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Roll20 isometric

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Since some times, I have been experimenting with isometric VTT gaming with Maptool. I thought that it was not possible in Roll20. I have just discovered rollable table tokens and it just makes the job possible. There are a few isometric tokens available on  my blog if you are interested to have a try. Edit: I just forgot to add that maps are easy to make from the normal orthogonal (with squares) maps. There is an explanation  here .
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Silvyre
Forum Champion
Great post. Thanks.
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PaulOoshun
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Also have a look at the work of Plex soup on the Marketplace and their posts on the forum  showing how to set up Iso maps. 
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The plexsoup maps are very good (I had no idea there was iso gaming on Roll20). I particularly like the use of full walls on the line of sight and 2.5d for those which would hide the map. For maps, I have been experimenting with three types: - the flat map, which is a normal squared map rotated 45° and flattened; the main advantage is that any map you already own can be transformed in an iso one in two minutes and you are not limited by what is available in iso view (not much); and also it is surely within everyone capacity to do it. As it means that any map you have could be used in iso view, I thought it would let peoples try to experiment with it; it doesn't seems to be the case. - 2.5D maps, akin to the  2.5D physical maps I make my owns in Sketchup, exporting the resulting iso view; but of course, you need some familiarity with Sketchup first. It is possible to use  Neath 3D components to begin, as most of the work is already done (just lower the walls that get in the way), but you still need a minimum knowledge of Sketchup. - full iso maps, drawn and "painted" directly in iso view; the main problem is that it takes some "artistic" work to finish it and the map must be adapted to be viewable and gameable in iso; but the result is really the best possible. Still, even if there were more of them, you are still limited by what is made available or you have a lot of work needed to make them. Here is a quick mockup (in Maptool, with my own framework) of a Lord Zse Zse map used this way: Plexsoup work seems a good blend of the different types of maps. From what I have seen on the Maptool forum, there doesn't seem to be much interest in going isometric. I am not sure I'll continue to use it, except maybe for special scenes, between normal, orthogonal gaming. Anyway, I'll certainly post any iso ressource I'll use for my games, and probably a set of iso parts to assemble maps in  Tiled application .
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ISO would be awesome if it were easier to create/find artwork for tokens that have the multiple facings required and there was built in z-ordering so tokens lower on the screen would automatically be on top of tokens higher on the screen.  And easier "facing" changes instead of having to right click, change sides, then find the side.
Finding tokens is indeed the real problem. But, if there is a demand, I think that there shall be peoples to answer it (if only those that are making now artwork for paper figures, because transforming those into iso figures is quite trivial). The way to change facing and z-ordering depends on Roll20 programmers, but that (and isometric dynamic lighting) has been solved for Maptool, so it is probably not impossible. About z-ordering, don't forget that however it is done, you'll still need a manual way to order things. Because, if you have, for exemple, a character and a table, depending on z-ordering, you'll see a character behind a table or a character on the table. Both are legitimate representation of a situation, and there is no way your VTT can tell one situation from another (well, it is possible with the use of altitude and having footprints of the figure different than their graphic position, but that's  probably overkill for something that can be solved with a simple "send to back" and "send to front").
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PaulOoshun
Pro
Marketplace Creator
I'd make them in a heartbeat, except at the moment Roll20 isn't set up to support it. It would be 4x effort but wouldn't sell :( If a future update improves/simplifies Iso I'll certainly make some.   
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That's good news. Let's hope that a future update of Roll20 adds some iso functionalities. And, in the meantime, I hope that some peoples experiment with what is already available. edit: only 2x efforts if you flip them... well, I know it is a little cheating ;-)
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Vanderforge
Marketplace Creator
I'm with Alan, I would do isometric tokens; but it's quadruple the effort for something that would yield next to zero revenue.
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Shift + arrow left or right to choose sides would be nifty. Plus shift + arrow up/down for z order maybe?
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Fernando D. said: I'm with Alan, I would do isometric tokens; but it's quadruple the effort for something that would yield next to zero revenue. I suppose that price could reflect the work involved. The problem, as I see it, is more a kind of vicious circle: no demand > no tokens produced; no tokens available > no iso gaming; no iso gaming > no demand. The question I am asking myself is more: if there were iso tokens available, would many peoples be interested to play that way or are there so few potential players that it is a dead end.
HoneyBadger said: Shift + arrow left or right to choose sides would be nifty. Plus shift + arrow up/down for z order maybe? That would be very easy to use and certainly the best solution, but it depends on Roll20 developers. Maybe it would be possible to make macros to do it, with buttons to activate the image swap and z-order. That's what I made in Maptool, but I don't know Roll20 macro language.
