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

Griogre

First Post
For anyone coming in a bit late to the announcement there has been a lot of talk about price - how expensive, etc and a lot of talk about the high end.

Nobody that I saw really said that the min price if you want to try it for a month with a group is $13. You pay $9.99 for a month of FG's Ultimate license and then drop $2.99 and get the Basic Rules Pack which has the classics races and classes: Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human; Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard. The Basic Rules is a one time buy and also has 200+ monsters for the DM.

One month's gaming for the price of a movie ticket. That's not a bad deal to try out the software and 5E, IMHO.
 

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hbarsquared

Quantum Chronomancer
[MENTION=87795]smiteworks[/MENTION]

To clarify, do the Complete Class Pack and Complete Monster Pack include the full text of the PHB and MM, respectively?

As in, if I buy the Complete Class Pack, am I simply buying the whole PHB, in VTT form?
 

smiteworks

Explorer
It includes the full text and images from the PHB or MM. Wherever possible, that "text" is converted into an appropriate VTT record, such as a Class, an NPC an Item, a Spell., etc. The images are normally linked in relation to the text, so a picture of an NPC would get set up as a link from the description of an NPC but would be stored as an image that could be shared.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
That is simply not entirely accurate. There are many more options for pricing for base FG than $150.

At the most expensive level nobody that ever connects to your game needs to pay anything. No charge. Ever.

I can appreciate everyone has their preference, but at least get your information right.

So what is the $40 version on Steam or $120 4-pack? I saw this post earlier:

$150 for the Ultimate license (or $10/month for a subscription)
$50 for the Complete Class Package
$50 for the Complete Monster Package
$20 for Lost Mines of Phandelver
$270. (Or $120 and $10/month)

"This will allow anyone with a Demo license( free) to connect to your game and view all the content."

"Alternatively, you and all your players could buy normal licenses for $40 (or $4/month)"

What exactly does that last sentence mean? Will the $40/person or $120 for 4 substitute for the $150 ultimate license portion above?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pedr

Explorer
That's a full licence which allows you to connect to any GM with a licence or to act as GM - but it requires your players to have their own licences. The $150 ultimate licence lets free licence players connect. From what I can tell, that is the only difference between the standard licence and the ultimate one.
 

pedr

Explorer
Re the edit - yes. If every player has paid for FG, the DM just needs a standard licence. It's only if the GM wants to allow players who haven't paid anything for the program to play that he needs the ultimate licence.

(Edit) Does this help: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/buyFG/#licensecomparison ?

From what I can tell, the only difference between $40 and $150 is who can connect to a game you are GMing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

smiteworks

Explorer
Those replies are both correct. Some historical context (since Fantasy Grounds has been around since 2004):

We used to have
- a Lite license which was cheaper but only let you do player stuff
- a Full license which let you use all the DM features of Fantasy Grounds, build your own rulesets and extensions, modules, act as a player or host for other players with a license.

At some point, people in the community and newcomers started requesting the ability to have unlimited players or at least slots for players to join freely. At this time we created a Free license and an Ultimate license. The Free license only worked if connected with an Ultimate. Over time we added a Demo mode too and now we call it a Free/Demo license. The Ultimate allows you to have unlimited players, who can all be running the Free/Demo license if they don't already have a license of their own. Due to popularity of the Ultimate license and the constant state of confusion on the Lite license's capabilities, we dropped it entirely. That now means that anyone who buys a license of FG gets to use all the DM features. All of those features are the same between the Full (now just a standard) license and the Ultimate license. We also added in a bunch of free tokens that we purchased the rights to distribute and gave these to all standard and Ultimate license people along with a dozen or so maps that I created for people to use for common scenarios. You can upgrade from the standard to the Ultimate license.

The pack we sell on Steam is the Standard license. There is DLC for the Upgrade to Ultimate. There is also a buy 3 get 1 free pack of standard licenses. Which option is best for you depends on the make-up of your group. If you have a fixed number of people where multiple people might want to DM, then the 4-pack deal is probably a good way to go. If the DM is mostly the same but there are a large number of players (perhaps multiple groups) or they rotate in and out players a lot, then the Ultimate probably makes more sense.

