View Full Version : advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

2019-03-21, 08:02 AM
With growing up, moving to other states, and having kids, my gaming group is too dispersed to meet for games. So I'm considering -- despite my somewhat Luddite tendencies -- to try gaming online.
Is there a good, free program that lets you use video and audio to see each other, ideally with the ability to do quick sketches (so to put a rough draft of a map -- nothing as complex as D&D need with actual grids, but enough to give an idea of who is where) and a chat box? A dice roller build-in would be nice, but isn't needed. We'd trust each other not to cheat.

Any recommendations?
Does Discord work well for that? I've heard of it, but not really familiar with it.

Would those of you with experience share your experiences?

2019-03-22, 07:58 AM
My group got split up physically a while back, and we now use Roll20 to still play together. We've used the free version without much trouble, and it should definitely work for mapping and dice needs.

2019-03-22, 10:37 AM
We use discord for audio and a convenient place to keep notes, and roll20 for a map and dice roller (you can also enable video on it if you'd like).

Both are fantastic (and free!) options.

2019-03-22, 11:34 AM
Roll20 has a bit of a learning curve, but it can do everything you want it to.

Whether that be to maintain a collection of copy-paste enemies you've already made, to chat with people and track their rolls, to provide permanent notes that they can make or hold on to as clues, or to separate what each player can see when the party gets split.

It may take you a week or so of practice before it feels natural, though. Roll20 is best done with a lot of preparation beforehand, as it may take you a while to create a monster template on the spot, or draw an entire dungeon from scratch.

2019-03-22, 02:11 PM
jumping on the roll20 bandwagon too. it feels clunky at first, but you get used to it, plus there are some very well written tutorials for macros and other things on it. rather than using its chat and webcam service, though, my group found that discord ate a lot less bandwidth for the chat and webcam combo. you don't care if the map lags a bit, you do if your voice is coming through more chopped up than fresh parsley.

lastly, invest in a good and solid microphone and a backup. my headset borked out on me pre-session and good thing i could reprogram my webcam to only use its mic or i would have been up hell creek without a consecrated paddle. you don't need the newest latest bestest mic and headset out there, just buy solid and reliable. it will help with being understood over the internets.