Roll20: off-screen character sheet

First, I have to acknowledge the amazing work that has been done to help with playing Fate on Roll20. Not only the brand new (and much-improved) Evil Hat character sheet, but also the posts that explain how @PG_YYZ made character sheets part of the background of the Roll20 map. They are truly impressive.

My problem with most character sheets on Roll20 is that they occupy a large part of the screen. If you have a multi-screen setup, it’s not a problem to pop out the character sheet onto a different screen, but most players do not. I usually solve these with a lot of token-specific macros, which allow you to (roll and) print to the chat a lot of the information on a token’s character sheet, and track some values (for Fate, physical and mental stress, as well as fate points) as numbers shown next to a token. However, the new Evil Hat character sheet has naming conventions that make those those variables very hard to read. Skills are defined by their rank, not by their skill name (eg Academics, Athletics, etc.). In addition, both the new Evil Hat character sheets and the old Roll20 ones name each stress box individually, so it’s hard to access the total stress box values (filled/available) via the token’s value bars.

The @PG_YZZ notion of just making the character sheets part of the background is very helpful, but has two disadvantages. I can’t fit all the Fate Condensed skills there, and I can’t move between different maps then, since the character sheets would be on one map. Worse, the character sheets now use almost all the screen real estate, so there isn’t much room for a map. I realize that Fate isn’t a tactical map-focused game, but maps and images generally do help a lot both with immersion and in conveying a scene, and what’s the point of using Roll20 if you’re not sharing maps and images? I might as well use a google drive document that allows me to deal with the data much better.

So, my question is, can anyone suggest a way to automatically access the information on a Roll20 Fate Condensed character sheet so that:

  1. Players can click a macro button to roll fate dice and add the appropriate skill bonus from their character sheet?
  2. Players can print their Aspects and Consequences to the chat?
  3. The character token can display the current phsyical and mental stress taken and available?
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I feel your pain. As a GM, I like to have all my player information handy at a glance.

A lot of what you are asking for can be done by writing Macros.

(#1) Before the new Roll20 sheet came out my group used this macro for rolling. It doesn’t pull in data from the character sheets. The players have to choose their rank.

&{template:default} {{name=?{Why are you rolling|No stated reason}}} {{Roll=[[4df+?{Modifier|0}]]}}

(#2) The new Fate sheet has a sharing icon after it that will print the aspect to chat. I’ve also sent feedback@evilhat.com a feature request to be able to print all aspects with a single button.

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 10.29.53 AM
Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 10.30.07 AM

(#3) I don’t have a good solution for this. My suggestion would be to consider making a Rollable table for stress and put out a token near the character’s token.

I hope this helps!

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BTW, before I go into this any further, this is wonderful, and thank you.

(#1) Before the new Roll20 sheet came out my group used this macro for rolling. It doesn’t pull in data from the character sheets. The players have to choose their rank.

On the old Roll20 Character sheets, I could make macros that pulled the skill bonus from the character sheet and added it in. As I said above, that changed in the new Evil Hat character sheet. If they have to look up their rank, that kinda defeats the purpose of having a macro, doesn’t it? They can just trigger the full roll from the character sheet.

(#2) The new Fate sheet has a sharing icon after it that will print the aspect to chat. I’ve also sent feedback@evilhat.com a feature request to be able to print all aspects with a single button.

Oh, I had missed that button! Maybe I can capture that macro by inspecting the page… I’ll post an update if I can.

(#3) I don’t have a good solution for this. My suggestion would be to consider making a Rollable table for stress and put out a token near the character’s token.

I had not thought of that, although it does remind me of @PG_YZZ’s flippable stress tokens. It’s a worthwhile idea, and I really appreciate you sharing that because I can totally use it as a clock (the idea from Blades in the Dark), but it really adds to the burden of moving characters from one scene to the next. It’s even more annoying if I have custom stress tracks or clocks that I have to reset to the correct values.

I’m glad this helped. To be completely honest, I solved some of these problems for our group by using Trello to manage aspects and stress. Not a perfect solution but it worked for us.

Our board: https://trello.com/b/eQ8yntkn/rpm-aspect-board

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Our board: https://trello.com/b/eQ8yntkn/rpm-aspect-board

That looks great! I love how you use the use of labels to track invokes.