The other option is the subscriptions. These act the same as the Standard and Ultimate but you pay a monthly fee of $3.99 or $9.99 to keep it active instead.

Clear as mud yet?
 

transtemporal

Explorer
Clear as mud yet?

You've framed in a lighthearted way, but this is actually a barrier to your product. People should have questions about the functionality sure, but they shouldn't have questions about the distribution or subscription model. That should be so clearly spelled out and accessible that even a complete nonce can get it. I don't want to get down on you or anything because I think its cool there's a product for 5e, but its also frustrating that I had to ask here to make sense of it.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
It may be a barrier to some, but it's due to providing more options. Sales people will tell you to limit the options to two or three things. If you look on our store page, we've framed it as Option #1 Subscriptions or Option #2 Lifetime License and then Show the small # of options underneath each of those two choices. We have a link to an FAQ about subscriptions in that area and a link underneath the whole section to a chart that compares license types - much like you see with other software packages.

Short of removing options, I don't see how we can make it clearer.
 

The software itself looks very cool, but as Ryan Dancey would say, the value is in the network. How many people are playing 5E on FG? How easy is it to find players and DMs compared to Roll20? Judging by the Guild House forum, it seems...limited...but I don't know if that's the right way to compare. The FG software may be appropriately priced, but it's worth $0 if I can't put a good gaming group together. Other than the Guild House, where do I look to evaluate that?
 

smiteworks

Explorer
You can also look in the 5E forums.

Since launching on Tuesday, there are a flood of new users who have come to Fantasy Grounds and picked up both of the Complete Core modules and the Lost Mine of Phandelver. I'm not sure how long it will take these new users to get comfortable enough to host a game, but I would expect to see a lot more games getting scheduled for 5E. I've also been approached by a number of DM's and a few coordinators about running Adventurers League games online using it. This approach has been popular with the Pathfinder Society Games run on Fantasy Grounds and it ends up with more games getting posted that are open to newer players. I expect a lot of groups form and don't go back looking for new players unless they lose a player.
 


Plus the flood of players from Steam, honestly the only thing that limits me finding a game has been my time schedule.

I gather you've been active on FG awhile, so is that because you already have a network to draw on? Again, just looking at the Guild Hall (I checked the 5e forum as Smiteworks suggested, but the game posts were far more sparse there -- I did find a thread started by a guy who couldn't find a game!), there doesn't seem to be much recruitment activity. I currently count 58 5E campaigns recruiting on Roll20.

Is this a fair way to compare the level of activity? If not, what is? Where do you go to find all the games you don't have time to play? ;)

Alternatively, of course, I can wait until activity picks up. I don't need to be in a hurry. I just wanted to make sure I was looking in the right place(s).
 

Dire Bare

Legend
You've framed in a lighthearted way, but this is actually a barrier to your product. People should have questions about the functionality sure, but they shouldn't have questions about the distribution or subscription model. That should be so clearly spelled out and accessible that even a complete nonce can get it. I don't want to get down on you or anything because I think its cool there's a product for 5e, but its also frustrating that I had to ask here to make sense of it.

Smiteworks is trying to provide options, and I appreciate that.

However, I agree with transtemporal, FG *might* be better served by a simpler pricing structure, even if it ends up restricting the current pricing options.

I would merge the "standard" and "ultimate" license so that every license allows full access to the software plus hosting games for everybody! I would expect this single license to be less expensive than $150, but more expensive than $40. Maybe $60? And, of course, keeping the free demo license available. However, I would understand if such a pricing structure wouldn't generate enough revenue for FG, although I would hope with the "D&D bump" they could sell licenses at a lower cost and greater volume. Totally armchair quarterbacking here! :)

I would also love to see a FG "D&D Edition". The FG merged license (as above) plus the complete D&D trilogy (PHB, MM, DMG) for one price.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
It may be a barrier to some, but it's due to providing more options. Sales people will tell you to limit the options to two or three things...Short of removing options, I don't see how we can make it clearer.

