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5E Most User-Friendly VTT? (Dice Games In The Time of Covid)

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I would say that "expensive" and relative. If you have a group, all you need it DndBeyond. If 7 people chip in, it's less than $4 per year if you just do the basics that let you create as many PCs as you want. Add in a little for the base 3 books (I don't remember how much that was) and hobbies don't get much cheaper.

Now that does assume people have internet access. You can easily spend more if you want and many people do so. But per hour of entertainment? I think it's pretty dang cost effective.

Don't have internet? Buy the 3 base books, players don't need anything but the PHB or even just the free basic rules for 80% of what they need.
 

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tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Bit late, but arkenforge put this guide together for their great offline meatspace tabletop software :D Figured I'd post it since it's the software I use with a tvbox for weekly games normally.
edit: it also has a discord here
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
A cheap hobby? Not IME. People drop a lot of money every year on gaming aids, both in form of Kickstarter campaigns and FLGS purchases.
Interesting choice of response. As for cheap, I suppose your experience is why there's lots of successful Fine Local Gaming Stores? Rhetorical question, they're actually failing all over because people don't buy enough product, or, if they are going to buy, look for discount sources like Amazon. Because, well, cheap.

I mean, take how much you spend on average in a given year, heck, take your best year of expenses. How many hours of proficient programming would that buy? How many hours of decent artists work? Would you be willing to spend that much on only buying a VTT designed as you want? In this very thread there are many comments about not wanting to pay $10/mo for the duration of the current crisis, let alone long term.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Interesting choice of response. As for cheap, I suppose your experience is why there's lots of successful Fine Local Gaming Stores? Rhetorical question, they're actually failing all over because people don't buy enough product, or, if they are going to buy, look for discount sources like Amazon. Because, well, cheap.

I mean, take how much you spend on average in a given year, heck, take your best year of expenses. How many hours of proficient programming would that buy? How many hours of decent artists work? Would you be willing to spend that much on only buying a VTT designed as you want? In this very thread there are many comments about not wanting to pay $10/mo for the duration of the current crisis, let alone long term.
But ... but ... it's on the web! It should be free! ;)

I think people underestimate how difficult voice/video chat really is. It's slowly getting better, but when people expect it to work seamlessly on every device despite connection quality ... it's asking a lot.
 

ardoughter

Adventurer
Supporter
I have said this before in another thread. I have some experience in FG Classic, I have FGU but no real experience. But you have specific queries, feel free to PM me. I will try to help and maybe I could stream a tutorial on Mixer for the individual in question. I operate in British time.
 

Matchstick

Explorer
I find Fantasy Grounds + Discord very effective. It's especially good for crunchier games (I guess for fluffier games one could simply use Discord).
That's what we've done as well, with TeamSpeak before Discord came out. I find FG a lot more intuitive than Roll20 (and I was a Roll20 Kickstarter backer). There's just something about Roll20 that doesn't click with me, even though I've tried and tried.

Plus I can't stand subscription fees. Everything FG I've purchased I've paid one flat fee for and never looked back. I've had core FG since 2006 and gotten every patch and upgrade they've released and it's cost me nothing extra. Roll20 free? No problem. Roll20 (or anyone) subscription? No way.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Interesting choice of response. As for cheap, I suppose your experience is why there's lots of successful Fine Local Gaming Stores? Rhetorical question, they're actually failing all over because people don't buy enough product, or, if they are going to buy, look for discount sources like Amazon. Because, well, cheap.

I mean, take how much you spend on average in a given year, heck, take your best year of expenses. How many hours of proficient programming would that buy? How many hours of decent artists work? Would you be willing to spend that much on only buying a VTT designed as you want? In this very thread there are many comments about not wanting to pay $10/mo for the duration of the current crisis, let alone long term.
Evidence that game stores are failing at a rate greater than the average specialised retail business failure rate?

there are always cheap people, no matter the product or service or industry in question. Often, they’re loud and persistent.

