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Using Fantasy Grounds for Face-to-Face?

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Validated User
The FG kickstarter has got me really excited. I've been using FG for >10 years. Recently, I've gotten news that my group is moving back home just as I did. I've noticed that some have mentioned that they use FG for their face-to-face games. I have a few questions:

How does that work?
What is your set up?
How WELL does it work?
Etc.

Thanks for your time!
 

Dromio

Registered User
Validated User
I've used it for Face to Face. It's a good way to display maps and move counters around, if you can lay a display flat. Honestly though I really liked it for the combat tracker and character sheet references. All the spells, weapons, etc. are just right there; no digging around in books or searching PDFs.

I thought I remembered an article on this, but didn't find it. I did find a video though!

:)
 

Gaglug

Registered User
Validated User
In my experience, using FG face to face works very well. Especially for things like 5E and Pathfinder that are a bit crunchy and have tactical maps for combat.

I actually started using FG for face-to-face games as a DM aid. Initially it was to just help cut down on paper clutter. I ran my games at a friends house and kept having to lug more and more stuff with me. Eventually it got to be a heavy bankers box full of books, accessories, and minis as well as a large white board for a gaming surface I could write on. As I got older (fatter/lazier) that got less and less appealing to drag all that stuff around every week. So going to PDF for books and using a VTT to replace the whiteboard/minis was clearly the way to go.

The initial setup was pretty basic. Laptop running the DM client just like you'd run as usual. Second instance of FG running on the laptop, displayed on an external monitor for players. That worked fine, but the DM had to move all the minis and do all the clicking. For us, die rolling for players was done with their normal dice and die rolling for the DM could be done normally or in the client. Alternatively a player with another laptop could run FG while plugged in to the monitor, and help offload a little bit of work from the GM.

The experience of using a digital tabletop in person really went well for my players, and two of them immediately began plans and construction of gaming tables with built-in TVs as the gaming surface in order to provide a bigger/better gaming experience for everyone. There are plenty of youtube examples of gaming tables with TVs built in, and you can go from pretty bare bones/cheap to really stupidly over-engineered and expensive (but awesome) huge and impressive tables.

It's important to note that you don't have to go the full luxury gaming table route in order to use FG (or any VTT) for face to face games. You can just pull over a computer monitor from your desktop computer, or you can hook up to your TV if your gaming area has a TV in it.

The real difference between FG online and FG face-to-face is determining how much of the experience you want to "unplug" from the client, and how much you want to keep in the client. When face to face, my players prefer to roll physical dice. That means shifting that out of the client. As the DM I then have a choice of either pulling out all the die modifier math out of the client to run the game as I would in a normal game (manually figuring out if a specific roll hits or not), or I could choose to flip the switch in the client that lets me pick/force die results and let the client chew on all the math automatically like it does in a normal online game. I see the player rolls a 12, then I roll the die in the DM client and force it to roll a 12. Either way works, its mostly a preference thing.

I'd suggest you kick the tires on it and see how it goes, starting just doing basic easy stuff with a laptop and monitor. You could decide FG is just a fancy DM aid keeping track of only basic stuff like round initiative, hits, etc. Or you could end up eventually going off the deep end with your own custom gaming table, or anything in between.
 
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