Foundry Virtual Tabletop, is it good?


Advice


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I've been using Roll20 for years now, we used to play at my house with some laptops for map and combat but with the pandemic we started using it for video and audio too, I always felt it was a little clunky and somewhat complicated to use and GM with, and I don't like the subscription model, I found Foundry and its a one time purchase, has anyone tried it? does it have audio a video communication too?

In general is it good, would you recommend it for pathfinder 2ed?

Thanks.


I would highly recommend Foundry VTT for PF2. It is the best VTT I've ever used, and in the time that I've had it there have been significant improvements to how well it handles the PF2 game.

As for audio/video communication, it can be used for that but that is one area where I don't have experience as I just use Discord along side it because that's where I do most of my communication with folks anyways.


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Foundry VTT is just better than R20 in every conceivable way except that it costs $50usd (and even that is only a benefit to R20 if you don't pay for it).

For PF2e it works well, better than R20.

I would personally still recommend Fantasygrounds over it as a GM as it is a much better product and has stable non community based development. But it does cost more and has some rough edges due to its age (even with fantasygrounds unity they are needing to keep all the old stuff compatible) But from an ease of GMing perspective when learnt it is just a far more complete and balanced package. (FG is less expensive for PF2e GMs than it initially seems as you can get discounts equal to the price of the PDF for each product you already own, and pdfs for the products you don't)

BUT if you don't want to pay for FG or aren't technically minded and want something simpler to start with it is 100% worth while.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have not yet run a game, we are waiting for the APG to come out before starting up again, but I have been building one. It has been the best vtt for me to get maps working how I want and the pf2e community module is astonishingly well handled. Being able to drag in e enemies from the compendium and press one button to make them elite or weak has saved me tonnes of time alone.

Some might consider the fact that it is highly community module driven a negative but I do not. It means that if the main company ever folds, development will continue so long as there are passionate fans and as far as i can tell those fans do a better and faster job of adding in new content (the Bestiary 2 monsters where in it before my physical preorder had arrived.


A counterpoint to Fantasygrounds: it is a prime example of "intuitive UI" being a heavily subjective thing. Some people say it's the least obtrusive experience they've ever had with a VTT, but every time I've done a trial of it I have struggled a lot and barely been able to figure out setting up an encounter and being ready to run. For example, I could not say how to get a map I drew into the program and adjusted to the size I want it to be.

But with Foundry VTT the UI makes perfect sense to me and I mostly wasn't "learning" even in my first hours of using it, I was just "doing" - and then I noticed a couple minor "oh, that's what that setting is for" kind of things while actually running a session.


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I've tried multiple VTTs and Foundry is by far the best one I have used. It's amazing for PF2e and is constantly improving. All of my players have said that it is a much better experience than Roll20 with a much more intuitive UI. The main issue I've had with it is putting maps in it directly from the PDF for society missions but the Discord group for PF2e on the Foundry discord server directed me to a great tool called Map Align.

There is a module that will directly integrate Discord into Foundry but I have yet to try it out since my group was already using Discord over the build in audio/video of Roll20 anyway.


I have nothing but good things to say about Foundry as a VTT.

Scarab Sages

My only experience with Foundry was mixed. It looks to have a lot of potential, but was still a little buggy. It was unusable in Safari, because things like the character sheet didn’t display properly.

Some of the issues were just confusion about how the tokens work. I spent a lot of time prepping macros on my token, only to find out those weren’t tied to the character and were deleted before the game.

I’m also not sure if the GM just unnecessarily had dynamic lighting on everywhere, but there was a lot of time spent just getting everyone in the game to be able to see each time we moved to a new map.

The zooming to a character’s token every time they type something in chat was annoying until the GM figured out how to turn it off, which again was more about the learning curve of a new system than a major problem with it, but it made the overall experience less fun.

I would prefer better formatting options for macros. But I have that same complaint about the 2E character sheet in roll20.

On the plus side, it felt like a slicker version of Roll20. I could see it eventually being as easy to get started with it as it is with Roll20, which is the main appeal of that system.

