Important Announcement: Astral is leaving active development

Astral TableTop was created by Tom Lackemann and began its life as PowerVTT in 2017 with the simple goal of creating a virtual tabletop software that was actually easy to learn and use.

Over the years, largely thanks to feedback and engagement of its community, Astral grew to become the VTT of choice for hundreds of thousands of tabletop RPG players. Unfortunately, even with the growth that Astral has experienced, it has not attracted an audience large enough to be a thriving business. With the landscape for VTT’s looking to become even more competitive in the near future, Astral’s founder Tom has decided to retire from Astral TableTop to pursue other ventures. Fear not, however – Astral TableTop will not be going away just yet. Even though it will no longer be in active development, Astral will continue to live on as it currently is into the foreseeable future. OneBookShelf, the parent company of DriveThruRPG, partnered with Tom on Astral TableTop and will be continuing to oversee and maintain Astral’s current services even after his departure.

Should OneBookShelf need to close down the Astral TableTop service completely at some point in the future, it will provide as much notice as possible to give everyone time to close or migrate their campaigns to another platform. The creation of something like Astral TableTop was a dream for all of the members of the team, as well as the countless community members who dedicated their time and care to help build this TTRPG platform we all love so much. We are eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of your tabletop gaming adventures over these last 4 years. Forever, Your Astral Allies (edited)

There will be a few notable changes:

  • Astral’s Marketplace will be closing so no new items will be able to be purchased, but you will still have access to all items already in your Astral Vault and you will continue to be able to upload assets to your Vault.

  • Yearly Subscription options will be removed and new, lower-cost Monthly Subscription options will be taking their place: - Gold Subscription - $5.99 per month - Platinum Subscription - $9.99 per month ​

  • Any time remaining on prepaid subscriptions will be credited to your account and automatically rolled over into the new, lower-cost, monthly subscription plans. No action is needed on your part!

Please feel free to ask any questions in our dedicated discord channel here:

That’s a shame.

Roll20 is the big name in the space, but I think Astral is a better offering. Lighting for free, and just overall better web design. Roll20’s VTT still uses frames in current year for goodness sake.

But it is hard to break the incumbent advantage, and sometimes being better isn’t enough to break through that barrier. That’s a sad reality of things.

That all said…

With the landscape for VTT’s looking to become even more competitive in the near future,

While I do have some thoughts on the state of current VTT offerings and my wants from it, that’s getting more into the weeds. I am not plugged in enough to know how competition is heating up, and now I really want to know what things we’re talking about here that illustrate that point.

Could Astral be released as open source then? It may not be really profitable for a company, but I’m sure that some hardcore fans/software geniuses could make it run. And I’d like to $upport them.

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So how do we determine how much credit we have left on our account? Is it something that will be covered until the original yearly subscription lasted, or?? Just trying to determine when I need to plan for a monthly sub again

Yeah. How much time do we have left in the account? I have it showing that I will have $6 charged soon. But I paid for a year in August? Will you be deducting $6 still?

Could Astral be released as open source then?

@Airbuckles that’s been thrown a lot around in the Discord recently. We’re considering many avenues for if we do need to close, and I’ve been passing all feedback like this up the chain. I’d like to stress that we’re not shutting down, we’re ceasing further improvement. The site will still be maintained, so we aren’t going anywhere just yet.

So how do we determine how much credit we have left on our account? Is it something that will be covered until the original yearly subscription lasted, or?? Just trying to determine when I need to plan for a monthly sub again

@Mawkleonite We’ve credited everyone the full prorated amount of their original subscription. The new subscriptions are at a discounted rate, so you’re actually getting more time than you originally had when all things are considered. If you’d like me to go over account details, please send me an email at support@astraltabletop.com and I’d be happy to assist :slight_smile:

Yeah. How much time do we have left in the account? I have it showing that I will have $6 charged soon. But I paid for a year in August? Will you be deducting $6 still?

@rsaxxon this sounds like you might have been in the demographic of community members affected by a rare bug that happened during the conversion where some people were erroneously billed. If you’re dealing with a bill and didn’t get a follow up “account credited” statement, please email me at support@astraltabletop.com so I can verify you properly received your account credit. Sorry about the confusion here, but no one should have been billed anything for this change.

Please, don’t hesitate to keep the questions coming. I’m also usually available on the Discord server, so pop in and say hi if you’d like! :wave:

Absolutely ridiculous. I just bought a 1 year subscription and you people yank the rug out from under me less than a month in. As much as it pains me to say this, Astral is a great service, I feel EXTREMELY burned and cheated here. I’ve already canceled my subscription and I don’t want a credit.

