Let's talk Virtual Tabletops!

Thomas Shey

Legend
The DM before me is the odd-man-out; he always chooses Foundry. You'd have to ask him exactly why, though--every time I ask him what he likes about it, his response is something like "because it isn't Roll20" and while that's true, it's not a useful answer. He likes to stream animated maps, animated tokens, sound effects, ambient music, and animated spell effects, and Roll20 can really struggle with that stuff on nights when all their servers are busy. Foundry runs off of his computer, not a distant server...so he has a little more control over bandwidth. Maybe that's the biggest draw for him? It certainly would be for me.

That's the biggest reason I'd change to it if Maptool wasn't doing it; not because of bandwidth (I've got plenty of that these days) but because I'm not dependent on a third party's server.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
I'm with you. I actively DO NOT WANT it to handle mechanics. I was annoyed when I checked out D&DBeyond's Maps that I had to create a campaign first. I literally just want it to do a map, with tokens. No fuss.

I find the Fog-of-War kind of useful, and am starting to prefer macros for dice rolling, but the latter isn't strictly necessary.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Played in Roll20 once, and it was just OK. I didn't find it intuitive to use at all; fortunately someone else was doing the heavy lifting as GM for that game, and was willing to teach us. There was also a weird technical issue with the audio, which Roll20 tech support quickly gave up on fixing - that certainly didn't help my bad impression.

Well, honestly, I'm not sold I even want the VTT handling audio; Discord or Skype is right there, after all.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
Foundry is awesome, especially for Pathfinder 2e, but just in general. Taking time to curate a module list and get some real goodies feels great when they enhance play at the table, and the flexibility of the whole system is very much appreciated. The fact I can easily just draw maps inside or use ones others or mine have used is fantastic; the code and way of adding custom homebrew mechanics is very well done; compendiums and organisation is very easy; hell, there's things such as the journal system I haven't gotten my head around that also seem pretty clever.

It's just really wonderful for just 60 euro.

How good are the built-in draw tools in Foundry? That's one thing I have to say about Maptool; the drawing tools are--adequate. But I'd hate to try and do anything at all complicated with it; some things I don't think it could do at all.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
While I don't use Virtual Tabletop, preferring and able to play at live tables, I have used Map Tools, and RP Tools set, which is a FREE virtual tabletop application, allowing you to create "paint" style maps within it, and has all the fog of war, rotating doors and other features found in other top end paid for VTT apps. For some of the more complex things, it may require a little coding, which isn't in everybody's wheelhouse, but because of it, Map Tools makes a very usable VT application without spending money on it.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I personally prefer a bit more mechanical support (characters sheets and building up the set of dice for a roll), but similarly not full automation of everything. I'm inclined to say that the question of how much automation one wants is one of the major factors for choosing VTTs. I wonder how much separation in the market we will see in the future (at the moment a lot of tools seem to target full automation).

From what I get, the big-name ones do, but I don't think things like Owlbear Rodeo do, and Maptool is capable of handling more, but it involves someone sitting down and doing macro writing, which is non-trivial, so I don't think its a thing for the biggest part of its user group.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
While I don't use Virtual Tabletop, preferring and able to play at live tables, I have used Map Tools, and RP Tools set, which is a FREE virtual tabletop application, allowing you to create "paint" style maps within it, and has all the fog of war, rotating doors and other features found in other top end paid for VTT apps. For some of the more complex things, it may require a little coding, which isn't in everybody's wheelhouse, but because of it, Map Tools makes a very usable VT application without spending money on it.

Can you elaborate on this a little? As far as I knew RPTools was the generic name for the group that does Maptool (and Tokentool) so I assume you're talking about something else with "the RP Tools set".
 


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