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9littlebees
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat 18 Feb 2017, 14:22
Location: Rural Germany
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Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Sat 08 Jun 2019, 07:55

I have to say, Tabletop Simulator feels much more like you're sat at a table and IMO is more appropriate for casual "beer & pretzel" games, since it's hard to ignore the table! My preference for getting immersed in a game (as a viewer) is for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, where all you can see are the players and the dice results, with the occasional relevant handout being flashed up. This is how they do it for most Encounter Roleplay streams, and I think it's a great method.

Personally, if I ever run Alien on a VTT, I'd probably use Roll20 because there's no barrier to entry (cost, PC spec, OS, etc). Audio / video naturally needs to be run elsewhere because it is so buggy, but Discord fits the bill admirably here. I'm also keeping a close eye on Astral, because it looks like it will have even more user-friendly features, even when ignoring the map features.
 
AlexanderMars
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 23:50

Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Sun 09 Jun 2019, 15:00

I’ve been looking for something in the VTT realm and have not found it. I really have only played in person and want something that “supports” the table top and doesn’t “replace” the table top. Most of the products I’ve seen seem to be geared towards turning the TTRPG experience into “legend of Zelda” style dungeon crawler, which looks cool but isn’t what I’m looking for.

Maybe what I’m looking for is more of a virtual GM screen. I’m not sure if there’s anything out there, but if anyone has a suggestion I’m interested.
 
emirikol7
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun 09 Jun 2019, 18:14

Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Sun 09 Jun 2019, 18:21

I started messing around with some MAPTOOL (rptools.net).  Maptool is free btw.

To keep from destroying the immersion of an adventure (of any game system) the speed and ease of use of a VTT is crucial.  You can have a really pretty thing that you spend too much time fiddling with during a game and it will kill the moment.
 
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The JollyGM
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat 25 May 2019, 15:02

Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Fri 14 Jun 2019, 16:52

I have to say, Tabletop Simulator feels much more like you're sat at a table and IMO is more appropriate for casual "beer & pretzel" games, since it's hard to ignore the table! My preference for getting immersed in a game (as a viewer) is for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, where all you can see are the players and the dice results, with the occasional relevant handout being flashed up. This is how they do it for most Encounter Roleplay streams, and I think it's a great method.
Hey, I was and am a very hard core Fantasy Grounds user for VTT, I really like it. But when I actually gave TTS a chance for a standard RPG session. I was so shocked at the ease, effectiveness and feel that that software provided. Sure its $20 Canadian, (so like.. 35cents USD?  lol)  But 20 dollars gets you so much material to use for free from the workshop that you will have NO issue designing and running a game.

As for the way it feels to run a game. It is so much easier to play and run a game using TTS, then it is to use either Roll20 or FG when it comes to prep and time. It can look intimidating, but it is not at all.

If you play most of your games on a VTT, and you and your players can afford the very low cost of purchase and use it more then 2 times that year, you will be so much better off and money well spent. 

When I return from work in a few weeks, I will even offer up game session here for people to try it out.
 
NotRussellCrowe
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu 23 May 2019, 12:50

Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Sat 15 Jun 2019, 00:57

I have to say, Tabletop Simulator feels much more like you're sat at a table and IMO is more appropriate for casual "beer & pretzel" games, since it's hard to ignore the table! My preference for getting immersed in a game (as a viewer) is for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, where all you can see are the players and the dice results, with the occasional relevant handout being flashed up. This is how they do it for most Encounter Roleplay streams, and I think it's a great method.
Hey, I was and am a very hard core Fantasy Grounds user for VTT, I really like it. But when I actually gave TTS a chance for a standard RPG session. I was so shocked at the ease, effectiveness and feel that that software provided. Sure its $20 Canadian, (so like.. 35cents USD?  lol)  But 20 dollars gets you so much material to use for free from the workshop that you will have NO issue designing and running a game.

As for the way it feels to run a game. It is so much easier to play and run a game using TTS, then it is to use either Roll20 or FG when it comes to prep and time. It can look intimidating, but it is not at all.

If you play most of your games on a VTT, and you and your players can afford the very low cost of purchase and use it more then 2 times that year, you will be so much better off and money well spent. 

When I return from work in a few weeks, I will even offer up game session here for people to try it out.
Thanks, Jolly, that sounds great. Hope I am able to join you.

I picked up TTS as some of us were supposed to play Hobbit Tales but nothing has materialized with that, so there it sits on my hard drive never having been used.

Happy gaming!
 
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aramis
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri 14 Jun 2019, 20:34
Location: Oregon, USA
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Re: Virtual Tabletops?

Sat 15 Jun 2019, 05:15

It's entirely possible to play without VTT support. Both Skype and Discord allow passing text and files during voice connections, and I tend to run more theater of the mind than minis on map, so the VTT's are more effort than needed. DIscord also has dice rolling bots available. 

Given the zone based tactical movement, a map is less essential tactically, but putting one with labeled spaces can be more than enough.

Even just a text map like this:
        Cabin 2   Cabin 3    Commons
             |       |     /
Bridge  —   main hall  ——    aft hall — Engineering 
             |       |     \
        Cabin 1   Cabin 4    Kitchen
Is more than adequate for such a system. It works fine in Crimson Cutlass, in Firefly, in Traveller, in Star Trek Adventures... (Classic Traveller used 25m bands for combat at first... essentially, the same size as Zones...)
Having run many games over the last nearly 40 years with a variety of tactical rulesets, zone-based is the easiest when going via conference call...
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Smith & Wesson: the original point and click interface...
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