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  1. #1

    It's my fault, but...

    Hey, as a fellow software developer, I know how hard it is to make everyone happy. I'm sure that folks are had at work on the issues I'm about to discuss. And, ultimately, I probably should have done more research on the state of the game before I bought it. All that being said, I'm incredibly disappointed and frustrated with what amounts to the ~$250 I apparently just lit on fire for absolutely no reason.

    I've heard so many positive things about Fantasy Grounds from DM's I respect online, so I dropped some cash on the ultimate license so that I could...

    1) Convert my group over from Roll20 to FG
    2) Convert my group over from D&D 5e to PF 2e

    So far, I have to say, my experience with FG has been absolutely miserable.

    The UI feels clunky and unintuitive.
    Even though I purchased this through Steam, I have to manually refresh my DLC content on the FG website.

    Okay, okay, this is a PF 2e forum, so let's talk about the state of 2e in FG.

    First, unless there's a UI option I'm missing, I have to manually share every relevant entry in the core rulebook before my players on the demo license can use them in character creation.
    Character creation itself is totally broken (and before you reply to this point, I get that FG is not a character creation tool, but...)
    * Dragging your heritage on to your character sheet does nothing.
    * I can't find a way to manually edit hero points or XP
    * Most of the class features and feats don't seem implemented.
    ** Example: Rangers at level 5 gain weapon expertise. This doesn't update proficiencies correctly. In fact, the character sheet actions tab is only showing the dex mod applying to the weapon. It's not even adding in the trained bonus.
    ** Example: Fleet (general feat) doesn't increase character sheet move speed.
    ** Example: No class actions added to the actions tab (Hunt Prey, Hunters Aim, etc...)
    * Leveling up means dragging the same class over to the character class section of the book

    It feels highly disingenuous to say that FG supports Pathfinder 2E in it's current state. Especially with what's being automatically tracked/updated vs. what's not being automatically tracked/updated making it impossible for anyone to trust what the system is saying. The aforementioned Ranger character's armor looks right, but their Longbow certainly doesn't. Which of those numbers should I trust? Why even bother tracking my character in FG if half the things on my character sheet are going to be flat out wrong? For my playgroup of players who are just now getting comfortable with 5e, dropping them into FG to play Pathfinder seems untenable.

    I know this is ranty. I'm sure the answer is, wait for future updates. I'm just really frustrated. I wish I hadn't just lit $250 on fire.

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the FG forums bkyrlach. Sorry you feel disappointed with the PF2 implementation.

    A few responses to your comments:
    First, unless there's a UI option I'm missing, I have to manually share every relevant entry in the core rulebook before my players on the demo license can use them in character creation.
    The players have to open any library modules themselves - then they'll have access to all of the data in that module. Info here: https://fantasygroundsunity.atlassia...ule-Activation

    * Dragging your heritage on to your character sheet does nothing.
    The standard way to add a heritage is via the selection window that pops up when you add an ancestry. But, this inability to drag a heritage to the PC sheet was an omission and is fixed in the next release (release 16 which is currently in the test channel).

    * I can't find a way to manually edit hero points or XP
    Click on the field, the border will highlight to show that you've selected it, then type the value you want. See info here: https://fantasygroundsunity.atlassia...#Number-Fields

    * Most of the class features and feats don't seem implemented.
    ** Example: Rangers at level 5 gain weapon expertise. This doesn't update proficiencies correctly. In fact, the character sheet actions tab is only showing the dex mod applying to the weapon. It's not even adding in the trained bonus.
    ** Example: Fleet (general feat) doesn't increase character sheet move speed.
    ** Example: No class actions added to the actions tab (Hunt Prey, Hunters Aim, etc...)
    Correct. These have to be implemented manually by the players.


    Especially with what's being automatically tracked/updated vs. what's not being automatically tracked/updated making it impossible for anyone to trust what the system is saying. The aforementioned Ranger character's armor looks right, but their Longbow certainly doesn't.
    Implementation of automation is ongoing. There have been updates to this, but it will continue to be an ongoing work in progress for the foreseeable future. This unfortunately does mean that you get these areas where for some it works, and for others it doesn't. A good example is the defense and weapon proficiencies that you mention. Defense proficiencies were automated in release 12. Weapon proficiencies will be automated in future, but are a lot more complex than armor proficiencies and so were not just a quick "do them the same way".

