There has been many writings submitted and several readers have submitted great articles that I will highlight during each segment of Nerdarchy’s Subreddit Submitters Highlight.
In weeks passed on Nerdarchy’s Subreddit Submitters Highlight we delved into the “Lethality in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition” and “Tips for Integrating Monster PCs into a Group” by Blue_Drake a.k.a Bob Casale. This week we are checking out a Review of Fantasy Grounds 2 for Dungeons and Dragons If you don’t have a reddit account yet, don’t worry. Just sign up here for free and join the conversation. The following is an excerpt from the article.
“I got the red box Dungeons and Dragons set as a gift around the same year Bon Jovi released their first album. Back then, when Bon Jovi knew how to rock and dinosaurs ruled the earth, if you wanted to play your only choice was to round up some friends and sit down at the same table.
As a result I didn’t actually get to play D&D until a few years later when I went to high school and found some friends who were interested. Okay, trip down memory lane aside…
If you want to play a pen and paper RPG today, your choices are more numerous thanks to the internet, although you won’t actually end up using pens and paper. Many game-related forums offer play by post, or you can use Skype or Google hangouts to connect remotely. The most sophisticated solutions are, without a doubt, virtual tabletops (or VTTs for short).
If you’re not familiar with the concept a VTT is software that facilitates playing a traditional RPG over the internet. It is not a video game nor does it offer much for a solo player. You will still need a group to game with, but the players can all connect to the VTT from the convenience and comfort of their own homes.
The software should provide electronic character sheets you can reference and edit during play, simulate dice rolls, a way to share maps and other handouts, and some way to communicate with each other. These are just the basic features.
A good VTT will also have tools such a combat tracker, support for multiple rules systems, grid-based movement and some automation to speed game play such as automatically noting if an attack roll hits and subtracting damage done in combat. If the VTT is doing its job it should fade into the background after a session or two and let you just concentrate on the game and having fun.
There are several VTTs available: Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds 2 are the two I see talked about most, but there may be others out there. I’ve only used Fantasy Grounds to play Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder and that’s the one I’m going to discuss here.
This is not meant to be a comparison between VTTs or to endorse Fantasy Grounds 2 or any other VTT. I’m just going to share my personal experience with the software and give you my opinion review of the pros and cons I’ve seen.
Nerdarchy’s Subreddit Submitters Highlight | Review of Fantasy Grounds 2 for Dungeons and Dragons
Fantasy Grounds 2 supports many rulesets including D&D, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulu and several more offical rulesets (you can find a complete list on their website). Supported rulesets come with character sheets, combat tracking and some other automation such as automatic handling of damage resistance and effects such as poison or sleep. There are also several fan-made rulesets for other games, but I haven’t tried any of these so I can’t say if they offer similar features or not.
The software has a chat window that includes in and out of character chat and allows the GM to chat using the name of an NPC or enemy. Dice rolls are displayed in the chat window for all to see so there’s no fear of fudging or cheating (GMs can choose to hide their rolls if desired or have a player make a dice roll that only the GM will see).
The dice themselves are modeled in 3D and they bounce and roll pretty much as they would on a real table. It’s just as much fun here as it is at a real table to grab a handful of dice and unleash a fireball on your unsuspecting foes.
Each player can customize their dice color and choose from white or black numbering and you can easily setup custom combinations of frequently rolled dice and map them to hot keys. Pictures and maps are easy to share and the GM can choose to share handouts with all or just select players. Maps can also be hidden to players and slowly revealed a piece at a time as they explore.
The VTT supports grid (or hex) based movement and combat and can support complicated actions such as multi-target spells and attacks. As I mentioned earlier it will announce if a roll hits or not and will also announce a critical hit. It has a several other time savers such as auto initiative rolls for monsters, ability to apply the effects of short or long rests, etc.
I’m not going to try and list every feature in this review especially since some are rule set specific such as applying advantage or disadvantage in 5E Dungeons and Dragons, but suffice to say a lot of effort has been made to include time-saving features. It doesn’t cover every situation that will come up in play, but the VTT does try to automate the more common tasks.”
Want to read the rest of the review including the pros and cons of Fantasy Grounds 2? Want to put in your thoughts on the subject? Then come over to our subreddit: Nerdarchy- How to Stay Nerdy, join the conversation, and tell us what you think about the “Review of Fantasy Grounds 2 for Dungeons and Dragons” Until next time, Nate the Nerdarch here recommending that you – Stay Nerdy!
I would say my manner, skill sets, and subject knowledge are incongruous but they all seem to find a home under the umbrella term of nerd. I have a passion for studying science, religion, art, games, crafting, wine/beer-crafting, sustainable living, and green chemistry. I really enjoy gaming with friends and writing about my experiences as a nerd.