Fantasy Grounds is a hybrid application which allows you to play games and create your own games. It facilitates this play and provides some optional add-on Adventure modules which can be loaded and played with very little preparation. Each game will require a GameMaster (GM) and one or more players.
User reviews: Positive (39 reviews)
Release Date: May 9, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"This virtual tabletop platform isn't just amazing for long-distance gaming, but we would even use it for managing a face to face campaign."
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Recent updates View all (17)

October 10

FG Con 5 - One week away (October 17-19) (FREE w/ DEMO LICENSE)

If you already have Fantasy Grounds or you are looking to try it out, FG Con is a virtual convention ran around the world, 24 hours a day for the entire weekend. Gamemasters are running games in all sorts of different systems and it is free to join. Even if you don't have Fantasy Grounds yet, it is free to join. You can run the Fantasy Grounds Demo from Steam and connect to any of these games for the weekend. You only need to install the demo and register for an open player spot at the FG Con site.

http://www.fg-con.com

As of this writing, there are still around 100 player slots still available. This will begin to close up as we near the event weekend. Don't delay and sign up while there are still a number of games to choose from. Signing up in advance also helps the Gamemaster prepare properly for the number of players that will be in their game and will make for a better experience.

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October 6

Castle Keeper's Guide 75% off. Select DLC on sale too for this week only.

C&C Ruleset - 10% off
Castle Keeper's Guide for C&C - 75% off
PixelArt Orc token pack - 50% off
Fangs from the Past D&D 3.5/Pathfinder adventure module - 10% off

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About This Game

Fantasy Grounds is an application acting as a virtual online gaming table primarily intended for pen and paper style narrative role playing games. It is designed to perform many of the things you can do while playing at a conventional gaming table and move it online.

* This is not a stand-alone game. This game features no computer controlled AI and relies upon another user acting as a Gamemaster to control the story, action and enemies you face.

Overview

Fantasy Grounds is a hybrid application which allows you to play games and create your own games. It facilitates this play and provides some optional add-on Adventure modules which can be loaded and played with very little preparation. Each game will require a GameMaster (GM) and one or more players. Games may be played in a session as short as a few hours or continued with multiple sessions over a series of days, weeks, months or years. A GM will typically install the application and choose their game-system of choice, which we refer to as a Ruleset. Fantasy Grounds comes pre-loaded with Rulesets supporting compatible play for Dungeons & Dragons (R) 3.5, Dungeons & Dragons (R) 4E and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (R). Additional Rulesets are available for free and for purchase from our Workshop. Both the 3.5E and PFRPG rulesets are good places to start for new GMs and for people new to Fantasy Grounds. These Rulesets come pre-loaded with some basic Library modules full of abilities, spells, monsters and items that have been marked as Open Gaming Content (OGC) by their respective copyright holders. Additional rulesets, such as that for Call of Cthulhu or Savage Worlds are fully licensed versions and contain otherwise closed and proprietary content that we've licensed from those publishers.

Players

For players, Fantasy Grounds will allow you to connect to a game being hosted by a GM and control one or more characters within the game. You will be able to update and maintain your character sheet, much like you would in a face-to-face RPG game, but with some degree of automation and support for dragging and dropping abilities and items from the Library modules (for rulesets which support them.) Whenever a GM shares a map image, you will be able to move a token representing your character and initiate attack rolls against enemies visible on those maps when it is your turn. You will be interacting within the GM's game session with other players and every action you take will be communicated to the GM and connected players along with any chat messages you enter into the chat window. At the conclusion of the GM's game session, you will log out and your character sheet and progress will be saved to the GM's session. When you meet back up and a pre-scheduled time with the GM for the next session, you will be able to continue where you left off. Scheduling of future game sessions is handled outside of Fantasy Grounds via email communication, the Fantasy Grounds forums and Game Calendar, Steam discussions or through whatever source the GM defines. SmiteWorks hopes to improve the match-making features at a later date.

