Saturday, December 4, 2021

Saturday VTT thoughts

I looked at some of this video of Doug's, showing Foundry VTT support for his new monsters. Pretty neat:

But I keep thinking . . . I play a number of things not by the book. I play a lot of monsters off of variants. I have rules that aren't in any books at all.

The more computer support I get, the more I need to fight with the computer to make it do what I want it to do.

What I really need for a VTT isn't really tight integrated rules support.

I need:

- easy dynamic lighting and Fog of War

- easy range managment

- easy movement of icons

- easy addition and scaling of maps

- a solid random rolling system that doesn't give Roll20 bullshit like these rolls from Aldwyn last session:

(Seriously, look at that. Three rolls with three dice all the same - just column shifted.)

. . . and maybe a few little things.

I don't really want a computer game where I'm the GM, so much as a set of tools that just let me execute what I'm doing.

More than anything, I miss playing on the tabletop. The tools that would let me do that while taking advantage of cut-and-past monster replication, map uploads, and fog of war would be awesome. And yet the things I see that do the job better than Roll20 also integrate the rules "better," which isn't really a big help.

I might be asking for too much by asking for less. But I'm not really sure. It's why I hate Roll20 at this point but I don't seem to be in a big hurry to spend time digging into a new VTT. I will look closer at Foundry . . . but my desires are for something that is probably not around to be found.


  1. There is a nice fog of war module that you can add on (free, as are 99% of all modules, or 100% of the modules I use). You can reveal by drawing, or just hex by hex, which is kind of nice (click on a hex, the hex becomes visible, for example). The GURPS Game Aid thing also lets you use whatever rules you want--it's not restricted to standard GURPS. The designers' motto is “Your GURPS. Your way.”

    Uploading tokens, maps, etc. is probably similar to Roll20 if not better; I'd have to think about it. The mechanics are largely the same but a bit easier once you get the hang of it. No need to use dynamic lighting--you can just use the fog of war thing.

    There is a nice little module called "push token back" or something like that, that really helps when you have multiple tokens in a hex. You just assign a key (I use the tilde key) that, when a token is selected, basically pushes a token to the bottom of the stack, so you can see the token that is underneath. It takes a lot of the annoyance out of close combat (it's not a PERFECT solution, but very good).

  2. But, to be fair, it is also not "zero learning curve." It takes some getting used to, and in the beginning, there's quite a bit of, "How the hell do I do this thing? Ohhhh... OK, that's how Foundry does it."

  3. Have you looked at TaleSpire? It's available on Steam and maybe other places. I have never used it, nor do I know if it does hexes. Runehammer also has a VTT.

    1. Talespire is still in 'early access' and doesn't have a lot of features available yet. Everyone (GM AND Players) involved also needs to buy a copy.
      Maptools doesn't really sound like a big improvement over Roll20.

  4. Have you tried maptools?

    I've been using Roll20 but am really wanting to do Maptools sometime it seems the most fabulous

    1. Considering its free, if you really want a stripped down VTT, maptools is worth a look.

      You can also use it as a pretty complex, custom built VTT, but you either have to write the macros yourself or find someone on the forums who has already done it.

  5. Foundry and the GGA (featured in that video) could fit your bill perfectly. It doesn't force any automation on you, it gets out of your way very easily if that's what you want, and meets all of your bullet point features. Except random rolling, that can always screw with you :P


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