Roll 20 Rise of the Runelords


Rise of the Runelords

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

I am thinking of trying the Rise of the Runelords for the Roll20 website. Has anyone played or GM'd with it? What are your thoughts?

Do you have to have the payed level of roll20 for it to work, or will the free level be enough as a GM? What about the players?

Thanks ALL


That's... like, people use Roll20 for all types of games. It just depends on how much work you want to put into it, for what you get out of it.

On a basic level, once you and your players are used to it the UI is fairly simple to navigate and it gives you base functionality of a simple Initiative tracker, a grid map you can drop any map image you want under and a dice roller. The usefulness goes up from there based on effort to learn uses/functionality.

For the topic of Rise of the Runelords, I have previously run a campaign into the middle of book 2, and just started another one, using Roll20. There are lots of art assets you can pull on with some google-fu and creativity.

The paid level is not necessary to use the service, and in fact I often find the extras (primarily the variable lighting thing) to be a nuisance rather than a good addition to a game, but that is just my opinion.


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I've been GMin RtRL on Roll20 for a couple of years; I started with free level and it worked fine, everything necessary was available and plenty of materials online that can be used for the game.

When I've decided on a buying a subscription, it was because I wanted to support roll20 in some way, not because I needed extra features, though increased storage space and dynamic lightning is nice.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having played and GM'd on roll20 with paid and non-paid, I'd say it's a pretty good system. The UI is a bit clunky at times and the journal editor is kind of a mess (especially if you want to play with formatting text), but it does all the important things well and since their partnership with Paizo their character sheets for PCs and NPCs are quite good. The paid features are nifty but by no means necessary unless you're a big fan of dynamic lighting or have an absurd amount of images you want to upload (the free version has more than enough space for at least one or two full adventure paths).

In the context of Rise of the Runelords specifically, they do have a fully built out Anniversary edition package you can buy that basically sets up all the maps, tokens, and journals for you. If you're the kind of GM that doesn't want to do all that prep it can save an immense amount of time (though I still recommend combing through it yourself). I got the War for the Crown packages and edited them with my homebrew additions after, but having the brunt of the legwork done was very helpful. It's also a GM only expense, as are most things in r20. The players don't usually need to buy anything, only the GM.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Trichotome wrote:


In the context of Rise of the Runelords specifically, they do have a fully built out Anniversary edition package you can buy that basically sets up all the maps, tokens, and journals for you. If you're the kind of GM that doesn't want to do all that prep it can save an immense amount of time (though I still recommend combing through it yourself). I got the War for the Crown packages and edited them with my homebrew additions after, but having the brunt of the legwork done was very helpful. It's also a GM only expense, as are most things in r20. The players don't usually need to buy anything, only the GM.

I was tired when I made my opening post, this package is what I was asking about. Sorry that wasn't clear. I have used roll20 some and like it. I also have been playing around with MapTools. I am looking to run a Rise of the Runelords game, I am familiar with the six books...but was looking to avoid a bunch of prep time to run it online in real time for the first time.

The roll20 RotRL package is 60 bucks, which I think is a good value if it works well. I am worried the full Anniversary Edition might not run without the subscription levels of Roll20. I am specifically concerned about the storage of all the maps tokens, etc.

Also wanted to be certain the players didn't need to have subscriptions to play with the purchased materials.

It sounds like I can get the RotRL package and GM it with the free level, and my players with the free level can join the game the only thing we lose is the Dynamic Lighting. Am I getting this right?

Id like to have the dynamic lighting, but its not a deal breaker, and I might go ahead and subscribe to roll20 later if the game doesn't putter out to quick.


I ran ROTRL chapters 1, 2, and 3 in person with my group for a couple years. Then one of the key players had to move away and we stopped playing. I eventually moved away too.

One year later we began experimenting with roll20, all playing from our separate homes, and I decided to restart the campaign. I have the base level free membership to roll20, but I purchased the ROTRL Roll20 Anniversary Edition. It came with almost all the maps, tokens, and handouts you need. You only have to get creative to generate player tokens, make maps for random encounters, and a couple scripted battle maps need to be made as well (like the Storval Stairs, for example).

I hate to admit it, but I almost like running the campaign in roll20 better than in person. Having all the main maps at my fingertips, with all the enemy tokens already in place, is a game changer. Not having to print out or draw the maps saved me a ton of time. Having all the bad guy tokens on there makes sure the PCs never get off easy because I forgot to add someone, or did not remember that the next room was full of reinforcements that would hear the racket my noisy party would eventually make. And oh man, that polygon reveal function is so sweet.

[SPOILER below]

The fact that you can edit all these assets is one of the best parts. The Raid on Sandpoint in Chapter 4 is my favorite example of this. The module suggests that you run each encounter during the raid in separate maps, or "scenes", but I chose instead to overlay a grid on the Sandpoint town map, adjusting the approximate size of the grid to match the scale of the buildings. Then I ran the entire battle on the full map as one continuous encounter. It gave the battle a huge scale and sense of urgency as the different elements of the giant raid entered sections of the town, a dragon soared around the city burning buildings, and magic-using PCs flew around while the martial PCs rushed about on foot trying to keep up with the action. It is one of my favorite encounters to this day.

As a busy guy who works a lot and does not live near his roleplaying companions, I found this well fleshed out digital module indispensable. I probably would have hemmed and hawed more about the price when I was younger, with more time and less cash, but for all the hours it saved me as a GM and all the fun it brought me and the players, I think it was a good purchase for something equivalent to a AAA video game.

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