Virtual DND
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  1. #61
    When picking the software and VTT I was going to go with, I was really wanting to speed up combat. On Roll20, it takes forever for combat and currently playing a campaign on there, there is so much downtime between your 1st and 2nd attack. Battles can take up to 3 hours or more which is insane.

    I quickly realized that Roll 20 was not for me. I then went on and did research on Foundry and FGU and it was close. I was super torn on which one to get after watching videos and reading reviews, but ultimately decided to purchase a FGU Ultimate license and I can say that it was a great decision.

    The forum community is top notch and very helpful whenever I had a question, need a suggestion or even if I find a bug or two to quickly get it fixed and updated. I have met some great players on here and currently running Storm King's Thunder for them after LMoP.

    FGU makes it very easy to DM a game and does take less prep for the most part, but it does get kind of rough fighting for that screen space when I have 8 windows open. Need to get a 2nd monitor, now to just convince the wife...

  2. #62
    TMO's Avatar
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    I really don't have much to add to what other, more capable, people have already commented. I cut my teeth on Roll20 and then quickly migrated to FGC and then FGU. I am currently a player in a Foundry game as well. So I do have some experience with all three systems albeit mostly as a player. I've only DM'd in FG. My DM for the Foundry game is experienced in all three platforms and pretty much concurs with the orignal poster's reviews.

    My biggest worry is whether FGU has an unbreakable ceiling due to the architecture (Unity) that serves as its base. Can FGU grow, expand, and scale the way modern web apps can? I am not qualified to answer that but my sense is that there is only so much Unity will accomodate.

  3. #63
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMO View Post
    My biggest worry is whether FGU has an unbreakable ceiling due to the architecture (Unity) that serves as its base. Can FGU grow, expand, and scale the way modern web apps can? I am not qualified to answer that but my sense is that there is only so much Unity will accomodate.
    Web apps have a different set of limitations than a client-server architecture like FG does. Actually web apps are probably more limited, at least on the client side, than an app like FG does, because they are limited by the browser.

    But, it's not apples to apples, they all have advantages and disadvantages.

    Don't worry about the FG architecture being limited, it's first and most relevant is the require to install a client application. After that, most of the major differences would be considered advantages.

  4. #64
    PF2 core rules + Agents of Edgewatch 1, Dreaming Palace (floor 1) loaded as GM (1st instance) and player (2nd instance), LoS enabled, Lighting disabled, no extensions, ImageQuality 2 used in FGU:



    Loading 37 extensions in Foundry for various eye candy and additional automation doesn't change much about the numbers. Changing FGU's ImageQuality to 1 increases its GPU load for the LoS player client to about the number of the Foundry one.

    MODERATOR EDIT: Do not post other user's private feedback in a public forum without their permission.

    USER EDIT: I got feedback that my pure numbers no comments screenshot above was not appropriate for this FGU vs. Foundry thread.
    Last edited by Weissrolf; September 10th, 2021 at 00:56.

  5. #65
    Yeah great review!

  6. #66
    As several people here an on other boards have recommended the WFRP4E Foundry set-up as being amazing with great automation, I decided to give it a go. I tried hard to approach it with fresh eyes - I always enjoyed running WFRP previous editions and a heavily-automated system with full licence from the publisher is a fairer test case of Foundry than 5E minus WOTC core books.

    So I bought the core, starter set and Rough Nights/Hard Days bundle and had a bit of play, and played a paid one-off by an experienced WFRP GM last night with pregen characters. The other players had more Foundry and WFRP 4E experience than me.

    Obviously this is hardly an exhaustive review from an experienced user - these are my initial impressions.

    1) The automation is up to Fantasy Grounds standards, based on the one game with an experienced GM.

    2) There's a charactermancer of sorts. It's not as comprehensive as FG's 5E one or Roll20's, and certainly not up to D&D Beyond (but then again what is?) It gets you stats, skills, talents etc but as far as I can see nothing for starting equipment.

    3) The GM was running a module he has prepared for Foundry himself, based on a conversion of an old 1E adventure. He remarked in passing that he has to rebuild the module constantly, pretty much with every Foundry version change.