As someone who primarily plays PFS, there are still some things about Foundry that make it a system I’m not ready to switch to. Trying it out at a convention was interesting, but if it had been a session where I was more invested in the scenario, I wouldn’t have wanted to do so, because figuring out the interface ate up a lot of time. Hopefully that wouldn’t be a problem when more people are familiar with it. Right now trying to talk 6 players through it while also trying to run a game isn’t something I’d want to do.


thenobledrake wrote:
A counterpoint to Fantasygrounds: it is a prime example of "intuitive UI" being a heavily subjective thing. Some people say it's the least obtrusive experience they've ever had with a VTT, but every time I've done a trial of it I have struggled a lot and barely been able to figure out setting up an encounter and being ready to run. For example, I could not say how to get a map I drew into the program and adjusted to the size I want it to be.

This has been my experience with fantasy grounds the few times I've tried it. Most recently I decided to give it a really strong try because of Corona. I bought a bunch of pf2 stuff including the EC adventures because I wanted to minimize my time setting it up and instead really focus on learning how to use the program. After two sessions my players were begging to try something else, and I was right there with them. Ended up commissioning a port of the first book to r20 just to get away from FG. Never again. I thought that FGU might make it easier to use, but it's still just way too clunky for me.

As for foundry, I've only heard great things about it. If I hadn't already moved my game from IRL to FG to R20, I'd have moved over to it months ago. I know several people working on various community projects, and they are all in love. Apparently it even has integration with Dungeondraft, so that it will create all the dynamic line of sight stuff for you. That feature alone would save me hours of prep for each AP volume.


Foundry has integration with Dungeondraft, and there's also a module that will take your (legal!) Paizo adventure pdf and populate most of the maps and other specifics for you. All the AP creatures are in the basic PF2 foundry.


Shandyan wrote:
Foundry has integration with Dungeondraft, and there's also a module that will take your (legal!) Paizo adventure pdf and populate most of the maps and other specifics for you. All the AP creatures are in the basic PF2 foundry.

Yup, and there is an importer that allows you to directly copy the stat blocks from official paizo pdfs and make an NPC out of them. It works without any editing about 90% of the time. The other 10% just requires a little tweaking because a comma or newline are in the wrong place and make for an easy fix.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zioalca wrote:
Shandyan wrote:
Foundry has integration with Dungeondraft, and there's also a module that will take your (legal!) Paizo adventure pdf and populate most of the maps and other specifics for you. All the AP creatures are in the basic PF2 foundry.
Yup, and there is an importer that allows you to directly copy the stat blocks from official paizo pdfs and make an NPC out of them. It works without any editing about 90% of the time. The other 10% just requires a little tweaking because a comma or newline are in the wrong place and make for an easy fix.

Do you guys have the names of these modules? These sound wonderful.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I also love Foundry.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

PDF to Foundry. You may also want Compendium Mapper, which helps you put images on any compendium you want (ie they cannot distribute the images from the bestiary but if you get them yourself you can quickly map them onto the bestiary creatures).

Also: Foundry is hands down the best VTT, $50 is all you need to spend. Fantasy grounds is crazy expensive to actually automate things and all that stuff is free in Foundry.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yup, I use it every week, its really great, especially because modules make it super versatile in all sorts of ways.


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AvalonRellen wrote:
Zioalca wrote:
Shandyan wrote:
Foundry has integration with Dungeondraft, and there's also a module that will take your (legal!) Paizo adventure pdf and populate most of the maps and other specifics for you. All the AP creatures are in the basic PF2 foundry.
Yup, and there is an importer that allows you to directly copy the stat blocks from official paizo pdfs and make an NPC out of them. It works without any editing about 90% of the time. The other 10% just requires a little tweaking because a comma or newline are in the wrong place and make for an easy fix.
Do you guys have the names of these modules? These sound wonderful.

The stat block importer is found here

pf2e-monster-import-ui
I haven't updated it in a while and it's not listed in the foundry modules directory so you need to supply the url to the module.json file. There is one slight bug in that one where a file, TestStrings.js, is named incorrectly but it's easy enough to rename.

