At its simplest the Combat Tracker does what its name suggests which is to track certain aspects of combat such as number of turns and which character or NPC's turn it is. However it performs a number of other functions, not all of which are all related to combat, making it one of the most complex parts of the Fantasy Grounds software. There are two 'versions' of the Combat Tracker, the one that the player sees and the one that the Gamemaster uses. Since the former is the simplest, let's start there.
Only the host (DM) can add characters and NPCs to the Combat Tracker, and only the host can edit the Combat Tracker in any way.
The Combat Tracker is set up in columns from left to right; Creature Token, Creature Name, Initiative, Hit Points, Temporary Hit Points, Wounds, Status.
Any effects currently on the player characters will be shown under their name. Effects will only show under the NPC name if the effects was placed on the NPC during an actual combat. Any effects which exist on an NPC naturally (such as resistances) will no show on the Players Combat Tracker.
NPC's may have a number after their name if there are more than one of the same type and depending on the options selected by the DM.
Creatures appear on the Combat Tracker in initiative order starting with the highest at the top.
The actor whose turn it is will have a coloured border around their whole entry and an icon will be shown on the left hand edge of the window.
Hit points are the total Hit Points that the creature has.
HIt Points, Temporary Hit Points and Wounds are shown only for player characters.
For NPC's an entry will show next to their initiative value giving an indication of their state of health. How detailed this entry is and what color text is used will depend on the settings the DM has chosen.
The icons listed down the right hand column are Red = enemy, Green = ally and Yellow = neutral.
An icon next to the faction icon allows players to open an effects line showing the effects that they have placed on themselves or on others. Players can remove these effects by clicking twice on the red delete icon at the end of the line. Players cannot interact with effects that they have not placed themselves.
The round tracking box is shown on the lower right hand corner of the Combat Tracker and will increment once all creatures have completed a turn.
The player clicks on the 'next actor' button in the lower left hand corner to end her turn.
Players View - Combat
A player can select a target in the combat tracker by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on the target token on the left side of the creature’s name..
Multiple targets can be selected by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on each target in turn.
Targets can be deselected by holding down CTRL and clicking on an already selected target.
Players can make attack rolls by selecting a target as above and then double clicking their attack dice on the actions tab in their character sheets or by dragging the dice into the chat box.
Attack rolls can also be made by dragging the attack dice and dropping them on the target in the Combat Tracker. This works whether the creature has been targeted as above or not.
Damage rolls can be made in the same way, either by targeting and double clicking or dragging to the chat box from the character sheet or by dragging and dropping onto the target in the Combat Tracker.
If an attack roll was a critical hit, critical damage will automatically be applied to the damage roll.
Spells can be cast by selecting the target and then clicking on the effect icon in the character's action tab. This applies to all castings, either attack rolls, damage rolls, healing or application of effects. All such rolls can also be made by dragging the effect onto the target in the Combat Tracker.
If the player selects multiple targets any subsequent cast or attack will apply to all of the targets.
If a cast requires that the target make a saving throw each creature targeted will make the save using the Difficulty Class specified in the caster's character sheet.
Any creatures who pass the saving throw will be automatically untargeted before any damage is applied.
Half damage on a successful save, resistances and immunities to any damage will all be applied automatically by Fantasy Grounds.
For example if a wizard character selects targets and casts fireball; each of the creatures targeted will make a saving throw. Those that fail will be marked for full damage and those that succeed will be marked to take only half damage. Any damage to creatures who are resistant to fire damage will automatically reduce the damage appropriately.
It is recommended for a number of reasons that players get into the habit of selecting targets by CTRL clicking before attacking or casting spells.
The Dungeon Master's view of the Combat Tracker contains a great deal more information than the Player's View. In order for combat (and any other player/NPC interaction) to work properly the players and NPCs must be placed on the Combat Tracker. Players can be added to the Combat Tracker by dragging their portrait from the top left of the DM screen (visible only if players have joined the game), or by dragging from the Character Selection window (accessed by clicking on Characters in the menu on the right hand side). NPCs can be added by dragging from the NPCs list or by clicking on the ‘Add Encounter to Combat Tracker’ button at the bottom left of any encounter window.
