The following 10 Foundry Virtual Tabletop modules are so universally essential that everyone should immediately install them:
Nothing. There is no such list, and there never can be.
First off, I apologize for the clickbaity title and flippant answer (“Hey guys, don’t forget to smash those like and subscribe buttons!”), but I feel this is an important topic which deserves a little bit of sass.
While lists of recommended modules can be useful resources when used properly, they can also be unhelpful and even counterproductive without proper context. This is particularly true for users who are new to Foundry VTT, and unfortunately new users are the ones (understandably) looking for such lists to help them get started.
Issues with recommended module lists
As much as I personally love modules (I’ve even created a few), and even though there is a vast universe of amazing modules for Foundry Virtual Tabletop that can improve the online tabletop gaming experience for you and your players, there is no magic one-size-fits-all-list of modules. This is true for a variety of reasons:
- Both Foundry VTT and its modules evolve constantly and static lists do not.
Over time, modules may stop being maintained and/or their functionality may be incorporated into core Foundry. When people find outdated lists that contain such outdated modules, it can lead to confusion and significant problems.
For example, if you see a module list that recommends Deselection or Teleport modules, move on. That list is dangerously outdated and should not be used.
- Some modules may not work for your game system.
Many lists of modules assume that you are playing D&D 5E. Even modules that claim to be “system agnostic” may have issues in a particular game system or be much less useful.
- Each person has different preferences and needs.
Even if you are using the same game system as the person who created the list, such as D&D 5E, people want different things. Some people want as many rolls automated as possible to make things easier and faster, and others want a fully manual process they can control fully. More people fall somewhere in between. Also, just because a module is widely used, such as on that provides 3D dice, you may personally not like it or remember to use it. Unused modules bloat your game unnecessarily.
- Some modules are incompatible with other ones.
The module on the list may be great by itself, but it may conflict with another module you are using and love. In particular, try not to install more than one module that extensively overhauls the same part of Foundry, particularly ones that roll dice and generate chat cards with the results. If you do this, be cautious and be prepared that modules my just not play nicely with one another.
- Lists can encourage installing many modules at once.
Installing every shiny module on the list can be tempting, but in practice this is not a good idea. It results in a “blob” of new functionality that is confusing and makes it very hard to know where one module starts and the next ends. To get the most out of each module, install one at a time, view its documentation, play with its settings, and try to understand what it’s doing.
- It’s important to know how “core” Foundry works before adding modules from a list.
Similarly, try using Foundry with as few modules as possible at first. You may find that you prefer the core Foundry functionality over popular modules in some cases, and it helps greatly to understand what your modules are actually doing once you do add them. It also makes it much harder to debug issues when they do occur.
Find things that you wish you could do, and specifically find modules that add that functionality or smooth out processes that feel rough or awkward to you. When you do, add them slowly.
Not a good idea if you installed Foundry yesterday (or ever, probably).
Okay, fine, but really, where’s the damn list?
With all that said, a list of module recommendations can obviously be very helpful if you keep all the above cautions in mind. You can discover things that you didn’t know existed, or you can think about a module in a new way.
Finding other users who play the same game system and who have similar philosophies and tastes and discussing your favorite modules is preferred over a list, but if you really must… Reddit, YouTube, and the Foundry Discord, have many such lists of recommendations that you can find, just make sure that they are no more than a month or two old at most and only then if no major new stable Foundry VTT version has come out recently. If it has, all bets are off and you need to be even more careful than usual.
Here at Foundry Hub, there is a list of modules sorted by their popularity, as measured by their install rate on the excellent Foundry hosting service The Forge. Additionally, ratings and reviews are available in these listings. The Foundry Hub forums are also a great place to discuss modules and see what other people are using. Upcoming articles will present examples of how to use combinations of modules to achieve amazing results. The Foundry Hub even has plans of listing modules you love right in your user profile.
Just remember kids: view any list of recommended modules with a critical eye, keep an eye out for shiny new finds, and have fun out there!
Thanks to the members of the community who helped editing this post. It was very much appreciated!