GameMasters

For GameMasters, Fantasy Grounds will allow you to outline and prepare your future game sessions. You will be able to create story entries and link them together or to specific maps. You could, for instance, create a story entry which links to an image of a dungeon and then each room could in turn be linked to individual story entries -- each containing room descriptions, secret GM notes, a list of NPCs and monster encounters or links to more images and player hand-outs. Depending on your game master style and the availability of pre-entered monsters and enemies, you can also run without preparation. You can create and maintain multiple Campaigns, each with their own content and players. When you are ready to run your campaign, you will need to spend some time recruiting players and establishing your preferred frequency and length of play, methods of communication when you are not connected with Fantasy Grounds and whether or not you want to use a voice application such as Skype or Google Hangouts alongside Fantasy Grounds. Most GMs tend to use a combination of in-game text-based chat within Fantasy Grounds *and* a voice application to help facilitate quicker and more natural play.

With this version of the product, you can:


  • Run games as the Gamemaster
  • Host games for other players and GMs
  • Host a demo game for 1 player who is using only the FG Demo. The campaign won't allow saving, but will give you the ability to demonstrate the functionality to prospective players.
  • Join games as a player
  • Create characters locally to take with you into a game session
  • Create additional rulesets and modifications with custom XML and LUA Scripting
  • Use hundreds of built-in top-down tokens for monsters, characters and animals

System Requirements

PC
Mac
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7x or 8x
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: n/a
    • Additional Notes: Requirements vary by the add-ons installed and the number of players connecting to your game.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.00 GHz or higher
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card recommended
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements vary by the add-ons installed and the number of players connecting to your game.
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 compatible video adapter
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 750 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: requires Wine - recommended WineBottler The link can be found here: http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/.
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: requires Wine - recommended WineBottler The link can be found here: http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/.
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
59.8 hrs on record
This is a really good program. We've been using FG for over three years now to run Paizo's Kingmaker Campaign Path. Several of us are in China with the rest of our players in North America, and combined with Hamachi (to get around the Great Firewall) and Skype (for the live talking part), it's as close to a face to face game as people who live on opposite sides of the planet can get.

Fantasy Grounds isn't always the easiest program to use, admittedly, but once you get over the learning curve it's an amazingly robust program. As the GM, the ability to create (or in my case, input from the Campaign Book) the stories and fill them with handy links to maps, npcs, encounters, treasures, and everything else imaginable is incredible. Even if I was running a face to face game I'd use FG just to organize my notes. No more need to have reams of paper around or to flip through books. Just click a link and the thing you need is right there, right away. It also allows you to keep track of xp earned, separated into story rewards and combat rewards. You can see what the players have received with just a quick glance.

Insofar as Pathfinder is involved, it has loads of free modules to increase this functionality, with everything from a complete list of spells to abilities, magic items, and the entire collected bestiary (including monsters and NPC's from the adventure paths!), all one click away. This means I'm free to use my planning time to improve on my campaign instead of flip through stuff looking for informaton.

Not only is this a great virtual tabletop, it's a splendid GM tool. My campaign would be worse if I didn't have all the organizational tools FG provides.

There might be other free programs out there, but nothing I've seen has the depth and robustness of FG. Along with tremendous dev support, I can't recommend FG high enough.

TL, DR; Great program, something of a learning curve. Great for GM's, which is great for players.
Posted: October 4
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835 of 1,210 people (69%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
oh boy!!! a $40 2 MB program that does nothing that any free program like it does not, which also strangles your ability to homebrew unless you have extensive knowledge of XML files, and otherwise forces you to do every ounce of the legwork when it could easily do it itself if only the developers put a trivial amount of extra effort into it?! WOW WHAT A STEAL! HHKKKKKhhhkkkjfjgggg :fmad: $$$$$$ remember to buy our special ruleset DLC, unless you want to invest significantly more time and effort than it would take to just homebrew something with actual pen and paper! boy do we love your nerd money!!! $$$$$$

