Before I reply here, a note about my own usage: I first discovered Shmeppy at least a year ago, and was immediately a huge fan. Others in my group love it as well, but our most recent DM prefers the fancy VTTs and likes doing all the extra work, so we’ve been playing there (while not always grumbling we’d get more play time and less “fix broken things” time if we were using Shmeppy). This last weekend it was finally my turn to DM again, and I came to Shmeppy to get set up and was glad to subscribe as soon as I saw that was the model now. I was also thrilled to see background images, because when I have maps in a book or off a site, uploading them is even faster than drawing my own on a whiteboard. That’s not the topic here, but it is related to my view on this topic.
Having played a full weekend, there were two things I wanted to come comment on this: this topic, and spell AOE effects.
I get this and why you view this as violating trait 3. People don’t want to leave well enough alone. However, I do not think that’s the only way to look at this, or that it needs to be a binary thing (only solid color tokens, or the kitchen duck/sink).
I am very much trying to solve a trait 1 problem. In a real world game, as a DM with a whiteboard, my players manage their own tokens. They show up with a random die, or a coin, or a lego figure, or a 3d printed model they proudly designed themselves, or an intricately painted scale mini they paid a hundred dollars for. I don’t care, they throw them all down on the table and as long as they mostly take the same size on the map, we’re good. I am responsible for the monster minis but I have zero responsibility for making the player minis or making sure they keep track of which one is theirs.
I don’t have that experience with Shmeppy today. I as the DM have to create 100% of the tokens on the board, and I have to bother to figure out a unique color for each player, avoiding the colors I will use for monsters. And then I have to label them all with a name or initial anyway, and hope the labels don’t overlap weird ways in tight corridors (this is better than it was, but it’s not like it’s perfect).
I would not have to do this if I had a way to assign a token to a player as the primary owner (still allowing anyone to move it, because that’s how real life works) and 1) have it show the token by their name on the “connected” list as well as 2a) letting them upload an image for it if they want, or at least 2b) let them control the color and a name part of the label*. This would make it not my problem anymore, which is very much a trait 1 DM QOL thing.
*I’d still prefer 2a over 2b, per the thread topic, because it tracks that real life part better where some people have paid hundreds for minis and want to get to use them. With things moving more and more online, people are designing and paying for digital tokens and want to use them. That’s been an “opt-in” part of real life table top for decades, and it’s a shame I have to give it up here. Look at this forum–some of you have photos of your face, some have cartoony figures, some of us have left it at letters. It’s the same concept.
Regardless, Shmeppy is the best tool and I’m a proud subscriber. It’s well past 80% what I need, but this feature is a large part of the remaining percent I’m hoping to see.