    4) Indeed, when I imported the WFRP commercial stuff into my Foundry game, a message popped up and kept popping up about some database problem that the WFRP author had decided not to fix because of the impending move to a new Foundry version which should fix it.

    5) The GM kindly gave away his module to the players. I imported it into my game. It was broken. Entries were not in their folders - scenes, actors and journals were there but in the root directory. Not all actors had attached character sheets. Error messages popped up about stuff being deleted from the world. I doubt that the module was like that when he wrote it, based on what he said.

    6) As far as I have been able to discover the sum total of the documentation is four videos from the author of the WFRP ruleset. The first three are out of date, since they correspond to alpha, beta and 1.0 releases. The other is out of date because it is 10 months old and the code has moved on a lot since then.

    7) One of the other players was also a WFRP GM who was having a night off. In the after game chat there was a quite a lot about making sure stuff worked with other stuff, modules, Foundry versions, etc.

    8) The commercial adventures from C7 do not have a particularly useful layout for GM's to run out of the box. Unless I am being dumb, there were few battlemaps for scenes, no prepackaged encounters in the sense that FG has them, and those scenes with battle-maps didn't have pre-placed tokens.

    It's OK, it wouldn't be too hard do to in your prep but it is not comparable to running Lost Mines of Phandelver or Icespire peak on Roll20 or FG. As a starter kit for beginning GM's it is... not really much of a starter kit. The raw materials you need are there, but I'd say it's going to be a fair bit of prep time for the GM before starting. For example in the Night at the Three feathers adventure, the map has number keys for location, but these are not linked to the respective journal entries.

    This reinforces my initial impressions - it's got lots of potential, it's being very actively developed, it's already got a lot of powerful automation. It is absolutely NOT set up for casual entry. The GM in particular has to be a keen experimenter to figure out what it does on the basis of already-10-months-or-years-out-of-date videos covering features which have already been re-written.

    If you think the FG documentation is a bit lacking (and it is) - at least there is some.

    It's in perpetual beta, everything breaks all the time, and even experienced WFRP Foundry GM's can't keep up.

    I'll use it when I come to run WFRP4, since I very much doubt the Roll20 implementation has any automation to speak of, and FG currently doesn't have official support. But OMG I will choose a Foundry version, get everything working, and never change anything again or everything will break.

    I mean it is cool and shiny and all, and doubtless a huge achievement from the main developer, who seems like a really nice guy. But it is very much built on shifting sands.


    And the message I take from it is that the only thing stopping me from using FG for everything I want to run is the availability of systems and commercially-prepared content. I see quite a lot of fleeting mentions of stuff being developed - Forgotten Lands, Coriolis, RuneQuest, etc.. I know these are probably very small turnover compared with 5E and Pathfinder, but I'd really encourage SmiteWorks to do what they can to expand the efforts and get some of these products onto the store.

    Cheers, Hywel
    Last edited by HywelPhillips; September 13th, 2021 at 13:11.

  7. #67
    A fair review on the WFRP system. I will add ruleset system navigation tutorials tend to be lacking, but Foundry tutorials are certainly comprehensive and since the systems are agnostic across Foundry, it is fairly easy to pick up.

    - 5) The GM kindly gave away his module to the players. I imported it into my game. It was broken. Entries were not in their folders - scenes, actors and journals were there but in the root directory. Not all actors had attached character sheets. Error messages popped up about stuff being deleted from the world. I doubt that the module was like that when he wrote it, based on what he said.

    Far as I know packaging scenes into a module is wonky. Sharing a module in Foundry is not on the same principle as say sharing an extension/module FG. Module sharing is easy enough (just get the manifest URL from them) but depending on what he actually packaged, if it consists of his personal journal entries and scenes that he packaged away (likely using ScenePacker) then yeah that's not a core functionality.

    - 8) The commercial adventures from C7 do not have a particularly useful layout for GM's to run out of the box. Unless I am being dumb, there were few battlemaps for scenes, no prepackaged encounters in the sense that FG has them, and those scenes with battle-maps didn't have pre-placed tokens.

