- July 8, 2020
- Last Update July 5, 2020 10:32 am
Whether you’re learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons online with Roll20, Fantasy Grounds or you’re a vet of the VTT, no doubt you’d love to have a custom Roll20 token or Fantasy Grounds miniature to compliment your badass new player character. Here’s how to get your dream token completely free with Hero Forge!
Every awesome tabletop RPG character should have an equally awesome avatar. In the TTRPG realm, those are usually represented by minis, and virtual tabletops (VTTs) are particularly supportive of digital tokens, since they are typically highly visual mediums. If your game master uses encounter maps in your virtual tabletop, then you will likely want to customize your token (or VTT mini) to your liking.
Welcome to the bliss and time vampire of the HeroForge.com custom character modeler.
Step 1: Jump on Hero Forge at www.heroforge.com
First things first, head over to www.heroforge.com and grab an account. An account is not actually necessary, but you might want the option to save your creations and return to the site from time to time. It’s a lot of fun but BE WARNED, you can easily sink hours into creating the characters and NPCs of your dreams as time in the real world quickly slips away!
Depending on the your GPU or the raw graphics processing power of your computer, I’d recommend clicking on ‘Info’ in the top right hand corner, then selecting Options and turning the ‘Graphics’ down to Auto (Low), at least for the creation process.
Leaving it on high will cause some machines to jump around and produce otherwise fairly janky performance issues while you’re trying to create your custom 3D Hero Forge Roll20 token.
Step 2: Create the custom 3D Roll20 character and token of your dreams
There are literally thousands of customization options for millions of character combinations, including a huge roster of races, equipment and gear options and the like. Before the quarantine really kicked up, I and my players had dumped thousands of dollars into Hero Forge for custom playable versions of our player characters.
That’s right, aside from the purpose of this video, Hero Forge lets you design custom 3D player miniatures that you can then order to have for use at your table game, when we can finally gather with friends around the table once again.
I had some fun using pre-selected and custom options to create a Tabaxi-style pirate class character in the video sample.
Be sure to watch the video too for a full visual walkthrough of the process.
When you’re finished, go back to Info>Options and set the Graphics detail back to High or Max and refresh the page to see your creation in hi-res glory!
Step 3: Set up a top-down view and screenshot for your custom Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds token
Tokens in virtual tabletops (VTTs) play much better with a top-down view just like you would see if you were looking down at your own gaming table. This will accentuate the 3D aspect of your mini and make it feel like a real token when you eventually iomport it into Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.
Simply drag the camera angle so you are looking directly down at your custom player token and rotate the camera until you have the view you want.
Then, click screenshot at the very bottom right of the token preview window. When the popup comes up with your token, ready for its glamour shots from the top-down, you can click the little checkbox in the bottom right corner that says ‘cutout.’
This will remove all the branding, background and other visuals, leaving you with a perfectly clipped out PNG of your token to save.
Save the token to an easy spot on your hard drive/desktop and you’re almost done!
Step 4: Import your custom 3D mini token into Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds and enjoy!
As a bonus, I’d recommend bringing your exported PNG version of your token into an image editor and reduce the size a bit. The export from HeroForge using the method in the video will produce a file that is 1024×1024 pixels and about 223kb. 500×500 is more than large enough for Roll20 and your storage will thank you, especially if your on the space limitation of 100MB with the free version.
If you don’t have the software or ability to do this, it’s not a big deal – just a slight optimization that can help make things a bit easier to manage. Either way, you can now import your new token into your Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds game or email it over to your DM to upload and assign for you.
Have you ever used Hero Forge for miniatures or VTT token creation? Follow me on Twitter and shoot me an image of your favourite PC or just come along for this and other great daily Dungeons and Dragons conversation.