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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I'm trying to use Roll20, with no prior experience and relying on their "help" documents, and it's nothing but forehead-on-concrete.

    The interface is completely nonintuitive, and the "help" documents are poorly written and wretchedly designed. I am going in circles trying to understand anything on this site. Nothing works, nothing makes sense. This isn't a learning curve, it's the dark wet ceiling of a cave.

    Have other people experienced the same hard contact with this site? Or am I missing something here?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    What exactly are you trying to do?

    I found most of the basic features simple to use. There's a sidebar on the left with a variety of tools (click/drag, draw/text, change layer from Object/Map/GM, add Turn Order, turn on/off Fog of War), a chat bar on the right that is also used for rolls, and a number of tabs with various properly labeled purposes attached to the chat bar.

    At the top you have the blue thingy you can use to make new map pages; one thing I found unintuitive there is that you can click/drag the little flag that says "players" and it takes them to the next map.

    Something else that might not be evident is the difference between the layers. The Object layer is visible and manipulable by players, even for tokens if you give them permission. The Map layer is visible but NOT manipulable by players, and sits below the Object layer (something on the Object layer will always supercede the Map layer). The GM layer sits above both and is NEITHER manipulable OR visible to players; it's good for hiding enemy tokens in rooms beforehand, and similar tricks.

    Macros are a whole other ball game, and the advanced functions of those are pretty much impossible to figure out without looking up a list or how to guide, but the simple stuff can (these days) be easily set up by character or token.

    Minor but important note, you can make rolls two different ways: "/roll" followed by the die type will produce an open roll, while using double brackets, eg. "[[1d20+2]]" will produce a closed roll. The latter can be labeled, while the former cannot. So when making a macro, you'll usually want to use the latter rolling method, because you can hit a button for it to roll your character's Initiative and it can come out labeled "Initiative: [[20]]" (showing only the result, not the roll).

    These are the things I think a new user may be confused about, but if you have a specific question I'll try to field it. I've been using Roll20 since I started gaming.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Thanks. At this point I can't make sense of anything.

    I've tried and tried to add a map layer, but I can't see any way of importing the file. I'm used to PowerPoint and Keynote, which are a breeze when it comes to dropping images into new slides. But there isn't any equivalent that I can see. Trying to drag and drop won't work; trying to copy and paste won't work.

    I see the blue page thingy you mention, but all it does is create another blank page I can't add anything to.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Thanks. At this point I can't make sense of anything.

    I've tried and tried to add a map layer, but I can't see any way of importing the file. I'm used to PowerPoint and Keynote, which are a breeze when it comes to dropping images into new slides. But there isn't any equivalent that I can see. Trying to drag and drop won't work; trying to copy and paste won't work.

    I see the blue page thingy you mention, but all it does is create another blank page I can't add anything to.
    Look at the chat bar, hit the second tab at the top ("Art Library" if you hover over it). Hit the upload button, upload from your computer. Drag and drop from the sidebar.

    I'd upload a pic but I don't know an image hosting site compatible with this forum anymore.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2020-05-28 at 06:17 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Be aware there are size limits to the file you can upload (cannot remember what they are atm), and the UI is not exactly intuitive about showing you it is working on the upload, and not just hanging...

    There some tutorials - go to Community on the top bar, and choose Help Centre, and see if they help?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Let's just say there's a reason my default online setup (admittedly a forced adaptation to plague) is a diceroller, Google Drawings, and Discord. Part of it is that I'm not big on maps, but even if I was I'd rather manually use a general shared drawing tool than put up with Roll20's nonsense. I've used it as a player periodically, and it's always managed to throw up at least one issue for someone.

    Maptools is okay though, for all that it's a bit finnicky to get started. Once it's in place it runs smoothly, which is key.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I hate Roll20 so much. I literally had fewer uses using the trust system and physical dice than I did with roll 20, but having fillable sheets does help new players a lot. I am slowly getting better at it, but I can safely say based on product quality alone I have 0 intention of giving them my money. I can waste that on Stream Raiders instead.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Since quarantine started, my group has swapped to playing online through roll20.

    2 weeks in I had to give up GMing because I felt much like you do and could not make any heads or tails of the system.

    Even now several sessions later, I find I am just not having any fun. Seriously considering just quitting playing altogether until we can play in person again.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    What kind of functions are you guys trying to use that causes so much frustration?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    What kind of functions are you guys trying to use that causes so much frustration?
    Yeah I second this. Weíve been playing Pathfinder on roll20 since quarantine and its been going super smoothly.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    When it's set up, it's great, but it sure is a lot to set up. It's kinda the Linux problem: when it works, it's great, but not everyone wants to learn a whole new system with some fiddly technical bits even if the payoff is great.

