So you’ve gotten your hands on Talespire, BouncyRock’s virtual tabletop software and can’t wait to get into sessions of your favorite roleplaying game! Except – well, how do I get into games? How do I move around these boards? Can I adjust the performance of the game? This guide is meant to walk through everything you need to know to use Talespire effectively as a player, including but not limited to: joining campaigns, choosing your miniatures, dice rolling, and the software’s interface. Gather ’round adventurers and let’s hear this mad wizard’s tale…
The first thing you want to do to begin your Talespire experience is to join a campaign. This is very simple, your DM will send you a 7 character code which you will use to join your campaign.
To join a campaign, you’ll want to load up Talespire and click “Begin”, it’ll then pull up the campaigns tab along with the changelog. At the bottom of the campaign tab you’ll see “Join Campaign”, enter your code there then click Join!
When buying Talespire a good thing to keep in mind is that it will use the name of your Steam account when you purchased the game. If you change your Steam name your Talespire name will not change, so make sure it’s something you like!
Speaking of minis, let’s get to choosing one for your upcoming session! Talespire has an ever-expanding list of digital miniatures to be used and abused in BouncyRock’s virtual tabletop. From muscled veterans to horned mages the choices are almost limitless for a fantasy-setting roleplaying game.
There are a few ways to determine which miniature is best for what you’re trying to play as.
- The most obvious way is to tell your gamemaster what you are hoping to play and let them decide what fits. You won’t be able to see minis on the board until one is assigned to you so this process takes some time.
- Another method is to go into your own Talespire campaign where you are the owner/gamemaster and looking through the minis yourself.
- The third way some campaigns do things is to set up a hub board with all the main player models presented in some kind of order (be it melee, magical, height, color, etc.) and assigning players to a placeholder mini so they can see the selection. As a player, a good way to point to what you want is the press “M” for the ruler sphere to come up and follow your mouse for everyone to see.
- Lastly, if you are looking for a good repository to view each model, Tales Tavern has each model in the TaleSpire Assets library.
Once you’ve chosen the mini you want, the gamemaster will get it ready for you. This will include:
- Naming the mini
- Assign you permissions to view and control the mini
- Setting the mini to unique. This means that it is saved to the campaign’s named mini database and only one can exist at a time, which saves time when moving between boards.
Once your TaleSpire miniature is set up, you can right-click your miniature to assign its max and current health, pull up the emote submenu, and modify the four stat submenu. This last one can be used to track whatever resources your character spends or tracks. Often this is used for armor class, passive perception, movement, supplies (i.e. potions, arrows), or anything else you want easily visible.
So you’ve entered the TaleSpire campaign and picked out your mini. But how do you get around to different boards?
First, when the campaign opens you’ll start on the default board. This is something that the GM sets up in the campaign and so they can make it auto load wherever you want. But of course as you’re playing, you may need to move to a different board so here are a few options.
The simplest option is done by the GM themselves. They have an option to summon players to the board they are viewing. They simply go to the players menu and click the button to “Summon Players To This board” and you’ll be drug through time and space to the board they are on. It’s that simple. It does summon everyone loaded in the campaign at that time and sometimes that is a problem so there’s another option.
Manually Moving Yourself
Option two is if they can’t summon you for some reason. Generally this is because there are other players they don’t want moving to that board. In that case they will give you the name of the board.
First, check what board you are on now. The name of the board is in the top right of the screen. Now if you’re on the wrong board simply hit the spacebar. A small icon appears in the top left of the screen that you can click on. This will then slide out a drawer listing all available boards in the campaign. Now find the name of the board and click the arrow to be moved to that board.
Once you are there you should see other players listed on the left along with the GM’s Steam Name. Congratulations you’ve now changed boards in TaleSpire.
Quick Tip: If you happen to move to a board as a player and there is no GM on that board, you will be locked in to a specific view as you wait for a GM to arrive. Sorry, no peeking.
I’m in the game, but now I can’t see what’ s going on. Knowing how to move your camera around is important, so here’s a quick rundown of all of the camera controls!
- Rotation – If you want to rotate your view around your mini or around the board simply hold your middle mouse button down and drag the mouse around. This will change the angle and rotation of your view.
- Zoom – To zoom simply spin the middle mouse wheel in and out. This zoom is limited to a maximum and minimum height but should have well enough flexibility to see what you need.
- Camera Movement – To move the camera you can simply use the WASD keys, alternatively you can right click and drag to drag the camera around the board.
Also, should get you lost there are a few quick tips that may help. If you double click on your mini picture in the top left it will center your view on the mini, and even can set the clip slider (green slider) to help you see your mini if it’s inside something. Or press F2 to center yourself back at the board start.
