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Thinking of Joining Roll20? Lock In Your Sub Now!

Roll20 is increasing its monthly sub from $4.99 to $5.99 per month, but you can lock in the lower price by signing up before July 1st.
  • Monthly Plus subs go from $4.99 to $5.99l Annual Plus subs go from $49.99 to $59.99
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If you subscribe before July 1st, you get locked in to the old price for two years. I can't promise you'll be as good-looking as the folks in the screenshot, though!


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

BigZebra

Explorer
I don't know why everyone else hates it, but I hate them because all of their default themes are difficult for me to read and even if I could find one that was remotely viable for me, themes are selected on the game level by the GM-- and after repeated inquiries, I have been informed that this level of GM authorship is more important than a basic minimum of accessibility.

It's a garbage product from a garbage company, and I will happily dissuade anyone I can from giving them money.

edit: There are a lot of things that aren't great about Roll20 and people keep trying to talk me into switching to one VTT or another, but at the end of the day, the fact that I can read its output by default and it isn't a goddamned knife-fight to be able to maintain a clean user interface that isn't exhausting means Roll20 is going to win. Since I've never actually met another group of highly intellectual VTT developers that understands this basic concept, Roll20 gets my patronage by default.
I agree one of the things not terribly good in FG is the output in the chat window. R20 can do more in that area. But pretty much all else are better it seems. R20’s sheets system seems so archaic and the 3.5 are almost unusable compared to FG.

Also why are they a garbage company? Really curios about that. Are they a garbage company because they don’t make a system to your liking? Or is it more than just internet rhetoric?
 

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Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
Also why are they a garbage company? Really curios about that. Are they a garbage company because they don’t make a system to your liking? Or is it more than just internet rhetoric?

It's not a matter of whether or not they produce a system I like-- it's the fact that they don't consider other people with visual or reading difficulties, perhaps more severe than my own, important enough to produce a system they can use. That is, in my opinion, entirely sufficient to justify calling them a "garbage company" and I might ask you to take a moment and reflect if you really want to argue that it isn't.
 

BigZebra

Explorer
It's not a matter of whether or not they produce a system I like-- it's the fact that they don't consider other people with visual or reading difficulties, perhaps more severe than my own, important enough to produce a system they can use. That is, in my opinion, entirely sufficient to justify calling them a "garbage company" and I might ask you to take a moment and reflect if you really want to argue that it isn't.
No, I can totally appreciate that. Unfortunately if they don't consider accessibility a feature. Sorry to hear that.
 

to maintain a clean user interface that isn't exhausting means Roll20 is going to win. Since I've never actually met another group of highly intellectual VTT developers that understands this basic concept, Roll20 gets my patronage by default.
It's kind of funny that I find Roll20's user interface as exasperating, exhausting, and something I have to regularly fight with just to perform basic functionality.
 

Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
It's kind of funny that I find Roll20's user interface as exasperating, exhausting, and something I have to regularly fight with just to perform basic functionality.
Well, I'm not trying to argue that they're great. My entire complaint is that the only reason I use Roll20 is that it's the only VTT that I can use; I wish that this were not the case, because all of the reasons people give me for switching... sound really convincing and I wish I could try them, but there simply isn't any feature powerful or convenient enough to make up for the fact that I can't read the interface.
 

jaynay27

Explorer
Well, I'm not trying to argue that they're great. My entire complaint is that the only reason I use Roll20 is that it's the only VTT that I can use; I wish that this were not the case, because all of the reasons people give me for switching... sound really convincing and I wish I could try them, but there simply isn't any feature powerful or convenient enough to make up for the fact that I can't read the interface.
As much as I do love Fantasy Grounds, I was surprised that the new unity version kept the same UI.
I get that they wanted a feeling of continuity, but I saw this as a bit of a missed opportunity to modernise the UI, which perhaps could have had the benefit of improved accessibility...I guess we will never know.
 

Well, I'm not trying to argue that they're great. My entire complaint is that the only reason I use Roll20 is that it's the only VTT that I can use; I wish that this were not the case, because all of the reasons people give me for switching... sound really convincing and I wish I could try them, but there simply isn't any feature powerful or convenient enough to make up for the fact that I can't read the interface.
The Foundry has free modules with alternate UIs. Not sure if any of the ones currently on offer would work for you, but someone with the skillset could probably (if they haven’t already) put together a UI module that would allow users to customize it themselves just by selecting options in a menu.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I'm a player in Roll20 and a DM in Foundry. Foundry does take a bit more tinkering and setup but the add-ons are very cool. It just does so much more than roll20. And for those not wanting to pay for a cloud hosted service, you can run your server locally on your own PC. The only downside to that is your players can't login to update their character sheets when your server isn't running.
I’m not a novice but I think ‘tinkering’ is a massive understatement. There’s no way I’m asking other people to download shareware to their laptops in order to link to me as a server as one of the references gave me.

