FGU Comprehensive Quick-Start Tutorial For Players

This series of FGU Quick-Start Guides for GMs is brought to you courtesy of Hywel Phillips, a Fantasy Grounds Community member in collaboration with Smiteworks USA, LLC, makers of Fantasy Grounds.

If you are about to connect to your DM’s first game and just want to get going REALLY QUICKLY, check out my “” tutorial and come back to this one at your leisure. 

This tutorial will give you a comprehensive walk through Fantasy Grounds as a player for D&D 5E. By the end, you’ll be able to generate, level up and play your character, taking advantage of all of FGU’s automation features, all without having to have your DM go through it with you. It will take a while, as Fantasy Grounds is very deep. Again, check out the “Play Now!” version instead if you’re connecting to your DMs game to play right away. 

You will need to have installed Fantasy Grounds and checked for updates:

You can follow this tutorial using just the free demo account.

Launch Fantasy Grounds. 

Everything we do inside Fantasy Grounds lives in a Campaign. This lives on the GM/DM’s computer, and ordinarily as a player you will be connecting to that using “Join Campaign” from the FGU launch screen:

When it is time to join your DM’s game, type the name they tell you to use in the GM Name Search box, click on the game and join it. 

Having the campaign running on the DM’s machine is very powerful - it gives DM’s a lot of control over their game, and it allows them to use the full storage space of their machine without having to pay whopping annual fees for tiny amounts of storage on a service provider’s machines.

The downside is that you can only join their game while the DM is actively running it on their machine. 

Fortunately, you can make a campaign of your own to play around with and import your characters to and from your DM’s game when game night comes around. This tutorial will show you how to do that (and more). 

So, at the FG launch screen, choose “Create Campaign”.

As a DM myself, I have an Ultimate FGU account. So what you see will be slightly different if you are running with a free demo account. 

It will say “Network disabled for Free licenses” instead of showing the IP addresses like my screenshot does above, because you can’t host games for other players with the free demo license. 

You can create your own campaign to play around with just fine, though, which is all we need for this tutorial. Having our own private campaign to play around in also means it doesn’t matter if you mess anything up; it won’t affect your “proper” character in the DM’s game in any way. 

I’ve also bought a bunch of fun game systems from the FGU store, so you won’t see all the same available Rulesets. A ruleset is the set of code which implements all the character sheets and automation for a game system in FGU. The ones you’ll see are the ones provided free with FGU. 

Call your campaign “QuickStartTutorial” or something and choose Dungeons and Dragons (5E) as the game system. You can leave everything else at the default.

Fantasy Grounds will create the campaign for you (you’ll see a spinning d20 for a few moments) then launch it. You’ll see this screen:

The window that has popped up in the middle is the Campaign Setup window, naturally enough as we’ve just made a new campaign. 

You can uncheck “show on load” so it doesn’t pop up after we’ve set things up once. Hit the Next button at the bottom of the window.

Next, FGU wants us to set up Modules. A Module contains a bunch of game data. For players that can be classes, spells, abilities, magic items and so on. For the DM it also includes monsters and more. 

Since we’re running on the free demo version of FGU, let’s use the free version of the D&D rules. Hit the “5E - SRD” button.

FGU pops up a window to confirm that it has loaded all of that. 

Close this window using the X in the top right hand corner. The campaign setup window will still be there underneath- click next.

FGU is offering you the chance to set up options for this campaign - but that’s something your real DM will do in their campaign so we don’t have to bother about this for this player tutorial. So you can just click Finish. 

The FGU Interface

Now let’s have a look at the rest of the FGU interface. 

Over to the left hand side is the chat window, which is where chat messages to and from players and the DM show up, and also where FGU reports the results of rolls, damage, spells, etc.:

Below it the dice tray, which contains dice you can roll and some buttons to click for common modifiers like ADVantage and DISadvantage. Your dice will be black to start with, we’ll change their color in a second.

At the very bottom is the hotkey bar, which has some useful slots for dragging frequently-used stuff to (like bringing up your character sheet, or rolling to hit with your sword):

Over the right hand side is the sidebar, with some little icons on top and some collapsing categories underneath, click the arrows to expand and contract the various categories.

This is where we find everything else we need during the game.

Setting Dice Colors

Let’s start by changing our dice color and rolling some dice. 

Click the little polyhedral dice button, on the right of the top row of the Sidebar:

A window pops up to let us choose the dice you have, add or subtract dice type, color your dice and more.
For now, we’ll just click on the gray Default die.

