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D&D General What I want from a VTT

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Ok, I've used Fantasy Grounds, Roll20, and Foundry. I've played around with Astral, Wildshape, Game Master Engine, Talespire, and Realm Engine. I have a good feel for what I want now......(anyone want a comparison of the last 4? I've been thinking about that).

1. Supports more than one game, but especially DnD, as that's what I play.
2. 3d / isometric / 2.5 d. I really want to be able to run with vertical play more. Plus, it just looks cooler. I'm too old to expect holographic play......
3. Supports both online play and off line play. That is, I want to be able to use maps and minis and dice, but still use the tools of the VTT to support that.
4. The ability to use 3rd party products, not just whomever makes the VTT. Easily, not super hard. Also, so that others can sell products that can be used on the VTT. An open market.
5. The following tools:
a. Turn tracker that supports customization, not just the rules of the game you are playing.
b. NPC/Monster maker like 4e had.
c. PC maker.
c again :) : adventure maker
d. The ability to make and to import maps from other tools.
e. optional automation. I really want to be able to dial in how much automation there is. Like, I want to fudge die rolls, I want to be able to do that.
f. Great audio and video / chat / feel like you are at a table. In the tool. Discord is great, but I'd like less windows/apps open.
g. Maps you can zoom in and out of, so you can move from exploration to combat in the tool.
i. The tools like World Anvil has (only easy to use) to manage a campaign (NPCs, Towns, rumors, all the stuff a DM and players need to track if they want)
j. Dice roller (this seems obvious, but I'll mention it).
6. Affordable. Preferably with discounts for buying printed stuff and the stuff on the VTT.
7. Dowloadable if I want, so it can't be taken away if they go out of business / change their model.
8. EASY TO USE.
9. Supports the rules of the games, for example darkvision or auras.....

I really do not want a VTT and will likely not pay for one, that does not support using 3rd party products and even encourages their stuff to be sold for use with it.

100% sure I forgot to mention things.......but what I want is a one stop application.
 

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Zaukrie

New Publisher
Ability to export / connect to other VTTs if my other group happens to be using it (Beyond20, for example).....
Support for mobile/tablets/computers
 

darjr

I crit!
I don’t want a vtt. I want something to facilitate remote player with my physical stuff.

This is getting closer
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I don’t want a vtt. I want something to facilitate remote player with my physical stuff.

This is getting closer
Can't I just do that with discord or zoom or other apps? I'm not sure what that gets me.....
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
4. The ability to use 3rd party products, not just whomever makes the VTT. Easily, not super hard. Also, so that others can sell products that can be used on the VTT. An open market.

The makers of such an application can make an open format for other parties to write to. And they can build to read various open formats others publish in. But beyond that, they're kind of stuck. If 3rd parties don't want to cooperate (because, for example, they have their own VTTs), there's not much anyone can do.

6. Affordable. Preferably with discounts for buying printed stuff and the stuff on the VTT.

Again, that's a business agreement issue, not a software issue. Proving that you actually have a printed copy to get a discount is a bit of a problem.

100% sure I forgot to mention things.......

I think you forgot to mention the wishes for one million dollars, a pony, and a castle in Wales. Which is a flippant way of saying that you are asking for a lot, so you may want to be ready for disappointment.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
The makers of such an application can make an open format for other parties to write to. And they can build to read various open formats others publish in. But beyond that, they're kind of stuck. If 3rd parties don't want to cooperate (because, for example, they have their own VTTs), there's not much anyone can do.



Again, that's a business agreement issue, not a software issue. Proving that you actually have a printed copy to get a discount is a bit of a problem.



I think you forgot to mention the wishes for one million dollars, a pony, and a castle in Wales. Which is a flippant way of saying that you are asking for a lot, so you may want to be ready for disappointment.
Actually, foundry is close...... And, I did, product management in software.... So, maybe not.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Actually, foundry is close...... And, I did, product management in software.... So, maybe not.

So many people bring up the appeal to authority of working in software, seeming to forget that the person they are talking to may also work in software, and still rationally have a different opinion.

Note also how my most important points aren't about the software, but are about business agreements.
 


