPCs is easy. Just copy/duplicate the official ones and modify them however you want.
    Creating homebrew etc is easy. You can create classes, feats, backgrounds all that. Their are tutorial videos or wiki formats, whichever you prefer. For reference, check out the DMsGuild filtered for Virtual Table Top, you will find all sorts of modules people have made with homebrew content for FG and D&D 5E. It will give you an idea of what's possible.

    FG doesn't have dynamic lighting, but it does have fog of war. What that means is you as a DM manually remove the mask layer from the image. Then all players see the same image that you revealed. Secret doors are usually not shown on player versions of the map, and as DM you just don't reveal that part. Lots of play videos on YouTube, just get one that is from the player perspective. I can point you to some if needed.

    I agree with you on tutorial videos, horribly inefficient way of learning things when it comes to time expenditure unless the video is seriously scripted and edited. Jump into the FG Discord or FG College Discord, see if someone to show you around. Easy enough to do. I'll be around some tomorrow, but no promises otherwise I would setup something with you.

    Hosting. Nope, specs and internet bandwidth are pretty minimal. If you have a lot of images to share, there are ways to mitigate the bandwidth for upload/sharing. But, once the game is running, bandwidth and computer specs are really minimal. Most any computer built in the last 10 years will be usable, last 5 is fine. (And, you can even host if you live at the end of the internet, err, I mean Australia!)

    Players can access their characters anytime, but they can't edit them directly unless connected to your game. Their is a work around for this (export > import > modify > export > import). Easier to show than type out

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  4. #4
    I did download a demo and toyed around with the combat tracker.

    Unsure about dynamic lightning but from a combat perspective I really liked that you target, and it automatically subtracts damage when wounded, and adds when healed.
    Simple system.

    I was hoping that after my hold person landed and failed by the npc it would auto roll advantage and crits but I guess thats too much to ask for
    So for a hold person scenario you need to manually subtract the damage. Which is fine its literally the only time an automatic crit would occur, unless vs sleeping.

    Overall though nice and easy to use system.

    I wonder though, since we share DM. Meaning one campaign someone is GM another campaign someone else.
    I assume we can log into the main account and share it in the group, since we will have one ultimate account where we purchase all modules, source books etc.
    This is what we did in Roll20, and then when we play we use the normal, free version.

    I found the import export of characters so seems easy to create a character and export, however without access to all source books its safe to assume the character must be created during a hosted session where all materials is available.
    And outside of such a session, I have no idea how the free version will view your character, will it remember that you had a Xanathars subclass or will it be question marks all over when you import it to your local PC using a demo version.

    Will check all links, thanks for your help.

    I like what I seen and tried so far and from the research I done so far many have migrated over from Roll20 to Fantasy grounds, and i understand why from a gaming perspective. But the practical reasons are equally important and there are some things FG does not have.
    Being online is a big thing since the campaign is not saved on a cloud,

    Or, can I set it up in a cloud myself maybe, using my very own cloud storage? I need to check.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Welcome to the forums I'll just reply here and not in both threads, easier that way

    First, know that FG has a 30 day money back guarantee (no questions asked) if you buy from the FG store. So you can pick up FG, try it out and see if it's all that we think it is
    That said, don't try and figure it out yourself. FG has a very different UI than Roll20 does and NPCs and tokens behave very differently. I strongly suggest you take the time to read the user manual. Also try the tutorial campaign and/or signup for some free classes at FG College.

    Now onto your other questions and things;

    FGU will not be available to non-Kickstarter backers before December (and maybe later than that). That's not a promise, but pretty reliable assumption. You could buy now and then refund within 30 days. You could also do a subscription for a month or more (and still access the refund) if you wanted to go longer term but didn't want to worry about the upgrade price.

    Modifying NPCs is easy. Just copy/duplicate the official ones and modify them however you want.
    Creating homebrew etc is easy. You can create classes, feats, backgrounds all that. Their are tutorial videos or wiki formats, whichever you prefer. For reference, check out the DMsGuild filtered for Virtual Table Top, you will find all sorts of modules people have made with homebrew content for FG and D&D 5E. It will give you an idea of what's possible.

