Recommend a Virtual Tabletop (VTT), 2022 Edition

Which VTT Do You Use/Recommend? (2022 Edition)


Foundry is the best fit I've found for the things I want to do. At the time I started looking for a VTT to run my own campaigns & one-shots with, I'd been playing several regular games (5e and Mighty Protectors) on R20 and working on a revamp of the available character sheet for MP.... but I admit I'd built up just a little anger toward R20 for charging me for the privilege of voluntarily improving one of their supported systems.

I spent a little time starting to learn the GM side of R20 but decided to try out Foundry and FGU at the same time, with some specifics in mind:

  • I had no prior investment in digital content on any platform, and being able to purchase official & supplementary content wasn't really a factor. My plan was to run a homebrew 5e setting with a mix of custom encounters and moderately-to-heavily-modified, grafted-in adventures from other sources, and I was willing to put in the time adding non-SRD items on an as-needed basis. (I've since bought a few D&D Beyond products for sheer convenience and used the DDB importer to bring them in.)
  • I still wanted to work on an MP system better than the R20 one. No such system existed yet in Foundry but I did discover that Foundry has far more flexibility in system design than R20.
  • I'm a tinkerer at heart and liked the idea of being able to modify how things work with some Javascript (without having to pay extra for access to do so).
FGU probably did much of what I wanted, and honestly I didn't get very far into evaluating it. The online demo wasn't very helpful, the videos I watched of it made the UI look a bit cumbersome, and the cost of entry seemed high. From everything I read it seemed like its automation features were its biggest strength, but I was leery of those in a "don't make my TTRPG into a video game!" sort of way. (I've since come around to the Gospel of Automating The Annoying Stuff That Gets In The Way, via various mods - which probably aren't yet as mature or plug-and-play as the FGU equivalents, but are steadily improving and do most of what I want at this point.)

So I was left comparing Roll20 and Foundry. At the time, though there were a small number of things I thought R20 did better (the process of rolling attack and damage in the default 5e system was clunky and not very configurable - but easily fixed with available mods; the initial sizing/positioning of maps was easier in R20; and why doesn't the core system allow me to long-click a spot on the map to have a marker show up there to draw the players' attention?), Foundry's feature set was just leaps and bounds ahead of what Roll20 offered in terms of lighting, fog of war, audio, etc., and running it at home offered far better performance than I was seeing while playing Roll20 games (this was in the early part of Coronapalooza when R20 was experiencing a lot of growth and lag spikes were common).

In general I just found it more pleasant to work with, and every single Roll20 DM/GM who's played in an adventure on my FVTT setup has made the move themselves. (Okay, it's two people total... but that's still every one of them! :) )

(Hopefully I'm not coming across as vehemently anti-R20... it's certainly a viable system that meets many people's needs just fine, for free in many cases, with support for a large number of systems and with a big marketplace full of supporting products.)

log in or register to remove this ad

Thomas Shey

I'll be up front: there are only a limited number of things I want out of a VTT: Map upload and manipulation, token movement, some basic fog-of-war, a dice roller--and not being dependent on someone else's server to operate. On these grounds Maptool works fine.

Roll20 Pro is the best, and they keep polishing it. We just got an addition to dynamic lighting that works one-way, so you and mark off elevated points/ground to that lower elevations cannot see them, but pogs on the higher elevation have no impediment to their view.

I have only used Foundry, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds (Unity) and Owlbear so far, so I cannot say too much about the others. Among these four, I would recommend Owlbear (especially the upcoming version 2.0 is looking great) and Foundry - at least if you have a good module for your preferred system (luckily, Forbidden Lands support for Foundry is quite solid). Fantasy Grounds works, but its looks and interaction design are a bit dated. Roll20 is something I avoid if I can.

aramis erak

the "other" I use is gTove
my other is the only one I've used recently: Foundary. If I had a dedicated x86 headless box to use as a server, it would be a priority for me, but it's not since I don't have a mini-box PC.

An Advertisement