Newbie Issues

I’ve been using Maptool as my go-to VTT these days but it can be quite buggy so I’m looking for something more professionally done but not to complicated to get into (but with advanced features I could slowly integrate).

I want it to be browser based so I don’t have to mess around with my router settings to allow my players access.

This narrows it down to Astral and Roll20 I think.

Astral seems to have a beautiful map creation tool so I want to give it a go first.

However, there are some initial hurdles I just can’t get over.

I imported a multi-room map I plan to use for my next session and want to add all my monsters to the whole map, so I don’t have to add them only the fly as my players enter a room. I want my monster tokens to be simply a token with hp bar and all the stats in a side stat block that I can see as soon as I click on the token. I don’t have time to create a “character” for every creature - especially for a 5 hp goblin. Is this something that Astral can do?

I’ve also found that moving a token around the map has two problems. The token lags by a second or two when I drag it from point A to point B - very clunky. Secondly, Astral doesn’t show me how far the token has moved so I can limit the token to its speed. I’ve tried searching for a GM tutorial but can’t find one anywhere. You Tube tutorials focus on creating player character sheets but nothing on monster creation.

Also, I guess dynamic lighting involves marking all the visual blocking boundaries. I don’t have time to do that in my multi-room dungeon. Does Astral have the function to allow me to place fog of war across the whole map and reveal each room manually?

I would suggest asking your questions in Astral’s Discord server as we can respond to your questions easier there.

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Many thanks. I’ll check that out.

Hi @wolcott9, thanks for checking us out!

Hopefully you found the answers to some of your questions on Discord, but here’s some info you might find helpful.

Fog of War:
We don’t currently have a fog of war feature, but the request is gaining lots (and I mean LOTS) of traction. Drop a vote on this Feature Request: Fog of War

In the meantime, we do have ways of automating “reveals” in the form of triggers. Here’s an example:

The same practice can be applied to cover new map areas or entirely new map assets used in the same Astral “Map”.

AutoDL:
We don’t have an image recognition software that can draw DL walls for you at this time, and likely won’t in the foreseeable future. That being said, we welcome all feature requests, and if you submit it and this gains enough traction, we’ll investigate if it’s possible!

Creating quick NPCs on the fly:

This is actually where Astral shines. Astral provides template characters for many systems. When you create a single goblin and fill out their attacks and stats (about ~2-5 mins setup) you can take that goblin character, then duplicate it as many times as you need. Each duplicate will be a whole new character, complete with stats, savings throws, attacks, initiative rolls, the works. Then, you can use that goblin in other games by exporting it to your vault. In no time at all, you have an entire bestiary of enemies to choose from for any campaign.

More learning resources
We’ve set up interactive tutorials, complete with demonstrations that instructs you on many useful GM tasks, such as how to quickly make maps and set up their special effects and automation, or how to manage tokens and make quick mobs. I’d strongly suggest checking that out!

You can create a basic interactive tutorial, the one given to you at signup. If you’ve already completed that one, I’d suggest creating an advanced tutorial. Those can be found here at the create game screen:

tutorials

I hope this helps! Please reach out with any questions or concerns.