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Currently I am running a game online and we are using Epic Table which has mostly meet our needs.  It is a bit clunky and has a single developer maintaining it.  I have been looking at a wide variety of other VTTs to use.  I have looked at all the big names - Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Maptools, etc.

 

A while ago I found Tabletop Simulator on Steam.  I was fascinated with the possibility of 3D rendered terrain and figures, shared sound (effects and music), and what seemed to be a big community working on free assets.  I didn't buy it because I didn't want to spend the $20 on an experiment.  Now it is on sale and I picked up a license.

 

A quick list of pros and cons:

 

Pro:

  • Supports Windows, MacOS (don't know what version), and Steam Linux
  • Not subscription based payment system
  • Appears that when I run a game I host on my computer (i.e. not on a shared host managed by the Berserk Games)
  • Mind boggling amount of terrain, miniatures, and tools
  • Video tutorials from both Berserk Games and the community at large
  • Powerful scripting language

Con:

  • Written documentation is weak (IMO).  Video tutorials are nice but I learn by reading and doing not really watching a video.  Plus I read pretty fast. 
  • Overwhelming amount of community assets - LOL too much of a good thing
  • Organizing assets is one of the things that could be improved.  You can grab a bunch of assets on the table and put them into a bag.  Bags can be labeled.  Dropping assets into the bag is not easy.  Moving bags without taking assets out of the bag is a pain in the butt.
  • Each person using the tool has to buy their own license.  It is possible to buy a discounted 4 pack of licenses but I have already purchased a single license so I would have to buy the 4 pack and gift it to someone in my group and they would have to distribute it to everyone else (minor pain)
  • Setting up a table the way you might like it takes time.

 

My next step is to see if I can set up some scripts that will handle the roll to hit (11+OCV - roll = DCV hit).  I have no idea how to do that yet but considering other things I have seen people do it must be possible.  After that I will try and figure out how to do killing attacks and normal attacks.  My hope is to create a set of assets that the players have at their play station and can just use as they want.

 

 

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TTS was designed for boardgaming, and it shows, particularly in light of the fact that it doesn't afford a GM the ability to improvise and bring in needed assets on-the-fly. So if you haven't prepped for a particular event (RPG players rarely do exactly what you'd expect), you're screwed.

 

Why not simply use a VTT expressly made for playing RPGs, preferably one with built-in support for Hero System mechanics?

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3 hours ago, heruca said:

TTS was designed for boardgaming, and it shows, particularly in light of the fact that it doesn't afford a GM the ability to improvise and bring in needed assets on-the-fly. So if you haven't prepped for a particular event (RPG players rarely do exactly what you'd expect), you're screwed.

 

Why not simply use a VTT expressly made for playing RPGs, preferably one with built-in support for Hero System mechanics?

 

Actually I have to improvise with the group I game with now (and we are using a VTT).  I have a wealth of maps that I can throw onto any VTT I want.  In the last 3 months my players have said at the end of one session, we are going to do X when we play again.  We get together the next week and they decide to do Y.  I look through my library of maps, 'toss one' onto the VTT add few additional items if necessary and away we go.

 

I don't need one with Hero System mechanics, I have HCM to help me with managing combat.  I only want to provide to my players some tools to make the dice rolling and calculating a bit easier.

 

I have looked at Battlegrounds RPG Edition.  I did seriously consider it as an option.

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TTS scripting is Lua, I think.  http://berserk-games.com/knowledgebase/scripting/ talks about it.  

 

I have a 4-pack of TTS licenses myself, though I don't think I've ever done much more than scatter pieces about then flip a table.  

 

If you could get HCM to talk to TTS via Lua scripting I can guarantee you at least one HCM sale.  :)   Edit to add:  Even if it's something like: HCM outputs a line of data, the GM can copy and paste it into a script in TTS, and that makes something happen with the map and figures and so on.  

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