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PC|MAC Fantasy Grounds

Unread postby icycalm » 08 Sep 2020 17:36

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https://www.fantasygrounds.com/home/Fan ... sUnity.php

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1196 ... nds_Unity/

Nothing to say here yet, just that this is a requirement to play. We'll be posting tips and discussion on its use once we start using it.
Last edited by icycalm on 10 Feb 2021 19:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby icycalm » 08 Dec 2020 16:22

player limit
https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/s ... ayer-limit

Draeus wrote:I think the maximum I have ran for is 52 on a special event day where 9 groups merged into one. It was awesome fun. But very chaotic. I owned a rpg shop at the time and opened it after hours and turned it into a mock inn where every one was meeting.


That's great news. Means there are no problems at all with throwing 12 players in a game for a faceoff, or even a monster co-op battle. If people can leave their computers on over the course of say a day, we might even be able to do it turn-based midweek.
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Unread postby icycalm » 14 Dec 2020 21:48

These are the kind of number tokens we need:

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Clean, neat, hi-res. Gotta find out where that guy got them from.

Note that we need these for Fantasy Grounds, which is why I posted in this thread. World Anvil doesn't need numbers since every pin has a pop-up.
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Unread postby Saf » 14 Dec 2020 23:22

Those look like number tokens that came prepackaged with the adventure in Roll20, I'm unsure of a way to extract them though. Would these ones work? They're from the DMs Guild site.

623939-LabelTokensV3.zip
(1.98 MiB) Downloaded 163 times
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Unread postby icycalm » 14 Dec 2020 23:34

Those are the ones we have right now. I bought them on Saturday.
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Unread postby Saf » 14 Dec 2020 23:49

Ah, dang. In any case, I went into an old R20 campaign I had and couldn't find any way to export those number tokens. I think they are manually cut out from the original PDF maps by the people who convert the adventures to digital.
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Unread postby icycalm » 21 Dec 2020 09:18

I have some impressions on FG(/FGU), having used it for the first time last night as a DM.

It is a remarkable program. dan and I are constantly bitching and moaning about its obtuse interface, but the fact is we wouldn't know where to start if asked to design a more user-friendly version. Take for example the issue of the locking of the character sheets. For weeks we'd wondered why the DM can't lock the character sheets so the players can't alter them (so that they don't mess them up by accident, which is extremely easy to do); after all, he can lock pretty much everything else on the screen. Well, last night we ran the first battle, and I realized that the players have to adjust the values on their sheets practically every round: every time they fire a spell or arrow, for example, or when their characters use many special abilities and feats, or acquire special statuses, like buffs and nerfs. There is zero reason to lock the sheets when you need the players to adjust them every round, unless you intend to make all the adjustments yourself, which is possible I guess but grossly inefficient. You are much better off, at least in the long term, training your players to use their sheet effectively. Then when they know how to do this well, you can use the time they are dicking around with their sheets to study the enemies' tactics notes, prepare the next encounter or text block, queue up the next music track, and so on. There ARE minor niggles that could be improved in the interface and functionality of the program, but the unlocked character sheets is not one of them. The program simply does so much, that a steep learning curve is unavoidable. There need to be buttons and menus and commands everywhere because that's how much functionality is required to run a D&D session. And the program STILL doesn't automate all of it. If I had to take a guess I'd say it automates about half of D&D's functionality, give or take. Which is a downright miracle I never thought I'd live the day to see.

I'd like to check the competitor VTTs. It's hard to imagine one offering the same level of functionality and customization with significantly improved usability. Even the people posting negative reviews of FG/FGU on Steam tend to say that they are still sticking with the program despite all, citing one or more of the following reasons (and the more comprehensive reviews, all of them):

-Breadth of preprogrammed rule systems and customizability
-Massive library of DLC rules supplements and adventures
-Aesthetics

Any given of the above advantages would have sufficed to give FG the edge over its competitors, but all three of them taken together make it unbeatable, even after a decade and a half in the market. I am extremely glad I chose it for D&D Battlegrounds, and I am certain now I made the right choice. It really is Videogame Art (even though it's not strictly a videogame, but without it neither is D&D, so in a way it is), and GOTY contender for the year of its release.


P.S. The line-of-sight mechanics of FGU are more advanced than any isometric CRPG's I've ever seen. In D:OS, you can see inside locked rooms, by looking over their ceilings...
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Unread postby icycalm » 22 Dec 2020 04:44

https://steamcommunity.com/id/kiddrah/r ... d/1196310/

KidDrah wrote:Look up shortcuts, there are useful things like holding left click, and right click to draw an arrow to measure distance instead of right clicking through options.

I also recommend looking up mods in general on dmsguild or something. There are a few things that will make this easier, including a mod that makes swapping a druid token out for a wildshape token automatically. Super useful.

A lot of the problems you will have with this application can be solved by mods.
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Unread postby icycalm » 22 Dec 2020 05:14

Even negative FG reviews say it has the best automation: https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/765 ... d/1196310/

Savage wrote:Unity still achieves a higher level of automation functionality compared to any other VTT program on the market


And the retort from the developers destroys even the dude's value argument (that's what he whines about in his entire review, that the program is too expensive; the program, not even the DLCs!):

Smiteworks wrote:We believe our pricing is very fair compared to competition.

