Virtual tabletops -- what do you know and what do you think?


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This is version 6.1 of my macros to support playing Pathfinder 1e with MapTool. Click on the links below:

Macros supporting Pathfinder 1e in MapTool 1.4.0.5, 1.4.1.8, and likely 1.5.1 and above

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool

The major feature for this release was Hero Lab integration -- but you don't have to use Hero Lab. You can enter your character sheets in manually.

Sorry, due to a minor bug, you'll have to re-import your characters with hl2mt.exe, again, if you use that.

Hero Lab migration support is now completely done. Very easy to now use Hero Lab imported characters with hl2mt.exe and my Campaign window macros. All the stats are now imported. Some minor manual data entry is needed for saving throws and skills -- but it is very minimal.

This is extremely useful because Hero Lab has optional data sets including all the NPCs of the all Bestiaries, some of the Adventure Paths, and many other sources. In short, a library of thousands of NPCs which can be easily imported into MapTool -- not to mention the PCs your players create.

Nearly every aspect of the charater sheet is supported, including resource tracking and temporary modifiers. GM clicks a rest button and the selected characters are rested, hit points recovered, spells slots restored, etc.

Changes made:

1. Finished adding support for migrating characters imported with hl2mt.exe (let me know if you have trouble finding this tool -- highly recommended for Hero Lab users) was be added:

a. Skill checks needed special feature where total is entered and modifiers are automatically subtracted to compute a misc modifier.

b. Same was needed for saving throws.

c. Created a new import buttons that only works for hl2mt.exe imported characters.

2. Fixed issue where imported characters where showing Movement = 0.


Here's a nice list of the huge number of VTTs available and some comments about each (click this link):

Huge Number of Virtual Tabletops Listed And Review (And It's Pretty Current)


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thanks for the info Mark!


Elorebaen wrote:
Thanks for the info Mark!

You are completely welcome!


This is version 6.3 of my macros to support playing Pathfinder 1e with MapTool.

Click on the links below:

Macros supporting Pathfinder 1e in MapTool 1.4.0.5, 1.4.1.8, and likely 1.5.1 and above

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool

Major new features include:

1. Increased the number of Melee Attacks, Ranged Attacks, and Special Abilities to 30 (up from 10).

2. Fixed the tooltips for the buttons to better explain how to use each of the macros.

3. Fixed what is now the "Rest PCs or NPCs 8 hours" button. Not only to add new features. I broke it recently for another minor change -- sorry about that. Works now.

4. Moved some of the GM buttons to the Campaign window. This is because, apparently, the Global window has a much smaller limit on macro size -- so I had no choice but to move them to the Campaign window -- but players are prevented from using them.

5. Increased the buffs and conditions to 10 (was 5).

6. Increased the sets of temporary adjustments (modifiers) to 30 -- and they can be made to a character due to various buffs such as haste, bless, enlarge person, etc. or conditions such as slow, curse, reduce person, etc. (This fixes a major nightmare of most GMs -- it's fully automated!)

7. Added support for domain spells, specialty school spells, etc. (Yes, I know level-0 spells aren't typically used for this -- but I left support for them in there just in case.)

8. Added more descriptive text as need to the dialogs to make their purpose more clear.

9. Fixed a bug where level-0 spells were being removed from the "current" spell list of spells available to cast. Now, they are not removed.

Other features already supported:

1. Working in conjunction with hl2mt.exe, has the ability to very easily import the thousands of NPCs (and PCs) available from Hero Lab's libraries of the Bestiaries, Adventure Paths, etc.

2. To the best of my knowledge, full support for everything on the character sheet (or at least nearly).

3. Probably lots of other stuff I'm currently too tired to remember -- because I've been writing macros all day.

Future Work Will Include:

Fixing the issue that spell slots are not being handled for opposing schools, etc. Right now, you'll have to work-around.


I finally asked for some clarifications about MapTool's macro language -- and I'm really glad I did.

