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

Zaukrie

New Publisher
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, great! I remember seeing you join. I look forward to chatting with you over there.
oh, then I need to figure out how to get that onto the Forge where I have my Foundry! Nice.
 

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I assume the system developers have heard the news about WotC acquiring DnD Beyond. They will almost certainly make their own VTT at some point. This will be interesting, and quite possibly have an impact on the Level Up system on Foundry.

There are probably about three main ways DnD Beyond access could be affected. I'll list them in order of what I consider best to worst case, rather than likelihood.

1) WotC provides authorized ways of accessing your DnD Beyond content in all supported VTTs (and starts supporting Foundry), with no additional cost for those who have already purchased the content (or a subscription lets you import all of your currently owned content into another VTT, and it remains if you unsubscribe). They would insist unofficial modules cease of course, but at that point it wouldn't be a problem for those who just want their material transferred into another VTT, and don't care about integrating with Beyond while playing.
2) WotC changes nothing, so importer modules can still be created, and need to be in order to access that functionality.
3) WotC stops allowing 5e content outside of their own VTT entirely, so all the other VTTs will be catering solely to other RPGs or people who are willing and able to manually enter all the 5e material in.

I expect something like #1, but I'm concerned that they might set it up so that you need an ongoing DnD Beyond subscription to use your material in other VTTs (and if they end up requiring that for their own VTT, they will certainly do so for access outside of it). That would really be frustrating for me. I just want to get my $800ish of content into my VTT of choice so I can drag and drop monsters, items, spells, class features, etc. without spending like literally a year trying to recreate it by hand.

#3 is probably the second most likely, but it would hit other VTTs hard, so the likelihood of it happening is based on how much of a jerk whoever is making the decisions decides they want to be.

What we were previously hoping would keep going (#2) is the least likely outcome in my estimation. That being said, they might not do much until they come out with the new core books in 2024, so there is likely at least a few months (and possibly over a year) of breathing room until we know what's going to happen.

As new as the announcement is, I'm sure you guys haven't had a lot of time to decide what you plan to do moving forward, but I'll be interested to hear what you come up with. For my own self-interest, I'd very much like it if, as soon as the Foundy system is developed far enough for it to work well, you were to create a content importer to grab all my stuff from DnD Beyond so I will be able to have access to it in Foundry going forward regardless of what WotC decides to do. You could probably get MrPrimate to share code with you so you can adapt what he did rather than starting from scratch if it shaves months off the development time.

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.

This will be great. Making a better 5e system is absolutely doable, and I'm a little surprised no one has done it yet. It's a great opportunity, and if successful, it will also be marketing for Level Up, since people that don't know about or aren't even planning on playing Level Up could adopt it because they want a better 5e system, and then be exposed to the options for all of this Level Up stuff, prompting some of them to get interested in Level Up. And for those of us using a customized hybrid, it will be exactly what we need.

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.

This also will be a boon to 5e in general (whether O5e or A5e). Having an alternative 5e system that is more like the other leading systems, rather than the idiosyncratically bare bones one that is currently the only option, will be great for everyone. Module developers that spend a lot of time trying to get the stock 5e system working in Foundry how most people would like it to work can put their effort to other things, and everyone gets a smoother experience free from the bugs that get introduced when you have dozens of modules running.
 

PhilBest

Explorer
I assume the system developers have heard the news about WotC acquiring DnD Beyond. They will almost certainly make their own VTT at some point. This will be interesting, and quite possibly have an impact on the Level Up system on Foundry.

I have heard the news, but I actually don't see a new VTT as very likely.

As is stands, every major general purpose VTT simply has to support 5e. The overwhelming market share 5e has in the TTRPG space means that the success or failure of a VTT can actually rest on how well they support 5e. Because of this, WotC are getting decent or better support on every major VTT platform for free.

When we consider that making a new VTT is very easily at least a 6-figure project, and operating that VTT has substantial ongoing costs, I just don't think it makes financial sense for WotC to bother developing their own platform. It doesn't really get them anything that they're not able to get already.

We also have to consider WotC's past bad experiences in this space that may make them more hesitant.

As new as the announcement is, I'm sure you guys haven't had a lot of time to decide what you plan to do moving forward, but I'll be interested to hear what you come up with.

Until we know more, I don't really think there's anything to decide. At the end of the day, we simply don't know what is going on inside WotC, and any speculation may end up being way off the mark. I think it would be a waste of time and effort to plan for the future here when we have no useful information to work with.

For my own self-interest, I'd very much like it if, as soon as the Foundy system is developed far enough for it to work well, you were to create a content importer to grab all my stuff from DnD Beyond so I will be able to have access to it in Foundry going forward regardless of what WotC decides to do. You could probably get MrPrimate to share code with you so you can adapt what he did rather than starting from scratch if it shaves months off the development time.

This is definitely something on the long-term roadmap. It may be the case that we contribute to MrPrimate's module to provide Level Up support rather than the other way around, but this isn't something we're in discussions about at the moment.

Once we get to a point where this kind of integration starts to make sense, there'll be plenty of discussion about how that will work. Everyone is more than welcome to weigh in on preferred solutions at that point :)

This will be great. Making a better 5e system is absolutely doable, and I'm a little surprised no one has done it yet. It's a great opportunity, and if successful, it will also be marketing for Level Up, since people that don't know about or aren't even planning on playing Level Up could adopt it because they want a better 5e system, and then be exposed to the options for all of this Level Up stuff, prompting some of them to get interested in Level Up. And for those of us using a customized hybrid, it will be exactly what we need.

