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Which Online Virtual Tabletop Do You Use?

Which online virtual tabletop do you use?


  • Total voters
    83

Reynard

Legend
I use Fantasy Grounds and I like it, but it's expensive. Even if you go with a subscription instead of straight purchase, you still have to opt for the most expensive version to host friends for free, and then you have either A LOT of work to do or have to spend a pretty penny to have access to all the material. That said, the automation is really nice and there's lots of support, both official and 3rd party.
 

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Tallifer

Hero
We use roll20 for images. We used to use Twiddla, but it now has a time limit for any free session. Now we are all learning how to use roll20 more and more like a virtual tabletop, but most of us don't even use macros.
For sound, we have found that Google Hangouts works for a greater proportion of our players. Roll20 sound seems not to work so well, and discord also seems to cut out portions of sound.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
We use roll20 for images. We used to use Twiddla, but it now has a time limit for any free session. Now we are all learning how to use roll20 more and more like a virtual tabletop, but most of us don't even use macros.
For sound, we have found that Google Hangouts works for a greater proportion of our players. Roll20 sound seems not to work so well, and discord also seems to cut out portions of sound.
which platform is best if I have homebrewed stuff?
 

Matchstick

Explorer
I will always take straight up paying over any kind of subscription service. Doesn't take much inattention and all of a sudden you realize you've way overpaid for what you've gotten.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
What VTTs have you guys found to be best for larger maps? I was playing around with Roll20 some more last night and I uploaded a JPEG of a level from Rappan Athuk. I decreased the file size to under 1 MB but after using the align-to-grid feature, the map went outside the workspace. I probably have to do some more research and tutorials because if this is due to a grid size limitation I can't see hardly any but the most limited battlemaps being useful in Roll20.

I'm going to test the same thing in Fantasy Ground and MapTools, I like that Roll20 is online and I don't have to mess around with having two instances of a program open and connected by localhost to display a map to my players.

At this point, I couldn't care less about macros, character sheets, text descriptions, pins or other bells and whistles. I'm looking for something that I can:

1. Quickly load a map with fog of war
2. Quickly align the VTT grid to the map-image grid
3. Throw some tokens on the map and be able to move them around.
 

Tallifer

Hero
which platform is best if I have homebrewed stuff?
I have found roll20 very adaptable: one of our group always runs a new and different system which he always hacks and mixes from other systems: roll20 works well for him. You do not need to use any roll20 character sheets: I do not even use them for 4E or 5E. We just use Google docs to share and look at and edit our customized character sheets.
 

Tallifer

Hero
What VTTs have you guys found to be best for larger maps? I was playing around with Roll20 some more last night and I uploaded a JPEG of a level from Rappan Athuk.
You can use the tab for pages at the top of the roll20 map and edit the size of the page to accommodate the map. It can be as huge as you want. (The roll20 wiki explains it better.)
 

I used FG for awhile. the learning curve is real, but it definitely automates a ton. If you have the money, I'd do it again.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
You can use the tab for pages at the top of the roll20 map and edit the size of the page to accommodate the map. It can be as huge as you want. (The roll20 wiki explains it better.)
Thank you. I finally figured it out a while after that post. I've also got dynamic lighting and advanced fog of war figured out.

I'm thinking of getting the $50/year subscription which gives me enough storage to upload all my Rappan Athuk maps. I do really like the the dynamic lighting used in conjunction with advance fog of war, but am finding that it gets very unresponsive with large maps.

I'm going to try prep some of the same maps in Fantasy Grounds and Map Tools to see if I have a better experience running software on my computer and just doing a screen share. The problem with that is that I would have to move all the player tokens during the game.

I'd be happy to spend the money, but my problem is that I'm worried about buyer's remorse. If I go all into Roll20 and then if FGG focuses on putting its content into Fantasy Grounds, it would feel like a waste.

As much as I love FGG and their Lost Worlds setting and related adventures, I would have had an easier time going with official WotC material or even Kobold Press's Midgard setting, both of which have good support in a number of VTTs. But I jumped into Lost Lands when I was still running in-person games.

I'm going to spend the weekend running simulations in a variety of tools this weekend to first see which solutions provides the best performance given my sub-part Internet connection. I'm going to hold off on buying any 5e rule-sets and bestiaries until I have a better idea on which system will better support the third-party content I want to use.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Does d20Pro have Fate dice?
I don't know what fate dice are. I can say that d20pro is designed specifically for d20 system games. It is not trying to be all things for all games. That's another reason I'm still seriously considering Fantasy Grounds, which seems like it can better support more, and very different, game systems.
 


kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
We started using roll20 recently. It’s okay (just okay). One of the other members of my group ran Call of Cthluhu, and I’ll be moving my Pathfinder 2e campaign to it starting this Saturday.

