Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Roll20 1 vs Fantasy Grounds 0

Lately I have been having nothing but trouble with Fantasy Grounds. It sensitive to network troubles and my router and DSL line have been causing problems by resetting every couple of hours. Due to the holidays I haven't been able to get it resolved with my ISP yet, however I did activate an Roll20 account as a backup.

Fantasy Ground crapped out again Monday so I switched over to Roll20. I missed the 3D rolling and the GURPS specific ruleset. However in a good deal many areas Roll20 was a smoother experience. Everything just loaded and everybody was able to connect without having to pay. I did get an account as I looked at my FG image folder and found I needed to get one of the paid tiers in order to hold my images.

I was impressed at how far they progressed over the summer. Fantasy Grounds better watch out because these guys are building a top quality VTT with some very interesting features like being able to pull images and tokens right off of the web as well as uploading your own. And they have integration with Google Plus. I might continue my subscription even after solving my FG issues to use for the Google Plus gaming that is going on.

They have a free account level for people to try the service with their friends.

And finally remember if you ever have the Rusty BattleAx play in your VTT games never have him ask what the weather is like. Otherwise your tech will go to hell in handbasket in the next few minutes.


7 comments:

Ragna said...

You can activate 3D rolls in the settings menu ;)

One thing less to worry about... and about GURPS nothing you cannot fix with macros.

Ragna said...

You can keep 100MB without upgrading your account.

But the dinamic lightning and token attributes are worth the bucks a paid account costs :D

Ken Harrison said...

As a player last night, I thought Roll20 was fantastic. Considering we dove into mid-session, I thought it went faster than FG (when FG is working).

The dice macros were easy to set up.

Tim Shorts said...

Yeah I am interested in playing around with Roll20. It worked a lot better last night and I like the extra features with the miniatures.

Gerald Villoria said...

Roll20 is subscription-based, no? I believe Tabletop Forge offers similar functionality (through Google+ Hangouts) and is completely free.

Bastien Wauthoz said...

We've tried both Roll20 and Tabletop Forge with my group and had a far better experience with Roll20.
More stable, more features, easier to run.

Mr. Payne said...

I'm mixed about both. When FantasyGrounds is up and working, particularly with a ruleset in play, it's hands down the best VTT out there. Combat moves smoothly, often faster than in a face to face game, and the rules are at your fingertips if you need to clarify things. The organization abilities are pretty nice as well. However I've had trouble with connection issues on numerous occasions, and while it's mapper provides only a couple more features than a dry erase board, I'd still take it over any other VTT any day of the week... when it works.

Roll20 I want to like, but I've had my frustrations with it. The voice chat functionality is incredibly unstable, if my PCs cannot hear me, then one of them cannot be heard. Or two people will hear one player, but the other two will not be able to hear them. This can be fixed by using it through google hangouts, or just jumping on skype (the latter I loathe), but by itself the feature is less of one.

I love the fact I can include background music, that alone was a major selling point for me. Pulling up tokens online is a nice touch, though whatever they use for their search engine hearkens back to the 90's. Just don't try using more than one word in your description, it's pointless. The fact that it exists, however, and works even to the extent it does, is damn impressive.

Macros, I hate macros, with a fiery passion. Not because I can't get them to work, but because they're that element where something always seems to go wrong. A player doesn't configure theirs right, or they do, but they can't use it as certain adjustments or modifiers make it about as useful as a standard die roll. Then there are the players who know their macros too well and make some wonky macro that tells you the results, but you have to hover your mouse or click on something to see what led to the results just to make sure they're not pulling a fast one on you. This is my experience with macros in general, not just on roll20 mind you. They do make things run smoother, when everyone is on the same page.

Their light and shadow functionality proved more of a hindrance than a benefit. I may have been spoiled with maptools, but they've been at the game longer than roll20. Either way, when I found myself disabling it for the third time in a row, I discontinued the subscription.

The end result, for me, is that I'll use Roll20 when I have a game for something I don't have supported in Fantasy Grounds. It has topped the other VTT services out there, the fact that connecting isn't a pain in the butt alone is amazing. It can, fairly easily, become a backup when FG fails. For me they're 1 for 1 with FG winning the tiebreaker.