Virtually Amazing − Twilight: 2000 Core Set Foundry VTT Module

Twilight: 2000 Core Set

Foundry VTT Module

Publisher: Free League
Compatible: Foundry v10.285
Available for: $23.71

When your group can’t meet face-to-face, it is nice to have the option to play using virtual tabletops. They are not ideal, but advances in technology and support from publishers are making them more popular. Even though I have spent countless hours on them, I never utilized a published VTT toolset like Twilight 2000 VTT for Foundry or any other VTT. I had high expectations going in and was not disappointed with the results.

Note: Free League provided Rolling Boxcars with a review copy for this article. Please visit our Product Review Request page if you have an item you’d like Rolling Boxcars to review.

On my initial installation of Twilight 2000 VTT for Foundry, I needed to upgrade Foundry to its current version (v10.285). As a Window user, I was required to load Foundry’s desktop client application as an administrator. Hold the shift button while right-clicking on the application and choose “run as an Administrator.” The updater will not work if the application is not launched as an administrator.

Once I completed all the updates required, I installed the Twilight 2000 game system, which was completed in less than a minute. I quickly moved on to the Game World tab, where I created my Twilight 2000 world. Creating the world is easy. Working on a floating window that appeared automatically, I gave my world a name and chose the appropriate game system from a pull-down menu. With Twilight 2000 already installed, the game system was already waiting for me to choose. I ignored all the other open fields for the moment and pushed on through to the game. I was too excited to think about the details of the world. I wanted to see what the toolset was.

Upon launching the world, I’m taken to the world login. This is where Gamemasters and players log in to the game. The login background image features art from the introduction page of the Players Manual (Chapter 05, Weapons, Vehicles, & Gear). I quickly log in as a Gamemaster. Once it loads, I immediately notice the changes to Foundry’s default theme. The background image has changed to the cover art from the box set, and Foundry’s standard “game paused” icon is replaced with the words “War Paused,” a nice touch.

As to the tools, l find over 180 fully stated and ready-to-use actors. These are NPCs, military forces, vehicles, and wildlife encounters. The Player’s and Referee’s Manuals with over 300 documents of the rules, lore, and art stripped down to their essentials for easier consumption. 20 rollable tables from random encounters to critical injuries to use along with the rules. Over 470 items, like weaponry, gear, specialty items, ammunition, and more, to outfit characters and their foes. Battlemaps of Poland and Sweden showing their military forces and Scenario Sites with Walls and Pins; 20 in total. There are also 5 pre-set macros specific to Foundry to quicken play, around 80 pieces of art, and 120 tokens for the Gamemaster to utilize.

Coming back to the main page, I notice some basic guidance on where to start in the chat bar. The first suggestion is to add players to the game, which I do. Once the players are added to the world, they may begin building their Actors (characters).

The virtual character sheet is similar to the physical character sheet but organized with tabbed menus. Attributes, Skills, and Specialties are found under the Stat tab. Coolness under fire, Unit Moral, Body armor in use, Actions, Conditions, and other tracked injuries fall under the Combat tab. The Gear tab holds the character inventory. The Bio tab contains personal information about a character and a Notes tab for those players wishing to take notes. The character sheet is easy to use, with pull-down menus and fillable fields that autogenerate other areas once filled in. The sheet also incorporates drag-and-drop functionality. Pre-generated items can easily be dragged and dropped on the character sheet without having to manually type in the information.

Newly created characters are stored under the Actors icon menu. A Gamemaster can set up a new folder to house them or let them roam free. Placing them into their own folder is suggested since the player’s characters are not the only item that lives under the Actor’s menu. Within is Twilight 2000’s Core Set of actors, animal and human, all separated and alphabetically arranged into folders. Inside there are 10 mundane animals, with two featuring custom icons in the game’s art style, while the rest uses generic silhouetted icons and NATO and Soviet regiments, divisions, battalions, and brigades to use in Poland or Sweden. A set of folders specific to the four provided scenario sites, Americatown, The Burnt Town, The Children’s Crusade, and The Prison, hold their NPCs. An additional 18 universal NPCs to use anywhere needed are kept in a separate folder. They are not specific characters but rather generic, like a civilian or Soviet Officer. Lastly is a collection of vehicles divided into civilian and military for the Polish, Soviet, Swedish, US, and other militaries. All of the “Actors” are fully statted and ready to drag and drop onto the playing field.

I decided to try a solo session to get a feel for the game and the virtual tabletop accessory. I’ve built three characters. Two using Archetypes and one using the Life Path. The Archetype is certainly quicker, but the life path provides a broader, well-rounded character.