EDIT: since some people have, justifiably, called this a nerd rage review, allow me to expand, particularly upon 'well what ELSE does this and that?' and the greivances i have (this comes from my response to Smiteworks in the comments to this review). Roll20 does all of the things FG does, and does not come with a forty dollar pricetag. Roll20 does not ask for a pile of cash because Roll20 did not acquire meaningless licenses to things that players could have and would have created and distributed for absolutely free, and Roll20 did not slap a massive pricetag on it based on that. what if i don't want to just change spells and monsters? what if i want to have the All Flesh Must Be Eaten's Unisystem rules in place? i will have to MAKE it myself using the world's least user friendly formats- XML, LUA, as Smiteworks has stated- or wait for someone ELSE to do it- or for Smiteworks to release it as a fifteen dollar DLC. Roll20 instead hands all the tools and most importantly FLEXIBILITY i need to customize my campaign's rules right off the bat- i could have a standard 3.5 high fantasy game or AFMBE campaign on my own terms at my own whims. forgive me if this comes off as a cashgrab to me and i can't give it a serious review.
Posted: May 10
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307 of 480 people (64%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
The UI is terrible and unintuative.
I wasn't able to drag and drop spells and abilities like advertised, just couldn't figure it out.
I wish I could get my 30$ back, This is not a polished GUI for RPGs.

EDIT: I gave the product another chance, but I really can't get it to do anything. I can't figure out how to create an advanture. Comparing this program GUI to modern software is like comparing windows 3.11 with windows 7/8.
Posted: May 12
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113 of 171 people (66%) found this review helpful
158.1 hrs on record
I own the full version of FG since shortly before the Steam Launch. I think it is very important to realize that Fantasy Grounds by itself is not a full game - it is a tool and might be better fitting for the Software Section of Steam rather than the Games section.

There is a high learning curve to the game for a Game Master. It takes a few hours to get used to the rules sets, the various tools provided and all the little things you need to consider. Once you do spend these hours to familiarize yourself you have a powerful tool to handle campaigns, battle maps and characters.

We started playing Savage Worlds in Fantasy Grounds and are having a blast. As an experienced pen & paper player, I have to say that gameplay is actually sped up by the tools provided, allowing us more time to actually roleplay and less time discussing rules, piece positioning or anything else.

If you are willing to tackle the initial learning curve and understand that FG is more a tool than it is a game, I can highly recommend it to you. If you are expecting a highly interactive video game however, you might want to direct your attention towards Divinity: Original Sin or something similiar.
Posted: May 19
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99 of 157 people (63%) found this review helpful
155.1 hrs on record
I've been using Fantasy Grounds to run games for five years now. During that time I've played with dozens of people from all over the world and even managed to reunite with my old group from the 90's. It does have a learning curve especially if you're the GM but over the years a large amount of tutorial videos and manuals have been released by the community so you will become a pro in no time.

This software never ceases to amaze me! You get everything you need that you would use in real life except voice chat and SFX of soda bottles opening and snack bags crumpling. And that without the need to toggle back and forth between windows. Some rulesets will offer the books in the library. You get free beautiful tokens/miniatures too! As for maps, you can use any jpeg/png image you want, character sheet are automated so no need to create custom macros (even though the option is there for you to create macros and conveniently drop them in your hotkey bars). Prep time for the GM is cut down by using reference modules, just drag and drop what you need on the map and combat tracker! You can organize your campaign however way you want.

Everybody on the official forum is very helpful and if you have a problem someone will rise up to help you fix it. People are creating free custom content every week, they work hard at it because they are passionate and we are so grateful for their work.

Whether you're new to the hobby or an old timer like me looking to rekindle your passion for the hobby you will find what you need with this software. What's $40/$150 for a game you will play for years and pour countless hours into? Some of you probably spend $60-$80 on a game you'll play for less than 60 hours.
Posted: May 17
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170 of 280 people (61%) found this review helpful
53.3 hrs on record
I've been playing tabletop RPGs online since 2006. I have gone through nearly every pay product and user creation that's hit the internet in that time. I would like to think that if there’s anyone that could compare the products available right now, it would be me. That being said, Fantasy Grounds is my client of choice. Let me give you a few reasons…

Rules Automation:
In other Virtual Tabletops (hereafter VTTs) when you roll the dice that’s the end of it. You have to go look up the AC of the target, check it vs. the roll, make sure if there is cover, or if the target is prone you add those in to see if you hit. There’s room for error and everyone is waiting on you to give them the result of the roll.

In Fantasy Grounds when you roll to hit, the program tells you immediately. You’re not waiting, there are no math errors, it’s immediate, it’s correct, and you’re on to the next turn. Faster rolls to hit, means more gaming, and more fun.

