Fantasy Grounds

Discussion in 'Pen and paper games' started by shenniko, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. shenniko

    shenniko Getting Started

    Jan 19, 2016
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  2. QueensKnight

    QueensKnight Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Eastern Daylight / Standard Time (UTC - 4 / 5)
    Hey there. You may have moved on, but I figured I would give you an answer in case you do check for one. I guess other people might benefit as well, so here goes.

    First for good information on comparing Fantasy Grounds (FG)... check out this chart put together by the Fantasy Grounds developers. (Fantasy Grounds Message Boards - VTT Comparison Chart Fantasy Grounds vs Roll20)

    Now, as to my personal experience.

    I've owned FG for over a decade. A long time. There were options at the time and there are options now, however, I went with FG and it has been the best money I have ever spent on software. (ANY software.)

    There are options as to how you use FG... Hopefully this short description will help when looking at the chart.

    1. If you do not buy or subscribe (so you pay nothing) you are doing the FG Free option in the chart. Doing this you can play (only as a player) in games with a DM that has bought or subscribed to a license that allows free players. These DMs pay more for the ability to play with people that have not bought FG. (These are the Ultimate License in the chart.) If you do not buy or subscribe you will not be able to play with a DM that has the cheaper license that requires that all players also have a paid license (either bought or subscribed). (These are the Standard License in the chart.)

    2. If you buy or subscribe to the Standard License you can play as a player with a DM that has either a Standard or Ultimate License. If you DM your players must have bought or subscribed to either a standard or ultimate license.

    3. If you buy or subscribe to the Ultimate License you can play as a player with a DM that has either a standard or ultimate license. If you DM your players can use a free, standard, or ultimate license.

    I have played in a lot of campaigns in the years I have owned FG. Just like in real life, it can be difficult to get a solid group together. So do not buy FG and expect instant groups and on demand gaming. However, with some patience... with some effort... there are groups forming all the time... sometimes they are scheduled at a bad time... sometimes they don't play the game you want to play... etc. But, it is possible to play with folks. Unless you live in a big city with lots of others that play the game you enjoy most, this likely does not sound too foreign. It takes time and effort but is possible.

    Make sure you research whether your game system is supported on FG before you make a purchase. If you are a DnD player (especially the current edition), Pathfinder player, and Savage Worlds player... you will find a thriving group of people playing your game on FG. I've played in various games using those systems recently. (The Fantasy Grounds Con was just a few weeks ago.) (Don't be discouraged if I didn't mention your system of choice... go look and see if it is supported... just because I haven't played it recently doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of people playing it.)

    Also, as you do that research you will see the various items for sale in the FG store. These are the extra tidbits that make things really hum when playing with FG. When people talk about the automation, these extra purchases make all the automation sing. If you play 5e DnD, for example, buying the 5e Player's handbook will let you drag and drop class elements onto your character sheet. Without the PHB you can only do that with class elements that are in the 5E srd (which is very limited in comparison to the PHB). If you only play as a player you don't need to buy these things. If you are going to DM these things are so helpful. When you buy something like the PHB you are giving away money in exchange for saving time. You could type up and prepare everything in the PHB yourself. FG would allow that. You obviously cannot distribute it but you could use it, and therefore allow your players to use it, while you were DMing. But, if you buy it you get all those hours back... as well as never have to learn how to do the coding that is required, etc. So, it is a question of what is that worth to you for each additional purchase. Another thing to note... a number of people once they move to FG stop buying the actual books and only buy their gaming material in the FG store. If you only play using FG, or if your face to face games don't require that you own the books, this is an option.

    I've played with people in the Americas (north and south), Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia over Fantasy Grounds. It has been an experience that a live game could never give me unless I start gaming with wealthy jet setters that are flying in to game together.

    If you have questions about FG I recommend that you visit their forums and start reading. There is tons of useful information.

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