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I hear your frustration.

I have started using a combination of decks and rollable tables for my Fate of Cthulhu. Definitely works. I need to update my little guide to version 3.0.

One challenge in developing a flexible and customizable Fate Sheet is that attributes can’t be easily referred to by macros. I haven’t found a way to be able to look for the skill “Athletics” within the character sheet, lookup its associated level, and then incorporate that within a macro to automate rolls. The only workaround I can see is for someone with a premium account to create a dedicated Fate sheet with their game, with static skill attributes that could then be referred to.

I am starting to use Fred’s new sheet. It is so aesthetically pleasing that I think will dump my tablemat-based macros in favor of the new sheet for my Fate of Cthulhu scenarios. For my NPCs without a dedicated sheet, I wrote a macro so that I can pick a skill from a dropdown menu, type in the skill level, and roll the macro. Details on my twitter feed with a screenshot: https://twitter.com/PG_YYZ/status/1280909722254794753?s=20.

I still haven’t found a perfect tool to play Fate online. Randy has shown the merits of Foundry. Role also looks promising. In the meantime, I’m sticking to Roll20+Discord as it is free for my players and I don’t have time to customize another solution.

Hoping to see new solutions and fixes be proposed in this forum. If you find a way to pull the skill level/bonus from the new Fate sheet, do let us know!!!

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Wow! I have to say that your work is pretty inspiring.

I agree that, while Fred’s new Roll20 sheet is pretty, it’s harder to reference skills in it via macros. I’ve given up on figuring out a way for a player to roll a specific skill using that sheet without looking it up.

Your mention of Foundry reminded me that I have a Fantasy Grounds license, and I’m wondering if their Fate Core package might not be easier to use. I have a bunch of people that have never played Fate before, so I want to keep it as simple as possible, and wanted to avoid a download, which is why Roll20 was a draw. But if the interface gets in the way of playing, then I’ll look for a better tool.

I don’t know Role. Can you give me some extra detail on it?

And if we’re mentioning different ways to play Fate online, I should probably mention Fari, FateCharacterSheet, and my own implementation via google sheets. I’ll say that the one I built has a “DM Sheet” in which all the characters are visible at once. But none of those allow sharing a picture. I was thinking of just using the google version of powerpoint, which can be linked to sheets (with data only going one-way, alas), and sharing the presentation over Zoom or Skype.

Role is a new platform focusing on Indie RPGs. The kickstarter campaign can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/role/role-a-new-kind-of-platform-for-the-rpg-community. The tools are pitched as being modular and customizable.

I have a Fantasy Grounds ultimate license, and backed their new interface on Kickstarter. I am waiting to see if the new version will be more intuitive. Whichever way I go, I prefer platforms free for players - I am fine paying for a GM license. Fantasy Grounds has some slick features, but like Roll20, the current design and functionalities are heavily focused on D&D and Pathfinder type of games. Bigger market, more money. I get it.

Fari is still in early stages. Looking forward to see where it goes. And I have tried to stay away from non-gaming collaboration tools which, while useful, remind me too much of work.

All in all, I strongly prefer face-to-face gaming as well as the energy of conventions. But that’s not going to happen for a while.

Role does look good. Thanks for sharing the link. Sadly, the timeline is too far off for me, and for the moment.

Yeah, that’s a common complaint about FG, and I’m sympathetic with it. I have trouble with it myself whenever I go back to it. The radial menus, while quite innovative, are far from intuitive, along with the rest of the UI. I should talk to people that are using the new unity licensed Fate games, and see if it’s more straightforward.

Whichever way I go, I prefer platforms free for players - I am fine paying for a GM license.

Same - as long as it works, in the sense that it’s not a pain in the neck to play the game. Currently, I don’t see a way for many of my players to enjoy it on Roll20, so that’s why I’m trying to sort that out. If it works, I’m happy to pay money so that the players can enjoy it.

All in all, I strongly prefer face-to-face gaming as well as the energy of conventions. But that’s not going to happen for a while.

