So, you're on /tg/ or you see a game you'd like to play on the games listing page, but you've never played an online tabletop before. Never fear! This handy little guide should help you to get up and running in no time.
First, you will need the following three things:
You're going to have to figure out the third item on your own, though there are plenty of massive torrents of D&D and the like on Pirate Bay, as well as select books on /rs/.
As a paid program, you need to either buy FG or download a pirated copy. You can learn more about this on the VTT page linked above. The necessary steps for installing the cracked FantasyGrounds are as follows. BEFORE YOU START, please note you MUST enter a random string for a key! DO NOT LEAVE IT BLANK!
This should get you through the installation process without too much hassle. If you're a Vista user, read on for additional tips from the very helpful BeefStick:
In IRC tonight one of the neckbearded asked me for help getting FG installed. Turns out the guide needs a slight revision for Vista users. Vista's new security system gives the Program Files directory a unique set of permissions which prevent other programs from altering the contents of files inside it. Basically, you can't overwrite a file (Mostly .exe and .dll, but there are several other protected extensions) that's inside your program files directory. Oddly enough, it all works when everything is installed on the DESKTOP in Vista.
Hamachi is a free application, and it works damn well. It's also easy to install, though many people get tripped up on the connection stage.
Essentially, follow the installation steps as you would do normally. When you get to the point where you need to choose a network, take a look at the information provided to you in the game description, chat or thread where you found it. You will be given three items:
The most important step, and the reason I am writing this portion of the tutorial at all: CAPITALIZATION IN THE SERVER NAME IS VITAL. If you fuck it up, Hamachi will tell you the server doesn't exist. Hamachi may also whine at you about the server being full. It is likely telling the truth; free servers can only hold up to 16 people, and offline users are often 'held', taking up precious slots. If this happens to you, just create a new server. As long as the FG server player is connected to any Hamachi network, you can connect via their IP.
Connect to Hamachi using the specified server and password. Locate the server player in your Hamachi network, right-click their name, and select Copy IP Address. Open FG. Choose to join as a player, and enter the IP of the server (usually 5.x.x.x). The game should connect. Tada!
If you've created a local character, you can use that when you connect. Otherwise, you'll see a list of available characters on the server. Choose an existing character if you have one, or the topmost item to make a new character. Normal text, actions and emotes will print with your character name; OOC will print your character name and your player name.
There are a number of ways to talk in FG, most of which change the color or presentation of your chat text. The big box to the left when you first start is the chat window. To start talking, click on the bar at the bottom and type into it. Depending on what keys you hold when you hit Enter or click Send, the format of your text will change like so:
More to come soon