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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DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I think my initial post in this thread still stands as written, but I do want to add three thoughts:

One, congratulations to SmiteWorks for landing this license;

Two, I'm sorry the license was so damn expensive, and I hope continuing with it proves to be economically feasible; and

Three, thank you for expending the time and effort to clarify so much information in this thread.

I am still not a customer, but for what it is worth you have earned my good will.
 

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Torgaard

Explorer
I'm not sure if its just my inexperience, but the maps included in the phandelver module seem to be too low-res to use as battlemaps in the VTT. This isn't a big deal to me since I already own the high-res versions purchased direct from Mike Schley's website, but it could be a letdown for people who buy the module and expect it to be ready to play out of the box.

I whipped up alternate versions of the first two dungeon crawls in Lost Mine of Phandelver, which you can snag HERE. I've also started cranking away at Hoard of the Dragon Queen maps, which can be found HERE.

I use Devin Night's and Raymond Gaustandes tokens. Some of Raymond's come with the table. Devin had done a Kickstarter awhile back where he did a crapload of the standard monsters and NPC's, and his "Kickstarter Set" on his site is perfect for hitting the ground running with 5E. He's also got a whole bunch of really cool player tokens on his site as well, some of them free!
 

Barantor

Explorer
Here is the thing.. I can do the same things that FG does without the high cost of it on other programs.

For those shopping around -

Roll20 - browser based so it works on all OSes, also has an android/iphone app now. Lots of knowledge about this one so I won't cover it so much. Lots of utility and they charge for packs of maps and such if you want them but the base things are completely free.

Maptools - older python/java based program that works with all OSes. The DM has to learn a bit more than roll20 to use this, but it is completely free to use. Some community made utilities like embedded character sheets, maps and item sets. Has a great token creator and dice program that are also separate from the virtual tabletop part.

Tabletop Simulator - Newer program, works on all OSes. Full 3d table with physics and physical rolling with dice. This program won't do the math for you or track your character sheets, but as far as giving you the same experience as a home game it comes pretty close. Tons of community made content that you can download for free. Base game cost is $15 and each participant of the game has to pay that once to gain access, but no other cost is required. Comes with other things like cards and board games for those that like playing those on off nights.

Fantasy Grounds - topic of this conversation only works natively on Windows. Has licenses for 5E. Players play for free but are limited to what the DM has in his/her account. Large lifetime license cost or smaller subscriptions and add-on costs.


For me the choice was easy. If my players were willing to all pay $15 and buy tabletop simulator we used that and played things like cards against humanity and heroquest when a player was missing for D&D. I already have the books in physical form and I'm the DM so I'm not interested in digital tools linked to one program that I either have to pay more for than the original books, or upkeep a subscription like an MMO.

I don't care if it makes me use character sheet files or look things up in my books I already have at my computer, FG is too much of an expense to do something that I can do for WAY less cost.
 

Just wanted to leave a quick review of this after I bought everything yesterday (As someone who formerly used Roll20 for helping enhance my F2F games with a projector and HDTV)

(snip)

Initial verdict is positive. I will post a more detailed review as I gain familiarity with the software. For now, I'll continue to use Roll20 until I'm comfortable enough with the new interface to be willing to run a live game with it.

Whether in this thread or another, I'd like to hear more in the future as you try it out more. I know FG is primarily geared towards a VTT, but like you, I would more likely consider using it to enhance F2F with a main screen on a TV for everyone with maps and images and then people on individual laptops. I was going to try demo licenses on a couple computers to see how it goes, but someone actually trying it for realsies for a similar purpose would of course be better.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
I'm not sure if its just my inexperience, but the maps included in the phandelver module seem to be too low-res to use as battlemaps in the VTT. This isn't a big deal to me since I already own the high-res versions purchased direct from Mike Schley's website, but it could be a letdown for people who buy the module and expect it to be ready to play out of the box.

The default token selection for player characters is weak - they have a GREAT selection of portraits, and I was surprised that these portraits hadn't been converted into tokens. Maybe this is something they can add in the future. Again, not a huge problem since I already have an enormous token library I developed for Roll20.

For the maps, we typically include a DM version of the map and a player version that hides the hidden stuff and is scaled for token placements. Some of the maps were actually for 10' per square instead of the more standard 5' squares for tactical maps. We generally try to find a good balance between the visual quality and the final size to make sure it loads quickly for a large number of connected players. Make sure that you hold down CTRL when you have a map open so you can see all the push-pins that are clickable. The encounters should then auto-place the bad guys where they start and into the combat tracker. For everything, we drive based off the combat tracker, so remember to add things to the combat tracker first and then drag from there to the map to hook up the auto-targeting and other "intelligence"

Here is a pic with the push-pins and the DM fog of war shown.
View attachment 67796

Regarding the tokens based on the portraits, that is a good idea. Perhaps we can look at adding those in the near future. If you already have a bunch of tokens, you can create a tokens\host folder in your FG app directory and add them there. Sort into folders underneath there to sort them and then you can search by name as well. If you want players to have access to any of these tokens (not normally necessary), then you can put them under tokens\shared.

Thanks for sharing your feedback.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
Here is a quickly made video showcasing the character sheet and building a character using one of the available data packs. Note that you can enter these things yourself, but it does save more time.

[video=youtube;nurEMR4JJeU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nurEMR4JJeU[/video]
 

Agamon

Adventurer
I'm a long time, if very irregular, user of FG. When War of the Burning Sky first came out for 3.5e, I bought some FG licenses to play it online. We didn't need to play online, we just wanted to try it out. That campaign only lasted a half dozen sessions before player availability changed to the point of having to cancel the game.

I next used in 2011, when 3 of the players in my main group moved away. We used to play Pathfinder. While the software does some neat-o stuff, my biggest take away was that it got really cluttered, really fast. I even tried double-screening it with my TV, and it still was hard to find things with the battle tracker, monster stats, map, dice, etc. That game also didn't last long. I mostly blame the ruleset the players whined for me to use, but the frustration of using FG didn't help.

Now I doubt all that can really be cleaned up at all, one needs all these things to run a game. But has it been made easier to locate things when you have 8 or so windows open during a fight?

The point is likely moot as those players that moved away 5 years ago are now all back and we're about to resume playing tabletop after using Roll20 for a couple years. But I am interested, as I have an FG license, and maybe using this with tabletop might prove useful...
 

smiteworks

Explorer
Here is a new video showing how you can enter in your own NPC records. Remember that if you get the data packs, you'll get all those monster already entered along with their full descriptions, their image you can share with your players and the tokens.

[video=youtube;f-POluSDHAc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-POluSDHAc[/video]
 

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