I used Maptools back in the day, but eventually found it too much work. Now I'm getting back into things and need to learn Roll20 by the first session next Sunday.
I'd never seen owlbear.rodeo before. That's kind of cool (although the lack of hex maps is an issue for me).I think I've fallen in love with owlbear.rodeo. It's a free but very barebones browser-based VTT. There is no audio or video component - you will need Google Meet, Zoom, or Discord for that. I recommend Discord because of all the dice and RPG bots available. There are also no tools for character sheets. What you get: maps, tokens, fog of war, drawing tools, barebones dice tray, and a laser pointer. All tokens, maps, and other images live on your computer so there are no limits on file size or storage space. There's hardly any learning curve compared to other VTTs. It also works beautifully on desktops, tablets, and phones (but there is no app - you need to use a web browser on all devices).
That said, it is very barebones. There are no user accounts - everything works on a custom URL that you can password protect at creation, but you can't change that password later, so anyone with the link and password will always be able to get in. It "remembers" what map and token images you "uploaded" from your computer with a cookie (they don't use third party cookies though), so if you clear your cookie cache, you will have to add everything again since it pulls the images from your computer. There are no defined roles like GM or Player, but the original URL creator has some rights other users don't (like hidden tokens etc.). The creator is the only one with access to the tokens and maps they upload, but other users can load their own tokens and maps too (which the original creator won't be able to see unless the user shares them). You are also only considered the original owner on the device where you originally created the URL.
All things considered, the pros outweigh the cons if you are looking for something lightweight and easy that pairs nicely with your other online gaming tools like Discord. The developers are committed to keeping it simple and not trying to replicate other VTTs like Roll20.
There's nothing stopping you from importing a hexed map.I'd never seen owlbear.rodeo before. That's kind of cool (although the lack of hex maps is an issue for me).
Very interested in your comparison of Owlbear Rodeo to Role. Role seems a bit like Owlbear Rodeo with the web meeting functionality integrated with the basic TTRPG features.I also just received my early access account info for the recently Kickstarted Role VTT. Will report back when I've had a chance to play with that. Role: A New Kind of Platform For The RPG Community
@MNblockhead Finally started to play around with Role a bit. It's still Kickstarter backers only beta testing (although you as GM can invite in non-backer friends as players), so not a lot of the features I'm interested in are ready to go yet (custom character sheet creation in particular). So far, the audio and video is very smooth and easy to set up in the program.
Initially Role was supposed to be a "theater of the mind" but now you can import maps and tokens. Very easy to set up and configure maps and grids, both square and hex, and tokens are easy to import and scale, but it's nowhere near the options available in Owlbear.Rodeo yet (save for hex maps) and certainly not Roll20 yet either (all with regards to tokens and maps).
The dice options are more robust than Owlbear as you can add bonuses/penalties from character sheets, but again not at Roll20 levels. No Fate/Fudge dice yet though.
Custom character sheets aren't available yet but there are a few premade templates for D&D, Lancer, Mothership, and some other games. Sheets and maps and tokens (and other assets like images and PDFs) can be shared between your games (called Tables), and deleting something from a table doesn't delete it from your account and will still be available on your dashboard library (where you can delete things permanently). Nothing is automatically imported into a table (game) when you create it so you have to populate it with assets from your computer or dashboard library - this is so you can have multiple tables and not be overwhelmed in a new one with everything from elsewhere already inside. I like this a lot.
I don't think I can evaluate it yet until more of the upcoming announced features are added, but I am very impressed with the work the developers are doing and the frequent updates. The high quality audio and video are pretty sweet right now though.
Yeah, I can see that. Most of the VTT maps in my collection are 12x12, 20x30, or 30x30, so it's not really an issue for me because I can usually tell. I also like to "optimize" the maps and add elements in GIMP so I'm trying to get into the habit of adding the dimensions to the file name so they go right into Owlbear.Rodeo.I concur with your comments on Role. I don't like, however, that you need to count the number of squares or hexes on the horizontal and vertical lines. That makes it impractical to pull up a map spontaneously in play.
I'm really glad I backed Role too. A couple of days ago they announced they are going to be concentrating now on rolling out the Creator Suite that will allow users to build their own character sheets from drag and drop parts eliminating the need to understand complex macros, APIs etc. I can't wait to see that in action!I swear I posted inside this thread? Is there a similar thread?
We use Roll20. But I don't find it that great. There are a lot of things it could improve upon.
I am backing Roll. I think it is very user friendly so far. They have to add some things (and they are working on it), but from what I've seen it is really good.
Role: A New Kind of Platform For The RPG CommunityDiscover new games from passionate creators, meet new friends, and adventure together. Anyone can play, everyone is welcome.www.kickstarter.com
I am geeked about the Creator Suite. We'll see how it holds up.I'm really glad I backed Role too. A couple of days ago they announced they are going to be concentrating now on rolling out the Creator Suite that will allow users to build their own character sheets from drag and drop parts eliminating the need to understand complex macros, APIs etc. I can't wait to see that in action!