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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    So, my D&D group moved all over the country and after struggling through MapTools and some other nonsense, finally just decided to build our own darn system. And build it we have: http://www.roll20.net

    We've been playing using the system for over a month and... well, it feels like playing D&D so that's good. We're doing a beta next month and then hope to launch (FOR FREE, because that's how we ROLL ) to the full public after that. Figured GitP / OotS community would be rather interested. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about the system (and if it's extra technical I'll have the programmer swing by to answer)... beyond that, hope we're able to help others like ourselves who have been hunting for a better online tabletop system!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Curse you, good sir...
    I've been working on a similar project myself, although from a different direction (I've been doing a stand-alone program, instead of a web-based one), and a lot less refined. I did have some questions/comments.
    1) I did not see this in the video, but is it possible to add additional tags attached to a unit, such as having descriptions of buildings/creatues supplementing the avatar? Same thing with the map itself. Can you have a tag on the corner or somewhere on the screen that can give the players a description? Like when you are in the city have a tag that says "You see far to the south a black tower with clouds". Some things can't be shown, but are useful to have a reminding note to players/gms
    2) Is there more room to do character sheets? From what it looked like on the video, there were 2 textboxes in the character field.
    I had other questions... but I forgot them. It would definitely be interesting to give a try, especially since its free.
    Last edited by Techsmart; 2012-04-14 at 12:30 AM.
    I think I just had an evilgasm!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Techsmart View Post
    Curse you, good sir...
    I've been working on a similar project myself, although from a different direction (I've been doing a stand-alone program, instead of a web-based one), and a lot less refined. I did have some questions/comments.
    1) I did not see this in the video, but is it possible to add additional tags attached to a unit, such as having descriptions of buildings/creatues supplementing the avatar? Same thing with the map itself. Can you have a tag on the corner or somewhere on the screen that can give the players a description? Like when you are in the city have a tag that says "You see far to the south a black tower with clouds". Some things can't be shown, but are useful to have a reminding note to players/gms
    2) Is there more room to do character sheets? From what it looked like on the video, there were 2 textboxes in the character field.
    I had other questions... but I forgot them. It would definitely be interesting to give a try, especially since its free.
    A lot of people have said they were tinkering with similar ideas in the time since we've rolled this out... really cool to see we're not alone.

    1) There's a lot of note-adding functionality currently, but to be honest our initial group hasn't used it much. One of the reasons we're going to fiddle with a beta is to have people play with that stuff more. But it's absolutely there that you can assign notes to tokens and other elements of the game.
    2) At this point the character sheet is pretty light. This is for a couple reasons. First, we really don't want this to be a video game where you're shoving this full of mechanics. Second, and maybe a little more importantly... the biggest company in the D20 gaming industry (you know the one) apparently focuses most of their legal energy towards people who do advanced character sheets because that's where people end up infringing upon their copyrighted stuff. So by staying far away from that stuff, we end up not only in the clear legally, but also able to say "hey, this is really for all systems". We might make some tweaks in the beta, but I do think we'll keep the character sheets very light.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    I'll be excited to try it out as well. My D&D hungry friends and I did not have books and wrote our own rules system that ended up evolving so far we're trying to develop a program to run all the calculations for us (we use a lot of probability). Out of curiosity, what language did you guys use to make it? We're using java and considered python, but both are being a mother bear to get a pleasing GUI.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    This. Is. Awesome.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    VeliciaL's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    This looks too awesome. I wouldn't worry too much about character sheets, since there are some pretty awesome sources of online sheets (Mythweavers and Pifro in particular) but not a whole lot of really good virtual tabletops. That's what we really need.
    LGBTAitP

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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Hm, I had a similar idea, also, but I lacked the skills to ever do this. Thank you so much. I'll definitely be backing this.

    EDIT:

    Question, how flexible is your die roller? You say it can work for SR and indie RPGs, so are dice mechanics something you can set yourself?
    Last edited by Stubbazubba; 2012-04-15 at 02:40 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    First off, I have to say this looks very awesome. The question I have is about the voice and video chat.

