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Guide to Module Conversion and Optimization in Fantasy Grounds

The Ultimate Guide to Module Conversion and Optimization in Fantasy Grounds Unity

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Impact of Connection and Performance

  3. Understanding Map Types and Sizes

  4. Pixel Sizes and File Estimation

  5. Extensions and Custom Graphics

  6. Unsharing Images

  7. Scope and Types of Conversions

  8. Quality of Source Material

  9. Tools for Conversion

  10. Approach to Conversions

  11. Conclusion

  12. Resources

  13. Step by step work-flow suggestions

Introduction

The immersive nature of a virtual tabletop (VTT) game like Fantasy Grounds Unity can be significantly impacted by performance issues. This guide delves into optimizing your VTT environment.

Impact of Connection and Performance

Fantasy Grounds Unity operates on a host-client model. The system with the slowest connection can impact gameplay for all. Smiteworks recommends limiting image dimensions to 4000x4000 pixels max.

Understanding Map Types and Sizes

Different types of maps serve different purposes, from tactical battle maps to regional maps. The size should align with their intended use.

Pixel Sizes and File Estimation

Understanding the relationship between file size, pixels, and dimensions can help ensure optimal performance. For example, a 1000x800 pixel RGB image would roughly be around 2.3 MB.

Extensions and Custom Graphics

The use of extensions or custom graphics can affect performance. Keep an eye on the overall file size of your images/tokens folders within the FG data folder.

Unsharing Images

As your campaign progresses, consider 'unsharing' images to prevent performance issues.

Scope and Types of Conversions

  • Small Projects and Edits: Ideal for personal use.

  • Building from a PDF, Website, or Word: Suitable for complex projects.

  • Conversions for Smiteworks or Publishers: Professional-level conversions.

Quality of Source Material

  • Word or Adobe Publisher Files: High quality, easy to extract text and images.

  • PDF Format: Quality varies, text and images may be difficult to extract.

  • Website: Quality varies, may require web scraping tools.

  • Photos Only: Low quality, requires OCR for text and image extraction.

Tools for Conversion

  • Image Editing: Gimp is a free and open-source image editor that offers a range of sophisticated tools for various tasks including high-quality photo manipulation.

  • Text Editing: Notepad++ is a free source code editor that supports several languages and aims to reduce carbon emissions by using less CPU power. Sublime Text offers features like GPU rendering, multiple selections for quick renaming, and an auto-complete engine that provides smart completions based on existing code.

Approach to Conversions

  • FG Reference Manual Only: Best for rule-heavy games.

  • FG Story Entry Data: Best for story-driven campaigns.

  • Both: A comprehensive module that includes both the rulebook and the story elements.

Conclusion

Seamless VTT gaming on Fantasy Grounds Unity requires careful management of resources. This guide aims to provide you with the insights you need to succeed.

Resources

  • Developer Guide - Product Guidelines

Step by step suggestions Below:


Creating Modules in Fantasy Grounds: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive walkthrough for creating modules in Fantasy Grounds, a virtual tabletop for role-playing games.

Prerequisites

  • Fantasy Grounds software

  • Basic understanding of role-playing game mechanics

Steps

1. Initial Setup

  • Create a new campaign in Fantasy Grounds.

  • Decide on the order of elements you'll build: NPCs, items, encounters, etc.

2. Building Elements

NPCs

  • Create new NPCs by filling in the relevant fields.

  • Drag and drop tokens onto the NPC sheet.

Items

  • Create new items, specifying their properties.

  • Items can be weapons, armor, or other types of gear.

Encounters

  • Create new encounters and specify the NPCs involved.

  • Calculate the Challenge Rating (CR) for the encounter.

Quests

  • Create new quests and specify the objectives and rewards.

Parcels

  • Create parcels to hold items and gold rewards.

  • Link parcels to relevant story entries or encounters.

Maps and Images

  • Import maps and images into the module.

  • Grid the maps and place encounter tokens.

Tables

  • Create tables for random outcomes or loot.

Pre-Generated Characters

  • Create pre-generated characters if needed.

3. Story Entries

  • Create story entries to hold the narrative, encounters, and other elements.

  • Link NPCs, items, and encounters to the story entries.

4. Pinning Maps

  • Open the map and lock it.

  • Drag story entries onto the map to create pins.

  • Place encounter tokens on the map.

5. Exporting the Module

  • Type /export in Fantasy Grounds.

  • Fill in the module details: title, thumbnail, category, and author.

  • Select the elements to include in the export.

  • Click "Export" to create the .mod file.

Testing and Troubleshooting

  • Close and reopen Fantasy Grounds to see the new module.

  • Load the module in a test campaign to verify all elements are working as expected.


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