System Libraries:
Again, in other VTTs you’re face down in your books or PDFs looking for what Burning Hands does. Did they save? How much damage does it do? Does your character even have it.

In Fantasy Grounds you know your character has it because it’s right there in the game on your in-game character sheet. You know its range because the in-game library you dragged it from included that information. It also included how much damage it does, what the save DC is, and how many times your character can cast it. In fact, if you include what I said above about Rules Automation, you can just click on it and it casts it on the enemy, tells you if they saved and then you can roll damage with again, just a click. Easy, Fast, and Accurate to the rules you are playing.

Professional Developers
Some VTTs are community projects. Amateurs banding together to make a program. The energy is great when it's new and everyone has input and it feels great to be a part of it. But once things are done and it's out, someone needs to do the boring part and support it, answer nagging questions and be the guy that all the newbies turn to. This isn't nearly as fun as making the game, so some groups just don't do it, or turn it over to other users. It's also at this point that all those little bugs those users are telling you about need to be fixed. This is maintenance and its not fun either. People tend to let that go, and just run it with the problems and work around them. Worse yet, many VTTs are based on another platform they don't control, Java, or a web browser means some other software could be causing the problem with your game. Java, and The Browser makers don't care about your game problem, and the VTT makers will just say it's Java's fault... or it's your browsers fault, and shrug when you have a problem.

Fantasy Grounds is a professional team that stands by their product. They have an excellent bug testing procedure and plenty of people willing to run the betas before a patch comes out. The developers are given enough time to test thoroughly and they are good at debugging. Even the other pay to play VTTs have companies that just patch, patch, patch and end up with bug forums filled with customers with problems after every buggy patch. Fantasy Ground's patches are clean and professional. Also, Fantasy Grounds is stand-alone. Everything Fantasy Grounds needs to run is made and maintained by Smiteworks. There is no passing of the buck when you have a problem.

My Work is Mine:
When I make map in some VTTs it becomes theirs. I have to keep paying subscription fees to keep that map… I MADE. This is unacceptable. It is my work, I should always have that available. If I make my own adventure. I should always be able to run it for my friends. It’s my creation, you can’t keep it from me just because I didn’t want to pay my subscription, again… (and again, and again)

The art, story text, tokens, and everything else in Fantasy Grounds is YOURS. It’s your creation, it’s your Intellectual Property (I.P.) and every law in most lands respects that. Did you know if you create a story you automatically have it copyrighted? It’s yours it came from your imaginative brain. You own it. Fantasy Grounds respects that, other VTTs don’t and hold your creations ransom for more subscription payments. With Fantasy Grounds you’ll ALWAYS have access to your creations.

I Control My Wallet!:
You should decide when you want a new feature, you should decide when you want a new ruleset, or adventure, or art pack, YOU! There should be no subscription. You shouldn't have some company reaching into your wallet every month controlling your finances. You shouldn't have to tell your group that the game is on hold this month because you got a new credit card and there was a problem with moving your subscription over to the new card. Don’t you have enough subscriptions as it is? TV, Internet? Phone? MMOs? Now even single-player computer games are getting in on this? Enough is enough with the subscriptions!

With Fantasy Grounds whatever you buy, you can use in perpetuity. There will be no recurring fees to continue to use what you already paid for. Nobody will be reaching into your wallet deciding when you need to pay them money. That is entirely up to you. For example, if I had bought another web-based VTT that charges subscriptions back when I bought Fantasy Grounds in 2006, I would currently be $960 in the hole with them, and if I ever stopped paying them, all my work would be gone.

Conclusion
$40 (on sale now for $30) for a lifetime of gaming fun isn’t such a bad deal after all, is it? Free yourself from fees, pick Fantasy Grounds run the fastest, most professionally made game and say no to VTT companies digging around in your bank account every month.
Posted: May 13
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56 of 91 people (62%) found this review helpful
121.8 hrs on record
This is more of an application than a game. I've found that the interface takes some getting used to but it does work very well. I've picked up an additional ruleset and it's great for using offline to get used to the gaming system if you aren't going to be the GM. With what it comes with out of the box I think it's a great value for the money. It's hard finding people to play face to face with but with FG it's a lot easier.
Posted: May 15
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61 of 105 people (58%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
I've been a FG user for over 4 years.
(I see a lot of misconceptions in the reviews below)

This software allows you to play as a player or GM/DM a session over the Internet.
Session: An adventure created by the DM/GM that players connect to.