    I'm assuming that your server would be hosting the voice and video chat. As we all know, latency has a big effect on the usability of voice and especially video chat. Will there be an option to host the voice and video chat on a server in a different location? So for example, if the servers are normally in the US and my group happens to play from Australia, would we have the ability to choose a server closer to us for better overall performance? Would it be possible for one of the participants to act as the host for the voice and video chat?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Rorrik View Post
    I'll be excited to try it out as well. My D&D hungry friends and I did not have books and wrote our own rules system that ended up evolving so far we're trying to develop a program to run all the calculations for us (we use a lot of probability). Out of curiosity, what language did you guys use to make it? We're using java and considered python, but both are being a mother bear to get a pleasing GUI.
    All the various elements we threw together are here: http://roll20.net/policies/acknowledgements.html

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Question, how flexible is your die roller? You say it can work for SR and indie RPGs, so are dice mechanics something you can set yourself?
    We don't have exploding dice and some other stuff yet, but we're looking at it. And Shadowrun is something the core group hasn't really played, but there's so much interest from that community that we'll be working on that in the beta. CURRENTLY the dice rolling is pretty basic. #d# +# gets the math done, and you can set up macros for the rolls you're making constantly. And the macros are really, really easy to use and can be used for things other than dice rolling (common flavor text, some people use it to put up spell descriptions, etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by W3bDragon View Post
    First off, I have to say this looks very awesome. The question I have is about the voice and video chat.

    I'm assuming that your server would be hosting the voice and video chat. As we all know, latency has a big effect on the usability of voice and especially video chat. Will there be an option to host the voice and video chat on a server in a different location? So for example, if the servers are normally in
    the US and my group happens to play from Australia, would we have the ability to choose a server closer to us for better overall performance? Would it be possible for one of the participants to act as the host for the voice and video chat?
    So, our video chat is done through this: http://www.tokbox.com/

    We had latency issues with it early and so they've just switched us over to their production server... which allegedly is the same system they used for a big American Idol streaming webcam thing. We're going to try soon to really crash that puppy, but they've been really responsive so far and helped us clear things up. If there are future problems, my answer would be, "dammit, this is the system *I* am using to play games with *my* friends... so we will find a way to fix it." :)

    EDIT: I was talking with the programmer about Tokbox and he pointed out that they additionally have multiple servers geographically, and so the video chat runs out of a server closest to the person who is the GM of the game. Learned something new....
    Last edited by NolanTJ; 2012-04-15 at 07:12 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Just donated to the Kickstarter campaign, and wanted to post to say that I think this is an amazing project, and that I can't wait until the end of the month (ish) to try it out .

    I also had a quick (ish) question or three. Let's say that I'm running some standard fantasy RPG like the one pictured in the introduction video. Then each character would have a Health bar and a Magic bar. Then let's say that I go to run some sort of Call of Cthulu-like thing. Can I have a health bar, a magic bar, and a sanity bar? Or, to pull out another example, let's say that I'm running D&D 4th edition. Can I add a checkbox to each of the player's windows (or to the window of every monster in the campaign) labeled 'Second Wind' that the DM or the players can check off when the ability is used?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by NolanTJ View Post
    We don't have exploding dice and some other stuff yet, but we're looking at it. And Shadowrun is something the core group hasn't really played, but there's so much interest from that community that we'll be working on that in the beta. CURRENTLY the dice rolling is pretty basic. #d# +# gets the math done, and you can set up macros for the rolls you're making constantly.
    You do know that SR's dice mechanics are completely different, right? Macros are great, but if the dice can only do #d# + #, that's a severe limitation. That means no SR, no WoD, no Exalted, etc. We'll see how it pans out in the beta, I suppose.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by NolanTJ
    So, our video chat is done through this: http://www.tokbox.com/

    We had latency issues with it early and so they've just switched us over to their production server... which allegedly is the same system they used for a big American Idol streaming webcam thing. We're going to try soon to really crash that puppy, but they've been really responsive so far and helped us clear things up. If there are future problems, my answer would be, "dammit, this is the system *I* am using to play games with *my* friends... so we will find a way to fix it." :)

    EDIT: I was talking with the programmer about Tokbox and he pointed out that they additionally have multiple servers geographically, and so the video chat runs out of a server closest to the person who is the GM of the game. Learned something new....
    I did my own research on tokbox and the best I found with this link on their site which states that "The production servers are equivalent to the flash media servers and located in various locations world-wide. The current behavior of create_session(..) will store the session on the closest media server."

