Roll20 vs. Fantasy grounds

Hello guys!
I recently downloaded the whole fantasy grounds package. Now with the talk about Roll20 I am curious: Was that a mistake? Is Roll20 better? Would you like to run a game via fantasy grounds?
(and yeah…the WHOLE package…)

I find both very similar but would like an FG game more.

Some years back i would tell you FG is the way to go but right now? Both are pretty much the same.
Both do the same, some have a Gimmick here or there where I dont know if the other has it yet or will ever have.

One of those Gimmicks is what sold me to FG immediatly is the randomtables.
IF you have say the Volo´s guide for 5e and want a random Beholder for your next game? I think it takes 7 clicks and its done with Name and all.

Also in FG you wont Need those programming skills to make homebrew Happening as much as in Roll20 but its not hard…

I understand the Paywall some People dont wanna take; but for me personally? I have a Players License and should my reallife games run dry i know where to look.

I don’t know FG and can only speak for roll20, but roll20 also has random tables (which you can create yourself too) and some of the official D&D Books integrated (though you have to still buy them).

Personally I don’t use the macros that much, but some of my players like coding and they use them fairly often. I don’t see where the programming is necessary for homebrew stuff? Maybe I just get the statement wrong :sweat_smile:

Also some of the roll20 stuff is only accessible with a pro account (like dynamic lighting), don’t know if there are different licenses with more or less stuff for FG? Only thing I know for FG is that you need that special license as a DM if you want to play with players that don’t have a license. Since I like running introduction games for friends (so no license) and don’t want to spend that much money, roll20 was the better choice for me.

Other than that I really can’t compare that much, but ask away if you have any questions :slight_smile:

EDIT: ok so I just checked a little, it seems that FG is more expensive, but has therefore more automated stuff (which I personally really don’t need, so it comes down to preference and wallet size :slight_smile: )

ACTUALLY having bought that premium package thing I could also DM for users with only the trial version ^^

Before that (DMing), however, I would like to get some games as a PC under my belt …

Well then that’s a whole other story, then you should stick to FG of course :wink:

I’ve got a little bit of experience with both. I wanted to look at them from a technical point of view to see how they shape up.

As Bazhell said, they’re both pretty equal. Roll20 has the benefit of being really accessible. it’s a web app, it runs on Win/Mac/Linux with no problem. There’s also a tablet version (but I think you need the pro sub for that)

Talking of the pro sub, it gives you access to the Roll20 API which means if you’ve got any development experience, you’ll be able to do some very geeky and impressive stuff code-wise. The pro sub also lets you import/export characters and assets between games (something that you can’t do on the free-tier)

While the dynamic lighting sounds like a cool feature, I’ve also heard people having performance problems on lower-end systems. (the fact that it’s a web application is both a blessing and a curse at times!) there’s been some complaints about the built-in voice/video but that was easily taken care of (as we just used Discord for voice and deemed video pretty unnecessary)

Overall though, a solid experience. I’d definitely run/play/recommend something in future on Roll20.

Next up, Fantasy Grounds.

If you’re coming to it from a DM point of view. it’s fucking expensive. the PHB, MM and the (largely unnecessary) DMG cost the same as their hardcover counterparts and then you’ve got to factor in the license on top of that. The standard license just lets other standard license users connect to you. The ultimate license lets even the demo users connect to you so that way, there’s no money required for those players. you can also pay $10 a month for the ultimate license rather than buying it outright.

As a player, it’s still expensive. You’d need at least a standard license plus the PHB. (unless your DM has the ultimate license of course)

A big benefit for FG is that it’s a native Windows application. As such it only really runs on Windows (sure you can run in through WINE on a Mac but it’s not really the same let’s be honest)

There’s no pinging or dynamic lighting like in Roll20 and no voice/video support. Plus the added hassle of having to forward ports on your router in order for people to connect with you (it’s a true p2p application unlike the server based approach of Roll20) They’re currently rewriting the app in the Unity engine to include stuff like dynamic lighting but that version is still a year away (from what I’ve read)

However, I have to say I really like how FG feels and the official 5e modules you buy are more polished and more ‘fleshed out’ than their Roll20 versions. As @Bazhell and @MrBeerBear pointed out, there’s a lot more automation going on with FG.

There’s also an aspect of FG that may not be immediately apparent and that’s using it as a reference when you’re playing face-to-face. You don’t need to be online to use it. The DMG and PHB for example include the full text from the hardcover books and it’s as close as you can get to an officially released PDF version of those products and I’ve purchased a couple of things for FG for this very reason.

I’m planning on running Curse of Strahd at some point after @Simon’s recommendation and if I can’t do it face-to-face for whatever reason, I’ll definitely consider running it over FG.

Oh, and @Andy089 you didn’t buy this right?.. …right? :joy:

… let’s just say it didn’t come with the ultimate upgrade…so add that to the price ^^’


In what Kind of games and in which frequence are you looking into?

i would be SUPER excited to finally get a FG SundredSkies Thing going. And by god i dont mind gming it.

Well I bought it only to play D&D actually, but sooner or later I suppose I will get into other games as well…

Well DnD i only have the real thing yet, but sooner or later i probably will get them for FG too^^

So here’s what I know of roll20
It’s pretty damning at face value.
Enough said?

Meh, seems like a tantrum from somebody not getting free stuff, honestly.

Considering Danforgedcast track records (he was caught making sockpuppet accounts and leave negative reviews and comments to “competing” D&D channels to try to sink them and make more room for himself…), I wouldn’t put much worth into it…

He is a clickbait peddler at the best of time…

That video comes across as that, but the issue was their behavior on reddit.

Post that started it.

They banned somebody from their subreddit claiming he’s a a banned user with a new account because he had a similar username, turned out that both were banned because they made constructive criticism which the CEO (not sure, but certainly in command there) of Roll20 didn’t like and instead of apologizing he doubled down claiming it’s the user’s fault, for being unhinged because he didn’t want to accept the ban, that post became the second most downvoted post on reddit (the top one is still EA’s “pride and accomplishment” post).

As a result a lot of people quit their Roll20 subscriptions because they no longer wanted to support a company that treats their customers so poorly and apparently won’t allow any kind of criticism.

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Shrug Some commercial company trying to silence what they feel is bad publicity and it backfiring… Doesn’t seem much to be upset about, to be honest…

And Andrew seems to just be seizing on the controversy and trying to use it to promote himself…

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