DM View - Basics
The DM can edit any and all information which appears on the Combat Tracker, including names, hit points, wounds, effects, attack and damage rolls and everything else.
Individual PCs and NPCs can be deleted from the Combat Tracker by right clicking on the CT entry and selecting delete item.
Additional NPC's can be dragged into the Combat Tracker during a combat, either directly from the NPC tab or from another encounter.
The link icons down the right hand side of the Combat Tracker allow the DM to open the NPC or PC sheet of the creature.
The DM can also drag this icon for an NPC and drop it onto a blank part of the Combat Tracker to create an exact duplicate of the NPC. This can be used to great effect; for example when NPCs such as Ochre Jellies split in two when hit by certain damage types.
Unlike the Player view the DM sees the correct hit points, temporary hit points, and wounds for all NPCs.
When an NPC's turn comes around on the Combat Tracker the 'Offense' window for that NPC will open as if the icon had been selected. This facilitates combat for the DM. See below for more details on this.
The DM can target a creature by holding down CTRL and clicking on the creature's token on the left hand side of the Combat Tracker.
Multiple targets can be selected by holding down CTRL and clicking on each icon in turn.
Deselect targets by holding CTRL and clicking on an already selected target.
The DM can edit the number of rounds at the bottomright by clicking in the box and typing in a new value.
The arrangement of the Combat Tracker is essentially the same as the Player's view. However the DM has the following additional buttons and menus:
NPC portraits on the left have a small 'ID' button indicating whether this creature is identified or not. If this icon is red the NPC will show on the player's combat tracker as 'Unidentified Creature', or if a non-ID name is present for the NPC that name will be shown. This button can be toggled between red (unidentified) and green (identified)by clicking on it. Toggling one creature will automatically change the status of all creatures that are currently on the CT that are the same as the one being toggled.
A global toggle to make all NPCs visible or Invisible to the players at the top left hand corner of the Combat Tracker. NPCs are marked as not visible to players on the Combat Tracker when first placed on the Combat Tracker.
An individual Visible/Invisible toggle for each NPC on the Combat Tracker.
An Initiative marker token which can be dragged to the left hand side beside any PC or NPC name to give that creature initiative. This should be dragged to the first person on the Tracker after initiative is rolled and before combat starts.
A menu icon in the lower left of the Combat Tracker which is discussed in more detail below.
A set of faction icons at the bottom center of the Combat Tracker which the DM can use to quickly add a faction onto a map. Dragging the red skull icon and dropping it onto a map will add all of the hostile NPCs onto that map; similarly the green icon will place all PCs, and the yellow icon will place all neutrals).
A set of icons to the right of the faction button against each actor on the CT which open up further information on the player characters and NPCs. These, too, are discussed in more detail below.
A next turn button at the bottom right of the Combat Tracker. Clicking on this will advance the combat to the next turn. Right clicking on it will allow the DM to select a number (5, 10, 15, or 20) from a menu. Selecting one of the options will advance the number of rounds by the amount selected.
DM View - Menu
Clicking on the menu brings up several options which allow the DM to control the following aspects of the Combat Tracker and Game mechanics.
Closes the Combat Tracker
Clear All effects: Clears all of the effects on all of the creatures currently on the Combat Tracker. This will clear all long term and short term effects from every creature on the Tracker. NOTE: It will also clear effects from PCs and NPCs which should not actually be cleared - for example damage immunities or Dwarven poison resistance.
Clear Expiring Effects: This will clear all short term effects from every NPC and PC on the Combat Tracker. Short term means effects which normally have a duration measured in rounds or minutes. For example a Wizard's Mage Armor spell which lasts 8 hours will not be removed but an effect which lasts for 10 rounds or minutes will. NOTE: If you enter an effect which should last a number of hours or days, but you enter the time in terms of rounds then this will be taken as an expiring effect and be removed. So if you entered the mage armor duration as 2880 rounds rather than 8 hours then it will be removed.
Roll all Initiatives: Allows the DM to roll initiative for every creature on the Combat Tracker. This will be rarely used since PCs would normally roll their own initiative. However the option exists should the DM want to do this.