    FG doesn't have dynamic lighting, but it does have fog of war. What that means is you as a DM manually remove the mask layer from the image. Then all players see the same image that you revealed. Secret doors are usually not shown on player versions of the map, and as DM you just don't reveal that part. Lots of play videos on YouTube, just get one that is from the player perspective. I can point you to some if needed.

    I agree with you on tutorial videos, horribly inefficient way of learning things when it comes to time expenditure unless the video is seriously scripted and edited. Jump into the FG Discord or FG College Discord, see if someone to show you around. Easy enough to do. I'll be around some tomorrow, but no promises otherwise I would setup something with you.

    Hosting. Nope, specs and internet bandwidth are pretty minimal. If you have a lot of images to share, there are ways to mitigate the bandwidth for upload/sharing. But, once the game is running, bandwidth and computer specs are really minimal. Most any computer built in the last 10 years will be usable, last 5 is fine. (And, you can even host if you live at the end of the internet, err, I mean Australia!)

    Players can access their characters anytime, but they can't edit them directly unless connected to your game. Their is a work around for this (export > import > modify > export > import). Easier to show than type out
    Ill take this advice.

    I toyed around for 30 minutes with the free demo and was able to create both a player and setup combat without prior knowledge of the system.
    I figured out the target system pretty soon, and I like that part very much, also the range indicator etc that comes up.
    Alot of really nice things I sorely miss from Roll20 making life easier.

    And indeed I already created a few items and tried them in combat and on PCs and was very simple indeed, guess I should have tried before asking all questions, although some required answering.

    Will check some tutorials but in all honesty, some logical thinking and years of experience with various roleplaying games and its not a difficult system to use, at all. Just a ton of options which you learn by trial and error.

    I also found the masking system when toying around but need to learn more about it.

    Thanks for the replies and Ill dive into some further studying.

    the 30 day money guarantee is nice but I think when we buy we stick to it unless its an incredible pain in the *** regarding hosting and connecting etc, honestly this is more or less where the hicup might occur, as its not online.
    Everything else is far better. I understand the character creation is among some not very good, personally I found it very good, but if you have no prior experience building a character then Roll20 character creation is 10 times easier, but when you do have experience, FG I find is superior.

  6. #6
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    I did download a demo and toyed around with the combat tracker.

    Unsure about dynamic lightning but from a combat perspective I really liked that you target, and it automatically subtracts damage when wounded, and adds when healed.
    Simple system.

    I was hoping that after my hold person landed and failed by the npc it would auto roll advantage and crits but I guess thats too much to ask for
    So for a hold person scenario you need to manually subtract the damage. Which is fine its literally the only time an automatic crit would occur, unless vs sleeping.
    You need to apply a paralysed effect to the target following a hold person and any attacks will be rolled with advantage automatically if that effect is on the target. It won't in this case automatically roll critical damage but when you hold shift as you apply the damage it will roll critical dice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    I wonder though, since we share DM. Meaning one campaign someone is GM another campaign someone else.
    I assume we can log into the main account and share it in the group, since we will have one ultimate account where we purchase all modules, source books etc.
    This is what we did in Roll20, and then when we play we use the normal, free version.
    No, you cannot share licenses or downloadable content. If you all want to GM then all of you will need a license and all of you will need whatever modules you want to be able to use in game. For this type of scenario where there are multiple DMs in a group the advice is for everyone to by just Standard licenses since Ultimate licenses would not be required; or to take out a subscription and rotate that. (In other words DM A subscribes and after two months cancels and then DM B subscribes for two months etc).
    Whichever way you work the licenses all of the DMs would need their own DLC such as player's handbook etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    I found the import export of characters so seems easy to create a character and export, however without access to all source books its safe to assume the character must be created during a hosted session where all materials is available.
    And outside of such a session, I have no idea how the free version will view your character, will it remember that you had a Xanathars subclass or will it be question marks all over when you import it to your local PC using a demo version.