At first glance MTScript appears to be kind of limited -- only allows 2 levels of nesting, for example.

But, when you find out how to create libraries of your code (library tokens), pretty much the above issue goes away.

I greatly underestimated MTScript's ease and power, and now I'm really, finally, rocking and rolling.

I just wish I had asked earily. I pretty much understood most of the concept -- just needed a little help getting started.

At the present time, I very highly recommend MapTool 1.4.1.8 -- and am providing feedback for pre-release versions of 1.5.X.


Arkenforge has impressed me greatly with the one time fee and completely offline play. It is made for offline play though from the ground up and currently has no online. But it is a map creator and Soundscape and encounter builder all in one tool. It is currently in Alpha and is f@*@ing Amazing!! The best part is the small team of people who constantly uptdate it and love talking with their community. The only reason I am mentioning it is because of how well they have treated me from trouble shooting to just letting me in on secrets for whats coming all from talking with them on discord. Just geeks like me living a dream trying to find out what to do with sideways tv's and DND lol.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have been using D20Pro (in its various incarnations) for about nine years now. I have used it to GM the following campaigns:

Carrion Crown AP
Age of Worms AP
Mummy's Mask AP
Giantslayer AP
Curse of the Crimson Throne AP
CoC: Masks of Nyarlathotep
SF: Dead Suns AP
Savage Tide AP
Legendary Planet AP

D20Pro is far more user friendly than MapTool, and in just about every way, equally as powerful -- or more powerful -- than Maptool.

D20Pro's greatest strength is now the built in code for pre-set spell effects, which are extremely robust. But above all, it is a 64 bit program which allows me to create extremely large and well detailed maps using image sizes that both Roll20 and FG II just cough a fur-ball on and cannot run.

D20Pro costs money. Generally speaking, when it comes to software, you get what you pay for. Often, you get far more than you pay for, too.

From the above list, you are probably wondering "how the hell did he get Call of Cthulhu to work in D20Pro? Well, with some difficulty. At first, I decided I would try to use Fantasy Grounds for it, especially as there was already a campaign add-on for FG for MoN that was available for purchase. So I bought it, fired it up...

And I hated it. Loathed it even. The limits on map sizes, token details and virtually everything to do with the program was horrible. Yes, the die roller is pretty. And HELL YES, the character sheet in FG is more attractive and easy to use.

But it stops there. The ease of building maps and encounters in D2oPro is far higher. The limitations on map building are endless when coming from D20Pro expectations. I found that this enraged me. This analogy is closest: It was as if I was doing my map and monster tokens in Photoshop -- all so they could only be displayed in MS Paint, locked at 800x600 resolution.

That analogy is balls-on accurate. Those are the graphical limitations of both FG and Roll20 as compared to D20Pro.

I use maps which are 6000 x 4000 pixels in size. I have every Paizo flip-mat at 300 dpi resolution in D20 Pro. FG can't run a single one of them.

After three months of [trying to] use FG for my Mon campaign -- I pulled the chute. "Screw it, I will kludge this in D20Pro instead. This just ain't worth it." We switched over to D20Pro for the balance of my year long MoN campaign and I was SO glad that I did.

A few notes on how we use D20Pro that runs counter to perhaps many people's approach:

Firstly, we don't allow players to use a Wi-Fi connection unless they absolutely must. One of our players is often on the road during the week all over North America. He plays from a hotel room where there is often Wi-Fi. He is the only player I allow to do this. Nobody else is permitted to use Wi-Fi. You must have a hard line connection to play.

For students or those living at home with their parents where this isn't possible -- this can be a problem. We are all in our 40s and 50s so that's not an issue for us.

I cannot underscore how important it is for everyone to be using a hardline ethernet connection to play online. Everything goes faster. Video, audio, map load times. It all is undone by the weakest link in the chain, and the problems which do crop up geometrically expand with each Wi-Fi connection in the game.

