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.

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(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

Ondath

Adventurer
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 :)
That's a very thorough answer and it does dispel most of my worries! My current campaign is in 5E anyway as it's been going on for 2+ years, so I'm curious to see how Level Up on Foundry will be by the time I start a new campaign.
 

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PhilBest

Explorer
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.
Are you asking about Level Up system numbers or Foundry numbers?

For Foundry itself, it's difficult to find solid figures on the number of software installations, but it's in the hundreds of thousands at this point. The official Discord server has 50,000 people, and the FoundryVTT subreddit is sat at 33k. Both of these represent the dedicate core of the user base.

As for moving over from Roll20, my group were trying to escape Roll20 for years, but we were never really able to find something that had the feature set we needed. We learnt about Foundry when it was barely out of beta, and we haven't looked back. It's just been going from strength to strength since then, and the upcoming v10 release looks like another big improvement.

As for the Level Up system, about 0.9% of Foundry users currently have the system installed, which represents a few thousand people. Most of these are not active games, but we do have a fair number of users already using the system to run their Level Up campaigns. We've been getting very positive feedback from those games.

While the system is absolutely usable in games right now, I personally think the system needs a touch more work before it's going to be suitable for most users. There are significant missing features, such as the system compendia and certain pieces of automation, but we already have a community effort underway to complete the parts of the compendia we can't easily automate, and the automation features are on the roadmap and under development.

A few months from now, the system is going to be amazing.
 


PhilBest

Explorer
I don't really have anything to ask but I juat wanted to pop by to thank PhilBest. The answers you're giving here are incredibly detailed and alleviate a lot of my doubts.
That's exactly how comunication should be handled.
Keep up the great work!
I'd rather give too much detail than leave people guessing and coming to their own conclusions haha!

By the way, I just saw your earlier message asking about a roadmap. A lot of discussion surrounding the system is taking place in the online-tools channel of the EN World discord server. If people want to keep up to date with system development, that's the place to be. You'll also find a roadmap pinned there noting the upcoming major features.

EDIT: There's now a community Discord server for the Level Up FoundryVTT system. That's now the best place to keep track of things to do with the system and the surrounding community.
 
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noodohs

Explorer
I think for me, I'm not terribly concerned about getting 5e modules that enhance functionality working in Level Up, it's more about the ones that provide content. For example, we backed a number of projects that add monsters, class options, etc and provided 5e-compatible modules for Foundry 5o make it easy to use that content. It's be nice to have some way to use those, maybe if there was just a module that could translate them? That might be against the rules of those creators, though, so... I dunno. Just a wish, I suppose. Can always create whatever we need as we go.
 

PhilBest

Explorer
I think for me, I'm not terribly concerned about getting 5e modules that enhance functionality working in Level Up, it's more about the ones that provide content. For example, we backed a number of projects that add monsters, class options, etc and provided 5e-compatible modules for Foundry 5o make it easy to use that content. It's be nice to have some way to use those, maybe if there was just a module that could translate them? That might be against the rules of those creators, though, so... I dunno. Just a wish, I suppose. Can always create whatever we need as we go.

Don't worry. I fully intend to support the content people have bought for their 5e games. I spoke about this a few days ago in this thread.

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.

The precise form this functionality will take is not clear right now, and it's something I'd like to spend some time discussing with the community to make sure it's done right. It may turn out that we need to provide several separate pieces of functionality to provide the support for what we want, and if so, that's the approach we'll take.

I think it's also worth contacting the publishers of this content directly about supporting the Level Up system. While a converter is good, native support is better, and if we have a functional migrational tool, we can provide these publishers with Level Up ready content based on their existing offerings with little effort.
 

dave2008

Legend
Don't worry. I fully intend to support the content people have bought for their 5e games. I spoke about this a few days ago in this thread.



The precise form this functionality will take is not clear right now, and it's something I'd like to spend some time discussing with the community to make sure it's done right. It may turn out that we need to provide several separate pieces of functionality to provide the support for what we want, and if so, that's the approach we'll take.

I think it's also worth contacting the publishers of this content directly about supporting the Level Up system. While a converter is good, native support is better, and if we have a functional migrational tool, we can provide these publishers with Level Up ready content based on their existing offerings with little effort.
I don't use Foundry (or any VTT yet), but I feel like your work to get LevelUp running deserves some support. Is there a way I can throw some money at your LevelUp development efforts?
 


PhilBest

Explorer
He's been paid well, never fear! :)

While I thoroughly appreciate you funding the early development of the Foundry systemand everyone should be thankful of that—this is now a community project being developed and managed by people volunteering their time. Please don't discourage members of the community who want to back the project one way or another.