Moving around in Talespire rather it be your camera or mini has a lot of options and little, secret controls. For example by holding down the left shift key and pressing W,A,S,D or any of the directional arrow keys, your mini will move according to the key presses, like shown below.
Quick Tip: While in initiative mode your mini can only be moved by using the keyboard when it is not your turn. During your turn all the options will be available.
If your character has the ability to fly you can ask your GM to set it so your mini can fly. Once that is done the base of your Mini will become transparent and your can hold left click on your mini and left control to bring it up and down by dragging.
If you’re wanting to move your mini quickly you can either hold left-click to drag the mini around or shift+left-click your mini and teleport it. This is useful for moving your mini onto higher spots in the map or for catching up with the party if you looked away for a moment.
If you’re playing with a system where your characters need to be on a specific tile, such as DnD you can go to your settings menu and toggle “CreatureSnapToGrid”, this will make it so your minis snap and lock onto tiles when moving them. Keep in mind however teleporting your mini will not snap it to the grid.
If your mini isn’t facing the way you want it, all you have to do is hold alt+left click then move your mouse, this will rotate your mini for you!
Movement aside, there are a few other things you can do with your mini in Talespire! This includes: tracking HP, emotes, additional stats, and a torch! Atop of all of this, you can right-click another mini whilst selected onto yours to attack it!
If there are multiple of the same mini, or you’re just curious about names, you can hold tab and the names of the minis will appear overhead.
If you ever lose track of your mini or any minis that you can control, you can click in the portrait of your mini in the top left and your camera will be centered onto the location of the mini.
If your camera is ever off-center of your mini you can recenter it by double-clicking your mini. Double-clicking any spot centers your camera there!
In Game Chat
TaleSpire currently doesn’t have a voice chat in game, many users simply use Discord for this. But they have added an in game Character Chat. Simply select the mini you want to talk, and press enter. This will bring up the chat box where you can type your message. Press enter again and your character will speak the text with a chat bubble. You can also view chat history by hitting the spacebar and clicking on the book icon in the top right.
So enjoy the fun, chat it up and bring those TaleSpire minis to life!
Quick Tip: If you’re using a voice chat and others are talking often having your mini speak helps you get your info across without having to speak over everyone.
Line of Sight
One last thing that’s worth is explaining is minis and line of sight. Essentially Talespire tracks each and every minis line of sight using various methods, however, this is to create an immersive experience. So if there’s a monster hiding behind rocks or trees, and your character wouldn’t be able to see them, it renders them invisible to you so you can’t see them. Now admittedly this system isn’t perfect and will have occasional hiccups, sometimes you should be able to see another mini but you won’t be able to, vice versa. TaleSpire is adding group line of sight which will help alleviate some of these issues.
Now, the best part of a virtual tabletop is rolling virtual dice! But don’t worry, these are free of charge, your wallet will thank you this time around. To start this out all you have to do is hit the spacebar and at the bottom of the screen the dice tray will open including a variety of dice.
If by chance you forgot a dice you rolled, you can open up the history tab! All you have to do is hit spacebar until the dice tray is open, then at the top right, under the big X to close out Talespire will be a little booklet. Click on this booklet and it’ll open up the history. You can hit spacebar to quickly remove it from your screen as well.
Next up, the best part, rolling dice! Click the die or dice you want to roll, a little pop-up will appear in the center of the screen, click and drag your left mouse button over this pop up then shake your mouse. When you’re ready to roll left go of your mouse and dice will roll! Additionally, Talespire will add up the total number that was rolled across all of the dice, however, this doesn’t include external modifiers such as proficiency bonuses.
Combat! What TaleSpire session wouldn’t be complete without a little combat. Your GM will have what they need to do but lets help you learn what you need to in order to make things run smoothly.
Your GM will set up initiative by starting up initiative mode. You’ll see this at the top of the screen and usually they’ll call out those famous words. “Roll Initiative!”. Well go ahead and roll and usually wait until your GM requests the number.
After they set up initiative you’ll see the initiative tracker at the top of the screen. This lets you know whose turn it is but also you can see the order of those immediately ahead of and behind the active characters turn.
Quick Tip: If you see things in initiative you can mouse over them and the ring around the character base will highlight or you can click on them and the view will move to target them. You may not be able to see them with the view from your currently selected mini, but the camera will move there.
Now once it’s your turn, you’re ready to go. You’ll see your mini listed in the center of the initiative tracker.
You can move your mini through the methods explained before by clicking and dragging the mini, or using shift and the arrow/WASD keys. Now so you know, you can’t drag your mini when it’s not your turn, but you can move it using the keys.
