Pathfinder 1E Paizo announces Paizo Game Space


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Votan

Explorer
Since I am not using any online service, it is more than I possess now.

Agreed.

While the WotC subscription was inexpensive, it does make me look at the value proposition more carefully. I am happy to pay for tools, but my expectations go up a lot relative to services that are free.
 

Mark CMG

Creative Mountain Games
I'd imagine a lot of this development will inform the Goblinworks MMORPG design which is already well funded. It is likely meant, beyond being just a VTT, to also be a way to present a crossover or even a gateway to the MMORPG.
 


Azgulor

Adventurer
But also remember, you get what you pay for....

Given the uproar on this board over the D&D VTT getting axed and the fact that some folks apparently were only interested in paying for DDI to get the VTT, your little reminder is hilarious.

We'll see what, if anything, comes from the Paizo announcement. But this is the wrong topic in which to load the particular bullet that you've chosen.
 


Given the uproar on this board over the D&D VTT getting axed and the fact that some folks apparently were only interested in paying for DDI to get the VTT, your little reminder is hilarious.

We'll see what, if anything, comes from the Paizo announcement. But this is the wrong topic in which to load the particular bullet that you've chosen.

No, all I'm saying is that everyone is ecstatic about it being free...I'm saying when it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that they want, you have to remember, you're getting what you're paying for.

I won't even start on DDI...I jumped off that boat a while ago...
 

Azgulor

Adventurer
Gotcha. Good point.

I'm in the "Wish them well but we'll see how it goes" camp myself. At present, I'm not sure I need a VTT. However, at least on paper, I like the approach Paizo is taking.
 

Tamlyn

Explorer
I, for one, don't want bells and whistles. I want a simple grid where I can drag and drop tokens, scribble on, and chat. Audio chat and access to pregenerated maps would be nice, but not necessary.

I don't want rules systems built in. I want it system-neutral. I don't want to be bothered with setting up my VTT for 3.5, PF, 4E, 5E or whatever. What if I use custom monsters or magic items? If the rules are pre-programmed, that makes my job as GM a lot harder. I have players who use PCGen and while it's a great tool, it doesn't easily support customization.

Besides, it's supposed to be a Virtual TABLETOP. My actual tabletop does not support rulesets, does not determine damage reduction, does not link to multiple electronic devices, does not automatically apply bonuses when spells are cast, etc... It's a simple tool that lets me and my players see the same thing.

I may be the only one, but that's all I want - a simple tool that lets me and my players (in this case, players in Georgia and Alaska with whom I no longer get to play) get together and see the same things.
 

nillic

First Post
My personal take on VTTs is that in addition to the map features, campaign management, and dice rollers, there needs to be a video and audio component. The chat feature is for secret notes.

Secondly, there needs to be apps developed that links mobile and tablet devices to the VTT so that players can have their character sheets, notes, and dice on their devices while looking at a screen that has the map and video. Their computer screen serves as the "table" while their personal devices serves as the "player's surface". The GM has his own.

Thirdly, additional apps should include rulesets that affects actions and gameplay. For example, if the party's cleric casts bless, everyone's character sheet is automatically updated with a +1 to attack rolls and their Will save is noted that they have a +1 vs. fear or the person who receives bear's endurance gets their Con adjusted, hp increased, and Fort save increased. These kind of apps will be invaluable because they can breathe life back into games that have overcomplex or heavy-bookkeeping rules. How many of you looked at crunch-heavy games and thought they were cool because you have all these awesome charts of critical hits or effects or other things, but during actual play, it was a real headache to update the character sheet and keep things moving?

Actually, I'm kind of surprised that there hasn't been apps for these rules, particularly for the ones with their own SRDs or Open License.

Also, these can aid traditional table-top play. The first is that with an app that links the mobile and tablet devices to the GM's iPad, you've gotten rid of regular character sheets and dice. Heavy rulebooks are gone too. With complex rulesets, you can affect characters beneficially or with harmful effects. For example, if you are playing Rolemaster, the app knows which weapon you're using so the die roll looks up the appropriate table, determines the damage, then rolls on the critical hit table and gives the result. The GM tablet displays the result as well and the monster affected has its stats updated.

Realistic rules such as encumbrance can be tracked better.

Some could argue that with all this technology, why not just play a MMORPG? It's going to come down to individual taste as well. For some games with complex rulesets, technology is a good boost to enhance the play experience and a VTT further adds to the fun. For really simple games or more free-form games, then a VTT or anything kind of tech isn't needed.

I can understand your desire for this kind of robustness in a VTT, but similar to what you said: if you're looking for a program that does all the book keeping for you, you should probably be playing a video game. If you're looking for an experience that doesn't include rulebooks, character sheets, management of bonuses, rolling on tables, etc then I don't think you actually want to be playing a tabletop RPG. I think you want Skyrim.

Also, the promise of this kind of robustness seems to be a cause of the failure of WotC's VTT to barely get off the ground. Paizo looks like they want to keep it simple and even accesible for any rpg that needs a grid and initiative tracking.
 

IronWolf

blank
That's the big one for me. I want to be able to copy and right-click paste images into the game window without any intermittent steps. No image file saving, no dialog boxes, just Snipping Tool or Ctrl+c and then I paste straightaway.

First browser VTT to offer that will probably have my business for life.

Roll20 lets you drag images to the map now.
 