Clicking on the Dice Color buttons in the upper-left corner will allow you to color the body and the text of the dice.

Click the first circle:

Choose a color you like, click OK. 

The second circle lets you choose the color of the numbers on the dice. Click OK when done.

Close the color window as usual (X in top right of window). 

Play around and you’ll see your dice color changing in the dice tray. Hit OK when you have one you like. If you can’t read the numbers on the dice, the second circle in the window below lets you swap from white to black text.

Cool. Now we have colored dice. How do we roll them?

Rolling Dice

Go to the dice tray. Left mouse click-and-drag one of the dice - you’ll “pick it up”

Drag and drop it onto the chat window and it will roll the dice and display the result to everyone connected to the game - the DM and other players.

Here, because we’re in a campaign that technically we are hosting as the GM/DM, it’s reported that the dice roll was from the GM. In your actual game it’ll say which player rolled it. 

If you drag and drop a dice from the dice tray onto the background of the main FGU window rather than the chat window, it’ll still roll, but only you will see it and it won’t show up in the chat. 

(There is a way to roll dice secretly so only you and the DM see it - it’s called the Dice Tower. Your DM may or may not use it).

What if you want to roll more dice, say 10d6 for a fireball?

Click and drag the d6 from the dice tower. While you have the left mouse button held down to keep dragging, click the right mouse button. FGU adds another dice. Keep going until you have 10d6. Then drop on the chat window to roll them all.

If you click too many times and have too many dice, drop the dice away from the chat window and try again. 

You can also roll dice from the chat window.

In the little box where it says Chat, type /roll 10d6 

Then hit return. FGU rolls the dice and reports the result. This works well for more awkward dice too:

/roll 2d8+4d10+2d4+6

You can also right-click on the dice in the dice tray to bring up a pop-up radial menu. The most common use for that is to access percentile dice (d100). Right-click on the d10 in the tray:

Click on the % symbol and it’ll “pick up” d100 which you can then click on the click window to roll. 

The last thing I want to show you on dice for now is the modifier buttons. Click ADV, then roll a d20 by dragging from the dice tray to the chat window. 

FGU rolls with advantage, so it rolls two d20 for you and keeps the best, and reports what it has done in the chat window.

Now try clicking on the modifier box and type +7 (or just 7). Then click “ADV” and roll a d20 from the dice tray. 

FGU rolls d20 with advantage, keeps the highest, and adds a modifier of +7 to the result and reports the total - you rolled 17. 

At a bare minimum, this would be enough to let you play in a game and make all your rolls. But it is a bit of a slow way of doing it- we don’t want to type in our modifiers by hand every time we swing a sword. 

What we need is a character sheet - FGU lets us roll pretty much every roll we ever need to make straight from there. 

For that we’re going to need to generate ourselves a character.

Generating A Character

Your DM will guide you through doing that in your first session, and will direct you which way is best to do it for their game. They may even have your character set up for you already by the time you join.

There are three methods. 

  1. Importing from another campaign or as an XML file from an external source like D&D Beyond.

  2. Using drag-and-drop to populate your character sheet.

  3. Using the character wizard.

The Character Wizard is under active development at the time of writing but it is the most user-friendly of the three, so we’re going to use that method for this tutorial.

WARNING - The CHARACTER WIZARD is actively under development as I write this and a few things may change or may have bugs at the moment.

In the-bar, open up the Player section and click “Characters”. 

The character selection window opens. Hit the “Character Wizard” button on the top-left of the window.

And we’re in the character wizard:

Let’s start by giving our character a name - Clara the Cleric should do. Click on the underlined bit just under where it say “Name” and type that in. 

Note that that has updated it in the Summary section too. 

D&D 5E has multiple ways to choose your ability scores. The drop-down arrow where it says “Standard Array” gives you the choices. If you pick “Dice Roll”, FGU rolls a whole bunch of 4d6, disregarding the lowest score, and puts them into the stats for you to rearrange as you see fit. 

What a boring set of scores. Hit reroll by pressing the little yellow icon with the d20 on it. I won’t tell anyone.

That’s more like it. Couple of high scores and one really dreadful one makes for a much more interesting character. 

Use the little arrows under the scores to rearrange them as you like. I picked this:

Clara is going to be an AWESOMELY clumsy cleric!

