Astral TableTop Gets Revamped

Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds may be the better known names in the Virtual Tabletop (VTT) market, but Astral Tabletop, which launched in 2017, has recently spent a year revamping its offering. Additionally, it has now partnered with DriveThruRPG!

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Here's their new press release:

Astral TableTop’s New Experience Helps Game Masters Create and Host Engaging Tabletop Roleplaying Games Online and In Person
Astral TableTop is the easiest way to create, host, and play tabletop roleplaying games online and in person.

April 15, 2019 — Astral TableTop launches its new experience that provides Game Masters with an easy-to-use platform to create, host, and play immersive and engaging tabletop roleplaying games. Founded in 2017, Astral has undergone a significant reimagining that preserves what the community loves about it — a beautiful, approachable user experience — while expanding its features to serve as a go-to toolkit for Game Masters of every level.

With Astral, Game Masters can bring their worlds to life for any RPG ruleset. The new Astral experience offers a streamlined TableTop Editor to effortlessly build custom maps; add sound, weather, and atmospheric effects; track combat; upload documents for any tabletop RPG ruleset; and keep an updated journal of game sessions. Dynamic lighting, doors, and automated actions take gameplay to the next level, adding smart tech without replacing the analog gaming experience that makes tabletop play unique. Add-ons, such as the combat manager and dice roller, can be used on smartphones or tablets to enhance in-person game sessions.

"The new experience is the result of listening to what our amazing community of Game Masters needed most,” says Astral CEO Tom Lackemann. “We spent almost a full year refactoring everything about Astral to make sure we addressed the problems and needs GMs in 21st century have."

The popularity of tabletop roleplaying games is at an all-time high, in part thanks to platforms like Astral TableTop, which allows enthusiastic gamers to play their favorite tabletop RPGs anywhere. Savvy groups can tap into this growing market and use Astral to stream their games to Twitch, where actual play tabletop roleplay shows like Critical Role and Dice, Camera, Action continue to rank among Twitch’s most-viewed programs.

Astral is a community-first platform. Its popular Marketplace features more than 30,000 art assets and offers drag-and-drop map and character designs created by artists from around the world. The Astral team prioritizes the features requested by its dedicated global community, many of whom joined Astral at its inception.
The new Astral experience is available now at AstralTableTop.com.


The DriveThruRPG twitter account has retweeted a tweet from the DM's Guild twitter account announcing that "Our sister site [DriveThruRPG] & [Astral Tabletop] have partnered to create a new, easy, immersive way to play [tabletop RPGs, D&D] ... and you can use all your fav [DMs Guild] titles!"

Steve Weick, DTRPG's head honcho, posted on Facebook:

We're formally announcing today that DriveThruRPG is a strategic/investment partner in Astral Tabletop, a new service for virtual/in-person RPG tabletop play.

Similar to Roll20, Astral is free (freemium) and web-based, which makes connecting with friends and playing a game on the platform super-easy. Astral's focus is on ease-of-use. It was Astral founder Tom Lackemann's dedication to making the tool simple to learn and use that attracted me to partnering with Astral. It's taking the learning curve out of using virtual tabletops.

It also takes in-browser graphic performance to a new level. If you haven't tried a VTT with features like fully animated maps and weather or localized sound effects, I'd encourage you to give Astral a try and see how immersive it can make your next game.




 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
The DriveThruRPG twitter account has retweeted a tweet from the DM's Guild twitter account announcing that "Our sister site [DriveThruRPG] & [Astral Tabletop] have partnered to create a new, easy, immersive way to play [tabletop RPGs, D&D] ... and you can use all your fav [DMs Guild] titles!"
Well now, this is exciting. Still a lot of unknowns, especially considering that most official Wizards 5th Edition releases are not available on DMsGuild.com, but if the final result of this is that a user gets a functional, standalone PDF of a given sourcebook and VTT support...

...that might be the perfect storm that blows my wallet open.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
The DriveThruRPG twitter account has retweeted a tweet from the DM's Guild twitter account announcing that "Our sister site [DriveThruRPG] & [Astral Tabletop] have partnered to create a new, easy, immersive way to play [tabletop RPGs, D&D] ... and you can use all your fav [DMs Guild] titles!"
I will be interested to see what that means since it seems you cannot yet purchase adventures on their marketplace.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
I'm using Roll20, but getting me to jump ship would be a really easy sell if this one contains the basic functionality I need and has a better UI. I'm going to look into it.
 
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uzirath

Explorer
As far as I can tell, they don't support hex maps. That counts me out for the time being. But I'll keep an eye on them. Never heard of them prior to this thread.
 

Baumi

Explorer
This looks interesting, but I could not figure out the limitations of the Free Version.

Actually, there is generally not much I could find about it (only found 2 youtube Videos and not much on the official site), so maybe someone who tried it can answer this (thanks in advance!):
- Can you paint (create map on the fly)?
- Can you import your own maps and tokens?
- Is there scripting / macros included?
- What kind of Dice-Rolls are supported?
- Do they have support for Cards (Poker,..)?
 

pogre

Adventurer
This looks interesting, but I could not figure out the limitations of the Free Version.

Actually, there is generally not much I could find about it (only found 2 youtube Videos and not much on the official site), so maybe someone who tried it can answer this (thanks in advance!):
- Can you paint (create map on the fly)?
- Can you import your own maps and tokens?
- What kind of Dice-Rolls are supported?
I'm interested in these particular questions as well.
 