That doesn’t mean they’re the norm.

D&D nerds spend absurd amounts per year on kickstarters.
Hero Forge is bustling and just finished a very successful KS campaign.

DDB has multiple millions of subscribers for a service that you can use free and manually add stuff instead of paying for it if you have the time and patience.

DND sales are higher than they’ve probably ever been.

I’m curious what market info points the other way, even in simple general terms.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Evidence that game stores are failing at a rate greater than the average specialised retail business failure rate?

there are always cheap people, no matter the product or service or industry in question. Often, they’re loud and persistent.

That doesn’t mean they’re the norm.

D&D nerds spend absurd amounts per year on kickstarters.
Hero Forge is bustling and just finished a very successful KS campaign.

DDB has multiple millions of subscribers for a service that you can use free and manually add stuff instead of paying for it if you have the time and patience.

DND sales are higher than they’ve probably ever been.

I’m curious what market info points the other way, even in simple general terms.
Well, this is an interesting side discussion, but I'll be honest I can't take it very seriously when you're asking for evidence that FLGS are in trouble while claiming DDB has millions of subs.
 

Cheap? Yea I think RPG gamers are cheap. It doesn't mean we don't spend money, but we do so in very strange ways.

Where I live there are over 3 million people in one of the top 5 urban areas in the US. Want to know how many RPG game stores we have? 3, assuming the Games Workshop place hasn't closed.

A million people per FLGS? yea, crazy.

But then when folks would rather pirate a pdf than pay $10 for an official PDF, or expect their local store to provide Amazon prices for a hard copy. Or complain about a VTT that costs less than $1 per hour of use.

But they are happy to buy a $40 or $100 bottle of alcohol for game night or spend $50 at a bar for a couple hours while they use their pirated PDFs on their tablet...

Maybe we are not cheap, but we sure have a funny way of spending our money to support those that create content for what we say we want to support.

I get it that models have changed, I haven't bought dead tree RPG in years, and I very rarely buy PDF. But I do buy VTT products and their DLC. And I support Patreons and others that provide content I wish to support. And I don't wine about prices because I know the tens of thousands of hours that go into such things.
 


tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Cheap? Yea I think RPG gamers are cheap. It doesn't mean we don't spend money, but we do so in very strange ways.

Where I live there are over 3 million people in one of the top 5 urban areas in the US. Want to know how many RPG game stores we have? 3, assuming the Games Workshop place hasn't closed.

A million people per FLGS? yea, crazy.

But then when folks would rather pirate a pdf than pay $10 for an official PDF, or expect their local store to provide Amazon prices for a hard copy. Or complain about a VTT that costs less than $1 per hour of use.

But they are happy to buy a $40 or $100 bottle of alcohol for game night or spend $50 at a bar for a couple hours while they use their pirated PDFs on their tablet...

Maybe we are not cheap, but we sure have a funny way of spending our money to support those that create content for what we say we want to support.

I get it that models have changed, I haven't bought dead tree RPG in years, and I very rarely buy PDF. But I do buy VTT products and their DLC. And I support Patreons and others that provide content I wish to support. And I don't wine about prices because I know the tens of thousands of hours that go into such things.
Im in south florida & there are plenty of them in the major metro areas around here. They make the majority of their money from comics, collectibles, & tcg* sales/tournaments, but they all devote plenty pf space to rpg game books/accessories , but that doesn't stop them from making some decent extra cash charging 2-5$/head for AL & stuff on the other nights. The 80's style flgs with nothing but books went away or evolved.

*Ie magic the gatthering/pokemon/etc cards
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, this is an interesting side discussion, but I'll be honest I can't take it very seriously when you're asking for evidence that FLGS are in trouble while claiming DDB has millions of subs.
Yeah, you seem to think there is an obvious contradiction there, but there isn’t. Every ddb user I know buys products at their flgs. Ddb is primarily used at physical tables, which is also where people use maps, physical dice, minis, etc.