The other is Pdf to Foundry which will take an official paizo pdf and set up the whole thing in foundry for you. That one only has so many things done in it so far by the creator is constantly working on it and adding new content. I think they are close to having all of age of ashes done.


Sounds great, thanks for the help on making this decision ill be buying it.

I bought a Dunjinni license a long time ago, is that mapper still around? have to check that out

Scarab Sages

I'll have to give it a second chance sometime when not under the pressures of a 5 hour game slot at a con.


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For PF2 why would you use anything but foundry?

Hands down the best.


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I'm going to be running Extinction Curse in a fee months. My crew knows Roll20 already, and we don't use the VTT character sheets. We just want maps, tokens, and video chatting. Roll20 has official modules with the maps and tokens preloaded, so I've been strongly considering it just to save time.

Would you all still move to Foundry given those conditions? I'm not too concerned about money. But some of my people are not technically inclined.


I tried Foundry about six weeks ago. Looks like it has potential, but I'm giving it several more months. I already have several campaigns running in FGU.

Not willing to Foundry yet until there is a way to install PF2 without having to read a post saying "Install these 30+ essential packs!" I don't know if I'm exaggerating, but that's what it feels like. I want to be able to install ONE thing and be able to run it. And I'd love to have a step-by-step guide on how to use it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sapient wrote:

I'm going to be running Extinction Curse in a fee months. My crew knows Roll20 already, and we don't use the VTT character sheets. We just want maps, tokens, and video chatting. Roll20 has official modules with the maps and tokens preloaded, so I've been strongly considering it just to save time.

Would you all still move to Foundry given those conditions? I'm not too concerned about money. But some of my people are not technically inclined.

Yes. I'm running Age of Ashes in Foundry and the PDF to Foundry module made setting up the books really easy. Maps with room descriptions and walls were already placed, all I had to do is drag the monsters in and I set up loot actors for each room so I could drag things into the party loot as they found them but that's not necessary especially if you aren't using the character sheets (which you still should think about because they are quite well done in Foundry.

The Rot Grub wrote:

I tried Foundry about six weeks ago. Looks like it has potential, but I'm giving it several more months. I already have several campaigns running in FGU.

Not willing to Foundry yet until there is a way to install PF2 without having to read a post saying "Install these 30+ essential packs!" I don't know if I'm exaggerating, but that's what it feels like. I want to be able to install ONE thing and be able to run it. And I'd love to have a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

All you need is the PF2e module, everything else is just up to your tastes. I certainly like having modules available to customize the UI and make things run with a bit more automation. Right now the biggest module to improve PF2e on Foundry is PF2e Quick Rolls, which is being integrated into the core system itself so the module will be superfluous soon enough.

I use 12 modules, most of those are very small passive things like Pathfinder UI which just reskins the UI, or Less Fog which tones down the fog of war a bit. None of these are necessary but they are definitely easy to install and use. The ones that add functionality are also largely just personal preference, the PF2e system works in place as its own standalone thing with no modules necessary to work.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:

I tried Foundry about six weeks ago. Looks like it has potential, but I'm giving it several more months. I already have several campaigns running in FGU.

Not willing to Foundry yet until there is a way to install PF2 without having to read a post saying "Install these 30+ essential packs!" I don't know if I'm exaggerating, but that's what it feels like. I want to be able to install ONE thing and be able to run it. And I'd love to have a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

To run pf2 you only need to download 1 additional package,which is the pf2 system module. Nothing else.

That module has character sheets and a full compendium of abilities and monsters.

Sure I HAVE downloaded a bunch of extra bells and whistles but none of them are required. Like I've got one that adds a pretty decal under someone when it is their turn. Its nifty but not necessary.


I'm not sure what post The Rot Grub is talking about, that's one of those fun things about the internet I guess - I can go to a site and find the main software download and the PF2 game system and know that there's a section for add ons but not check that out until after getting used to 'vanilla'... and someone else can be overwhelmed by some random other path to the same goods to the point of thinking there's more than just the one thing that is necessary.

