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

Psikerlord#

Explorer
The only thing I wish FG had was a "Looking for group" ability like Roll20.

Otherwise I think FG is better all round for roughly the same $10/month subscription (I currently subscribe to roll20, but will be making the switch to FG this weekend). Roll20 does have video and voice chat built in, but ime, Skype works better and more reliably, so we've never really used that aspect of Roll20. So we can switch to the much prettier FG system, still use Skype for voice/video, for the same price. And then if we want to add all these packs we can do that over time if we choose. Note I am a fan of theatre of the mind style combat, so dynamic lighting and so on is not of interest to me.
 

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Mask_of_winter

First Post
The only thing I wish FG had was a "Looking for group" ability like Roll20.

Otherwise I think FG is better all round for roughly the same $10/month subscription (I currently subscribe to roll20, but will be making the switch to FG this weekend). Roll20 does have video and voice chat built in, but ime, Skype works better and more reliably, so we've never really used that aspect of Roll20. So we can switch to the much prettier FG system, still use Skype for voice/video, for the same price. And then if we want to add all these packs we can do that over time if we choose.

The looking for group is called the Guild House: http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?40-Guild-House
 

Nylanfs

Explorer
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.

Just a note, all your data on Roll20 is on their[\b] servers. With FG your campaign, images, tokens and such are on your computer. And if you change GM's but want to continue the campaign you can simply email the new gm the campaign folder and pick up where you left off.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
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. (snip)

It seems clear (to me, at least) that they view their product as competing with other steam games, especially the mid-range, sub triple-A products that are DLC-driven. (Think of a Paradox game, for example.)

If they aim to compete with roll20 beyond the Steam platform, then they're hiding it pretty well.
 

redrick

First Post
<snip> And since time is money... ;)

Amen to that.

Yes, I followed your earlier thread exploring virtual tabletops as an option. I love a lot about Roll20 and think their team is very responsive and active about expanding the software with new features. I also love that the software is very much geared towards flexibly supporting as many different applications as possible, though some of this comes at the expense of the more sophisticated automation. I love that the community is huge and that I can get several thoughtful responses to a Looking for Group announcement in a couple of days.

I do not love spending my sunday afternoon coding in monster and NPC stats and macros.

I'm really looking forward to an upcoming thread on this site that does some serious comparisons between Roll20 and FG, with a lot of contributions from the folks now who are making the switch.

I also hope that, at some point, way opens for Roll20 to provide some sort of content support for D&D 5e. I'd happily pay $50 to have all the Monster Manual tokens pre-coded with attack macros, saving throw macros, trait descriptions, etc. That would be an incredible value. Unfortunately, I think Roll20 is probably a ways off from that, as they only just demoed their first "compendium" style system, and it is using Pathfinder (because of OGL) as the test case.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
I don't suppose anyone has posted a link to a description of the varying license types and what they include? Or a handy diagram?

I read the FAQ but it just described what a subscription is and how to cancel it, which is cool but doesn't really describe what the subscription includes.

Like say as a DM I want to run a series of homebrew one-shots for 5e that my players can join, that for reasons of simplicity I'd rather just pay for. Whats the option best for me?
 

JohnnyZemo

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?

That's fair, I guess, but as a DM I can't imagine buying just buying "Constructs and Elementals" or "Celestials and Fiends." I mean, does anyone run a campaign where the characters only fight a single type of monster?
 

transtemporal

Explorer
Just a note, all your data on Roll20 is on their[\b] servers. With FG your campaign, images, tokens and such are on your computer. And if you change GM's but want to continue the campaign you can simply email the new gm the campaign folder and pick up where you left off.


For you that seems to be a plus, for me, not so much.

I want to be able to flip over a campaign to another dm by selecting the campaign from a drop box and click "reassign to".

I don't want to root around in mydocuments folders, finding the files, manually zipping them and sending them to someone, who then has to do the process in reverse for it to work.

Theres a knowledge barrier there for some people and its vulnerable to all the issues of manual steps and local harddrives crapping out.

Cloud all the way I say.
 

Mask_of_winter

First Post
For you that seems to be a plus, for me, not so much.

I want to be able to flip over a campaign to another dm by selecting the campaign from a drop box and click "reassign to".

I don't want to root around in mydocuments folders, finding the files, manually zipping them and sending them to someone, who then has to do the process in reverse for it to work.

Theres a knowledge barrier there for some people and its vulnerable to all the issues of manual steps and local harddrives crapping out.

Cloud all the way I say.

Until the servers are down. Then you can't play. With FG, the GM is the server. If Smiteworks went offline tomorrow I'd still have all my stuff and could keep on using the last build indefinitely.
 

Nylanfs

Explorer
I don't suppose anyone has posted a link to a description of the varying license types and what they include? Or a handy diagram?

