FANTASY GROUNDS Virtual Tabletop's D&D License!

Officially licensed D&D electronic tools! For real! Fantasy Grounds, one of the leading virtual tabletops, has just released a set of D&D 5th edition licensed data packages. These include the D&D Basic Rules, packs for each of the core classes, and a pile of monster packs. Each states specifically that "This product is licensed from Wizards of the Coast." This appears to be the first officially licensed and branded electronic product. (thanks to Matchstick for the scoop)

Check out their D&D wares here. They mention that "The DMG is still in the works, along with the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, The Rise of Tiamat and Princes of the Apocalypse." and that "The basic 5E ruleset will continue to be provided directly within Fantasy Grounds to all licenses. These purchasable options add a new graphics theme that is officially branded, along with the library module support, and whatever other enhancements we could squeeze in, like tokens or portraits or decals."

Here's the announcement:
We are proud to announce that we are officially licensed to sell D&D source material and content inside of Fantasy Grounds! This is the beginning of a great new partnership between SmiteWorks and Wizards of the Coast that will benefit gamers worldwide.

You can purchase the D&D Complete Core Class Pack with all the class, feats, spells and equipment or you can purchase individual classes only. You can also buy the monsters in packs or as the D&D Complete Core Monster Pack. These products have been converted to work really tightly with Fantasy Grounds to give you the best possible gaming experience - we know you're going to love them. They contain all the great artwork and content from the official products and all the smarts and integration to work with Fantasy Grounds. Not only will you get the same content that can be found in print, but you also get an exciting new Fifth Edition theme, adventures and content customized specifically for ease of play inside of Fantasy Grounds.

For Dungeon Masters and players on a budget, you might pick up a Player Customization Pack and one or two Class Packs of your choice. Dungeon Masters can often get by with just the Adventure of their choice and one or two Monster Packs.

Don't forget that players can gift purchases through Steam for Dungeon Masters who have linked their license on Steam.


WOTC5EDDBASICRULES.jpg
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Askaval30

Explorer
How does communication work? (I have not had a chance to watch any of the videos.) Is it built into the program or do you have to use another chat system or program to make it work? Thanks.

No voice chat built in (yet), however my group has always used Skype to great effect.

Edit: text chat is however fully developed, to the point of allowing the DM to use a different personality for each of the NPCs. You can also send private messages to individual players and fonts that only some players can read (it appears like gibberish to the other players, good to simulate elven/draconic/other languages)
 
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Torgaard

Explorer
Only the GM needs the books. But then again, the players will only have access to them while connected to his table. If they want to work on their character "offline" they need to own the material as well.

That being said, I pretty much keep my table up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for my players. I guess I've never really noticed an impact on any other programs I run at the same time. I'll play MMO's like ESO, SWtOR, stuff like that, and they seem to run just fine. Though I do have a reasonably beefy gaming rig.

I'll also typically put a "Training Dummy" on the Combat Tracker. I'll also plop a token for it on the battlemap we were using last session. It looks like THIS). :p I'll give it like 5000 HP's so that if they want to login and mess around with the mechanics of their character, play around with attacks, stuff like that - they can go crazy. Or they can make another character and monkey around. One or two of my players tends to create endless characters. Just for the helluvit. Just cuz it's fun. They'll do what we all do (I assume) and get hit by some sudden inspiration for a cool character concept, and off they go! I'll walk past the computer and there they are, just rollin' away, grabbing equipment for their character, stuff like that.

That might be interesting tidbit of information by the way: as a client, you can create and run multiple characters at the same time, in that one session. You don't need to like, fire up the software multiple times or anything like that.
 

So... $200 to be able to be able to actually play with friends (so they do not need to all buy $40 licenses or subscribe to a service just to play in one game) and actually have the 5e rule set? At that price tag I think the old fashion pencil and paper works just fine, or putting text based sheets into roll20.

I can't tell if the DM owning the 5e rule set allows all the players for his game to use it for character creation or if they all have to buy the ruleset as well.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
So... $200 to be able to be able to actually play with friends (so they do not need to all buy $40 licenses or subscribe to a service just to play in one game) and actually have the 5e rule set? At that price tag I think the old fashion pencil and paper works just fine, or putting text based sheets into roll20.

I can't tell if the DM owning the 5e rule set allows all the players for his game to use it for character creation or if they all have to buy the ruleset as well.

This was just answered a few posts above, but the DM can share purchased content with players who connect to their game. If they want it while offline from the DM, they need to purchase it as well. The 5E ruleset is included with all licenses -- but it has zero data pre-loaded, much like what you would get with any other VTT, or with FG before the D&D license was acquired.

