Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Incident at Absolom Stat - In Design Layout - Technical Complaint


Dead Suns

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Despite the many strides forward taken by Paizo in the past, this premiere volume of the Dead Suns AP appears to have many of the technical art issues which had previously been eliminated by Paizo re-introduced to your AP maps.

The problem arises because of cropping and scaling which is applied to the map PSD as they are inserted into the module. When the maps are scaled or cropped, the underlying map grid is affected. This makes it very difficult to prepare and use the map in a VTT. The underlying grid is affected and the result can be very troublesome to fix.

In Incident at Absolom Station, there is a significant problem presented by the map cropping/grid which arises with the map of the Fusion Queen on page 16. The top-most row of the map grid has been cropped, such that at the unaltered resolution used in the PDF image, 8 pixels from the top row of the map image are missing due to the crop applied to the image. Because the top most edge of this map will be actively used during play (indeed, likely to be used in combat), we can't crop this partial row out to fix the issue. (The cropped row runs directly through "B4" and "B4a")

I spent a good while in Photoshop having to copy+paste and use a spot healing brush to recreate the missing band of pixels in the cropped image. (It's still a little dodgey, but it will work.)

Can Paizo staff working on Starfinder APs take some care in the future to NOT do this? Happily, Paizo staff have taken extra care in the technical art aspects of your map art for the past 5 years or so, very conscious of the problems they present to VTT users.

This premiere issue of the Dead Suns AP is, regrettably, a step backwards on the technical side of your product.


I've been using a tool from the Fantasy Grounds forum for several years to make sure the maps fit a grid properly. It can easily add padding to finish a partial grid row if you need it. Don't know if it'll make the map more usable in this situation, but it'll save you the Photoshop time in the future.

Map Align

Liberty's Edge

Gwaihir Scout wrote:

I've been using a tool from the Fantasy Grounds forum for several years to make sure the maps fit a grid properly. It can easily add padding to finish a partial grid row if you need it. Don't know if it'll make the map more usable in this situation, but it'll save you the Photoshop time in the future.

Map Align

Thanks, I appreciate that.

I use MapScaleTool, a macro in Excel as well as Photoshop to rescale my maps. I pad in Photoshop/GIMP2, if necessary. (I usually avoid it.)

It's not the "padding" I tinker with, it's the spot healing brushes I use to reconstruct the ACTUAL map image that has been cut to recreate that part on top of the padding (as opposed to just empty frame). It's the art part after the "technical art" that takes the time, funny enough.

Having just stopped a lengthy campaign under FGII for five months or so (Masks of Nyarlathotep under Coc 7th ed using FGII) I have to tell you - d20Pro is vastly superior in almost every conceivable way, except one. The die roller and Char sheets in FG2 are prettier. No doubt about that.

But in every other respect -- ease of use, graphic details and resolution, animations, Herolab integration, etc. D20PRo wipes the floor with it.

If you have not tried it - I'd highly recommend you do. It's just a *much* better VTT program.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hey Steel_Wind, why did you stop your podcast?!? :)

As someone who has used D20Pro for over 7 years and tried to use Fantasy Grounds recently and Roll20 (yuck) D20Pro simply destroys everything else out there.

FG looks beautiful and the die roller is awesome ... and that about it. Endlessly windows, endlessly clicking, everything seems to take forever in FG and it's impossible to find anything.

Liberty's Edge

Stonesnake wrote:

Hey Steel_Wind, why did you stop your podcast?!? :)

Lots of reasons - none of them particularly good. "Chronicles: Starfinder Podcast". Hmm. That might just work. I'd have to wait until we finished playing at least the 1st volume though. Which would mean - October. ;)

Quote:


As someone who has used D20Pro for over 7 years and tried to use Fantasy Grounds recently and Roll20 (yuck) D20Pro simply destroys everything else out there.

FG looks beautiful and the die roller is awesome ... and that about it. Endlessly windows, endlessly clicking, everything seems to take forever in FG and it's impossible to find anything.

Well, some of FG looks purty. The map resolution sure does not compared to D20Pro's though. The 32 bit memory limits were driving me NUTS.

How can people stand it? Honestly; I don't get it.

I don't know what it is about people and VTT's, but it's real. They seem to become INSTANTLY loyal to them. Like, my buddy-in-the-war-who-shared-a-foxhole-with-me levels of loyal. If they stick, they stick HARD.

Trying to explain to someone why Roll20, for example, just isn't that good compared to a non-browser, dedicated program with way more features is basically going into the coal mountains of West Virginia passing out Bernie Sanders pamphlets.

It's just not going to happen; facts no longer matter.

So, we do what we can and continue to explain as best we can. Maybe some will finally be open enough to try and spend a few hours prepping a campaign/module.

Once that happens? They are hooked. It just soooo much easier and far more powerful. But the learning curve is real and I guess that gets in the way.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I’ve just had a look at D20Pro and it looks good. My issue with converting players from Roll20 would be convincing them to buy it.

Liberty's Edge

Alfray Stryke wrote:
I’ve just had a look at D20Pro and it looks good. My issue with converting players from Roll20 would be convincing them to buy it.