I read the FAQ but it just described what a subscription is and how to cancel it, which is cool but doesn't really describe what the subscription includes.

Like say as a DM I want to run a series of homebrew one-shots for 5e that my players can join, that for reasons of simplicity I'd rather just pay for. Whats the option best for me?

I would get the ultimate Subscription until you know you like it. The ONLY difference between the Full and Ultimate license is that they players do not have to buy FG to play.

What you get in this license is the following.
  • 5E (D&D), Mechanic's only*
  • 4E (D&D), Mechanic's only*
  • 3.5E (D&D), SRD material only
  • PFRPG (Pathfinder), PRD material only
  • CoreRPG (Generic), Empty character sheets, NPC's etc. supports many dice mechanics
  • Numenera, Mechanic's only
  • FATE Core System, Full system and info, is a Pay what you want system though.
* There are parsers in the forums that let you semi-automate importing your data. 4e needs a DDI sub to scrape the info, while 5e pulls from a text file that can be either typed into or copied and pasted from a pdf or OCR scanned book. Note: This method takes quite a while for 5e because of errors in the scanned books, Basic Rules pdf imports just fine AFAIK.

In their store you can buy stuff for the following.
  • D&D 5e
  • Savage Worlds
  • Rolemaster Classic
  • Mutants and Masterminds 3E
  • Castles and Crusades 5E
  • Basic Roleplaying
  • Call of Cthulhu 6E
  • Iron Heroes
  • Arcana Evolved
  • D20 Modern

In the forums you can find the rulesets for the following that support the mechanics, but no copyrighted materials
  • 2E (AD&D)
  • Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2E
  • Ars Magica Base
  • Black Crusade
  • Dresden Files
  • Earthdawn
  • Extinction Event
  • Fantasy Dice
  • Generic
  • GURPS
  • Labyrinth Lord
  • Maelstrom RPG
  • OSRIC
  • Pavillon Noir Reloaded
  • Rifts
  • Shadowrun
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
  • Star Wars Saga
  • Strands of Fate
  • Trail of Cthulhu
  • Traveller
  • Unicore
  • Vampire: The Masquerade
  • Warhammer 40K: Dark Heresy
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
  • World of Darkness

Edit: I should note that you can also buy tokens, maps and other things not directly tied to a gamesystem.
 
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Harry Dresden

First Post
I keep getting an error message whenever I try and uninstall the demo. Whenever I try and run the demo nothing happens. Says it isn't a valid Win32 application.
 

So we've run the gambit of online tabletops with my group. rpgtableonline, roll20, and a couple others. We decided to kill our game night last night and migrate everything over to FG, and give it a go. Overall, it went pretty well. Here's some notes I made:

The Good:
The "drag and drop" stuff from the 5E campaign pack was definitely pretty cool. Makes making a character super easy.

The map interface is outstanding.

Once we got the thing going, it ran really smoothly. The program isn't too heavy on resources, so that + Skype ran just fine on all our computers. Everyone loves the virtual dice rollers.

The Bad:
It was fortunate that the drag-and-drop stuff was as good as it was, because I think the interface for customizing it beyond that was rather unpolished. Figuring out how to manually set up your attacks wasn't easy. Neither were things like getting your AC to work right when you have a shield, but the shield isn't currently equipped.

The drag-and-drop 5e spells and classes definitely needed to be polished. Most any spell that required both a damage roll as well as a saving throw only had a damage roll built in. (Vicious Mockery & Dissonant Whispers, for example, as I was playing my bard.) Also there was nothing really in there for class sub-specialties, such as Cutting Words for my College of Lore bard. I know the group's fighter was complaining that there wasn't anything in the drag and drop for his Martial Archtype abilities either. Probably nit-picking, but there's definitely room for improvement there.

As a Bard with Cutting Words, both the DM and I were complaining that there's no way for him to roll a visible dice without the party knowing the modifiers on it, and weather it succeeded or failed. We still have no idea how we're going to work Cutting Words in this without significantly increasing combat time.

Summary:
Good product! Definite room for improvement, and to be fair, we expect to see improvement for the price you guys are asking. But we've got the money to spend! If you guys clean it up, I'd see us buying the product outright. Especially once you guys start adding time-saving drop-in modules, like Horde of the Dragon Queen we're currently running. If you can get rid of the couple hours it takes the DM to prepare for each game session by setting up NPCs, bad guys and uploading maps like you always have to do with other tables, you've got yourselves a winner. ;-)
 
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transtemporal

Explorer
Nice one, thanks for that Nylanfs. Edit: Actually don't worry about my questions, I'll just pick the thing up and play! :)
 
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Mask_of_winter

First Post
A license to use FG and the 5e material you can purchase are two separate things.
A license allows you to run games on FG, any game you want including 5e. If you want the 5e reference libraries, player's hb and monster manual and don't want to spend many hours using a parser to do so, then you purchase what's in the store.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
So we've run the gambit of online tabletops with my group. rpgtableonline, roll20, and a couple others. We decided to kill our game night last night and migrate everything over to FG, and give it a go. Overall, it went pretty well. Here's some notes I made:

The Good:
The "drag and drop" stuff from the 5E campaign pack was definitely pretty cool. Makes making a character super easy.

