Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Discovering Fantasy Grounds

In my last post I talked a little about my start in gaming, so this carries on from there to my discovery of Fantasy Grounds.

In the winter of 1985 I discovered a new gaming group, and that lead to 7 years of awesome gaming and fun times. Year round we could pretty much be found in the camping trailer parked in their parent's drive way or in the living room of somebody's house playing something. The list of games we tried out and liked or didn't like was crazy.

Things took a bit of hiatus at that point, two of us went off an joined the army together, so we were away for training for a while. I got stationed in another part of the country for awhile. Someone was actually crazy enough to marry me in there too.

After the group was reunited, we found that the forced separation has caused us to drift apart in other ways too. Different views, opinions and outlooks caused some ugly disagreements and the group to dissolve finally about 2000-1. Most of them I have only seen once or twice and haven't said more than two words too in that entire time.

That's how life goes, and you move on.

Over the next couple of years I found it difficult to find a group. Most that I found were only together a handful of sessions then broke apart. Life kept getting  in the way. I tried getting into some play by post and play by email games. To me those types of games didn't have what I was looking for. With the release of 4E by Wizards I kind of stopped gaming, but not the collection of books and adventures. I kept working away on some of my own home brew stuff off and on.

That changed in the summer of 2014 in a Steam sale. I stumbled across an program called Fantasy Grounds. I had never heard of the product to this point, at least not that I can remember. Not even positive I had heard of any of the other virtual table top offerings that were available at the time. So this won't devolve into a whole pile of which one is better - I haven't tried any of the others so I can't say whether they are better or not. I immediately downloaded the demo version and took a look at what it did.

I introduced myself of their forums, which I soon discovered to a be a pretty welcoming and friendly place. I was soon involved in a a couple of one shot adventures.

One, run by a Australian who uses the name damned on the forums. Through no fault of his own only two players actually showed up. The adventure was in the Castles & Crusades and it was a blast.

Another was run by Mask_of_Winter. He used the Savage World rules. I still hate puppets to this day. It too was a huge blast to play.

I immediately went back to steam, purchased a standard license and both those rule sets. Since then I have picked up a few other add-ons - both adventures and other rule sets. I have also played in a couple of Pathfinder campaigns, a long running Iron Heroes game - which is currently playing Deadlands. I also got involved in a Castles and Crusades - though its on hiatus due to real life issues.

I have also begun to take some materials that I own - in particular Weird Wars Rome for Savage Worlds and create an actual Fantasy Ground usable module of the type you would find in the store.  If it makes it to the store, I would be ecstatic. If it doesn't I will be just as happy, I have it for myself and it has been an awesome experience learning the xml to do it