Alternatively, just buy a 4 (or 5 or 6; you know the number of players in your group) seat license and that's it. It's a one time purchase. When you look at the subscription cost of both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, it's cheaper in the medium run - never mind longterm. (In the longterm, after 15 months of use, a D20Pro 4 seat license is actually cheaper than a $5 a month Roll 20 subscription - and the savings mount every month thereafter.)

Point is: if you have the license for "that many" seats at your table, they don't need to own anything. It's your table and your seats. You decide who plays. They just need to dl and install the client. That's really the only level of commitment required from players. Even for many players though, that's actually a real step.

In fairness (to a very one-sided approach to the cost) the program is something you will use a lot more than them. The benefits of D20Pro are in setting up your campaign and working with it to create maps and encounter areas and place your encounters down, etc.. Adding dynamic cool transparent tile effects on the fly during encounters is stuff you can start to do as you know the software better.

The other issue with D20Pro is that it works best with Herolab. You create your encounters and NPCs and assign magic items and so forth in that program, choose export to D20PRo format and save the portfolio. You then import the portfolio in D20Pro and then just place the icons for the NPCs and monsters on the map. In most cases, the icon for the monster/NPC in Paizo's art is passed through to D20Pro by Herolab. It's done for you.

I don't think I have created an encounter from scratch within D20Pro in... well, many, MANY years.

This is awesome if you have Herolab. For those of us who have been playing Pathfinder a long while and bought Herolab when it was first released and have maintained it since, this isn't a big deal. We have robust, fully featured "full Herolab" versions of that software, amassed over time alongside our Pathfinder collection.

To buy a full copy of Herolab from a standing start, without a Black Friday sale, is... $375 USD now? Something very close to that. On Black Friday you can usually push that cost below $300, but it's still a lot to spend on gaming software.

Even still, D20Pro can greatly benefit from a modest investment in Herolab with just a few GM addons ($50 worth, say). The community expansions for Herolab, including for the free version of the Complete Tome of Horrors and Advanced Bestiary pay off well once in D20Pro. And you can make further modifications to feats, classes and equipment from within D20Pro that go beyond your license in Herolab. It just takes you longer to mess with it - that's all.

And if you are running an AP, Herolab sells all the encounters for that AP as a bundle for $25. This is WELL worth it as you don't need any more addons for Herolab to work and pass this info to D20Pro for you. A modest investment in Herolab and VOOM = you have your base encounters done in D20Pro format for the whole AP. I >>LOVE<< this feature.

And yes, D20Pro is selling similar data packages from Paizo, Legendary Games and Frog God now directly, too.

It's the most powerful and flexible combo of commercial software for RPG management and play. But that power comes at a cost - and not much of it is for free.

One thing that IS for free though is GIMP2. I used to use that a lot to help me prep images for use with D20PRo. That, at least, is still free :)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I bought D20Pro for $60 around 7 years ago, which includes 6 seats for my players, and I have used it for 1-2 games, per week, for 7+ years now.

And that's it. I have never bought anything for D20Pro ever again.

You can't beat that, period. All the rule sets have been free, all the monsters free, all the classes free, everything has been free.

Compare that to FG2 or Roll20 ... you can't. ALL of the VTT cost money now if you want to use any "real" features, and most of them make money by endlessly selling you new rule sets and upgrades, usually at the same price as the books themselves. To date everything I have ever needed on D20Pro has been free. The same rules on FG2 would have cost hundreds of dollars. All free on D20Pro.

And adding new rules is INSANELY easy with the XML editor. I added ALL of the classes, spells, feats, and skills from Starfinder into D20Pro in about 1 hour.

That is power.

Nothing beats D20Pro ... period.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have you considered making your Starfinder files available to the D20Pro community? I am sure they would be greatly appreciated and we all would be grateful of your work, Stonesnake.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lawlesslisa wrote:
Have you considered making your Starfinder files available to the D20Pro community? I am sure they would be greatly appreciated and we all would be grateful of your work, Stonesnake.

Actually I have been in touch with the D20Pro dev team and they are combining my files with theirs when they release the Starfinder rules for D20Pro very shortly (should be within the next week or so).

From what I know they are updating the D20Pro rules to allow for KAC, EAC, and Stamina Points for now and will then add more functionality shortly after (i.e. ship combat, etc.). Those three are the only items which D20Pro can't easily handle in its current state (you can fake it pretty easily however).

I've actually already run a few games of Starfinder, with ship combat, in D20Pro in it's current state (including my files) and it worked just fine.

If they don't release their update soon I'll release the files.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Awesome, thanks!

Liberty's Edge

Out of curiosity, do folks use VTT instead of actual in-person, at an actual table becasue the just prefer them, or is it due to necessity because there are no players close enough for an in-person game?

I'm genuinely curious. I've never played a VTT game but I've watched a few clips here and there online but I've always played actual, in-person games around a table ...

Liberty's Edge

Marc Radle wrote:

Out of curiosity, do folks use VTT instead of actual in-person, at an actual table becasue the just prefer them, or is it due to necessity because there are no players close enough for an in-person game?