If you are more sober and serious-minded than me, you can choose the standard array or points buy methods - you should be able to work out how to use those by yourself.

Onwards! Notice at the top that Stats now has a green tick. That means we’ve done that bit of character creation and can move on. Click the “Race” button.

Now we see a list of races to choose from. This list may well be shorter than you are used to, because we are using only the choices available in the free SRD version of D&D 5E. If your DM has bought the Players’ Handbook, Tasha’s, Xanathar’s, etc. you will see those options in the games that they run.

Because this is our own little campaign for learning with and we’re using the free demo account of FGU and the 5E SRD free races and classes we have a more limited choice for this tutorial.

The character wizard lets us play around with different choices and see what happens without committing to them. 

So let’s click on “Dragonborn”. The window changes to this:

This is FGU telling us that we’ve chosen Dragonborn as the race. Notice the little black-white-and-red dot next to where it says Dragonborn. Apparently, that’s a shield (it looks different in other “skins” for FGU - it’s a dragon in the official D&D one, for example). Its function is that it shows a link you can click on to find out more about something. So I call it the shield-link-thingy.

Click on the shield-link-thingy next to Dragonborn. 

Up pops a window containing all the information about the thing, in this case what traits the Dragonborn race gives you. Whenever you want to look up details of what something does, find its shield-link-thingy and click on it. For example, if we click on “Breath Weapon”, FGU shows us what that trait does:

Cool. Close those extra windows with the X in the top right corner as usual. 

Back in the Character Wizard, FGU isn’t happy for us to move on from Race selection yet- the Race box still has red ! and X rather than the green check.  

That’s because we haven’t selected how we’re going to apply our Racial ability modifiers. 

If you hover your mouse over the “Default” option you’ll see a tooltip pop up to explain.

And over Option 2 likewise:

If we click “Default” this is what we get - the default choice from the SRD, as we’d expect. 

What if we want to choose our Racial +2 as Wisdom?

Click on the “+” by Choice Racial Mod +2.

Then we can change that to Wisdom by clicking on that option. Done.

What if we’ve gone off the whole idea of Clara being a Dragonborn?

Click on the “+” by Race. 

Now you can change your selection. Let’s expand the character wizard window to get some more space- click on the bottom right corner of the window and drag to expand. 

Then click on half-elf, just because it has more options. 

You should be fairly familiar with the form by now - click on the skills and languages you want, and the racial modifiers. The wizard guides you through which choices you have to make. When you have no more choice to make, It looks something like this:

Note the green tick under race which shows we can move on. Click the Class button at the top. 

Clara the Cleric is obviously going to be a Cleric. 

Because this is only the SRD, we only get one possible domain - Life. So click it to select it. Pick our two skills and move on. 

When Class is green - on to Background. 

Just the one background in the SRD, so Acolyte it is - click to select it, then choose your languages.

Note that new buttons have been appearing at the top as we progress, because the wizard knows we’ve got a few more choices to make. Just progress through them from left to right, and you can hop backwards to make changes as you like, too. 

Sometimes stuff that was green can go red again, showing that you might have a clash. For me that happened when I chose Acolyte: I had some duplicated skill choices. 

Just go back and fix it, the wizard will tell us when it is happy.

For Inventory, make your choices as usual going down the list. Chain mail is a good bet given how appalling Clara’s DEX is!

On to spells.

You can see that we have chosen 0 of 3 cantrips and 0 of 3 spells (These numbers will vary according to your character’s ability scores). Cleric cantrips are currently selected for us to choose from. Let’s have Sacred Flame: click on the little green arrow. 

If we change our minds, click on the red vertical “|” next to the spell. It rotates to a “-”, asking for confirmation - click the “-” to delete the spell again.

When you’ve got your three cantrips, Click on the L1 button:

And now it shows us our spell list.

Include Guiding Bolt, Cure Wounds and Bless if you can because we’ll use them later on, but don’t worry if not - we can add to our character sheet later if need be. From the sidebar-> spells window and drag and dropping direct to the character sheet. But that’s for later.

Done with spells. 

Click on Feat and the wizard just reports that we don’t have any available. If we’ve got green ticks across the board, we can click COMMIT.

Up pops Clara the Cleric’s character sheet (and the Character Selection window is still open underneath it - you can click on it to bring it to the front, and close it). 

The Character Sheet

Now we have Clara the Cleric in all her clumsy-cleric-y glory. 

