Player/GM Tokens

If you need to make Player or GM Tokens for an Online Game, this tutorial will get you started.

We will use a great webapp called Token Stamp. Go ahead and open that page in a new tab in your browser (in fact save it to your favourites, you will use it a lot).

Now you will need an image for your character unless you already have some character art on your computer.

Open google images in a new tab and search for an appropriate image such as ‘Goblin Alchemist’, ‘orc sorcerer’ or ‘Tiefling barbarian’

Sometimes you will have to get a little creative with your search terms – try adding Pathfinder or D&D to your search.

Choose an image to use.
(be sure to check the copyright status of any images you choose)

Either
download it to your computer by right clicking the image preview on the right and selecting ‘Save image As’.

Then you can use the upload button in Token Stamp to load the image you just saved.

Or you can drag and drop it from the image preview on the right of the screen. Left click and hold, then drag the image over the browser tabs, and move it onto the tab for Token Stamp, this will open that tab and you can drop the image as indicated.

Once the image is loaded, you can adjust the scale and position of the image within the tokens border. Some prefer a full image, while others prefer to use a ‘headshot’

You can also adjust the size and shape of the tokens border, and also its colour (under border tint). Many other options are available for the image, but you can experiment on your own till you find a setting you like.

One you are satisfied with the image, hit the download button to save to your computer.

Getting started with Online PFS/SFS Gaming

While the prospect of getting to play in an online game of PFS / SFS or other RPG can seem daunting, its pretty easy to get started

Hardware Requirements
A fairly modern PC or MAC.
4GB or more of Ram is recommended.
either Google Chrome or Firefox browsers.
A cheap stereo headset.

Software / Apps
1. Signup for a free account at roll20.net
2. Download the Discord client
3. Signup for a Warhorn account

I’ll Take you through some of those apps now.

Virtual Table Top (VTT)

The VTT software will handle things such as dice rolling, chat, map and token display. It will also allow some degree of automation and customisation.

The most common VTT for PFS / SFS games is Roll20.
Roll20’s free tier is all you need as a player, the higher paid tiers will be useful if you intend to GM.

other VTTs such as Fantasy Grounds. Maptool and Astral are also available but beyond the scope of this tutorial at this time.

Discord

Discord is a lightweight messaging / voice chat application. There are a number of servers that are used for RPG groups to organise games.

Some useful discord servers:-
PFS / SFS organised play
Cosmic Crittermanders
Starfinder Nexus

Warhorn

Many groups use Warhorn to manage game signups, and each GM or group will have an individual Warhorn site for their games, once you have joined a site you will be able to see all the games in their EVENT SCHEDULE.

Some useful links:-
The Island – UK based EU friendly SFS/PFS games
Cosmic Critermanders
Dutch / German SFS/PFS Online – games run in English
Second Breakfast
Glass Cannon Podcast Fans
Starfinder Nexus
Jay’s Fantasy Grounds

To signup for games – see the putting it all together section below.

TimeZones

Be aware that the global nature of online play means you will need to play careful attention to the timezone of any games you want to join, and any daylight saving time differences between your home timezone and that the game is run in.

In a perfect world all games would be listed in Universal time, but thats not always the case.

Time Code Abbreviations
UTC – Universal Time
CET – Central European Time
GMT – Greenwich Mean Time
BST – British Summer Time
EST – Eastern Standard Time
EDT – Eastern Daylight Time
PST – Pacific Standard Time
PDT – Pacific Daylight Time
CST – Central Standard Time
CDT – Central Daylight Time
MST – Mountain Standard Time
MDT – Mountain Daylight Time

Useful time conversion website timebuddy
it shows your local timezone, add the timezone of the game’s host to make sure you arrive on time – remember to check the finish time too, we all need sleep sometime.

Etiquette
Please be aware that if the GM sends you an RSVP, that you reply in a timely manner, including information such as the level of the character you wish to play so they can calculate appropriate tiers etc. If for any reason you cant make it to a game, remove youself from the warhorn listing and email the GM at the earliest opportunity.
Remember that you will be playing with a global player base, and that some comments you find humorous others may find distasteful or offensive.


Flutters Guide
there is an excellent guide here to playing PFS online


Putting it all together
Armed with all this useful information you are ready to get involved in your first game.

peruse the discord servers and warhorn groups till you find a game you want to play in their EVENT SCHEDULE.