Roll20 has a $10/mo pro service. We offer this same price on our system or a 1-time fee, which we believe is far superior to a subscription.

Foundry has a cheaper per license cost for the root software, but it has zero support for licensed DLC. You have to either self-host (same model as Fantasy Grounds Classic) or buy an additional service to host a web server. For a program where you have to enter everything yourself or buy DLC on another platform and service first, we think our price is fair.

DLC prices on Fantasy Grounds are cheaper than Roll20 almost across the board. Many of their new releases are $49.95 and our prices are $29.99 for the same DLC, but our DLC includes better automation. This adds up to hundreds of dollars of savings for avid gamers.


I picked the best program.
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Unread postby shubn » 22 Dec 2020 17:37

I was wondering if there was a way to minimize or organize windows, so I took a look at the FGU manual, and it hit me: that's what the hot key bar is for!

https://fantasygroundsunity.atlassian.n ... ic+Actions

Hot Keys: Customizable buttons for common actions and reference material links.

Hot Keys: Objects can also be dropped on hot keys for quick access to commonly used objects (i.e. windows, dice).


I suspect using the hot key bar will make the interface much more pleasant and efficient to use (especially for GMs), and I'll be trying it out next time.

The FG wiki also gives the following information: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/wiki/index.php/Hot_Keys

A hot key bar is provided by FG to give users quick access to commonly used rolls, text or reference material.

There are a total of 8 hot key banks of 12 hot keys each available to be customized. To access other hot key banks, just hold any combination of the SHIFT, CTRL or ALT modifier keys.

Create Hot Key: Drag a number, text string, die, token or shortcut onto a hot key slot.
Activate Hot Key: Left click on the hot key slot, or press one of the F1-F12 keys corresponding to the number of the hot key slot.
Modify Hot Key Label: Right click on the hot key slot, and select the Edit Label menu option.
Delete Hot Key: Right click on the hot key slot, and select the Clear Slot menu option.


Note that this is for FG, not FGU, so it may or may not be different on FGU.

Also note that you may have to exit the game by right-clicking the FGU background and selecting "Exit session" in order for your hot keys to be saved, rather than outright closing the program. I don't know if this is true, but I came across a forum post about that, so I figured I'd let you guys know.
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Unread postby icycalm » 23 Dec 2020 07:19

A very nice video of a DM explaining why he loves Fantasy Grounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFj48x0c4EM

He apologizes too much at the start for sharing his opinion, so you might want to skip that. Too much soy.

Skip to 31:11 and watch the next few minutes to see the power of automation that it has.

https://twitter.com/mattcolville/status ... 1457294337

Matt Colville? @mattcolville wrote:I think the Fantasy Grounds video is working. I made it because I was tired of people asking why I don't use Roll20. So now I got a ton of comments from people saying "I get it, this is cool" and a bunch of people saying "I use Roll20 because it's cheaper" which is fair 1/

But NO ONE has said "Ah, I use this other software because it does ALL THIS and more!" Just people randomly shouting the names of other products in the comments, with no explanation of their virtues. 2/

And a few people just spreading disinformation about the product for no reason other than to Troll. It's not ok to prefer one over the other, folks need to make it part of their identity, and me using a different product is a challenge to their identity. >.<
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Unread postby icycalm » 12 Jan 2021 03:07

Very cool spell effects were released for FGU a few days ago! I bought them!

Fantasy Grounds - FG Spell Templates
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1496 ... Templates/

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They'll make combat much easier to keep track of, and much more fun to look at, once we figure out how to use them. I can't promise we'll be ready to use them this weekend, but they're going on my to-do list and it shouldn't take long.

This only works with Unity, so only with my campaigns for the time being. When dan ends up DMing a Unity campaign, I'll buy him a copy.

Worth pointing out that this sort of tool can also be used to "paint rivers of blood, lava or cooled lava, or add smoke, giant skeletal fossils and other decorations", so once we've figured out the spell effects, the next step will be figuring out all these different effects that will doubtless make many scenes feel even more alive.

FG Spell Templates Preview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0cknZv6HCc

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Unread postby icycalm » 12 Jan 2021 05:18

So it turns out that dan's campaign will also be able to use these effects, so I bought him a copy. If you're interested in how this works, you can read my chat with the owner of SmiteWorks from the comments section of the video above:

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You can see it takes him forever to understand what I am asking, and to reply to me. I think this is indicative of how he designs things, and why Fantasy Grounds can be obtuse at times. But ultimately it does what you want it to do as long as you figure out its quirks.
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Unread postby icycalm » 14 Jan 2021 15:31

You know how we've been saying with dan that it's unfortunate that Fantasy Grounds doesn't allow NPCs to have a portrait in the chatlog when they are speaking? dan even went to the FG forum and asked them about it, and they told him it's impossible and to post it in the feature wishlist thread.

