Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Varulv
Stoat
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Varulv » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:28 pm

Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

We have been playing Traveller and Pathfinder on Roll20 for the last few years. Roll20 has no support such as rulesets or adventures for Traveller, whereas the support for Pathfinder is more elaborated with very advanced and competent character sheets, rulebooks etc.

As a referee for Traveller I’m very happy with Roll20. I have made my own character sheet (there is a community version available for MgT2) which suits our needs and I can easily adapt it to support my house rules. I’m perfectly satisfied to have the rules as physical books and searchable PDFs, so I don’t see a need to have the rules available from Roll20 (especially since they wouldn’t include my homebrewed stuff).

I’m a player in Pathfinder and even though the rules are easily accessible through Roll20 our GM prefers his physical books (and online sources) and to the best of my knowledge doesn’t use the ruleset provided by Roll20.

I have no experience with Fantasy Ground but I have noticed that the provide support for MgT2, including a few adventures. To get access to all the MgT2 stuff you have to pay about the same price as the physical books (USD 50 for the core rulebook and USD 9 to 15 for an adventure). Since I naturally already have all the physical books, I’m reluctant to buy them one more time to use them with Fantasy Ground. However, if the experience for me as a referee and/or for my players is vastly improved if we switch from Roll20 to Fantasy Ground, I must at least consider it.

I would like to hear your experiences of Fantasy Ground in general and Mongoose Traveller (1st or 2nd edition) in particular.
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Moppy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:41 pm

In the old days we played over any video or voice chat program and used any of the free digital whiteboards for maps (Google Hangouts had real-time collaborative drawing built in).

So maybe the question should be, "What benefit does having the platform support the rules actually give you"?
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby AndrewW » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:00 am

Moppy wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:41 pm
In the old days we played over any video or voice chat program and used any of the free digital whiteboards for maps (Google Hangouts had real-time collaborative drawing built in).

So maybe the question should be, "What benefit does having the platform support the rules actually give you"?
No need for video or voice, just text works fine. Have played a fair bit over IRC myself. MapTools is a free option though if you need more.

https://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool
HalC
Mongoose
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby HalC » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:51 am

If you would like to see what is possible when playing with Fantasy Grounds, let me know. While I don't have the Traveller game supported myself, I do have GURPS and can show you some of what the experience is/will be like. Because I paid for the "ultimate" license, I can host games for those who are using the demo (free) version of the software instead of having to actively purchase either a player or GM license for the game.

If anyone is interested, let me know.

Disclaimer: I am not an employee nor affiliate of Fantasy Grounds, nor am I trying to convert people from Mongoose Traveller to any other form of Traveller. Were I to pick up the Mongoose supported Traveller 2nd edition, then I could let you see the entire package.

Dang - yet another reason to potentially pick up the software. <rueful chuckle>
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Moppy » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:37 pm

I wish we could fix IRC and bring it up to modern standards.

Discord is eating everyones lunch and their privacy policy is terrible.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby AndrewW » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:14 pm

Moppy wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:37 pm
I wish we could fix IRC and bring it up to modern standards.
Works fine the way it is, at least for me.
Varulv
Stoat
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Varulv » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Moppy wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:41 pm
In the old days we played over any video or voice chat program and used any of the free digital whiteboards for maps (Google Hangouts had real-time collaborative drawing built in).

So maybe the question should be, "What benefit does having the platform support the rules actually give you"?
That is part of it. As far as Roll20 and Pathfinder is concerned, I cannot see that access to the rules improves the gaming experience. But does Fantasy Ground to something more with the rules besides having them available online?

Also, if I buy an adventure module in Fantasy Ground, what does I get besides access to the adventure? Maps, NPCs with associated pictures and tokens, pop up-windows with key information and flashy graphics to show the players, etc?

AndrewW wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:00 am

No need for video or voice, just text works fine. Have played a fair bit over IRC myself. MapTools is a free option though if you need more.

https://www.rptools.net/index.php?page=maptool
That wouldn’t work for us; roleplaying is like a theatre without an audience. Voice is vital and I wouldn’t like to play without video either. But I understand that others have other preferences - and that’s one of the beauties with PnP versus computer games, you can do it your way.

HalC wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:51 am
If you would like to see what is possible when playing with Fantasy Grounds, let me know. While I don't have the Traveller game supported myself, I do have GURPS and can show you some of what the experience is/will be like. Because I paid for the "ultimate" license, I can host games for those who are using the demo (free) version of the software instead of having to actively purchase either a player or GM license for the game.

If anyone is interested, let me know.

Disclaimer: I am not an employee nor affiliate of Fantasy Grounds, nor am I trying to convert people from Mongoose Traveller to any other form of Traveller. Were I to pick up the Mongoose supported Traveller 2nd edition, then I could let you see the entire package.

