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MNBlockHead
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Old January 8th, 2016, 12:00 PM
Thanks AEIOU. I wouldn't using HL and FG has the monster manual available, so preping enounters should be easy when involving standard MM creatures, but more troublesome with NPCs and custom creations, since I would have to key everything into FG.

It seems like I would have to either enter my encounter statblocks in RW AND FG or just FG. I prefer to have everything in RW. I just don't think FG is going to be making things at table so much easier that it would make all the extra prep work and data entry worth it. Every time I come back to FG and consider using it, it starts to feel like work and I get stressed evening thinking of running a game that uses it.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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AEIOU
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Old January 8th, 2016, 02:44 PM
I use more NPCs than I do mobs so the HeroLab integration is a godsend.
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 8th, 2016, 06:10 PM
Yeah, having 5e support for HeroLabs would, I think, have a much more positive impact on my game than any other tool I've looked at. At least with 5e, it is pretty easy to run things on pen and paper.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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Nikmal
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Old January 8th, 2016, 06:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
GunbunnyFuFu and others that are using FG and RW, what does your workflow look like?

I run a game that is face-to-face with one remote player. So a VTT may make sense, which makes FG seem more useful. But I still hesitate, not because of the cost, but because I fear it will be a large investment of time to learn another complicated program and will greatly increase my game prep time. It seems like adding FG to my game would require a lot of duplicate data entry.

The cost of Fantasy Grounds with all the 5e content is high enough that I don't want to risk buying to try.
I use Fantasy Grounds with a second screen (for the players) and Realmworks for me. It runs really well. I just wish they would tie together a little Be happy to show you how I use it.

I use them both for my table set up. I will be at Con of the North at the D&D Adventurers League room if you want to check it out. I will be the one with the TV screen on the table

I am also at the Source on Wed nights with the same set up.

Look forward to seeing you again.
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 8th, 2016, 06:49 PM
Man! I would LOVE to play in your game, but I am taking a mini vacation with the family at that time and will be out of state. I should invite you as a guest DM to one of my games...or to be a guest player/guest tech support. ;-)

My one remote player uses FG for running remote games and he has been using it to create his character. But I'm already feeling like all the digital stuff is taking over...

After a bit of self reflection, I realize it isn't fear of game prep as much as disrupting and slowing down the game. I played around with Roll20, going so far as to get all the maps ready for one session, but during the dame I ended up not using it at all, instead using RW player view to reveal the map and just having people tell me what they were doing. I just didn't want to have to fidget with digital tokens.

Also, I worry that it will take away a lot of player participation. When I use a wet-erase battlemap, or homemade DM Scotty 2.5-D dungeon tiles, and other physical media, I have my players help with setup and usually have them move the figures around. Doing it on a screen just makes the game more passive.

On the other hand, managing a battle with a mix of 30 goblinoids on a Paizo wet-erase combat tracker pad or a notebook gets burdensome.

Really wishing I could attend Con of the North this year, would love to be a player in another RW-using DMs game.

RW Project: Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition homebrew world
Other Tools: CampaignCartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer, Evernote
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Dakadin
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Old January 10th, 2016, 02:48 PM
I use Realmworks with FG and it works really well. The trick is to not do a bunch of duplicate work. Put the data for your world and adventure in Realmworks so you can take advantage of it's strengths.

In FG, I add the maps and NPCs. With the 5E content as you guessed, it is easy to add anything that you already have in a module. You just drag it from the module to your campaign and make any adjustments if necessary. Custom NPCs can take time unless you have another NPC that you can use as a base and just make the changes required.

Then create the encounters with the NPCs and maps in FG. That speeds things up because it is just a few clicks to get the NPCs in the combat tracker and on the map so you can start the combats quickly. Besides the number and type of NPCs, I don't usually worry about putting this in Realmworks since I will only need it during my game.

After that create the treasure parcels which contain the items and money rewards.

Just add the information you need to run your game. I often will have Realmworks or a PDF open along side so I can just read things off from there. Once you get the hang of it, you can set things up pretty quickly.

Hopefully that helps you get an idea of how it can work.
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Nikmal
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Old January 11th, 2016, 02:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBlockHead View Post
Man! I would LOVE to play in your game, but I am taking a mini vacation with the family at that time and will be out of state. I should invite you as a guest DM to one of my games...or to be a guest player/guest tech support. ;-)

Really wishing I could attend Con of the North this year, would love to be a player in another RW-using DMs game.
Come check it out on a Wed Night if you are able to at The Source. If even to drop in and see what it is looks like and such and How I use it (FG/Realmworks on my screen and a TV screen for the players)

I think you would be surprised at how cool it really is. I am there about 4:45-5pm until after hours. (after 9pm)
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 11th, 2016, 06:42 AM
Thanks, I'll try to do that.

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, 07:19 PM
Eh, I'm an outlier or maverick when it comes to VTTs. Fantasy Grounds especially and d20pro to a lesser extent do not impress me in the least. They are great at integrating combat stats and having bells and whistles (3d dice, woo...) but they fail at matching features that a free open source program, Maptool, has had for years: dynamic shadows, lighting and vision.

Here's what I was using as a VTT back in 2006: dynamic shadow and vision in maptool
To me, this is a huge change to game play, when the limits of character vision and the limits of vision behind objects whether a narrow doorway or the shadows behind a pillar change what a character can see of the revealed area. It builds so much more suspense for the players than revealing whole areas at a time.

It's true that scripting the mechanics of a game in Maptool was arcane and difficult. That wasn't an issue for me because I've usually used less complex mechanical rule sets. While I haven't used it, Mote and their newest project, Sift, were written with easier scripting in mind.

Here's their (poor presentation) video demonstration of the dynamic lighting features in their newest program, sift.

I know I'm an outlier in using these lesser known VTTs. I hope that Realm Works stays agnostic to choice of VTT, even while I hope more integration becomes possible.

I know it used to be possible for Maptool/Mote scripters to import characters from herolab files, and I hope it continues to stay that way.
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MNBlockHead
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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:26 PM
Went to the source to see Nikmal's setup. It was both cool to see how another DM uses RW's and other tools...it was also cool to see that The Source provide outlets, etc. to support laptops, monitor, etc. His setup that he had a laptop connected to a large monitor/LCD screen. The screen was laid on the table on top of some spacers for air circulation, and a sheet of plexiglass on top. A very nice setup for a mobile DM (again, this was set up as game-store table and he does the same set up at conventions.

Fantasy Grounds is used to display the maps and he uses a mix of digital tokens and minis. He is not using FG for combat tracking. He uses statblocks in RW.

Nikmal can fill in gaps and correct mistakes in my description above. I didn't want to delay the start of his game, so I couldn't spend too much time on a tour of his setup.

One question I walked away with, however, is:

Why not use RW to display the map?

If you are not using FG to manage combat, is it worth the cost and time to learn? This seems especially the case if you are mostly using minis. You could put the player view on the TV and use your minis on that. The answer to that is probably going to be: (1) sometimes one will want to display digital tokens for monsters that you don't have or have enough minis for and (2) scaling the map to size is much easier in FG than in RW. You can drag the FG map and grid so that it is the correct size for your minis on your display.

My followup question would then be, wouldn't Roll20 or d20pro be less expensive options? If you are not using FG to manage combat, what advantages does it offer over less expensive VTT options?

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