My suggestion is a solo mode, with an AI controlling the nPCs and enviroment (hidden traps, secret doors or coins in the chests), but also a "free mode" where the player has total control, even the movement of the monsters (the AI only would say what monsters want to do), because the player wants to playtests his homebred rules, for example a new subclass.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

You know what I want in a VTT? It's only a handful of things other than the obvious (re: things that make a VTT a, well, VTT...tokens, maps, grid/hex/gridless, etc).

  • A method for "creating" my own 'fields' on an imported PDF so that I can create my own Character Sheets, Monster Cards, etc.
  • "Inner tagging/contestability" of said 'fields' that I can use for other things (sheets, monsters, tokens, map locations, etc).
  • A GUARANTEE FROM THE COMPANY that if they ever go out of business or decide to sell/merge with another...that I have the option of "opting out", keeping the current version, and using it off-line with my own server (P2P, HTML-Web-Base, whatever).
  • The ability to Buy a version. Period. Use it for however long I want and never need to upgrade or "subscribe" to a monthly fee.
The first...an example of what I want is if you look at Astral VTT. You can create your own sheet with an imported PDF. You can place "Actions", "Stats", "Checkboxes" and "Text" fields. Pretty self explanatory, really; Action just lets me define a 'thing that executes' when it's clicked on. So "Strike" (Action: !1d12elt{(OS_Strike + WeaponA+Strike)} ), which would roll a d12, and check if it's equal to or less than the total of the Stats OS_Strike and WeaponA_Strike. The HUGE problem with Astral is...that's where it stops. I have to have another for Damage. What's worse is that it doesn't have....

The Second...where a field from one "sheet/source" can not be used to compare and modify a field from a different sheet/source. In other words, I can roll a "Damage" action and get a result...but I can't have that result automatically deducted from the monsters Hit Point pool because the monster is a different sheet/source. You have to do all that manually. So the VTT for me would need for me to be able to 'tag' some field and have the different "sheets/sources" interact with one another (I roll a to hit, I succeed, it automatically rolls associated damage, that damage is then transferred over to the targeted monster and subtracted from it's Hit Point pool).

The third is a no brainer: If I'm paying for a product...I should be able to use it. Forever. If not, I want compensation for my loss. Normally products get used up or worn out...be we aren't talking about physical stuff. It's digital. it will "last forever". And if companies are going to stick with the "You don't ACTUALLY 'own' the software...you're only 'licensing it', and we can cancel that license at any time for any reason" byline...then the customer should be given something equal in return; like if they never break the license agreement, they can use it. Forever. Period.

The fourth and last point is hand in hand with the third. If I don't want to do the 'license' thing with a subscription model, then I'm NOT licensing it...which frees up the hands of the company from having to make sure I can use it forever. They can then just say "You have version v1.5. You can use it with what you have now. Forever. But if you upgrade your computer and it stops working...not our problem". I have far too many programs that I simply can't use because the company/person died or moved on to something else (WadAuthor, which is a DOOM 1 & 2 map editor ; Homesite, which is a great wysiwyg web page builder [it was one of the VERY first, actually] ; WeatherMaster, by MilieuSim...who specifically stated in his/their license and web store, "If we ever quite, we'll make a version that doesn't require online activation to all current customers"... I'm still ticked over that! :mad: ).

So, that's my list. Let me create my own character sheets and monster sheets with my own dice/effect coding, let my buy it version by version in stead of subscription, and be honest and even-handed with me as a customer. I think that Astral will get there some day, and maybe Tabletop Simulator (OP: That one might be worth you looking into for the "3D" aspect...). Fantasy Grounds is there...but...if you don't know LUA or XML....your choices for creating your own game system or "automated rules and stuff" are seriously limited.

Tabletop Simulator
MapTool
BattlegroundsRPG

Just tossing those three out for people to look at because they aren't mentioned very often. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I wonder if Zoom is a decent business model.

DM pays for the tools, and all the players can log onto the DM account for free.

But the DM can also hand over control of the account to one of the players, so the player can DM.

This invites players to explore being DM, and businesswise gets them thinking about setting up their own DM account.
 

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