:cry:

This only solves issue #1, and it only works with the old Fate by Roll20 character sheet, as far as I know, but page 9 of that link from @PG_YYZ has a macro template for skills. After you create your macros, if you click the box next to the macro that says “In Bar,” the macros will be shown in buttons on a bar at the bottom of the screen, below player names. (See screenshot below.) If you have movable character tokens (which you probably do if you’re using maps), you can assign the character tokens to character sheets. Players click their token, then click the bar at the bottom, add any modifiers, and their roll appears in the chat box. Copy and paste character tokens on each new map.

Note that my players found it easier to roll from their character sheets, so none of them used the skill buttons on the bottom bar. You may want to test it or ask them if they want the option before doing the work of adding those macros.

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Yeah, I managed to do the same with the old sheet. I even used a variant that allowed folks to roll any character’s skill by simply selecting the token (as long as the character was shared). The new sheets are so cool looking, though, and so recent that I was hoping that they’d take some feedback…

That’s interesting that your players preferred using the character sheets. I’ll ask my players.

I don’t know if this is the place for it, but I’m diving into running my first Fate online with Roll20. (I have a lot of visuals that some of the other tools can’t support very well.)

My question is about rolling dice: I’d like it when a character rolls, it shows the dice result adjective added to their skill.

Say that have Fair Fight and they roll a +1, I’d like the result shown as GOOD, not +1. Is this possible? If we have any other modifiers on top of these, it’s really easy to just add those in our heads.

I’m all about the adjectives.

(And maybe that’s what you guys are talking about with Macros, I dunno.)

The adjective part is quite easy. Make a Rollable Table with the adjectives from the Fate ladder. Then just roll a macro on the table.

For the skill, as @aelwyn1964 was saying, you need a macro, and you need to use the old Roll20 Fate character sheet (not the new ones by Evil Hat, sadly). The code I use for the macro is:

@{selected|token_name} uses Empathy skill: 
/roll 4df+ (@{selected|condensed-skill_rank_6}[Skill])]`

You need to swap out condensed-skill-rank for the right skill variable name (I was using the Fate Condensed character sheet). And, of course, the Empathy part should get changed to the right skill.

Hey @nazim! Thank you!

While I don’t fully grogg what I need to do, I’ll see if I can figure it out. (Like, I just need to do this for every skill and I’m set?) I am using Condensed.

In any case, I appreciate it!

@steamcrow I suggest following that link in my post. Then it will make more sense, I hope.

I will do that. Again, thank you!

I’m following the instructions, but I’m missing something. I’m using the Roll20 Fate sheet.

I have a Rollable Table called “adjectives”. In it, I simply have a Table Items list of the ladder terms. I don’t see any way to do anything else with them.

Then in Macros, I started with one called “Academics”, with this code:

@{selected|adjectives} uses Academics skill: 
/roll 4df+ (@{selected|adjectives}[Skill])]`

My macro doesn’t work; I know that something is wrong, I just don’t know what.

Sadly, you’re going to have dig a bit deeper into the Roll20 documentation.

Ok, as of a few years ago, Roll20 just spits out the text result on Rollable Tables. If that’s still the case, the best you can do with them is roll a result on them. To do that, after you build the table, your chat or macro command is 1t[table-name]. However, tables, it seem only offer equal odds for each item. Worse, you can’t use it as a lookup to pipe in the result of some other roll (such as 4df) and get what that would mean.

Best you could do, and this would be very laborious, is turn it into a d100, with one row per integer and translate the probabilities of what that might mean on the Fate ladder. So, row 01 might mean the equivalent of -4 on four fate dice. Rows 02 through 06 would come out as -3, rows 07 through 18 would be -2, and so on. This does not sound worth it at all to me, but I don’t really value the fate ladder that much.

Independent of the table, if you use the macro I quoted above, it should work for your characters as is, as long as your skills are in the same spots I had mine. Look at the Attributes tab of a character sheet to see what variable name a particular skill might have.

Thanks for your thoughts. I’ll keep looking around, but seeing how I couldn’t get the basic stuff to work… I’m probably just back with number results.

I don’t know how I missed this, but the EvilHat Condensed sheet actually DOES this already.

Sorry… I’m the fool! (New to Roll20; I’ve been trying all kinds of sheets and finally went back to theirs again.)

Maybe my daftness will help someone else. :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your assistance and patience.

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