Dude... it's so simple to do it. I just realized it. It's hacky, but it would work 100% and it would be so immersive.

The DM logs into his own campaign via a second computer, say a laptop, and takes control of a "player character" he has created with the NPC's stats and portrait. Then he simply types on the laptop's keyboard in the chatlog. Problem solved. I think he can even be put into the combat tracker as an enemy if needed—or a friend. So basically the DM has to create "PCs" for all the NPCs in his campaign. Is that a lot of work? Right now, for inexperienced FG users like dan and me, who are swamped with trying to get four campaigns off the ground at the same time in the bargain, yes it would be too much extra work that's not absolutely needed, but I think in the near future we can begin doing this, and once we get used to it it could happen fast.

It's good to have a genius for DM, no?


P.S. The DMs would need to make one alt Steam account and purchase another copy of FG, but since dan and I both have Ultimate License for Fantasy Grounds, we don't need to buy another copy of FG. We just need another Steam account and we're sorted.
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Unread postby icycalm » 20 Jun 2021 11:16

Fantasy Grounds GM Symbols
https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store/pr ... _GM_SYMBLS

300 symbols. The numbers are much prettier than what we use now. Gotta buy this.

Plus it has town symbols that might help adding some of them to World Anvil that are missing from there.
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Unread postby icycalm » 20 Jun 2021 11:21

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Unread postby icycalm » 20 Jun 2021 13:12

I went through the last few months of releases on the FG store, and I have great news to report. They have not only been keeping up with new releases across a range of systems—and primarily with 5E and PF2–but they are still pumping out releases for older systems such as 1E, 2E and PF1. The coolest release from our perspective is the fifth adventure in the Skull & Shackles campaign, which they put out in February: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1548 ... of_Infamy/

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Previously they had only the first four parts, and I had resigned myself to having to convert the last two myself when we got to them, but now that they’ve done the fifth it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll do the sixth too. Even better is that the fifth part has line of sight! You can see it in its FG store page: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store/pr ... WPZO9059FG

The earlier parts don’t have it. Here is the first part for example: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store/pr ... WPZO9055FG

So not only are they pumping out older stuff, but they aren’t cutting corners either. It’s not unreasonable to expect all the PF1 campaigns to come out at some point. The same unfortunately can’t be said about the standalone adventures let alone the one-shot organized play scenarios. That said, they ARE pumping out some of those for PF2, so who knows. Maybe after they’re done with PF1 campaigns they’ll turn their attention to the smaller stuff. They ARE still pumping out PF1 rulebooks and sourcebooks though, and plenty of them. You gotta hand it to them that with their community-based conversion model (the community converts stuff and then they check it and profit-share) they are doing far more conversions than anyone else and keeping themselves highly relevant in the age of Foundry and TaleSpire. It will be very hard to move away from FG. Ultimately I may try to see if there’s some way to keep the mechanics running in FG even while we use other VTTs for visualization.

The easiest way to check the latest FG releases btw is to go to their store and scroll down: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store/

At the bottom you will find several pages of their latest releases. It’s a fantastic collection across a ton of the best systems and settings. Though note that they also add sale items there. If you see something on sale it means it’s not a new release.

They also recently released parts two and three of Wrath of the Righteous. I was under the impression they already had the whole thing, but no, they only had the first.

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They must be scrambling to get it out in time for the CRPG release. All three parts so far have LoS.

They also just released, in May, the first part of the Shattered Star campaign, which is a sequel to Rise of the Runelords, set again in Varisia, and again with LoS: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1572 ... ds_of_Sin/

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I never thought we’d get this stuff, I’d thought they’d moved for good to PF2 material. For PF2 they have everything btw, it’s glorious. Once we get there we’ll be set.
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Re: PC|MAC Fantasy Grounds

Unread postby icycalm » 26 Jun 2021 12:53

Fantasy Grounds Unity Game Prep With David --- Adding Water And Other Effects...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFyKmSGB2Mo

WOW. Looks like this old horse still has some life left in it. It’s not anything close to fully animated purchasable maps you can get for Foundry, but it’s still a massive upgrade to FG’s current static maps. I am in love with Fantasy Grounds again! And note that the Foundry animated maps are generic, i.e. do not belong to published adventures, while the new FG tools allow us to add some animation to ALL the published adventures on FG.

Go to 3:40 to see how water works. You can turn water in any static map to animated. Clouds too apparently, and perhaps some more stuff, I haven’t watched the whole video yet. Seems like a very simple procedure. I plan to do it for the first group that will play soon when we restart Battlegrounds. It will be D&D1 and Curse of the Crimson Throne because the dudes have only played one hour. And then it will be D&D4 and Ruins of Azlant (those dudes have already played some hours in other groups) and that has water EVERYWHERE. For Ruins of Azlant I even have looping sound of water and waves so when I add everything in the only thing left will be the smell of salt in the air. There must be some smellovision machine we can buy? Imagine if I could send smells to your room? Spring flowers, rotting corpses, tavern food?

I am so excited to restart that I can barely sleep.
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