Blog (A5E) Level Up: Now on FOUNDRY VTT!

For fans of the Foundry virtual tabletop platform, our initial package for Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition is now available for free.

Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 3.43.28 PM.png

(Yes, I completely made up those stats!)
We're excited to present the beta release of the Foundry VTT Level Up system! The system is game-ready, but this release is only the beginning: you can expect plenty of new features over the coming weeks.

The core sheets provide handy automation features, from roll buttons to automatic resource tracking, as well as rich filtering to help keep your sheet organised.

While we packed a lot into this first release, some major features are yet to come. These include an interface to manage Active Effects and a suite of system compendiums containing all the great monsters, equipment, spells, and features from the Level Up system.

We hope you enjoy playing Level Up on Foundry!

If you have any feedback or want to report an issue, you can get help here.


Installation​

For now, to install you will need to use the following Manifest link:


You should past that link into the Manifest URL field at the bottom of the System Installation tab. For more help on installing via a Manifest link, check out this page at Foundry’s website. Level Up will be added to the main list soon.

manifest.png


Other VTT Platforms
Don’t forget, Roll20 fans can already get Memories of Holdenshire on Roll20, and they can get the Level Up character sheet on Roll20 for free. Fantasy Grounds is also producing its own in-house implementation of Level Up.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Gnorr

Explorer
Many thanks for the replies.

The conversion sounds very helpful, but am I correct to assume that 5E-specific automation (specifically midi-qol) will not be usable with content converted to A5E?
 

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PhilBest

Explorer
Many thanks for the replies.

The conversion sounds very helpful, but am I correct to assume that 5E-specific automation (specifically midi-qol) will not be usable with content converted to A5E?

That's correct. Midi is unfortunately so tightly tied to the 5e ruleset that compatibility was always going to be impossible.

Level Up will instead have it's own suite of automation modules, some of which have already been released, to provide similar advanced automation options for Level Up users.

It's also worth noting that the core system will be more feature rich than 5e in several regards, so some of the modules you're used to may not be necessary when moving to Level Up on Foundry.
 


Paulohsm42

Villager
Hey,

Regarding question 1, no, this is not currently possible.

The underlying data model in Level Up is different from that in the 5e system, and Level Up Foundry actors and 5e Foundry actors are not compatible. There are ways to automatically convert between the two, and I aim to provide support for this directly within the system, allowing users to seamlessly translate their existing 5e content to Level Up.

As for Holdenshire, work is already underway to bring the adventure to Foundry. A module should be available in the near future with everything you need to run the adventure.

Hope that answers your questions!
You sir, are a saint. Creating new items, spells and actors (NPCs) monsters from scratch is currently being the worst obstacle in using the system. I wish you all the luck!
 

Phenomen

Explorer
I love how the character sheet looks – so clean and much better designed than DnD5 one. Great work, @PhilBest

Incompatibility with 5e is not a big deal since I find Midi QOL and other modules to be overkill with its complexity and full automation. But the lack of content modules hurts... Can't use Kobold Press bestiaries and some other premium modules with A5E...

I wonder if official Level Up content (Adventurer's Guide, Monstrous Menagerie, Trials & Treasure, etc.) is coming as premium modules? I would buy it day one.
 
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PhilBest

Explorer
I love how the character sheet looks – so clean and much better designed than DnD5 one. Great work, @PhilBest

Incompatibility with 5e is not a big deal since I find Midi QOL and other modules to be overkill with its complexity and full automation. But the lack of content modules hurts... Can't use Kobold Press bestiaries and some other premium modules with A5E...

I wonder if official Level Up content (Adventurer's Guide, Monstrous Menagerie, Trials & Treasure, etc.) is coming as premium modules? I would buy it day one.

Hey,

Really glad you're enjoying the sheet 🙂

Most of the content from the Adventurer's Guide, Monstrous Menagerie, and Trials & Treasures is coming to Foundry for free and will be included in the system as compendia. The SRD that Morrus is working on will define what is ultimately included, and from what we know so far, this will be everything mechanical. You won't get images or fluff text, but class features, spells, items, and so on should all be in there.

I'll see what I can do to get existing 5e content modules to work in Level Up in the future as well. The more content, the better!
 

Khitan

Explorer
Is there a roadmap for what´s coming for the Foundry System?
In a couple of months I will probably gm a new campaign and I was thinking about using LU5e but, since I use Foundry extensively, my choice of system would be also based on Foundry functionality (I have a very extensive and delicate module setup for my games) so knowing (more or less) what´s going to be ready and when would be awesome!

Also: would kickstarter backers have access to only the srd content (when it´s out) or would they be able to get access to all the manuals they bought?
 

Is there any sort of ETA on when content modules will be available? I saw that there were releases on Fantasy Grounds, and was wondering when the books would be available for Foundry.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is there any sort of ETA on when content modules will be available? I saw that there were releases on Fantasy Grounds, and was wondering when the books would be available for Foundry.
Transcribing 1500 pages of text is a huge task. I’ve been working hard on the SRDs (which the compendiums would use) for a few months now and I’m about 60% done. So… I guess the answer is “when it’s done”. I don’t really have an ETA on when I’ll finish that.