Besides simply telling your GM who you’re attacking you can right click on the creature you see and select the option to attack that mini. Currently there are options for a regular attack or a Magic Missile attack (can be used for any spell). The Magic Missile attack adds a fun animation to the attack. Just a note, if you have multiple minis you are controlling, you’ll want to make sure you have the correct one active. You can click on the mini itself or the mini picture in the top left.
Also, as you are looking around, if you have multiple minis you’ll notice what you can see from your point of view is based on the mini you have selected. So if you say have a familiar you can click on their mini and get a different view than yours.
Ending Your Turn
Once you’ve completed your turn, you simply click the big End Turn button under the initiative tracker. This will automatically move the tracker to the next characters turn.
Quick Tip: If you are a GM on the board, even if not a GM at the time, this button will not show. So you’ll have to have your GM move initiative to the next character.
I just lost control of my mini! I can’t move at all, is the game broke? Well, probably not. I’m glad to say you’ve very likely entered cutscene mode.
Cutscene mode is a way for a GM to further control what you can see and lets them introduce a new area, boss, or whatever they want by temporarily freezing your view and letting you see what they want you to see.
Talespire has various settings that allow players to modify their interface and game experience. Clicking on the gear in the top right opens the various settings tabs Talespire currently has on offer.
The first menu concerns general display/sound settings, from the main volume of the application to the resolution and full-screen mode, or even how the user interface is sized (do not change this setting too dramatically at one time).
If you have a system that struggles to keep an even framerate in Talespire, immediately scroll to the bottom of this menu and turn all the screenspace effect settings to the displayed configurations before clicking “Ok.”
The second tab of the settings menu concerns miscellaneous game settings specific to Talespire, these currently include the Snap-to-grid and compass features. Snap to grid forces minis to align themselves with the grid map that every Talespire board is built off of.
The TaleSpire Compass – Don’t get lost trying to explain directions again
The compass is a feature that can be used to orient directions in relative terms when the players or gamemasters want to describe a location. The compass direction is determined by the gamemaster and is the same for everyone on the board.
The last section of the general settings is actually a key map for players to familiarize themselves with the keyboard controls for Talespire. These key mappings can be changed, many others will be added in the future. Some of the most notable ones are WASD/arrow keys for camera control, spacebar to open the boards/dice interface, shift+WASD to move your mini tile by tile, and F2 to center yourself on the board.
If by chance you ever forget some of the controls, you can hit F1 and a handy menu will open up.
For all of your distancing/spell casting needs, Talespire has rulers to make it easy to measure and display effects and movement! Talespire hosts 3 different rulers, a basic line, a cone, and my personal favorite, the sphere, aka radius. To open up the rulers all you have to do is click M. You’ll notice three options appeared at the near bottom of the screen. In order, these options are Cone, Line, and Radius. Once you pick what kind of ruler you’d like to use you want to click left click and then move your mouse, this will set either create a line, if you’re using a line, create a cone showing the area of effect, or expand the radius. When you’re content with the distance of your rulers you can left-click and it’ll stay in place, however, if you’d like to adjust it you can by simply clicking any of the white dots of the ruler. Fun fact, you can change the degrees of the cone to either shrink or increase its total area of effect. With the line ruler, you can also set up multiple points by clicking after you set the first point, if you want to stop using the line ruler just right-click.
If your campaign by chance leads you under a cliffside or into a mountain you’ll be happy to learn of the clip slider! On the right-hand side of the screen two sliders, the cut box and the clip slider. The clip slider is useful for when there are objects overhead and you want them out of view. Usually is automatically adjusted with your mini as it moves around the map, however you can manually adjust and tweak it to your liking. Firstly you’ll want to click the padlock next to the green slider to lock it into place. Then can move it up and down until you have the result you want.
If you run into a bug you’ll be happy to learn you can report it quite easily! All you have to do is hit escape and click the big blue “Report Bug” button! This will open up a tab in your browser of choice. Reporting bugs will help BounyRock improve Talespire faster and make it a smooth experience for everyone else who wants a virtual fixing of their tabletop roleplaying!
If you’ve made it all the way down here you should be armed with knowledge enough to take on armies of enemies eternal – or at least make your humble beginnings as a player in Talespire. After all, this isn’t the end of the journey with BouncyRock Studio’s digital tabletop simulator, and the depth is truly realized when you decide to take the leap and try running games or building maps in the software. Come back to Tales Tavern for any of your tutorial and slab needs and beyond!
If you find any problems with this article, think something more needs to be added, or simply have ideas that will help make this a better resource, let us know. We want this to be a community resource for every TaleSpire fan.