Fantasy Grounds Drops Prices For Electronic D&D Books
  • Fantasy Grounds Drops Prices For Electronic D&D Books


    One thing people often hesitate over when it comes to the Virtual Tabletop versions of books they already own is that the electronic versions cost as much as the originals, and this can reduce the number of players using the platforms. Fantasy Grounds has recognised this, and has decided to take action by reducing the prices of Fantasy Grounds versions of books by up to 40%, depending on the book. That means something like the Dungeon Master's Guide or Volo's Guide to Monsters will go from $49.99 to $29.99.




    Here's what they say about it: "SmiteWorks is working alongside Wizards of the Coast to significantly lower the cost of entry for Dungeons & Dragons players looking to play online with the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop. While the project has been a major success, both partners would like it to be even more successful. The prices for official D&D content for Fantasy Grounds will be reduced on August 15, 2017 as part of an initiative to increase new player adoption. Modules which previously cost $49.99 will now be $29.99. Large adventure modules will now be $24.99. Existing customers will benefit in lower prices on all newly released content."

    It sounds like WotC is involved in this pricing strategy, as SmiteWorks says that they are working with them to lower the cost of entry. I've reached out for some more information on the initiative, and I'll update as soon as I hear anything.

    UPDATE: SmiteWorks' Doug Davison confirms that it's a SmiteWorks initiative:

    "I think it is fairly safe to share that SmiteWork's standard agreement is that we license content from publishers and pay them royalties at a fixed rate based on the final sale price of each product. Our publishers set the prices of all products we license from them, although some publishers agree to let us manage periodic sales within set parameters to manage frequency, total discount, etc.

    The initiative to increase new player adoption is a SmiteWorks initiative. It is supported by Wizards of the Coast in a generic way as they support us in general, like they do all of their partners."


    Here's the full list of upcoming price changes (from August 15th):

    40% Cheaper (From $49.99 to $29.99 each)
    D&D Complete Core Class Pack
    D&D Complete Core Monster Pack
    D&D Complete Dungeon Master's Guide
    D&D Volo's Guide to Monsters
    D&D Tales from the Yawning Portal
    D&D Sword Coast Adventurers Guide

    28% Cheaper (From $34.99 to $24.99 each)

    D&D Storm King's Thunder
    D&D Curse of Strahd
    D&D Out of the Abyss
    D&D Princes of the Apocalypse

    25% Cheaper (From $19.99 to $14.99 each)

    D&D Lost Mine of Phandelver

    Pricing Unchanged

    SRD Data Modules are still FREE
    D&D Basic Rules are still FREE
    Individual Class Packs
    Individual Monster Packs
    D&D Hoard of the Dragon Queen
    D&D Rise of Tiamat
    D&D Legacy of the Crystal Shard
    D&D Scourge of the Sword Coast
    D&D Map Pack Volume 1
    D&D Token Volume 1
    D&D Token Volume 2
    D&D Lair Assault - Forge of the Dawn Titan (5E)
    D&D Lair Assault - Talon of Umberlee (5E)
    D&D Lair Assault - Attack of the Tyrant Claw (5E)
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    Comments 69 Comments
    1. Valetudo's Avatar
      Valetudo -
      Well theres also the fact that there is more competition on the way.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Valetudo View Post
      Well theres also the fact that there is more competition on the way.
      Fantasy Groundsí main competition is Roll20, and thatís been around for ages. D&D Beyond isnít a virtual tabletop; entirely different type of product. Thereís a few other VTTs, but Iím not too familiar with them all.
    1. halberd10's Avatar
      halberd10 -
      This is great news for fantasy grounds users. It also makes the bundle deal with its additional 25% off D&D stuff that much more attractive. The timing of this does seem to be at least somewhat related to the launch of D&D beyond and their pricing scheme, which is very similar. I am also curious if roll20 will follow suit. If not, it seems like fantasy grounds would be the cheaper option for licensed content,. $29.99 for an adventure path, add $3.99 a month for the license ( or a one time $30 payment) and you come out cheaper than paying $50 for the same adventure on roll20.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Fantasy Grounds’ main competition is Roll20, and that’s been around for ages. D&D Beyond isn’t a virtual tabletop; entirely different type of product. ...
      D&D Beyond and Fantasy Grounds both offer access to online versions of the books. For Pen and Paper DMs that want electronic access to their books from a tablet or phone, they are offering competing products. Yes, they each have additional side benefits the DMs may use, but I think a lot of people will decide between having FG or Beyond rather than both. The timing of this reduction right before the introduction of Beyond is likely not a coincidence.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
      Yes, they each have additional side benefits the DMs may use
      I think you're reversing FG's side-benefits with its core usage. That's a bit like saying my speakers have a side-benefit of being surrounded by a car, making Lexus' main competition Bose.
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Fantasy Groundsí main competition is Roll20, and thatís been around for ages. D&D Beyond isnít a virtual tabletop; entirely different type of product. Thereís a few other VTTs, but Iím not too familiar with them all.
      As of yet. We won't know how far they can get with automation, in terms of running a campaign, since they haven't released any digital ones yet. I imagine you will be able to roll dice at some point. They might not go the "digital battlemap" route but it will be 85% of the way there with everything else; DM and Player side.
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
      D&D Beyond and Fantasy Grounds both offer access to online versions of the books. For Pen and Paper DMs that want electronic access to their books from a tablet or phone, they are offering competing products. Yes, they each have additional side benefits the DMs may use, but I think a lot of people will decide between having FG or Beyond rather than both. The timing of this reduction right before the introduction of Beyond is likely not a coincidence.
      Different environments.