Also can you summarize what Foundry does that is so much better? I can see transitional lighting and player controlled doors. Is there so much more?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We use Roll20 in our Thursday night PF2E game, and it's just fine. The GM occasionally has to fife with layers a bit, but it basically does everything we need it to do (we do the video chat separately by Zoom.

I'm also in the process of getting Awfully Cheerful Engine Roll20-ready, so it's interesting to see it from the other side too.
 

Retreater

Legend
Why the FG hate? What am I missing?
A preference of VTTs is highly subjective, like most things in this world.
What I can say from my experience is that I had FG for years and it still feels clunky, hard to read, primitive.
When my only experience with VTTs had been FG (and Maptools back in the early 2000s), I thought gaming during the pandemic would be impossible. But I got on Roll20, learned how to run a game in minutes. I'm using it sometimes 4 times a week to run games.
FG has created entire webinar series, have staff to teach you to run practice games, and many other tools to help. That's nice, but it still hasn't helped me. And I don't think I should need to sign up for their "college" (as they call it) to learn how to run a game. Just give me a platform that can get out of the way.
Roll20 does things good enough. It doesn't have too much automation to add layers of difficulty. I just wish they'd add more content to Pathfinder. But if you're playing 5e, I can't imagine anything else you'd want.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
The difficulty I'm having with moving from FG to Foundry for a possible Savage Worlds game is many fold but basically boils down to: You must UNLEARN what you have LEARNED. ;)

When I went to the Reddit r/foundryvtt page (which the FoundryVTT homepage points you to, incase someone is wondering why I went to Reddit) and asked if there was a tutorial on it, I got the responses of "No, there isn't" (which was helpful) and "What are you talking about? It just plain works out of the box. We use it all the time." (which was not. And it didn't help that the person saying this to me was factually wrong in other parts of his reply which degraded my confidence in his answers). So, documentation, tutorials and help is lacking when compared to the incredible community at FG forums and the multitude of FG tutorials on Youtube.

I mean, my issues are not large...

For example: How do you move things from the Gear tab to the Traits Tab > Quick access area? Is that even possible? If not, why is the quick access area there? When I add something to the Quick Access area (such as a weapon), why can't I seem to delete it from there instead of having to go to the Gear tab? I can delete Active Effects from there, though.

When I target a creature and roll the attack, why doesn't it tell me if I hit the target or not? Why doesn't it tell me if I got a raise? Is it able to do this and I just set it up wrong? Or does it just not do so?

When I attack with a weapon, do I have to roll the Attack from the Traits tab then change to the Gear tab to roll the damage? Why isn't Fighting a field in the item on the Gear tab so I don't have to go back and forth? Or is there a way to do both from one tab?

Why can't I see both the Combat Tracker and the Chat at the same time and have to pop back and forth between the two to advance the combat and then see what is happening during the combat? If I can, how do I do that?


... But they are piling up on each other.

TLDR: I wish Foundry had better documentation and tutorials for beginners and people switching VTTs.

Just a quick edit/Note: Some of these things I've learned since posting but I learned them by... uh... watching a tutorial. See how that works. heh. ;)
 
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Copper_Dragon

Villager
Foundry need to make access to the system, cheaper and easier first. Having to sign up to a separate hosting system and pay £50 for software up front will slow their growth.
Except that this is false information. I've been using Foundry for almost a year now without setting up a hosting system. The $50 up front is a barrier for some who want to try out a free version before paying, but it's head and shoulders above paying for a subscription model that doesn't give you as much as you get for a flat $50.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Except that this is false information. I've been using Foundry for almost a year now without setting up a hosting system. The $50 up front is a barrier for some who want to try out a free version before paying, but it's head and shoulders above paying for a subscription model that doesn't give you as much as you get for a flat $50.
Sorry how is the $50 dollar up front fee false? Also how do you avoid paying for a host platform or setting up your own? I don’t believe that is false information. Saying you don’t need these things and someone buying off your recommendation definitely is false.