Dang - yet another reason to potentially pick up the software. <rueful chuckle>
I might take you up on that later on.
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Moppy » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:08 pm

AndrewW wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:14 pm
Moppy wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:37 pm
I wish we could fix IRC and bring it up to modern standards.
Works fine the way it is, at least for me.
Not for me.

If you have an established community on IRC, you are lucky.

The technical groups I used to participate in have mostly moved to Slack, and it seems like every other day a new gaming Discord opens. Getting new users into IRC is quite difficult, and I wish it was easier because IRC is far more transparent.
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4281
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby AndrewW » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:37 pm

Varulv wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:45 pm
That wouldn’t work for us; roleplaying is like a theatre without an audience. Voice is vital and I wouldn’t like to play without video either. But I understand that others have other preferences - and that’s one of the beauties with PnP versus computer games, you can do it your way.
I prefer text based myself. Good for having a log file. But up to the individuals what they prefer it is good to have options. There's also the possibility to use multiple options. I've used IRC based for the chat and MapTools during combat.
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Moppy » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:42 pm

Speech recognition is actually OK for producing transcripts of voice games. A few of the technical terms and names come up garbled but in my experience players don't remember NPC names anyway and refer to them as "the doctor guy". It does require that people don't have potatos for microphones.
dmccoy1693
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1287
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:23 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby dmccoy1693 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:12 am

I use fantasy grounds. Having the rules programmed into it make the difference for me.
Moppy
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Moppy » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:08 pm

dmccoy1693 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:12 am
I use fantasy grounds. Having the rules programmed into it make the difference for me.
I haven’t used their implementation of Traveller. How easy is it for players to tell if you GM-fiated a roll?
esmdev
Shrew
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:55 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby esmdev » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:23 pm

I'm not sure about Roll20 but the Fantasy Grounds ruleset is licensed by Mongoose.

The MGT ruleset in Fantasy Grounds will allow you to create and store a character (it has the Core Rule tables in it so you can just click, it will output the results into chat and then you can record the results on the character sheet).

For players it will handle equipment, skill and combat resolution with a variety of easy click buttons for DMs and boon/bane. It also has a notes section for players to keep information that they don't want to put on their character sheet. The notes can be made private or public. You can also read player info on the calendar that the Ref can (optionally) keep updated.

For referees it does everything that a player can do. It also provides a calendar that allows you to enter bits of information like (Highndry leaves orbit and jumps to X planet then you can just count forward 7 days and enter that they come out of Jump at Planet X). It has an area for storing custom world information, NPCs (as Animal, Humanoid, Other or Robot), create encounters from NPCs for easy adding to the combat tracker, and equipment.

You can customize a lot of the information. You can pretty easily create new equipment or add skills to the campaign.

One thing I like about FG is that you can link things so they can be found easily. I have a notes file that is Library Data for my campaign. I put in a title, then link a picture or world data or equipment or critter, and then I put a brief summary under the link(s). It makes things easy for my players to find.

The other thing I like about it is that it's under constant development. The developer MadBeardMan has made major upgrades to the ruleset and many of them are community requested. Central Supply Catalog is coming soon, High Guard / Vehicles are next, and then Companion after that. Plus modules and region books have been coming at a steady pace.

Anyways, that is my thought on Traveller for Fantasy Grounds. I've run both the MGT1 and MGT2 rulesets and they both make online gaming fast and simple so we can spend more time playing. :)

Disclaimer, I'm not a employee or developer for FG or Traveller. I just really like how it has improved our games.
Old School
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 868
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Old School » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:55 pm

Thanks for the review, emsdev, and welcome to the forums.

I recommend paltrysum buy a license so he can ref a game for all of us.
Varulv
Stoat
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby Varulv » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:23 pm

Thank you esmdev for your detailed description. Roll20 doesn’t have a ruleset at all for Traveller, just character sheets for several different versions.

As far as character sheets with skill rolls, boon/bane, character history, notes etc both Roll20 and FG supports them. The calendar function you describe is lacking in Roll20, I’ll handle it with a simple text handout but the calendar function sounds neat. Your own Library Data does also sound interesting, Roll20 doesn’t provide anything like that (I use a PDF that I update and distribute to my players).

The obvious downside with FG is to pay one more time for the same ruleset…
esmdev
Shrew
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:55 pm

Re: Roll20 vs Fantasy Ground

Postby esmdev » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:21 am

Smiteworks has a 30 full refund policy so you could try it and see if the additional functionality is worth the money. I've tried some rulesets that just didn't do it for me and the returns were quick and painless. Also there are quite a few screenshots of the system on the FG website and in Twitter under MadBeardMan. I totally get the feeling of buying the rules twice but I tend to think of it more as purchasing the programming and support as opposed to the rulebook (which is also in the ruleset for ease of use).

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Condottiere and 17 guests