The DM/GM puts together his adventure by inserting images/descriptions/ideas into the interface.
The Interface can automate a lot of the math involved in hit/miss and damage totals.

The concept is to allow a group to enjoy playing a Pen & Paper style Roleplaying game over the Internet.

You will need your books or PDF's, although the rulesets in the interface includes a lot of this info.

The GM/DM will need to invest some time making an adventure, like he would with a real Pen & Paper Tabletop RPG session.
He will then need to insert all the images/maps notes into the session prior to hosting the game.
(You can also download/buy ready made adventures as well)
(You can pre-make adventures and save them... then activate them in the session as you need)

This is not a video game, it needs a GM/DM to set things up first, so the players can play.

Now that you have a better idea of what this software is...

Fantasy Grounds does an excellent job at automating a lot of your session, Once you watch some videos on how people put together their adventures, you will have the tools to recreate anything you made with Pen & Paper within FG.
I think we need to have more videos to explain this a bit more, but what it does, it does GREAT.
I've invested more time as both player and DM/GM than any video game I have.
I personly use Skype or Teamspeak so we can voice what our character actions are in the game.
It allows social interactivity and brain stimulation we so much miss in our computerized world.

I recommend trying the free DEMO and hooking up with a DM/GM with an "Ultimate" license (because they can let you connect to their game like the paid version).

I have tried ALL the tabletop emmulators out there...
THIS one is the best.
Posted: May 15
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35 of 59 people (59%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
For table top simulation, I have found Fantasy Grounds to be the very best. The automation makes combat flow more quickly, modules can be created and shared, features for maps, pooled resources, movement, area of effect, etc., all work quite well.

There are free options such as the RPTools suite, but such tools are clumsy, kludgy, prone to breaking, and lack a lot of features. Fantasy Grounds has everything you need in one single application.

There's only a few drawbacks:
1. The learning curve. You need to spend time with the software to understand how it works. For most people familiar with pen and paper RPGs, spending some time learning isn't a big deal.

2. No automated fog of war or light sources. Areas of the map must be revealed manually by the game master. MapTool from RPTools does this, and it would be a great additional feature for FG in the future.

3. The built-in rule sets (3.5, PathFinder, 4.0, etc.) work very well, but if you want to customize the rule set or, god forbid, build your own, expect to spend days and weeks mucking about undocumented blobs of XML and Lua. It's a MESS, and even trivial changes can be difficult to implement. I say this as a professional software developer! FG's documentation in this area is appalingly bad.

4. Like ANY computer software for running RPGs, GMs with a spontaneous style may feel a bit stifled and limited by the tools.

Overall though, Fantasy Grounds is the best of breed for this type of software. If your gaming group is spread far and wide you should definitely give this a try!

A hint: Buy your licenses in bulk from the official website. If Steam is ever down or dies or whatever, you can still download and run the software.
Posted: May 13
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20 of 32 people (63%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
I have been using FGII for years now, and I am very excited that it is now on steam. The program, is worth every cent, if you are a true gamer and like RPGs done the way they are meant, then this is the program for you. Our old gaming group all decided to purchace the program years ago and now every week, we have one game night and we are all scattered across the country. Not bad for a bunch of old guys.

And Yes, if you want to make your own rule sets, then you need to learn a little bit of XML and LUA. I know hardly any, and so far I have been able to adapt what rules sets that are out there to what I need! But that this is something you only need to deal with if you really want to make your own. Other then that you are all set to GM or play. The program is solid, and it really does enchance and capture that around the table roleplay feeling. I love it.. Another thing, that maybe some people may not think about. Is FGII is a program that you can use to even run actuall table top games, and it works like an GM Screen. Great when you run demos of games at events and stuff.

But again, the hundreds of hours I have spent on this program doing what I love the most.. its well worth it!! The program is solid, and it really does enchance and capture that around the table roleplay feeling. I love it.. Some of the games and system we run.. Savage Worlds, Dead Lands, Dark Heresy, Black Crusade, Death Watch, GURPS, Star Wars (West End and FFG versions) and Advanced Fighting Fantasy. And that does not even include all the D&D and Pathfinder stuff.