The map interface is outstanding.

Once we got the thing going, it ran really smoothly. The program isn't too heavy on resources, so that + Skype ran just fine on all our computers. Everyone loves the virtual dice rollers.

The Bad:
It was fortunate that the drag-and-drop stuff was as good as it was, because I think the interface for customizing it beyond that was rather unpolished. Figuring out how to manually set up your attacks wasn't easy. Neither were things like getting your AC to work right when you have a shield, but the shield isn't currently equipped.

The drag-and-drop 5e spells and classes definitely needed to be polished. Most any spell that required both a damage roll as well as a saving throw only had a damage roll built in. (Vicious Mockery & Dissonant Whispers, for example, as I was playing my bard.) Also there was nothing really in there for class sub-specialties, such as Cutting Words for my College of Lore bard. I know the group's fighter was complaining that there wasn't anything in the drag and drop for his Martial Archtype abilities either. Probably nit-picking, but there's definitely room for improvement there.

As a Bard with Cutting Words, both the DM and I were complaining that there's no way for him to roll a visible dice without the party knowing the modifiers on it, and weather it succeeded or failed. We still have no idea how we're going to work Cutting Words in this without significantly increasing combat time.

Summary:
Good product! Definite room for improvement, and to be fair, we expect to see improvement for the price you guys are asking. But we've got the money to spend! If you guys clean it up, I'd see us buying the product outright. Especially once you guys start adding time-saving drop-in modules, like Horde of the Dragon Queen we're currently running. If you can get rid of the couple hours it takes the DM to prepare for each game session by setting up NPCs, bad guys and uploading maps like you always have to do with other tables, you've got yourselves a winner. ;-)

We have nearly finished modules for Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat. They need a little more quality checking before we send them to Wizards for review and approval. I would guess 10-15 business days.

As for cutting words, your DM may want to change their preferences to set Show GM Rolls to off. Since you never know when you will decide to use it, you almost have to hide all the rolls. Another way, which may not be RAW, but might make sense is for them to turn on the Dice Tower to allow for hidden rolls. You could pre-roll your next Bardic Inspiration die into the DM's Dice Tower and they would see the result. They could even save the result to a macro slot at the bottom of the screen. You wouldn't know how successful your Cutting Word is actually going to be, even though you would still be able to see by how much the enemy made a roll.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
A license to use FG and the 5e material you can purchase are two separate things.
A license allows you to run games on FG, any game you want including 5e. If you want the 5e reference libraries, player's hb and monster manual and don't want to spend many hours using a parser to do so, then you purchase what's in the store.

Oh ok, so the Ultimate license provides access to the application and then you have to buy the rules for whatever game you want to play. Cool, cheers. Thanks for explaining that because the website does a truly horrible job of it. I just spent 30 frustrating minutes with the application wondering why I have 5e in my list of games and why I can create characters, but I don't seem to be able to do anything with it.
 

mattcolville

First Post
That's fair, I guess, but as a DM I can't imagine buying just buying "Constructs and Elementals" or "Celestials and Fiends." I mean, does anyone run a campaign where the characters only fight a single type of monster?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I bought the whole thing, but I also typically run big adventures. Night Below, The Banewarrens, Red Hand of Doom. Each of these focuses on two or three monster categories. So it would be reasonable to buy the ones I need and have enough monsters for months of gaming.
 

RSKennan

Explorer
Just a note, all your data on Roll20 is on their[\b] servers. With FG your campaign, images, tokens and such are on your computer. And if you change GM's but want to continue the campaign you can simply email the new gm the campaign folder and pick up where you left off.


Yes. I have been meaning to point this out. If the Roll20 servers are down, or the company goes away, you lose your data.
 
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RSKennan

Explorer
Oh ok, so the Ultimate license provides access to the application and then you have to buy the rules for whatever game you want to play. Cool, cheers.

Just a note, the Full license provides the same level of mechanical support. The ultimate license just lets you allow your players to play for free. Same product, just more open.

You can play the game just fine without any of the rulebook modules (you still have the scripting and automation rules included in your license) by coding effects yourself. The modules just speed things up such that you can create a character ,encounter, treasure parcel, etc. in 5-10 minutes.
 
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