Unless you’re literally one user putting the laptop on the gaming table and not using it online in which case good for you, but not what I expect from a VTT.

The only reason I got foundry was for WFRP and it’s been pretty disappointing to be honest. Clunky, bugged for other attendees and slow. Yes the players opening doors is handy, and light transitions might get used 1 out of 5 sessions but other than that. What’s the upside?
 

Retreater

Legend
The only reason I got foundry was for WFRP and it’s been pretty disappointing to be honest. Clunky, bugged for other attendees and slow. Yes the players opening doors is handy, and light transitions might get used 1 out of 5 sessions but other than that. What’s the upside?
Thanks for the review. I was looking at getting WFRP for Foundry. Might rethink that now.
Does anyone know how Roll20 handles it?
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The difficulty I'm having with moving from FG to Foundry for a possible Savage Worlds game is many fold but basically boils down to: You must UNLEARN what you have LEARNED. ;)
This is a good thing. It's why we aren't still using AD&D, Windows 95, and alchemy. Why we use Facebook and not MySpace. Why video game don't look like Pong and Space Invaders any more.

Not a comment on FG or Foundry as I've used neither, but the concept on learning new stuff being a problem. You learn new stuff or you become obsolete.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
This is a good thing.
My above post reads more negative than it is. Mostly, I was just trying to point out that it can be difficult to switch to Foundry because of the lack of tutorials for some of the game systems for it.

Overall, I think Foundry will be worth the effort. Much like when I learned Traveller or Savage Worlds or Star Frontiers or... etc., etc. It does all kinds of funky things that might be very, very cool and interesting when it all pans out.

But since this a roll20-based thread, I'll just say that roll20 was my first VTT and it worked really great! I just wanted more bells and whistles than it offered for a comparable price.
 

Copper_Dragon

Villager
Sorry how is the $50 dollar up front fee false? Also how do you avoid paying for a host platform or setting up your own? I don’t believe that is false information. Saying you don’t need these things and someone buying off your recommendation definitely is false.

Unless you’re literally one user putting the laptop on the gaming table and not using it online in which case good for you, but not what I expect from a VTT.

The only reason I got foundry was for WFRP and it’s been pretty disappointing to be honest. Clunky, bugged for other attendees and slow. Yes the players opening doors is handy, and light transitions might get used 1 out of 5 sessions but other than that. What’s the upside?
I didn't state that the purchase price was false... I even admitted that it can be a barrier to entry. Only the hosting statement is false. If starting the program, copying the invitation link, and sharing it with players counts as some kind of difficult setup... Well, color me corrected. You CAN go through the trouble of setting up hosting through the cloud, but a separate hosting system is not required, as you stated in your original post.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I didn't state that the purchase price was false... I even admitted that it can be a barrier to entry. Only the hosting statement is false. If starting the program, copying the invitation link, and sharing it with players counts as some kind of difficult setup... Well, color me corrected. You CAN go through the trouble of setting up hosting through the cloud, but a separate hosting system is not required, as you stated in your original post.
You are joking right? Unless they have changed Foundry in the last 6 months, many people can’t just copy and paste the link, have the program running on your computer and people be able to get access.


Frankly as soon as people are advising you to change port settings on your laptop, over-rule firewalls, download shareware or sign up for additional hosting services beyond that are then a monthly fee, then you've just lost me as a customer.

The company needs to provide official guidance but of course they won’t do this as the guidance could leave you device exposed and they don’t want the liability.
 
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Copper_Dragon

Villager
You are joking right? Unless they have changed Foundry in the last 6 months, many people can’t just copy and paste the link, have the program running on your computer and people be able to get access.


Frankly as soon as people are advising you to change port settings on your laptop, over-rule firewalls, download shareware or sign up for additional hosting services beyond that are then a monthly fee, then you've just lost me as a customer.

The company needs to provide official guidance but of course they won’t do this as the guidance could leave you device exposed and they don’t want the liability.
LOL - No, not joking. Maybe my experience is less common than I thought, but I changed literally nothing router-wise and I've been running fine.

As for subscriptions, I've paid nothing more than the first $50, but even if I was paying for additional hosting... $50 + $4-$8/month still beats Roll20 Pro pricing (especially after price hikes), if you actually want a feature-rich experience.

In any case, I don't see either of us being convinced to switch. I do wish you'd had a better experience with WFRP, though. Hopefully it'll get an update on some VTT that meets your expectations.

Cheers!
 

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