The next step suggested in the chat bar was to create a scene which I did via the Scenario Site Generator out of the rulebook. My team begins in a decrepit rural field hospital controlled by Polish Forces. There is only a handful of them, three total. A Polish refugee and a priest are also at the site seeking safety. The surrounding area around the hospital is pocked with graves. The field hospital looks to have been abandoned for some time. Everything in the hospital is covered in dust, and several warning signs have fallen off their rusted nails. The Polish forces are awaiting the arrival of a Soviet Unit they have been in contact with to negotiate safe passage to the city of Kalisz. Everyone gathered around the team’s 2wd civilian vehicle, which they commandeered along the way. The team has hope of making it home when out of now, where enemy fire erupts. It’s a trap, an ambush. Time for combat.

With the scene set, I head back to Foundry and begin to build the scene. Under the Scenes tab in Foundry, there are three folders, Battlemaps, Scenarios Sites, and Travel Maps. I choose an appropriate battle map for my scene. If I chose to play one of the four preloaded Scenario Sites, each one comes with detailed scene notes, the same as the core book. It is super handy to have the site’s notes on screen than flipping through the book.

With my chosen battle map, I populate the scene with the actors. Dragging and dropping the NPCs and player characters onto the map is a breeze. With everyone in place, I begin combat. I initially encountered some difficulties, mainly due to my inexperience with Foundry. Character sheets do not reflect the damage taken, so I manually have to change them. One aspect that does work is the ammunition tracker. With every discharge of a weapon, rounds of ammunition are reduced. The combat goes well for the characters; they all survive.

Before I continue my adventure, I take a moment and explore the other elements of Twilight 2000 VTT. Though I visited it briefly to outfit my characters, I returned to the Item tab to further explore its depths. The Items tab contains a massive amount of weaponry, vehicles, personal protection, and gear cleverly organized into categories that match the contents of the Player’s Manual. Items with illustrations in the Player’s Manual are repeated in its digital version. Key information for each item is provided, and a Gamemaster can modify any of the settings if desired. Multiples of a single item may only take up one space in a player’s character sheet if the player wants. Each item has a fillable box to list its quantity.

I did run into a possible error or glitch when it came to weapons and multiple rounds of ammunition. One of my characters received an error message when attempting to fire his weapon. The error message stated the weapon did not have a magazine loaded even though the character had six magazines of the correct size ammunition for his weapon in his gear. I quickly solved the issue by separating a single magazine from the group and linking it to the weapon. None of the other characters experienced this issue, which I figured was a program or user error.

Continuing along the top, the next tab is the Journal tab. Inside the Journal tab is a reprint of the Players and Refereer’s Manuals. Each is broken out into chapters like its printed counterpart. The Player’s Manual has an extra chapter at the beginning, Chapter 0, with 82 single illustrations found in both publications. The Referee’s Manual also has Chapter 0, which contains handouts and maps for Operation Reset for the Polish and Swedish theaters. Each chapter entry covers the same material in the printed books without illustrations. This digital version allows you to navigate key items by simply clicking on the item of interest, much like a PDF document but even better. The flexibility of this digital format allows for better organization. It is not restricted to a stagnant page layout. It makes referencing a rule while in-game very quick and easy.

The last tab to mention is Rollable Tables. As one can guess, it is filled with rollable tables for the game. Each rollable table references its place of origin, so it can be referenced in the physical book if desired. The tables are activated with their own roller button found at the bottom of each table, and the result is displayed in the chat window. The items on the table are customizable and accommodate additions and exclusions. Of the charts provided, there are tables for gear like reliability, component damage, and the like. There are tables for critical injuries organized by body parts and mental trauma. Tables for traveling and encounters are also provided. Having these tables at a Gamemaster’s fingertips is a real joy. It will surely speed up gameplay.

Final thought

I prefer playing roleplaying games in person, but I don’t always have the luxury of face-to-face games. Virtual tabletops are a great alternative, with plenty to choose from. In most instances, I’m a player on VTT. I am not privy to the Gamemaster view. I have never explored a publisher-made VTT toolset like the Twilight 2000 VTT. I am amazed by the final product. It is so polished-looking and easy to use it is well worth its cost. My only gripe is my lack of knowledge of Foundry to make the most of the tools given to me.

If you are looking to start an online campaign and wondering if you should invest in purchasing VTT tools like Twilight 2000 VTT, I would highly recommend it. It removes a lot of the heavy lifting in setting up a campaign. Unless you dedicate days, weeks, or months to building your virtual game, it will never have the polished look and functionality that Twilight 2000 VTT can give you.

For those wondering how my solo session panned out. My team survived a couple more encounters before finding their permanent resting place in Poland. It was a combination of bad decisions and great dice rolls on the enemy’s part.

~Stephen Pennisi

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