Don't allow it. Ever. Be an unforgiving hard-ass and your online game will be awesome.

Secondly, you really do need to develop a stable gaming group for play online. So may new VTT players engage in what amounts to pick-up gaming and then complain over the quality of play. It's like comparing a PUG to a long-time guild based Raid group. If you have any experience with WoW, that analogy is accurate. I have been playing with a rotating number of players over the years online, but many of us know one another face to face, and we are all friends. I cannot stress how important that is for success in your games. PUGs generally suck. That is so no matter how great everything else about the game might be. You need players who are committed to the game and the group. If you don't have it? It's not going to work.

When it comes to VTT games, this is how I now game. I had a face-to-face group for about 30 years? Give or take. But for the past ten or so, online games via skype, webcams and D20PRo is how I game. I MUCH prefer it. There is no travel time involved for any of my games I play or run. I have a computer workstation designed for it, with 3x27" monitors. Because there is no travel time involved, I can play in multiple games per week and I don't get any wife complaints about being absent from the home on gaming days/nights.

If my gaming group met across the street, 100 feet away, I suppose that might be okay. But otherwise, give up my VTT based game to play face-to-face again? Nope. Not a chance in hell would I be in favor of that.


Steel_Wind wrote:

I have been using D20Pro (in its various incarnations) for about nine years now. I have used it to GM the following campaigns:

Carrion Crown AP
Age of Worms AP
Mummy's Mask AP
Giantslayer AP
Curse of the Crimson Throne AP
CoC: Masks of Nyarlathotep
SF: Dead Suns AP
Savage Tide AP
Legendary Planet AP

D20Pro is far more user friendly than MapTool, and in just about every way, equally as powerful -- or more powerful -- than Maptool.

D20Pro's greatest strength is now the built in code for pre-set spell effects, which are extremely robust. But above all, it is a 64 bit program which allows me to create extremely large and well detailed maps using image sizes that both Roll20 and FG II just cough a fur-ball on and cannot run.

D20Pro costs money. Generally speaking, when it comes to software, you get what you pay for. Often, you get far more than you pay for, too.

From the above list, you are probably wondering "how the hell did he get Call of Cthulhu to work in D20Pro? Well, with some difficulty. At first, I decided I would try to use Fantasy Grounds for it, especially as there was already a campaign add-on for FG for MoN that was available for purchase. So I bought it, fired it up...

And I hated it. Loathed it even. The limits on map sizes, token details and virtually everything to do with the program was horrible. Yes, the die roller is pretty. And HELL YES, the character sheet in FG is more attractive and easy to use.

But it stops there. The ease of building maps and encounters in D2oPro is far higher. The limitations on map building are endless when coming from D20Pro expectations. I found that this enraged me. This analogy is closest: It was as if I was doing my map and monster tokens in Photoshop -- all so they could only be displayed in MS Paint, locked at 800x600 resolution.

That analogy is balls-on accurate. Those are the graphical limitations of both FG and Roll20 as compared to D20Pro.

I use maps which are 6000 x 4000 pixels in size. I have every Paizo flip-mat...

Thank you for sharing your experience with D20Pro. I used it for, I think, nearly 3 months. I'm very glad it has been working out for your group. Very good input about networking connection requirements. Our biggest problem was connecting to my D20Pro server -- especially if multiple players tried to do that at the same time.

I believe MapTool and D20Pro are the best VTTs, provided a small number of issues I reported for D20Pro have been resolved.

My favorite is MapTool. Though I totally agree that D20Pro is the best at handling huge maps, I like MapTool for its lower network connection requirement, faster connection speed, ease of use, powerful & easy macro language, stability, good online documentstion, fast online support in forums, and large team of developers working tirelessly on it.

However, I am glad that D20Pro seems to offer a viable alternative. I'd sleep better at night knowing there were two of these.

