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AEIOU
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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:36 PM
For me, Pathfinder added a lot of character depth over previous versions but it also added a lot of overhead for combat. It can take fooooooooorever at times. I use my VTT for the combat tracking first and the mapping second. I was happily shocked at how well it works and it gives us more time to roleplay rather than rollplay.
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:38 PM
Redbeard, I watch the Maptools video and while it looked neat and would be great from a player's perspective, as a DM it look like a pain in the rear.

Having to draw in the sight lines just seems like extra hassle.

Really, I think that I'm learning that I'm the type of DM that doesn't want to build a video game out of my role-play sessions. For the most part, throwing up a map, using fog of war/world and theater of the mind is what most encounters will be.

When tactics and positioning are more complex, I use a wet erase battle map and a mix of mini, tokens, and rocks. If I find the time, I would like to create more dungeon tiles. I could see using a VTT to replace dungeon tiles and battlemats because it would be easier to load a digital map and put digital tokens on it, but that detracts from fun of players moving their own minis (or rocks, bottlecaps) around. It is less engaging for at-table play.

A mixed-media approach like what Nikmal uses is really nice. I REALLY want in on one of his games and am bummed I can't make Con of the North this year. BUT as a DM myself, I don't know if I want the extra work.

Also, the recent announcement of the DnD 5e SRD release under an OGL has shifted my priorities. My short term goal is to buy HeroLabs with the 5e SRD material and see how its enounter builder works. One I get HL smoothed into my workflow (assuming I find it helps me manage my 5e games), then I may take another look at VTTs at the table.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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the_redbeard
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Old January 13th, 2016, 09:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
Redbeard, I watch the Maptools video and while it looked neat and would be great from a player's perspective, as a DM it look like a pain in the rear.

Having to draw in the sight lines just seems like extra hassle.
Certainly, everything has a reward/return on it. Back when I ran 3.x, the length of time a combat took was enough that the time required to draw in the vision blocking layer was minimal for the benefit for me.

If combats are less part of your game or are resolved quicker than the calculations change. YMMVAPD - Your mileage may vary and probably does.

Quote:
Really, I think that I'm learning that I'm the type of DM that doesn't want to build a video game out of my role-play sessions. For the most part, throwing up a map, using fog of war/world and theater of the mind is what most encounters will be.
We used a projector and a mirror to throw the map onto a table because we liked pushing our guys around the table, too. I also wanted the table to stay the focus, rather than a screen to the side that would take away the face to face interaction that is such a part of our games.
I am not currently using a VTT because I'm waiting to purchase a TV that I won't mind using on top of a table like the example earlier in the thread.

When you've got a VTT, it is really easy to change maps if you've got them prepared. And at least with Maptools, drawing a simple map took less time than drawing on the battlemap, and at lost less trouble to make changes or erase (though adding the vision layer almost doubles that if it is important). There's also no problem showing spell effects and finding out who is in the target area; you don't even need to move the minis.

Quote:
When tactics and positioning are more complex, I use a wet erase battle map and a mix of mini, tokens, and rocks. If I find the time, I would like to create more dungeon tiles. I could see using a VTT to replace dungeon tiles and battlemats because it would be easier to load a digital map and put digital tokens on it, but that detracts from fun of players moving their own minis (or rocks, bottlecaps) around. It is less engaging for at-table play.

A mixed-media approach like what Nikmal uses is really nice. I REALLY want in on one of his games and am bummed I can't make Con of the North this year. BUT as a DM myself, I don't know if I want the extra work.

Also, the recent announcement of the DnD 5e SRD release under an OGL has shifted my priorities. My short term goal is to buy HeroLabs with the 5e SRD material and see how its enounter builder works. One I get HL smoothed into my workflow (assuming I find it helps me manage my 5e games), then I may take another look at VTTs at the table.
I'm still hoping for ACTUAL LICENSING since not everything will be in the SRD (only one subclass per class for example.) So that's a bummer.

Still, I'm expecting to also purchase Herolab when it is available for 5e. As long as the herolab files are accessible for the Maptool/Mote scripters I'll be able to build encounters in herolab and run them with the VTT of my choice.
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kbs666
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Old January 14th, 2016, 12:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
Also, the recent announcement of the DnD 5e SRD release under an OGL has shifted my priorities. My short term goal is to buy HeroLabs with the 5e SRD material and see how its enounter builder works. One I get HL smoothed into my workflow (assuming I find it helps me manage my 5e games), then I may take another look at VTTs at the table.
That part should be easy enough.

The encounter builder is pretty straight forward. Choose the CR, Challenge Rating, or whatever 5th calls it and then pick creatures from the available list which can be filtered till you reach that max and you are satisfied. You can then save that portfolio and access it directly from RW or get statblocks which are easy enough to save in RW.

I use it for all my encounters. I've taken to actually running my encounters with the HL tactical console since it is so easy.
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 14th, 2016, 05:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
That part should be easy enough.

The encounter builder is pretty straight forward. Choose the CR, Challenge Rating, or whatever 5th calls it and then pick creatures from the available list which can be filtered till you reach that max and you are satisfied. You can then save that portfolio and access it directly from RW or get statblocks which are easy enough to save in RW.

I use it for all my encounters. I've taken to actually running my encounters with the HL tactical console since it is so easy.
Good to hear! Can't wait to for 5e SRD material to be available to HL so I can buy it and start playing with it.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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