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Hi! Just a few questions before our group buys

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by docplutonium, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. docplutonium

    docplutonium New Member

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    Hey There...

    My group and I are refugees from another VTT software product and we are currently looking to switch to different software. We will be trying your product next week to see what we all think, but from a GM's perspective, I just have a few questions...

    1) How do my players create their characters ? Do they have to go into Judge mode, create a creature (their characters) export them once done and then log back into player mode and then send them to me the GM ?

    2) If my players want to switch their spells in the middle of the game or equip new weapons, how would they do that in player mode ? Is it up to the GM to make all the changes on their characters ? I worry this might be slow because then they are all Dependant on me to update their characters where I feel they really should have that ability. I feel I have to make these changes as the GM it might also slow down the game.

    3) How big a map in Kb can I safely send to my characters before the system runs slow or the load times become really really bad ? we all have cable internet into our homes, so our connections are reasonably good.

    If anyone could set me straight on this, then it would really be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Doc
     
  2. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Hey Doc,

    I'll try to answer your questions the best I can.

    1) - You are correct. To create characters, they go to judge mode before your game starts and make the character and export it. Once you all connect to play, they upload it. It's a pretty quick process. Keep in mind that they can even keep a DM and player client open at the same time, so they could conceivably upload a correction or change during game.

    2) - Right now, you have to. One thing I would do is input all weapons into the character and just verbally specify which weapons are equipped. Ocassionally you will find another weapon or something, but that's not something that should eat up too much time. Spells are likewise handled by you - and I admit, it's currently a bit of a hassle. One thing I want to mention though, is that though our spell system can track everything (like damage for a spell and so on) - sometimes it's just easier to burn the spell (hit all the check marks) and manually apply damage as the DM. Same for healing. Use what is the easiest for your players and don't feel like you have to use every bell and whistle.

    3) Pretty freakin big. I ran the Temple of Elemental Evil, and one of my maps for that was 7,000 x 9,000 pixels! That was an 8.5 Megabyte JPG. Seriously. If you run anything over about 1 MB in file size, you will want to modify the Batch file in the d20pro folder. Follow the instructions here for that: http://wiki.d20pro.com/page/Increase+RAM+Allotment
     
  3. whtknt

    whtknt New Member

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    I also have a few concerns that I would feel better if you could address. I am going to download the trial version and see how it plays, but:

    1. I have, in the past, tried other virtual tabletop software and have had great difficulties in getting my server to allow other players to log in. Specifically, I have tried using RPTools MapTool and every time I try to have a remote player log in, we get an error. I have tried to follow the instructions they provide, but with no success. Can I expect a similar issue with d20Pro?

    2. My group plays 4E, and I see that you have a 4E survival kit, which is great. I also see that you are having issues with the 4E GSL. My question is, if you do eventually upgrade to 4E, and I have to buy a new license, can I give up my old one in favor of the new one, or will I receive a discount of any kind?

    3. Do all of my players need a copy of d20Pro, or can they log in to my server and play for free? I know that they will need a copy of the program to upload their characters, but could I just input them and let them select them as pre-gens?

    4. How does d20Pro work with other game systems, say, Mutants & Masterminds? I know that it should be fundamentally the same, but has anyone tried it?

    Thank you for your assistance. As I say, I'm going to check it out via the trial, and if it does work without too much hassle and I can make it function for 4E, I will certainly be back to purchase it.
     
  4. thraxxis

    thraxxis Member

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    Hail and well met whtknt,

    • 1. When d20Pro in Player mode connects to another d20Pro running as a Judge, there must be a known good IP address. This means you'll need a public IP and if you're behind a router you'll need to set up port forwarding and probably turn off your firewall for the (configurable) port.
    • 2. I can't answer this for certain because it's not clear exactly how 4E licensing will end up. A safe bet is we'll offer a mega discount for existing customers and/or an exchange program if you choose to play 4E exclusively.
    • 3. Each computer connecting to the game will need a unique license. The Judge validates licenses as first come first serve and subsequent attempts will get a message indicating the license has already been used to join the game in progress. For those without their own Full License there is the Guest License: http://www.d20pro.com/dl/license_Guest.txt, which can only join a game (only 1 guest at a time per the first-come-first-serve rule). You may also join the game using the same license that was used to host the game. We are also exploring other options such as Player-Only or a Super-Judge license that will let X players in - please PM me your suggestions.
    • 4. I'm not aware of anyone playing Mutant & Mastermind on d20Pro at the moment. We've had success with Spycraft, Traveler, d20 Modern, and Star Wars, and Exodus. The bottom line is certain things endemic to the d20 system, specifically D&D mechanics, may not be applicable to a game like M &M though the basic map exploration, dice, and chat rooms should add some value.