You have an entire huge thread of smart people who are your likely customers who are confused by your pricing model. Even if you really want to maintain more options than salespeople recommend, isn't it possible there is a better way to present that pricing model? I don't know, as I am not professional marketing consultant.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I would also love to see a FG "D&D Edition". The FG merged license (as above) plus the complete D&D trilogy (PHB, MM, DMG) for one price.

Absolutely.

As an analogy, car companies have vans. The van can be sold with 3-4 rows of seats behind the driver/passenger row, for carpooling or large families. They can be sold with two rows back there and a good sized storage space. Or they can be sold with no rows back there and all cargo space. But when the dealership is talking to a delivery company, they don't talk about all those options - they say here is the price for a cargo van, and they market it as a cargo van. It doesn't matter that it can be configured other ways - their audience obviously mostly cares about one way to configure it.

This is a D&D audience, and you just launched a big deal flagship D&D-oriented product. Why the heck is it not being marketed to that audience with a single D&D price? Just tell me what it costs for a group (through a DM) to buy the game engine, the core books, and the ability for all their players to load all the classes and create any character and play with that DM, with a good amount of D&D tokens.

Don't make me add up the price for the game engine, or a different price for that engine but with unlimited players, and then the price to add the PHB rules, and then the price for the MM rules, and another price for the DMG rules, and then then price for the Basic classes, and the price for all the classes, and the price for a D&D token set, etc.. I am going to add it all up anyway, but by the time I've gotten there myself my enthusiasm is deadened substantially and I start to worry about how you're going to nickle and dime me going forward as new products are released - a thought that was not previously going through my head when I was just excited and wanted to hit a BUY button for the whole thing.

I strongly suspect a heck of a lot of gaming groups out there just want one price phrased two ways - up front for lifetime, or monthly, and have it be for the full D&D package. They do not want to buy a hamburger, and then pay separate for the pickles, and separate for the onions, and separate for the lettuce, and separate for the ketchup. Just sell me a friggen hamburger and tell me what it costs, and give me a BUY button to push.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
It may be a barrier to some, but it's due to providing more options. Sales people will tell you to limit the options to two or three things. If you look on our store page, we've framed it as Option #1 Subscriptions or Option #2 Lifetime License and then Show the small # of options underneath each of those two choices. We have a link to an FAQ about subscriptions in that area and a link underneath the whole section to a chart that compares license types - much like you see with other software packages.

Short of removing options, I don't see how we can make it clearer.

The options aren't necessarily the issue. Its how you package, explain and present the options. For example, the usability of that page is not great. The packages need more space, and they need a big clear thing that says "Which option is right for my group?" because by the time I get to this page, I'm thinking "Features look good, now I just have to figure out price and which option to go with, so... what are the options that best fit my groups gaming requirements?" It should'nt be an anonymous link under one of the options (I didn't even notice the link until you mentioned it).
 

transtemporal

Explorer
I strongly suspect a heck of a lot of gaming groups out there just want one price phrased two ways - up front for lifetime, or monthly, and have it be for the full D&D package. They do not want to buy a hamburger, and then pay separate for the pickles, and separate for the onions, and separate for the lettuce, and separate for the ketchup. Just sell me a friggen hamburger and tell me what it costs, and give me a BUY button to push.

Exactly! Its nice to have the option to buy seperately because that caters to people who want to buy that way... but wheres my option to buy everything in one go?

Also, I just want to play 5e. I imagine the instances where someone downloads the software without knowing what game system they want to play are very rare, so making me download FATE, 3.5, 4.0 etc just clutters up my interface and makes me download additional stuff I don't want or care about. To continue Mistwell's analogy above, you buy the van and it comes with several sets of extra seatbelts of varying colours and fabrics. Sure its nice to have extra seatbelts, I guess... but realistically, they're just going to gather dust in a box in the garage.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
I would merge the "standard" and "ultimate" license so that every license allows full access to the software plus hosting games for everybody! I would expect this single license to be less expensive than $150, but more expensive than $40. Maybe $60?

Yep, totally agree. The pricing could probably do with some simplification. It's cumbersome and probably too expensive but for me it was mainly the explanation of the options.
 


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