D20Pro attempts to do rule automation. MapTool does not -- though I have developed and continue to improve macros for MapTool to support Pathfinder 1e. I have features such as automation for doing temporary adjustments, full or nearly full resource tracking including spell casting for spontaneous and preparing spell casters, crit determination and die rolls, etc. I think I've got support for the entire character sheet -- plus things that have been overlooked (like tracking checks to see if a spell is understood and how long till the attempt can be made again). This is a feature I really like about MapTool -- the macros give us a high degree of customization without much lot of effort.

To get my macros, look for my posting as adventuremagic123 in the User Creations > Campaign Frameworks forum on RPTools' website in the Community section (just click on "Community"). Search for Pathfinder 1e. It's on the first page!

I think you'll like what I've done, and I continue to improve it. I just did another release today!

Sounds like you're saying VTT is the only way to go -- and I completely agree!

For my group, I use MapTool 1.4.1.8, Discord, Google Drive for campaign documents, Hero Lab (for all my NPCs), and hl2mt.exe to do the Hero Lab to MapTool token creation.


I've released version 8.0 of my macros to support playing Pathfinder 1e with MapTool (tested in version 1.4.1.8).

Click on the links below:

Macros supporting Pathfinder 1e in MapTool 1.4.0.5, 1.4.1.8, and likely 1.5.X (bug posted on GITHUB for a 1.5.X issue -- can't support these macros yet) and above:

MapTool Macros for Pathfinder 1e

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool:

Easy Instructions for How to Setup a VTT Campaign (with MapTool)

Major changes and new features include:

* Support for the Weapon Finesse feat was not clear. You need to specify whether you can use it for each type of melee attack. Now, it's clear.

* Reduced the skill buttons down to just 5 buttons -- making them far easier to maintain.

* GMs can now apply Temporary Adjustments and Buffs/Conditions to groups of tokens, rather than one at a time.

* GMs now have a "Set Initiative to Last" button that's very useful for when tokens move to a new map (say while being chased or chasing their opponents). It's also useful if the players rolled their initiative before you added them to the Initiative Window.

* Crits and Coup de Grace are now fully supported, and resources (such as arrows) are appropriately maintained.

* Improved how spell casting is done. Casting spells at different levels with multiple slots is supported! Resting a PC's token recovers his/her spells.

* HP lethal, nonlethal, and healing can now be applied to all the selected tokens by responding to a single dialog -- or use a dialog per selected token.

* URL fields are now used to display links in the Chat window for spells cast, equipment used, melee attack weapons, and ranged weapons.

* Melee and ranged attacks can be linked to feats, traits, and/or deeds.


I've released version 9.1 of my macros to support playing Pathfinder 1e with MapTool.

Click on the links below:

Macros supporting Pathfinder 1e in MapTool 1.4.0.5, 1.4.1.8, and maybe 1.5.X. Tested on 1.4.1.8:

MapTool macros for Pathfinder

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool:

Instructions for Setting Up a Campaign to Use MapTool

Major changes and new features include:

* Everything, except skills, is now maintained as dynamic data (rather than static data) -- so you can, for example, specify an unlimited number of different types of melee attack.

* Equipment is now supported -- and characters can give equipment to each other.

* Online party treasure. GM can transfer party treasure directly to characters.

* Handouts are supported.


I've released version 9.2 of my macros supporting Pathfinder 1e on MapTool. It's tested on 1.4.1.8, but should work on 1.4.0.5 and 1.5.2.

The major feature is that now skills and skill meta data are maintained dynamically. That means if the skill you want isn't there, you can add it. You can also have skills with a secondary detail (I called them "subskills"). So, you can having things like Acrobatics and "tight rope walking".

As the GM updates the skill meta data, the changes are automatically and transparently pushed out to the players' tokens.

The download location is the same as above (for the 9.1 release).

Please, check it out. I'd love to have more people using it. I put a lot of work into it.


I've released version 9.6 of my macros supporting Pathfinder 1e on MapTool. It's tested on 1.4.1.8, but should work on 1.4.0.5 and 1.5.2.