    Yeah everything can be confusing at first. I made the mistake of loading too much content. I backed out and only loaded the Core+Starter Set, which was easier to comprehend. I will say I find the compendium a neater interface for browsing content than FG's method. There is no prepackaged encounters as Foundry lacks core functionality with pre-set encounters. There's a module for this but it is clear that it's another one of those nice things to have in the system itself. I did see mention of journal pins linking to a journal entry which in turn help with setting up combat encounters, not tested this out myself though. I think the lack of battlemaps for scenes is a criticism on C7 more than anything - far as I can see, everything that should be there, is there when it comes to maps and scenes. (I own the physical set)

    All in all, while I'm not a fan of the 4th edition, the system for it is very impressive and MooMan has done an amazing job with it. Considering Foundry was released in 2019 after it came out of closed testing, and WFRP came not long after that to get licensed, it's quite impressive.

    Also, Fantasy Grounds has had something like 16/17 years (FG came out in something like 2004) and Foundry has had 2 years, not counting the time it spent in closed testing. It's unreasonable to assume Foundry is going to adopt the same standards as Fantasy Grounds in things like automation in such a short timespan and even more so to put Foundry and Fantasy Grounds side-by-side for a direct comparison, considering one program is over 16 years old, and another 2 years. What Foundry accomplished in the span of those 2 years is ultimately what made me hop on over to try it (that and some of the nice systems). I still use FG though for one other system.

    I'm excited to see where the core system is going, and am looking forward to more core functionality being added. It is certainly experiencing a lot of growth.

  8. #68
    Very balanced reviews. I completely agree. I think you've summarized the points very well.

    What I'd like to see in FGU:
    1. Faster loading.
    2. Better ability to quickly and easily switch between windows and move windows around..
    3. I think it would be cool if, for GMs running ultimate, if they players could get by with something browser-based. I've had a few players balk at downloading.
    4. More payment options, like Konbini (convenience store) payment for Japanese customers.
    5. In the forums, under Looking for Group and Looking for Players, I'd like to see subforums for other time zones. I'm in Japan, but almost ALL of the LFG, LFP announcements are for USA time zones. I don't want to wade through dozens of USA games looking for games in my area.
    6. I'd like to see some of the functionality in 3rd party extensions make their way into the finished FGU product.

  9. #69
    The article is live for the main VTT with permission for @HywelPhillips!
    Article Commenting is turned off.

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  10. #70

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    I think the overall reviews are fair based on my usage of the top 3 and what I want out of the VTT. I run Savage Worlds and the combo of FGU/SW Ruleset are excellent. I moved from R20 to FGC/FGU just before the pandemic. I play in a weekly game on Foundry.

    Ironically, I found R20 the best for a game like Blades in the Dark - low overall rules but it has a wonderful ruleset. But its obvious design is as a virtual battlemap, which I find to just be solid. I have not used R20 for Savage Worlds since Pinnacle started releasing official content for it, and thus I cannot comment if its improved.

    I would add one thing each to FGU vs. Foundry.

    FGU - Like most programs, there usually are 3 ways to do anything
    a) The obvious way
    b) The more efficient way
    c) The "woah, I did not know I could do it that way" way

    I remind my players of this as I might know (a) and (b), there are some hidden (c)s out there. This is both a plus and a minus, with the minus being documentation of certain things.

    Foundry
    The module stack has been commented, but mostly from the GM perspective. As a player, the constant updating of modules does create confusion. Every week the game is a bit different based on what modules are working that week. I play in one weekly game on Foundry and this happens about one out of every three weeks. I can image your view of Foundry as a player would vary from GM to GM and ruleset to ruleset.


    Broadly, there are some cool things in Foundry like the spell effects. I think dices skins are on the way for FGU (or at least in consideration). I do value the automation over this, at least as a GM. At this point, I like that Foundry presses the development of FGU. I was glad to see SW start to sunset FGC to so they can focus on FGUs development and to let the people that implement the conversions take advantage of what FGU can do.

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