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Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Joshuha O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2005 00:00:00
So far this is a great product. Currently in the testing phase with players and going well with players.

LIKED: Graphical User Interface is awesome and replicates the TABLETOP very well. Some other products out there have a few more features but the GUIs are clunky and they try to automate too much.

DISLIKED: I REALLY wish there was a server based license like some of the other products. If I could buy a DM license and 4 server slots I could not be worried about losing a player and having to convince yet another person to shell out the $20. Another competitor does it like this and I almost went to them for that sole reason.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
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Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Chad V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2005 00:00:00
Great game, I'm looking foward to many night with this.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by matthew j. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2005 00:00:00
This product is one of the best I have seen, it REALLY will replace a tabletop fo games. I have been running games over IRC for years now, and this replaces it, and bumps it up to another level. Totally customizable, even allows you to add houserules.

LIKED: Works perfectly. Customer support is quick and the developers are quick to add features that are requested by the users.

DISLIKED: Have not ran into anything yet.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/23/2005 00:00:00
This is great, easy to learn how to use it and it looks like the easy way to DM is to buy add on adventures. There are 2 free packages here and there and they look great.
Am wondering if this format can be used in a regular game rather than minis and tables?

LIKED: easy to learn how to use

DISLIKED: Difficulty to set up campains and expand rule packages (legally)

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Wesley A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2005 00:00:00
I purchased this a while ago, but it was quite a few weeks before I could find players on the Fantasy Grounds website. I just finished my first game today. This programs is AWESOME! Just viewing it without playing a game will not show you all that there is here. It is just freaking incredible! I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to play online D&D.

LIKED: The program is just great. Stop by the FG website for more info. You'll be glad you did.

DISLIKED: As with any online game, it's hard to line up players and a DM, but that has nothing to do with the product itself.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Lite License
by Sam S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2005 00:00:00
An excellent way of keeping up the gaming when hundreds of miles separate you from your players/Dungeon Master

LIKED: It's flexibility

DISLIKED: Nothing

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Lite License
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Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by sean e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2005 00:00:00
Very nice implementation of a virtual gaming desktop. The dice rolling simulation is preferable to real dice.

LIKED: Clean, Intuative, Very nice feel, Dice rolling rocks!

DISLIKED: Nothing as yet.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
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Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2005 00:00:00
I purchased the full license on 2/14/05, in hopes of hosting on-line games with my game group. The download and installation went smoothly. But the software has crashed every time I've tried to host a game. I sent detailed information about my system configuration and the steps that I was taking in the software to the publisher, but the reply was only "we can't duplicate your problem". Similar replies abound on their message board. I've waited a couple months to post this feedback, in hopes that a patch would fix the problem. But the promised patch is now several weeks overdue, so I've concluded that the publisher is not providing support that's adequate to justify the cost of the software (note that I base this cost-justification comment on the requirement for the GM and all players to purchase at least the lite version of the software -- so for a game group with a GM and 4 players, the outlay is about US $115).

LIKED: It looks great.

DISLIKED: It doesn't work and is not adequately supported. Documentation is also pretty limited and incomplete.

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Ripped Off


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Arjen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2005 00:00:00
This tool is awesome.... I have tinkered around with programs like OpenRPG, KloogeWerks and the likes, but I always missed something... Of course playing D&D over the internet always misses that little extra you will only find while sitting around a table with friends, but Fantasy Grounds is the next best thing.

At first when I played around with the demo I thought it was more eyecandy than functionality, but was I wrong. It is all there.... Slowly revealing maps to players, tokens for each character, the dicerolls (hidden and multiple dicethrows), it all looks gorgeous and works like a dream.

I never dared hosting a game as a DM, but with FG I am now preparing a few oneshot adventures to give it a go, because FG has made me confident enough I have everything under control.

If you like playing D&D online, this is the tool to support. Third party publishers are already converting their adventures to FG compatible modules, ready to play instantly...


LIKED: The eyecandy, the ease of use, the atmosphere it breathes, the support.

DISLIKED: I haven't encountered anything I dislike.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Bjorn T. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2005 00:00:00
Forget everything you know about online roleplaying utilities, because the world just got turned upside down by Fantasy Grounds. Once you try it, there is little chance you will use anything else.