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plexsoup
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I'm happy to hear more people are interested in isometric maps. I love the "tabletop miniatures" feel of them. Patrick C, your map and tokens look beautiful! One cool thing about isometric maps is you can get away with a single side-view token and use "flip horizontal" in Roll20 when required. I've found that those two facings are perfectly adequate for my games. I don't need four facings. Isometric Maps by Plexsoup on the Roll20 Marketplace
I have finally settled for two illustrations (one mostly front and one mostly back), flipped right and left to give me the four views. As I use cardboard figures artwork (mostly from  Okumarts ) to make the figures that I don't draw myself, it works easily as they have those two views. I have also used one drawing iso figures, even when not sideway (those made from  Printable Heroes are really wonderful for gaming), but, when I use drawings that have not been made specifically for an isometric view, I associate a base showing the figure orientation. Like this one, for exemple: If the players know that the drawing is there as illustration and that they must look at the base for actual orientation, it gives no problem. Of course, I suppose that the need for different views, also depends on the rules peoples are using and if facing and orientation are important for playing. In a game without facing rules, a simple drawing would be enough, even without a base, because it is only the position of the figure on the map that is significant.
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plexsoup
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I'm curious. Which games have detailed facing rules? Maybe there's games I'm not playing correctly, but I can't think of anytime specific facing has been that important.
From memory, Hero, Gurps, Runequest, Savage Worlds, Harnmaster... Any system that gives a bonus for attacking from the rear or that doesn't apply shield benefit to the rear. Old D&D had no rules about it (IIRC) and newer ones used flanking to represent it, avoiding the need for orientation (though I think that in D&D3, there was a facing rule somewhere, not sure, or maybe 3.5). I don't have the slightest idea about D&D5 (facing? flanking?). Of all the rules I am using now (but I think that the mix is not representative), only LoTFP doesn't use orientation. Of course, depending on what you play, YMMV quite a lot.
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5e has an optional rule in the DMG that takes about facing.  But in the base rules I dont think there is mention of it. 
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plexsoup
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
By the way, anyone can easily create an isometric map. Start with a&nbsp;flat map, then use your favorite image editing software to rotate it 45 degrees then scale it &nbsp;vertically 57.7%. Bonus points for adding walls and features, but it's not strictly necessary. Here's a good article for adding walls and features:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2012/02/how-to-colour" rel="nofollow">http://www.fantasticmaps.com/2012/02/how-to-colour</a>... Or, if you prefer to download them, Dyson has some nice ones. <a href="https://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/tag/isometric/" rel="nofollow">https://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/tag/isometric/</a>
WoW! This is awesome! I hope in the future that this is a basic feature for roll20! This is exactly what needs to happen and soon!
plexsoup said: By the way, anyone can easily create an isometric map. That, in my opinion, is a very important point. If the tokens were available (that is the real problem, see above), it wouldn't be more difficult to prepare an isometric session than a normal one.
Jake M. said: 5e has an optional rule in the DMG that takes about facing. &nbsp;But in the base rules I dont think there is mention of it.&nbsp; If facing is optional, I suppose that flanking bonus are still in the basic rules?
I had a tiny bit of success creating a 3D miniature in SketchUp and then pasting front and back pictures of it. &nbsp;It kinda &nbsp;gave the impression of something orthogonal to the table top, but I never dialed in the skewing of the map quite like Plexsoup did. &nbsp;It just was too much work to keep on clicking, right clicking, selecting the correct orientation, remembering what side you were on, who was on top and then continuing. &nbsp;I still have the 3D model if anyone wants a short cut! &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;
Making figures by using one illustration on transluscent &nbsp;background is quite interesting. It simplifies the work, gives the look of physical tokens and doesn't obstruct the view. Good idea. On the other hand, I think that the complications you encountered can be made easier. If you want to export isometric ressources from Sketchup, it is easier to set the perspective to parallel, the view to isometric and then export. Just pivot your model 90° to have the different facings and work from a scene to keep the same size for all the views. This way, you won't have to fiddle with commands, Sketchup will make all the hard work for you. It is how I make some vehicles from the Sketchup warehouse, which means that all the stuff from the Sketchup warehouse can be turned into iso ressources. Have a look at what is available , it is staggering. And the appearance can be tweeked (I also use it to make maps, mostly using&nbsp; Neath 3D components ). Like this: But Plexsoup was speaking about working in GIMP or Photoshop, I think. I have a full explanation&nbsp; here . The only difference is that I use fixed sizes, whilst Plexsoup change the proportions to resize. Plexsoup way is more correct mathematically, whilst I think that my way gives me more control on the final result (all the bits I make are in the same exact scale from the start), but, of course, that's a matter of preferences and workflow.
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plexsoup
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
To get tokens for home games, I use a variety of useful search terms: filetype:png site:coolminiornot.com tabletop miniature game asset isometric Heroforge.com is also useful. For marketplace stuff, I mainly use Blender and Gimp. Tried sketchup for a while, but never quite got the hang of it.
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plexsoup
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
I just discovered that Inkscape has an axonometric grid with snapping. That makes it very easy to make isometric maps and props. <a href="http://ahninniah.blogspot.ca/2013/04/isometric-pro" rel="nofollow">http://ahninniah.blogspot.ca/2013/04/isometric-pro</a>...