    Will check all links, thanks for your help.
    When characters are created a copy of the information stays in the character sheet as links which can be opened in manage characters (or in another campaign if exported from the original).
    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    I like what I seen and tried so far and from the research I done so far many have migrated over from Roll20 to Fantasy grounds, and i understand why from a gaming perspective. But the practical reasons are equally important and there are some things FG does not have.
    Being online is a big thing since the campaign is not saved on a cloud,

    Or, can I set it up in a cloud myself maybe, using my very own cloud storage? I need to check.
    You can back up your campaign files to the cloud as long as you do not synchronize such backing up since this has been known to corrupt the database and cause loss of data. FG will not run from the cloud however - only form the data on your hard drive. You can use the cloud to share the campaign files however if that is what your purpose would be. Note the campaign files do not contain any of the DLC etc - just the data from the campaign that you are running.
    If there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea to the wish list http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/

  7. #7
    The system is everything we believe it to be like Lord Entrails said, but on a serious note it is relatively easy to figure out and with the community, videos and such it's easy to create PC's, NPC's, and classes. Heck you could even create your own material with maps ect.

  8. #8
    There is also a group of fans online called Fantasy Grounds College. They have a dedicated Discord channel set up and offer free classes to walk people through various parts of the program. You seem like the kind of person who is a sponge, ready to soak up tips and tricks. They would probably be right up your alley.

  9. #9
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    I think M<r. Z and others answered your questions, but I'll touch on some with a slightly different viewpoint etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    I was hoping that after my hold person landed and failed by the npc it would auto roll advantage and crits but I guess thats too much to ask for
    So for a hold person scenario you need to manually subtract the damage. Which is fine its literally the only time an automatic crit would occur, unless vs sleeping.
    Spells can (and usually are automatically are in 5E if dragged from a source) have an "effect" action linked to them. In this case Paralyze, you need to apply that after the rolls i failed.

    FG generally uses a 2 action system, one for attack/save, and the other to apply damage or effects. This is done as two steps because as you know, often times something interrupts the damage/effect or the GM steps in to adjudicate things.

    Also, as Mr. Z said, their are ways to turn damage into crits using the mouse and keys when you drag (if you do that instead of targeting)

    Overall though nice and easy to use system.
    I've always thoughs o too. But a lot of people complain FG is hard to learn. IMO, it just depends upon how you learn and what you expect.
    I found the import export of characters so seems easy to create a character and export, however without access to all source books its safe to assume the character must be created during a hosted session where all materials is available.
    And outside of such a session, I have no idea how the free version will view your character, will it remember that you had a Xanathars subclass or will it be question marks all over when you import it to your local PC using a demo version.
    Go into Manage Characters, there you will find a list of the campaigns that you as a player have joined and any characters you have had possession of when you disconnected. These are read only copies, but you can then export them. Then you can open up Manage Characters without a campaign selected and import the character. Edit it, Export it. Then next time you are connected to your GM, upload your updated character (the GM might have to delete your previous character version, not sure, haven't done this in a long time).

    But the practical reasons are equally important and there are some things FG does not have.
    Being online is a big thing since the campaign is not saved on a cloud,
    This is a major difference between the two. Personally I prefer the FG client-server architecture. Because it means I'm not dependent upon someone elses server to be able to play or access my data.

    Or, can I set it up in a cloud myself maybe, using my very own cloud storage? I need to check.
    As mentioned, if the cloud syncs data while FG is trying to write to it, it can corrupt both copies. There are multiple reports of this happening, though it usually seems to take a couple months for this to happen. But, losing your data or having your game session spoiled is not worth the risk (to me).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gissur View Post
    Will check some tutorials but in all honesty, some logical thinking and years of experience with various roleplaying games and its not a difficult system to use, at all. Just a ton of options which you learn by trial and error.
    There is lots and lots you can learn by trial and error, but their are also various good sources for learning such tips more efficiently Their is an "Advanced usage" thread onthe forums here, plus one ot two "tips" thread. Rob2e posts a Tip ever Friday to social media as well.