There is a sub option for $9.99 that let's the DM's group play for free if that works better. It should line up with the Mentor level sub for Roll20. On the plus side, if you decide that you'd rather have things pre-loaded for you, you can buy pieces or parts instead of keying them in. The D&D Basic Rules pack is only $2.99 and gives you a new graphical theme, 4 classes, equipment, 4 races and 120 spells already pre-loaded. All of our licenses come with a bunch of tokens, some portraits and battlemaps. Each of the licensed D&D content above the Basic Rules comes with either additional tokens, maps or portraits as well.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
I posted some videos up-thread that show what it is like to enter your own data. You now just have the option to have all that professionally done for you.
 

redrick

First Post
So... $200 to be able to be able to actually play with friends (so they do not need to all buy $40 licenses or subscribe to a service just to play in one game) and actually have the 5e rule set? At that price tag I think the old fashion pencil and paper works just fine, or putting text based sheets into roll20.

I can't tell if the DM owning the 5e rule set allows all the players for his game to use it for character creation or if they all have to buy the ruleset as well.

No.

$10/month for the DM to subscribe and gift a subscriptions to friends.

$50 if the DM wants the complete monster pack. If the DM isn't sure about staying with the system, probably makes more sense to buy a few a la carte packages.

Players can each pay $4 to buy their respective class packs. Think of it like buying a new miniature when you switch from a halfling rogue to a tiefling warlock. Or chipping in for beer for the table.

That's $60 for the first month, and then $10/month from there on out. If you know you'll be using it for more than 15 months, you can spring for the perpetual license of $150.

If your friends don't want to cough up the one-time cost of $4, they can enter in their class information by hand, just like they would do with pen and paper.

If that's still more money than you want to spend, that's fine, but looking at the Deluxe package and saying, "too much money!" is pretty misleading.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
[MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION] - the bulk of the other stuffs pricing goes to the good folks who wrote the other games. the base product, the engine, the smarts - these all have value too and these were written by SmiteWorks. They deserve to get paid too. The price is what it is. Its not for everyone. For me, hands down its a great application and great community. Fantasy Grounds allowed me to start gaming again after 25+ years away from it.

There was no value judgement in what I wrote, I was just pointing out how the costs were allocated. The claim was made that it was priced so high because WOTC was taking a cut. I am sure WOTC is taking a cut, I am not sure how much, but I am also sure that the bulk of the $250 cost people were pointing out has nothing to do with WOTC as $150 of that $250 cost people had calculated exists with or without WOTC products. That was my only point.
 

No.

$10/month for the DM to subscribe and gift a subscriptions to friends.

$50 if the DM wants the complete monster pack. If the DM isn't sure about staying with the system, probably makes more sense to buy a few a la carte packages.

Players can each pay $4 to buy their respective class packs. Think of it like buying a new miniature when you switch from a halfling rogue to a tiefling warlock. Or chipping in for beer for the table.

That's $60 for the first month, and then $10/month from there on out. If you know you'll be using it for more than 15 months, you can spring for the perpetual license of $150.

If your friends don't want to cough up the one-time cost of $4, they can enter in their class information by hand, just like they would do with pen and paper.

If that's still more money than you want to spend, that's fine, but looking at the Deluxe package and saying, "too much money!" is pretty misleading.

I missed seeing the Ultimate Subscription listing though in general I am not a fan of subscription based software. I prefer to own something because in the end you tend to pay far more for something that is a subscription than if you just purchase the item outright.

I am not a subscriber on roll20.
 

This was just answered a few posts above, but the DM can share purchased content with players who connect to their game. If they want it while offline from the DM, they need to purchase it as well. The 5E ruleset is included with all licenses -- but it has zero data pre-loaded, much like what you would get with any other VTT, or with FG before the D&D license was acquired.

There is a sub option for $9.99 that let's the DM's group play for free if that works better. It should line up with the Mentor level sub for Roll20. On the plus side, if you decide that you'd rather have things pre-loaded for you, you can buy pieces or parts instead of keying them in. The D&D Basic Rules pack is only $2.99 and gives you a new graphical theme, 4 classes, equipment, 4 races and 120 spells already pre-loaded. All of our licenses come with a bunch of tokens, some portraits and battlemaps. Each of the licensed D&D content above the Basic Rules comes with either additional tokens, maps or portraits as well.

Thank you for the clarification on how the rule set works!
 

redrick

First Post
I missed seeing the Ultimate Subscription listing though in general I am not a fan of subscription based software. I prefer to own something because in the end you tend to pay far more for something that is a subscription than if you just purchase the item outright.

I am not a subscriber on roll20.

If you plan on using the software at least once a month for 16 different months, than $150 is a fair price for a piece of software that provides you utility for that long, especially considering that $110 of that price tag is so that you can let your friends use it for free.