    I know it can sometimes be confusing. A good way to check is to review the messaging in the chargen tracker - it will say when automation has been applied. Even with that said, it is always worth it for the players (and/or GM) to double check that things have been applied correctly, or what needs updating.

    As you say, FG is not a character generator. However, I hope to get it to the point that it does a lot of the work for the players. That is going to take time. This ruleset and accompanying DLC already has more automation than the PF1 product line (which is over 5 years old), and the PF2 product line is all less than 1 year old at this point, with only a few months available prior to release August last year to develop the ruleset and Core Rule DLC.

    We've taken the approach of releasing new functionality as it becomes available. This can result in the disingenuous nature you mention, but I believe it is the best way to approach getting new functionality into the product.

    As mentioned, there's already a massive amount of information and functionality in the product. And I'm sorry, but yes - I'm going to mention it again, FG is not a character generator. FG is a virtual tabletop that facilitates playing RPGs online with your friends. It's strengths are in campaign management, data organization, the number of official products available, the gaming functionality and operations. I think focusing on your disappointment in FG as a character generator will result in... well, disappointment all round. As I mentioned, I'd like to make character creation better (until recently, with the 5e character guide, the PF2 ruleset was the only FG ruleset with a chargen tracker, for example), and that will happen over time. There is so much, much more to the FG PF2 product line than this.

    Only you can decide if the implementation and data isn't enough for you. I would recommend you give it a chance - get to know the product, the data and how it all hangs together. Ask on the forums if you have issues and we'll do our best to guide you. However, if you're truly not satisfied, then SmiteWorks have a 30 day no questions asked refund policy.

    However, I know I'm biased, but if you want to play PF2 online with your friends I recommend sticking with FG...
    FG Con 16 Fantasy Grounds Online RPG Convention - Postponed New date To Be Confirmed.
    Register at www.fg-con.com for all the latest info.

    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  3. #3
    I appreciate your calm response to what I'm sure is a frustrating post. I think the hardest part is just that the automation is partially implemented. Before I can even evaluate the other features of FG, I have to first successfully create a character. My players currently use D&D Beyond + roll20, so this will be a tough adjustment if I want to go down this route.

    I notice the documentation you linked to mentions FG Unity. Since I purchased FG off of Steam, it's unclear to me if I'm running FG classic or FG Unity. However, clicking on the XP or HP fields didn't seem to make them editable in any way. Do I just need to download FG Unity? Can demo users also use FG Unity?

  4. #4
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkyrlach View Post
    I notice the documentation you linked to mentions FG Unity. Since I purchased FG off of Steam, it's unclear to me if I'm running FG classic or FG Unity. However, clicking on the XP or HP fields didn't seem to make them editable in any way. Do I just need to download FG Unity? Can demo users also use FG Unity?
    You'll have FG classic. However, the functionality for everything except images is the same.

    Make sure you click on the field (a small frame around the number box will highlight to show you've selected it) and then type. Number fields don't show a cursor.
    FG Con 16 Fantasy Grounds Online RPG Convention - Postponed New date To Be Confirmed.
    Register at www.fg-con.com for all the latest info.

    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  5. #5
    There's a pretty nasty learning curve to the system, sure - but if you want a crash course on building a character in Pathfinder 2e, just do what I did and download the Community Use Pregenerated Characters from Paizo to load in yourself. You'll already know what the numbers are supposed to be when the characters are loaded in, so you'll be able to figure out what is automated and what needs to be done manually very quickly. Once you know that, it's very easy to walk the players through the character creation process and get them into the game within a reasonable amount of time (for example, last Monday, I had a new player for my Monday night game who had no experience with Pathfinder 2e fully up and playing through a quick encounter in under an hour). The big thing to remember is that the players need to load the options into their system before they can see anything that you did not manually share - but you can set things up so that they only see what you want to allow into your game, so there's a lot less of a chance of them sneaking something in you don't want to see.