Fantasy Grounds builds on the assumption that a traditional pen and paper session is so much more than just interacting with strange creatures in stranger lands. The program is built to mimic a table, with maps being shuffled around, dice rolling across your sheets, and paper occasionally covering each other. This move could easily have killed the program at birth, in writing it does indeed sound gimmicky, but have a look at the screenshots on the Fantasy Grounds website and you realize that it all blends together nicely. The dice aren?t just numbers; instead you see them roll across the table just as you would real dice. When other participants roll theirs, they roll on your screen too and although you only need the result, it instantly transforms the program into an imaginary table and the game into a face to face session.

This approach carries over to every other aspect of the program. The character sheets aren?t numbers in some abstract, hierarchical, explorer-like tree. No, sheets mimic real-life, except often used bonuses are automatically calculated for you and updated whenever you make changes.

On the full version, reviewed here, many other tools are available to help the game master prepare and run adventures. Want to draw a map, quickly? Click the maps icon, activate the drawing mode, and scribble away ? everything is updated on the players copy as you sketch. With full support for pressure sensitive tablets, you can even obtain the perfect, hand-drawn look with only a small additional investment. When it comes time to use your masterpiece, outline one 5 foot square to indicate scale and the program fills in the rest. Now add tokens, small representations of people and objects, and move them around using handy measurement tools. If the inevitable sorcerer fires a cone-shaped spell, don?t waste time arguing over the affected squares when Fantasy Grounds allows you to simply outline the cone on the map for exact measurement. Like everything else, players and game masters share the same view, updated automatically in the background.

For the less combat-centric, the chat interface allows the game master to assume different identities and speak as the NPC would. Goodbye ?Game master: The pirate screams ?Man your posts?, hello ?Pirate: MAN YOUR POOOOOSTS!?.

But the chat box is more than just a place to hold conversations between characters. All die rolls are listed in the box, and the result can be dragged onto your character sheets for automatic updates. In fact, this dragging around of bonuses, damage, XP awards, NPCs and more extends throughout the interface. Most numbers can be dragged, so if you drag your +4 attack bonus on your Dwarfen Axe onto the modifier box, a small area just underneath the chat box, the next d20 you roll will be listed as Dwarfen Axe 16+4 = 20.

Both the Lite and Full edition comes with a sweet subset of the System Reference Document, and with ability to quickly search (results, as everything else, are updated in real-time), it is no problem to quickly find a couple of goblins, drag them onto the battle-list, have the players roll initiative, and sort all participants by their result.

All of this, and more, boils down to one sweet package. Garnish with a VoIP program running in the background - Skype and TeamSpeak comes to mind ? and nothing is going to stop you from playing with your friends, even if they are in Brazil or Siberia. If you?re limited to text, then take comfort in the fact that Fantasy Grounds does that better than anybody else too.

Feature by feature, Fantasy Grounds doesn?t seem to do that much more than other tools in this category, but everything is done with a panache and effortlessness that must leave the competition reeling. Whatever happens in the future, Fantasy Grounds is hands down the ultimate tool for playing pen and paper roleplaying games online now. Do note the lack of a d20 moniker here, for everything is exposed in easy to edit configuration files, and although factory built for d20, there is nothing preventing the crafty (the roleplaying community is nothing if not crafty) from customizing Fantasy Grounds to other, d20 shy, systems.

If you tried, but given up, on pen and paper RPG online, then know now that it is possible and works smoothly. If you?re using other tools, then ask yourself why.

LIKED: Extremely user friendly, real dice, simple with advanced features hidden underneath, easy to learn, speedy, gorgeous looking, area of effects indication, everything can be dragged, lots of ways to set up shortcuts

DISLIKED: Occasionally crashes (on a 3 hour session, this happens once, usually), but an automatic autosave system preserves all data and patches have improved stability markedly.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Grimur F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2005 00:00:00
This product is awesome. I never liked the idea of playing P&P RPGs online, but after Fantasy Grounds was released I changed my mind. I now play twice a week with friends.



LIKED: -Interactive "real" dice
-Lovely graphics
-Easy handling
-Very good customer support
-Fast growing community

DISLIKED: -Switching to other tasks that run in background makes it slightly lagging

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Gerhardt V. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2004 00:00:00
An excellent program, and exactly the type I've been looking for. Makes it a great deal easier to game, rather than waiting until the rare times that the group can actually coordinate thier schedules to meet in person, while still keeping very close to the true feel of playing at a table.

LIKED: Easy interface, excellent design, easy access to rules, wonderful options for the GM, all around great product.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Martin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2004 00:00:00
Very disappointing product, unable to get it to operate and technical support very slow to provide an answer. It appears to have been rushed to release far too early and was definitely not worth my money. By other notes on the forums looks tlike several other bugs in it too for folks who actually did get it to work! At the moment i'd recommend sticking with alraedy proven tabletop replicators like 'screen monkey' or GRiP, even if they don't have such pretty interfaces. Sorry, can't recommend this one!

