- What is EpicTable?
EpicTable is a virtual tabletop (sometimes referred to as a “VT”) that allows you and your friends to play your favorite pen-and-paper roleplaying games, regardless of whether you’re sitting across the table or across the world from one another.
EpicTable is not a game; it’s a tool used for playing a game. You still need the rulebooks and other resources for the game you’re playing. EpicTable just replaces some of the physical trappings of roleplaying game–the battlemap and miniatures, the character sheet, handouts, etc. If you’re playing with friends on the internet, you need something that can fulfill these functions (thus the many VTs currently on the market).
Even if you’re playing face-to-face, EpicTable is beneficial in that the GM can offload some of the combat bookkeeping on to EpicTable, and maps and handouts can be shown using a projector or LCD. It’s very beneficial having a map that you don’t have to progressively draw or reveal as the characters explore.
- Will EpicTable run on the Mac?
For the moment, no. EpicTable is a Windows application.
This isn’t because I have anything against Macs–they’re beautiful machines. They simply aren’t what I know. I’d like to support Mac in the future, but a lot depends on whether there’s demand for it and how difficult / time-consuming / expensive it is to support. Given the choice of making EpicTable better or making it work on the Mac, I’ll choose to make EpicTable better.
- Will EpicTable run on the Linux?
No—for the same reasons cited above for the Mac.
(It’s possible that it will run on Wine, which I gather is a Windows emulator for Linux, but the way I phrase that should give you a hint that I don’t known anything about Wine and haven’t tried it. If you do, I’d love to hear from you.)
- Is EpicTable free or commercial?
EpicTable is a commercial product.
There are free options are out there, so just where do I get off charging money for EpicTable, you might ask. Creating EpicTable has been a labor of love–so much so that I’ve poured considerable time and money into it and will continue to do so. But with both time and money being annoyingly finite, I’m limited in how much I can invest in EpicTable until it starts paying its bills. Don’t worry–as long as there’s interest, I’m still going to be working at improving EpicTable. If it can generate some revenue, though, I’ll be able to invest more money in it…better artwork, better tools, hardware for a Mac version….
- Where can I buy EpicTable?
You can buy it right here!.
- Does everyone in my group need to buy a license?
- No. My goal is for EpicTable to be affordable for the group that’s found itself in need of a virtual tabletop due to time or geography. I know that the move to a virtual tabletop is usually championed by one or two people in the group, and I’m not going to make you convince your whole group to buy EpicTable. So, the model that I’ve settled on is as follows. Think of it as a physical table and chairs. You own it. You don’t pay a monthly fee to keep the furniture company from coming to take away your table. Your friends can come over and sit at your table. They don’t have to pay to do that (though you’d be within your rights to hint that they bring pizza). You don’t have to be the DM or GM just because you bought the table. Anyone at the table can be the DM or GM. The only catch is this: It’s your table and chairs. If your friends want to play, you have to be there. They can’t come over and game at your table while you’re at work or out to dinner. That’s just creepy. For more info, read about EpicTable licensing.
- Why would I choose EpicTable as my virtual tabletop?
Your choice of virtual tabletop depends on what you’re looking for. It’s not even really a matter of pros and cons as much as how good a match there is between what you want in a virtual tabletop and where its developers chose to focus their efforts.
Naturally, I’m biased towards EpicTable, and its feature list reflects what I think is important in a virtual tabletop. That said, I’d encourage you to look around, evaluate the ones that look interesting to you, and go with what works for you. For the virtual tabletop evaluator, there’s a great list of virtual tabletops and related products at http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/links.html.
- Why not just use general purpose technologies like Skype or Instant Messaging?
Unlike general purpose technologies, EpicTable provides a virtual tabletop built from the ground up for pen and paper roleplaying games.
EpicTable doesn’t just let you share images. It presents a shared battlemap on which you can run encounters, just like you would with a wet erase battlemat and miniatures. In fact, it goes beyond just duplicating the functionality of a physical battlemat and does things like restrict a player’s view of the map to what his character can see.
EpicTable’s chat isn’t just instant messaging. It’s designed specifically for roleplaying, so it includes features like speaking in character or out of character, lets you communicate your character’s mood, and lets you switch personas. Dice rolls are integrated into EpicTable chat, so there’s no laborious typing things like, “rolled a 13, +1 for my base attack, +2 for my strength…that’s 15″. All of that is taken care of for you.
- Does EpicTable support non-d20 games?
- Absolutely! EpicTable was designed to support just about any game you want to play. However, please feel free to let me know what you want to play. I’m very interested in knowing what game systems you want EpicTable to support. In addition, I’m interested in what you consider “support for” a game system.
- Will EpicTable support hex grids?
- Originally, EpicTable was not going to support hex grids. But a lot of you told me during the beta and at Gen Con 2011 that hex grids were important to you. Thanks to your persistence and a 17 hour drive home from Gen Con, during which I could think about hex grids, they’re in there.
- Can I use EpicTable to draw maps?
- EpicTable has some basic features for drawing ad-hoc maps. However, it’s not attempting to replace a dedicated mapping program like Dundjinni. EpicTable is built around the notion of GM’s leveraging the many excellent sources of maps already at their disposal. For instance, maps from Dungeon magazine and from Pathfinder adventures are available to subscribers, and the Dundjinni community has a wealth of high quality maps available for your use.