I am a subscriber to Roll20, and I pay $10/month so that other people can use it for free. I like the extra features, but, at the end of the day, I appreciate that there is a zero-cost entry point because it guarantees me the broadest possible pool for finding other people to play in my games. On the other hand, if I had a group lined up and wanted to use Fantasy Grounds to play, I would have no qualms whatsoever telling them to pony up either the $44 ($40 for perpetual license and $4 for class pack) so that they could play in my campaign til the end of time, or $4/month, which becomes more costly after 10 months.

That's like going out for drinks twice. Or once on some nights and in some towns. Or inviting my friends to a sports game. Or going to 4 sessions of D&D encounters at my local gaming store.

I mean, it's fine. There's no reason whatsoever to spend money on a product that you don't feel you need. If a cheaper alternative gives you what you need and you don't care about the extra features, that's great! But, for many people, the time saving is real and the cost is not that great when you see it as something that is being spread out over a year or more of gameplay. And, if you don't plan to use it that much, the subscription is the only smart way to go.

On a side note, I see a lot of negatives about the subscription model here. It has its drawbacks, but it's not entirely bad for the consumer. More money? Probably. But, on the other hand, you're paying a developer to keep making the product that you already use useful to you. It puts the emphasis on consistent support, improvements and usability, instead of flashy gimmicks and planned obsolescence that say, "how could you possibly be using version 5 now that version 6 is out?"
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
If you plan on using the software at least once a month for 16 different months, than $150 is a fair price for a piece of software that provides you utility for that long, especially considering that $110 of that price tag is so that you can let your friends use it for free.

I am a subscriber to Roll20, and I pay $10/month so that other people can use it for free. I like the extra features, but, at the end of the day, I appreciate that there is a zero-cost entry point because it guarantees me the broadest possible pool for finding other people to play in my games. On the other hand, if I had a group lined up and wanted to use Fantasy Grounds to play, I would have no qualms whatsoever telling them to pony up either the $44 ($40 for perpetual license and $4 for class pack) so that they could play in my campaign til the end of time, or $4/month, which becomes more costly after 10 months.

That's like going out for drinks twice. Or once on some nights and in some towns. Or inviting my friends to a sports game. Or going to 4 sessions of D&D encounters at my local gaming store.

I mean, it's fine. There's no reason whatsoever to spend money on a product that you don't feel you need. If a cheaper alternative gives you what you need and you don't care about the extra features, that's great! But, for many people, the time saving is real and the cost is not that great when you see it as something that is being spread out over a year or more of gameplay. And, if you don't plan to use it that much, the subscription is the only smart way to go.

On a side note, I see a lot of negatives about the subscription model here. It has its drawbacks, but it's not entirely bad for the consumer. More money? Probably. But, on the other hand, you're paying a developer to keep making the product that you already use useful to you. It puts the emphasis on consistent support, improvements and usability, instead of flashy gimmicks and planned obsolescence that say, "how could you possibly be using version 5 now that version 6 is out?"

The majority of comments in this thread indicate that people think the pricing is confusing and/or too high for them, for whatever reason. Maybe FG is fine with that, and view themselves as a high-end premium product. But if their intent is to become a more broadly-accepted platform than simply a premium product, they probably need to either reconsider the marketing messages in their pricing page, or the prices themselves, or both.

Maybe they've broken things down to too fine a level and it scares people off seeing all those charges (which some people view as nit-picking, like an airline charging for luggage) for things that appear to be pretty basic to using a system like that.

Maybe they'd get a better overall reaction if they only offered the subscription model up front and the individual charges elsewhere. Or maybe just "PHB" for players, and "DM's Set" for DMs, and not break down all those classes and BASIC and all that, or leave that on some other page if people want to get into individual charges.

Maybe it's just a matter of spelling things out a bit clearer to get rid of some of the confusion - I see a LOT of confusion in this thread over what it costs.

Maybe they are charging too much, and they should set the "sale" price as the regular price and get rid of those sales (instead of the JC Penny model they appear to have chosen right now).

I don't know - but it sure looks like the very common reaction to seeing their pricing page is either confusion, sticker shock, or both. Again, maybe that's fine for FG and they view themselves as a high-end premium product that isn't intended to appeal to a broader audience. But if that's not the intended approach, they should probably consider some changes (either to the tone, or the pricing, or both).
 

transtemporal

Explorer
Yeah. Choices and options are such a drag! ;)

Hey, I'm all for choice when the choices are meaningful but this is not. When you buy the core books, its not possible to just buy the wizard class and even if you could, why would you? This level of "choice" creates confusion, especially if you're new to the game and you're not sure what you need.
 

mattcolville

First Post
Hey, I'm all for choice when the choices are meaningful but this is not. When you buy the core books, its not possible to just buy the wizard class and even if you could, why would you?

Because you're going to play a Wizard.

