Some of you may be confused about the two virtual tabletop programs that are available from this site. You may be asking yourselves the following questions, which I shall attempt to answer.
Who is the target audience for each product?
BRPG was primarily designed for playing RPGs, either online or in face-to-face game sessions. As a bonus (in part to make it a more competitive/enticing contender compared to other RPG-oriented virtual tabletop programs), it can also be used to play boardgames, wargames, card games, and dice games. So the target audience for BRPG is roleplayers, and it should be particularly appealing to roleplayers who enjoy other types of gaming from time to time.
BGE, on the other hand, is just for boardgames, wargames, card games, and dice games. It can not be used for playing RPGs. BGE (for now, at least) is a subset of BRPG's featureset. Over time, it may grow to include features that will never be in BRPG (e.g., a bank system to handle game money, such as in Monopoly). So the target audience for BGE is general gamers, but not roleplayers.
What exactly are all the differences between the Battlegrounds Gaming Engine (BGE) as compared to Battlegrounds RPG Edition (BRPG)?
BGE uses a different licensing scheme than BRPG, one that does not require a new license code to be issued (for Windows PCs) any time the hard drive is reformatted or replaced, or a new Windows OS is installed. It's also easier to claim a license activation code, since BGE can pre-generate an email with your Challenge Code (this avoids typos in submitted Challenge Codes). Best of all, BGE comes with anywhere between 1 and 15 free Player Slots (BRPG never comes with Floating Licenses included; they are always a separate purchase), and these free Player Slots are shared; if you log into someone else's game session, you automatically lend them however many free Player Slots you have yourself. This makes it very easy to host games with a large number of players, which could be prohibitively expensive to do in BRPG.
BRPG has the following features that are not present in BGE:
* Fog of War (and related unit-specific features such as Enhanced Night Vision and Light Sources)
* Area of Effect overlays
* Animated fire and animated light glow effects
* Peer-to-peer map/board transfers
* Support for "Groups" in the Chat window's Participants List (e.g., Main Party, Splinter Party, Adversary Player)
* Stealth/Invisible feature for figures
* Allows fudging of die rolls by the GM/host
* Blackout Feature (allows the GM to tweak the game in private during a session)
* Support various "voices" in text chat (such as in-character, out-of-character, and Narrator/Emote voice)
* Supports Chat Aliases (a voice you can "Chat As", without a unit present to represent the speaker)
* Allows for custom text chat colors for each unit
* "Secret Portrait" feature (the GM can see portrait art which the players cannot, for example, monster & NPC stat blocks)
* Initiative can be set via a card draw
* GM's can claim a 2nd GM Client license for free, to prep their games with
BGE's advantages over BRPG include:
* It's a smaller download, and takes up far less space on your hard drive (this is important since you will likely have many installations of BGE, one for each digital game conversion)
* It's significantly cheaper than BRPG
* Free Player Slots are shared with the host of the game session
* No RPG-related terminology or features makes the software both easier to learn and easier to use
* Eventually, BGE will probably have a much larger user base than BRPG, due to the lower cost, making it easier to find players/opponents than in BRPG
* BGE is probably more suitable than BRPG for people without broadband (i.e., those with only a dial-up connection)
Virtual tabletop software specifically designed for boardgames, wargames, card games and dice games
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