      I can run Beyond in a browser on a tablet/phone/desktop but only with an active web connection(? unless there is an offline version)
      I can't run FG without a PC/Laptop but can run it offline; their plans for Unity may change this but that's years out.

      As far as broad accessibility, Beyond wins hands down. As far as robust/mature product, FG wins.
    1. fantasmamore's Avatar
      fantasmamore -
      Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
      D&D Beyond and Fantasy Grounds both offer access to online versions of the books. For Pen and Paper DMs that want electronic access to their books from a tablet or phone, they are offering competing products.
      You cannot use any type of handheld device to access FG, even if you own a mac you have to use a third-party program since it's a windows app. FG does not have a character creator (although you can use "library items" to create one instead of having to write and calculate everything from scratch). DDB on the other hand doesn't have the ability to import and share maps, use fog of war and I cannot see how people could use it to play an adventure (as it is right now).
      So, yes, they do both allow you to access the same content (player's handbook, monster manual etc) but in completely different ways...
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      Quote Originally Posted by halberd10 View Post
      This is great news for fantasy grounds users. It also makes the bundle deal with its additional 25% off D&D stuff that much more attractive. The timing of this does seem to be at least somewhat related to the launch of D&D beyond and their pricing scheme, which is very similar. I am also curious if roll20 will follow suit. If not, it seems like fantasy grounds would be the cheaper option for licensed content,. $29.99 for an adventure path, add $3.99 a month for the license ( or a one time $30 payment) and you come out cheaper than paying $50 for the same adventure on roll20.
      Beyond just released their pricing:
      Standard Pricing
      The general pricing information that was previously shared is still valid - normal sourcebooks will be $29.99 and adventures will be $24.99 standard. The Hero Tier subscription will be $2.99 a month and the Master Tier subscription will be $5.99 a month.

      Founders Week
      The three Core Rulebooks content (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual) will be at its lowest price ever at $19.99 each for the first week (ending Aug. 21st)

      The Legendary Bundle will be priced at $279.99 - 15% off the standard pricing.
      In addition to this, if you ever purchase the Legendary Bundle, you will lock in a perpetual 15% discount for every other sourcebook or adventure that you unlock in the future.
    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      Good news!
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Peter Saumur View Post
      As of yet. We won't know how far they can get with automation, in terms of running a campaign, since they haven't released any digital ones yet. I imagine you will be able to roll dice at some point. They might not go the "digital battlemap" route but it will be 85% of the way there with everything else; DM and Player side.
      Fair enough. Iíve never used a VTT, so Iím far from an expert on the subject.
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      Quote Originally Posted by fantasmamore View Post
      You cannot use any type of handheld device to access FG, even if you own a mac you have to use a third-party program since it's a windows app. FG does not have a character creator (although you can use "library items" to create one instead of having to write and calculate everything from scratch). DDB on the other hand doesn't have the ability to import and share maps, use fog of war and I cannot see how people could use it to play an adventure (as it is right now).
      So, yes, they do both allow you to access the same content (player's handbook, monster manual etc) but in completely different ways...
      Also both limit "free usage" - Albeit, Beyond limits you to 6 characters/account using only the basic SRD.
      FG, you can make as many as you want - just can't print them out in a pretty format, even with that XML to PDF that someone cobbled together.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      I think you're reversing FG's side-benefits with its core usage. That's a bit like saying my speakers have a side-benefit of being surrounded by a car, making Lexus' main competition Bose.
      Core usage depends upon the user. Again, a lot of people are primarily interested in the online books and look at the other features of each of these sites as things they might use. I'm not saying the majority, but enough that you can be sure Beyond is discussed by people in FG a lot.
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      I think there will be several tiers of users for Beyond. You will have:

      The Digital DM - has the books but also wants the digital versions for quick, searchable reference.
      The Digital PC - wants a digital character sheet to track stats on their phone.
      The Digital PC Builders - wants to build/test/min-max characters and print them out; either as PDF or paper copy.

      This is assuming what they have now is everything we can expect.
    1. LordEntrails's Avatar
      LordEntrails -
      Great News.

