Roll 20, Fantasy Grounds, or other VTT?

What VTT do you use?

  • Other

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Roll20

    Votes: 8 42.1%
  • Fantasy Grounds

    Votes: 9 47.4%

  • Poll closed .

Chris633

Explorer
Yeah, that (port forwarding) was annoying the first time during set up. But I haven’t had any problems since (two moves, two service providers and two new routers in that time). Plus the folks on the forum there are immensely helpful with getting it set up. One of the moderators even helped a friend and fellow GM by logging into his computer remotely and set it up for him. So the support is pretty great. None of these are issues for the player, only the GM.

I can’t speak for maptools, but file management on roll20 was cumbersome for me. It may take five steps in FG (though once the folder is created it really is drag & drop also), but it handles large amounts of files better than roll20 did for me. It was also much better organized. FG just appeals to my personal taste and organizational OCD.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Hussar

Legend
Yeah, that (port forwarding) was annoying the first time during set up. But I haven’t had any problems since (two moves, two service providers and two new routers in that time). Plus the folks on the forum there are immensely helpful with getting it set up. One of the moderators even helped a friend and fellow GM by logging into his computer remotely and set it up for him. So the support is pretty great. None of these are issues for the player, only the GM.

I can’t speak for maptools, but file management on roll20 was cumbersome for me. It may take five steps in FG (though once the folder is created it really is drag & drop also), but it handles large amounts of files better than roll20 did for me. It was also much better organized. FG just appeals to my personal taste and organizational OCD.

Now, that is very true. The Fantasy Grounds community rocks on toast. They really are fantastic.
 

Sure, you can make it easier and organize things. Totally agree.

Doesn't change the point that each of those pictures take about five steps in order to use. As compared to drag and drop which every other VTT does.

One other issue to bear in mind too is the ability to port forward on your router. This has been an issue for me since my router doesn't support port forwarding, requiring me to use Hamachi in order to run the program. Not a huge hurdle, but, something to be aware of. Granted, this was also an issue with Maptool but, not one for Roll 20.

When I travel I use PureVPN. That works well and I want a VPN on shared networks anyways. There are a few other free solutions on the forums now, including running the program in a cloud instance server which is essentially the same as other models, no messing with port forwarding at all. There is a thread on the forums detailing all the ways to do it.

I also set-up a separate folder outside of the apps folder which makes life easier. I really don’t get how complicated you make it out to be. I download to the image folder and it is there to click on and share.

As for the cost of the program, it is $40. The addional step up for the Ultimate license is just who can connect. The DLC is just buying the rule books and if you want to play any RPG you need to do that.

I have not tried map tools but I have been told that Lua is better for scripting and you basically get what you pay for it. I want everything loaded and ready to go.

I do my maps outside of any VTT as dedicated map programs are just better. There is an extension that adds layers to FG if you want that. I just got off my weekly game I run for old friends. Voice only (no video, I find it distracting) and we have been going strong for 2 years and having a blast. They are 13th level now so beyond WoTC materials so I am entering it all myself. Enter and faster than Roll20 for sure.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm not explaining myself well enough.

It's not that FG is a bad program. It isn't. It does what it says on the tin, by and large.

But, for 130 dollars I expect a HELL of a lot more than what it does.
 

Kobold Boots

Banned
Banned
Thank you for the replies folks. Much appreciated.

Follow up questions since it looks like R20 and FG are the two that have brand awareness.

1. How easy is it to incorporate house rules once you have purchased the rules set you're going to use?
2. Does either allow for player upload of their character?

For context, I tend to kitbash combat quite a bit to both expand spell lists and the coolness of melee. Beyond this, I'd really feel better about chargen if players could upload their own sheets rather than my entering them. (Though to be fair, DM review of sheets is going to happen anyway.)

Thanks,
KB

Note: I'm also doing my own research on the R20 and FG sites, but since those communities are obviously biased towards their own solutions this thread has a good deal of value to me. Thanks to all for contributing and please continue. I'll reply back to individual posts once I'm closer to a decision.
 