I think most people, I think the vast majority of players pay for the whole Player's Handbook but only ever use a handful of classes from it. If they could get the content they actually use, cheaper, why wouldn't they?
 

transtemporal

Explorer
Because you're going to play a Wizard.

I think most people, I think the vast majority of players pay for the whole Player's Handbook but only ever use a handful of classes from it. If they could get the content they actually use, cheaper, why wouldn't they?

Nevermind. Someone up thread answered pretty satisfactorily (if you don't know whether you're going to like the game, grabbing a few starter pieces is probably a better route) so I'm good.
 

Reynard

Legend
I am a subscriber to Roll20, and I pay $10/month so that other people can use it for free...[snip] On the other hand, if I had a group lined up and wanted to use Fantasy Grounds to play, I would have no qualms whatsoever telling them to pony up either the $44 ($40 for perpetual license and $4 for class pack) so that they could play in my campaign til the end of time, or $4/month, which becomes more costly after 10 months.

What am I missing? FG is priced at the same place -- you pay $10/month for the Ultimate so your friends can play for free. What's the difference?
 

redrick

First Post
What am I missing? FG is priced at the same place -- you pay $10/month for the Ultimate so your friends can play for free. What's the difference?

Oh, sorry, might not have been clear. I mean that anybody can play it for free, and the reason they can is because some of us pay for the subscription. I enjoy the perks that the subscription provides, because I enjoy programming in my spare time and there are some existing scripts people have written that expand the functionality of the software in useful ways. But I also see my subscription as helping to support the software and the servers that I use every week to play my game. That being said, there's nothing that requires me or anybody else to purchase that subscription in order to enjoy 90% of the software's features, create their own campaigns, invite people, etc.

So, yeah, I'm paying the same on Roll20 that I would pay on FG to allow my group to keep playing for free. I like Roll20 a lot, though it has some quirks and flaws. I think the community is great and brings a lot of value to the service. On the other hand, I'm interested in the possibilities for shorter prep that Fantasy Grounds might provide. I intend to do some experimentation with it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Oh, sorry, might not have been clear. I mean that anybody can play it for free, and the reason they can is because some of us pay for the subscription. I enjoy the perks that the subscription provides, because I enjoy programming in my spare time and there are some existing scripts people have written that expand the functionality of the software in useful ways. But I also see my subscription as helping to support the software and the servers that I use every week to play my game. That being said, there's nothing that requires me or anybody else to purchase that subscription in order to enjoy 90% of the software's features, create their own campaigns, invite people, etc.

So, yeah, I'm paying the same on Roll20 that I would pay on FG to allow my group to keep playing for free. I like Roll20 a lot, though it has some quirks and flaws. I think the community is great and brings a lot of value to the service. On the other hand, I'm interested in the possibilities for shorter prep that Fantasy Grounds might provide. I intend to do some experimentation with it.

Gotcha. I am going to give FG a try but it will be my first VTT. I was actually toying with the idea of trying Roll20 but then this came up and, frankly, I have the resources to spend on the automation is appears FG grants. And since time is money... ;)
 

redrick

First Post
The majority of comments in this thread indicate that people think the pricing is confusing and/or too high for them, for whatever reason. Maybe FG is fine with that, and view themselves as a high-end premium product. But if their intent is to become a more broadly-accepted platform than simply a premium product, they probably need to either reconsider the marketing messages in their pricing page, or the prices themselves, or both.

Maybe they've broken things down to too fine a level and it scares people off seeing all those charges (which some people view as nit-picking, like an airline charging for luggage) for things that appear to be pretty basic to using a system like that.

Maybe they'd get a better overall reaction if they only offered the subscription model up front and the individual charges elsewhere. Or maybe just "PHB" for players, and "DM's Set" for DMs, and not break down all those classes and BASIC and all that, or leave that on some other page if people want to get into individual charges.

Maybe it's just a matter of spelling things out a bit clearer to get rid of some of the confusion - I see a LOT of confusion in this thread over what it costs.

Maybe they are charging too much, and they should set the "sale" price as the regular price and get rid of those sales (instead of the JC Penny model they appear to have chosen right now).

I don't know - but it sure looks like the very common reaction to seeing their pricing page is either confusion, sticker shock, or both. Again, maybe that's fine for FG and they view themselves as a high-end premium product that isn't intended to appeal to a broader audience. But if that's not the intended approach, they should probably consider some changes (either to the tone, or the pricing, or both).

Hmm. You are right that some of the confusion here is honest confusion that maybe Fantasy Grounds should work to address in their promotional material. I'll leave that to them as to how they want do deal with it, though we've already seen them responding to comments on this forum with clarifications on their website. That's not my area of expertise. I did not find the pricing that confusing, but I was also already familiar and interested in the kind of product that they are selling. A number of the people complaining about the prices on this thread are people who actually aren't that interested in Virtual Tabletops anyway.
 

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