Roll20 Raising Prices

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Apparition

New Generation Grognard
Administrator
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
3,428
Roll20 announced yesterday that they intend to raise the prices of their two subscription plans effective July.


Roll20 said:
Beginning July 1, 2021, Roll20 will be increasing prices on all new subscriptions for the first time since 2012. The monthly price for Plus will increase from $4.99 per month to $5.99 per month, with the annual Plus subscription increasing from $49.99 per year to $59.99 per year. Pro subscriptions will increase from $9.99 to $10.99 per month, with the annual Pro subscriptions increasing from $99.99 per year to $109.99 per a year. Free accounts and the free account experience will remain unchanged.

As a thank you to our current subscribers, all accounts subscribed before 12:01 AM Pacific July 1, 2021 will be “locked in” at their current price for the next two years. This courtesy period will last until you cancel your subscription, your subscription lapses, or until July 1, 2023, whichever comes first. After this two year courtesy period, the subscription prices will increase to reflect the new pricing structure.

As you can imagine, this is not going over well. Roll20 has pretty much stagnated over the past few years and their servers have been overloaded over the past fourteen months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, there are newcomer VTTs with much better visuals and features like Astral Tabletop, Foundry Tabletop, and Mythic Tabletop.
 

xanther

Legendary Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
1,294
There is also TablePlop.

I'd be happy to pay for a virtual tabletop, even a fair amount, if it was user friendly. The custom map making in Roll20 not user friendly last I tried, and tried a lot using the tutorials, let alone getting dynamic lighting to work. I'd pay even more if was a way to add in custom interactive character sheets.

All said, those are pretty modest price increases. But yah if the servers keep crashing so you can't use what you paid for I'd be pretty upset too.
 

Nick J

Members Only
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
661
Reaction score
1,506
I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles most of the time, but I've paid for the plus subscription to Roll20 just to get the file storage in the past. Adding $10 a year isn't too egregious, but paying even more for a platform that I don't particularly enjoy using in the first place is kind of irksome.

I've used Fantasy Grounds in the past and the experience was pretty lackluster (the paid version of the BRP ruleset is a joke). I've been tempted to give Foundry a spin; a one time purchase for $50 and access for clients via a browser vs. a standalone client like Fantasy Grounds has a lot of appeal. How cumbersome is it to use? Also is it possible to use form-fillable character sheets inside the app if there's no explicit rules set support?
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,146
Reaction score
14,833
I bet they are in a catch 22 right now. The cost has gone up as a bunch more free users have shown up. The other support costs have increased as well. Revenue probably has gone up quite a bit. These VTTs are small shops I believe with less than 15 people in total and most of that is probably not developers at this point.
I don't see Roll20 going away though. It and Fantasy Grounds will be here for a good while. The newcomers all have to reach a critical mass and survive the change that comes with making it through that point.
 

Arcane_Avatar

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
152
Reaction score
322
Nick J Nick J I've been on Foundry since last September and found it a great platform. I have installed a number of game systems and have most of them set up for whenever I rustle up some gamers. (Alien, Mythras, OSE, GUMSHOE, Call of Cthulhu, Scum and Villainy, DCC) plus they have PF1 and 2 and D&D5e although I don't play those. If you have a form-fillable character sheet you can use either the Sandbox system or the Simple World Building system. There are 131 rules systems currently active and more coming on line every week
 

Nick J

Members Only
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
661
Reaction score
1,506
Nick J Nick J I've been on Foundry since last September and found it a great platform. I have installed a number of game systems and have most of them set up for whenever I rustle up some gamers. (Alien, Mythras, OSE, GUMSHOE, Call of Cthulhu, Scum and Villainy, DCC) plus they have PF1 and 2 and D&D5e although I don't play those. If you have a form-fillable character sheet you can use either the Sandbox system or the Simple World Building system. There are 131 rules systems currently active and more coming on line every week
That's what I was hoping to hear. It's nice having macros and whatnot from an interactive CS, but this sorely tempts me.
 