🤷‍♂️

You claimed that FLGSs are going under, as if to suggest they are doing so more than at other times, but I can’t find literally any evidence to support that.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Im in south florida & there are plenty of them in the major metro areas around here. They make the majority of their money from comics, collectibles, & tcg* sales/tournaments, but they all devote plenty pf space to rpg game books/accessories , but that doesn't stop them from making some decent extra cash charging 2-5$/head for AL & stuff on the other nights. The 80's style flgs with nothing but books went away or evolved.

*Ie magic the gatthering/pokemon/etc cards
Yeah I have 2 1/2 (one is mainly a comics shop but also does tabletop games) in my metro area of ~350k people, while the greater area around me has at least two more in the smaller towns.
 

Oldtimer

Great Old One
Publisher
I find Fantasy Grounds + Discord very effective. It's especially good for crunchier games (I guess for fluffier games one could simply use Discord).
Since I've now installed FG and set up incoming communication, I'm looking for a way for us to talk. People seem to like Discord. What's the advantage over a simple Skype call?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Yeah, you seem to think there is an obvious contradiction there, but there isn’t. Every ddb user I know buys products at their flgs. Ddb is primarily used at physical tables, which is also where people use maps, physical dice, minis, etc.

🤷‍♂️

You claimed that FLGSs are going under, as if to suggest they are doing so more than at other times, but I can’t find literally any evidence to support that.
No, you've misunderstood. It was the requirement for proof of my claim while stating that DDB had millions of subs, a dubious claim. The rpg market is estimated around a $35 million and tou're saying that at least 2 million people are paying $72 a year in subs? I think your ideas of scale and spending in this hobby are off.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Since I've now installed FG and set up incoming communication, I'm looking for a way for us to talk. People seem to like Discord. What's the advantage over a simple Skype call?
First, skype is going away (supposedly) in about 3 months in favor of MS teams.

Last night my tech support friend from AZ and I had our first meeting on Zoom (he told me about skype then) and it was great. Not that hard to figure out, has a white board, and with the share screen feature I had a map on my second screen for him to see, etc. It is $15/month, but only for the host. So, we agreed each month one person would pay the fee by reimbursing me through paypal. With four of us eventually using it, that is $45/year or less than $1/session if we play weekly. Even on my budget, I can handle that!
 

Baumi

Explorer
Really? Does no one else use MapTool?
I do and love it :)

But I don't use it for every campaign, Card Management for Example is easier in Roll20 and some Systems have great support so much less work then creating that stuff in Maptools.

But overall it is free, fast (local computer), no space limitations (again local Computer) and has a ton more features (much better Macros, Stats saved in Token,..) than any VTT that I have seen. It can have a steep learning curve, but only if you want to use the more advanced stuff. It also works on Mac and Linux which might be important to some groups.

Btw. since I had to check out Video-Chat Systems for my Company, I whole hardy recommend Jitsi. It's like Zoom but free (open-Source, you can also host it yourself), there are no accounts and it's extremly easy. All you have to do is go to Jitsi Meet and it already asks you for a channelname. It also has a free IOS and Android App for those without a good Camera/Microphone.

You can also share your Screen or a Windows in it (great for explaining something to your players), the only thing I am Missing is a Whiteboard Feature, but you could just Screenshare a Paint-Window.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Since I've now installed FG and set up incoming communication, I'm looking for a way for us to talk. People seem to like Discord. What's the advantage over a simple Skype call?
In Discord one can effectively create a persistent room for each game, and give members of each room local labels and rights. So that there can be a DM, players, etc. I don't know if Skype has that.
 

Matchstick

Explorer
In Discord one can effectively create a persistent room for each game, and give members of each room local labels and rights. So that there can be a DM, players, etc. I don't know if Skype has that.
You can also post pictures in chat, and there are die roller macros.

We just use it for voice chat, so Skype would be the same, but there are differences.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

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