There is a MASSIVE elephant in the room!

twiggyleaf
twiggyleaf

There is a MASSIVE elephant in the room.  It's name is Covid-19.  You may have heard of it.  Gaming on so many levels will be affected by it.  I thought I would start this thread in case anyone wishes to discuss.

Keep well.  Keep distant.  Keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as you can.



smiley  Much love, 

twigs

 

"I met a traveller from an antique land....."

CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

Inner Council Member

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Comments

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,686 edited March 22

    I might as well start things off.  I live in Scotland.  Our gaming club closed down indefintely on Tue 17 Mar 2020.  We are a group of six players that have been playing for the last six years, using Obsidian Portal as an aid.  We usually play in a hall hired by the Glasgow Gaming Club every Tuesday night.  There are usually about 50 people, playing various different TABLETOP games.  

    All that has come to an end now, as extreme social distancing has kicked in in the UK.  I think we are all still in shock at the moment as we try to figure out the logistics of our changing lives, but gaming has definitely come to a standstill for the moment.

    We are considering using our site forum as a play by post possibility.  Nothing has been decided yet.  We also have a Facebook group, where we keep in contact with each other.  At the moment, I guess we are all coming to terms with radical changes in employment status and lifestyles, but carrying on gaming in some way will probably be important.

    I'll feed back to you all later, but just want to wish all of the Portal members the best of luck in these trying times.

    twigs

     

    Post edited by twiggyleaf on

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 219

    Yeah, it's pretty crazy how this is affecting the whole world...gaming included.

    Have y'all considered using group Skype calls or similar for the "in-person" video (or even audio-only), and then the OP forum just for dice rolls?  That might give you the real-time feeling and keep the dice rolls "cheat-proof".

    That said, I've been really enjoying the Play By Post game that Kallak, Jynx, and I are playing, so I can heartily recommend that as well.

    Other than in-person groups not being able to meet, and conventions being postponed, what other ways do you see this affecting gaming?

  • Jynx001
    Jynx001
    Posts: 43

    Our weekly in-person group is on pause while we consider various remote options. Those that get some free time out of the deal will probably come up with some amazing new campaigns, rule systems, character concepts, and homemade miniature terrain, I expect. A little bit of escapism is good for the soul.

    Once we're all free to be in the same room once again, we will all likely appreciate it more, having gone without. Keep those Morale scores up, everyone!

  • Krothos
    Krothos
    Posts: 217

    I'm in the same situation. I live just north of Los Angeles. I ran 2 weekly games, one at a friend's house with 4 players and another at a LGS with 5 players. The LGS closed and my players are being cautious with the situation. I'm now looking into running both games via Roll20. It's a different play style that I'm not entirely comfortable with. Always enjoyed the personal interaction that came with tabletop gaming. Online VOIP gaming won't be the same.

     

  • UselessTriviaMan
    UselessTriviaMan
    Posts: 466

    Yeah, all my games are also now on hold. The public library is closed, of course, and we have several high-risk family members adjacent to our Ptolus group's players.

    I'm coping by hosting another one of those insanely massive March Madness-style brackets, but instead of comedy this time it's all about the sci-fi movies. Round 1 is about halfway through, but it's open to all if anybody wants to jump in on the action.

    So far it's been really successful, as I've been sharing it with several huge FB communities. It keeps me busy.


    Ptolus, City by the Spire - 2016 Campaign of the Year

    "Please pay attention very carefully, because this is the truest thing a stranger will ever say to you: In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least TRYING to accomplish all your wildest dreams in life."  - - Kevin Smith

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,837

    We run our games on Roll20, using Discord for Video and Chat, and stream live on Twitch.  I am available to answer any questions people have on any of those systems- just send me a message.

    We have had people stretching across the world- we had a player in Tasmania, Twiggyleaf usually pops by once/year from Scotland, and currently have players from CA to Ohio to Saskatchewan.