DISLIKED: Couldn't get it to initialize DirectX9 and the technical support is forum based takes too long to get a response to the problem. two aptches in its first week also reminds me never to buy version 1.0 software!

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Dear Martin, We are very sorry you couldn't get Fantasy Grounds installed and thus found it disappointing. Without any information on your system or driver versions we had no starting point for fixing the possible software problem or advice you how to make it run. Thus far we know you got error code 16 and it's not running as told in http://forums.fantasygrounds.com/viewtopic.php?t=47 . We need the additional information in order to be able to replicate the problem. Submitting your system info and the details of the error situation in the forums (as a post or as a private message to one of the developers) is the only way we can start fixing this issue, because it seems that there have been no other instances of installation problems. SmiteWorks, Ltd.
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by John M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2004 00:00:00
What can I say in a few words. I downloaded the demo of this product and loved it. So I bought it, and the full license is even better (can edit adventures).

The functionality is a little quirky at first (the radial menu) but quite intuitive and when you have got used to it, second nature.

Dice rolling is really nicely done, as is the map sharing.

I would recommend this to anyone who plays online (indeed I will recommend it to everyone I talk to <g>).

Good work, and the patch and future releases will only improve it.

LIKED: Pretty much everything.

DISLIKED: Nothing.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Grounds II - Full License
by Arthur W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/19/2004 00:00:00
My "How does Fantasy Ground Play On-line" Review

If you?re looking for an in depth technical review of Fantasy Ground, you?ve probably come to the wrong place. I don?t write reviews and my technical expertise is all on the consumer end. I haven?t a clue how to program, don?t know how to design GUIs or whatever they?re called, and can?t debug a roach motel.

If, however, you?re interested in what a fellow gamer who happens to own a home computer and uses for regular gaming stuff (word processing, email, websurfin?) thinks of Fantasy Ground, this review is more up your alley?

Ok. Where to start. First I?m gonna assume you?ve at least glanced at the user guide readily downloadable from the Fantasy Ground website, but you might get the gist of what I?m saying without it. I?ve also added a couple of screenshots to the post.

Connection: Let?s start with connectivity. Just how hard, you ask, was it to connect up with the Host/GM? As easy as filling in the blank with an Alias supplied by him and clicking on Start. That?s it. It?s that easy. No problems what so ever. Of course, I don?t operate behind a hardware firewall. Only got McAfee VirusScan and Personal Firewall going, so getting through that was as simple as saying: ?Hey, PF, let this program through.?

Quick note on the Alias: An alias is a Name for your hosting session that the players can input on their end to link up with you. Why would you want to do an Alias? Because, if you?re like me, you don?t know what your I.P. address is from one moment to the next. With an Alias, you don?t need to know. However, you can't type in your own Alias for hosting a session. I lost the dude I was testing this program with because we got off to see if I could host, I tried to type in the Alias I'd given him (Clueless Adventures) and discovered I couldn't do that. The Alias is generated BY the program, so you can set your hosting session up well in advance and share that name with your players.

Not a ding on the program. Just me not preparing (or even glancing at) an Alias.

As far as lag goes? I didn?t notice any lag.

Chat: First thing we examined was the chat function. This is as easy to use as any IRC program I?ve used. And I?ve used mIRC, Cheetachat, MSN Netmeeting, etc. Worked fine. Comes with some easy to use tags: /emote, /mood, /ooc (out of character), /act. All of them worked fine. A cool feature is that the GM can talk to you AS a npc, rather than for the NPC. What?s the difference? The difference is this (pretend what follows is a chat line):

DM: Barko says, ?Hey, put down da knife or I?llz break yer head!?

Compared to:

Barko (angry): Hey, put down da knife or I?llz break yer head!

Simple combination of speaking as the NPC with a /emote added on.

/whisper mode was good for talking to the GM without the chatline going to the other players. Excellent way to pass ?secret? notes to the GM and vice versa.

A dialog "balloon" icon popped up in the corner of the chat box and on the character icon to let you know someone was typing on the other end and who it is that's typing.

All in all, while not as quick as talking (limited by personal typing speed), it was easier to keep track of what was going on because I could scroll back and take a look. ("How MANY demons are in the room?")

Notes/Maps: Speaking of passing notes, passing (sharing) Maps, Notes, Items, etc. went easily. It was as simple as writing the note in a note window, right clicking to pull up the radial menu and then clicking on ?share.? Bingo. GM got my note.