I don't use Foundry (or any VTT yet), but I feel like your work to get LevelUp running deserves some support. Is there a way I can throw some money at your LevelUp development efforts?

Thank you, Dave. If you're interested in supporting the project, you can find information in the system repository.
 


Nebulous

Legend
@PhilBest I also appreciate your thorough and non-vague answers. Although I HAVE Foundry I am not using it, and frankly, I have had a hard time getting past the learning curve. That's probably more of a user error issue than a system issue. I'm two years deep into Roll20 and I frankly love the system, although the learning curve for that was steep too, but after thousands of hours invested (and lots of money) it not easy to step away from, much less asking my players also (I have mentioned Foundry VTT to very unenthusiastic replies). Full automation is not something super important to me, although I do wish Roll20 had more of it. Maybe it will down the road. I will continue to keep an eye on A5e and Foundry. Probably in the next 6 months it will make incredible strides and come together in a way so that I can jump into A5e and Foundry with both feet.
 

PhilBest

Explorer
@PhilBest I also appreciate your thorough and non-vague answers. Although I HAVE Foundry I am not using it, and frankly, I have had a hard time getting past the learning curve. That's probably more of a user error issue than a system issue. I'm two years deep into Roll20 and I frankly love the system, although the learning curve for that was steep too, but after thousands of hours invested (and lots of money) it not easy to step away from, much less asking my players also (I have mentioned Foundry VTT to very unenthusiastic replies). Full automation is not something super important to me, although I do wish Roll20 had more of it. Maybe it will down the road. I will continue to keep an eye on A5e and Foundry. Probably in the next 6 months it will make incredible strides and come together in a way so that I can jump into A5e and Foundry with both feet.

Hopefully, I can tempt you soon haha 😁
 

PhilBest

Explorer
Hey everyone,

We're currently putting together the last bits of the system compendia, and we could really use some help with the monsters. This doesn't require any knowledge of programming. All you need to be able to do is correctly set up a monster and its features within Foundry.

If you're interested in helping, there are some threads open for the various compendia in the community Discord server with additional details. Everyone is welcome, so if you want to keep up to date with system news or even just hang out, feel free to join.

Thanks!
 

PhilBest

Explorer
I just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the compendia. The monsters are basically finished now, with dragons being the last piece of the puzzle. We're also chugging along with the class feature compendium. There's currently an effort to finish these sections going on in the community Discord server if anyone wants to help out!

I anticipate that there will be a system release this Sunday (April 10th) Monday (April 11th) that will include the various compendia. Expect them to be a little rough at first, but we'll continue to refine them over the next few releases. Once 0.6.0 has been released, I'd really appreciate reports of any incorrect entries on the system's GitHub repository. These reports make the system better for everyone.

Hopefully, you're all as excited for the compendia as I am! Not long now! 😁
 
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Zaukrie

New Publisher
I'm starting a new campaign, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to use a beta characters sheet with people that are not thrilled about moving to a new VTT that I've never used.....Still thinking about it.
 

PhilBest

Explorer
I'm starting a new campaign, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to use a beta characters sheet with people that are not thrilled about moving to a new VTT that I've never used.....Still thinking about it.

As you note, this is a beta release, and there are definitely some things that the system currently lacks. Does that mean that the system doesn't have the things that you personally need? Not necessarily. We have people in the community who would be happy if we left the system as it is, and there are others who are itching to get certain new features. Everyone's needs are different.

I should also say that the beta flag really represents my opinion that the system isn't where I want it to be yet. My group doesn't yet use the Foundry system for our weekly game, because for my GM, the feature set isn't there yet. At the same time, we have plenty of people running campaigns with the system right now.

The big questions are, "How soon is your campaign starting?", and, "What features can't you live without?".

If you already have Foundry, I'd recommend downloading the latest version of the system and playing around. I'd also recommend joining our Discord community so that you can get some additional opinions. The community is really friendly, and people are happy to answer questions. I'm sure somebody would be more than happy to invite you to a test game if you don't own Foundry yourself as well.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
For me? The big issue would be having to enter all the monster info by hand. (assuming I understand where we are right now). I just have zero interest in that.

And, if I can't actually run them there, I may as well stay on roll20 (where I also can't run them, but at least my friends and I have used it).

I actually have a Forge account and Foundry license, but have not used it at all......for reasons that are both good and bad, I guess.
 


PhilBest

Explorer
For me? The big issue would be having to enter all the monster info by hand. (assuming I understand where we are right now). I just have zero interest in that.

Every monster in the game has been included in the new compendium pack, so there is no monster setup to speak of. They even have art and tokens :)

Oh and I did join the discord (mikesixel).

Oh, great! I remember seeing you join. I look forward to chatting with you over there.
 

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