The virtual tabletop Astral, with its partnership with DriveThruRPG, looks to carve out some market share from Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.
One of the challenges Astral faces is that it needs to persuade publishers to let their platform legal incorporate their game mechanics and rulebooks. For example, when Wizards of the Coast published their latest D&D campaign setting Descent into Avernus both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds could show and sell their own specially adapted versions.
Astral’s Community Content program
One way to try and solve this challenge is through user-generated content. Astral’s trying that with the launch of Community Content. It’s taking a stab at the most important integration – character sheets.
This is a codified approach for Astral community members to request templates for character sheets. The platform already supports a template system which allows members to build character sheets for any RPG system they want. That, however, is no good to you if you find the process of creating the character sheet rules too complex to tackle.
The Community Content process is a convenient method for requesting character sheet templates for the games you need them for.
It’s also a way for volunteers to make them for you. No one will be paid for this, but one of the rules is that if any of Astral’s assets are used, these have to be available to free members. That means no one will be charged for these templates either.
Another crucial rule is that no license should be violated. For example, character sheet templates have to stick to Open Gaming License material.
If you do decide to contribute to the Astral community with your character sheet design skills, then you go ahead and do so. The next step is to post a link in the Community Content area, and a member of staff will step in to do the first check. After that, the whole community gets a grace period in which to review your work, and then, finally, your design is approved, you get the credit, and everyone on the platform gets access to your template.
You can read the full process over at Astral Tabletop.com.
What do you think? Measured observations are welcome and you can leave them in the comment section below.