As a player, I received the GMs map totally blanked out by the ?fog of war.? He then could reveal portions of the map to me while keeping the rest secret. Revealing portions seemed to go easy as the GM never made an angry comment about it.

Once the map was revealed, it was easy to simply pick up a token out of the token ?box?, placing it on the map and presto he could see where I thought my character was. When he placed a ?monster,? he just placed his token on the map and kerbing there it was.

Once placed, tokens were able to be moved around, though the GM could lock out the player from moving tokens if he felt like it.

Die Rolls/Modifiers: Ok, this is where the real magic happens.

From a player?s perspective, you can see the other players? dice rolls. When they throw a dice, it suddenly appears in your chat window, does its roll, then disappears. The total then appears in the chatline. Sound annoying? Well, it isn?t. It?s actually quite good at preserving the illusion of tabletop gaming in that you know when someone else is rolling, what they rolled and what they got. (Unless you?ve got paranoid players at your table who hunch over dice rolls so no one else can see. I?ve had one of those?)

When the GM rolls, you see shadowy silhouette of his dice bouncing on your chat window. You can tell how many and what kind of die it is, but not what total was rolled. This let?s you know that the GM is rolling, but preserves the illusion of the GM screen.

Rolling saving throws is done by opening your character sheet (which as a player should be open anyway), ?grasping? the saving throw modifier from the sheet with your cursor and dropping it in the ?modifier box? at the bottom left of the main screen. Then just roll a d20 on the chat window. Up pops a chatline that says: ?Will save: (die +3)? (depending, of course, on your save rolled and its modifier).

Rolling damage works much the same way, grab the weapon to-hit modifier from your character sheet, drop it in the ?modifier box?, roll a d20 and zing, up pops the chatline ?longsword (die +3)"

If you drop multiple modifiers in the ?modifier box? (For instance, fighting defensively and longsword to-hit), you get the same chat line, but it lists each of the modifiers separately.

Miscellaneous: The look and feel of the program is excellent. Sure, you don?t need pretty, but, darn it, it does add to the atmosphere and pleasure of gaming online. Add on top of that, the interface is easy to use, quick, and, once you?ve got one or two basics down, intuitive, and you?ve got a winner.

If you're find yourself rolling for the same things over and over (attacks, saves, initiative), you might setup a hotkey for it.

For example, type "/die d20+3 Longsword" in the chat box. Drag that into one of the hotkey slots at the bottom of the screen (you can see them in one of the screenshots). You have to do this before you hit enter in the chat box. If it's in the "1" slot, whenever you hit F1, it'll roll your attack with your longsword. You could set up (/die d8+3 longsword damage) to a hotkey.

Another point/feature I didn't mention: If the GM give you xp, you can drag that from the Chatbox and drop it in the Experience box on your character sheet and whammo it updates that box on your sheet. It adds to whatever is already in that box.

This drag and drop can be used for multiple things: Initiative scores, Damage taken, etc. on the Combat sheet, for example. Very handy feature.

Possible Cons: There are a couple of possible downsides if you come into this program in the different expectations.

? There is NO character generation program included. This is strictly for playing on-line. It won?t generate the character for you. For that, you?ll need e-tools or PCGen and then input the character into the computer. Inputting the character is not difficult. Just as fast as filling in a paper character sheet with pencil. There are some users on the Fantasy Ground forum who are working on programs (or they mentioned it anyway) to import E-tools XML into Fantasy Ground XML.

? No map generation program besides a simple scratchpad like thingy. You?ll have to draw your dungeon, overland, city maps, scan ?em and import them as jpg., bmp., etc. and then doodle over the top of them. Wasn?t a downside for me, but might be for you. If you just have to draw your maps on the computer, you?ll have to use CC2 or dunjinni or some such, and import their file to Fantasy Ground. That?s as easy as dropping the picture into the appropriate campaign map folder.

? /Whisper mode doesn't appear to work between players; just between GM and Player with the GM able to select which player he's /whispering to. I've suggested on the Fantasy Ground forum that the ability for player to whisper to player with the GM eavesdropping be added. Sometimes, ya just wanna whisper to the player beside you without everyone else hearing.

Summary: easy to use, looks good, does everything you?d expect for playing on line with only a minor tweak needed here or there. Was it worth my $34? Darn straight. I expect to get some use out of this program. Probably a LOT of use since I?m isolated from my old gaming buddy.


QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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