I'm genuinely curious. I've never played a VTT game but I've watched a few clips here and there online but I've always played actual, in-person games around a table ...

I use remote / VTT play instead of in person gaming. It's odd how that worked out, as I was part of a stable group for many, many years (gamed with some of them for nearly 30 years, since freshman high school)...

But when Azmyth and I started to do the Chronicles Podcast together about 7 years ago, we resolved to game with each other in order to do it. He was in the San Francisco Bay area, I was in Toronto. We had to game with each other remotely.

It turns out, we really hit it off and I liked gaming with him and most of his crew. We became close friends and gaming buddies.

Azmyth typically has a number of players live at his table, between two to four, and we have a number of other remote players (two to four) play via web cams and VTTs. So for us, it is mostly a hybrid game in terms of "in person" attendance. Though for me, it is always remote.

I have come to VASTLY prefer it. The principle reason is time. I live in a very large city where travel to and from the game if I were to play in person would take me several hours of travel. With remote play, my game is in my computer room; and that's the place I go when I'm not going anywhere. My computer room is set up specifically to do exactly that, too. I have 3 x 27" monitors and another 55" monitor, all wired in. Multiple cams if I need them. The software I am used to using during a game is all there on its own monitor/window and I have become extremely comfortable with it all. When we start, the pre-game chit-chat unfolds as it would with any game. When the game ends, that does as well.

Consequently, I can play games during the mid-week (not just on weekends) that I would never have the time to play otherwise. Ive played a lot of APs I would NEVER have had the time to play if I didn't play them remotely.

In both cases, the quality of game is exactly the same as if it was face to face - because it is face-to-face. It's just not "in person".

I do think that VTT gaming can get a bad wrap because the people who are playing together are not in a committed group. To import MMO terminology, just jumping into a VTT game with a bunch of strangers is very much like a PUG in WoW or TOR. It might work, sure, and you might want to play with them again, guild up and become good friends. But honestly? Probably won't happen that way. HOWEVER, if you can find just one or two playewrs out of that group you really like, you can get together and start another game together and maybe find a third or a fourth person to hit it off with...

And then, lo and behold, you aren't PUGGING it anymore. You have a regular gaming group that just happens to be spread out over North America, (or wherever).

So it's not the technology or the play style which gets in the way. That's all awesome. It's just ordinary human relations and gaming with strangers you don't know. Until you become friends with one another, you can each just end the game with a double click as there is no emotional investment in the relationship. So until those human bonds of friendship are formed, the whole thing is very delicate. And the bigger the group, the greater the potential for problems. Chances for a weakest link or incompatibility can grow significantly (if not exponentially).

That's never a good thing about the Internet at any time, doing anything, imo.

TL;DR - it's not the technology, it's the people involved which determines whether your VTT game will succeed or fail.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

Out of curiosity, do folks use VTT instead of actual in-person, at an actual table becasue the just prefer them, or is it due to necessity because there are no players close enough for an in-person game?

I'm genuinely curious. I've never played a VTT game but I've watched a few clips here and there online but I've always played actual, in-person games around a table ...

My group used to play in person for dozens of years when we all lived in the same city.

But over time people have moved and playing in person has become impossible. I have played with other groups, but it simply isn't the same playing with my close friends.

With D20Pro I can play with my same group of people from all over the place -- Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, New York, Ohio, and New Jersey -- all can play together easily once or twice a week.

Same group of people I have played RPGs with over 20+ years, all over VTT.

In addition once you play with a VTT ... it will be hard for you to go back to face to face. The VTT helps so much and does so much of the complex calculations automatically (especially for mid to high level Pathfinder play) that you'll never want to play face to face again.

I enjoy face to face but after playing VTT for so many years I am become quite comfortable and prefer it. Plus I can play with my friends easily and at odd times quite easily.

Liberty's Edge

Stonesnake wrote:


In addition once you play with a VTT ... it will be hard for you to go back to face to face. The VTT helps so much and does so much of the complex calculations automatically (especially for mid to high level Pathfinder play) that you'll never want to play face to face again.

See, we don't do this. We do not ordinarily use D20Pro to roll for us, nor do I have the foes roll via D20Pro either.

We all roll bones and just report the result to the GM. We track damage on D20Pro, and explore the map and use it as a battlemap to move the minis during combat or to lay down spell templates, etc.

Everybody uses Herolab, and I use Herolab's tactical console in conjunction with D20Pro.

End result: attacks, damage and saves are all rolled by hand, old Skool.

Our first experience with pure computer resolution of all of that felt a little too computer gamey to us, not enough like ordinary gaming.

So we keep the dice in our hands.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I prefer VTT because of the convenience. I can play at odd times when necessary and honestly, I really got into VTT when my group at home decided to save on gas and just stay home to play online with each other. Now with PFS having a great online presence, I can do that well online as well.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Starfinder® / Starfinder Adventure Path / Dead Suns / Incident at Absolom Stat - In Design Layout - Technical Complaint All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.