View Full Version : Gaming during a pandemic.

2021-09-25, 02:41 PM
Alright, it's been a year and a half of this junk, and I'm tired of not having a game.

How do you go about safely running a game without getting everyone infected? Is zoom my only option?

2021-09-25, 03:58 PM
You have 2 options: Virtual or In Person.

There are a ton of online tabletops that can help manage some of the game. My group is currently using Foundry Virtual Tabletop (https://foundryvtt.com/). However I have found it helps to supplement it with a generic voicechat app rather than use a virtual tabletop's chat features. Our group uses Discord voice channels for that.

However you could just use a voicechat without a tabletop. We restarted our 5E Curse of Strahd campaign in last 2021 and used shortcuts like theater of mind rather than get a virtual tabletop. Personally I would recommend a virtual tabletop but I was DMing and I did not have much virtual tabletop experience at the time.

In Person:

Vaccines help a lot. They dramatically reduce the risk of you having a severe reaction.
Continuing to wear a mask helps. Even vaccinated individuals can catch and spread the virus. Masks decrease the chance to catch the virus and decrease the number of people you would infect if you did catch the virus.
Minimizing the number of people you come in contact with reduces the velocity the virus travels through a population.
You could have the session outside and further apart than normal. However I think many places have the pandemic under control enough that this is not as vital.

Depending on the status of your area, you might be able to have in person sessions. I suggest being vaccinated, wearing masks, avoiding unnecessary additional people, and staying aware of how the local hospital(s) are handling the the number of cases. I would be especially aware of the delta variant because that variant is more contagious and thus warrants more distancing/isolating than the original strain.

2021-09-25, 06:11 PM
I'm seconding the Vaccines suggestion. There are a good number of people who i did not see at all from the start of the pandemic to when we were vaccinated. I think there is also something to be said about keeping it small. Assuming you are all vaccinated, spending a few hours each week with a handful of other people at someones place should be fine.
If no one can host I would recommend looking at your local library and seeing if their are private rooms you'd be able to use.

2021-09-25, 07:05 PM
Discord + Roll20.net is how we did it before everyone in my group was vaccinated.

2021-09-25, 09:34 PM
We've been playing online since before the pandemic because we're a geographically diverse group. We use Zoom for communications, DnD Beyond for character tracking, and DungeonFog for battlemats. None of it is as good as playing in person but it works.

I recommend Zoom over Discord because of the video aspects and I could do the entire game with only the communication channel. DnD Beyond is kind of mixed bag. It's useful, particularly for new players because it does a lot of the math for you, but it's also a little constraining if you do any homebrew/customization. DungeonFog doesn't really stand out from any of the other virtual table tops and you should use whatever you like the best.

2021-09-25, 10:46 PM
Discord + Roll20.net is how we did it before everyone in my group was vaccinated.

I second this combination. Even before the plague, our group used Discord and DnDBeyond.com before including Roll20 for maps. We also started using the Beyond 20 plugin for chrome. It adds clickable buttons for your attacks/spells/etc on your DnDBeyond character sheet that, when clicked, rolls the attack/spell damage/etc in Roll20 (or any other VTT)

2021-09-26, 05:23 AM
Owlbear Rodeo is a decent VTT as well. I find it runs a lot better than roll20.

Edit: Although that's when I'm playing text games on discord with a dice roller bot. Roll20 might be more convenient for dice rolling.

2021-09-26, 08:38 AM
Discord + Other medium of choice.

Playing in a 5e game that started on Roll20 and recently moved to foundry as well as Dark Heresy 2, L5R and Changeling the lost that either don't use any other medium or use interactive white boards (the best one we found stopped being free about halfway through last year and have been trying a variety since) When its all over people will go back to F2F to some extent but the Online has been great as the fact that I can play with friends in other parts of the country or even world. Interestingly i have found that despite the fact that we could go online the local groups i was doing things with before elected not to.

2021-09-27, 08:49 AM
I’ve been DMing through Discord, the only problem I have is how to be able to uphold the honor system with dice rolls….

2021-09-27, 09:05 AM
Been running a 7th Sea game over Zoom for about a year now. Been doing well and everyone's enjoying it.

2021-09-27, 05:59 PM
Kidnap some gamers, stuff them in your basement (I recommend pizza), keep stuffing them until it's safe to come out? :smallbiggrin:

Works best if you can all work from "home".

2021-09-28, 02:55 AM
I’ve been DMing through Discord, the only problem I have is how to be able to uphold the honor system with dice rolls….

Discord has dice rolling bots (Dice Maiden is the one we're currently using in our PbPs on Discord).

We're lucky that we can meet back in person (and all of our group is vaccinated), but during lockdowns we used Foundry VTT and Google Meet as voice chat (we started using TableTopSimulator but some of our group's laptops had issues with that one). I've also done a few sessions just on Discord, using theatre of the mind.

Now we meet back as normal as the situation here allows it again. But if it doesn't where you are, try to meet outside as suggested or if not possible in a larger room than you usually do so you can sit further apart. Or looking at what rules are in place for bars and restaurants at your location and keeping to those.

2021-09-28, 03:14 AM
Alright, it's been a year and a half of this junk, and I'm tired of not having a game.

How do you go about safely running a game without getting everyone infected? Is zoom my only option?

-Make sure you're all vaccinated
-If someone is feeling sick, they stay home that night
-Take reasonable precautions
-Uh... Live in a province that has very low covid numbers?

I play in 2 in-person games. Everyone generally gets to the house (game 1) and FLGS (game 2) wearing masks (though we take them off to play), we then clean hands with sanitizer/wipes and just go on gaming around the table as normal, noting that the FLGS has a huge basement gaming space that's being used far less often due to large gathering limitations so it's much easier to space out there then at the folding tables in game 1's living room.

I am lucky that PEI has been pretty good about our covid measures, so I don't really feel any worry or stress about the pandemic.

2021-10-11, 07:22 AM

2021-10-11, 08:13 AM
Discord + Foundry VTT here.
It'll never beat sitting around a table in person, but it has been going rather well since lockdown started.

Having a voice chat is the big one. Something that you can count on reliably, is easy to use, and doesn't get in the way.
ie: not Zoom :smalltongue:
But really, anything works.

For a virtual table top, you can get surprisingly far with a google sheet if you're just after a cheap option.
First few games we has was during a time when roll20 was having a string of maintenance outages that always lined up on game night for us, so we just went theatre of the mind, and would drop terrible drawings in paint of the scenes when we wanted a visual reference. Don't need no high end graphics for imagination games :smallbiggrin:

Get any voice chat, get a game time, and stick to it. everything else is negotiable.

2021-10-11, 09:13 AM
We like Owlbear Rodeo for our VTT. We also use Teams so we can see each other. Both our games are in 5e so we can use D&D Beyond for folks who want to use it's dice roller. I find it's easier just to use my own dice personally.

I think we might be back meeting in person soon once the hosts' 5-year-old can get vaccinated.

2021-10-11, 09:54 AM
I pretty much just use Roll20 and Discord. I have wanted to use Tabletop Simulator for a while but I do not know enough people who own it.

2021-10-11, 10:47 AM
If you’re going to throw money at a VTT check if your preferred system has a distribution being supported on foundry. Comparisons with other popular VTTs are like helicopters to water pistols.

King of Nowhere
2021-10-11, 12:54 PM
Discord + Roll20.net is how we did it before everyone in my group was vaccinated.

seconded. we did the same, until we got all vaccinated and we went back live again