As for guides to using Foundry VTT though, a youtube channel called Encounter Library has a good set of how-tos.

Silver Crusade

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How is the PF1 support?

I've currently got a roll20 subscription and will likely continue using it for PFS play (it is very much the standard PFS VTT right now and that outweighs any advantages Foundry may have in my opinion).

But I'm about to start a PF1 Adventure Path so maybe I should switch for that.


Tikael wrote:


Yes. I'm running Age of Ashes in Foundry and the PDF to Foundry module made setting up the books really easy. Maps with room descriptions and walls were already placed, all I had to do is drag the monsters in and I set up loot actors for each room so I could drag things into the party loot as they found them but that's not necessary especially if you aren't using the character sheets (which you still should think about because they are quite well done in Foundry.

Thanks, that's helpful. I'm not adverse to using the integrated character sheets. But my people have all sorts of preferences and skills. Players 1 and 2 are married. Player 1 is a programmer, does everything electronically, has his character in Pathbuilder and has a ton of Roll20 macros. Player 2 is all analog, with the character on paper, rolls real dice for online sessions, etc. She just asks Player 1 to move her token on the map, as she doesn't have any device active.

Players 3 and 4 are friends who live together, use paper and/or Hero Lab, and are not as tech savvy as some. Player 5 will be by himself, will be using paper, and is only slightly comfortable with MS Office and Gmail.

Getting everyone to generate their characters however they want, and then again in Foundry is a big ask for this group. But I'm buying the VTT now to play with it and see if I can get video chat running.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One of the benefits of Foundrys pf2 compendium is that it is very quick to port a character over. I could probably move a level 1 character over in a mi ute or two as all feats, spells and items can be searched by name and drag dropped bringing all the rules with them.


thenobledrake wrote:

I'm not sure what post The Rot Grub is talking about, that's one of those fun things about the internet I guess - I can go to a site and find the main software download and the PF2 game system and know that there's a section for add ons but not check that out until after getting used to 'vanilla'... and someone else can be overwhelmed by some random other path to the same goods to the point of thinking there's more than just the one thing that is necessary.

As for guides to using Foundry VTT though, a youtube channel called Encounter Library has a good set of how-tos.

I was on the PF2 section of the Foundry discord server a few weeks ago chatting with the folks there. I said a few things I hoped to have that I couldn't seem to do, including automation of attack rolls vs. a target's AC, automation of conditions. Also, I couldn't seem to get the attack bonus in the character sheet to work, or build a character that wasn't a pregen. Someone shared with me a link to someone's preferred mods when running PF2, and it included a large number of mods to install, hence my impression.

I'll check out the mod people are mentioning in a few weeks time as we approach September and my groups have to reconstitute.


pauljathome wrote:

How is the PF1 support?

I've currently got a roll20 subscription and will likely continue using it for PFS play (it is very much the standard PFS VTT right now and that outweighs any advantages Foundry may have in my opinion).

But I'm about to start a PF1 Adventure Path so maybe I should switch for that.

WOrks pretty good for 1E. The bestiary is mostly complete, as well as most default class features. Easy to move maps in. Statblock converter exists to copy and paste your AP enemies. The system is pretty robust with a very good (and sane to look at) buff system!

Rot: to change proficiencies you need to change your training level under Skills.

Conditions are already automated by default for players, still being worked on for NPCs.

I also don't see how a list of modules someone likes means you're being encouraged to install all of them.... Plus, there's mo effort needed to install a module, so why would them existing be a drawback at all?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sapient wrote:
Tikael wrote:


Yes. I'm running Age of Ashes in Foundry and the PDF to Foundry module made setting up the books really easy. Maps with room descriptions and walls were already placed, all I had to do is drag the monsters in and I set up loot actors for each room so I could drag things into the party loot as they found them but that's not necessary especially if you aren't using the character sheets (which you still should think about because they are quite well done in Foundry.

