Dynamic Lighting integrated with Fog of War (Warcraft 2 style)

Score + 646

Edited 1412716716
There are two major frustrations that my players and myself have when it comes to the "sight" dynamic in Roll20. The first, while using Fog of War, it takes a lot of time for the GM to uncover new map areas and then "hide" any remaining "baddies" back under the GM layer when the PCs move out of their individual "sight" distances. The second complaint is that Dynamic Lighting currently leaves my players stranded in a sea of blackness with no visual reminder of where they have just been. Sometimes this is exactly what I want, as it is quite entertaining to see my players panic on how to get out of the labyrinthine dungeon they just wandered into or where Uther went when he decides to charge ahead. However, most of the time it gets in the way of gameplay and the conceptualization of the current map they occupy. On several occasions my players have asked me to turn off dynamic lighting and use fog of war just so that they can remember where "that dam%ed door was". Or, the flip side, they also gripe about being surprised by a baddie that was sitting just on the other side of "that black line" created by the fog of war effect. On my end I am constantly having to change layers of tokens to keep them out of the players view which drastically slows game play. A possible solution to this was Warcraft 2's answer to fog of war. Not only do PCs get the "in control" (sight) benefits of dynamic lighting, but they are also treated to a dimmed path they have taken throughout the Dungeon crawl, so that they can remember where the have been and the general lay out of the dungeon (while dangers creeping up behind the are still "invisible" to the PC's sight). Put simply, the characters use their sight bubbles to "open" up the map, while still being blind to areas normally restricted by the current structure of Dynamic Lighting. However, the players could now look back over the "darkened" map and not just see utter blackness, but the serpentine track they took to reach the area they are currently in.
Tying in with this, it would be cool if we had a way to set particular light sources to illuminate just the map layer, leaving items on the token layer invisible unless illuminated by a normal light source. This would let us retain a back-trail of breadcrumb lights (or a forward trail of "character already knows the layout of this building" lights) without giving away positions or making the GM manually figure out line of sight for switching baddies between the GM and token layers.
This appears to be a duplicate of an existing suggestion (https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1241902/replace-fog-of-war-with-an-image#post-1243204). You may want to close this one and support the other suggestion since it has more votes.

Edited 1412814710
Kind of... I thought about this before I wrote my post and was specific because the two are similar, but they are not exactly the same. Here is the initial post that Gauss is talking about; "Be able to use an image, instead of the black fog of war. This would allow in-character maps to be slowly replaced with actual explored areas, as the PCs move about." - Martin Y What this doesn't do: 1. Allow the dynamic lighting system (player controlled) to be used to "uncover" map areas. 2. Allow the areas previously explored to "fade away" (or some similar tactic) without direct GM involvement (time wasting). 3. Relies on and extra map picture for every map you make to only make it appear to do what I am describing with Warcraft 2's old fog of war. Martin Y's idea is pretty great, but doesn't fully accomplish what I would like to see done.
Dresden , both suggestions amount to 'let the players see the map that they have already explored' which is why I am saying that they might be duplicates. However, since they are not exact duplicates I am not closing one of them.
Perhaps the dynamic lighting could allow the GM to select which of the three layers are affected by dynamic lighting. For example, if players have already been to an area, the GM could select an "Objects & Tokens" checkbox in the dynamic lighting settings for a page. This would make it so the players wouldn't see any monsters concealed by cover but could still see the Map Layer covered in fog just like the GM sees it. To support concealment of both explored and unexplored terrain, the GM could use the existing Fog of War feature, but they would only have to permanently reveal an area once. This would cover most scenarios and would have some flexibility over an RTS-like system. Of course, both could exist in tandem and both would be nice :)
Dynamic lighting that still reveals what the PCs have already explored (greyed out, without the tokens in these rooms being visible except if they are within the light of sight) would be a great boon.
This needs more votes! I've only been using roll20 to run a campaign for a month or so and I'm already sick of placing Dim Light Tokens where the PCs have explored.
This definitely needs more votes. I have been searching for an answer to this for the first campaign i am actually building. I would love for my players to be able to see a map of where they have been, but be able to toss baddies on a previously eplored area without makig it obvious. Doing something like this in a dark dungeon with secret passages would be awesome. You could have line of sight turned on so the player actively has to turn their chsracter to look around. If they dont, they could here something and suddenly 3 baddies are behind them.
Yeah, if I could put all my votes onto this one... I would (minus my own suggestion threads).
HoneyBadger said: Yeah, if I could put all my votes onto this one... I would (minus my own suggestion threads). Agreed. Hell, I'd give up my own suggestion threads for this :P.
I was literally about to post my own thread asking for this too. +1 from me