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more! I think the Foundry system is going to be a very important tool for raising awareness of the Level Up ruleset going forward. The 5e user base on Foundry is massive, and if Level Up provides a better user experience for 5e than the 5e system does, people will gradually trickle over.

As for why it hasn't been done already though, a system is a pretty massive undertaking, especially for a ruleset this complex. So far, the system has hundreds of hours of development time, and the recent compendia have required dozens of hours in data entry by the community as well. We're only half done.

Module developers that spend a lot of time trying to get the stock 5e system working in Foundry how most people would like it to work can put their effort to other things, and everyone gets a smoother experience free from the bugs that get introduced when you have dozens of modules running.

Again, I totally agree. I'd rather the system took care of the really fundamental stuff very well, so that module developers can work on much more interesting stuff!
 

noodohs

Explorer
I actually don't think it's that farfetched to think WotC will have their own VTT at some point. While I don't disagree with your rationale as to why they might not, at the same time, D&D Beyond already has a character builder, combat tracker, and has said that they intend to make a map system in the future. I highly doubt it will ever off the sort of functionality that something like Foundry does, but I also think that all of that development work is why WotC wanted to buy D&D Beyond. Now they have a successful platform with web tools that people like, the risks and monetary investments are low. And because it has been so hacky and annoying to play 5e in Foundry, IMO, and honestly still kind of a pain in other VTTs, it would be pretty easy to convince people to switch over. "Hey, you already own all your content here, why not play the game here, too? No need to repurchase, all you need is a subscription!"

Having said all that, I don't think it's terribly relevant. Level Up may be compatible and based on the 5e ruleset, but it is still a completely different system and there's no reason you wouldn't be able to just add in whatever you want from 5e as homebrew. We do that all the time in our 5e game for 3rd party content.
 



PhilBest

Explorer
Just released 0.6.3 with a number of compendium improvements. You can find detailed release notes on the GitHub repo.

Another release is coming early this week that will add a new Adventuring Gear pack to the system compendia along with a few minor features. A number of things in 0.6.4 are only going to be relevant to module developers, and this release will remove a roadblock stopping the new Concentrator module from being released. There will still be some things for players and Narrators though, of course!

With the system compendia near enough complete, work on the system is going to shift back towards new features, starting with the completion of the resource consumption config. That will allow for automatic resource consumption and, subsequently, effect scaling based on resource use.

If you're not a member already, I strongly recommend joining our community Discord server, as a lot of discussion about upcoming features takes place there, and we'd love to have your input.

Enjoy the new release :)
 
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PhilBest

Explorer
Hello everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know that version 0.6.4 has just been released! The big thing for 0.6.4 is the inclusion of the Adventuring Gear compendium pack. You should now be able to drag just about all of the equipment you'll ever need onto your sheets with no configuration.

A few missing actors were also added to the compendium with this release, mostly from the Monstrous Menagerie appendices. Somehow we managed to miss city guards of all things... 🤦‍♂️

You can find a full change log here.

Hope you enjoy the release!
 

PhilBest

Explorer
Hey again!

0.6.5 was just released with a bunch of new features and fixes 🎉

Here are a few highlights:
  • NPC and PC sheets now include a Passive Perception score.
  • NPC sheets now list the Maneuver DC for the monster.
  • Elite monster support.
  • Ammunition has been added to the Adventuring Gear compendium.
You can find a more detailed breakdown here.

Also, I just wanted to mention again that we do have a community Discord server for the Foundry system. As feature development picks back up, we'll be taking a lot of feedback from the community within the server, so it's a great place to make suggestions and request new features :)

Enjoy the new release!

Edit: 0.6.5 includes an incorrect default ability score for Persuasion checks. I've just released 0.6.6 which addresses the issue, but if you've already opened a world updated to 0.6.5, your existing actors will have this incorrect setting. I'll release a small script to correct all of these actors that will be posted in the Discord server and in the 0.6.6 release notes.
 
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PhilBest

Explorer
Me again... 😁

Just released 0.6.7! This release includes a number of small QoL features, and adds a bunch of things to help module developers. With the new additions, the recently released Concentrator module will work even better (no update needed), and we'll soon have support for Automated Animations.

You can find full release notes here.

Enjoy!

Update: Work has started on the magic items compendium pack over in the community Discord server. If you'd like to volunteer to help out, we'd love to have you. The new pack should be released in 0.6.8 next week :)
 
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PhilBest

Explorer
Love the work on this - thank you!

Is there anywhere I can get a document with the variables that can be called like @MOD?

Hey!

In the Discord server there's a pinned message in the #macro-help channel with a bunch of attribute references. We'll soon be adding a wiki with information like this, as well as a reference page within Foundry.

The main ones are @str.mod, @dex.mod, @con.mod, etc., @level, and @prof. You can also reference save mods with @str.save.mod and so on.

If there's something else you need, let me know, and I'll see what I can do to add it in the next release :)

Edit: I think it's fairly clear, but I realised I never explained @level and @prof. @level is total character level, and this doesn't fall back to CR for NPCs. @prof references the actor's proficiency bonus.
 
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