    It would be nice to know the general locations of the servers, but I guess I can live with that.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by ResidentWizard View Post
    Just donated to the Kickstarter campaign, and wanted to post to say that I think this is an amazing project, and that I can't wait until the end of the month (ish) to try it out .

    I also had a quick (ish) question or three. Let's say that I'm running some standard fantasy RPG like the one pictured in the introduction video. Then each character would have a Health bar and a Magic bar. Then let's say that I go to run some sort of Call of Cthulu-like thing. Can I have a health bar, a magic bar, and a sanity bar? Or, to pull out another example, let's say that I'm running D&D 4th edition. Can I add a checkbox to each of the player's windows (or to the window of every monster in the campaign) labeled 'Second Wind' that the DM or the players can check off when the ability is used?
    Thanks for the support... we can't wait for people to get in and start messing around.

    Right now the system has for each token two bars, two auras, and a bunch of markers, as well as a place to put GM notes. Players can do some self marking if you wanted second wind to be visually shown.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbazubba View Post
    You do know that SR's dice mechanics are completely different, right? Macros are great, but if the dice can only do #d# + #, that's a severe limitation. That means no SR, no WoD, no Exalted, etc. We'll see how it pans out in the beta, I suppose.
    You're not alone in these concerns and we've starting working on some of the other dice systems. Further we've got some solid plans for gauging interest in specific requests once the beta opens up in May...

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by NolanTJ View Post
    Right now the system has for each token two bars, two auras, and a bunch of markers, as well as a place to put GM notes. Players can do some self marking if you wanted second wind to be visually shown.
    Alright, thanks for the information. Given that, I have a few feature suggestions , some of which you may decide to ignore based on desire for simplicity (which I heartily agree with).

    - The ability to create a transparent circle, square, or triangle to overlay on the board (basically just like the auras, only not tethered to a token) with certain dimensions. That way you can determine the radius of grenade blasts, fireballs, cone shaped spells, or effects that persist over an encounter like Stinking Cloud.

    - Three bars. Because why not? Some systems use three.

    - The ability to attach files (character sheets) to tokens. I know you are (wisely) going for a character sheet light approach, but I could see the need to attach a picture, pdf, or excel document character sheet being very useful. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that woud seem to m like it would solve many of the legal issues with direct character sheet support, and would stay true to being system agnostic (which, by the way, is fantastic).

    Well, that's about all I have to say for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with other stuff later.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by ResidentWizard View Post
    - The ability to attach files (character sheets) to tokens. I know you are (wisely) going for a character sheet light approach, but I could see the need to attach a picture, pdf, or excel document character sheet being very useful. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that woud seem to m like it would solve many of the legal issues with direct character sheet support, and would stay true to being system agnostic (which, by the way, is fantastic).
    This was mentioned on the Gaming Den, as well, and is, I think, a great idea; it'll actually help games get started faster if a player can keep his Token + self-loaded Char Sheet in his online storage and then just drop that into a DM's game. If that's at all feasible I think it would see enough popularity to make it worthwhile. Also, it would increase the amount of online data people want to store, thus likely bringing in more revenue (if that's of interest to you).
    Last edited by Stubbazubba; 2012-04-18 at 10:37 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rixx's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    There should be a way to give out a "client" link that displays only the map, with the ability to drag and drop miniatures as the only functionality.

    This way, in an in-person game, you can have just the map on a tablet or a computer with a touchscreen monitor that's used by all the players, while the DM can be running the game from a laptop.

