|Developer(s)||SmiteWorks USA, LLC|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux|
Fantasy Grounds is a virtual tabletop application, which contains a set of tools to assist players of tabletop role-playing games playing either in person or remotely.
Fantasy Grounds was first released in 2004 by SmiteWorks, originally based in Espoo, Finland. In 2009, the company was purchased by Doug Davison, after which it purchased licenses for content for several tabletop role-playing game systems. In April 2015, SmiteWorks acquired a license with Wizards of the Coast for official Dungeons & Dragons game content and began releasing products for the game's 5th edition on Fantasy Grounds; the same month, Fantasy Grounds became available to purchase through the Steam digital distribution platform. In December 2016, SmiteWorks obtained a license from Paizo Publishing for content from their Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, which was released on Fantasy Grounds starting in May 2017.
Fantasy Grounds contains features typical of many tabletop role-playing games, such as virtual dice rolling, character sheets, and maps with a grid system. Games are organized into sessions, which are started by a gamemaster and which other players may join remotely. Unlike many other virtual tabletop systems, the user interface of Fantasy Grounds is different depending on which game system is selected for the session. Fantasy Grounds also contains various reference materials and rulebooks, as well as an integrated chat system. The program automates much of the dice rolling and other game systems, and allows the gamemaster to save a session to continue later.
Fantasy Grounds officially supports about a dozen game systems, including various editions of Dungeons & Dragons and the derivative Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu, Chaosium, Rolemaster, and Castles & Crusades. The Fantasy Grounds community has also created unofficial versions for many other systems, and players can also create fully custom rulesets.
Fantasy Grounds is often praised by reviewers for its features and toolsets which allow players to fully customize their games. It is also considered one of the most reliable virtual tabletop programs. However, it is also often criticized for its complexity and cost, especially since there are several free competitors with similar features.
- "SmiteWorks USA, LLC". Fantasy Grounds. SmiteWorks. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- "Fantasy Grounds". Fantasy Grounds. SmiteWorks. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Hall, Charlie (22 April 2015). "D&D now on Steam, complete with dice and a Dungeon Master". Polygon. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Murphy, David (24 April 2015). "Dungeons & Dragons Tabletop App Hits Steam". PC Magazine. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Norris, Jim (1 November 2012). "Review: Fantasy Grounds II meets your virtual tabletop gaming needs". PC World. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Sainsbury, Matt (13 June 2014). "Review: Fantasy Grounds (PC)". Digitally Downloaded. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Furniss, Zack (19 September 2016). "Virtual tabletop program Fantasy Grounds has improved my D&D sessions". Destructoid. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Shearer, Stew (8 April 2015). "D&D 5th Edition Gets Digital With New Fantasy Grounds Packs". The Escapist. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Chalk, Andy (22 April 2015). "Gather your party: You can now play authentic D&D on Steam". PCGamer. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Hall, Charlie (23 April 2015). "There's more than one way to play D&D with your friends online". Polygon. Retrieved 21 July 2017.