On the right hand side of the character sheet are a series of tabs. We’re on the main tab now.

Main Tab

This should look pretty familiar if you’ve ever played D&D before. Your ability scores are on the left, with scores in the box and modifier just below. 

Armor Class, Initiative and Speed are in the middle. 

Hit points are at the bottom - WND is the number of hits you have taken, to be compared with your max HP (MAX). TMP is for temporary hit points. 

Down the right hand side are your saving throws, and there’s a little yellow star by the ones you are proficient in. 

Name, Class, Level, Background and Race above, with shield-link-thingies in case you need to look up details of Acolyte or Half-Elf.

Darkvision in senses in the middle - FGU looks at this when you have a token on a map and automatically gives you 60ft Darkvision. PERC is your passive perception. 

INSP is a little check-box for keeping track of inspiration. Give yourself a check in there for getting this far. 


When you are in your DM’s proper game, your character will have a little portrait on the top left and a token at the top right. The DM will help you add those to your game, for now let’s just grab one of FGU’s provided freebies. 

Click on the portrait box.

The Select Portrait window opens, unhelpfully tiny. Make it a bit bigger. You’ll see some “sacks” containing different portraits. 

Hover over and tooltips pop up - find the one that says “FG Fantasy” and click on it. 

Click on something that appeals and FGU will use that portrait and the corresponding token for your character, and add them to your sheet:

We need Clara to have a token for moving her around on maps, which is why we did this in preparation.

First of all, though, let’s show how to make rolls from the character sheet. Wherever you see a little d20 in the corner of a box, FGU can make a roll for you from there.

Double-click on the STR box. FGU rolls a strength ability roll for you and reports the result in the chat window, letting everyone in the game know who made the roll and what you got:

Saves work the same way:

You can roll death saves for your character down at the bottom of the main tab:

Click on the yellow button with the d20 in it by Death Saves. 

You can keep track of Successes and Fails with the check boxes, like this:

Now you may ask why FGU hasn’t noted that you’ve failed a death save and marked that off for you automatically?

SmiteWorks, the developers of FGU, say that they aim for 80% automation. This is part of the 20% that isn’t automated, and it is for a good reason - there are so many ways that someone else might come to your character’s aid or that might happen to your character if they get hit again that FGU leaves it to you to keep track of, just providing the tick boxes to help. I’ve usually found that their choices of what to automate and what to do manually make sense. 

Last thing on the Main tab for now is hit point and hit dice. Click in the box next to HP, under where it says WND. Although it is not obvious, you can type values directly in there - if you put in 5, Clara the Cleric has taken 5 points of damage.

Normally damage will be tracked by the DM and by Fantasy Grounds automation, but you can always fix it if something’s got a bit messed up.

You can also spend dealing dice to recover during a short rest - double click on the black d8 where it says HD. The chat window shows that Clara recovered all her HP is and is now fully healthy. 

So on the character sheet, no WND any more, and no more HD to spend either. They come back when the DM grants the party a long rest. 

Skills Tab

On the right hand side of the character sheet, click the Skills Tab. Naturally enough, up pop our character’s skills.


The star shows proficiency.

As you probably expect by now, double-clicking on the box with a little d20 at the bottom corner rolls a skill check and reports the result in the chat window. 

If you need to add a skill (eg. a tool proficiency), click the green and white “+”

A new blank line is added where you can type. 

Clicking on the “Stat” box cycles through the abilities. 

Clicking on the grey star cycles through proficiency, double proficiency (eg expertise), half proficiency (eg jack of all trades) and back to not proficient. I’ve added one for Tool: Flute. 

Clara’s flute performances are truly dreadful.

Abilities Tab

Click on the right hand side of the character sheet to bring up the Abilities tab.

For Features and Traits, you can see each entry has shield-link-thingies to click to bring up the description to remind yourself of what each thing does:

Under Proficiencies, FGU is smart enough to read the entries here and set proficiency bonuses accordingly.

Under Languages you’ll see the languages your character speaks. If someone mutters away in the chat window in Elvish, Clara will understand them (you’ll see that feature in use during your DM’s game when you are connected as a player).

Inventory Tab

Go to Clara’s inventory tab. 

When I did this there was a bug - her chain mail and some of her other equipment hadn’t been added correctly. Hopefully this will be fixed by the time you try it. (Or maybe I just screwed up and didn’t select everything I should have in the wizard). 