This code is very solid and we use it for our games every week. Lots of very powerful features such as:

* Party Treasure management
* Campaign Time tracking (you'll now be able to deal with complex issues such as PCs crafting while the party moves on to further adventures)
* Automatic spell DC calculations
* Spell management (complete for both prepared and spontaneous spell casters)
* Easy to use interface
* Greatly improved macro layout
* Resource tracking (equipment, ranged attacks, spells, special abilities, etc.)
* New skills can be added by the GM (and they are automatically made available to all the tokens)

MapTool macros for Pathfinder 1e

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

1. What is your favorite VTT?
Currently Roll20 but I don't have a ton of experience with anything else.

2. What features do you see missing in VTTs that you would like to have?
Not sure, like I said in question 1 I am still new to working with them.

3. What do you like most about your favorite VTT?
Dynamic Lighting

4. Do you prefer VTT over traditional tabletop? Why or why not?
I am very mixed on that. Traditional tabletop and being there with real people that you can physically interact with is a lot of fun. Virtual does have the advantage of letting you display the information for a module much more easily though. Also not having to perform math on the fly is a help some times.

5. Is Pathfinder better done over VTT?
I think 1st edition is. We will see after 2nd edtion is out.

6. Are their any VTTs you are thinking about trying and want more info about them?
I've been experimenting with Astral Tabletop. I may end up switching to it.

7. How would you rank (between 1 and 10 with 10 the best) the VTTs you've come into contact with?
Have only really used Roll20 for a game so I don't have anything to compare it with yet.

8. If you're using a VTT, what other tools do you use with it to:

a. Develop your campaign?
Herolabs

b. Run your campaign?
Herolabs

9. Are you having any trouble with recruiting?
No

10. Do you prefer combat, role playing, or both?
I like a mix of both.


BTW, I forgot to mention that another major feature for my MapTool macros is:

* Temporary Adjustments for abilities, size, movement, saving throws, energy resistance, AC, attacks, etc. are automatically applied and can be enabled/disabled.


Zioalca wrote:

1. What is your favorite VTT?

Currently Roll20 but I don't have a ton of experience with anything else.

2. What features do you see missing in VTTs that you would like to have?
Not sure, like I said in question 1 I am still new to working with them.

3. What do you like most about your favorite VTT?
Dynamic Lighting

4. Do you prefer VTT over traditional tabletop? Why or why not?
I am very mixed on that. Traditional tabletop and being there with real people that you can physically interact with is a lot of fun. Virtual does have the advantage of letting you display the information for a module much more easily though. Also not having to perform math on the fly is a help some times.

5. Is Pathfinder better done over VTT?
I think 1st edition is. We will see after 2nd edtion is out.

6. Are their any VTTs you are thinking about trying and want more info about them?
I've been experimenting with Astral Tabletop. I may end up switching to it.

7. How would you rank (between 1 and 10 with 10 the best) the VTTs you've come into contact with?
Have only really used Roll20 for a game so I don't have anything to compare it with yet.

8. If you're using a VTT, what other tools do you use with it to:

a. Develop your campaign?
Herolabs

b. Run your campaign?
Herolabs

9. Are you having any trouble with recruiting?
No

10. Do you prefer combat, role playing, or both?
I like a mix of both.

Thanks for responding.

Yes, I'd agree that dynamic lighting and FoW (fog of war) are my most favorite features BUT way on top of that is the ability to write macros that automate a lot of the mundane activities that most GMs ignore that are central to the game but are also too burdensome.

Examples include resource comsumption, date and time on the AR calendar, day of the week, season of the year, the passage of time, weather, damage to weapons used in combat, etc.

And, then, there are issues very difficult for GMs such as how to track situations where multiple PCs want to craft items, the durations are all different, and the rest of the party wants to move on and continue the adventure. One of the PCs in my campaign has become infected but symptoms won't show for a week. Got to also track situations where it takes multiple saves to resolve a condition.

