View Full Version : Looking for tips: Roll20.net

2013-08-03, 10:50 PM
After a year of wonderful campaigning, half of the players are planning to move across country in a few months. Normally, this would mean the end of the game, at least for them. But I understand that the future is here, and heard about a simple online tool called Roll20.

A simple search shows some Giantitp groups are using it. What do you think of it? Is it the miracle tool it appears to be? Is it fairly reliable, useful, as easy to set up for a DM as, say, an old school pen and paper adventure?

Do you have any tips for a DM who is overwhelmed by Roll20? Thinks you wish you knew before you started?

2013-08-03, 11:00 PM
I've used it a few times. It really is pretty fantastic, all things considered.

If you're just starting, I'd say take an hour or two well before the game and play around with things. Figure out how to draw maps, assign control of tokens, what the various buttons do, things like that. It's all pretty simple, but you don't want to try and do it on the fly.

Speaking of which, do your best to have pre-made maps. You can ready a whole bunch, and switch between them easily as you go, but unless you're used to drawing stuff on a computer, it takes time to make something coherent-- much more than if you're just doodling on a whiteboard.

Also, you might not bother with the die roller. It's there, and it's nice, but I can't help feeling like rolling physical dice would be faster than re-assigning numbers every time.

2013-08-03, 11:51 PM
Someone I know on another site wants to start a gaming group using this. How good is it for people who have never played RPGs?

2013-08-04, 12:04 AM
Use the Macros.

Basically, it's a group of dice that you can code, and that coding is so useful. It goes from "Roll Leeroy Jenkin's Will Save" to a code that will roll the entire party's Initiative, and tell them what it is, to having every attack roll include a randomized (but pre-set and character specific!) battle cry.

Pretty legit, there.

As a note, creating maps is pretty difficult for me, so I'd get those set up BEFORE you asked around about players.

For new users, it's fairly friendly. A very iPhone-like interface in some ways, it's dominated by stylistic buttons and colors. Very visual, and player-side, pretty simple.

2013-08-04, 09:37 AM
I'm a player in a Roll20 campaign, and so far I think it works well. I don't know any IRL people there, so I found a brand new group.

Took me 4-5 tries to find a group that 1) has a decent GM 2) has decent players and 3) actually plays when it's supposed to. I almost despaired when 3 GM:s in a row disappeared before the 1st session without a word.

Surprisingly, most players in my group are completely new to tabletop RPG:s, but they still roleplay better than most experienced players I've known. This has the added benefit of making them completely oblivious to minmaxing and powergaming, which means that I can play a 3.5 Bard without opting the **** out of it and still contribute.

The built in voip-feature is rubbish, so using skype, google hangouts or similar is a must.

As SamBurke said, use the macros. Speeds things up considerably.

Since I've only been a player, I know nothing about the GM side of things.

If you're thinking of finding new players there, I think it's a good idea to be picky about players (intervueing them and so on), and not simply do a "first come, first served".

2013-08-04, 09:42 AM
As the others have said, Roll20 is pretty great. I use it for an international game I run, and the best advice I can give is to take the time to get yourself set up ahead if time. The first few times you run, setup will take considerably longer than setting op for tabletop. Character sheets for all the players were the biggest pain in the butt for me, but Roll20 has recently improved that.

That's one of the things I really like - Roll20 is constantly improving their interface. There are even some premade adventures for it. And it works great within Google+, which is the social network my gamer friends and I generally use to chat on.