I'm thinking of getting the $50/year subscription which gives me enough storage to upload all my Rappan Athuk maps. I do really like the the dynamic lighting used in conjunction with advance fog of war, but am finding that it gets very unresponsive with large maps.
That’s a concern I have as I work to put my stuff into roll20 for my game. However, there’s a rewrite in the works, so maybe it’ll get better soon.
 

jaerdaph

#BlackLivesMatter
Thanks, guys!
I already use Roll20 for Fate but I was curious if d20Pro might have Fate dice. Based on the name I'm not surprised it doesn't have Fate dice but it still looks like a solid VTT choice both for usability and affordability.
 

I have not installed Fantasy Grounds yet. I like that I can use FG for in-person games and also like that it offers a freehand mask reveal. That may be what leads me to go with FG, even though I found it difficult to use, with a steep learning curve, when I first looked at it a few years ago.
Check out www.fantasygroundscollege.net. They are probably new since you last tried FG. They offer all sorts of free classes to get people up to speed and even into advanced topics in FG. Another aspect of the great FG community.

Wondering - what is the best option for Voice? I saw Discord mentioned a couple of times upthread; but wondering about Google Hangouts; or any other tools? What about webcams, do people usually see each other's webcams?
Discord. Or Teamspeak if you or a friend are willing to run a server.
How exactly does Roll20 make money? They are really pushing their free trial; but I don't like to sign up for even a trial until I understand how much the real product will cost.
As other have said, they sell lots of content and try to get people to pay for upgraded features. And of course, it always reminds me of the saying; "When something is free, it's because you are the product."
What VTTs have you guys found to be best for larger maps?
I always struggle to load custom maps in Roll20. Getting them to fit and getting the grid on them is always a struggle for me even after I followed several tutorials. Never had that challenge with FG except for when grid size is not a whole number of pixels you end up with drift. MapTools should be easy, but never explored it.
 

The_Dagda

Villager
I'm looking at VTTs again. I'm mainly looking for something that will allow me to throw up a map and character token and clear fog as characters explore the map. I don't have time to prep maps for dynamic lighting so progressive reveal and dynamic lighting don't matter to me.

Roll20 is at the top of my list as it is dead simple to add a map. But I find the reveal features clunky. After using RealmWorks for sharing maps, it is hard to live without paintbrush reveal, especially since I have a touch screen. I can reveal parts of a map by simply smudging away parts of the mask layer with my finger. ...

I have not installed Fantasy Grounds yet. I like that I can use FG for in-person games and also like that it offers a freehand mask reveal. That may be what leads me to go with FG, even though I found it difficult to use, with a steep learning curve, when I first looked at it a few years ago....

I just joined the Foundry VTT Patreon and installed the software. It is wonky and doesn't work great with high-resolution displays. I had to change my display setting just to make it usable (important buttons would be off screen and not reachable). Also, I just could not figure out how to add a map and documentation is almost non-existent.
Had the same experience and impression with Astral and you piqued interest in Realmworks. Thanks for the post.

Sorry your Foundry experience wasn’t great. My group is moving there from Roll20 chiefly BECAUSE of the high definition performance. Roll20 can’t handle highrez maps and it’s performance crawls with complex dynamic lighting and light sources (I feel you re: the polygon shapes). I’ve been running ultraHD animated maps (can’t do that on R20 or FG) from Dynamic Dungeons and 100+ shaded light sources and dynamic lighting hasn’t complained with 4 characters.

Hope the version 1.0 is dropped soon and the documentation gets a boost. Encourage you to check again when it does.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Currently I've settled on running Map Tools and sharing the player map via Google Meet. I have the 100+ maps from my Rappan Athuk campaign, and tokens for all MM maps easily available and searchable from Map Tools. I just go to my Rappan Athuk maps folder, search for the battlemap image I want, right click on it and select new map. It opens with Fog of War. Sizing the grid is a little finicky but not hard and is pretty quick. Then I just drop the party tokens on it.

It offers rectangle, diamond, polygon, and freehand reveal. I can easily drop monster tokens on for encounters.

It is easy and reliable. No freezing. No crashing. I reveal the map as the party explores, moving their tokens around and throwing monster tokens on the map during combat encounters.