This looks interesting, but I could not figure out the limitations of the Free Version.

Actually, there is generally not much I could find about it (only found 2 youtube Videos and not much on the official site), so maybe someone who tried it can answer this (thanks in advance!):
- Can you paint (create map on the fly)?
- Can you import your own maps and tokens?
- Is there scripting / macros included?
- What kind of Dice-Rolls are supported?
- Do they have support for Cards (Poker,..)?
So after doing some research it looks like the free version you can upload pdfs of 25mb or less. So many core system pdfs might not be able to be loaded. Also you won't be able to host others with the the video option possibly with sound as well. That part I'm not sure about. However, if the GM has the upgraded version all players even with the free version will be able to use the cameras and/or sound as well.

The dice look like 4,6,8,10,12,20 sided. There is something that is coming soon that says (My Dice) but I don't know anything about that. I'm not sure about cards.

I'm not sure about the maps on the fly. I also don't know about the scripting but there are some assets included for free.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
I was just looking into Tabletop Simulator which is on Steam. One time buy, well supported, no subscription. You host your own games (which I like) and it seems to have all the bells and whistles I need for both in person and virtual play. On the other hand I will look into this as well, along with Roll20, Fantasygrounds, etc. Choices, choices...
 
I was just looking into Tabletop Simulator which is on Steam. One time buy, well supported, no subscription. You host your own games (which I like) and it seems to have all the bells and whistles I need for both in person and virtual play. On the other hand I will look into this as well, along with Roll20, Fantasygrounds, etc. Choices, choices...
Cool. I didn't know that Steam had a VTT.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
Cool. I didn't know that Steam had a VTT.
Tabletop Simulator is a different ballgame though—it’s a fully simulated tabletop, where you’ll actually move minis and dice around as freely, just like at a real table. You can download packages that set it up for specific games like D&D (as opposed to X-Wing miniatures or chess or shuffleboard, etc.). It’s very different from Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.
 

Baumi

Explorer
Tabletop Simulator is a different ballgame though—it’s a fully simulated tabletop, where you’ll actually move minis and dice around as freely, just like at a real table. You can download packages that set it up for specific games like D&D (as opposed to X-Wing miniatures or chess or shuffleboard, etc.). It’s very different from Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.
What I find funny/awesome is that it even Supports Virtual Reality. So you have the table actually in front of you :)

While I have the Programm, I have never actually used it since no one else I know bought it. The RPG Stuff looks awesome, but I'm not sure if it is too much work to set up and use.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
What I find funny/awesome is that it even Supports Virtual Reality. So you have the table actually in front of you :)

While I have the Programm, I have never actually used it since no one else I know bought it. The RPG Stuff looks awesome, but I'm not sure if it is too much work to set up and use.
VR doesn't worry me... I'll save that for FPS :) I am wondering how much trouble is involved with any VTT. A couple of my regular players have flown the coop (jobs will do that for you) and I'm wondering if I can keep them in the game... we'll see how it goes.
 

awarren

Villager
Hello! Ashley with Astral here — wanted answer some of your questions! Thanks for your enthusiasm for Astral; our tiny team has been hard at work for months. :)

Can you paint (create map on the fly)?
Yes! You can use a ready-made map or build one asset by asset, and you can edit/update maps while you’re running your game. You can also create automated triggers that change the map when players interact with an object/area (for example, an avalanche or discovering a shipwreck).

Can you import your own maps and tokens?
You can! You can import documents/assets with the following file types, including:

  • PDF
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • WebM
  • WAV
  • MP3

Is there scripting/macros included?
We don’t currently support macros. That said, we support an array of dice strings in the dice roller and our team is certainly amenable to your additional suggestions.

What kind of dice rolls are supported?
The dice roller uses standard dice notation which you can use for a multitude of rulesets. I'll post the help link for that shortly, or feel free to email me in the meantime. :)

Do they have support for cards?
Not yet — but our team has added it to our potential features pipeline so we’ll keep you updated!

Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any other questions! ashley@astraltabletop.com.

(Thanks, Morrus, for the article!)
 
Hello! Ashley with Astral here — wanted answer some of your questions! Thanks for your enthusiasm for Astral; our tiny team has been hard at work for months. :)

Can you paint (create map on the fly)?
Yes! You can use a ready-made map or build one asset by asset, and you can edit/update maps while you’re running your game. You can also create automated triggers that change the map when players interact with an object/area (for example, an avalanche or discovering a shipwreck).

Can you import your own maps and tokens?
You can! You can import documents/assets with the following file types, including:

  • PDF
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • WebM
  • WAV
  • MP3

Is there scripting/macros included?
We don’t currently support macros. That said, we support an array of dice strings in the dice roller and our team is certainly amenable to your additional suggestions.

What kind of dice rolls are supported?
The dice roller uses standard dice notation which you can use for a multitude of rulesets. I'll post the help link for that shortly, or feel free to email me in the meantime. :)

Do they have support for cards?
Not yet — but our team has added it to our potential features pipeline so we’ll keep you updated!

Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any other questions! ashley@astraltabletop.com.

(Thanks, Morrus, for the article!)
Thank you so much for responding and answering questions. That kind of customer outreach means a lot to me and I'm sure some other potential customers as well. I'm really excited.
 

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