Thanks, that's helpful. I'm not adverse to using the integrated character sheets. But my people have all sorts of preferences and skills. Players 1 and 2 are married. Player 1 is a programmer, does everything electronically, has his character in Pathbuilder and has a ton of Roll20 macros. Player 2 is all analog, with the character on paper, rolls real dice for online sessions, etc. She just asks Player 1 to move her token on the map, as she doesn't have any device active.

Players 3 and 4 are friends who live together, use paper and/or Hero Lab, and are not as tech savvy as some. Player 5 will be by himself, will be using paper, and is only slightly comfortable with MS Office and Gmail.

Getting everyone to generate their characters however they want, and then again in Foundry is a big ask for this group. But I'm buying the VTT now to play with it and see if I can get video chat running.

Honestly, as much as I love Foundry, you might be better off using roll20. If you can purchase all the Extinction Curse books at a reasonable price and don't need to buy the core rulebook, that will probably be easier than getting maps and tokens into Foundry. (Not that it is hard to do so, but it does take time.) Foundry's audio and video chat functions are also too complicated for me or my tech savvy friend to figure out, so we have been using Discord for that. I don't have good experience with roll20's video chat, as it seems pretty prone to breaking, but it is easy to use when it does break.

If you were pursuing any level or character creation, automation, or a built in reference database for feats or spells, I'd say go to Foundry. It would be cheaper than Roll20 and probably work better to boot. It doesn't sound like any of that applies to you though.

Radiant Oath

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Massive fan of Foundry, have been using it to run 2-3 PF2 games a week since shortly after the lockdown began. The volunteers working on the PF2 module are constantly improving and updating it, and in general any content they haven't put in yet (like AP specific NPCs) I can put together in 10-15 minutes work- finding art is generally the most time consuming part.

I can't really speak to it's quality or advantages over other VTT, except to say that we tried Fantasy Grounds and that required the GM to also be the host, which wasn't workable for us. With Foundry any player can host, which is important for me with my terrible internet.


Captain Morgan wrote:


Honestly, as much as I love Foundry, you might be better off using roll20. If you can purchase all the Extinction Curse books at a reasonable price and don't need to buy the core rulebook, that will probably be easier than getting maps and tokens into Foundry. (Not that it is hard to do so, but it does take time.) Foundry's audio and video chat functions are also too complicated for me or my tech savvy friend to figure out, so we have been using Discord for that. I don't have good experience with roll20's video chat, as it seems pretty prone to breaking, but it is easy to use when it does...

I'm sure you are 100% correct. And yet I had a bunch of time, so I bought the VTT, got it set up, populated much of the bestiary compendiums with images, and I think got the audio/video working. Much of this was not easy! But I now feel like I know how to determine what I want to do, and find modules that do it. Like Torch or Simple Dice Roller.

I still don't think I'll be able to get people to enter their characters into the program, but who knows.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have played (not Foundry but the point stands) with someone who prefers the physical. With them I found having a token with ac, saves and hp was enough to keep the game smooth.


One question I didn't have an answer to on the older thread about Foundry.
The scenario is this: I want to GM a campaign, so I buy Foundry and start to set up the maps and everything. But I can't host the game locally, since my ISP makes it a bit complicated.
My friends can host, but I guess they need to buy the software for that. Am I right?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Megistone wrote:

One question I didn't have an answer to on the older thread about Foundry.

The scenario is this: I want to GM a campaign, so I buy Foundry and start to set up the maps and everything. But I can't host the game locally, since my ISP makes it a bit complicated.
My friends can host, but I guess they need to buy the software for that. Am I right?

I think your only legitimate options would be to either have someone else with a license that you send the module to (they can just paste the folder I believe.) The HOST doesn't automatically take the GM slot so you can still connect to them as a GM. Or use one of the cloud hosting options.


Malk_Content wrote:
Megistone wrote:

One question I didn't have an answer to on the older thread about Foundry.

