View Full Version : Hosting online games

2015-11-01, 10:13 AM
I'm planning on hosting a D&D game online for the first time, and was hoping for advice and recommendations.
I played in one online before via Skype, and the DM broadcast the battle map via a webcam, but I was wondering if there was was something simpler. A way I could maybe broadcast maps drawn in Photoshop or something.
I've had Roll20 recommended to me, but haven't checked it out yet.

Kid Jake
2015-11-01, 02:11 PM
I'd definitely check out Roll20, even for my face to face games I prefer to whip up maps on there ahead of time.

Honest Tiefling
2015-11-01, 03:07 PM
I like roll20. I have only used it a handful of times, but it didn't require hours of tweaking unlike RPtools which never really wanted to work on my computer I guess. It was pretty easy to use, so another recommendation there.

2015-11-02, 06:44 AM
I tried to have a go at streaming with roll20 on Twitch but my internet and pc just couldn't handle it (a combination of low upload speeds on an ADSL line and OBS hogging resources on my rather ancient PC). Is it any better/easier via something like google hangouts? Or just better to get someone else to host the stream?

I was trying to get a demo game for a kickstarter with some people online because I cant currently get my irl game group together for one so I guess another option would be to skype on my tablet (which seems to handle video better than my pc) and record the skype session somehow?

Any suggestions/advice?

Joe the Rat
2015-11-02, 01:09 PM
Fantasy Grounds is another good VTT option.

I know of folks that use Google Hangouts, which I believe has recording / streaming built in. Roll20 has a Hangouts tool to bring some of that functionality over.

I don't have any experience on recording, so I can't help you there. I know it's possible to stream out of Roll20, just not what's required to make it happen.

2015-11-02, 01:25 PM
I used roll20 for a while just for the battle map functionality (used Skype instead for voice), and it worked really well for that. Drag and drop images into the background for a map, mark areas as unrevealed so only the GM can see them and you can reveal the map a bit at a time by just marking a new area as explored, use customizable tokens for characters and monsters/NPCs complete with hp trackers and status markers, have multiple areas prepared in advance and tie tokens on each page to the same character so hp etc. carry over when you switch, and so on. It was all reasonably obvious about how to set it up and worked very well.

I think there are ways to do fancy things like have it calculate line of sight visibility for you and even have patrolling guards automatically move around their patrol routes as time passes, but I never dug into how to actually do that. The important thing for me was that they didn't let those advanced features get in the way of keeping the basic stuff simple and easy.

2015-11-05, 04:21 AM
Roll20 is probably the best choice.

If you don't need to interact with the maps too much but just show them, then Google Hangouts would also be OK. You can have the image you want ot show open in another program and screenshare to the other people in the Hangout.

2015-11-05, 09:21 AM
On a related note, what do people who DON'T use a "service" (Roll20, FantasyGrounds, whatever) handle character sheets?

Joe the Rat
2015-11-05, 09:40 AM
We ran with spreadsheet-based character sheets that were copied to a shared drive (Cloud, DropBox, Google Drive, etc).

2015-11-06, 01:49 AM
We ran with spreadsheet-based character sheets that were copied to a shared drive (Cloud, DropBox, Google Drive, etc).

Yep, this. Even if you do use Roll20 or similar, it can be more convenient to share stuff outside that window.