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Using "Roguelike"-style visibility in online D&D

hunterloftis

Villager
Before Covid I was working on a Roguelike game. If you haven't heard of them, they're like a D&D-adjacent form of turn-based, permadeath videogame with a grid system in (usually) fantasy settings.

After Covid, I pivoted to turning that Roguelike engine into an online D&D website (tableofsending.com). My local group just finished our first campaign with it, and the most-commented-on feature by far was something I ripped straight from Roguelikes 101: field-of-vision (although my group kept calling it fog-of-war, so I'm going with that).

It turns out that having a computer automatically calculate what would be visible / behind cover enables the DM to create battle maps that would otherwise just be a pain in the ass to manage: columns, boulders, debris, etc.

The attached video shows what I mean.
 

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Ryujin

Adventurer
"Fog of War" is how it's named in virtual tabletops like OpenRPG and Fantasy Grounds. An area isn't revealed until you have first obtained line-of-sight to it and if you later lose line-of-sight, you only know what you last saw about it. Makes things a little more interesting ;)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Also needs to be, if not already, variable range to account for different light sources and amounts.

Big difference between daylight, where you can more or less see whatever's not blocked by cover, and darkness where you've got a torch that only usefully illuminates for 20' or so.
 

Roll 20 uses Fog of War as well, although it is not dynamic. The DM basically reveals areas manually, and once revealed they remain so unless covered up again. I think there are benefits to both, but I really like your dynamic fog of war. It saves the DM a lot of work.

The next step would be to also add light sources. It would be handy to be able to tell which foes were in total darkness or shadowy illumination.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Roll 20 uses Fog of War as well, although it is not dynamic. The DM basically reveals areas manually, and once revealed they remain so unless covered up again. I think there are benefits to both, but I really like your dynamic fog of war. It saves the DM a lot of work.

The next step would be to also add light sources. It would be handy to be able to tell which foes were in total darkness or shadowy illumination.

Back when I was using OpenRPG it had both dynamic Fog of War, and light sources/night vision. Not bad for a completely free product. I haven't had a chance to check if Fantasy Grounds or the new Fantasy Grounds Unity have those features.
 


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