    Just trying to help out.  Changed name from killervp to Gaming Megaverse to match other sites.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 212

    We're lucky enough to have been running our campaign on Skype and video/chat since the beginning, so the play style itself hasn't really missed a beat. That being said, all of our work situations are different. I'm in the U.S. in Ohio, which just went on "Stay at home" lock down a week ago. Being "essential" though, I'm still putting in the hours.The rest of my group is all different however. It's changed our focuses and how we're able to spend our time, free or otherwise, in general.

    If you haven't tried it before, I recommend trying the "theater of the mind" style skype or Roll20 play. I regularly use screen share and other stuff online. It might take a session or 2, but if you're used to in person play, it really isn't that dissimilar. Plus, it's a good way to get your players to more activly view the campaign. I've started planning little easter eggs to hide around the portal for them to find.

    And everyone should check ou play by post! It really is a great way to do do this. Especially with so many group dynamics being changed and up in the air right now.

  • cgregory
    cgregory
    Posts: 765

    In my case, it looks like i'll be doubling the number of games i usually run. We have been using roll20 and discord for voice since roll20 voice and video only work some of the time.

    It has been working fairly well.

    They are among us!

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    Current Campaign: XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016

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  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,686

    Since I started this thread, I may as well bump it.

    I generally have less time for RPG at the moment, since I continue to work (but from home with many limitations and obstacles, such that I am utterly exhausted at the end of every week).

    The venue for our tabletop gaming club closed on 17 March 2020 but we have kept in touch with each other.  I started up a private FORUM site to do a Play by Post game, using the Dice Roller suggested by Kallak and Thaen.  However, since one of the other GMs in our group has set up a weekly SKYPE game using his phone as an overhead projector over our grid tiles, I have not had a need to continue the Play by Post game at this stage, but at least I know it is a workable option.

    One thing I have been glad to see is a few OLD GUARD members from yesteryear taking a renewed interest in the site - KVP, SkidAce, Basileus and DMLoki spring immediately to mind, so kudos for Kallak and the team for all they have done to encourage this.

    How are things going with the community?

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,837

    As far as my gaming life, interestingly enough, this has not changed anything.

    We, as a group, are spread out all over, from Tasmania to Europe to Canada to the US- in fact, the only 2 continents we have not had a player in at one time or another is South America and Antarctica.

    With the extra time on my hands though I have started playing in a new game.

    Just trying to help out.  Changed name from killervp to Gaming Megaverse to match other sites.

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 849

    Shadows has moved from weekly in person to weekly on Roll20 since this all started. We use Discord now for the chat and Roll20 for the rest. FATE runs pretty easily on Roll20 once you know whats up. I like it enough I'll be running a seperate campign, non-Shadows, via Roll20, once Shadows ends.

    It took some adjusting. We have had a player playing virtual for a few years now, but the setup was fairly simple. We all prefer in person, but for now, this is what we have to do to keep the game going

  • jdale
    jdale
    Posts: 3

    Just started up one campaign via Zoom and Roll20, looking to bring my other (already running in-person) campaign online as well. In person is better, but I place a high value on not dying, so there you go. We also LARP, except, well, right now we don't. So, more time for tabletop.

    I also looked at Astral as an alternative to Roll20. It's super pretty, and you get free dynamic lighting. But it was kind of buggy for me and seemed like it took too much work to get things started. In Roll20, you can really just toss in a map and go.

    I've also used Discord. It's great for audio, and I can imagine it being a boon that people can break off into a side channel and have a voice conversation without everyone else there. Zoom lets you do that with text chat but not audio. Have not tried video chat in Discord with multiple people though. Having faces helps keep people focused.

  • HumAnnoyd
    HumAnnoyd
    Posts: 224

    I was prepping for the grand finale of the scenario we have been playing for several months, when all of this stuff hit.  Our last session, before we all sequestered, was a great one that really created a ton of momentum going into the final confrontation with the Big Bads.  That was almost two months ago.