Chris633

Explorer
I can only speak to FG. When I used roll20 I only used it to share pictures and as a combat map. FG isn’t beholden to a system. Even using 5E, you apply the rules as you see fit as GM. You can automate combat as much or as little as you want. You can let the program calculate things or you can do everything yourself. When you choose 5E at the selection screen, it basically just tells the program what character sheets to generate, monster templates to expect and calculations to run. So when you drop an attack onto an enemy, it knows how to calculate a hit and tell you if it is a crit. Each player in FG has a character sheet right in the program. If you have the 5E players guide, you can drag and drop levels directly to the sheet and it will do all the calculations. Some stuff still needs to be entered manually. You can then export/import your character if needed.
 

Chris633

Explorer
I can only speak to FG. When I used roll20 I only used it to share pictures and as a combat map. FG isn’t beholden to a system. Even using 5E, you apply the rules as you see fit as GM. You can automate combat as much or as little as you want. You can let the program calculate things or you can do everything yourself. When you choose 5E at the selection screen, it basically just tells the program what character sheets to generate, monster templates to expect and calculations to run. So when you drop an attack onto an enemy, it knows how to calculate a hit and tell you if it is a crit. Each player in FG has a character sheet right in the program. If you have the 5E players guide, you can drag and drop levels directly to the sheet and it will do all the calculations. Some stuff still needs to be entered manually. You can then export/import your character if needed.
 

Hussar

Legend
I’d say that as far as kitbash stuff goes, either will get the job done. Once you know the syntax that either program uses, it’s likely about equal.
 

Thank you for the replies folks. Much appreciated.

Follow up questions since it looks like R20 and FG are the two that have brand awareness.

1. How easy is it to incorporate house rules once you have purchased the rules set you're going to use?
2. Does either allow for player upload of their character?

For context, I tend to kitbash combat quite a bit to both expand spell lists and the coolness of melee. Beyond this, I'd really feel better about chargen if players could upload their own sheets rather than my entering them. (Though to be fair, DM review of sheets is going to happen anyway.)

Thanks,
KB

Note: I'm also doing my own research on the R20 and FG sites, but since those communities are obviously biased towards their own solutions this thread has a good deal of value to me. Thanks to all for contributing and please continue. I'll reply back to individual posts once I'm closer to a decision.

Both FG and Roll20 allow players to input their own character sheets and keep them. The player has access to all the books/materials the DM has in FG, and FG has a direct way to create or edit classes, backgrounds, feats, spells, items, monsters, etc. The more you stray from standard 5e (for example, the Middle Earth rules), the more you will need some programming knowledge if you want automation in either Roll20 or FG.

Roll20 and FG are by far the market leaders, so they both have big communities of players and DM's. This is important as you can find code, examples and help and players or games much easier in each of them.
 
Last edited:

Kobold Boots

Banned
Banned
Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

The tool of choice for my needs has been determined to be Fantasy Grounds.

Key Factors:

1. LUA - I'm very familiar with LUA from spending years hacking the World of Warcraft UI.
2. It just looks and feels better to me than the R20 UI
3. Full D&D 5e support.
4. Community feels right. Not too large or too small.
5. Don't have to subscribe. I can just buy the tool and be done with it. Sunk costs are better than operating expenses in my book.
6. Video/Audio won't be an issue. Can either use OBS or integrate Discord into the app.

Anyhoo, appreciate the feedback. [MENTION=22779]Hussar[/MENTION] - I agree that the price seems high for what it is, but it's what the market will bear so if I get a year long campaign out of it every 18 months it's worth it.

Be well
KB
 



Rechan

Adventurer
It's been a long while since I played on Maptools (back in the 4e days), but it worked for the most part. The trouble with Maptools is a lot of pre-game prep. Making maps takes a while, programming macros, etc etc. Port forwarding and so forth. It's a good program if you know what you're doing. For a lazy, loosey goosey DM, I found it too much work.

Rolld20 never impressed me, it looked very bare bones, but that was again, many moons ago. Never looked into Fantasy Grounds to be honest.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top