If not, this is a yet another learning opportunity! Here is how to add it. In the sidebar open up Campaign, click on items.

The items window pops up. The empty box just above where it says “Attunement” is a search box - type in chain and hit return. 

This what you should see:

Drag-and-drop the shield-link-thingy by the side of where it says Chain Mail and drop it into the equipment list on your character sheet. 

Bingo, Clara now has armor:

The little red shirt icon next to it shows that she’s wearing it - clicking on this cycles through equipped, carried, and not carried. Make sure it’s equipped and check the main tab and you should see Clara’s armor class is a bit more impressive than it was earlier on in my example. 

As I say, hopefully this bug will be fixed by the time you try this, assuming it wasn’t just me messing up.

Notes Tab

Should be pretty self-explanatory by now. Just click and type away.

Log Tab

Used for adventurers league and other organized play, mostly.

Actions Tab

This is where you’ll end up spending most of your time in combat.

Seeing this working in full glory really needs you to be in a full game run by your DM with maps and tokens and foes on the combat tracker. Showing you how to launch all of that is going to be almost teaching you how to run a full game yourself - which OUGHT to be outside the scope of this already-long tutorial. 

Fortunately, it’s really quick to do, even if you maybe won’t understand the why’s of every step for the moment. Bear with me.

A Map

In the sidebar, go to Library -> Assets.

In the Assets window, find the FG Battlemaps sack and click on it. 

(Your asset window will likely be a lot less cluttered than mine).

Click on one of them, say BattleMap_out. Up pops the Preview window:

Choose Create Image Record. The Map opens in a too-small window. Reposition and resize the window to taste as usual (grab the bottom right hand corner of the window). 

Click “Zoom Extents” in the yellow toolbar to zoom the map to fill the window. 

Everything else about this map is already set up for us. 

The Combat Tracker

From the sidebar, top row, on the left click the crossed swords icon to open the combat tracker. 

Make yourself room to put the chat window, the character sheet, the map and the combat tracker window, something like this if you can manage the screen real-estate. 

(You can unlock and resize/reposition the chat window by unlocking it - right click on it and choose the padlock icon)







A Map and an Ogre to go

From your character sheet, drag-and-drop your token from the top right corner of your character sheet onto the combat tracker:

Clara the Cleric is ready for action!

Let’s give her an ogre to fight. Sidebar->Campaign->NPCs to open the NPC window.

Type “Ogre” in the search box above where it says “CR”

Now drag and drop the shield-link-thingy next to where it says Ogre in the list to the combat tracker. 

We have an ogre to fight! Let’s put them both on the map. 

Drag and drop the little token/picture from next to the character’s name on the combat tracker to the map.

Do that for both of them and the map should look something like this:

Remember you are seeing this as the DM’s view - when you are playing things look a bit simpler. 

Click on Clara’s token on the map to select her. 

A few things change.

But this is still very much the DM’s “god’s eye view”. To get more like the player view of this, click on “Enable/Disable Player Vision Preview” in the yellow box by the right hand side of the map.

OK, everything went black and white (or just black, depending on which token you had selected). That’s because lighting is on, but there are no lights in the scene. So we can only see via character’s dark vision, which is in black and white. 

Let’s disable lighting for now: click on the relevant line in the yellow image control box on the right hand side of the map window.

Two more things and we can stop having to be the DM and go back to being a player.

First, click the padlock at the top of the map window, on the right:

That shuts off the map editing tools and shows you more what you’ll see once you are connected as player. Spare a thought for how much more your DM is dealing with!

Lastly, click on the eye at the top left of the combat tracker. The ogre was entered as hidden by default and we’re going to reveal him to give us more of the player view. 

There are still some differences - players see less stuff on the combat tracker than you’ve getting in DM mode, for example. But now we’ve got ourselves a fight going. 

Let’s take a look at the map.

Map Controls

Use your mouse scroll-wheel to zoom in and out on the map.

Click-and-hold on the mouse wheel then drag to pan on the map inside the map window. 

If you don’t have a clickable mouse wheel, you can use the little “pan” control at the bottom right of the window - click and drag on that and it’ll pan the map for you. 

Get yourself a nice view, something like this:

Make sure Clara’s token is selected (there a bright green ring around her, like in the picture above).

Now hold down the CTRL-key (Command-key on a Mac) and click the Ogre on the map. Two things have happened. On the map, an arrow has appeared:

This shows us that Clara has TARGETED the Ogre, and the number in the arrow shows us the range. 