    I also found the masking system when toying around but need to learn more about it.
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/wiki/...Images#Masking

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
    Community Contributions: Gemstones, 5E Quick Ref Decal, Adventure Module Creation, Dungeon Trinkets
    DMsGuild Content: Balance Disturbed (Adventure), Dungeon Room Descriptions
    FG Product Reviews: Virtual Scribe Reviews

  10. #10
    Well primarily I am the DM in 90% of the cases, the group prefers it this way.
    The hold person with paralyzed effect to be enabled, nice. Well frankly there are so many nice features in FG now that I have done research and gone through all video tutorials.
    Loving it but havent bought it it yet.
    But we will get going with it this week and just upgrade to unity when out.

    Thanks for all answers and help, much appreciated and very very helpful.

    PS: Those videos are incredibly good. Should be stickyd on the forum, cause its no nonsense, to the point, very articulate and educational without the extra nerdalogic athmosphere many have somehow a need to have. Execellent.

    As for Modules, will have to see, we just stretched an almost 1 year long Storm king thunder Campaign I created where 50% of content was homebrewn, sewn into the campaign. Love that module as it gives so much freedom for creativity and fantasy.
    And as people playing with me will know, there is always something dark and sinister taking place, far more powerful then poor old ancient dragon lymrith.
    I guess this is what players know me for, extremly difficult combat with player character classes as NPCs and an athmosphere where they are constantly chased, or struggling for their lives.
    Never had a TPK, never, and always played with open rolls, been extremly close. I have a good sense for what the partys hidden power is when they maximize their characters and play off that, if they dont play to their fullest...

    So with the new FG toolset something I look at is that combat especially, is so streamlined and automated you can focus more on creating the athmosphere you want and not only keep the dice rolling to keep tempo. Cause tempo is important, when I DM you have seconds to take an action there is no time stops, plan ahead or just do something. Anyway I get carried away.

    Role playing is a massive part of atleast my campaigns, but the tactical combat must be good.
    Being able to roleplay combat more which I feel FG offers through its more automated system of saves etc is really nice.

    Creating a game with balanced tactical combat and role playing is important, not too much of either.
    But when it is combat, then it should be, combat as war.

    Random Encounters: Stay clear of this trap, in 90% its boring. But, it can be incredibly fun if instead of XYZ Orchs, they enter a village for a small one shot adventure, instead of a random encounter, or anything, be creative.

    btw as an experienced dm one tip I have to less experienced DMs is actually to take time with your NPCs, the antagonists, no need to create too much back stories and no need to tell them at all, but I find that when I get a feeling for my npcs, then I also play them to the fullest, and creating very often classes behind them is just more fun.
    For example in SKT the Fire giant lord was a Samurai Fighter, action surge, feats, etc, and level 16.
    Lymrith had sorcered abilities, the Cloud Giants had Storm Herald Cleric abilities, the list go on. This make it so players never really know what will happen. Experienced players will know monsters by heart.
    But when I play, an orch can all of a sudden be Barbarian Bear Totem level 9, not the pesky 15 hp on average Orch your used to. Anything is possible, be creative, let the fantasy flow, do NOT over do it.
    This means you also do not need to put in high CR special crazy monsters from the monsters manual but you can make just a regular Human Knight, Fighter Battlemaster say level 11 as a perfectly hard encounter with his escord for a party of level 8, no need to take some demon or god knows what you find suitable.
    I miss this in many modules from WOC and as such I in general change 50% of monster content in modules I run, fun for me, and apparently, all players I played with have found it an incredible breath of fresh air.
    Just a tip. Have fun and happy role playing. After all, we play for fun.
    Ohh..and Rules......Stop trying to correct things, unless a DM is out of hand and imbalanced or not fair. Open Rolls, always, no cheating, have fun, and be creative.
    Last edited by Gissur; October 17th, 2019 at 07:05.

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