Roll NPC Initiatives: Allows the DM to roll initiative for all NPCs on the Combat Tracker.
Roll PC Initiatives: Allows the DM to roll initiative for all PCs on the Combat Tracker.
Clear all Initiatives: As its name suggests, it clears all initiatives.
NOTE: The DM has an option to auto-roll NPC initiative when the NPC is entered on to the Combat Tracker.
Long Rest: All PCs who are currently on the Combat Tracker will take a long rest. All players will gain the benefits of a long rest (e.g. all wounds will be removed, spend Hit Dice will be regained, etc.) as detailed in the Player's Handbook. In addition any other Class specific abilities which have been expended (spell slots, Ki points etc.) will also be returned.
Short Rest: All PCs will take a short rest. As with a Long Rest any specific ability uses which have been expended will be recovered automatically, if they can be recovered after such a rest.
Delete from Tracker
The two options here are to delete all non allies (which would include neutral creatures) or delete only enemies. In both cases all creatures of the selected category will be deleted from the Combat Tracker.
DM View - Toggles
As mentioned above there are 5 toggles situated to the right of the faction icon on each actor on the Combat Tracker. Each of these open up a new section in the Combat Tracker to enable DMs to run combats and edit aspects of characters and NPCs 'on the fly'. Each of these is discussed in more detail below.
This section shows the currently selected target(s) of the NPC or PC. The target(s) are shown as tokens and mousing over a token will reveal the target's name.
The small icon to the extreme right of this section can be used to clear all of the targets from the individual PC or NPC.
Individual targets can be removed by clicking on the target's token.
The second small icon on the right can be used to select targets by dragging and dropping the icon onto the targets.
Space and Reach Toggle
This opens two editable fields for Space and Reach. Edits are made by clicking in the box and typing a new value.
Changing the space value will change the red (for a hostile enemy), green (for an NPC), or yellow (for neutral NPCs), background square which lies under the token. Changing the reach value will change the gray square which appears when a token is moused over, showing the squares into which the token can reach with its current weapon.
For Space a value of 5 indicates a medium or smaller creature; 10 indicates a Large creature (taking up 4 squares), a value of 15 indicates a Huge creature (taking up 9 squares); and 20 would be a Gargantuan creature taking up 16 squares. Values higher than this will continue to increase the squares taken up by the token by one more unit per side of the square.
If the Reach is increased or decreased the red (NPC) or green (PC) square that is usually seen around a creature on a map, will expand or contract to take account of the change. A value of 5 indicates a reach of 5ft., a value of 10 indicates a reach of 10 ft. and so on.
The creature's token size will not automatically change to take up more or less space on the map, but the token's size can be altered by holding down CTRL and moving the middle mouse button up or down.
If the DM selects the offense icon for a PC then a limited box opens up.
On the left is a check box to record whether a reaction has been used during this turn. Click to check or uncheck.
The next box is for initiative and is a rollable box which can be double clicked on to roll initiative for the player; but otherwise it is for information only as is the AC and Spd information.
If an NPC is the next actor in the initiative order when the next turn button is clicked, then this box will automatically open on the DMs Combat Tracker, otherwise the box can be opened by clicking on the icon.
The box contains all of the NPCs traits and actions; and where appropriate the actions are expanded to allow the DM to make attack rolls, damage rolls, cast spells and other actions that the NPC has. See Combat below for more information.
If the creature has any traits they will be listed here along with a link icon which can be clicked to get more information on the trait.
For both PCs and NPCs this opens up the creature's ability scores. They can be double clicked to make an ability check.
In addition to ability scores an NPC’s Damage Vulnerabilities, Immunities and Resistances are listed.
The DM can type new values into these lines or edit existing values.
Open this toggle to obtain a list of all effects currently present on the creature.
A new effect can be created by right clicking and selecting 'Add Effect' or by clicking on the green ‘+’ button.
The 3 small buttons on the right of the effect allow the DM to control certain aspects of the effect
ACTIVE: Toggle whether the effect is active or inactive or whether to skip use of the effect this turn.
