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)

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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jshauber

First Post
Ah, ok. I suppose that would be OK. Is it easy to remove the fog of war? I do like dynamic lighting, but I hate having to build it on every map by hand...

The fog of war in FG is a mask that covers the entire map. as the players move the GM simply unmasks the portions the players can now see. You can either do it as a box or you can hold control and drag the mouse to custom unmask areas.
 

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RSKennan

Explorer
I'm just a long time Fantasy Grounds user (pretty much since it launched), and not a fanboy per se. I see things that I wish the software would improve on, but I'm confident that they will as time goes on. Still I wanted to chime in on this thread.

Roll20 vs Fantasy Grounds is a matter of false economy first, and completeness of the feature set second.

with Roll20, the base use of the software is "free", but they offer a subscription for extra storage and features like dynamic lighting.

With Fantasy Grounds, the best bet is a one-time purchase that you never have to make again, where you get as much storage as you have on your own computer. There is no dynamic lighting yet, but I've seen indications that it's coming. Instead, we have a good old fashioned fog of war mask that you delete progressively.

With Roll20, you get "character sheets" that don't interact with what's going on in the game.

With Fantasy Grounds you get character sheets that interact with the game. When you attack, you target a creature, roll a check or force a save by activating the ability on your character sheet, and the software remembers whether you hit, crit, or the enemy made their saves. Next you apply damage or effects, automatically increased for a crit. Conditions like blinded deafened, etc, are automatically modeled mechanically in the game, so that the creature will roll the appropriate checks at disadvantage, etc. Effects wear off when they are supposed to.

I could go on and on, but I won't belabor the point.

Fantasy Grounds comes into its own as game preparation aid for playing online, or as a map solution/GM aid at a live table game. For players it offers a lot of automation that allows them to focus on being in the game world rather than having to look everything up as often as can happen live.

The new modules are part of a system of Extensions and Modules that let you run a growing variety of rules systems, and apply your own house rules to the way FG automates things. Extensions generally change the scripting or add new features, while modules include things like content and randomized tables, in world calendars, etc.

The key is, you can create extensions and modules yourself, or benefit from the ones created in the community.

As for the price of the new 5e modules, you can avoid all of it with a bit of work. The cost then becomes your time. You can do what the rest of us have been doing and "Parse" the rules into usable modules that contain everything Smiteworks is offering and whatever else you want to add. Using the parsing tools, I've been adding my campaign-specific content in the form of a growing rulebook that my players can access.

I'm thrilled that Smiteworks is offering the work done for free, but I personally already have it done. I've been using the content I worked on for a while now. This doesn't change anything for me immediately, but it does promise that people who would rather just pay for the content might try out Fantasy Grounds. It's great in that sense.

So those of you on the fence, keep thinking about it. Watch some Youtube videos. There are even actual plays online. Smiteworks is made up of mostly coders, and not PR people. They sometimes don't have the time to devote to pointing out how awesome the software is, and why you really do need it if you play online.

Thanks,

-Someone who wants more people to game with.
 

jshauber

First Post
Something you might want to consider if you are on the fence about FG is the upcoming FG-CON next weekend.

There are a wide range of events being run including some 5e events that still have space. Check it, see how it works and ask questions of the GMs they are all very good and willing to help show anyone how FG works and give pointers to overcome the learning process.

http://www.fg-con.com/events/

Also, the FG forum is really helpful for answering specific questions about any of the rules sets for FG.
 

Gecko85

Explorer
I'm just a long time Fantasy Grounds user (pretty much since it launched), and not a fanboy per se. I see things that I wish the software would improve on, but I'm confident that they will as time goes on. Still I wanted to chime in on this thread.

Thanks for your write-up. I'm most excited about the prospect of not having to build the published adventures manually, like I do in Roll20. It took me many hours to build-out Lost Mines. I would gladly have paid $19.99 to have it done for me. I'm hoping they get Princes of the Apocalypse done soon, as that's likely what I'm running next.