Click and drag Clara’s token around or use the cursor keys when she is selected and note that the range updates accordingly.

On the combat tracker, we can see that Clara has targeted the Ogre. 

Finally we can go back to Clara’s character sheet and unleash hell on the Ogre.

If you’ve closed or hidden her sheet, click the shield-link-thingy for her in the combat tracker, on the right hand side to bring it back up or bring it to the front.

Next up: What Can We Do To The Ogre?

Weapon Attacks

Let’s go down from the top.

We can hit it with our quarterstaff. Double click on the box with the black d20 and the +1 in it. FGU rolls to hit. But more than that, as we have the Ogre targeted, it can tell us whether or not we hit!

Look in the chat:

You can see that not only has FGU rolled, added our attack bonus and reported the result but it has compared the roll to the Ogre’s AC and told us that the attack has hit. Your poor DM no longer has to have a yellow stickie attached to their screen with AC for every combatant, FGU can do it for us. 

Note that FGU has allowed us to roll and hit even though according to the map we are out of melee range. This is another example of FGU taking care of 80% of stuff by automation, but not automating everything. There are just too many times when we might want to roll the attack roll AFTER we’ve plotted our character’s movement - we’re not playing a computer game. FGU won’t stop you. 

Similarly, FGU won’t automatically roll the damage for us, nor will it stop us rolling damage if we miss. We’re still playing D&D with our friends and the DM, and there are too many times when you need to figure out “Can I use my inspiration?” and so on. The DM will tell you to go ahead and roll damage when you hit anyway.

What FGU will do is to track the damage when we roll it. So now double click on the box where it says “1d6-1 bludgeoning”. FGU will roll the damage and inflict it to the Ogre’s HP, so our poor DM no longer needs to keep track of all the monster’s HP. (That’s why they are running their game in FGU, in case you didn’t know!)

Because we are in the DM’s view, we can see exactly how many HP the Ogre has taken in the tracker. When we’re connected as a player we get less detailed information.

By the way, FGU can do all this automatically because we’ve targeted the Ogre. If you screw up and roll an attack without a target, the DM can drag-and-drop to apply it to the correct target.

But try to get into the habit of making sure you’ve got the correct person targeted before you roll - it makes everything go much more smoothly and saves the DM’s brainpower. 

Spell Attacks

Moving down the actions tab, find the Sacred Flame cantrip. Click the little magnifying glass icon next to it to “open it up” and see more detail of what it can do. 

You’ll see some little yellow icons. The first one is “Cast”. This does whichever of rolling a spell attack (Atk) or forcing your target to make a save (Save) is right for this spell. 

So to cast Sacred Flame on the Ogre, you can click ”Save” if you like, or just always click “Cast” for all spells. (Strictly speaking you only need to single click these icons to roll for reasons lost in the mists of time, but double-click works too). 

The chat window shows that we’ve forced the Ogre to make a save, it has failed, and so we can click the little yellow icon with the blood drip in it by where it says “Dmg” to do the spell’s damage to it. 

FGU knows that this is radiant damage, and if the Ogre has any resistances, immunities or vulnerabilities would handle that for us. 

Likewise, for spells where targets take half damage on a save, FGU will keep track of that and inflict half damage on the creature if it saved. 

It will even let us select multiple targets and click once to cast the spell, keep track of which creatures made their saves and which failed them, and do full or half damage accordingly. Especially at higher levels this is a) very satisfying indeed and b) speeds up combat A LOT.

Blesses and Buffs

Moving down the actions tab, click the magnifying glass to “open up” Bless. 

Here we have something different - a spell effect.

We don’t want to Bless the Ogre, so CTRL/CMD-click him on the map to de-target him. Then CTRL/CMD-click Clara’s own token. You can check you have yourself targeted in the combat tracker. 

On your Actions tab, click the little yellow box with the person in it by the Effect. 

In the combat tracker, you now have the Bless effect on yourself. 

Not only will FGU automatically remember to add those pesky d4’s for us, it will keep track of the duration (D:10 in the tracker means it lasts 10 rounds) and it knows it is is concentration spell, C, and will even automate concentration saving throws if Clara takes damage.

Let’s give it a try; attack the ogre with Clara’s quarterstaff again. FGU rolls the d4 from the Bless for us and adds it in. 

But note my absolutely classic error: I forgot to untarget Clara after casting the spell, so I rolled to hit on Clara instead of the Ogre!

