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Virtual Table Top With No Internet

dryanhuston

Villager
I recently made a box for an LCD TV to display maps for my home games. I have been using two instances of MapTools on my computer. One as a server to DM on my laptop. The other as a client displayed on the TV from the same laptop. At home because I am connected to the internet I have no issues. However when I play Adventures League at my FLGS where the internet connection is spotty when the connection gets dropped I have to waste time reconnecting and getting it to display again.

My question is are there other options/solutions for offline VTT's? I know there are a lot of virtual tabletop solutions like Roll 20 and Fantasy Grounds but they require the internet. I really just want to display maps with grids, scroll them around etc as all my players will be in person so no one will be connecting to my games.
 

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dnd4vr

Explorer
We just use PowerPoint on a 55" wide screen wall-mounted in the game room. It is tied into the DM's laptop via HDMI. The DM places the maps as the background so he doesn't move it accidentally and each of our characters are represented by circles with a letter in it. Sometimes he uses graphics for monsters, other times just squares to represent their size on the map. He can easily measure distances and determine LOS as well.

It works beautifully IMO and we love it.
 

epithet

Explorer
Fantasy Grounds can do what I think you are looking for, and does not require an internet connection unless you want remote connection (which you don't.) The software runs on your PC and all the maps and data are stored locally. Even better for what you're trying to do, as I understand it, is that all you really need is the free "Demo" version of the program (the licensed versions only add the ability to connect games hosted by non-ultimate license holders, to or host games for remote users to connect to.) With the Demo (unlicensed) program, you can host the game on one PC and connect locally with a different PC (also running the free Demo software) that is connected to your monitor. On the host computer, you can unmask the map, track initiative, etc, while the PC connected to the monitor displays what the DM wants to show.

If you need any help at all setting it up, the Fantasy Grounds forums will get you a response the same day, often within a few minutes, with people there always willing to help you get things set up right for your game.

There is an extension (also free) that will allow you to get full-screen maps with a 1 inch scale (you will need to input your monitor size.)

I feel like I can say with some confidence that you'll get hooked on Fantasy Grounds pretty quickly. It can take some a few sessions to really become familiar with the interface, but once you do you won't want to run a game without it.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Years ago I wanted to run a game on an available tabletop display to try it out, but I had about 30 minutes to get ready. I ended up using Microsoft Paint. I set up paint so that it spanned both screens (my laptop screen and the tabletop). Then I'd cut and drag rooms into position on the other screen when the PCs popped open a door, etc... Super simple.
 

WolfhillRPG

Villager
I just did a quick write up with pictures on WolfhillEntertainment (Facebook) about how to use Photoshop to create a “fog of war” by blending two images together. This system allows the Game Master to uncover specific areas of the map as the players move around the environment. I use a big screen TV in my gaming sessions to jump between pictures, music, and an Excel monster hit/damage generator so this fits in nicely for me. I still use hand drawn combat maps for battles but dungeon scales work really well on the overall map. The best thing is that it requires no internet connection, and you can use whatever images you wish.

Come visit us and like us on Facebook at WolfhillEntertainment to see what we offer and what new exciting products are coming in the near future.
 

Hussar

Legend
Don't understand why you need the internet at all with maptools. It should work fine without it.
He's using two instances of Maptools, one for player side and one for DM side, so, yeah, you'd need an internet connection. Note, Fantasy Grounds won't run at all without an internet connection, so, no, FG won't help you here.

I'm thinking that a VTT probably won't do what you want it to do here.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
RealmWorks is the way to go.

Too tired to go into detail, check out the website and ask questions in the Lone Wolf Development forums. Or post any questions here and I'll try to answer them. Happy to take screenshots and table photos.

Basically, I have same set up. I have display enclosed in a case created by Collabrewate. I connect my laptop to it by HDMI cable.

Realmworks is a great tool for world building and campaign management, but even if you are not interested in that, I think the Smart Map and "Fog of World" features make it worth the cost.

There is a player view and you can display maps, images, etc. to it, while keeping DM stuff on your screen.

The maps can be revealed as the party explores using rectangle selections, polygon selections, or paint brushes. If you have a touch display (on your laptop, not the player display), you can use your finger to smudge away the fog of world and reveal the map.

You can overlay a GM map over the player map so you see secret doors, room numbers, etc, but the players do not.

You don't need a lot of prep. If all you want are to throw up maps, you just need to load the image (and maybe an overlay image). You click to reveal it and right click to send to player view. Fog of World is already applied. You just reveal as you go.

You don't get lighting effects, movable tokens, another advanced features of a VTT, but we use minis on top of the display. I use as a digital battlemap and content sharing tool for in-person games.

I've played with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 but was always put off by the amount of work I have to do up front. I might use them for adventures that I buy on their stores that have everything done for me.

I know some DMs that use RealmWorks for campaign management and Fantasy Ground for battlemaps at in-person games, but I've never felt the need for this. Nor would I want the extra prep time and having to manage even more software at the table.

RealmWorks requires no Internet connection to use.
 

Baumi

Explorer
You don't need Internet for Maptools, I used the same Layout years ago with just a LAN Connection.

I don't know any other Programms that would work like this, but of course you could get creative...

P.S.: After rereading the OP, I'm confused. You seem to use only the Laptop as Server and Client, is that correct? Because that should be absolutely easy to use.
 
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dryanhuston

Villager
Maptools uses TCP/IP to connect over the net, in a LAN, or on the same computer. I was using my LAN IP address of 192.168.x.x. Which meant I had to at least be connected to a router for it to work. At the FLGS loosing internet meant being disconnected from the router loosing the LAN connection. What I found works was changing the address to the computers internal IP address of 127.0.0.1.

I imagine the same solution might work for Fantasy Grounds.

I just started with the VTT so I am not tied down with a big time investment to any particular program... yet. I have been playing around with Fantasy Grounds and will look into some of the other recommendations to see what work with me and my group.
 

ardoughter

Explorer
He's using two instances of Maptools, one for player side and one for DM side, so, yeah, you'd need an internet connection. Note, Fantasy Grounds won't run at all without an internet connection, so, no, FG won't help you here.

I'm thinking that a VTT probably won't do what you want it to do here.
This is nonsense, at least as far as Fantasy Grounds goes, since I just tested it. I disconnected from the internet and got two instances of FG to connect on a LAN. I am pretty sure I managed something similar with Maptools years ago.


Now I do not think your problem has anything to do with the internet but the LAN on the FLGS. Are you connecting using WIFI? I suspect you are and you have a crappy connection. If so your best bet is to create a LAN between the 2 PCs using an ethernet cable
See link below for more information.

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-connect-two-computers-with-an-Ethernet-cable
 

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