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  1. #1

    Convince Me to Switch to Fantasy Grounds

    I'm currently running two games over on Roll20, and have come up against some things that are terrible headaches.

    • Aligning maps to the grid is a nightmare
    • Character sheets are complicated for players to set up correctly
    • Most character sheets are broken in some way even when set up correctly
    • Uploading and organizing my custom content is a hassle

    Does FG do better in any of these categories?

    Does FG Classic or FG Unity do better in any regard?

    If I own either version, can I host games for people who don't own any version of FG?

    If so, can those people view the content of my library (rules, lore entries, etc.) for the things I own?

    If you've used Roll20 before, tell me your favourite thing about FG versus Roll20.

  2. #2
    celestian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    DFW, Texas
    I've nothing of substance to offer to the discussion but I came here looking for the meme but didn't find it. Someone better at this than me can do it

    I will say there is one thing that FGC does better than any other VTT out there. Automation. If you want to have players playing the game and not having to know every single rule, then FG is the best platform. FGC has some faults that are being addressed in FGU (when it's released/stable) and if you can survive with those and automation and pre-made content is something you really would like...
    Coding the Official AD&D Ruleset
    Documentation for AD&D 2E ruleset.
    My Twitch Channel for AD&D and FG related streams (See schedule for live days)
    My YouTube for FG related Tutorials and AD&D Actual Plays
    Custom Maps (I2, S4, T1-4, Barrowmaze,Lost City of Barakus)

  3. #3
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    May 2015
    -7 UTC
    Blog Entries

    Yes, FG does better, imo, in all of them.

    FGC and FGU have almost identical capabilities. Most of these functions are defined by the ruleset, so behavior can be slightly different depending upon which ruleset (i.e. game system) you are using.

    If you own an Ultimate license (either subscription or one-time), none of your players need a paid license (they can use the free/demo).

    Players can access all content you mark/allow for them to load while they are connected to you. No limit to the number of campaigns you can share in, or the number of players in a campaign.

    I've only used Roll20 a small bit, because I struggled with it. Especially combat automation and maps and grids. I find content creation and organization very easy in FG (see Adventure Module link in my signature for some idea) and it's great for homebrew. I also like FG because everything resides on my computer and not on some company's server that I don't have access to. Also, with the more popular rulesets, the combat automation in FG cuts my combat time to a third of what it is on paper. It gives us more time to engage in role playing and in narrating fun combat stuff, not just adding and subtracting modifiers, calculating if it was a hit or miss, tracking hit points, etc.

    The other big reason I chose FG over Roll20 are the companies and the communities. I don't like the public policies of the Orr Group or how they treat their customers. I highly respect SmiteWorks for the way they act and treat their customers. And, these forums are perhaps one of the friendliest and most helpful places on the internet, especially when you consider the number of forum members.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your reply, the automated features sound great.I think what I'll do it take one or two Fantasy Grounds College classes and see how I like it. The price of both the Ultimate license and the rulesets I need are nothing to sneeze at, especially since I already paid for them on Roll20.

  5. #5
    I'm new to FG myself, and I will say it is not intuitive at all. There is a high learning curve and most of it is outside of the game. I've spent hours in the forums, the wiki, and youtube.

    Also, even thought its a cloud server if the GM (myself) is not in the game, no one can log onto the service it seems. If FG Unity has a hiccup on my end, everyone has to reload.

    However, once you have this baby working, it is so powerful and amazing. It handles all my save rolls, initiative, DC, Hit points, with perfection. It allows me to focus on Role Playing and story completely.

    Even prepping is a blessing. I drag all the maps, dialog, important characters/events down to the save keys.

    My players love it because they roll right out of their character sheet for attacks/spells/saves/everything. They also love it because fog of war has no end. In Roll20 they had a feeling of how far they were into a map because they can see the edges. In FG it's black forever.

    Long Story Short - FG= High Learning Curve FG= Most Immersive Experience.

    I'm not sure how I'm going to go back to tabletop.

  6. #6
    Well, there's a cloud server for brokering connections, but the game itself is hosted from the GM's machine. And for me, that's a plus. If my network and computer are functioning, then i'm good to go. If Roll20's (for example, I've never used Roll20 so have no idea with what frequency or severity that roll20 experiences this) has an issue, then there's nothing I can do about it. My session would be ruined for a reason that didn't have to happen.

  7. #7
    Reason to switch to FG?

    Easy, Roll20 is pissing you off...