VSBL: Toggle whether the effect is visible to only the GM or to players as well. NOTE: If an effect is created in the effects panel and is set to invisible then, when placed on the PC, the effect will automatically be set to GM Only. Thus effects can be placed on the PC without the player knowing that an effect has been placed on their character. This is useful for curses and such like which the player would not be aware of.
ALL: Applies the effect to all future rolls, only the next roll, only the next action or once for each part of the effect.
The 'Duration' box shows the number of rounds that the effect has left to run. If this box shows zero the effect will remain until the DM clears the effect from the creature. (This would be the normal state for permanent effects, or for effects that last for periods measured in hours or days rather than rounds or minutes). This value can be adjusted by the DM.
The 'Initiative to adjust on' box shows when the duration will be decremented. This box will show zero if the effect was placed on the creature when there was no initiative rolled, or if the effect is permanent or lasts for a long time. This value can be manually adjusted by the DM.
These two boxes can be used to precisely control when an effect ends on a creature.
For example: A wizard character casts a spell on an ally and the effects of the spell last until the end of the wizards next turn. If the Wizard has an initiative of 10 then the spell will end at the start of the wizard's turn, since this is when Fantasy Grounds adjusts the duration by default. However by adjusting the 'initiative to adjust on' to 9.9 the spell will remain until the end of the Wizard's turn.
The 'target' icon can be used to drag the effect onto one or more new targets. This targeting reticule is used to apply 'effect targeting' to a creature. For example if a PC were to cast a spell that gave her an advantage on her next attack against a specific creature, she could apply the effect to herself then use the targeting reticule to drag the effect onto that specific creature.
The creature who applied the effect is noted under these two boxes unless the effect was applied by the creature themselves.
Similarly if the effect is a targeted effect a note will appear stating the target(s).
The DM can end an effect on any creature by clicking twice on the red button to the right of the effect.
DM View - Combat
As noted above when an NPC's turn comes around on the Combat Tracker the 'Offense' part of the Combat Tracker for that NPC automatically opens. This will list all actions and spells that the NPC is capable of using. Mousing over the wording here will highlight certain text. Double clicking on this highlighted text will perform the action in the highlight. These could be attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and effect application.
Once target(s) have been selected the DM can make attack rolls by double clicking on any ATK: entry in the offense section.
Damage rolls are made by double clicking on any DMG: text in the offense box.
All attack and damage rolls can also be made by dragging the appropriate ATK: or DMG: dice into the chat box provided a target has been selected.
Attack and Damage rolls can also be made by clicking on the highlighted text and dragging the ATK: or DMG: dice and dropping onto a creature either in the Combat Tracker or onto its token on a map.
Saving throws can be forced on a targeted creature (or creatures) by double clicking the SAVEVS: section or drag/dropping the dice into the chat box.
Saving throws can also be forced on a non-targeted creature by drag/dropping directly onto the creature in the Combat Tracker or onto the token on a map.
Effects can be placed on a targeted creature by double clicking on any EFF: part of the offense box or by drag/dropping onto the creature in the Combat Tracker or onto its token on a map.
DM View Action Entry Example
The action entries are auto created by Fantasy Grounds from the standard wording taken directly from the creature record in the base 5E RPG material. For example, the two actions seen in the graphic below are created from the base descriptions of:
Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable and is poisoned and paralyzed for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, while poisoned in this way.
Web (Recharge 5-6)
Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is restrained by webbing. As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 12 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage).
As mentioned above, the entry is created by FG parsing the normal description text of the action when the NPC is added to the combat tracker. The syntax used is similar to, yet different from, effects. The following lists the current ruleset supported parameters:
[M] or [R] sets the range type of the action: Melee or Ranged
[ATK: XX] sets the attack roll bonus (and indicates an attack roll)
[DMG: XX] for a damage roll/application - can be a die string (e.g. 1d6) or a fixed number.
[SAVEVS: <ability> <target> (H)] for a save - (H) indicates half on save
[HEAL: XX] for doing healing
[R: X] for a recharge number against a d6 roll ([USED] is added once a damage roll has been made and indicates this action has been used and will be removed when the recharge number is automatically rolled on the beginning of the creature's turn).
[EFF] Indicates there is an effect that can be applied.