I want my money back.

Hi @Torque2100, this is very painful for many of us. I understand the feeling.

Do note that Astral is not going offline and will continue to function. It’s just that no new features will be added nor will further development continue.

That being said, if you have any issues with your subscription (including any problems with cancellation), please send an email to support@astraltabletop.com to follow up.

Very sad news. My party and I gonna use Astral till the end. Is there by any chance, that perhaps you could find a sponsor and get back to active development?

Hi @Hindawi,

We (the Archmages/volunteers) have been in communication with the devs to see what options have been explored and which ones can be further explored. The trick is finding a sponsor willing to invest in Astral.

For those of us who don’t have any contacts with publishers or any potential investors, our best bet is to make sure Astral stays online even if development is stalled at the moment. Subscriptions are the most obvious way to do this, and for those who are unable to pay, I guess the next best option is to keep promoting it.

I’ll also keep using Astral, as will most (if not all) of the Archmages and the Devs.

@Mawkleonite just a follow up here. We’ve pushed a change that lets everyone see their available credit from their account management page.

I hope this helps.

@roflo1 Regarding

no new features will be added nor will further development continue

Does that include bug fixes in the existing platform? If there are outages or other issues, will there be anyone still supporting it?

Essentially this reads like a “You might want to find another VTT platform” notice. If there’s no ongoing development, eventually it’s going to have to shut down. The speed of web development is such that eventually a breaking change will be made to some underpinning of the platform (library update or cloud provider change) on which Astral is hosted and it’ll have to be updated or shut down.

I’m disappointed, but no bitterness about it here. I’ve had a great time using Astral and it got my in-person gaming group through COVID, so you have my gratitude for everything that’s been built.

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Hi @Steve,

Yes, bugs will still be fixed and outages tended when they happen. Astral will remain online as long as the server costs are covered.

I understand, we were expecting many questions. And we’re trying hard to communicate the implications as clear as we can. The devs preferred to be straightforward and tell us what’s happening; they’ve also assured us they will keep us up to date with any news so everyone can make their decision with real information at hand.

If left untouched in a vacuum, quite possibly. But Astral has a solid ecosystem, mainly because of people who care a lot about this product, and it’s hard to foresee what will happen. Investors are still being searched. Options are being discussed.

Hi @Steve and welcome back to the Forums

No, bug development is ongoing. Just no new features for the foreseeable future.

We, the Archmagi, the staff of Astral and the backers are all looking into ways to turn this around and return Astral to full development status.

RedMega is still on staff doing bug fixes, and has even added the ability to see your current credit available to your account.

Personally, I’m still reaching out to publishers to get more systems supported on Astral. I’ve just completed sheets for Blades in the Dark and have reached out to Evil Hat to get their approval for inclusion.

Hope you stick with Astral as we try to keep the service going.

Does that include bug fixes in the existing platform? If there are outages or other issues, will there be anyone still supporting it?

Yes, to be clear, we won’t be dedicating any effort towards improvements to the platform. I’ll still be taking care of template submissions and the such, so that content offerings can continue to be improved, but other than that, we’re remaining as-is. Roflo’s answer is pretty solid there. Any new bugs or critical issues will be addressed, and we’re remaining on-hand to maintain the site in a more cost-effective capacity to allow us time to explore our options.

If there’s no ongoing development, eventually it’s going to have to shut down.

It’s true that active development is suspended indefinitely. “Indefinitely” is a very uncertain word, but it is equally applied to the other side of the coin, so it does not mean closing with certainty. We’re still exploring all avenues. The focus here is transparency, and the situation is currently bleak, but we press on. When this news came about, while we discussed our options our main priority was to inform the community, followed by pressing to find other options.

It’s very true that there’s uncertainty, and as GMs and party members ourselves, we do understand why that could be unacceptable for community members trying to run their games. We are still going to provide as much notice as we possibly can in the event of the worst-case scenario. No one will be blindsided, we can assure you of that.

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I definitely appreciate the transparency over just getting a “Hey, we’re shut down, k thanks bye!” notice. I just re-upped for a year, and my group wants to keep playing remotely for now, so I’m not going anywhere. I’ve tried Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds and much prefer Astral. I haven’t seen another platform that has really caught my eye. I hope Astral finds a way to keep going.

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Yeah me too. I don’t want credit, I want a reimbursement. I paid for a year because I liked the platdform. Now, since it’s going stagnant, I don’t want to use it anymore.
I don’t want a full reimbursement, just the months I had left on my platinum membership.

Hi @WaGLaG,

Please send an email to support@astraltabletop.com, they can take care of your cancellation.

Cheers!