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  1. #1

    [D&D 4e] Roll20 versus Fantasy Grounds.

    Hello everyone,
    I am a long time lurker on the forums and have been running a D&D 4e game with my friends for a few years. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 concerns, we are going to have to switch to virtual. I have been looking at Fantasy Grounds and Roll 20 and both seem pretty overwhelming. But the question I have is which system would be the best to run a 4e game. Especially if the DM (me) is not very tech-savvy. 192.168.1.1
    Thank.
    Last edited by Jokovich; January 28th, 2021 at 07:57.

  2. #2
    damned's Avatar
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    Welcome Jokovich

    I dont play 4E so you will need some 4E GMs to comment. As the WotC never released an SRD/OGL for 4E and havent (at least not yet) licensed the 4th Edition to any of the table tops the biggest challenge is getting the data into your Tabletop. Up until the D&D Insider got nuked it was possible to run a script to pull all the DDI 4E data down in FG format. This option is no longer available as DDI is gone.

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  3. #3
    You can make a 4th Edition D&D campaign in FantasyGrounds - but there are only 2 module available - https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store...search=&sort=1 - so the mechanics for combat are in but not the content - no spells, feats, character classes.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jokovich View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I am a long time lurker on the forums and have been running a D&D 4e game with my friends for a few years. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 concerns, we are going to have to switch to virtual. I have been looking at Fantasy Grounds and Roll 20 and both seem pretty overwhelming. But the question I have is which system would be the best to run a 4e game. Especially if the DM (me) is not very tech-savvy.
    Thank.
    The guide in the last post I linked (this thread https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...376#post528376) shows you how to import all the official 4th Ed stuff into FantasyGrounds.

  6. #6
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the FG forums Jokovich!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jokovich View Post
    But the question I have is which system would be the best to run a 4e game. Especially if the DM (me) is not very tech-savvy.
    As you can see from some of the posts above, there are some options for getting 4e data into FG, but you do need to be a bit tech savvy to do the Offline Compendium import.

    As @damned mentioned, there isn't a license for official material. So you're limited to either entering data manually, or going the route of an external tool import.
    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!

  7. #7
    Thanks for the valuable advice.

  8. #8
    Both platforms will require you to have the 4e data inputted someway. There was a thread asking if people were interested in official 4e products here:
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...ditional-1E-2E

    Will be great if that is a serious possibility to get official 4e data. I would buy it all. In any case I have the 4e data scrapped from DDI when it was up.

    I am happy I chose Fantasy Grounds over Roll. The Fantasy Grounds automation is really helpful for 4e and never would want to play it with out. If you chose the Fantasy Grounds platform, I'm always available to help get you up to speed. I have been playing every week during this Covid time and have jumped through all the hoops to make 4E and Fantasy Grounds as streamlined an experience as possible.

    Here is a link to the extension I use.
    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...nsion-Emporium

  9. #9
    I returned to D&D last year after 25 years! So, I was going from AD&D 2nd Ed to 5th Ed. I have to say, I really like 5E. It's a bit more complicated the 2E, a lot more rules, but it's quite flexible and balanced! I would recommend considering giving it a go if 4E isn't available.

    As for Roll20 vs FGU, my first campaign after coming back to D&D was on Roll20, so here's my comparison:
    Roll20:
    The Good:
    Easy to use.
    Can access the campaign from any computer.
    Access is browser-based.
    Easy to make battlemaps on the fly with drawing tools and free graphics
    Players don't need to download anything (my original group decided at the last minute that they didn't want to switch to FGU because they didn't want to download even the free demo).
    You can DM with the Free version.
    You can allow a different person to DM a game on your account.

    The Bad:
    Unless you have a subscription, there are pretty strict limits on how much you can upload. For a person like me, who homebrews a LOT, that's a problem.
    When I had Roll20, I was constantly hopping around. My players had their characters on D&D Beyond because the pc sheets on R20 are frankly not very good. Then, I was new to 5e, so I also had tabs open to resources with info on spells, equipment, etc. Whenever I wanted to look something up, I was constantly jumping from tab to tab, between resources. Tiring and distracting.

    FGU
    The Good
    Everything's in one place: spells, items, skills, manuals
    Everything's organized. Open the adventure, there are "pins" that act as links. Click a "pin" and the map comes up. Click a "pin" on the map, and I get the "encounter" sheet with the bad guys. Click a button, and they're in the combat tracker (which keeps track of initiative, attacks, etc.). Click a pin on the combat tracker and I can get the pc or npc sheet. Want to see a PC's spell, item, skill, etc? Click a pin. Organization is outstanding.
    Automation. Now, granted, I've running a ton of free and paid "extensions" and "modules" that modify the base FGU, but everything is automated for me now. Saves, damage, bonuses etc are automatically calculated. All we do is choose our attack and click a button, and the rest is all roleplay.

    And now, with line-of-sight and soon dynamic lighting, FGU is really taking off.

    The Bad
    I can only access my campaign from my main computer. It's not online.
    My players need to download. I have the ultimate version, so my players only need the free demo.
    You need a separate app for voice-chat (I use discord). Not a big "bad", because Roll20's built-in voicechat was so unreliable, we used facebook chat anyway.

    The biggest major problem is expense. The ultimate version, compared to a r20 subscription, is worth it for me, but it's an expense. Also, it gets addictive. I've bought a TON of books, supplements, map packs, not to mention modules and extensions. I've poured a lot of money into my hobby.

    I'm VERY happy with FGU, though. Smiteworks is a great company, and they are among the most active developers I've ever seen in terms of communicating with their customers, and in listening to things that customers want. Their attitude is a large part of why I like FGU.

  10. #10
    Also - content. Fantasy Grounds has much more content than any VTT, no need to waste time doing data entry.
    The past is a rudder to guide us, not an anchor to hold us back.

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