Your DM will be able to fix it by dragging the roll onto the Ogre instead. We can do it now as we’re the DM at the moment. Drag that white box with the dice roll in it from the chat window onto the ogre’s token on the map. FGU tells us that roll hits the Ogre, too. 

As I said, try to remember to check what you are targeting before you roll - it will make things go more smoothly. So before rolling for damage, de-target Clara (CTRL/CMD click on her token again) and retarget the Ogre.

Spell Slots

Note that FGU has NOT taken one of our 1st level spell slots from us when we applied the bless. There are just too many times when that adds more work than it saves - for example, up-casting spells at higher levels. So FGU just gives us tick boxes to keep track of them ourselves. 

Spell Effects

Let’s try a Guiding Bolt next. Open it up using the magnifying glass, and make sure we still have the ogre targeted. 

Notice that there is a damage AND an effect. 

Click “Cast”. FGU rolls the attack, remembers the d4 from Bless which I bet you have forgotten many times in combat, and reports the result:

Regardless of whether you hit or miss, for now let’s click the red blood drop to damage the ogre, then the Effect to put the spell’s effect onto it as well.

You can see we’ve put the effect onto it via chat, or double check on the combat tracker:

Now go back up to the top and attack it again with Clara’s quarterstaff. 

FGU notes the effect grants advantage to the next attack, so it rolls with advantage, remembers the bless and reports the result:

It has cleared the effect from the Ogre automatically, as Guiding bolt only grants this to the first attack:

And in my case I rolled a critical. So if I click on the Quarterstaff damage, FGU will roll the critical damage dice for me too:

The poor ogre is on its last legs. Let’s heal him.


Open up Cure Wounds with the magnifying glass:

And click the yellow and red “+” icon by heal to heal the Ogre.

The finickity amongst you will notice that we should have healed an extra 3 HP to the Ogre because of Clara’s life cleric “Disciple of Life” ability. It is possible to add this to the automation but your DM can help you with that; it’s a bit complicated because it varies with spell level.

Upcasting Spells

Finally, Clara is only level 1, but when she gets to higher levels she’ll be able to upcast spells like guiding bolt for more damage. 

How do we do that?

As usual, make sure the Ogre is targeted before we roll.

Make sure Guiding bolt is “open” via its magnifying glass. 

Cast as normal by clicking the cast icon; assume we hit for the sake of argument.

Now, instead of clicking the DMG button to do damage, click-and-drag that button to the chat window. Keep holding the left mouse button down, don’t release it yet. FGU picks up the damage dice like this:

Now we can use the right-click trick we learned earlier on to add more dice:

And zap the ogre into cinders.

Then we’d have to remember to check off a spell slot of the right level by hand, of course.

Level Up

After such a stunning fight, let’s celebrate by levelling Clara up.

Go to the Main tab on her character sheet.

Click the magnifying class by Class & Level:

Click LVL UP. 

Up pops the Character Wizard. By “Increase Level” Cleric 1, hit the up arrow to get to Level 2. Nothing much happens, but if you go to the spells button you can see you can get an extra spell to prepare:

Choose to your taste. Click feats to get rid of its complaining and go green, then you can COMMIT when you are ready. 

And bingo, Clara has a lot more HP that she did a minute ago:

One definite limitation of FGU is that it is not-so-trivial to level-down again if you get something wrong. So don’t hit COMMIT until you are sure.

Is there more? 

It’s Fantasy Grounds, of course there is more. 

For the DM, much more: they can organize their whole campaign with encounters and maps and stories and parcels of loot. 

Even for the players there are many things I haven’t shown you - like a faster way for clerics to prepare spells each day from the list they are allowed to have. Rogues can apply their own effects for sneak attack, Rangers can apply Hunter’s Mark and Warlocks can Hex and get the bonus damage automatically - when they are attacking the correct foe. Wizards can fireball a dozen zombies and have it all tracked for them. Barbarians can hit things a lot, automating the rage resistances and getting advantage from reckless attacks. You can find those out as you go along. 

But this should have given you a good grounding into playing 5E D&D on Fantasy Grounds, so that in your next game you can help offload your poor DM and get through fights much faster and have more vivid and exciting adventures!

For now, let’s close down Fantasy Grounds:

Right click on the background of FGU’s window. Cross then cross, and out we go. 

Have fun!

– Hywel Phillips