Level Up (A5E) What is your experience with Level Up on Foundry?

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm wrapping up a long 5e campaign and the group is talking about what we will play next. We are considering Level Up. If I run Level Up, I'll be doing it on Foundry. For those of you who are running Level Up on Foundry, what are your experiences? What works well, what doesn't, what gotchas should I prepare for? Do you have any modules you recommend? Are there any popular 5e community modules that just won't work with the Level Up system in Foundry?
 

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noodohs

Explorer
We've been running a game in Foundry for a few months now and for the most part, it's fine. At present, there are a lot of features missing, but version 0.9.0 should be out soon (like probably next couple weeks or sooner) and that will add quite a few of them, with more added throughout the 0.9.x series leading up to the proper 1.0 release later on. For example, right now, you have to build your character one feature at a time rather than, say, dragging a heritage over and choosing the features from a menu. Arrows aren't automatically consumed when firing a bow, spell slots aren't automatically used, maneuvers don't automatically consume exertion, etc. All of this is coming in the 0.9.x series, but it's a bit of a pain now.

As for modules, a lot of stuff works fine, but I don't think Midi-QOL is supported. This hasn't been a huge issue as there are some modules by the devs (the Nekro modules, I think?) that add some automation functionality and more will be coming, but that's the main one that sticks out. And CUB, I suppose, but I don't think that's going to be necessary long term.

The thing that is very nice is that unlike 5e, Level Up has an open SRD and as long as it's in the SRD (not all of the GPG additions are yet), it's in Foundry. No hacky importing necessary. So while it's not perfect, there's still basically more there now, even in "beta" form, than there is in the 5e system because licensing isn't a problem.

TL;DR, it's not perfect, but it's perfectly playable and we are getting very close to the 1.0 release that should make it a joy to use.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
@noodohs Thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I would like more automation, I have to say that I've never been able to get 5e to work the way I like. I ended up scaling back on a lot of the mods I had installed because not everything would work consistently. At least with A5e, there is official support and hopefully they are getting enough customers who use Foundry to continue supporting and developing it.
 

noodohs

Explorer
Oh hey, the just dropped v 0.9.0 (and 0.9.1), so have at it! They are going for a happy medium between of some useful automation while allowing those official unofficial modules to add in some additional stuff (like calculating if an attack hits, etc). It has been pretty good so far and they aren't so adverse to technology as the O5e system.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Hmmm. Would have been nice if their Foundry game system included a compendium with pre-gen/sample PCs, so that I can look at what a properly completed character looks like and play around with it.

I created a basic 1st level character using the Basic Character Builder on A5e.tools and am trying to build it in Foundry.

Got stuck on very first thing: heritage. Like, where do I indicate that the character is an elf? Gave up and typed "elf" in the notes section. Maybe it doesn't matter in A5e and you just put your heritage features on the sheet. I haven't read over the rules yet.

Okay, moving on to "culture." Ugh. Can't find anywhere to put it. Enter "high elf" into the notes section.

On to background...sigh. Okay, type "sage" into the notes field.

Same thing with destiny...type "knowledge" in the notes field.

Start wondering why the character sheet generated by their on-line basic character builder doesn't match up with their Foundry sheet. The first four things listed on the A5e.tools sheet have no fields for entering them on the Foundry sheet.

On to class...YAY! They have a field for "classes". Type in Wizard.
Things finally making sense, enter level, languages, skills proficiencies, tool proficiencies, and attributes. Prof. bonus, maneuver and spell DCs calculated properly. But AC not updated with my +1 to AC Dex bonus. That made me think to test with equipment items. I gave the character proficiency in all armor types and then dropped a shield and chain armor on the character and equipped it. The AC didn't change. That's disappointing.

Anyway, back to building. Removed all armor proficiencies and all armor I tested with, because the character is a wizard...

Unarmed is not automatically listed on the character sheet. I could not find it in the compendium to drop on. Too lazy to create from scratch at this time, so I just skipped putting unarmed attack on the sheet.

Added spells. DC and spell attack bonuses properly calculated, which is good. But you have to enter in the spell slots manually (because the sheet has no idea what class you are).

Heritage features - Dropped darkvision from the compendium to the sheet, but that didn't update the "special senses" section. Had to add darkvision manually. Added fey ancestry and trance. Can't tell if fey ancestry will automate saves on charm spells. Guessing not. When I added Heritage Gift - Mystic Rapport: Arcane Empathy it did not add telepathy to languages. Also I don't see telepathy as an option for the preset choices, so I just manually added "Telepathy (30 ft.)" as a custom language.

Added culture features. Nice that the features tab groups heritage and culture features with headings.

Added class features. Notices that not all items in the compendium come with images. "Arcane Recovery" for example just has the default Foundry white-sack image.