    There's a definite learning curve, no doubt about it. But now that I've gotten through that learning curve (at least with Pathfinder 2e, though I feel comfortable that I'll be able to apply what I've learned to other systems as well), I'm very happy with my purchase, and am looking at how to integrate it in with my in person playing (both running and as a player). Not sure there will be a viable way to do that until an Android or Apple version are released (maybe with the Unity release) allowing it to be run effectively on relatively cheap tablets, but that's definitely a different topic. What I'm saying is give it some time and take a systematic approach to learning the system (since you're on Steam, take a look at the "Where to start?" threat that Annaisha started in the discussion forum there), and you'll see why those who love the system love it how they do.

  6. #6
    ddavison's Avatar
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    Almost everything in FG is customizable. Once you build your character sheet, you will want to review it and adjust if necessary and then start actually using it in combats. Once you start using the finished character in the combat tracker and start adding in some of the more advanced automation features, it will really start to shine for you.

    I wanted to correct something Trenloe incorrectly stated above, though. SmiteWorks has a 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases made at fantasygrounds.com. We have full control of our own refunds and can run the policy that way. Any purchases made on Steam or through other storefronts we have partnered with are up to those platforms on how they manage refunds. We have no ability to refund anything on Steam, so it is their standard policy that is limited to 2 hours of play IIRC.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavison View Post
    Almost everything in FG is customizable. Once you build your character sheet, you will want to review it and adjust if necessary and then start actually using it in combats. Once you start using the finished character in the combat tracker and start adding in some of the more advanced automation features, it will really start to shine for you.

    I wanted to correct something Trenloe incorrectly stated above, though. SmiteWorks has a 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases made at fantasygrounds.com. We have full control of our own refunds and can run the policy that way. Any purchases made on Steam or through other storefronts we have partnered with are up to those platforms on how they manage refunds. We have no ability to refund anything on Steam, so it is their standard policy that is limited to 2 hours of play IIRC.
    That is unfortunate. After spending a little more time with FG, I don't think I can make it work for my use case. I was about to e-mail support for a refund. Unfortunately, I think I left my game logged in for a bit today while I was reading up on things, so I'm now probably past the two hour refund window.

  8. #8
    Larsenex's Avatar
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    Bkyrlach,

    Are you playing Pathfinder 2E? Come join as a spectator and 'npc' in my next session. The 5 people we have connected all know FG fairly well and there is nothing better than getting help with someone in voice and explaining things. Shoot me a PM and I will give you discord and server information. Our next game is this coming Friday evening at 730 PM pacific Daylight time.

  9. #9
    Yeah, FG can seem somewhat clunky, but once your in full swing you wont even think about some of this stuff as ya do it.
    In a month and a half you will be adding in special effects to your player's characters sheets and they will be triggering extra damage on undead (IFT: type(undead); DMG: 2d6) and all sorts of things.
    Your players will say "WOW!" how'd ya do that?" and YOU will say "Do what?, oh nah, that was easy.."

    Main problem that this is still a pretty new ruleset and there is still alot to go.
    Also Paizo seems to gone out of it way to make life hard for VTT'ers. Every single condition, feat or skill seems to have it own way of doing stuff. Which is GREAT I love it! But from a computer stand point its a bloody nightmare.

    I guarantee if you plays were playing 5E you would have a much different experience, Its been around longer and it also gets alot of love (By far the Biggest percentage of users on FG use 5e and thertefore more people creating extensions for the ruleset)

    LINK: EXTENSIONS BABY!
    Last edited by Willot; May 28th, 2020 at 01:38.
    "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."

  10. #10
    I totally get and appreciate how hard it must be to code. I just don't think I can manage it in the current state. I need to somehow sell my players on a new system, a tool that, at least at first glance looks less feature rich than our current toolset, and requires a ton of manual intervention on their part (manual intervention they aren't prepared to give yet, as they would be complete neophytes to the system at large).

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