I'd like tips and advice for running online games with a caveat


Advice


Hello all,

I'm going to be running an Rappan Athuk game in a few weeks online with some friends over skype. I won't be using roll20, as I've tried it before, and while it works fine, and is a very nice system, it ended up being too much upkeep from game to game for me.

We tend to play by text over skype, where I tell them what's going on, how far away some things are from others, etc... and it works alright. That said, that's usually in custom worlds. Since I'm running something from out of a book (as I understand it, a huge dungeon, and wilderness essentially) I don't know if that'll work as well.

Anyone have experience and tips for running such a game, in such a way? Ways to stay accurate and make sure details they need to survive are known to them since they won't be able to see them visually?

I've heard Rappan Athuk can be pretty brutal and rough as it is (haven't gotten the book yet, will be next weekend... probably), so I'm trying to make sure they have a solid chance.


Short version, RA is not designed for PCs to survive. It is an exercise in 'how far can you go between deaths'.

Rather than trying to change that, I suggest going in with a mindset of 'you will die, make it good'.

Out of curiosity, why is Roll20 too much upkeep? I find it to be rather easy to use and, if you aren't using some of the more advanced features, it is pretty low-prep. (I am talking about things like Dynamic Lighting and NPC/Monster character sheets, etc.)

I think the trap many people get into via Roll20 is that they want to use all the advanced features and then decide that Roll20 is too much work to prep the game when it is really the advanced features that are too much work.

I put all of RA's maps into Roll20 in a couple of hours. As for the NPC/monster prep..there is minimal prep there. I can either grab the images from the PDFs or I can grab them by searching through Roll20. Slap a health bar and nametag on it and call it good.


Gauss wrote:

Short version, RA is not designed for PCs to survive. It is an exercise in 'how far can you go between deaths'.

Rather than trying to change that, I suggest going in with a mindset of 'you will die, make it good'.

Out of curiosity, why is Roll20 too much upkeep? I find it to be rather easy to use and, if you aren't using some of the more advanced features, it is pretty low-prep. (I am talking about things like Dynamic Lighting and NPC/Monster character sheets, etc.)

I think the trap many people get into via Roll20 is that they want to use all the advanced features and then decide that Roll20 is too much work to prep the game when it is really the advanced features that are too much work.

I put all of RA's maps into Roll20 in a couple of hours. As for the NPC/monster prep..there is minimal prep there. I can either grab the images from the PDFs or I can grab them by searching through Roll20. Slap a health bar and nametag on it and call it good.

Well, when I was using roll20, it was for carrion crown. And since I've no clue how to get maps off of pdfs or even if that's possible, I ended up having to google them out, find, resize, make the little tokens for all the various npcs and pcs since I was the one forcing them to do it. The only advanced feature I used was the fog of war feature and that was more just inside than outside, so I could hide some enemy npcs in rooms. Still, despite re-sizing, I don't think I got the scaling right. When I get Rappan, I'm going to be getting the pdf, so I'd rather not go through all of the hassle of spending hours figuring out how to get them to work on roll20. And one of the players is new, so I'm not sure whether his computer can handle it or not.

Playing via text, i.e. Describing the area in detail, then saying how far away things are, and answering questions seems to be a bit easier for us. I guess I was just looking for suggestions on how to streamline this way of playing a bit more.

Also, I am definitely coming into Rappan Athuk with that mentality. I've warned the players as such when gauging interest, telling them to expect to die, have back up characters ready and that its minimal story, lots of action. They seem pumped anyways.


Third Mind, it is pretty easy to pull images out of a PDF and drop them into Roll20. Sizing them is also pretty easy and should only take a minute or two. If you ever want me to show you how let me know.


You can always just screenshot the PDF and then use a simple picture editor (I use Paint.net, myself) to black things out.


GM Rednal, it is easier than that. :)

You can select the images in a PDF by using the select tool. Copy then paste into Windows Paint and save.

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