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Which Online Virtual Tabletop Do You Use?

Which online virtual tabletop do you use?


  • Total voters
    77

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Map Tool. Sorry. My world building has progressed to the point of using GIS tools in my games. Though, funnily enough I do have QGIS installed on my work laptop. It would be interesting to play around with how to use it in my world building. If I was doing a modern or SciFi game, I could totally see using QGIS for marking up maps.

It would be most impressive if you are doing a modern game like Delta Green or futuristic game like Shadow Run. There are lots of free satellite images, you can match these with various overlays and shape files to show and reveal things and you can mark up the maps. If you want a large region, continent, or the whole world to be your area of exploration, using QGIS would be an awesome way to display that and reveal information about locations as you explore.

If you are homebrewing your own worlds, it would be a lot of work, but if using the real world and pulling from open source images and data, it is just the learning curve to learn the software, but after that it would be quick to load maps, shape files, and data and to mark things up.

The image files, howver, are huge. Like I just opened one set and the main B&W sattlelite image is half a gigabyte. The overlay file is 161 MB. You'd need a good amount of space on your hard drive and you'd only be sharing via screenshare.

I'll probably never do this, because I only have time for my D&D campaign and I'm looking to decrease my prep time. But I can imagine some cool things one could do with a QGIS or some other GIS software. QGIS is open source. If interested, you can download for free here: Discover QGIS

Good sources of free GIS file sets can be found here:

(large, well-categorized list of sites offering free GIS data)

GIS Geography's list of the 10 best sources of free GIS data
 

Hawkwind

Explorer
Just found this online , its google slide for running Indexcard rpg complete with a dice roller.its is easy to hack it for most other games
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I use ZOOM.

I have a paid acct, a two camera set-up (one on the battle mat and one on me with the big classroom sized dry erase board I have in my game room behind me), we use the chat feature for sharing names of people and places and other important details (or secret convos), I use the share screen function when I need to share a map or image, and I let my players roll their own dice because if I did not trust them to not cheat I wouldn't be playing D&D with them in person or remotely.

I came up with this system after my first in-person game had to go remote b/c of covid, but then I started a second remote-only game with friends from around the country.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
I recently switched from astral tabletop, which is what I switched to after a couple years of using Roll20 begrudgingly, to FoundryVTT.

It's technically still in a pre-release state, but it is easily the best virtual table-top experience I've ever had. I can do as much with it as I did with MapTool way back when that was what I used, but it has an interface that meshes well with my brain and my players only need their preferred web browser to connect in.
 


I recently switched from astral tabletop, which is what I switched to after a couple years of using Roll20 begrudgingly, to FoundryVTT.

It's technically still in a pre-release state, but it is easily the best virtual table-top experience I've ever had. I can do as much with it as I did with MapTool way back when that was what I used, but it has an interface that meshes well with my brain and my players only need their preferred web browser to connect in.
Tell me more. I really want to see it in action, not a tutorial....
 




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.
We too use Roll20. You have just explained my experiences with it. My feelings are that the program works but Im considering switching to FG. With Roll20, the voice/video option lags at times, or players get kicked off, and performing simple actions takes a long time. I bought a month $5 subscription to try FoW and Dynamic lighting but that just slowed everything down to the point that I had to turn those features off. I thought that my laptop might have some effect on this as it takes awhile to respond opening webpages and when I right click for menus but Ive cleaned my cache and defragged which doesnt help much so I may have to find what program is hogging ram in the background. This would make some sense until I remembered that I have AutoCAD 2018 installed and it works fine. So this leads me to believe that the performance issues are web based, I am using Chrome not sure if everyone else is. Ive chalked it up to Roll20 systems being taxed as well as internet providers bandwidth being maxed out with everyone pandemic streaming, gaming among other things at the hours we play which is probably peak times for all of the aforementioned. We play on Wednesdays at 630PM to 900 PM. Can anyone confirm or refute my suspicions? Thanks.
 

Nebulous

Legend
We too use Roll20. You have just explained my experiences with it. My feelings are that the program works but Im considering switching to FG. With Roll20, the voice/video option lags at times, or players get kicked off, and performing simple actions takes a long time. I bought a month $5 subscription to try FoW and Dynamic lighting but that just slowed everything down to the point that I had to turn those features off. I thought that my laptop might have some effect on this as it takes awhile to respond opening webpages and when I right click for menus but Ive cleaned my cache and defragged which doesnt help much so I may have to find what program is hogging ram in the background. This would make some sense until I remembered that I have AutoCAD 2018 installed and it works fine. So this leads me to believe that the performance issues are web based, I am using Chrome not sure if everyone else is. Ive chalked it up to Roll20 systems being taxed as well as internet providers bandwidth being maxed out with everyone pandemic streaming, gaming among other things at the hours we play which is probably peak times for all of the aforementioned. We play on Wednesdays at 630PM to 900 PM. Can anyone confirm or refute my suspicions? Thanks.
We use Roll20 also. It generally works well, even with the dynamic lighting. Some days/times are slower than others. It can also be the size of the map and how many objects it is rendering. Roll20 is coming out with an updated lighting system in the next couple months, I hope they're changing enough under the hood to speed things up. Their servers undoubtedly are very, very overloaded, and I'm sure they're working on that too.

