Recommend A Virtual Tabletop (VTT)

Which VTT Do You Use/Recommend?

  • EpicTable

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Rolisteam

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • tabletopRPG.io

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Foundry VTT (closed beta)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Let's Role (closed alpha)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mythic Table (playtest)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Arkenforge (alpha)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    27

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So it looks like I'm going to be moving all three of my gaming groups (5e, Call of Cthulhu) to the virtual environment effective immediately. And I bet that I'm not alone...the pandemic is forcing a lot of us to self-isolate, limit social interaction, and in some cases, outright quarantine ourselves.

Many of us have used virtual tabletops for months or years, and have lots of advice and input for the rest of us who might not have. And thus, this thread was born!

I pulled together a list of available virtual tabletops from a cursory Internet search, but I'm sure it is by no means complete. The "greatest hits" are there, like Roll20 and FantasyGrounds, and a few of the rising stars like Arkenforge and Astral...but I'm sure I missed some gems.

Please recommend your favorite tabletop gaming software, platform, app, or method to the rest of us VTT N00bs. What programs do you like to use and why? Which ones are great for beginners, and which ones are more suitable for veterans? Are there other tools that you use or recommend for video, chat, or character sheets? Help us virtual newcomers to keep our campaigns active, our players engaged, and our DMs sane in the age of COVID-19.
 

ninjayeti

Explorer
Fantasy Grounds is my favorite BUT Roll20 is excellent also and may be better for your group if you are just looking for a short-term solution. (I haven't used any of the others)

Fantasy Grounds has a easier to use interface IMO. It has more stuff automated (buffs, debuffs, conditions, resistances, etc are applied automatically, e.g. if a barbarian has the Rage effect applied they will automatically add damage to melee attacks, have advantage on Str checks, and take half damage from bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage for 10 rounds) which is great but requires a bit more of a learning curve. Fantasy Grounds doesn't have a free option, but you can get a subscription or a one time license (NOTE: FG is upgrading to a new system which is still in beta so don't buy a license at this time.) Buying the books to to use through the interface is a bit cheaper than Roll20. (Roll20 tends to charge "cover price" for the new 5E releases, while FG charges the Amazon price, plus has frequent sales.) So you will need to pay to use it upfront but it is likely cheaper if you plan to use it long term.

Roll20's interface is clunkier and it doesn't have as many automated features, but it is pretty easy to pick up. It is "freemium" so you don' t need to pay to use the basic features, although the premium stuff is only available as a subscription and the books tend to be more expensive

Good luck with whatever you choose!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Looks like we are going to also be moving our 5E game to a virtual tabletop. So that will be Call of Cthulhu on Friday, and D&D 5E on Sunday. Are any of these VTT programs platform-specific?
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
So a popularity contest? Ugh.

You could actually get some valuable feedback if you actually put something useful in your question. What do you want out of a VTT? Do you care about die rolling? Character Sheets? Automation? Cost? Architecture? There are so many things that if you just say "recommend a VTT" All you will get is a list based upon popularity and not based on anything that will actually meet your needs.

So, what do you want?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So a popularity contest? Ugh.

You could actually get some valuable feedback if you actually put something useful in your question. What do you want out of a VTT? Do you care about die rolling? Character Sheets? Automation? Cost? Architecture? There are so many things that if you just say "recommend a VTT" All you will get is a list based upon popularity and not based on anything that will actually meet your needs.

So, what do you want?
I'd like to know what virtual tabletop you would use, and why...you know, one that you might recommend to a newcomer to virtual gaming. (See my first post for specifics.)

Because I'm currently making do with a webcam and Hangouts, and...well, it's not passing muster.
 
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ardoughter

Adventurer
My Roll20 knowledge is several years old but I reckon it is the easiest to get going but I found it clunky on the automation front. It may have improved since.
We switched to FantasyGrounds and have never looked back. There is a learning curve and after several years I am still learning new things about the application and new features that I did not realise it had.

I did look at Maptools and it does a lot but has quite a learning curve and my players were not interested in it.
 

Nebulous

Hero
I'm getting more used to Roll20 but have only used it 4 times. I have FG too but have found the learning curve steeper than I like. It is not clicking with me, I need a damn tutor. I've been looking at the The Foundry which has a few perks that beat the pants off both Roll20 and FG but it's not integrated as smoothly with 5e yet, although in time I think it will be. By the end of the year quarantine I assume :)
 

ardoughter

Adventurer
I'm getting more used to Roll20 but have only used it 4 times. I have FG too but have found the learning curve steeper than I like. It is not clicking with me, I need a damn tutor. I've been looking at the The Foundry which has a few perks that beat the pants off both Roll20 and FG but it's not integrated as smoothly with 5e yet, although in time I think it will be. By the end of the year quarantine I assume :)
What are you having issues with? let me know maybe I can answer.