Like I said in a previous post, we would use it at a live table as our map, rather than playing online. So, all the combat stuff, while cool, is something we wouldn't use. (I have played fully online, including a full online playthrough of Lost Mines, so if I do that again it sounds like FG will be a nice way to go.)
 

neobolts

Explorer
You can make characters for your players in advance or they can log onto your game and make their characters while connected. It would be recommended to also buy the D&D Basic Rules and Theme pack in addition to the FG license because it includes the basic races and the 4 basic classes. It will give you a good idea of the difference between building a character from a library module or building it with a plain character sheet and no data pre-loaded. You can then create all your own monsters and drag in your own maps and images. You can put your tokens in your tokens\host or tokens\shared folders.

First off, thanks for stopping in and answers questions here. It says a lot about your operation. :)

With the DMG not yet implemented, how do things like treasure and traps work? For example, if you were running a custom campaign rather than Lost Mine of Phandelver (which has its own treasure and traps built in).
 

RSKennan

Explorer
Thanks for your write-up. I'm most excited about the prospect of not having to build the published adventures manually, like I do in Roll20. It took me many hours to build-out Lost Mines. I would gladly have paid $19.99 to have it done for me. I'm hoping they get Princes of the Apocalypse done soon, as that's likely what I'm running next.

Like I said in a previous post, we would use it at a live table as our map, rather than playing online. So, all the combat stuff, while cool, is something we wouldn't use. (I have played fully online, including a full online playthrough of Lost Mines, so if I do that again it sounds like FG will be a nice way to go.)

One thing you can do live, as a GM is track the combat from the NPC side using FG. You can roll enemy attacks against multiple foes with one click, and track PC HP and conditions that way.

Your call of course. One thing I did forget in my last post- Fantasy Grounds is a *lot* prettier. :D
 

You can make characters for your players in advance or they can log onto your game and make their characters while connected. It would be recommended to also buy the D&D Basic Rules and Theme pack in addition to the FG license because it includes the basic races and the 4 basic classes. It will give you a good idea of the difference between building a character from a library module or building it with a plain character sheet and no data pre-loaded. You can then create all your own monsters and drag in your own maps and images. You can put your tokens in your tokens\host or tokens\shared folders.

How much would it cost me to have everything? Monthly and one time fee.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
First off, thanks for stopping in and answers questions here. It says a lot about your operation. :)

With the DMG not yet implemented, how do things like treasure and traps work? For example, if you were running a custom campaign rather than Lost Mine of Phandelver (which has its own treasure and traps built in).

You can create your own treasures in advance and they will be stored in a window full of Treasure Parcels. Most DM's start with a map, build a story entry and then link the story to the map and the treasures, npcs and encounters to the story. If you need a magic item that isn't yet available, you can create that item or derive it from an existing item and then drag that into your treasure parcel along with whatever coinage you have. Once the players discover or earn that treasure, you typically drag it to the Player's Party Sheet and then divvy it out with a click of a button.

We already have a bunch of the DMG done, we just want to put in some new code and functionality for it before we submit it to Wizards of the Coast for review. For instance, there are tons and tons of random tables and magic items and those are all ready. We are really hoping that we can come up with a cool option to allow for some fully automated treasure building steps, compilation of magic weapons with a base item + magical properties and stuff like that. I'm not sure yet if we'll be able to do that prior to launch or if we'll have to look at releasing a straight port first, followed by some additional enhancements after the fact.
 

Nylanfs

Adventurer
One note on FG con, Smiteworks upgrades all the full licenses to Ultimate for the con so nobody has to buy to play at the con. Just install the demo and get registered for a game at the fg-con website.
 

jeffknight

First Post
I see a lot of folks griping about the price of the 5e content for FG. Besides the hours of use you will get from it, don't for get it is "Officially Licensed" material and thus WotC probably has some say in what it can be priced at.

Be thankful the guys at Smiteworks were able to obtain the licensing and put in all the work to make it available to the online community at all.

As an FG user I have been waiting for 5e content and I realize how much time/effort went into programming all the content that is included. Seems a small price to pay for hours of gaming enjoyment with friends from all over the country/world....

Ditto. I have been spending 2 hours or so a week (wish I could have spent more, but that was all I had) parsing the player handbook to add into the game and I just finished the classes last month. There is a massive amount of work that has to be done to get stuff into the game from scratch. I gladly paid the $$ for the modules this afternoon. It really comes down to "How much is your time worth?" For me, it was a no-brainer. I got stuck on the Ranger parsing for 2 weeks before I found a typo in my own typing that was causing the module to not compile.
 

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