Hope to see around the table.
Posted: May 17
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24 of 40 people (60%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
I reccomend this if you are wiling to be patient, if you are willing to be calm, and most importantly are you willing to accept the fact that you are buying something that will last a lifetime. This is basically your tiles, dice, character sheets, table systems and more for whatever price that it has listed. Granted for the casual player it may seem like a lot, and for people on steam used to 40 prices only on big AAA games it will seem expensive. For those of us who have spent hundreds of dollars on dice, books, tables, tiles, compendium ect. This is very very cheap. It takes some getting used to and it I'm not saying they couldn't be nice and add some sort of tutorial game that adds popups every 5 seconds to tell you how to do things what I am saying is that this software will make your gaming experience much easier if you can't actually play in person. Nothing will every replace playing in person but this does come extremely close to doing just that. So I recommend buying it if you're seriously going to get a few friends together and try to play an adventure together. If you are looking for the free route that restricts you to what you can do Roll20 is for you I personally didn't like how it crashed every other hour but to each his or her own. IF you look and see that I haven't played this much thats because I was using it long before it came to steam and just recently found that it had come here. I'm looking forward to many years of fun and hopefully a steam workshop for people to use with this game
Posted: May 15
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36 of 64 people (56%) found this review helpful
25.6 hrs on record
The number one virtual table top program for pen and paper games. feturing games like D&D, pathfinder, Starwars saga, and edge of the empire all for free. also with this game's great steam community i am able to set up full parties in a matter of minuets, all it requires is a well made adventure and a few steam friends and you get an experiance as good if not better than a game in person. plus with the free teamspeek server available you always have voice chat. check out the Fantasy Grounds web site for a full list of mods rule sets free and licenced among other addons.
Posted: May 14
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58 of 106 people (55%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Fantasy Grounds is honestly too complex and unautomated like a computer program should be. The developers of this game placed a 40 dollar price tag on a game that's worth easily 15 dollars max. There is a website called Roll20 and it is pretty much Fantasy Grounds with much more customization, but here's the kicker, IT'S FREE! The DLC price is outrages, with a 40 dollar game i expect much more content rule set wise. Some of the DLC is nearly half the price of the game, i could find a PDF of a rule set online for free. Overall i do not suggest it.
Posted: May 14
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16 of 26 people (62%) found this review helpful
125.0 hrs on record
I have used Fantasy Grounds to run games for more than 7 years now. For me, this product is the best on the market. Why? Because it gives me my two most fundamental requirements in a Virtual Tabletop. It allows me to create a campaign quickly, and it concentrates on the character sheet. The focus on the story and the characters (PC & NPC) is what makes this such a great tool for roleplaying games. All too often, in the VTT market, the focus is on the map - to the detriment of everything else. If you're lucky, the tool will offer a few token attributes to put your most common skills in to. With Fantasy Grounds, a new blank character sheet awaits a couple of mouse clicks. I have tried most, if not all, of the competition but Ikeep coming back to Fantasy Grounds. Not one has beaten it yet.

Other reviewers have commented in the UI experience. To me, this is one of the great things about Fantasy Grounds. The UI gives quick access to the features without being intrusive. It's not a standard windows interface, and there is therefore a learning curve. The combination of click to select and the right-click radial menu means that you have the funtionality at your fingertips, literally. No having to go to menus, toolbars or ribbons stuck on one edge of the screen. The UI works the same whether you are using a PC or a Mac - another rarity. To new players and GMs I say this, if in doubt right-click. The radial menu adjusts to the context of where you are clicking.

On the cost. The product is a mature commercial product, with one full time developer and one part time. They support and enhance the software with regular updates - not one of which have I been charged for in seven years. In that time, I've moved from their full license to an ultimate license. Not because I needed to, but because I wanted to support the developers and bring new people in to the games I was running - through demo games and also offering slots in my regular games. The cost is reasonable, $24 for a player license and $40 for a GM lcense. Compare these one-off costs to game books. The GM license is the cost to a single corebook, the player license the cost of a sourcebook.