EDIT - I would use Discord for audio, it's much better than what is packaged with roll20. And probably don't use video at all, it eats up too much bandwidth otherwise needed for the lighting.

EDIT - I have FG and Fantasy Grounds Unity too, but I personally have a harder time using it than Roll20. The systems are so different. FGU has dynamic lighting too, and I think it will be on par with Roll20 whenever they officially release it.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
We use Roll20 for tabletop visualization, but Discord for Audio (or Zoom or while I still worked there, GotoMeeting).
 

We use Roll20 also. It generally works well, even with the dynamic lighting. Some days/times are slower than others. It can also be the size of the map and how many objects it is rendering. Roll20 is coming out with an updated lighting system in the next couple months, I hope they're changing enough under the hood to speed things up. Their servers undoubtedly are very, very overloaded, and I'm sure they're working on that too.

EDIT - I would use Discord for audio, it's much better than what is packaged with roll20. And probably don't use video at all, it eats up too much bandwidth otherwise needed for the lighting.

EDIT - I have FG and Fantasy Grounds Unity too, but I personally have a harder time using it than Roll20. The systems are so different. FGU has dynamic lighting too, and I think it will be on par with Roll20 whenever they officially release it.
Thanks for the response, definitely helped to make up my mind on a few things. I am probably going to switch to discord, FG isn't worth the trouble of switching to for my needs, and seems we're not the only group experiencing performance issues.

We already have Skype installed and were using that before we started using Roll20 which the audio seemed better in that than Skype. Is Discord better for virtual gaming as opposed to others such as Skype, Hangouts, or Meet or is it just preference?
 

Nebulous

Legend
We already have Skype installed and were using that before we started using Roll20 which the audio seemed better in that than Skype. Is Discord better for virtual gaming as opposed to others such as Skype, Hangouts, or Meet or is it just preference?
I don't really know, Discord is the only one i've used with any regularity. Someone else can probably advise though.

On another note, The Foundry officially releases May 22nd, next week, and that's a new contender in the VTT field. It looks good. It's $50, but you might want a monthly subscription to a server called Forge if you don't want to deal with setting up your own host.


I'm definitely going to get this. It supports 10 systems out of the gate, and the lighting effects look really fantastic.
 

I don't really know, Discord is the only one i've used with any regularity. Someone else can probably advise though.

On another note, The Foundry officially releases May 22nd, next week, and that's a new contender in the VTT field. It looks good. It's $50, but you might want a monthly subscription to a server called Forge if you don't want to deal with setting up your own host.


I'm definitely going to get this. It supports 10 systems out of the gate, and the lighting effects look really fantastic.
Thanks I'll look into it.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Thanks for the response, definitely helped to make up my mind on a few things. I am probably going to switch to discord, FG isn't worth the trouble of switching to for my needs, and seems we're not the only group experiencing performance issues.

We already have Skype installed and were using that before we started using Roll20 which the audio seemed better in that than Skype. Is Discord better for virtual gaming as opposed to others such as Skype, Hangouts, or Meet or is it just preference?
Discord has pretty good audio, but you're better served downloading the app to your device as opposed to trying to use it via web browser. Especially if you are using headphones, and especially especially if you are using bluetooth headphones. [edited to add: I say this because when I used my bluetooth headphones and the discord browser interface, when I would mute/unmute, it would switch between my headphones and the onboard Mac microphone. It was weird, and I probably could have troubleshot it more - although Discord itself said it could be resolved by just downloading the Discord app to my Mac. Which is what I did, and now it works great.]
 

Nebulous

Legend
We have one guy, his audio frequently drops him out from Discord, I don't know why. Like he's kicked out and has to log back on a bunch.
 

Ulfgeir

Explorer
We already have Skype installed and were using that before we started using Roll20 which the audio seemed better in that than Skype. Is Discord better for virtual gaming as opposed to others such as Skype, Hangouts, or Meet or is it just preference?
Skype used to be good before Microsoft bought them. Then they got steadily worse (and Skype for Business is their old product Lync, which really isn't any good. Teams is better for that). Haven't tried Hangouts or Meet for audio. Discord usually has rather good audio, but you can get problems. But they are intermittent. My group is 8 players (though 1 refuses to join though computer, so he hasn't been playing for a while). And sometimes the audi can be really bad for one person, or drop completely. Happened to me today, so I had to join up through the phone instead. Luckily that was just as we were wrapping up. Zoom has relatively good audio as well, but might not be the best product securitywise.
 

Skype used to be good before Microsoft bought them.
I had notice when we used it once or twice recently that it seemed like it was worse than it had been years ago, but had no idea Microsoft bought it. I was wondering if the video/audio programs were relatively the same across the board and just a matter of preference but it seems that most are using Discord.

Discord usually has rather good audio, but you can get problems. But they are intermittent. My group is 8 players (though 1 refuses to join though computer, so he hasn't been playing for a while). And sometimes the audi can be really bad for one person, or drop completely.
I expect some problems no matter what were using. Think I'll have us all reboot our machines halfway through the session when we take a short break and maybe this will help with players getting dropped. We are adding a player this week so Im hoping this doesnt multiply any performance issues.
 

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