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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

    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?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bc56's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

    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.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
    'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind.
    My Nexus characters

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

    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.
    My Homebrew:
    WIP
    The Fortunar Base Class: A Fortuneteller wielding a minor Deck of Many Things. Mid T3.

    Completed Classes
    The Grandmaster : A master of animated stattuettes and tactical magic. High tier 3.
    The Hidden Word: An infiltrator with a wide range of abilities that works best in small teams. Tier 2-3
    Web-Spinner: A martial class based around using webs. Mid T3.
    The True Warrior: A swift mundane martial combat class that can dodge and slice their way to victory. Low Tier 3.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Between SEA and PDX.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    toulouse
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: advice for online, live playing with friends in other states

    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.
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    regarding my choice of sustenance:
    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    I'm going to judge you.
    My judgement is: That is awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    GM: “If it doesn't move and it should, use duct tape. If it moves and it shouldn't, use a shotgun.”
    dm is Miltonian, credit where credit is due.

    when in doubt,
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Ask the beret wearing insect men of Athas.

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