      No doubt WotC has been receptive to efforts by both SmiteWorks and DDB to allow lower pricing. And it has now paid off for us gamers

      IMO, I will say some of the comparisons or critiques in this thread are a bit inaccurate. Such as printing pretty character sheets, because this is simple subjective and there are multiple ways of printing characters from FG. And again imo, FG works fine as a character creator, it just isn't a character manager, and I do see a distinction between such.

      Anyway, I'm happy to see WotC adapting to new markets. Doug certainly seems to be one of the key influencers on some of these changes and they all seem like they are of benefit to the gamers and the industry as a whole.
    1. Myrdin Potter's Avatar
      Myrdin Potter -
      Fantasy Grounds is an ok character creator for 5e, but bad if you want to go back and change things. It is fine if you don't change your mind and it handles leveling up and you can have all the WoTC content available and there even is a module on DMs Guild that gives you some access to all the Unearthed Arcana play test material. Beyond is far more robust if all you want to do is make characters.

      FG has no ability to run the program and access your content from anything but some form of a PC. You can use Windows or a Windows emulator on MacOS and Linux and if all you are doing is using it as a reference look-up, you can use a Microsoft Surface or other tablet-like laptops and it works. You can share your materials with players that are connected to you, so the players can use the DM's Player's Handbook.

      The thing is, Fantasy Grounds is a full on VTT and runs much more than 5e. For actually running a game, the automation handles a lot of the bookkeeping and does almost all of the typical combat calculations for you, including tracking initiative and spell duration (you still need to remember to do concentration checks when you take damage). It displays maps, has tokens, can share images (and it has all the art from the WoTC books). You can create adventures inside of it (map creation needs to be done in a third party application). Third party extensions to the main program add syrinscape integration, alternative skins for the program, location databases, much much more. FG has a very extensive third party publisher content store for 5e and you can even buy content for FG on DMs Guild.

      With the exception of the access via an app on Beyond (which is not released yet and may just be a re-skinned web browser), for the same or lower cost of the content, you can do a lot more than on Beyond. If you want to share the materials, FG and Beyond require a subscription. FG allows a one time license purchase as well for either $40 (everyone needs to have this license) or $150 (if the DM has this, the players do not need to pay for their own license when connected to that DM). They have frequent sales and prices are often 15% to 25% lower for licenses and you can both upgrade and you can try it via subscription with a money back guarantee.

      I think the initial user interface of Roll20 is more appealing, and their map displaying is more modern than FG, but they simply do not have the content that FG has. The only other digital platform that matches Beyond right now is Fantasy Grounds and they were the first to have all of the the WoTC books available.

      Finally, Smiteworks and Doug Davison were the first 3rd party VTT to crack open the market for licensing content. Without that initial commitment, the other licenses would have been much more difficult.
    1. Celestian's Avatar
      Celestian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Peter Saumur View Post
      As of yet. We won't know how far they can get with automation, in terms of running a campaign, since they haven't released any digital ones yet. I imagine you will be able to roll dice at some point. They might not go the "digital battlemap" route but it will be 85% of the way there with everything else; DM and Player side.
      There is a lot more to a VTT than just rolling dice, specially with FG.

      Beyond and VTTs just not the same.
    1. Peter Saumur's Avatar
      Peter Saumur -
      Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
      Great News.

      No doubt WotC has been receptive to efforts by both SmiteWorks and DDB to allow lower pricing. And it has now paid off for us gamers

      IMO, I will say some of the comparisons or critiques in this thread are a bit inaccurate. Such as printing pretty character sheets, because this is simple subjective and there are multiple ways of printing characters from FG. And again imo, FG works fine as a character creator, it just isn't a character manager, and I do see a distinction between such.

      Anyway, I'm happy to see WotC adapting to new markets. Doug certainly seems to be one of the key influencers on some of these changes and they all seem like they are of benefit to the gamers and the industry as a whole.
      Do tell. I know only of one way and that was using the online tool to convert XML to PDF.
    1. LordEntrails's Avatar
      LordEntrails -
      Let me add for those of you who aren't familiar or might stumble across this thread in a month or more's time, FG is constantly being enhanced. So any comparisons you read are probably out of date.

      For instance, in @Myrdin Potter's example above (which is very well done), concentration checks are handled manually right now, but in the next version that will be out probably before GenCon, they will be handled automatically.

      FG, and it's capabilities aren't static, and I think that's one reason the community is so positive.
    1. LordEntrails's Avatar
      LordEntrails -
      Quote Originally Posted by Peter Saumur View Post
      Do tell. I know only of one way and that was using the online tool to convert XML to PDF.
      The two that I know about and have played with are;
      - https://www.alonlinetools.net/FGCharacterSheet.aspx
      - http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums...Printer-for-FG

      I believe you can also import the FG XML into both HeroLabs and PCGen and then print from those as well.
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