    I am open to running a virtual game but, unfortunately, one of my players does not have access to a good enough computer to handle that.  So we are on hiatus.  I feel like that momentum and excitement that I worked so hard to instill in my players is draining away.  Which really bums me out.  

    November 2012 CotM:  The Emerald City

    June 2016 CotM:  Star Wars: Rise of the Infinite Empire

    June 2020 CotM:  Mass Effect Accelerated

    Current Campaigns:  Dresden Files Accelerated:  Emerald City-Requiem 

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 849

    @Humanoyd If they can run a web browser, their computer SHOULD be able to handle Roll20. Might need Discord too but thats another easy use, Just a suggestion

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,837

    We have had people on occasion in just on Discord @humanoyd with the GM rolling the dice in roll20 for all others to see- it was not as bad as I thought it would be....

    Just trying to help out.  Changed name from killervp to Gaming Megaverse to match other sites.

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 849

    Since people have been asking about running things under current conditions, here's my current setup for running Shadows on ROll20:

    The area on the right is the 'playarea' Where I draw maps for combat and such. I have used Roll20's more conventional maps in the beginning, and they look great, but FATE doesn't need that much, so I prefer keeping everything to one screen. It also has a quick use for the gorup's Character SHeets, and I keep OP open in a second tab as can be seen. Synopsis is written in word as the game goes on and I copy it to OP the next day.

     

  • DungeonMasterLoki
    DungeonMasterLoki
    Posts: 284

    Well my local Starfinder game, Catch My Drift,  is now run on Zoom and is basically what brought me back to Obsidian Portal recently.

    The interesting thing born of quarantine is the my old game from a decade ago, The Spelljoined (COTY 2011) has returned with all my old players starting a new storyline two years after the old campaign. 

    To be honest the games have been the one bit of structure I can focus on, and so it's rather nice to be able to drop right in here and it's almost like I never left. 

    Planejammer Panopticon: Central Hub for the Planejammer Campaign Series

    Current Active Games:

    Planejammer: Catch My Drift! (Starfinder RPG)

    Planejammer: The Spelljoined (Pathfinder RPG) Campaign of the Year 2011

     

  • Pytheas
    Pytheas
    Posts: 10 edited May 23

    I'm currently running two games, Journeys of the Lost and Between Stars, that both started out as face-to-face games in our FLGS. We managed to move them online using Discord. Not my preference but it works well enough (apart from the occasional technical issues). OP has been pretty useful for both play modes. With the games now being online, I've had better luck getting the players to update their character sheets and such. That has been an unexpected bonus of the change in format but overall I'd still prefer sitting around an actual table.

    Post edited by Pytheas on

    Journeys of the Lost Campaign

     

     

     

     

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 219

    @Pytheas, previously were your Players not updating their Characters at all, or just not updating their Character Sheets on OP?  The OP team is wanting to help encourage Players to be more engaged with the Campaigns, so any insights you have into what's making the difference might be helpful.

  • Pytheas
    Pytheas
    Posts: 10

    @thaen when playing face-to-face the players would keep records on paper and not bother updating the online sheet. Now, because they are in front of their computers, they are more likely to make changes to their online sheet immediately.

    One downside of the OP interface is that changes need to be saved before they are visible to others. It would be much easier to use of it synced automatically (like DnDBeyond, for example).

    Journeys of the Lost Campaign

     

     

     

     

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 219

    @Pytheas, thanks for the insights! 

    One downside of the OP interface is that changes need to be saved before they are visible to others. It would be much easier to use of it synced automatically (like DnDBeyond, for example).

    What kinds of changes is this most a problem for?  For example, it doesn't seem like a Player would want to be updating their Bio and have other Players see the "intermediate" versions, or that they would want to accidentally change their ability scores (but feel free to say if I'm wrong on that...).  Is this specific to particular parts of the Character Sheet, like "current hit points"?  Would they need the ability to "undo" the changes?