    I know that I generally just use Discord, Google Sheets, and sometimes rollforyour.party but have used Roll20 for the Burning Wheel sheets, because they are primo with their auto-calculations and reference materials/logging functions.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    When it's set up, it's great, but it sure is a lot to set up. It's kinda the Linux problem: when it works, it's great, but not everyone wants to learn a whole new system with some fiddly technical bits even if the payoff is great.
    This was basically my experience, it'a a LOT of work to set up, but once it's set, you're golden.

    But I honestly wasn't interested in that much work just for what really boils down to a glorified battlemat.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I've had a ton of success with R20, though I was lucky enough to start by joining an existing group who knew it well. By the time I got around to a turn at DMing I knew the interface inside and out from explanations by the more experienced veterans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Blackhawk748's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I just use it as the glorified battlemat that it is. Hell, I don't even use snap lines, I just usual the manual draw tool for it, slap down the Fog of War and go from there.

    Anything more complex than that is rather annoying so I don't push it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I briefly tried it, grappled with the interface for two days, then found out that nobody could see the images I'd put up. Eventually, I just tried Fantasy Grounds, and I've never looked back.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Powerdork's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    See, I've had the reverse issue. I can parse Roll20 just fine, but Fantasy Grounds is arcane and unknowable to me. (That and the FG Discord doesn't do a thing about the transphobia in the community, so it's not like I'm going to just go in and ask for help.)
    Last edited by Powerdork; 2020-06-05 at 07:54 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    I just use it as the glorified battlemat that it is. Hell, I don't even use snap lines, I just usual the manual draw tool for it, slap down the Fog of War and go from there.

    Anything more complex than that is rather annoying so I don't push it.
    This is pretty much what I do as well. It's for tossing tokens around a map and making rolls. I used to use it for music too but they neutered the music function so I just use the Groovy app on Discord now instead.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    If you need someone to show you how to use roll 20 as a DM or a player, Iím willing to show you. I like to do this occasionally to encourage game. Just message me and Iíll give you a roll 20 link to a training game

    You can post here or email me at my user name on this site @gmail.com with the subject ďroll20.net trainingĒ

    This is open to anyone on the forms.
    Last edited by IsaacTheHungry; 2020-06-06 at 11:57 AM.
    I tried to be a nurf herder but the nurfs wouldn't listen

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aotrs Commander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacTheHungry View Post
    If you need someone to show you how to use roll 20 as a DM or a player, Iím willing to show you. I like to do this occasionally to encourage game. Just message me and Iíll give you a roll 20 link to a training game

    You can post here or email me at [Redacted] with the subject ďroll20.net trainingĒ

    This is open to anyone on the forms.
    Recommend you don't put your email out in the open when stuff (bots/spammes/phishers) can find it with a simple search trawl; be safer to PM it to anyone that's interested.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2020-06-06 at 04:44 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I'm trying to use Roll20, with no prior experience and relying on their "help" documents, and it's nothing but forehead-on-concrete.

    The interface is completely nonintuitive, and the "help" documents are poorly written and wretchedly designed. I am going in circles trying to understand anything on this site. Nothing works, nothing makes sense. This isn't a learning curve, it's the dark wet ceiling of a cave.

    Have other people experienced the same hard contact with this site? Or am I missing something here?
    Yes! First of all, most DMs are looking for money and the tools seem to have a steep learning curve. It always looked like a money pit to me.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I appreciate all the comments on this, and at least I'm not the only one who's found Roll20 to be, well, difficult.



    Originally Posted by Rynjin
    I used to use it for music too but they neutered the music function so I just use the Groovy app on Discord now instead.
    The music function is a special headache. Can anyone give me a simple explanation of how to use the Jukebox?

    Originally Posted by IsaacTheHungry
    If you need someone to show you how to use roll 20 as a DM or a player, Iím willing to show you. I like to do this occasionally to encourage game. Just message me and Iíll give you a roll 20 link to a training game....
    I might just do that, thanks. Might be a couple of days depending on RL issues.

    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2020-06-17 at 07:49 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    My first exposure to ttrpgs was playing Pathfinder 1e on Roll20 and honestly I could not recommend something less. From a player perspective most of the issues boil down to the character sheets, which are horrid to find your way around and use. However, the way the sheets are designed depend heavily on the system. When it comes to PF2E I've actually set up a separate game room for a lot of my characters just because of how much simpler it is to manage their virtual sheets.

