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Old 08-11-2017, 04:11 PM   #1
kmunoz
 
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Default Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

So I'm moving across the country and my gaming group is looking to continue, so I need to find a good virtual tabletop. I'm crotchety and old and haven't kept up with all the newfangled things, get off my lawn, etc.

So I ask you all... what are your recommendations for a solid VTT that works well with GURPS? I'm really only familiar with Roll20, barely, but it doesn't look to be the most GURPS-friendly option.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

We've been using Tabletop Simulator for some time now, and it's been working very well. With just a little work, you can load character sheets (as custom boards) into the environment.

With some 3d modeling experience you can create your own minis and use them (and/or download plenty from Thingiverse).

It's system neutral, and you can play all sorts of games in it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

I use roll20. There are draw backs, but I found that true with every VTT that I've tried. It really comes down to what do you NEED the VTT to do. But at least with roll20, nobody has to buy anything (where some VTT require the GM and players all fork over $$$ to play together).
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:15 PM   #4
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I use roll20. There are draw backs, but I found that true with every VTT that I've tried. It really comes down to what do you NEED the VTT to do. But at least with roll20, nobody has to buy anything (where some VTT require the GM and players all fork over $$$ to play together).
When I look at Roll20 it seems, from the way it's marketed, that it's so heavily geared toward D&D that to make it work with GURPS would require an awful lot of effort. How difficult has it been for you to shoehorn?
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:28 PM   #5
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When I look at Roll20 it seems, from the way it's marketed, that it's so heavily geared toward D&D that to make it work with GURPS would require an awful lot of effort. How difficult has it been for you to shoehorn?
Well, it supports hexes (both vertical and horizontal if you have a preference). There are 2 GURPS character sheets that can be used. I did some work on the first one so it has some calculated fields and will adjust numbers for dodge if you HP are low and show your current Encumbrance. Each stat and skill has a die icon (looks like a d20 unfortunately) that can roll that. If you are a subscriber there is a script that shows margin of success (scripts are limited to subs).

The measurements on the map can be changed, but lack "yard" as an option. You can list each hex as 3 feet, or just as 1 "hex" which is what I do.

The tokens can be turned for facing, but if you want to use portrait like tokens, then you'll end up with folks "upside down", there is no separate "facing" arrow or whatever.

Some people (including me) have had issues with the video and audio system. It kept causing certain members to not be able to hear and see each other, but some could. It was a real mess, so we just started using Google Hangouts for video chat, and Roll20 for the dice, maps, etc. I haven't tested in several months, so maybe they have resolved this issue (which wasn't wide spread, but I know that my group was not the only ones to report it.)

That's about it. I can't think of any other specific examples of what is or isn't GURPS-friendly.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

I've been giving this a lot of thought the past few months; personally, this is where I'm at.

First, not all groups actually need a VTT. Particularly for situations like yours, kmunoz -- an established group that finds itself geographically dispersed -- you might be able to just all hook up on a Discord server (audio) or Google Hangout (audio and video) and call it a day.

Assuming you want to easily share maps, pics, handouts, etc. though, a VTT will be super helpful. To my mind, that means either Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds (with an honorable mention for Tabletop Simulator -- I personally don't prefer it, but I've heard from many others who do).

There is no shortage of posts and opinions on Roll20 and FG, both singly and in comparison, all across the 'net. They both can be used for GURPS with a little effort, but ultimately I have thrown my lot in with Fantasy Grounds -- I just prefer the UI, and I think it handles things like multiple modifiers in a much cleaner way. But it isn't like "FG all the way, Roll20 is garbage!" It's much more like "60/40, they're both pretty good but I prefer FG."

The monthly subscription fee for either is only 4 or 5 bucks a month. FG actually turned out cheaper than Roll20 for me, since I went with the Ultimate License when Steam had their semi-annual super sale. Now I don't need to worry about it anymore, whereas Roll20 is an indefinite $100/year.

The nice thing is, you can easily give both a free test drive and see which you prefer. Here are good starting points to get up and running with both Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 (and character sheet). Both allow hex overlays on maps, mini/token movement, dice rolls from character sheets, etc. I know Roll20 can import characters from GCS, and Fantasy Grounds can import characters from GCA -- that was another tipping point for me, since I prefer GCA over GCS.

Whichever you choose, unless you're using it simply as a glorified shared whiteboard, prepare to do a lot of typing and data entry. You can add whatever you want to your own, personal ruleset as long as you don't share it with others, but as I'm sure you know, Steve Jackson Games doesn't (yet? :: prays ::) officially support online play. So, all those modifiers, postures, hit locations, maneuvers, trait/spell descriptions, etc... if you want them in the VTT, you're gonna have to add them yourself.

Good luck!
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Last edited by mook; 08-11-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

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Assuming you want to easily share maps, pics, handouts, etc. though, a VTT will be super helpful. To my mind, that means either Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds (with an honorable mention for Tabletop Simulator -- I personally don't prefer it, but I've heard from many others who do).
Tabletop Simulator isn't for people who want an automated RPG experience. It's just a physics-based . . . simulator.

We've been playing GURPS in it for several months now. It's nice because you can move around the table and look at things in 3d (I'm going to try it in VR this Sunday). On the other hand, if you are just looking for an automated experience, Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds is probably a better choice. Additionally, we're using Skype to talk as the built-in voice chat is awful (and Discord simply doesn't work for me--seriously, we've been trouble-shooting it for three days now and it just doesn't work).

On the other hand, TTS has many games that you can play in it (I picked up the Cosmic Encounter and Zombicide DLC for it). It's not a game simulator, it's more a toy box of things you can play the game with.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

Do a forum search on Fantasy Grounds 2 and Ronke if you would like. The work for configuring FG2 for use with GURPS has already been done, and it really looks and works NICE.

If you want a demo of what it looks like, download a free copy of the demo version of the software. Email me that you have done so, and I'll get back in touch letting you know when to connect, and how to connect to my game session being run just for your demo.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:49 AM   #9
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Do a forum search on Fantasy Grounds 2 and Ronke
It's, Ronnke, with a double 'n'. :P

Fantasy Grounds is the clear winner for me. It has been my home for playing GURPS online for 6 or so years and probably will be for the foreseeable future, especially with the new version of Fantasy Grounds not too far away. Also, improvements to the GURPS ruleset on FG are always in development.

I created a demo of the GURPS ruleset you can have a look at here:
https://youtu.be/pSm-9Trzd5w

I've also hosted a one shot horror game using Fantasy Grounds, if interested, watch it here:
https://youtu.be/QrCjO9wgh-Y

My gaming group also hosts live streams of our games, all with Fantasy grounds, see them here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCog...foShOVyXMbQugA
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Recommendations for best virtual tabletop

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

For now I will probably look into Fantasy Grounds as our solution. I like the idea of using Tabletop Simulator but the way that we play tends not to be quite as hyper-visual, and I doubt I would get the fullest use from it. I'm much more text-driven as a GM (comes from being a writer) and in some ways FG could be the holy grail for me quite apart from its use as a VTT: a place where I can shove all my text junk without having to have a binder full of script pages.

Ronnke, I will be checking out your links today!
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