    Thanks for your interest in d20Pro and I hope you stick around because what you see right now is only the beginning. :cool:
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Member

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    I would like to add my own to 2cp to this, if I may.

    IP: With d20pro, you specify what port you wish to use. Then you need to open that port on your firewall. This guide should help. After that, you just give the players your IP Address. D20pro has a button in the program to check your IP, or you could just go to http://whatsmyip.org/

    I'm not having that much of a problem with the GSL, really, since d20pro isn't designed to handle all of the intricate mechanics of powers and such. It's a GM and player tool, not a game in itself. Our latest build pretty much suits me fine for 4E. It has daily, at will, and per encounter abilities, three custom ACs (like Fort, Ref, and Will) and allows you to specify what ability score each attack will use for hits and for damage. Not only that, but you can even specify which AC is targeted with an attack.

    My 4E games are moving smoother than my 3.5 games did, to be honest. That's in large part of course to the new system, but d20pro is rockin for my group.

    Just to be clear about licenses: A GM's license can be used by a single player, and you have a guest license that you can download. That means you have 1 GM and up to 2 players by purchasing a single license. Any more players logged on will need their own license. However, remember that if any of your players are playing locally, they can share a computer. See our new Setups section in the User's Guide for examples of various ways you can play d20pro with a varying number of licenses.

    Just FYI, I use a single license for my home game, since we all play in person. I use a laptop, and the players have a single laptop to share. We use an external display to help the whole table see. We use several mice connected to the laptop to allow each player to control their character in turn.


    Other game systems: Remember that at the heart of d20pro, you have a mapping program, with initiative, AC, hp, creatures, and a Fog of War. You could conceivably play Monopoly, Clue, or Stratego on d20pro if you imported the game board image and used jpgs of the game pieces. You can play Bloodbowl or Warhammer easily, since you have a map, units on the map, and hit points (wounds). As a GM, you can heal or damage any unit at any time. The key to supporting other game systems lies in allowing d20pro to just be a game aid and not the game engine.
     
  6. whtknt

    whtknt New Member

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    Hmmm. Several mice connected to a single laptop. Hmmmm.

    I have one player who logs in remotely (from about four states away), but the rest are usually at the table. That would make things a bit simpler.

    Thanks for the great idea!
     
  7. thraxxis

    thraxxis Member

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    Cool, your situation with the core group round the table sharing a laptop and a friend who must remote in is exactly what d20Pro was built for. We've had great success using a small USB hub for multiple mice inputs spread around the table and the players get used to taking turns with the pointer. If possible we recommend augmenting the display of the laptop with a LCD monitor, projector, or HDTV - the players will love you for it. :D

    The good news is a single Full License is all that's required to both start a game as Judge and put the same license on your other computer and join that game as Player. Then have your remote friend use the Guest License to connect and you're set!
     
  8. zWolf

    zWolf New Member

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    here is a PM I sent to Thraxxis:

    Hello, I'm eager to use your software to get an RP group going with friends that I moved away from, I hope that it works out for me!

    I have explored some of the free to play options, and may have to consider them, but I really like how fleshed out and professional your virtual table looks. That said, I will probably have to be the one to pony up all the cash for any software costs to get this thing going. That being the case, and having noticed a post where you mentioned the following:

    "We are also exploring other options such as Player-Only or a Super-Judge license that will let X players in - please PM me your suggestions."

    I wondered if you had explored those possibilities yet?

    What I am looking for is how much $$'s I would have to spend to get 6 players connected with me logged in as the judge. (so a total of 7 - if wishes were fishes, it would be more like 8 players 1 DM for < 100 bucks...but 6+1 would work in a pinch.)

    can you help me figure out the best way to get this to work with out breaking the bank?

    the preferred method would be one where I owned all the licenses and if I switched out players, or started a new group, then I could use my '7' licenses for them... or lets say I played twice a week with two groups... anyway... this is where I feel like I might have to go the 'free' route.

    If there was something available for less than a hundred bucks though, I'd most likely kick in the cash and go for the professionalism that d20 pro exhibits, over the 'free - community' ware.

    Thank you for any information that you have.

    I think I'll post this in the forums as well just in case there is already a plan out there that fits me, and I just didn't see it.

    zWolf -out.
     
  9. poppies

    poppies New Member

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    I'm very green with all this, so i hope i'm doing it right. i don't have a reply, i have a related question. i'm also a little computer illiterate and i don't know how to setup a game like everyone is talking about. can someone tell me?
     

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