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Invisible Tokens

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Revision as of 17:03, 14 January 2021 by Andreas J. (Talk | contribs)

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Invisible Tokens in Roll20, Nick O.

This page has a collection of tips & tricks for creating & using invisible tokens in your games. So of the tips are related to just "hidden" characters/NPCs, and could be moved to a separate page.



Of what use is a token you can't see? Plenty, if you are the GM. In fact, there are so many uses, that this is likely to be the first post in a series, covering the creation of and control of an invisible token. But in brief, a GM can attach actions, notes and other information to an invisible token, as well as use its other properties, such as aura and light.

Creating the token How to create an invisible token? First you need a completely transparent png. Here's one you can download. Trust me, it's really invisible. (The Aaron has used dark magic to make it appear within the forum.)

Click on it to see the invisible preview, then right-click on it to download it to your computer. Then upload it to your P Art Library, and drag a copy onto your tabletop. Depending on what you want to use it for, you may want to right-click on the tabletop copy and define it as "is graphic" or leave it as a token. It all depends on if you want the little bars, bubbles and gears to appear when you select it.


Seeing the Invisible Now finding the darn thing would be problematic to say the least. It's invisible. That's where auras come in. Go ahead and double click on it to bring up the editing interface. Give Aura number one any value, probably of zero, though you can use negative number. if you want it a bit smaller. You can also give it a name at this time, depending on what you want to use it for. You'll be able to see it just fine, but your players won't.

Attaching it to a Sheet Eventually, you will probably want to attach this to a sheet, but again, you may want to have different kinds of sheets for different purposes. The absolute biggest advantage to attaching it to a sheet is that you can pull a fresh token from your N Journal-tab whenever you want, without going through all the steps above. For our initial examples, we will be creating an otherwise-empty character sheet called "Info". Attach the token to this character sheet and save it as the default token for the sheet. Your Token Settings should look like the image to the right.

So now you have an invisible token attached to a character sheet no one can use. What do you do with it? Plenty. Read on.

Notes token

API Version

Control token

Door Control

Invisible Creatures

, see also video doing the same thing by Nick O.

Sometimes creatures are on the battlefield but can't be seen. Maybe they are tunneling, or ethereal, or just plain invisible. The Aaron has a good script for that call Bump, but here's a method that can be used without the API (but with the API, still much easier).

For a creature that has this capability, create a Rollable Token, with the invisible face as one of the sides. Create a GM-only aura around it, preferably taking up its exact space. Set up your token in whatever fashion you do normally, and save it as the default token. Now whenever you drag that token to the battlefield, it will have the capability of turning invisible. There are two methods, the Manual (Free) method, and the API (Pro) method. (There is also the quick and dirty Fog of War method I mention here, but this is easier to use with multiple creatures.)

Manual Method (Free) The manual method is two step. First right click the token and call up the token menu. Choose "Multi-Sided >> Chose Side". If it is visible, choose the other side, and vice versa. This will toggle the token between the creature and the invisible state. The GM Aura us placed on it comes into play here, because YOU need to see where it is. The second step is the name plate. Most GMs in my experience, make the name plate visible to all players. You'll need to open the token interface and set the nameplate to invisible to players. This helps the players say "I want to attack Ankheg #4". They could ping it for the GM, but words are faster. Of course, you'll need to turn that back on when making the token visible again. For a battlefield with more than one invisible token creature, it might be easier to just leave the nameplate invisible and ping targets for the GM.

API Method (Pro) The API method is much easier. You write a token macro that uses TokenMod to set the face and the nameplate. You could name one macro visible, the other invisible. Here is sample code:

!token-mod --set currentside|1
!token-mod --set showplayers_name|yes

The "1" and "yes" are what you need to change from macro to macro. The number in the first line sets the face, the "yes" in the second line should be changed to "no" when setting the face to invisible. Note that TokenMod will only change images that are in your P Art Library; you may have to download and re-upload any purchased assets you wish to use this trick on.

In the example images below, I have actually used three states. The Ankheg is a burrowing creature, and I happily had an erupting state for the image. So I have three buttons, "Buried", "Half', and "Surface". This is one advantage of this method over The Aaron's excellent Bump script. I use a very subtle GM aura, since the nameplate remains visible to me.

Surface, showing Token Macro Buttons
Halfway state, useful for a partial reveal in a hit and run maneuver.
Buried, GM View
Buried, Player View

Noises in the Dark

Hide Token with Map Assets

Hidden Light Source

Token Aura

how to use Token Auras with invisible tokens to make tokens visible for only some players & the GM.

Aura Effect to Reveal Hidden Objects or Markings

Using Turn tracker for planned actions & hiding characters

Tips by

Turn Tracker on Multiple Pages:
Turn Tracker can track tokens from any combination of pages, and there’s no need to close it when switching between pages. The GM sees all items in the list, but players will only see the items that are located on their current page.

So this can be useful in several ways by creating a page called something like "map 3 encounters" and putting tokens on it to represent the NPC. These are in addition to the NPC tokens on the actual page you are playing on.

1. Over come the problem of hidden/not visible NPC having their location revealed by selecting in the Turn Tracker. Instead of rolling initiative for the token on your game page roll it for the equivalent token on the "map 3 encounters page".

Since the token is not on your game page its position can't be revealed.

2. Using above also means that a NPC turn is only shown to the GM. This is more realistic even when you have visible NPCs as the PCs wont know when its the NPCs turn on the 1st round.

Planed actions.

You may have prepared a series of events that are going to occur but it can be hard for the GM to keep track of this in something like combat. In a scenario you may decided that there will be 3 badies in a room, combat inevitable starts, 2nd turn 3 more badies enter stage right, 4th turn more badies are due.

3. In this case you can use the turn counter and use tokens with names that state the turn and action e.g. "3 badies on turn 2". Again this only appears on the GMs turn tracker and acts as a reminder.

4. Reminder for more complex sequences. Its not too bad for the GM when its only grunts where the options are run away or who to attack. But suppose its more complex:- "wizard invisible enters turn 3", "wizard levitates turn 4", "wizard casts fire ball turn 6".

5. Or a reminder that some thing will happen such as "shape shift ends turn 5"

Also for mechanical sequences such as a machine doing something after a certain number of turns.

Note that you can manually change a characters position in the tracker so you can still group all the NPCs in the same turn if you want.

I used long token names so its clear on this thread. In reality it may be your own shorthand like "wiz4levi".

Useful API

API that can be helpful for enhancing invisibility-related stuff

  • TokenMod - A popular API for managing & editing your tokens with API commands
  • Bump - a way to invisibly manipulate tokens on the GM Layer from the Objects Layer (-forum thread from 2020)
  • -- Script helps quickly open and close doors by controlling the dynamic lighting lines. Have options for revealing hidden doors in beta GitHubLogo.png

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