Badvoc

Member
Joined
May 11, 2020
Messages
10
Reaction score
25
Roll20 was fantastic when it first appeared, but has been creaking for a while. What it does still have in its favour is the high numbers of users, which makes it relatively easy to find a game compared to most other VTTs.

I've found Foundry far superior in most respects and I'm not tied in to a subscription either. It's nice to see meaningful development on the platform too, as opposed to Roll20.
 

Stevethulhu

Studiously Indifferent
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3,333
Reaction score
4,787
What alternatives to Roll20 are there? Bearing in mind that heart time I did an online e game, it was Google Hangouts with character sheets by Google Docs.
 

Apparition

New Generation Grognard
Administrator
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
3,428
I don't need a bunch of bells and whistles most of the time, but I've paid for the plus subscription to Roll20 just to get the file storage in the past. Adding $10 a year isn't too egregious, but paying even more for a platform that I don't particularly enjoy using in the first place is kind of irksome.

I've used Fantasy Grounds in the past and the experience was pretty lackluster (the paid version of the BRP ruleset is a joke). I've been tempted to give Foundry a spin; a one time purchase for $50 and access for clients via a browser vs. a standalone client like Fantasy Grounds has a lot of appeal. How cumbersome is it to use? Also is it possible to use form-fillable character sheets inside the app if there's no explicit rules set support?

I have never tried Foundry, but I can tell you that Astral supports form-fillable character sheets for all rules sets. You just need to upload the character sheet and tell the platform where the editable entries are.


I bet they are in a catch 22 right now. The cost has gone up as a bunch more free users have shown up. The other support costs have increased as well. Revenue probably has gone up quite a bit. These VTTs are small shops I believe with less than 15 people in total and most of that is probably not developers at this point.
I don't see Roll20 going away though. It and Fantasy Grounds will be here for a good while. The newcomers all have to reach a critical mass and survive the change that comes with making it through that point.

I don't see Roll20 going away, but it's been losing ground and with this I see it losing even more ground quickly. As far as the newcomers, Foundry seems to be reaching that critical mass as everyone I know has either already moved to it or plans to move to it.


What alternatives to Roll20 are there? Bearing in mind that heart time I did an online e game, it was Google Hangouts with character sheets by Google Docs.

The big alternatives are Fantasy Grounds, Foundry, and Astral. Mythic Table and Let's Role are two up and comers. I'm paying particular attention to Mythic Table as it's free and open source.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,146
Reaction score
14,833
I like to see the viability of the business model behind the various VTTs because that gives me a clue into the longevity of the software.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,146
Reaction score
14,833
I have never tried Foundry, but I can tell you that Astral supports form-fillable character sheets for all rules sets. You just need to upload the character sheet and tell the platform where the editable entries are.




I don't see Roll20 going away, but it's been losing ground and with this I see it losing even more ground quickly. As far as the newcomers, Foundry seems to be reaching that critical mass as everyone I know has either already moved to it or plans to move to it.




The big alternatives are Fantasy Grounds, Foundry, and Astral. Mythic Table and Let's Role are two up and comers. I'm paying particular attention to Mythic Table as it's free and open source.
Surviving the change that usually comes with critical mass is part of the challenge. Many of these platforms simply don't charge enough for the people who start them to make a good living compared to what the could make elsewhere.

The Open Source solutions will be interesting to watch. Will WotC start selling content aimed to those platforms? If not they'll probably never compete with the paid ones that do.
 

xanther

Legendary Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
1,294
What alternatives to Roll20 are there? Bearing in mind that heart time I did an online e game, it was Google Hangouts with character sheets by Google Docs.
We found TablePlop worked great (and free last I checked) but did the audio and face-to-face through another app.
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
7,387
Surviving the change that usually comes with critical mass is part of the challenge. Many of these platforms simply don't charge enough for the people who start them to make a good living compared to what the could make elsewhere.

