A lot of gaming these days takes place using virtual tabletop (VTT) software, and Foundry VTT is one of the fastest growing platforms. Thankfully, it's easy enough to start up a new Age of Ambition, Shadows Over Sol, Dime Adventures or Against the Dark Yogi campaign on it!
This post is the second post of several detailing how to play the Saga Machine games online.
Unlike with Roll20 and several other VTT options, in order to run a game, Foundry needs to hosted somewhere. Various commercial hosting options are available, as is self-hosting if you have the right technical skills. Describing all the specifics of hosting is beyond the scope of this article, but see the Foundry VTT Documentation for the available choices.
Once Foundry has been set up with whatever hosting you have decided upon, you next need to install support for specific systems and create a "world." Each world represents a particular campaign, configured to use a particular system with particular installed modules.
Shadows Over Sol has excellent Foundry support implemented by Leratier Bretonnien, an enthusiastic fan. You can find and install it as a system by going to Game Systems > Install System and then searching for Shadows Over Sol in the list. Once you've selected it, click Install.
For our other Saga Machine games, official support is in development, but for now install Simple Worldbuilding System, which is a generic system foundation that we can configure to support Age of Ambition, Dime Adventures or Against the Dark Yogi.
Once the game system has been installed, close the systems dialog and go to the Add-on Modules tab. I highly recommend installing PDFoundry, which provides PDF support for the campaign. If you're using Simple Worldbuilding System, you will need to install it and the Monarch add-on as well. The latter add-on provides better card handling in Foundry. You might also find Card Hand Mini Toolbar useful. I use typically use all three add-ons.
Note: Card support in Foundry is in a state of rapid development. The recommendations above are true as of the time of this writing. Depending on the speed of their development, it might also be worth checking out the Card Tiles and Ready to Use Cards add-ons as well. Take some time to play around with them; mix and match the available add-ons to your liking.
Once you have the add-ons installed, go back to the Game Worlds tab, then click the Create World button. Give your new campaign a name, select the system and optionally give it a description. Once it's created click Launch World to start the campaign!
If you're using the installed Shadows Over Sol system, you should be good to go! You should be able to create new characters under the Actors tab. Furthermore, all of the core skills, consequences, gear, genelines and subcultures come ready-made in the Compendium tab. Just drag and drop them onto a character sheet!
On the other hand, if you're playing one of the other Saga Machine games, you'll have to do some configuration first.
Go to the Settings tab and click the Manage Modules button. You will need to activate the Monarch and PDFoundry add-ons, as well as Card Hand Mini Toolbar, if you chose to install it. Click Save Module Settings and the campaign will reload.
The first thing you need to do is to download a form-fillable PDF for the game you want to play. You can find one for each of the Saga Machine games on this website. Just go to the page for that game. For example, you can find the Age of Ambition form-fillable character sheet here.
Once you have the sheet downloaded, go to the Journal Entries tab and click the Create PDF button at the bottom. Name the PDF "Character Sheet" or something similar, upload the sheet by clicking the Browse button and choosing where to save it, then for the PDF Type select Form Fillable (actor sheet).
To create a new character, go to the Actors tab and click the Create Actor button. Give the character a name and click Create New Actor. This will open the default Simple Worldbuilding System character sheet. At the top of the sheet click the Sheet button with the gear icon, then select pdfoundry.PDFActorSheetAdapter for both dropdowns. Click Save Sheet Configuration. Finally, click the new Select PDF button at the top and choose the PDF you uploaded. Voila! You can now use the form-fillable character sheet for all characters in this campaign!
The first thing to do is to create a deck for each player. Go to the Card Stacks tab and click Create Card Stack. Name the stack after the player, for example: "Jesse's Deck." Leave Type as Deck and for the Preset Config, select one of the poker decks. This will create a new 52-card deck for the player. Repeat this for each player. Note that the default decks do not come with Jokers included. You will need to add two additional cards to each deck to account for the jokers. Hopefully Foundry, or some add-on module, makes this easier in the future.
Next, do the same thing for each player, only setting Type as Hand. For example, "Jesse's Hand." When the hand opens up, click the Sheet button at the top with the gear and select Monarch for both dropdowns. This will give card hands a much improved interface.
If you've installed Card Hand Mini Toolbar, you can set which hand is yours using the gear button in the toolbar on the lower left, then access your hand from the toolbar, drawing or playing cards from it as desired.
To handle the discard pile, create a new card stack and name it Discard. Set its Type to Pile. Go to the Settings tab and click the Configure Settings button. Go to Module Settings and click Monarch Settings. This will let you set up the Monarch add-on. Select the stack you just created under Discard Pile. While you're at it, check Reset on Hand and click the Enable All buttons. Uncheck all boxes after Show Core Badges.
Finally, create a new hand to represent the table. Create a new card stack, name it Table and set Type to Hand. This will open a window representing the cards on the table. To flip a card off the top of the deck, go to the Table window and click Draw. To play a card from your hand, drag and drop the card from your hand onto the table.
That's it! You're all set up. It might take a bit of practice, but things should work pretty well once the group gets the hang of it!
That's it! With these basic settings, your campaign should be good to go!
If you play our games on Foundry, feel free to let us know how it's gone. We'd love to add a section of tips and tricks for each VTT platform and for each game line. Until then, good gaming!
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