Added destiny and background features. The "Adventuring and Advancement" Sage feature was missing from the compendium. Maybe that is not in the A5e SRD?

Added equipment. Dagger has proper bonuses to hit and damage calculated. So that's good. For "Max Supply" on the online sheet, I'm guessing that should be entered under "Supply" on the foundry sheet's inventory tab. I entered "10" for supply. I didn't see anywhere on Foundry to enter "Max bulky items".

Entered starting gold. Done building character.

Playing around with the PC and some monsters, doesn't seem like there are any automations out of the box. I'll have to see which mods work with it to have damage applied, etc.

My overall opinion at this time is that it is still very basic, but would work fine in game. You just have to treat it like a paper character sheet and make sure that you update AC, bonuses, etc.

Would be interesting in learning what modules Level Up DMs are using in foundry. One thing that gives me pause when thinking of moving to Level Up is having to go through all the time of trying and testing a bunch of mods again. And I REALLY don't want to go back to manually rolling saves and applying damage for area of effect spells with large numbers of combatants. It is really nice to place a template and have the saves auto rolled and the damage auto applied when, for example, a fireball is cast.

I will say that playing around with the Level Up system on Foundry is making me interested in the actual rules. I'm liking the character customizations you can make with heritage, culture, class, destiny, and background. Also like the more granular skill system.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Starting to enable some mods with the Level Up A5e system in foundry. I'm being conservative. Just starting with my favorite quality-of-life mods. For any that rely on the game system and character sheets, I'll need to test them as I was using most of them with 5e and am not sure that they will work with the LUA5e game system in Foundry.

The following are based on core foundry functionality. No effect on game system.
  • Ambient Doors
  • Autocomplete Whisper
  • Drag Ruler
  • Hitpoint Tint
  • Multilevel tokens
  • Polyglot
  • Quick Insert - Search Widget
  • Scenery - Background Image Variation Manager
  • Simplefog - Manual Fog of War
I need to revisit the various combat and area-of-effect automation mods to see which might work best with LU A5e, if any.
 

Phil Best

A5e Foundry Developer
Got stuck on very first thing: heritage. Like, where do I indicate that the character is an elf? Gave up and typed "elf" in the notes section. Maybe it doesn't matter in A5e and you just put your heritage features on the sheet. I haven't read over the rules yet.

Okay, moving on to "culture." Ugh. Can't find anywhere to put it. Enter "high elf" into the notes section.

On to background...sigh. Okay, type "sage" into the notes field.

Same thing with destiny...type "knowledge" in the notes field.
Just a small note: the reason this stuff doesn't have a text field is because there are actually full documents that you can drag onto your sheet for these things. When you drop something like a destiny or culture onto a character sheet, the actor is populated with the features, equipment, languages and so on that you choose.

Class and archetype remain text fields for now because the documents for these item types haven't been implemented yet. The plan is for that to arrive in the next major system version (0.12.x).

You are right when you say this though:
Maybe it doesn't matter in A5e and you just put your heritage features on the sheet. I haven't read over the rules yet.
Once you pick any of your origin stuff, it is never relevant again. Just like in 5e, these components are really just vehicles for features outside of very rare cases like elves being immune to the paralysing claws of ghouls.

Can't tell if fey ancestry will automate saves on charm spells. Guessing not.
To temper expectations here, the rules themselves don't really provide any kind of vehicle for providing automation like this, so it's never going to be a thing.

Features and spells in A5e don't have anything like tags to indicate that they inflict certain conditions, and even if they did, many abilities can do more than one thing, so you'd need to tag the individual effects. From a development perspective, the very best we could possibly do is scan the description fields looking for keywords, and that just isn't good enough, because there would be a tonne of false positives granting benefits or inflicting penalties where they don't belong. A5e is also not very consistent in how it presents information, further complicating any automation efforts. As such, this kind of automation isn't worth engaging with, especially when we're talking about a team of 2 volunteers doing this in their free time.

We do have plans to allow players to set up context-specific reminders, so that will go some way towards making sure features like this don't get missed, but it will always require human intervention at some level.

I gave the character proficiency in all armor types and then dropped a shield and chain armor on the character and equipped it. The AC didn't change. That's disappointing.
Armor calculations are coming. 0.11.0 added the groundwork for this system, and it's currently possible to configure armour bonuses using Active Effects, but a more targeted solution is expected either as part of the 0.11 release family or 0.12.
 


Phil Best

A5e Foundry Developer
How are people hosting on Foundry? It isn’t as simple as going to a web address is it?
It can be exactly that simple. Foundry has a number of hosting partners who provide basically a Roll20-like experience for Foundry. You can find some information about those here: Partnerships | Foundry Virtual Tabletop

For self-hosting, there's some setup involved which may be challenging depending on your skillset. Once it's set up though, it once again is a matter of navigating to a web page via a URL.
 


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