I reckon Smiteworks must have thrown somebody at it full time to get it done!
 

Ondath

Adventurer
I assume it is a bit too late to give this feedback in the design process, but I'd strongly, strongly suggest that you make the system files (somehow?) compatible with the O5E system. There are a lot of automation modules that make life easier, but work only for Worlds created with O5E. I'm guessing that the current Foundry implementation uses an entirely different configuration structure for actor and item sheets, and if that's the case, it would make it really hard to port the O5E automation to Foundry.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I assume it is a bit too late to give this feedback in the design process, but I'd strongly, strongly suggest that you make the system files (somehow?) compatible with the O5E system. There are a lot of automation modules that make life easier, but work only for Worlds created with O5E. I'm guessing that the current Foundry implementation uses an entirely different configuration structure for actor and item sheets, and if that's the case, it would make it really hard to port the O5E automation to Foundry.
I use arkenforge rather than foundry so only follow the discussion there out of vague curiosity, but there are quite a few other modules & such that were already updated or ported over to work with it and I remember seeing discussions about specific ones at times in the past. You might want to ask about the specific bits you are hoping for in discord since they might already be supported or have an equivalent already :D
 

Transcribing 1500 pages of text is a huge task. I’ve been working hard on the SRDs (which the compendiums would use) for a few months now and I’m about 60% done. So… I guess the answer is “when it’s done”. I don’t really have an ETA on when I’ll finish that.

I reckon Smiteworks must have thrown somebody at it full time to get it done!
I understand it's a huge task, and was just looking into progress so that I can make a purchase decision.

Thanks for being so clear about when this will be done. I might be better to say "It won't be complete for at least (x) months," instead of supplying a non-answer.
 


I assume it is a bit too late to give this feedback in the design process, but I'd strongly, strongly suggest that you make the system files (somehow?) compatible with the O5E system. There are a lot of automation modules that make life easier, but work only for Worlds created with O5E. I'm guessing that the current Foundry implementation uses an entirely different configuration structure for actor and item sheets, and if that's the case, it would make it really hard to port the O5E automation to Foundry.
That's an important consideration for whether I can benefit from the Foundry integration or not. Other D&D adjacent systems in Foundry seem to natively include a lot of popular functionality that you can only get in the 5e system with modules, so it's reasonable to assume that the Level Up system would have such things too.

However, that doesn't mean it will have the things that I (or you, or someone else) particularly considers must have. If it were engineered so could use 5e modules, that would be ideal.

For me, I have hundreds of dollars worth of content on DnD Beyond that I need to be able to import in and use, so there needs to be at least that level of compatibility. Beyond that, I'm playing an O5e/A5e hybrid system, so I won't be using all of the rules of Level Up. That means whether or not it will work for me also depends a lot on how easy it is to get around rules I don't want.

So basically, in a few months when I'm ready to import my long-term campaign into Foundry (using Foundy to play Memories of Holdenshire in the 5e system right now), I'll have to examine the state of the 5e system and the Level Up system to determine:
  • Will Level Up work with the DnD Beyond Importer?
  • Does it have the functionality I find most important in 5e modules?
  • Are there any other issues with using it with existing 5e content (a compatible baseline so it could work with 5e modules would be great here)?
  • Is it easier for me to work around the functionality holes in the Level Up system than the ones in the 5e system?
  • Which has the most enjoyable user experience, beyond those other considerations?
Just a note on what I will personally be interested to see about the Foundry Level Up system in order to make my decision.
 


PhilBest

Explorer
I assume it is a bit too late to give this feedback in the design process, but I'd strongly, strongly suggest that you make the system files (somehow?) compatible with the O5E system. There are a lot of automation modules that make life easier, but work only for Worlds created with O5E. I'm guessing that the current Foundry implementation uses an entirely different configuration structure for actor and item sheets, and if that's the case, it would make it really hard to port the O5E automation to Foundry.
I've addressed this topic in a number of places, and it's always difficult, because most people who are not actively developing content for Foundry have faulty assumptions about how something like this will work, or what the consequences will be.

For example, here you talk about making the underlying data compatible with the 5e Foundry system, and your assumption is that this will allow existing 5e modules, particularly automation modules, to work with Level Up. That's simply not true. These modules rely on a great deal more than the underlying data model, and often rely on implementation details in various system document methods.

This causes some problems, because now we have to expand upon the 5e system functionality, while preserving the specific details required for these modules to work, while also keeping up with any changes to the 5e system as we go. Any changes we might make could break a module, and users of the system wouldn't know which modules are fully supported, kinda supported, or not supported at all as a result. The situation would be fluid. This isn't a good situation to be in, especially when the 5e system itself doesn't manage to preserve module compatibility from version to version, and they don't have this extra layer of compatibility to consider.

Creating a completely new system, with its own data model, was not a decision taken lightly, and the consequences were considered. Those consequences simply didn't outweigh the massive benefits we could gain by being free to make our own decisions about the system features. Solutions to any potential problems were also considered, of course. So what's the plan?