    But seriously two things
    FGU has ALOT more cool features BUT STILL IN TESTING and it WILL eventually crash in the middle of your game and carry on and frustrate the HELL out of you!
    FGC is ALOT more STABLE and wont crash (well sometimes but not very often) but Its missing alot of the real cool features and is limited in a few areas because its a 32bit App and cant use cloud servers
    Last edited by Willot; May 23rd, 2020 at 00:33.
    "The small town of Swampspittle is a charming reminder of how Faerun use to be.Plague victims crawl eloquently down it's dung filled streets; greasing the way with puss from thier buboes.While at least two children a week are burnt at the stake as changelings in the handsome market square. The town boasts two taverns, one humourous dwarf and a shop that sells little things made of straw."

  8. #8
    We switched from Roll20 to FGU and it was a better choice in our case, but I'd advise checking out all options before committing. While FGU could be great in the long run, it still has a a way to go. I'd see if Foundry VTT or Astral might be a better fit for your needs. Especially Foundry if you run as much custom stuff as it sounds like - it's just fluid, fast, smooth, the most automated VTT I've seen and just plain works . The down side is no attached store for content as FGU has, so you'd have to import from DNDBeyond (luckily very easy to do) or similar. There is however a Roll20 Converter that converts your roll20 campaign and imports it to Foundry, even as far as carrying over placed walls etc.

    I invested pretty heavily in FGU so I'll be sticking with it for a bit (unless optimization is just tooo far down the road), and it's certainly helped us have a lot of fun, but as a consumer it's worth checking your options obviously.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GerPronouncedGrr View Post
    I'm currently running two games over on Roll20, and have come up against some things that are terrible headaches.

    • Aligning maps to the grid is a nightmare
    • Character sheets are complicated for players to set up correctly
    • Most character sheets are broken in some way even when set up correctly
    • Uploading and organizing my custom content is a hassle
    Aligning to the grid is rough everywhere. I prefer ungridded maps whenever possible. There is a great tool that works for FG. I don't know if it works for other VTTs, but it may.

    Character sheets in FG are drag and drop simple. For Roll20 the best I know of is to pay for your content on DND Beyond and use the importer. That works ok, but I find Fantasy Grounds actually works works. Here, is the video on how to do characters in Fantasy Grounds so you can see for yourself:

    Custom Content is what Fantasy Grounds does best. You can enter and edit anything you want, link it all to each other. Recently we even got a worldbuilding mod that makes it possible for you to sort and edit content by type, like groups, locations, etc. And have players put their notes on it while only seeing the bits you want them to see.

    You cannot host for anyone who doesn't have FG at all. But if you have the ultimate license you can host for people on a free license. those people can view what you share with them, but only when you are hosting and they join the campaign. In this way it is better than Roll20 but not as nice as DND Beyond. However what does work even better than Beyond is your custom stuff you can export as a module and your players can keep a copy forever. I love this feature.

    I did use Roll20 for years. What made me change was two things. First, the data limit on Roll20. 10megs is just plain tiny. And paying for more space was going to be as expensive as a permanent FG license pretty quickly. On FG my harddrive is the only limit. I have a 2 terabyte drive dedicated to images, maps, etc. If I want I can have more than that too. I don't know if things changed since I left, but there was no unlimited plan for Roll20 when I used it. The second is this one:
    You didn't specifically ask this, but it is somewhat related.
    3. What if Fantasy Grounds lost a publishing license with company A
    a. Our licenses are written to allow us to maintain copies on our server for use in re-installation for customers who bought content.
    b. No content would ever be removed from a buying customer
    c. FG would stop selling products from company A, so only existing customers would be able to access and use those products

    It's very standard language to have a "destroy all licensed items" clause in contracts. We specifically pushed for changes to that language for each of our publishers -- even the big ones.
    I still own 1e/BECMI D&D books, and books from several games that went bankrupt and stopped existing. I had a license for D&D Insider which is gone and with it all of my access to that content. I've had access to many other websites that no longer exist. I've played I don't know how many MMOs that shut down. With Roll20, I feel like it is on a ticking timer. Same with D&D Beyond. They're like Insider. One day they'll be gone and everyone who spent money there loses access to everything they paid for. If smiteworks goes down, I still have my digital books and my players can still connect directly to my games. Just like when I bust out my old physical books from games that don't have companies anymore.
    Last edited by GavinRuneblade; May 23rd, 2020 at 06:57.

  10. #10
    I‘m not that satisfied with the FGU UI and performance and switched to Foundry VTT from FGC/FGU. My players like it much more, as I do.

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