I have done videos on the topic. Mostly for my own players and when I barely know more than they did :D. I hesitate to recommend them as I did not know much about creating that type of content and they have more dislikes than likes. A lot of people dislike the length of the intros.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I'd like to know what virtual tabletop you would use, and why...you know, one that you might recommend to a newcomer to virtual gaming. (See my first post for specifics.)

Because I'm currently making do with a webcam and Hangouts, and...well, it's not passing muster.
If you can do "Theater of the Mind", don't bother with a VTT. Just use a voice-over-IP solution wich can also push files and/or text.
 

Eric V

Adventurer
The customization in Map Tool has made it a winner for our group. The different frameworks one can make for different games is great; we've done frameworks for 4e, 5e, and 13th age. Macros for all the powers and spells, tokens with almost all the information on them...it's been great. I really recommend it.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
I'd like to know what virtual tabletop you would use, and why...you know, one that you might recommend to a newcomer to virtual gaming. (See my first post for specifics.)

Because I'm currently making do with a webcam and Hangouts, and...well, it's not passing muster.
I use Fantasy Grounds. There are lots of reasons but for me the top reasons are;
1) Architecture. I do not like my creations to be hosted by someone else. I don't want a browser based solution where I'm dependent upon someone else server or terms of service. I want all the content on my server and where I have complete control over it.
2) The company and the community. SmiteWorks is very customer focused and the community is exceedingly friendly and helpful. Check out the forums and checkout www.fantasygroundscollege.net for a totally free volunteer group that put together classes for people who want to learn more about FG.
3) Custom content and homebrew support. FG is very easy to create tons of homebrew in. Whether it is adding maps, stories, custom races, classes, monsters, etc it is very easy. And you can share and sell it if you want too (assuming you observe relevant licensing). I expect to pass my stuff onto my son, and I expect he'll be able to use it for another 40 years. I would not expect to be able to do that on a hosted solution.
 

Reynard

Legend
If you can do "Theater of the Mind", don't bother with a VTT. Just use a voice-over-IP solution wich can also push files and/or text.
There are lots of dice rolling solutions in Discord to help with that. I normally use FG for D&D because most of the people I play with like to use the grid, but we have used Discord and TotM to try out games like Genysys and Mutant Year Zero, both of which have good dice bots.
 

ardoughter

Adventurer
There is definitely a surge in interest in FantasyGrounds. I have a small YouTube channel under a different name. Less than 80 subs and I get about 30's view in 48 hours. In the last 48 I have in excess of 190 view and mostly focused on FantasyGrounds. Most of them are viewing the troubleshooting connection issues video.

If you have connection issues in Roll20 it is probably an issue on Eoll20s side but with FG All the data is uploaded from the DMs system. The DM need a reasonable connection and to know how to set port forwarding on their router.

Trouble shooting connection issues can be a real pain.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
There is definitely a surge in interest in FantasyGrounds. I have a small YouTube channel under a different name. Less than 80 subs and I get about 30's view in 48 hours. In the last 48 I have in excess of 190 view and mostly focused on FantasyGrounds. Most of them are viewing the troubleshooting connection issues video.

If you have connection issues in Roll20 it is probably an issue on Eoll20s side but with FG All the data is uploaded from the DMs system. The DM need a reasonable connection and to know how to set port forwarding on their router.

Trouble shooting connection issues can be a real pain.
Yep, fortunately there are videos like yours :) and a very helpful community with folks who will walk anyone through the process if they have trouble.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
There are lots of dice rolling solutions in Discord to help with that. I normally use FG for D&D because most of the people I play with like to use the grid, but we have used Discord and TotM to try out games like Genysys and Mutant Year Zero, both of which have good dice bots.
D1-C3 is optimized for FFG SW, FFG L5R 5E, and (because Genesys and SW are essentially the same system). It's pretty nice.
Sidekick is better for a number of standard dice with a few dice tricks games, including success counting systems and open ending.
I've not seen the MYZ one. Link? (my sat Alien is moving to discord and uses YZE)
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
One group (5e, battlemap but hex instead of grid outdoors) was looking between Roll20 and Astral. I have precious little info about Astral myself. I've been a player for FG and MapTools.

Another group (FATE) is using Zoom. Being able to see each other and read body language is heavily important, and FATE doesn't have the battlemap baggage. It is a conferencing tool so it doesn't have dice rollers, but we trust each other. And it's really good at the conferencing part - mic levels, removing echo, etc. It does have a whiteboard, chat, and the ability to share files.
 

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