Foundry is a fantastic virtual table-top system, able to help gaming groups get together and explore the rich worlds created by enterprising DMs. Its ability to be used for a wide variety of game systems—and its extreme extensibility through add-on modules and powerful macros—provides enormous customization, but also necessitates some small introduction and useful tips for players to get the most out of the system.
The YouTube channel Encounter Library has created a fantastic player-centric Introduction Video for Foundry which is well worth a watch. Additional tips, tricks, and suggestions follow.
While Poetics has configured most behind-the-scenes and global settings, there are some options which can be set on a per-player basis. Click on the Settings menu and then Game Settings button. In addition to adjusting visuals to account for computer performance, here are some settings Poetics recommends exploring, to suit your own preferences.
- “Left Click to Release Object”: This is a simple quality of life change that makes it easy to de-select an active object by left-clicking an unused area of the map
- “Collapse Item Cards in Chat”: Helps to remove clutter in the chat/message box. Individual messages can still be clicked on to expand them if desired, for help with specific rules.
- “Dice So Nice”: Here’s where players can change the color and style of the 3D dice that get rolled on-screen
- “Tidy5e Sheet”: If you prefer a dark-mode skin for your character sheet, or to hide Exhaustion/Inspiration when not applicable
- “Zoom/Pan Options”: For those using a laptop, setting the mode to ‘Touchpad’ may make navigating the maps easier
You can drag almost anything from your character sheet to the QuickBar, including items, class abilities, individual skill checks, and more, so you have hany access to them without needing to click through your sheet.
It’s very common to put a character’s most common attacks and spells on the sheet. Clicking an icon will immediately send output to the chat window.
Chat and Roll Types
There are 4 different options in a drop-down above the chat box in the right-hand menu, and each determines who can see the content you type. This setting also affects dice rolls, and at times Poetics will ask you to make a roll with a given visibility setting.
- Public: the default, this visibility shows the result of your roll, action, or your chat message to everyone in-game
- Private GM: this option makes results visible only to you and Poetics and is useful for sending private messages or questions directly to the DM
- Blind GM: used for cases where you yourself may not know the results of a roll you make, such as Perception checks or trying to disable a trap. Results only go to Poetics
- Self: this one should be evident; any rolls or chat you type will appear only to yourself.
Most rolls will be made publicly so after using one of the other options, make sure to change the drop-down back to the default.
There are also a wide number of chat commands available, of which we will be using just a few. By default, anything you type into the box will be sent as “in-character” speech, as if your character were speaking. You are able to select which language you’re speaking using the corresponding drop-down. Characters who cannot speak the language will see only strange glyphs. Poetics will at times make use of this feature to display messages that are only visible to characters familiar with a particular language.
- /w: “Whispering” someone allows you to send a private message to another player or to Poetics (who is listed as ‘GM’ in the recipient suggestion menu)
- /roll: If you are asked to make a secondary or other unusual roll that doesn’t have a handy click-button interface, you can use the /roll XdY syntax to roll X number of Y-sided dice (e.g. “/roll 1d20” rolls a single 20-sided die while “/roll 5d6” rolls five 6-sided dice, outputing them to chat)
You can open your own character sheet by double-clicking your battle token. Double-clicking any other token will reveal some limited information, if available, about the object or entity in question.
Double right-clicking a token other than your own will “mark” or “target” that token, as a way of pointing distinguishing them. This marking has no mechanical effect, but is very useful when it comes to pointing out which member in a group you’re trying to affect. Alternatively you can also use the “Select Targets” icon in the left-hand menu to mark targets as desired.
It is very beneficial for you to click the banner/bookmark icon in the left-hand menu and then click/activate the purple pin icon. This allows maps which have associated journal entries and icons to correctly display, regardless of which tool you have active.
In short, it’s very useful to have this selected.