     

  • Pytheas
    Pytheas
    Posts: 10

    @thaen Yes, mostly specific parts of the character sheets. Realistically, this mostly applies to DSTs. I agree that updating of partially completed free text entries is less critical. Providing an easier way to update parts of a character sheet that change frequently would be really helpful.

    Hitp points (or other ways to track damage, depending on the system) are certainly a big one. For example, in my current Forbidden Lands game damage reduces attribute scores, which in turn affects die rolls. Being able to see up to date versions of those would be very helpful. Also, keeping track of equipment and encumbrance is quite important, so an easy way to keep the inventory updated would be nice. 

    As it is now many of my players just keep the sheet in edit mode and then save at the end of the session (hopefully). 

    Journeys of the Lost Campaign

     

     

     

     

  • thaen
    thaen
    Posts: 219

    @Pytheas thanks for the details!  The DSTs are developed by community members, but OP could probably add a feature/tool/tag/something to the DST tools that allows the DST author to designate certain fields as "updatable on the fly". 

    I'll add a "research this" item to our dev queue for that idea. 

    Feel free to comment further if you don't think that will ultimately solve the issue you're pointing out.

  • Pytheas
    Pytheas
    Posts: 10

    @thaen that sounds great. Having the option enable on the fly editing for fields where that makes sense would be a big improvement.

    Journeys of the Lost Campaign

     

     

     

     

  • DungeonMasterLoki
    DungeonMasterLoki
    Posts: 284

    Surprisingly it is Covid-19 that brought me back to Obsidian Portal. My old campaign from ten years ago decided to get back together playing on Zoom while we are all on quarantine. All our data was just sitting here waiting for us and we picked back up with a new storyline. I cannot express how glad I am of that.

    Gaming is about the only thing I can focus on at this point. Not going to go into details but these past few months have been rather rough, lots of fatalities in my circles. I'm also a natural extrovert so being cooped up for two and half months has sucked. 

    Planejammer Panopticon: Central Hub for the Planejammer Campaign Series

    Current Active Games:

    Planejammer: Catch My Drift! (Starfinder RPG)

    Planejammer: The Spelljoined (Pathfinder RPG) Campaign of the Year 2011

     

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,837

    Ironically I was booked to head to New Orleans and was about to reach out to you for a tour @dungeonmasterloki and will definitely do that when the madness goes away....

    Just trying to help out.  Changed name from killervp to Gaming Megaverse to match other sites.

  • DungeonMasterLoki
    DungeonMasterLoki
    Posts: 284

    Color me impressed that you remembered I'm a tour guide! We'll have a blast if this ever ends and you can make it down.

    Planejammer Panopticon: Central Hub for the Planejammer Campaign Series

    Current Active Games:

    Planejammer: Catch My Drift! (Starfinder RPG)

    Planejammer: The Spelljoined (Pathfinder RPG) Campaign of the Year 2011

     

  • RigilKent
    RigilKent
    Posts: 10

    My group mostly just migrated to playing online using Fantasy Grounds. We've since started playing in person again since we're here in Oklahoma and we're opened back up for the most part, but the use of FG actually turned out to be a good thing because not only are we using it at the table for character sheets, but we picked up a new player - the son of one of our normal players - who is playing remotely using Discord. So we have speakers and a mike at the table ... it's been very ... interesting, to say the least.

    Current Campaign - Traveller: The Verge - Campaign of the Month July 2020.

     

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,686

    smiley

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,686

    Carrying on in the Covid-19 world, as stated, we have been making do with one of my players running a weekly online session with simple adventures for the last few months.  However, due to new work commitments, he has had to take a break, so I have just started running our Play by Post adventures, using simple entries with dice roll codes, as mentioned earlier.  I have started a new thread of Adventure Logs and intend to update this as we play the game.  Please feel free to check into THE DARKEST NIGHT and leave any comments you wish to.

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

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