    This would also be really handy for home made "Microsoft Surface" style table-touchscreens, or other products of the same type once they start to get cheaper.
    Last edited by Rixx; 2012-04-19 at 04:14 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Draz74's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    As much as I'm a big fan of MapTool, I have to say this looks pretty cool and streamlined compared to it. I will be watching this with interest ... and possibly using it.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Gamgee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Nice, if I can send a dollar your way I will.
    They say hope begins in the dark, but most just flail around in the blackness...searching for their destiny. The darkness... for me... is where I shine. - Riddick

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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Wow! I watched the videos and this looks great! I hope this comes out soon!

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    So their is mention of aura placement for tokens and such, but I' wondering about how it expands. In the 3.5 system of D&D diagonals count as two spaces so the spread tends to look in a sort of diamond shape while in 4.0 diagonals are one square to move so spreads tend to be in a form of a square around the token. Those it use the version from 3.5, 4.0, allows for both?

    Also I saw health bars in the video, is there a way to see a more precise number, are you able to see other stuff like AC and such?
    My favorite policy on games is the MST3k mantra

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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Weimann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    In the new update video, they talk about the prototype for the dice mechanics among other things.

    Let me just say, I think the fact that there's support for action resolution through card draws even before beta is a hint of the level this thing will be on.
    Quoth the raven, "Polly wants a cracker."

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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Very nice work! This is really impressive. I have spent a *lot* of time using OpenRPG and Maptools + Skype, so I can see that your system could be a big improvement in a few ways on those tools.

    That said, though, I see one big problem: There doesn't seem to be any support for a complex set of possible rolls I might want to do. Let me give you an example.

    I play a high-level fighter/mage type character. At any given time, I might have 20 or more buffs from various sources that modify various rolls, and be capable of making ~20 different kind of attacks that make use of some subset of these different buffs. Usually, I make more than one attack at a time. Currently, I keep track of all this via a set of different attacks I can trigger, each of which references variables such as "attack modifier", "damage modifier", "hands on weapon" (up to 6!), "Strength modifier" and so on. Other rolls are also routinely changed, such as fort/will/reflex, spot, etc.

    All this is contained in a sort of "character sheet" in OpenRPG (no relation to any sheet you might see on a site like myth-weavers.com), which holds macros for the various rolls and attacks I can make (often multiple "lines"/attacks per full attack) and cells where I can change various modifiers, such as strength if that gets buffed by a spell. As buffs come and go, I can modify cells as appropriate and all my attacks that reference those cells are also changed. Will your site support a complex PC like this? So far I'm not seeing functionality that will allow this kind of complex play. If and when you DO support this kind of character sheet, I will start reccommending this site to my online buddies.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    This has come rather full circle, no?
    D&D was a major inspiration for video game role playing games, with early games like the oh, so originally named 'DnD being more or less an attempt to play without a group.
    And now this.
    Rather humorous, no?
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    I don't see it. But then, I've been playing online for over a decade now. It's a part of my daily life.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Around what time do you think we can expect this to move into open beta?

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozfer View Post
    Around what time do you think we can expect this to move into open beta?
    The beta will be closed overall, BUT we do intend to allow some users in via our newsletter, so if you're so inclined sign up for that at roll20.net.

    Otherwise, the game will be generally open in August!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Averis Vol's Avatar

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    this is amazing! me and my brother are the only ones who drive in our group so now if a player can't make it we can just play over this. thank you sir, this is by far the coolest thing i've seen since i started playing DnD and i eagerly wait its release and ill start donating as soon as i get paid.
    A thing I made! The Spirited Blade; warrior of the mind come by and tell me what you think.

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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Virtual Tabletop Gaming

    Just wanted to let everyone know that Roll20 is now in OPEN BETA!

    http://roll20.net/

    Go sign up and give it a whirl. I've been using the system with my group for over a month now and love it. Without Roll20 we probably would have had to stop playing D&D together.

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