IronWolf

blank
I, for one, don't want bells and whistles. I want a simple grid where I can drag and drop tokens, scribble on, and chat. Audio chat and access to pregenerated maps would be nice, but not necessary.

I don't want rules systems built in. I want it system-neutral. I don't want to be bothered with setting up my VTT for 3.5, PF, 4E, 5E or whatever. What if I use custom monsters or magic items? If the rules are pre-programmed, that makes my job as GM a lot harder. I have players who use PCGen and while it's a great tool, it doesn't easily support customization.

Besides, it's supposed to be a Virtual TABLETOP. My actual tabletop does not support rulesets, does not determine damage reduction, does not link to multiple electronic devices, does not automatically apply bonuses when spells are cast, etc... It's a simple tool that lets me and my players see the same thing.

I may be the only one, but that's all I want - a simple tool that lets me and my players (in this case, players in Georgia and Alaska with whom I no longer get to play) get together and see the same things.

I agree with you. I want simple and easy to use. A map, a place to drop some tokens, a whiteboard and chat pretty much get me by.

Luckily there are several already out there that do this today. MapTool (if you don't use all of its features), Tabletop Forge (for Google+ Hangout gaming), and Roll20 (web browser based or via Google+ Hangouts) are all providing these basic features today.

I am looking forward to see what Paizo puts out there though. Since simple VTTs don't require as much commitment to learn to use effectively I can easily play games on several. So if Paizo's takes off, then it will just be another place to game online - which can be a good thing!
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Roll20 lets you drag images to the map now.

But the images have to be saved to local files first. That's not what I want--I want to be able to paste without saving to a local file.

I'm not complaining that it's a whole bunch of extra work to save an image to a file, understand. But it takes enough extra time to create all those image files that I need to spend time before the game prepping encounters if I'm using a VTT that requires saved image files.

On the other hand, I know from experience that if I can copy-paste images, I can create setups mid-game, without prepping beforehand. For me, it's the difference between a tool that requires prep, and one that doesn't.

(I should clarify that the above assumes I'm running a published pdf adventure; obviously total off-the-rails homebrews will still need to be prepped anyway.)
 
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Alphastream

Adventurer
The thing is, is that when first launched and in its most basic form, it's going to be free to use. They are doing it this way because they want to get the software into the hands of their community for them to play with and to find more and more ways to improve upon the products.

Paid add-ons, etc... are things that don't particularly matter at this initial launch.
As I said somewhere else, we shouldn't be mad at companies for wanting to be profitable and to grow.

It is unlikely there are any mid-to-large RPG companies that have created a VTT just because they love us. They might very well love us (I believe most RPG companies do), but they have limited resources and staff and families to feed. They need to make money.

A VTT for a company like Paizo needs to have a purpose. It might be designed to just get people to hang out at the site. Or it might be designed to sell additional components, such as digital adventures. Regardless, there should be goals that make the benefits outweigh the costs.

When I read Lisa's statement on the forums, it sounded like the same things Wizards had said. "It's free... except, well, wait. We need some time to think this over and figure out the model." That's no good for them or for us. They should figure out the model very quickly and communicate it clearly. A company should not be at the screen shot stage and still figuring out what to offer. This should have been cemented ages ago.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
SNIP

When I read Lisa's statement on the forums, it sounded like the same things Wizards had said. "It's free... except, well, wait. We need some time to think this over and figure out the model." That's no good for them or for us. They should figure out the model very quickly and communicate it clearly. A company should not be at the screen shot stage and still figuring out what to offer. This should have been cemented ages ago.

I took Lisa's statement to mean that the primary purpose of the VTT was to shore up their AP subscription base in the face of 5E--both by adding value to the offering and possibly by providing another means of delivering the product. I certainly hope that their non-commitment doesn't mean they don't know why they're doing this. It's not really like them to forget to think about the bottom line.

Also, I question whether there's any good comparison to be made between the cost of developing a 2-D VTT in 2012 and the cost of developing a 3-D VTT in 2008. Based on what's already out there for free, I half suspect that the costs of development are low enough that Paizo can afford to just slap something together, put it out on the site, and wait to see how many people use it before snowballing it into a full-featured profit center. (Which, as I understand it, is more-or-less what they said they were going to do.)
 

IronWolf

blank
But the images have to be saved to local files first. That's not what I want--I want to be able to paste without saving to a local file.

I'm not complaining that it's a whole bunch of extra work to save an image to a file, understand. But it takes enough extra time to create all those image files that I need to spend time before the game prepping encounters if I'm using a VTT that requires saved image files.

On the other hand, I know from experience that if I can copy-paste images, I can create setups mid-game, without prepping beforehand. For me, it's the difference between a tool that requires prep, and one that doesn't.

(I should clarify that the above assumes I'm running a published pdf adventure; obviously total off-the-rails homebrews will still need to be prepped anyway.)

Ah. Roll20 can do tokens with their search option which has seemed reasonably decent when I looked at it. Tabletop Forge is adding art assets I believe as a result of their recent kickstarter.

But you are talking maps, handouts and such?

I guess any adventure I run I prep for it before the actual game. I can get all the images out of a PDF using SomePDF and have them ready in less than 10 minutes. So the time to prep the digital images doesn't bother me much as I am already allocating time to read the adventure and getting ready to run it ahead of time.
 



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