There are free offerings, and those that seem free to start with but aren't. Some do the maps thing better. None do the campaign management and characters better - they don't even come close. If those free or subscription services offerings work for you, all well and good. For me, this is the product people have to beat for me to move. Give me everything Fantasy Grounds does and I might consider them as a product. Cover those two basic fundamentals of story and character before I will even consider that product as a rival.

On the community. The Fantasy Grounds community is the best online community I have had the pleasure to be a part of. They are friendly, supportive of new guys, and they offer advice freely. They have developed community rulesets to support a wide range of games. They have produced tutorials and videos to help new players and GMs get started. All in all, a bunch of really good people.
Posted: May 24
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18 of 31 people (58%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Playing around with it, it's time consuming. Keep in mind that this is a simulator for Tabletop games so this isn't for everyone. There's a comprehensive wiki and once all the information is set up, joing a game is easy. It's just going to take time and a trial run to really get the ball rolling. But if its something we will actually use more than once, it's worth the automation and controls it provides. For someone who has, wants, or loves to play a Tabletop RPG like 3.5 or PathFinder and you don't have friends nearby to join you, Fantasy Grounds is the simulator for you!
Posted: May 15
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
83.4 hrs on record
Great format. The learning curve is a bit steep, but once you become familiar with the tools, it is not that difficult. There are a lot of really great features that when used correctly, can bring a lot of reality to your gaming sessions. Being able to view maps that are revealed as you explore, pictures, notes, story lines, player and monster tokens on map with grid spacing, ability to link NPC script or even scene descriptions right into the chat box for everyone to view, are just a few.
Posted: June 26
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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
91.8 hrs on record
The learning curve is pretty steep, but once you get through it, it's great.
Posted: May 17
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
135.2 hrs on record
I've invested $65 for Fantasy Grounds and the BRP Rule-set. So far, I've had 6 hours of play just looking around and familiarizing myself with the mechanics. I was surprised to find out how user friendly creating content for your play style actually is. There are some free player-created content out there ( but I have not looked at that material yet). If you are familiar with other available tools online, there is some comparability; the table function is there, but I'm not aware of button-binding. The scrolling can be difficult, as is the movement of each row to the bottom of the list as you type. I have not seen or heard of any macro-making ability, but the mechanics of Fantasy Grounds doesn't need it to feel the satisfaction of preparing the gameplay.
All and all, it is an investment, and the prices are discouraging it's Steam community from growing faster than it is; but it already has it's own community from it's website. After spending $65 (no sale) I recommend the purchase.
Posted: July 12
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
155.6 hrs on record
Absolutely one of the best programs I have ever seen for playing pen and paper roleplaying games over the internet. The demo version is fine if your DM has the Ultimate version of the software, which many I know do (myself included). The price-tag is a bit steep, and the learning curve does exist, but once you get rolling it becomes a train of fun with no end.

Think about it this way: A new video game comes out, you nab it for 60USD or whatever. You play the campaign, beat it in 20 hours. 20 hours of what is hopefully fun, for 60USD. OR, you can pay for FG and any suppliments you require, and have unlimited fun, barred only by your own imagination.
Posted: June 26
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
You'll notice there's a trend in the reviews - people who've had the program way before it was offered on Steam reviewing positively, and people who got the program through Steam reviewing negatively. I did get the program before it was offered on Steam and I can say that it's a solid program, filled with delightful surprises that do make running a game on the internet fairly easy.

It's also a fairly old program, and yes, Roll20 and others of it's kind that have come out since do, as of this writing, have a few features that this does not, as well as an obvious price advantage. However there are still many features in FG2 which are superior (it's vast cache of OGL content and manipulation of same are second to none), and more importantly, Smiteworks has a great reputation for continually updating this product and offering those updates free to charge to current owners.
There's also a community of fellow gamers eager to take you into the fold - how many other programs out there have a matchmaking system that can get you into new games and make you new friends?

Anyway, my point is, this program is one of the staples of the online tabletop world, so I strongly recommend at least getting the demo and learning the basics with someone. See where it takes you.

You know, kinda like you did with whatever RPGs you'd be playing on it in the first place. ;)

Posted: June 26
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