View Full Version : free (or cheap) online tabletops?

2008-06-02, 09:12 PM
Pretty much all of my group were seniors in high school this year: which means that most of us are going to colledge this fall. But we'll miss playing with one another, and I'm probably the only one of the group who could afford a subscription to DnDinsider in addition to all the other stuff...so does anyone know of a a good online tabletop (or whatever the heck one would call it...we really just need a nice online grid to draw on, that's really it), not necissarily designed for a specific game but that would work well with 4th edition, that we could use?

2008-06-02, 09:21 PM
It's not free, but I like Fantasy Grounds. For a free VTT you might check out OpenRPG. Other VTTs include Battlegrounds and GRiP.

The only one I've used is Fantasy Grounds, it works great.

Edit: Here's a better list (http://rpgvirtualtabletop.com/vts.html).

2008-06-02, 09:21 PM
I am actually one of the developers on Gametable (http://gametable.mornproductions.com/forum/). We're dedicated to an easy to use, always free, open source program.

Gametable is even used by Positron, the lead designer on City of Heroes (http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=comics&Number=10701643&bodyprev=#Post10701643) and a few other names that I'm not supposed to mention.

2008-06-02, 09:33 PM
Wow I didn't know they had free online table tops, this might really help my old D&D group.

2008-06-02, 09:39 PM
This comparison of VTTs may be more useful (http://iconvention.org/vts-compare.html). It covers everything from the platforms it runs on to the features they have.

2008-06-02, 09:49 PM
Inserting a shameless plug for RPTools (http://rptools.net/doku.php). Specifically MapTool, the VTT of the bunch.

As far as free VTTs go, ORPG and MapTool seem to have the biggest share of the market. In my opinion, the draws for each are as follows:


Supports Sound
Crazy Complex Macro Support (this is good)
Node tree. Ties into the macro support
Lobby and room based connection system


Prettier than ORPG (IMO, at least)
Very in-depth map-making abilities. Supports premade maps (like ORPG), drawing via lines (like ORPG), drawing via textures, drawing via tiles, and/or a combination of those things
Token/Stamp/Object differentiation. If you look into it, this will make sense
VBL. Vision Blocking Layer. Automated Line of Sight and Fog of War.
Supports Gridded, Gridless, and Hex (mostly) movement

2008-06-02, 10:27 PM
Pulled the iCon listing and put it details for Gametable.


Application Website

Java 1.5+

OS support

RPG Systems



Help feature
Working on a wiki

User manual available


Map file format
jpg, gif, png, bmp

Map Zoom feature available

Map measurement

Map fog
All players have access to a private map layer that can be published from and unpublished to that otherwise functions as the shared map.

Supports making maps from component tiles (rooms, hallways, etc.)
Yes, and the tiles can be locked down to prevent accidentally moving them

Hexgrid support
Yes, as well as gridless support

Internal drawing tools

Miniature Graphics

Comes with tokens

Mini Rotation/Facing

Mini status Notes (Dead, Incap, etc)
Yes, versatile labeling

Mini movement
Click and drag

Miniature permissions

Mini snap-to-grid

Suitable for offline use (with a projector, TV, or second display)
Yes, pog and chat panels can be closed and multiple instance can be run and linked on the same computer.

Audio support

File transfer support
Yes. underlays and pogs are automatically populated between clients

Animation support

Area of Effect support

Character Sheets
Not inbuilt, but very easy to make.

Supports multiple characters per player

Character Sheet Autocalc

Character pre-saved rolls
Yes, user created

Rolls can extract character info

Character HP tracking
No. Labeling can be easily used for this function.

Automated combat

Initiative Manager

Programmable encounters

Extendable (plugins/scripts)
No, but it is fully open source.

Embedded (automated) game documentation
All chat functions are logged in an HTML file.

Card decks, ruler feature, no specialized GM client, inner windows can be closed to optimize the client to each player's needs.

2008-06-02, 11:00 PM
Since I get frustrated every time I download something and it doesn't work well -- do any of these work well (or at all) in Linux?

2008-06-03, 07:17 AM
Since I get frustrated every time I download something and it doesn't work well -- do any of these work well (or at all) in Linux?Fantasy Grounds does not. Didn't even work in VMWare. That's probably my biggest complaint.

Oh well, I have to maintain a winblows box for work anyway.

2008-06-03, 08:39 AM
Since I get frustrated every time I download something and it doesn't work well -- do any of these work well (or at all) in Linux?

I'm working on one of these programs too. It's not ready for use yet, but it's being developed on linux with the goal of running on any platform. My game table is ajax/svg based and runs in newer versions of firefox.

You can check it out at http://svg.thuranni.net

2008-06-03, 09:21 AM
For a simple Map program, this java pogram is pretty decent and free! No downloads required. It's the Irony Games' MapMagical Encounter Editor Mirror: http://pages.infinit.net/pdclarke/mmee/index.html

2008-06-03, 10:09 AM
Pulled the iCon listing and put it details for Gametable.

Rizban, have you sent this info to Devinnight at the FUM site, so that he can update the VT feature comparison chart (http://www.iconvention.org/vts-compare-ieversion.html) with it?

Edit: I've gone ahead and submitted your info on the FUM forums. Hopefully one of the admins will add it to the chart soon.