The downside is that running a Map Tools server that my players can access to control their own tokens is too much of a hassle to bother with. Also, it would be too much work to create the macros and data enter monster stats to have any of the automations that make Roll20, d20pro, and Fantasy Grounds nice.

I'm still paying $9/month for Fantasy Ground Unity Ultimate (Early Access), because it is what I would most like to work. I've just found it to be unusable in practice.

It consistently and repeatedly freezes when I simply try to repeat what I do in Map Tools in FGU. I thought I was starting "simple". But everything is less convenient and less stable than Map Tools for what I'm trying to do.

I have all my maps and tokens for my characters in the campaign folder. I pull up a map by going to the images widget, which simply takes longer to navigate and search than Map Tools. Then I have to open the Maps widget. Create a new map and then add the battlemap image to the background layer. Seems like an unnecessary number of steps (why not just right click on an image and select "create new map"?), but is not that difficult and can be done quickly once you know what you need to do.

Sizing the grid in FGU is the simplest of any VTT I've used.

Adding tokens is pretty strait forward.

Panning around the map is one thing I don't like for FGU. In other VTTs, you can hold the right click on the mouse and drag the map around. In FGU you can to click on an special icon on the map and drag it to move around the map. Not a big deal, just not as fluid and simple as Map Tools.

Opening another instance and connecting via LAN for sharing on a second screen for in-person play or via Google Meet, etc., is about the same process as Map Tools but it takes a lot longer, uses more system resources, and software inevitably hangs and freezes, making it unusable for play.

I'm going to do more testing with FGU using two computers and connected using the cloud server. Maybe if I'm only running one instance it will run better. Ultimately, of course, I want to get to the point where my players can run FGU on their computer and control their own tokens. But I'm not going to bother them with that until I know I accomplish simple tasks as displaying and manually revealing maps.

Also, it is important to note that with VTTs that are installed on your local computer and connect to the company cloud servers, like FGU, d20pro, and Foundry on The Forge servers, they don't work in many countries. I started my testing when I was working abroad in the mideast and it is unlikely I'd be able to host games using most of these tools as I can't access their cloud servers. That was one big thing in favor of Roll20 and if I were not running such a map-heavy campaign, I would consider Roll20, even if it is not a great tool for in-person games.

In terms of its feature set, FGU is the holy grail for me, except that it has proven unstable to the point of being unusable and hosting doesn't work when I'm working overseas. I'll do more testing over this month as I just paid for another month, but it is looking like I'll just cancel my Ultimate subscription and use Table Tools for the time being and check it out again when it comes out of its "early release" stage.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Had the same experience and impression with Astral and you piqued interest in Realmworks. Thanks for the post.

Sorry your Foundry experience wasn’t great. My group is moving there from Roll20 chiefly BECAUSE of the high definition performance. Roll20 can’t handle highrez maps and it’s performance crawls with complex dynamic lighting and light sources (I feel you re: the polygon shapes). I’ve been running ultraHD animated maps (can’t do that on R20 or FG) from Dynamic Dungeons and 100+ shaded light sources and dynamic lighting hasn’t complained with 4 characters.

Hope the version 1.0 is dropped soon and the documentation gets a boost. Encourage you to check again when it does.
My problem with Foundry is that it took too much time just to get it to start. To just install it and create my first campaign and load my first map took a couple hours of testing, looking for documentation, posting to the Patreon page, and finally getting a solution from the Discord channel that required manually applying a patch. I work in info systems, so I'm used to wrangling with software, but this just felt like work. I want to play D&D not learn 2nd-level IT support solutions.

Also, Foundry doesn't have licensed WotC content, so I would have to do all the data entry if I want stats, initiative tracking, combat macros, etc. I'm finding Map Tools offers everything I need in terms of displaying maps and tokens. It offers dynamic lighting etc. and has great FOW reveal tools. So I'm not sure what Foundry is adding to my experience, even if it wasn't so half-baked and undocumented.

Foundry also doesn't do anything to make it easier to host games. At least FGU and d20pro offer cloud servers as part of the subscription, so long as you are not in country blocked from accessing them. Map Tools and Foundry are just too difficult to host games on over the Internet. Especially if you travel and do not always have control over routers etc.

Once Foundry gets to the point of general release, I'll take another look.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I voted Roll20, but I don't want that to sound like an endorsement.

We played two games of D&D this weekend on Roll20, and it was a bear. It was slow and laggy, with unreliable audio/video and glitchy lighting. We would be using a different platform if a superior option were available, but alas.
 

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