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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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
830 of 1,204 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 479 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 170 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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169 of 279 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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