Players have a bit of paperwork to do each time they rest.

All these things are easy to handle with macros to either automate dealing with these issues or helping the GM keep track of them.

I can create a much more realistic campaign in a VTT environment than I ever could in straight traditional tabletop.

Some GMs are doing a hybrid of VTT and traditional tabletop -- even by placing an HD TV down on the table and using it for the map.


I use Fantasy Grounds. And I have supported the Kickstarter for FG Unity, coming out in December.
I have only used Roll20, and 3D Virtual Tabletop (on Android tablet) besides FG.
So I can't speak to Maptools or D20 Pro.
I buy the pre-made adventure setups for Paizo adventure paths. And it works pretty well. I'm anxious to see the release for PF2 on Aug 1st.


I've released version 9.7 of my macros supporting Pathfinder 1e on MapTool. It's tested on MapTool 1.4.1.8, but should work on 1.4.0.5 and 1.5.2.

MapTool and these macros are completely free. If you like it, a donation to RPTools (the developer of MapTool) would be a nice thing to do.

New Features:

* New "Character Sheet" button added that allows you to see the entire online character sheet in one window. This feature will help players know what parts of their online character sheet are filled out. You can also copy-and-paste it all to a text file in a readable format. GMs can use that along with WinMerge (a free, open source tool that's easy to find) to easily compare changes made to the online character sheet vs an earlier version for a token (see below for an example).

* Big performance enhancement for the "Party Treasure" view.

This code is very solid and we use it for our games every week. Lots of very powerful features such as:

* Party Treasure management
* Campaign Time tracking (you'll now be able to deal with complex issues such as PCs crafting while the party moves on to further adventures)
* Automatic spell DC calculations
* Spell management (complete for both prepared and spontaneous spell casters)
* Easy to use interface
* Greatly improved macro layout
* Resource tracking (equipment, ranged attacks, spells, special abilities, etc.)
* New skills can be added by the GM (and they are automatically made available to all the tokens)
* Temporary Adjustments for abilities, size, movement, saving throws, energy resistance, AC, attacks, etc. are automatically applied and can be enabled/disabled.
* New "Character Sheet" button enables the entire online character sheet to be viewed in a single window -- and you can copy-and-paste from it. WinMerge is a great, free tool to use in conjunction with this feature.

MapTool macros for Pathfinder 1e

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool


I've released version 9.12.3 of my macros supporting Pathfinder 1e on MapTool. It's tested on 1.5.4, but should work on 1.4.0.5 and 1.4.1.8 -- unless the files are incompatible (if not, I'm using compatible macro library functions and have been using my macros on 1.4.1.8 till now).

This code is very solid and we use it for our games every week. Lots of very powerful features such as:

* Party Treasure management

* Campaign Time tracking (you'll now be able to deal with complex issues such as PCs crafting while the party moves on to further adventures)

* Automatic spell DC calculations

* Spell management (complete for both prepared and spontaneous spell casters)

* Easy to use interface

* Greatly improved macro layout

* Resource tracking (equipment, ranged attacks, spells, special abilities, money, etc.)

* New skills can be added by the GM (and they are automatically made available to all the tokens)

* Temporary Adjustments for abilities, size, movement, saving throws, energy resistance, AC, attacks, etc. are automatically applied and can be enabled/disabled.

* "Character Sheet" makes reviewing PCs and NPCs easy -- can be used in conjunction with WinMerge to compare the old token's sheet and the new token's sheet.

* "Player Token Editor.cmpgn" enables players to edit their tokens offline.

Click these links below:

Pathfinder 1e macros for MapTool 1.5.4, 1.4.1.8, and 1.4.0.5

Easy instructions for GMs to setup an RPG campaign with MapTool:

How to Setup a VTT Campaign with MapTool

NOTE: If you don't play Pathfinder 1e, these macros can go a long way to helping you get started with writing your own for your own RPG.

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