The scenario is this: I want to GM a campaign, so I buy Foundry and start to set up the maps and everything. But I can't host the game locally, since my ISP makes it a bit complicated.
My friends can host, but I guess they need to buy the software for that. Am I right?
I think your only legitimate options would be to either have someone else with a license that you send the module to (they can just paste the folder I believe.) The HOST doesn't automatically take the GM slot so you can still connect to them as a GM. Or use one of the cloud hosting options.

Thank you.

I looked at the Foundry license agreement and found this:
Quote:
Sharing access to the software with a friend or family member is permitted, provided other terms of the license are upheld.

But it also says:

Quote:
You may install the software on multiple computers but the software may only be actively in use on one installed location at a time unless you purchase additional licenses.

It seems ok if I share my license with a friend just for the purpose of hosting the game, since I would join it via browser. I should probably ask them for a clarification.


You can also set up your Foundry on AWS. There is a guide for it on the wiki. It will guide you through everything you need to get started and if you haven't made an account with AWS before, the cost should be 0 for the first year and under a dollar going forward based on how much data you store in S3.


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Megistone wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Megistone wrote:

One question I didn't have an answer to on the older thread about Foundry.

The scenario is this: I want to GM a campaign, so I buy Foundry and start to set up the maps and everything. But I can't host the game locally, since my ISP makes it a bit complicated.
My friends can host, but I guess they need to buy the software for that. Am I right?
I think your only legitimate options would be to either have someone else with a license that you send the module to (they can just paste the folder I believe.) The HOST doesn't automatically take the GM slot so you can still connect to them as a GM. Or use one of the cloud hosting options.

Thank you.

I looked at the Foundry license agreement and found this:
Quote:
Sharing access to the software with a friend or family member is permitted, provided other terms of the license are upheld.

But it also says:

Quote:
You may install the software on multiple computers but the software may only be actively in use on one installed location at a time unless you purchase additional licenses.

It seems ok if I share my license with a friend just for the purpose of hosting the game, since I would join it via browser. I should probably ask them for a clarification.

you can share the License ... as long as only 1 of you is hostng at the same time ...

The license pretty much works like an oldschool Hardcover rulebook :)
you can "borrow/lend" it to/for friends you can play multiple campaigns with it .. but it only can be used by 1 Group at the same time.


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I had a friend ask that question yesterday. I was busy prepping my maps, so I told them to hop on, made them a test character, dropped them in an old dungeon, and abandoned them to their own devices while I worked on detailing pulsating lights onto an animated map (yeah you can do that).

I came back to their page to discover that they spent 15 minutes just walking around a statue to look at the way it was casting shadows. So I told them to try and walk into the palace and explore a bit - told them there was fancy stuff upstairs. They then spent a long time playing with doors and jumping up and down the stairs, stopping only once they fell into a trap and I had to pull them out.

They played a bit with the sheet and feat system, eyeing a few compendiums and using some drag&drop as well as making a couple custom things. I don't think they checked out spellcasting as they didn't have time, but basically?

I told them absolutely nothing, simply let them hang around.
They bought Foundry.

As an ex-salesman, I used the "the product sells itself" line more times than I can count. It was never THIS true.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Foundry for PF2 is bonkers amazing. Getting better every day and ten million times better than roll20 (Warning do not use Safari)
For PF1// eh.... the support is not that good, is fairly incomplete and the character sheet is boring and complicated to use... still better than the barren wasteland that is Roll20


Switching to Foundry is like entering a parallel universe where Roll20 is actually good. The UI is similar enough to make it easy, but everything looks and works better and the PF2e support is fantastic.


KNow this hasn't been posted to in a while but, I can't seem to find archetypes. Are they in FVT somewhere?


MarcCCTx wrote:
KNow this hasn't been posted to in a while but, I can't seem to find archetypes. Are they in FVT somewhere?

They are feats, so they are in the feat compendium.

Liberty's Edge

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Just bumping this. There were many comments concerning Foundry VTT that were made last summer.

In the meanwhile, the changes to the program and the expanded reliability and features of this software are nothing short of jaw dropping.

If you haven't looked at it in the past few months? You need to look at Foundry VTT again.

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