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  1. #1

    Is Fantasy Grounds Unity for me?

    I DM several in person D&D campaigns and own all content on DnD Beyond. For our sessions, I generally throw up pictures, maps, etc on a 55" flatscreen television for players to understand where we are and where we are going. However, keeping track of character and monster locations with ONLY theatre of the mind gets daunting and confusing. Especially in my 8 player campaigns. Unfortunately, since we run on a very long and narrow table, there hasn't been room to lay out battle maps to use with minis during session.

    Secondly, none of my players have laptops with which to connect to a virtual table top. We play strictly in person and asking them to purchase a computer is a big ask. I also run on an older MacBook Pro that is 6 years old, I believe. So, also need to make sure this isn't going to be too much for my laptop since I generally use it for access to the compendiums on Beyond, running Syrinscape and displaying images on the secondary TV screen. With that, it sometimes starts to lag during encounters when I can have 10 tabs open at a time...is a VTT going to be much more demanding on my system?

    That said, what I'm needing is a VTT that allows me to either build or utilize maps from campaign books without too much effort and manipulate tokens and monsters in a battle map format while displaying a player view on the secondary TV screen. I may not be that tech savvy as I've tried Roll20 with no success and ended up spending hours in frustration with it. I have also tried Foundry VTT. It may have improved since I tried it but it felt extremely technical and beyond my skills. I've seen Fantasy Grounds used in some of the YouTube videos I've watched and it seems like it may be easier to manipulate than the others I've tried. But...if I'm going to have to buy some of my content a second time...I want to be sure this is going to be a good fit for me and my needs.

    The biggest hurdle seems to be gaining the secondary player view screen without having a player bring in a laptop to connect to the campaign and display it on the TV. Also...I'm just assuming you can gain generic player-purposed tokens to represent the players without any of them actually being in the FG campaign? Forgive me if this is being complicated...we are a group of 20-35 year olds that have only known old-school D&D. Beyond was a huge leap forward for all of us. lol

  2. #2
    bmos's Avatar
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    The second player view screen issue is easy. Just have the TV as second monitor and open a second copy of FG connected to the first copy.
    I played one session of that before my games all went online in March and everyone thought it was awesome.

    The issue of computing power is less easy, I know my players with old computers/who don't update their OS and such have trouble.
    It's not as bad as a 'real' computer game, but certainly not something I'd want to struggle with on a cheap secondhand laptop.
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  3. #3
    First download the demo version and play with it. It is free. It does have the 5e basic rules in it so you can get a feel for it. Next launch a second instance of Fantasy grounds and connect into your first. This would be what you have on the TV screen sharing also know as the player view.

    Now that you can see it time to get in some learning time. Go to https://fantasygroundscollege.net/ and sign up for a free intro course or character creation course. This will get your feet wet and you will know if it is for you. All with no money invested.

    If you want to make maps you will need a map making program. While there are some tile sets for Fantasy grounds you can buy I would recommend getting a real map program which will give you more control. IMO.

    If you buy a module inside of Fantasy Grounds it will come with all of the maps included with the book. They will also have pins you can click that bring up the room information and encounters.

    Once you make your own maps you can make pins for your maps and have all of the info you want right in one place.
    Last edited by Granamere; September 29th, 2020 at 03:53.
    If you want a Wishlist in the Fantasy grounds store klick the link and upvote it.
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  4. #4
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the FG forums ManOfValor!

    As mentioned above, you can load up the demo and have a look at how it works without players connecting. You won't be able to connect a second player instance to the FGU demo as FGU disables the connection in demo mode. But you'll get an idea of the interface and basic data from the demo. 5E SRD and D&D Basic Rules library data are included with the demo.

    If you're interested in looking into a particular product, Fantasy Grounds has a 30 day no questions asked refund policy for all items purchased from the FG store (not Steam, as that has it's own refund policy).
    FG Con 16 Fantasy Grounds Online RPG Convention - Postponed New date To Be Confirmed.
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    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  5. #5
    Sorry I should have also said Welcome!

    Trenloe is right. I am still running mainly in classic. I have Unity and do plan on switching but one of my players in on linux so we have been waiting for official support though he did get it running through steam this past weekend. I can not wait to cut over!

    I have not ran anything in Roll20 so I am biased. I have been very happy with how Fantasy Grounds runs for me and my players. We are all scattered and it works great.

    Since you are lucky enough to be able to get everyone under that same roof I think you get all the cool stuff with none of the remote technical problems. I have a couple of non tech savvy players so getting discord, Syrinscape and everything to work can sometimes be a challenge when troubleshooting remotely.
    If you want a Wishlist in the Fantasy grounds store klick the link and upvote it.
    http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/proj/?ia=118601

  6. #6
    Go with classic. Unity doesn't offer any significant enough upgrade yet to offset performance and other issues.

  7. #7
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    I'd recommend trying Unity first. If it doesn't work well for you, then try FG Classic. Whereas FG Classic works great now, it's essentially an older version and FG Unity will be the new version going forwards. FG classic won't be going away immediately, but at some point it will stop being supported. So buying classic now means a future upgrade at some point. Try both in demo mode, see how they work for you.
    FG Con 16 Fantasy Grounds Online RPG Convention - Postponed New date To Be Confirmed.
    Register at www.fg-con.com for all the latest info.

    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

  8. #8
    At the moment I still host all of my games with exception to some one-shots on FG:Classic due to lingering issues with the ruleset. Right now I'm prioritizing stability over the bells and whistles that Unity provides. Saying that, I would not recommend getting FG:Classic if you are planning to make a purchase. Makes more sense to buy into FG:Unity if you are going to invest in this platform.

  9. #9
    bmos's Avatar
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    Agreed, Unity is worth it for 64 bit (although some less-used rulesets do have issues still, especially)
    It used to be buggy but it's very close in reliability now (for me and my games) but faster after the initial load time and LOS (and other little improvements) are very cool.

    That being said, if you don't need a lot of features, Classic will probably run better on older computers for the reasons stated here.
    Last edited by bmos; September 30th, 2020 at 19:23.
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