Click on the game you want to play – remember to check the Timezone!

If the game has space, then SIGN UP TO PLAY.

However the game may be full, you can JOIN PLAYER WAITLIST, waitlisted players are listed on the right hand side of the page.
(dont dispair if the games are full, people often drop out and you can easily find yourself with a seat).

Once you have signed up for the game, keep an eye on your emails for the RSVP from the gamemaster. Reply to this promptly and you will be sent a link to the the VTT.

Now is the time to log into the game (before the game start time) and check things look ok. If possible contact the GM, tell them that you are new and perhaps ask them to join the game a few minutes early to iron out any issues you may have.

if you are using discord for voice, then you might like to test its working before the game – you may need to adjust its settings to your headset etc.


Once you join a voice channel, you will see a box like this at the bottom left of your discord window. Click the cog (highlighted above) to enter the settings menu.


From the settings menu – click the Voice & Video link.


Using the dropdowns shown, select both your input and output devices (probably your headset) and if you want to use Push To Talk. You can check your Mic here also & adjust the sensitivity of the mic if you are using Voice Activation.

Roll20 Archer Macro’s

NB This is for the Pathfinder (1e) Simple template

this is my zen archers macro – probably a good base

&{template:pf_attack}{{name=+4 Bow Flurry}} {{AC [[{(1+?{PS|2})d20cs>19+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}}kh1]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }} {{AC [[1d20cs>19+20+?{PBS}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }} {{Hasted & Ki Shot}} {{AC [[1d20cs>19+20+?{PBS}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }} {{AC [[1d20cs>19+20+?{PBS}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }} {{iteratives}} {{AC [[1d20cs>19+15+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg}} {{AC [[1d20cs>19+15+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }}    {{crit confirm}} {{[[1d20+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}]] || [[1d20+15+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA}]] extra [[2d8+18+(2*?{PBS})+(4*?{DA})]] }}
this looks like this
this is the basic line
{{AC [[{(1+?{PS|2})d20cs>19+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}}kh1]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }}
all the others are based off it – as youre not a zen archer you dont need the perfect shot part (highlighted) , or the improved critical – so that leaves
 {{AC [[1d20+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})]] dmg }}
this will pop up a dialog for point blank (PBS) – and ive set that to be 1 by default (ie ON) with this part
+?{PBS|1}
notice that references PBS in the damage side too – it remembers the value
similarity i have a variable for haste (only on the too hit side)
+?{Haste|0}
 
and then another for deadly aim – ive set the default value to 3 due to my BAB (a -3 penalty)
-?{DA|3}
 
and i add double that on the damage side:
 +(2*?{DA})
 
you should probably add in another variable to each side for buffs
+?{att_bonus}
+?{dmg_bonus}
just tell the GM which rolls apply (e.g. this turn we dont have haste and i’m not spending a ki point, so just the 2 mains and the iteratives )
for the rapid shot, just add another penalty variable
-?{Rapid|2}
that would give us – replace the red parts with your numbers
{{AC [[1d20+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}+?{att_bonus}-?{Rapid|2}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})+?{dmg_bonus}]] dmg }}
so your full attack macro would be like this (all on one line though – ive broken it down for readability)
&{template:pf_attack}

{{name=+1 darkwood bow}}

{{AC [[1d20+20+?{PBS|1}+?{Haste|0}-?{DA|3}+?{att_bonus}-?{Rapid|2}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})+?{dmg_bonus}]] dmg }}
{{Rapid Shot + Haste}}
{{AC [[1d20+20+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA|+?{att_bonus}-?{Rapid}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})+?{dmg_bonus}]] dmg }}
{{AC [[1d20+20+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA|+?{att_bonus}-?{Rapid}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})+?{dmg_bonus}]] dmg }}
{{Iterative}}
{{AC [[1d20+15+?{PBS}+?{Haste}-?{DA|+?{att_bonus}-?{Rapid}]] for [[1d8+9+?{PBS}+(2*?{DA})+?{dmg_bonus}]] dmg }}
i wouldnt bother with crit confirms – its only 5% chance until you get improved critical

Starfinder (Simple) Roll Templates

The Starfinder (Simple) Character sheet features Three Roll templates

I will cover using the first 2 (i will cover the pf_spell template another time)

  • pf_check
  • pf_attack

they look like this in use

pf_check

Screenshot (84) copy

the macro for this is as below – note there is only one set of curly braces for the entire check box, and each separate check is on a new line.