First, we want to provide a means of automatically migrating 5e content to Level Up. Data transformations like this are already done in the system when changes are made to our data model, and there's no reason we can't use a similar process to migrate from the 5e data model to the one used in the Level Up system. The challenge comes in handling all of the potential use cases. Some people are going to want to import individual Actors or Items, while other people may want to migrate a whole world. Some people are going to want to be able to use tools like the DDB importer, so there needs to be allowances for that.

Supporting 5e content is a big draw of the ruleset, so we should make efforts to fully support it in the system too. To this end, I'm also planning to provide a version of the 5e SRD content in a Level Up compatible compendium. This will be provided via a free content module.

Now let's move onto automation. The 5e system on Foundry is intentionally an extremely automation-light system, designed to match the feel of playing in person with a paper sheet. Modules heavily prop up the 5e system, providing a lot of features that are native to other systems. The Level Up system is going to be much more feature-rich than the 5e system, and already includes, at this early stage, a lot of functionality that the 5e system simply doesn't have.

We also already have modules being developed specifically for Level Up, mostly aimed at providing a suite of automation tools similar to those we find in modules for 5e. Some of these will be phased out as the core system develops; others will be added to expand functionality in other ways. The system is still very young, and the ecosystem needs time to develop.

I'll close by saying that a great many modules are system agnostic and work totally fine in the Level Up system already. Some people are running in excess of 80 modules with no compatibility issues to speak of. I'll also say that you shouldn't expect 5e automation modules to ever run in the Level Up system. Those are often extremely tightly bound to the 5e implementation, and even small changes can cause them to fail catastrophically. You should expect Level Up to have its own suit of tools, just like every other Foundry system, but, as I said, you should expect to need fewer modules in Level Up.

Hopefully, that addresses your questions and concerns :)
 

PhilBest

Explorer
For me, I have hundreds of dollars worth of content on DnD Beyond that I need to be able to import in and use, so there needs to be at least that level of compatibility. Beyond that, I'm playing an O5e/A5e hybrid system, so I won't be using all of the rules of Level Up. That means whether or not it will work for me also depends a lot on how easy it is to get around rules I don't want.

So basically, in a few months when I'm ready to import my long-term campaign into Foundry (using Foundy to play Memories of Holdenshire in the 5e system right now), I'll have to examine the state of the 5e system and the Level Up system to determine:
  • Will Level Up work with the DnD Beyond Importer?
  • Does it have the functionality I find most important in 5e modules?
  • Are there any other issues with using it with existing 5e content (a compatible baseline so it could work with 5e modules would be great here)?
  • Is it easier for me to work around the functionality holes in the Level Up system than the ones in the 5e system?
  • Which has the most enjoyable user experience, beyond those other considerations?
Just a note on what I will personally be interested to see about the Foundry Level Up system in order to make my decision.
While I can't give you a specific timeline for all of the features we hope to provide in Level Up, I can at least give you an idea of what I intend to provide.

First of all, you should absolutely expect to be able to play using a hybrid ruleset in the system. My goal is to provide sheet-level settings to change parts of the interface to better accommodate different rulesets as well as world-level settings for various mechanics. The ultimate aim would be to support 5e better than the 5e system does, and I think it's an achievable goal.

As for the DDB importer, I can't guarantee that the specific module will work, but as I mentioned in my response to Ondath, the goal is provide a means of automatically migrating content from 5e to Level Up. I also wouldn't be opposed to creating a Level Up specific module for importing content from places like D&D Beyond. People absolutely should be able to make use of all the content they've purchased over the years.

Regarding module compatibility more generally, I think a safe assumption would be that no 5e specific modules are going to work in Level Up. Again, in my reply to Ondath above, I mentioned that many of these modules simply won't be necessary.

To give a specific example, there are three or four competing roll modules for the 5e system right now, and almost nobody is using the default 5e roller. These are not the only modules for this purpose that have ever existed either, as several more have been abandoned. Very recently, the Better Rolls module was left without a maintainer, and this would have been a major blow for my existing 5e setup had somebody else not stepped in to take over the project. I don't think this is a desirable situation, which is why the Level Up roadmap includes some quite detailed roll configuration options to allow people to tailor the roll experience to be whatever they want. It'll never stop being supported, and it should provide enough flexibility to meet most use cases.

The majority of modules you use are not system-specific, however, so you should bank on most of your modules surviving a transition to Level Up. Depending on if we've provided compatibility layers for those modules, support may even be better.

Development for the system has been moving very fast, so keep an eye on things going forward. If the system doesn't meet your requirements right now, a month or two from now, it probably will.
 

TheSword

Legend
I would be fascinated to hear how purchasing of this goes. There is a lot of pull towards Foundry for WFRP and I hear how massive Pathfinder 2 is on Foundry. However with no stats or indications it is hard to work out whether this is more than a few vocal advocates. An idea of the scale would go a long way to establishing faith in Foundry.
 



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