    A lot of the more advanced features on the GM side really aren't that great though. Blackhawk's strategy really is a good rule - The best route is usually to plop down some pen lines and tokens and then wing the rest. If you're a real stickler for presentation I'd suggest going the extra mile and set up a map or some icons, the rest of the stuff they offer can be beat out by a discord bot and a good set of notes.
    Marge simpson anime

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I came from Maptools and OpenRPG so for the most part there was a pretty smooth translation into roll20.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    I found it to have a bit of a learning curve, but have been able to use it okay. I will say though that it works fine with a prepublished module (I'm using Dungeon of the Mad Mage with one group and Curse of Strahd with another), but I don't think I would like it nearly as much if I wasn't using a module. I don't enjoy creating maps and such, but I feel like I need maps and minis with Roll20 more than I do around the actual table because the sense of personal engagement between the players is a little less.

    Also I haven't messed with the jukebox feature at all. One of my players who is more experienced with Roll20 really wants me to, so I gave him DM powers and let him just build a playlist for me to use. Haven't been able to play in several weeks though, so I haven't tried it yet.

    In short, I find it an acceptable enough substitute, but I still strongly prefer gaming in person. But at least this way I'm able to game with a friend who lives in another state and otherwise wouldn't be able to join us.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Originally Posted by Velaryon
    Also I haven't messed with the jukebox feature at all. One of my players who is more experienced with Roll20 really wants me to, so I gave him DM powers and let him just build a playlist for me to use.
    I still can't make the slightest sense of how to use the jukebox. We had a Roll20 session this past weekend and I can't even understand what the interface wants me to do. They have some preloaded sound environments, so I ended up using a couple of those, but I wanted to use actual music.

    Is there any way to simply drop in a YouTube link? It seemed to want me to upload a music file, but the music I want is on YouTube, and I can't see how to bridge that gap.

    As for the rest of it, I'm just populating a battlemap with character icons and a few other graphics. This more or less works, but it's extremely cumbersome--and if I want to use another map, I have to transfer each and every icon to the new map, and then enable character names for each and every icon. If there's some way to do this globally, it's not intuitive.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Yes, It is. It is, indeed.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I still can't make the slightest sense of how to use the jukebox. We had a Roll20 session this past weekend and I can't even understand what the interface wants me to do. They have some preloaded sound environments, so I ended up using a couple of those, but I wanted to use actual music.

    Is there any way to simply drop in a YouTube link? It seemed to want me to upload a music file, but the music I want is on YouTube, and I can't see how to bridge that gap.
    Straight **** the jukebox, install the Groovy app on Discord (assuming you're using that for communication and not Skype), and then you can just copy/paste Youtube links. Roll20 basically killed the Jukebox earlier this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    As for the rest of it, I'm just populating a battlemap with character icons and a few other graphics. This more or less works, but it's extremely cumbersome--and if I want to use another map, I have to transfer each and every icon to the new map, and then enable character names for each and every icon. If there's some way to do this globally, it's not intuitive.
    Copy/paste the icons you have set from one map to another (just like with your file browser or desktop, you can drag to select multiple things at a time) and it should save all token based settings. This may not be intuitive if you're not computer savvy, but it makes sense if you stop to think about it for a second. If you're pulling new images each time, they're new images, same as if you downloaded the same picture 5 times and then made an edit to one in Photoshop, expecting it to propagate to the other 4.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2020-07-11 at 02:53 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    I hate Roll20 so much. I literally had fewer uses using the trust system and physical dice than I did with roll 20, but having fillable sheets does help new players a lot. I am slowly getting better at it, but I can safely say based on product quality alone I have 0 intention of giving them my money. I can waste that on Stream Raiders instead.
    For fillable sheets there's always form fillable PDFs and the like - which, unlike Roll20, I've found pretty reliable and even used for physical games from time to time.

    Discord also does file sharing well, and while there are size limits you'd be hard pressed to hit them with a character sheet. Assuming you're not doing something like using an uncompressed image file intended for printing large posters.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2020-07-11 at 05:44 PM.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Looks like I'm just under the 45 days....

    Having an issue with Roll20. I'm using The Yawning Portal. For some reason, characters tokens aren't showing on the map. Drag them on, and they don't appear. I've verified that the player bookmark is on the map I'm using.
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Is Roll20 This Excruciating For Everyone?!

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    Looks like I'm just under the 45 days....

    Having an issue with Roll20. I'm using The Yawning Portal. For some reason, characters tokens aren't showing on the map. Drag them on, and they don't appear. I've verified that the player bookmark is on the map I'm using.
    Are you pulling the tokens in on the right layer?

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