We recommend reviewing Guidelines for Image Resolution and File Types & [prepping PDF map images] for tips on optimizing your map artwork for Roll20 before assembling them in the VTT. Doing so will make the process of getting them in the VTT with limited fuss when aligning grids and creating Tokens that look their best.
What is displayed on the Tabletop is all contained within a canvas that is called a “Page”. A single game in Roll20 can store multiple Pages within it. These Pages are all stored under the Page Toolbar that can be accessed by clicking the blue or purple page icon at the top of the browser. The Page that has the “Player Ribbon” on it is the Page that’s loaded for the Players' view. GMs can view and edit any Page at any time by simply clicking on the desire Page from the Page Toolbar.
The Page Toolbar
To access the Page Toolbar, direct your attention to the top of the Tabletop area of the screen. to the left of the View Zoom Scroll bar is a button using a page Icon that will reveal the Page Toolbar once clicked. Clicking this button again will close the toolbar again.
Note: Only those with GM access can access this menu. Players' view of the Tabletop will be whatever Page that the "Player Ribbon" is currently placed on.
Every new game will always have begin with two objects on the Page Toolbar. The Create New Page button that always displays at the top left of the toolbar and a blank Page titled "Start" which will already have the Player Ribbon already set atop it.
While you can begin building with the default “Start” Page, you will likely need more than one Page for your Adventure. The following walkthrough explains how to create a new Pages from scratch and how to edit their parameters to fit your needs.
To create a New Page, open the Page Toolbar and either:
Click on the “Create New Page” button which always displays as the top left on the toolbar
If you want to insert a Page between two existing Pages, hover your mouse between them and a thin green vertical bar with a + icon will appear. Clicking on this will create the new Page in this specified location.
Naming Your Page
Change the name of the Page by clicking anywhere on the name itself to enable edit mode. Change the text to your desired name and press Return to save it. If the name is overly long, it will be truncated after the first ~18 characters. Page names do not word wrap.
Note: If you plan to use the default “Start” page in your Adventure, it is very important to rename it. If you don’t, you run the risk of this page being overwritten by the default “Start” page in the Customer’s game.
Duplicating a Page
You can create a copy of an existing Page by mouse hovering over it to pull up its context menu that displays to the right. The icon of two overlapping pieces of paper is the Duplicate Page button. Clicking on that will bring up a new menu asking if you with to include Map & Lighting, Object & Tokens, or GM Info items (these are all checked off by default). Clicking on the Duplicate button in this menu will place the copied page to the right of the original and will also append the text “ (Copy)” to the end of the new Page’s name.
Deleting a Page
The trash icon that is revealed in the Content Menu when you mouse hover over a Page is the Delete Page button. Clicking on this button will open a confirmation window to confirm or deny the deletion. This action can not be undone.
Adjusting Your Page Order
If you need to rearrange your Pages, you can move them at any time by clicking anywhere on a Page (not on its Name label) and dragging it to it's new place in the Page order.
Clicking the gear icon from the context menu that appears when your mouse hovers over a Page in the Page Toolbar to open its Page Settings.
A newly created game uses the following Page Settings defaults when creating a new Page:
- 25 x 25 square grid
- White background color
- Semi-transparent grid lines, using D&D 5e/4e measurement rules.
The game owner can change these defaults from the Game Settings Page outside the VTT from the Game Details Page.
There are two tabs on the Page Settings Menu: Page Details and Dynamic Lighting. If you don't see the Dynamic Lighting tab, this is likely due to the Creator of the game not having a Plus or Pro subscription.
Remember to click the Save Changes button before leaving this menu if you adjust anything here!
Page Details Tab
This tab tackles all the general settings for the Page (size, colors, grid, etc).
The size of the page canvas can be adjusted here, by changing the Width and Height values. By default, the Cell width and height uses increments of 70 pixels, but you can adjust this if you’re dealing with artwork that doesn’t follow a 70x70 pixel scale. Battle maps smaller than 30 x 30 grid units will likely use a scale that’s closer to 140x140 pixels for better image fidelity while zoomed in.
Don’t know how many grid units your map encompasses? You can input the total pixel height and width of your map image and Roll20 will convert it for you.
NOTE: Roll20 uses a baseline of 70 pixels equals 1 inch, when displayed at 100%. While different monitors, browsers, and zoom levels display a different number of actual pixels per inch, this is the baseline measurement used in the platform for the Page Settings measurements.
Using the Background Color palette, you can select the fill color for the entire map. Click on the color swatch (white box by default) which will pull up the color chooser. From there, you can either select the color you'd like from the palette, or, for advanced users, enter a specific hexadecimal color code. (To find a particular hexadecimal color code, try Colorpicker.com).
Page Scale allows you to choose what a single grid cell represents in distance. The Page’s default is set to “5 ft.” where every 70 pixels represents 5 feet of distance. If the grid is disabled, the Page Scale sets how much distance is represented by every 70 pixels measured on the Page (at 100% scale).
For the units of measurement, you can choose:
- meters (m.)
- kilometers (km.)
- miles (mi.)
- inches (in.)
- centimeters (cm.)
- units (un.)
- hexagons (hex)
- squares (sq.)
- and the last option allows you to create any other custom unit of measurement you need (ex. cubits, football fields, horses, etc)
To enable or disable the Grid, simply click its On/Off button that's positioned at the top right of this section.
Note: Disabling the grid will also disable any grid snapping effects, since there's nothing for the objects on the Tabletop to snap to.
The Grid Types you can choose from are:
- Hex (vertical alignment)
- Hex (horizontal alignment)
If you choose either of the two available Hex grids you will also have the option to display or hide cell labels. These labels appear in the middle of each hex cell.