The Open Source solutions will be interesting to watch. Will WotC start selling content aimed to those platforms? If not they'll probably never compete with the paid ones that do.
WotC don't produce VTT content for the current ones, though; they license the 5e material out for other developers to port to them and WotC collect the licensing fees (Which is why they can't easily give away digital copies of supplements with a book purchase, frex).

If someone went to them with a business proposal that included porting the material to the open-source tabletops, I'm sure they'd get listened to, but that's a big commercial risk for whoever tries it; is there enough audience left that either doesn't have the content digitally or would be willing to buy it again if so?
 

Arcane_Avatar

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
152
Reaction score
322
People buy multiple copies o f D&D stuff all the time. They buy it from DnD Beyond, Roll20 or FG and then want to buy it again on Foundry for example until the FVTT guys point them at the importer apps for Roll20 and DDB. The D&D market knows no limits. People are even prepared to pay to play.
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
7,387
People buy multiple copies o f D&D stuff all the time. They buy it from DnD Beyond, Roll20 or FG and then want to buy it again on Foundry for example until the FVTT guys point them at the importer apps for Roll20 and DDB. The D&D market knows no limits. People are even prepared to pay to play.
It depends on how big that multiple-digital-purchase group is. Obviously none of us have numbers, but I would be very, very surprised if that many folk are buying for more than one VTT; I suspect most multiple purchasers are Beyond + one VTT, because that's a combination that makes sense as they do different things (Until Beyond implements it's own VTT, natch).
 

StonesThree

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
12
Reaction score
38
The one and only time I tried to play a Roll20 game it just killed my laptop. CPU would spike to 100% and everything would lock up. Now this lappie was from when I was studying Microsoft nonsense so was able to run multiple virtual machines running various Server and client operating systems without any problems. But Roll20... that was the hill it chose to die on.

The GM of that game talked us all through creating our PC's in it and did a basic tutorial on how it all worked. The bits I was able to take part in gave me the impression that it did the job, but it was a time-consuming pain in the backside to get working. The GM admitted that he spent almost as much time prepping the game in Roll20 as he did playing it. And he was running one of those big premade 5e hardback campaigns which I assume came with all the maps, etc ready. So I wrote off the platform as simply not worth the trouble. This was approx 3-4 years back. At the time I was running a small game over skype using theatre of the mind combat so Roll20 seem to be overkill for what we needed.

Since then I have come around to position that we need some kind of map/grid with minis for combats. Even if its just a rough approxomation of the terrain and what the PC's are fighting. And where the monsters are standing. At the moment we use a 2nd webcam which points down at a battlemat on the GM's desk. Only downside is it limits the size of the battlefield to what the camera can fit into a single shot.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
9,146
Reaction score
14,833
The one and only time I tried to play a Roll20 game it just killed my laptop. CPU would spike to 100% and everything would lock up. Now this lappie was from when I was studying Microsoft nonsense so was able to run multiple virtual machines running various Server and client operating systems without any problems. But Roll20... that was the hill it chose to die on.

The GM of that game talked us all through creating our PC's in it and did a basic tutorial on how it all worked. The bits I was able to take part in gave me the impression that it did the job, but it was a time-consuming pain in the backside to get working. The GM admitted that he spent almost as much time prepping the game in Roll20 as he did playing it. And he was running one of those big premade 5e hardback campaigns which I assume came with all the maps, etc ready. So I wrote off the platform as simply not worth the trouble. This was approx 3-4 years back. At the time I was running a small game over skype using theatre of the mind combat so Roll20 seem to be overkill for what we needed.

Since then I have come around to position that we need some kind of map/grid with minis for combats. Even if its just a rough approxomation of the terrain and what the PC's are fighting. And where the monsters are standing. At the moment we use a 2nd webcam which points down at a battlemat on the GM's desk. Only downside is it limits the size of the battlefield to what the camera can fit into a single shot.
I haven't used Roll20 with purchased D&D material but I have with Fantasy Grounds. The only prep I've needed to do was read the module for that level before the session. The maps,NPCs, monsters, treasure, encounters are all done and it's just a few clicks to get it to the players.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top