Edited 1421434741
Oh god if i need ONE thing for roll20 beside a bit more performance (having problem with shadowrun 5 large distances and 1 m hex tiles as this leads to huge lag) it is this one. This is really the most important thing for roll20. Including this i even would use roll20 for my offline rounds as a map tool! *begging, paying, subscribing and more begging*
+1 from me and my crew!
This is a much needed improvement.
+1, just like in RTS games, everything is black to start, you "see" the tokens in your line of sight, but something you already explored still shows up as dimmed.... gnnn that would be so awesome
I would sink all of my votes into this one if I could. They should allow Mentors to vote 3 times on the same suggestion, supporters twice. We're the ones paying for development, after all. Heck, I have a lot of unused votes because I'm afraid of upvoting things I think would only be a minor improvement and then the devs work on those first.
Roll20 Mod Team
Sheet Author
Hear hear, i LOVE dynamic lighting, it allows me to do wonderful and evil things for my players amusement, but being able to leave explored areas as 'known' even when not visible, while still preparing that surprise ambush for when they think the dungeon is clear, would be the difference between roll20 being great and being freaking awesome!
I would like this a lot too but feel that it should be optional. There are areas in my campaigns where it is intentional that the player become confused about where they have been and what some rooms looked like.
i agree that Fog of War needs to be improved. With dynamic lighting now creating a barrier that players cannot pass through (if turned on), the need for me to put fog of war in the places that the player should never go just in case they "accidentally" moved too far is less of a concern. I like the idea that the fog of war reveals itself based on player/token movement. I like the idea that you can still see the map layer of a "revealed" area regardless of sight but that area is somewhat obscured with a grayscale overlay. Perhaps you can set Fog of War color in the page settings. I think visuals are very helpful, so this is what i would want to come out of this. Player approaches a building, behind the building is solid black as he's never been over there. Player walks around the building and then returns to the front. Player approaches building. Player is moving around the building. The area to the left is still discernible but the area to the bottom right is still un-revealed. Player completes circle around building.
I've been away from Roll20 for quite some time, and I have started working on my campaigns again recently. I'm surprised after all this time this is still not implemented, I was under the impression the fog of war and dynamic lighting systems were just place holders for a proper setup. Everyone who has ever played a RTS game knows what fog of war is. What Roll20 has now is quite off-putting and has been beaten by freeware like maptools for ages. /rant
To Dragonphire ; This is a perfect graphic of what I created this suggestion for. While there are many things that could be done with the Fog of War, Dynamic Lighting, and "Restrict Player Movement" dynamics, this is still priority Number 1 for me (now that Folders have been implemented of course). Thanks for the fine example once again!
This is EXACTLY what roll20 needs! Take a look at this suggestion , I think it might be possible for the devs to implement that as a temporary solution before they tackle this.
Here's what I think makes sense. If Dynamic Lighting is turned off but Line of Sight is turned on, any graphic objects in the Dynamic Lighting layer are invisible unless they're within a character's line of sight, but everything else on all the rest of the visible layers remain visible. This allows players to get the Line of Sight effect without needing to use the Dynamic Lighting effect to prevent situations like the one demonstrated by Dragonphire.
I was actually looking just for this when I tried out the dynamic lighting for the first time. Would like this a lot.
+1 on this. Even if it has to be done manually.
I would love for an option to have the lighting work in this manner; I don't mind my players seeing the open map once they've explored an area but I love how dynamic lighting works for the unexplored areas.
I just logged in to suggest this idea and found it was already suggested.

Edited 1428449004
Funny story: I actually came up with this idea wayyyyyyy back at the beginning of last year, where it (unfortunately) didn't get a whole lot of traction. Really glad to see it doing better this go 'round. I even used the same Warcraft analogy as the OP! https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/652993/dynamic-fog-of-war#post-722603 P.S. I think my name for it is better: Dynamic Fog of War!

Edited 1429722666
+1 As a short term fix, you could implement an opacity slider for the player's perspective of dark spots in a dynamic lighting scenario. Shouldn't bee too hard since the tool already exists for DMs
+1. I've been trying to figure out a way to do this for days now.
+1 Id really like this as well
+1, thx
-1 I like the way it works now. I like the players getting lost if they don't pay attention.
Well I think the majority of us are looking for an option to enable this type of effect.

Edited 1430562119
I have not even started running the campaign I am building, and this would be a stellar addition to add to a game in any setting. +1 As Dynamic Lighting and Fog of War are already options you have to select, I do not see why this would not be either.. that way you could have that endless night effect of being lost in the void, or the much requested light fog of war effect that shows map layout of previously visited locations, but not tokens.
KS Backer
This sounds like maptools FOW. and maptools FOW/DL was brought to a crawl.
+1, certainly needed.
I'll +1 this because it's useful and would be the logical next step. I'd also like to suggest it as as a GM controled tool. Would be very useful for Overland maps in an exploration based game(like Pathfinders Kingmaker for example). I could set the next hex over to be grey since the party can see it, but have any thing in it still hidden since it hasn't been properly explored
I would love to see this implemented!
+1 This needs to happen, imho. I don't think this is a suggestion as much as a necessary feature. Coming from pen and paper - PCs create maps as they play. Once they've explored an area, they know it, and can navigate it, even if they can't see it. The fact that it becomes completely black now completely eliminates the "player mapping" aspect of the dynamic lighting / fog of war dynamic, as it's currently implemented. I think it's pretty clear that there are countless scenario's where the DM would like for the PCs to see the map layer, but not the token layer.