Under Measurement, you can choose how distance is calculated when tackling diagonal movement. You can choose between D&D 5e/4e Compatible, 3.5/Pathfinder Compatible, Euclidean, or Manhattan systems. Read more about the Ruler and measurements here.
The Cell Width settings are useful when dealing with map artwork that is breaking from its intended grid standard. For instance, if you have artwork with a grid drawn on it that is using 10 feet for every grid square and the rule system you’re using is meant to use 5 foot increments.
In the above example, you can subdivide the grid by replacing the default “1” under Cell Width with “0.5”. Set like this, the grid will draw lines twice as often, making each cell 35 pixels across. Likewise, a size of 2 would double the size of each grid cell. You can enter a number as either a multiplier or in pixels. Whichever field you use, it will automatically converts between cell size and pixels.
This operates in the exact same way as the Background Color setting. Select what color you'd like your grid lines to be.
Note: When you have a battle map with a grid drawn on the artwork, you will find it easier to align the Roll20 grid with the artwork’s if you select a contrasting color for the grid.
The opacity slider located here will adjust the opacity of the grid. The far left of the slider is 0% opacity (invisible) and the far right is 100% (completely opaque). The opacity value has no impact on grid snapping.
Note: If your artwork has its own grid, it’s pretty common to set the grid opacity down to 0% after aligning the map to the Roll20 grid. That way any minor imperfections that occur during grid alignment won’t be visible and players can utilize the artwork’s grid as their visual cue but still snap their tokens to the expected spaces on the map.
This is specifically a Dynamic Lighting feature. If the Page utilizes Dynamic Lighting that could block a Player’s movement (like dungeon walls, doors, pillars, etc), enabling the “Dynamic Lighting Barriers Restrict Movement” option will prevent a Player from being able to move their Token past any barriers drawn on the Dynamic Lighting layer.
Fog of War
Fog of War is a tool that the GM can use to manually hide and reveals areas of a Page with basic drawing tools. This feature is used when Dynamic Lighting is either not enabled or simply not available. If Dynamic Lighting is being used, Fog of War can be left toggled Off. There are features within Dynamic Lighting where you can manually hide areas of the map without needing to double up with Fog of War.
GM Darkness Opacity
This setting affects how dark unrevealed areas with either Fog of War or Dynamic Lighting appear to the GM. This helps with QAing your Dynamic Lighting and also for cross-checking what is collectively visible to your players. We recommend Marketplace content set this value to less than 50% so that the Customer can still clearly see the Page when they load up your Adventure.
This setting is only relevant if you’re using audio in your Adventure.
The “Play on Load” setting allows you to set which audio track or playlists that are listed under the game’s Jukebox that will automatically start playing when the Player Ribbon is moved to this Page.
It is default set to “None” and this means that if the Jukebox is currently playing any music, moving the Player Ribbon to this Page will not affect playback.
If you want the Jukebox to stop playing ANY audio when the Player Ribbon is set to this Page, choose the “None, but stop all tracks” option.
Archive Page & Delete Page Buttons
The Archive Page button will store the Page into the Game’s “Page Archive”. Archived Pages will get placed inside a folder sorted as the last item on the Page Toolbar.
If creating a Marketplace Adventure, restore any Pages from the Archive before you submit your game for approval.
The Delete Page button functions in the exact same way it does from the Page Toolbar, outside the Page Settings menu. You'll be asked to confirm this decision. This action can not be undone.
Dynamic Lighting Tab
Whether a game is able to utilize Dynamic Lighting is dependent on the owner of the game, not the individual GMs or Players within it. The owner of the game must have either an active Plus or Pro subscription.
Dynamic Lighting is a lighting system that updates players’ lines of sight in real-time. The settings listed on this tab of the Page Settings enable and disable certain features of Dynamic Lighting.
Dynamic Lighting Toggle
This toggle turns Dynamic Lighting On or Off for this Page. It's set to Off at default.
Setting up Dynamic Lighting is one of the last things you do on a Page (if it calls for it). At this point in assembly of your maps, we recommend keeping the Dynamic Lighting toggle to Off. Doing so conveniently turns Off all the other options listed on this tab.
When Dynamic Lighting is On, Players can only see what their token can, based on the token’s vision settings and any available elements emitting light that are placed on the Page.
When turned On, Explorer Mode allows players to keep areas of the Map & Background Layer that they’ve previously explored revealed. The map will be recolored to grayscale when explored areas are no longer in sight of their Token. Tokens and other Objects placed in these explored areas will only be revealed once the Player’s Token returns and they are in line of sight.
When Explorer Mode is turned Off (default), Players will have to navigate a location by memory, hand-drawn maps, or through other narratively creative means.
When turned ON, Daylight Mode adds a light source that lights up the entire Page. This is useful for sunny exterior locations or when interior locations are well lit.
You can adjust the brightness of “Daylight” via the accompanied slider.
Update when Token Drop
This is an optimization feature. By Default, this setting is turned Off. When Dynamic Lighting is On and a Token is picked up and then dragged across the Tabletop, the Dynamic Lighting will continuously update and redraws to follow the Token’s movement. This can be process intensive for GMs or Players dealing with an old device or low bandwidth and create a laggy experience for them.
When the “Update when Token Drop” setting is turned On, the Dynamic Lighting only redraws after a Token has been picked up, moved, and dropped back down to the Tabletop.
Marketplace Content can leave this setting turned Off.
GM Darkness Opacity
This is the exact same slider found on the Page Details tab. The value syncs between the two tabs so it doesn’t matter which tab you adjust it on.
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