Veteran to role playing, New to playing via online

edited April 2018 in Player Lounge

I've been running and playing role playing games for over 20 years but in person how do I do it online I try setting up a campaign but I don't understand do people see each other via video and they watch each other roll dice like you kind of would in person how did we keep on the same page with rulings Etc ,etc does it kind of like work like they connect through Skype I don't understand

Post edited by Coffeejinx on


  • ragnarhawk
    Posts: 168

    Hi Coffeejinx,

    I have been running a campaign on Roll20 for a bit over a year now.  We use Google Chat calls for voice (although Roll20 chat support is improving).  Roll20 has its own dice rolling mechanisms.  You can either roll dice in the chat (result shows up to either all players or to the GM depending on commands) or use a virtual dice roller to roll dice "on the table".  Not sure what your question is regarding rulings - as DM I make decisions and tell the players just like I would in person.  Sometimes someone (me or one of the players) will document something in the Roll20 chat to make sure that we remember it.

    I hope that this helps.  I enjoy playing online, as it allows me to play with friends who have moved across the country.

  • cgregory
    Posts: 780

    Just to add, most games here in obsidian portal are done in person. Many of us use it for our GM/world notes and for our player’s notes. Others us it for session summaries written by the GM or sometimes by the players.

    They are among us!


                       XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016



  • Bortas
    Posts: 645 edited April 2018

    What cgregory said. I began using OP just to keep NPCs straight and separate, since I tended to forget who knew what when I started having 20+ regular NPCs they would talk to.

    Now, we use it to keep track of current quests & side quests (Skyrim style, kinda), various maps (we aren't using a literal map anymore, rather, trying to include more maps from the perspective of the people), cast of heroes and npcs, and brief notes about the setting.

    Between sessions, players tend to review previous session notes, and that's about all the site gets used for. During the session, it seems like everyone tries hard to keep off devices, but... I also have a display at our table that I can throw webpages onto, so I'll occasionally show exciting images, video clips, or, OP pages to the group.

    When a player of mine is gone for an extended time, we'll put their videochat up on that screen, and use something like Roll20 to capture dice, but if all you need it for is just dice logging, there are a ton of different tools out there that do a good job of just dice, nothing else. Besides the rolling, then, all parts of the campaign are done verbally to the players at my table, and to the webcam in my face showing the distant friend what I'm saying, or what my ruling is.

    That sort of audio/visual chat to play long distance game is only one way people play online. There are also people that play games entirely in Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds or what have you, and without the benefit of audio/visual (very video game like, with a running chat). These games are often everyone playing together at the same time. There are also play by post games, where essentially the game runs on posts, and perhaps each thread is an encounter, or something along those lines. The players whenever they happen to login to their computer, so people have to be pretty regular or the game gets stagnant, and also can't be too hung up on turn order most of the time. I have also heard of play by email games, but that sounds like such a headache to keep straight to me, that I haven't really investigated it much.

    Anyway, sorry for the book, I must be feeling chatty this morning!


    Post edited by Bortas on
  • katefan
    Posts: 10


    I started out with table top gaming and come back to it every few years but for the past nineteen or so it's mostly been play by e-mail for me.

    I run games through a mailing list and I don't use a system.  That might sound weird but it's how I picked it up back when I joined my first Star Trek game.  I think what started that was at the time FASA was being phased out and I don't think the new 'Trek game was out yet, or if it was it wasn't very popular.  So most GMs went systemless.  It works fine for me and most other people.

  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,997

    We use skype and roll20, and have for years- drop by this Saturday- we stream live on twitch starting at 6 Pacific.

    Just trying to help out.

  • JaymesBolton
    Posts: 278

    I used Skype to GM and play for 3.5 years. I used OP to have a database of all my stuff to make it easy for me to access my character's information and for my players to access things. Obsidian Portal is a useful tool to keep all the information in one place and easily accessible no matter the player/GM location which is a great help when you are on opposite sides of the USA. 

  • Keryth987
    Posts: 1,043

    I and my players use OP to various degrees, but the games themselves are all in person, with the exception of one player who is forced to join through Skype due to RL situation.

    The site, specifically Shadows, is used to organize the GM's thoughs, provide the players wiht backgorund and npc's and such, and to summarize each session for easy reference.

  • galenty
    Posts: 2

    30+ years ago, I would never have thought there were so many ways to run a game.  Currently, I run a game through message boards, where each character posts and everyone can follow the game linearly.  We don't really used dice, though I've been looking at Roll20 for a while to see about using it.  I'd like to test it out first, but no one I know is using it. 

    It's all about preferences.  Many like skype, but I've found that if you have a bunch of people in a room, and 1-2 people on skype, it doesn't work well.  Some people can't see/hear the others because of the range of the cameras.

    As for OP, I use it to keep track of events and NPC and a log.  My game is pretty new, so there's not much there, yet.

  • weasel0
    Posts: 435

    Check out It's a custom coded play by post BB with integrated die rolling. Has lots of options that OP doesn't because OP's focus is being a wiki. Group permissions and restrictions per thread, at least three(or four depending on how you count them) different ways to send messages. It's very light on the wiki side though. It's focus is on being a pbp area.

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