&{template:pf_check}{{name=Captain Skills}}{{check=[[1d20+5]] piloting
[[1d20+5]] engineering
[[1d20+5]] computers
[[1d20+10]] Diplo }}

The important part is the ‘check=‘ text

other choices are ‘skill_chk=’, ‘init=’, ‘spell_chk=’, ‘notes=’

pf_attack

Screenshot (84) copy 2

similarly this is generated by this macro text – note there is only one set of curly braces for the entire attack box, and each separate roll is on a new line.

&{template:pf_attack}{{name=light laser cannons}}{{attack=AC [[1d20+6]]
damage [[2d4s]]
attack AC [[1d20+6+?{range penalty}]]
damage [[2d4s]] }}

hope that helps to get people using these roll templates.

Printing Maps on Vinyl

After an Out Of Print Flipmat, or a custom map from a PFS Scenario?

If you’re in Europe, then pixartprinting could be what you need

  • Resize the map to 1″ squares – There is a tutorial here
  • Remember if you want both sides, thats going to be two pieces
  • Goto pixart’s website
  • Select “Banners and Mesh”
  • Select “PVC Banners”
    1. Select “Custom format”
    2. Enter the width & height (flipmats are usually 61.55 × 76.86cm
    3. Select the orientation
    4. Material = “Extreme Classic PVC 500 gsm”
    5. Cutting = “Square cut edges”
    6. Accessories = “None”
    7. Reinforced edges = “No”
    8. Pole pocket = “No”

select the delivery that works for you – i usually choose the longest (and cheapest)
a standard flipmat size costs about £10 PER SIDE

Roll20 Macro’s

Basic Macros

As a minimum i ask the players to build these macro’s for their characters

To add macros directly into the roll20 table

  • click on the collection tab on the right hand side above the chat
  • click the ‘+ add’ button
  • give the macro a name
  • paste in the text as below
  • click ‘show as token action’ (if you want a dynamic macro menu to appear when you select your token)
  • save changes
  • in the sidebar on the right, the macro should appear, tick the ‘in bar’ box (if you want a traditional macro bar at the bottom of the screen)
    remember to also check the ‘show macro quick bar’ box

Adding macros to your character sheet

  • click on the journal tab on the right hand side above the chat
  • open your character sheet
  • select the attributes and abilities tab
  • click the ‘+ add’ button on the right hand side (abilities)
  • this will add an ability (this is going to be where we add the macro)
  • click the ‘show in macro bar’ and ‘show as token action’ boxes (as above)
  • click the pencil (edit) icon
  • give the macro a name
  • paste in the text as below
  • click the tick icon to close the editor

Macro code

Replace the XX with the appropriate modifier

a) initiative

/me rolls a [[ 1d20+XX &{tracker} ]] for initiative

b) saving throws

/me saves
Fort [[ 1d20+XX ]]
Ref   [[ 1d20+XX ]]
Will [[ 1d20+XX ]]

c) perception

/me looks around
perception [[ 1d20+XX ]]

d) melee attack (if applicable)

/me attacks with +1 rapier
hits AC [[ 1d20+XX ]] for [[ 1d6+XX ]] dmg

e) ranged attack (if applicable)

/me fires +1 bow
arrow hits AC [[ 1d20+XX ]] for [[ 1d6+XX ]] dmg

f) skills – group them all in one macro if possible – if they have the same bonus, put them all on the same line


arcana / religion / dung / nature / planes [[ 1d20+XX ]]
hist / local [[ 1d20+XX ]]
eng / geog / nobility [[ 1d20+XX ]]

compare these three methods of rolling
1) straight roll /r 1d20+x

screenshot-58

2) inline roll [[1d20+5]]

screenshot-59

3) Roll Template (PF1 Community sheet) – more on this later

screenshot-60

I like my players to use inline rolls, as they use less screen space, allowing me to see whats going on before someones text scrolls off the screen..Roll template make things super tidy for the more experienced macro user

lets look at those in a little more detail

/me rolls a [[ 1d20+XX &{tracker} ]] for initiative

the /me at the beginning will emote your character name like this

screenshot-57

the XX is your initiative modifier
add a decimal to resolve ties  (e.g. if your init mod is +2, then XX is 2.2)

&{tracker} will send your initiative roll to the initiative tracker – you must have your character token selected before you click the initiative macro though, else you will see an error message.
Its also very important to have no spaces between the ampersand ‘&’ and the opening curly brace ‘{‘ otherwise it wont work.

to use Roll Templates, your GM must have enabled Character Sheets in roll20

to get this (PF1 Community sheet) – for PF2 roll templates see this page

screenshot-60

use a roll template like this

&{template:pf_attack}{{name=slam}}{{Hit AC: [[1d20 + 9} ]] dmg [[1d8+9]] }}

you can have as many display lines as you require – but its all entered as one long line
each line is separated by a pair of curly braces ‘{{‘ and ‘}}’

there are many more examples here

Roll20 Maps

Aligning maps in Roll20

count the number of squares in your map (counting part squares each as ¼, ½ or ¾) in both the Horizontal and Vertical axes.

e.g. the image below would be 19.5 x 25.75 (approx.) – round that up to 20 x 26.

add 4 to each dimension to allow for a 2 square border all around the map (24 x 30)

Open the page editor in Roll20, click create page.

Screenshot (37)

Give the page a meaningful name.

Screenshot (38)

Click on the gear icon to open the settings, set the page size you worked out above (e.g. 24 x 30) make sure you set the Diagonals to ‘pathfinder’ and the grid colour to Red, also slide the opacity to about 75%. Click OK

Screenshot (41)

Select the ‘Map and Background’ Layer

Screenshot (42)

Drag the new image onto the roll20 window, don’t worry if the grids don’t align yet.

Screenshot (43)

Drag the top left corner up, leaving a 2 square border above and to the left.

Screenshot (44)

Grab the right hand handle of the image hold down the ALT key and drag it across until you see the Vertical grid align.

TIP
– Holding ALT while dragging the image stops it from snaping to the grid.

Screenshot (45)

Grab the bottom handle of the image and drag down in the same way.

Screenshot (46)

You should find that the page is now nicely aligned with the red grid.

Screenshot (53)

To get rid of the red grid, goto the page settings and in the colour picker, select the very last box on the bottom row (transparent). The grid will be invisible, but the tokens will still snap to it.
Click OK.

Screenshot (50)

Your map is now ready to add tokens.

Screenshot (52)

Resizing Maps for Print

Many times people have asked me how I print the maps from Pathfinder Society Scenarios as full size battlemaps. Here is a tutorial.

NB – there is a quick and dirty method to resize, allowing you to import the ripped image straight into posterrazor.

To do this , count the number of FULL squares on your map – either Horizontal or Vertical. look at the part squares either side and decicde if they are ¼, ½ or ¾ – this will be close enough for most mats.
eg ¾ + 12 + ¾ = 13½ inches

Goto Step 11, then use this measurement in the dialog box (shown in step 15) as the absolute size (Width or Height as appropriate) instead of selecting 100%

Step 1
Extract the image from the PDF – there are a myriad of methods and apps to accomplish this and I won’t cover them here.

Step 2
Open the image in Photoshop / GIMP or other photo editing software.

step 1

Step 3
Select a piece of the map with nice visible gridlines. a 2 x 2 square with a half square border is ideal.

select 2x2

Step 4
Copy the selected square and paste as a NEW image.

paste as new

Step 5
Crop the new image down to the gridlines so its an exact 2 x 2 square.

crop

Step 6
Open the image size tool.

resize image tool

Step 7
Change the drop down to select ‘percent’.

resize - percent

Step 8
Change the width & height to as near as 2 inches as possible- note the percent increase required (500% in this case).

resize 2inch

Step 9
Back on the main image, resize by the percentage you noted in step 8.

Step 10
Save the image.

Step 11
Open posterazor – change the settings to (inches).

posterazer 1

Step 12
Open the image you just saved – press next.

posterazer 0

Step 13
Select the paper size you use, leave the orientation as it is for now, set borders to 0.5 inch (this will depend on your printers borders) -press next.

posterazer 2

Step 14
Set the overlaps to 1 inch (you can go smaller if you prefer) – press next.

posterazer 3

Step 15
Make sure size in percent is 100%, use the buttons to align the image for best best fit to the pages – you can skip back and change the orientation (portrait/landscape) to find the smallest number of pages – press next.

posterazer 4

Step 16
Save the PDF. print as required, cut off the white borders & stick together with a glue stick or tape.