Ten Habits of Good Online Players


Organized Play General Discussion

4/5 ****

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

We have been in lockdown for almost 8 months now. Our lodge has been running games online since then, and I thought to share the good etiquette I've come to appreciate.

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1. Community is the Foundation of Good Gaming
2. Talk Less; Say More
3. Silence is Golden
4. Be Present in the Moment
5. Respect the Dice
6. Respect your Home
7. Make Good on Commitments
8. Be Prepared
9. Communicate
10. Society is for everyone

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COMMUNITY IS THE FOUNDATION OF GOOD GAMING
Tabletop games are social events. If you are visiting another lodge you are a guest in someone’s house. Act accordingly. Read the Warhorn page to understand their community values and rules, and respect player needs even if they are different than your own.

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TALK LESS; SAY MORE
There are few things more annoying than someone who's constantly talking over others.

Give everyone a chance to speak. If you’re usually the first player to jump in on a conversation, try to pause for a second longer so that everyone gets a chance to contribute. NEVER talk over the GM.

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN
No one wants to listen to you eating or drinking, your barking dog, children crying, or dishwasher running. Make liberal use of the mute button.

It’s also polite to tell a player when you can hear any of these noises from their mic. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you hear something; odds are it’s bothering everyone.

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BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT
Browser access and wireless headphones make an ever-present temptation for distraction. Keep multitasking to a minimum — try to think about your next turn if the combat is going long, or take in-game notes. People can tell when you’re not paying attention. It’s not a good look.

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RESPECT THE DICE
Some use the honor system; others ask you to roll inside the virtual tabletop. If you’re using the honor system, don’t cheat. If you’re asked to use a VTT, at least learn the basics rolling a raw d20 and your damage dice without modifiers.

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RESPECT YOUR HOME
Gaming is an hours-long activity that can become quite disruptive in a household — especially if others are working remotely or attending an online class. Use a headset or earbuds with a mic, and try not to talk too loudly.

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MAKE GOOD ON COMMITMENTS
It’s easy to bail on digital signups, but the impact can be devastating. Dropping at the last minute devalues the GM’s hard prep work and shows you don’t care about the community.

Don’t ever sign up for games unless you’re sure you can make them. If you *must* drop within 24 hours of a game, email the organizer. Show them you care and you'll be welcome next time.

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BE PREPARED
Efficiency is one of the most valuable assets in the VYTT environment because games take much longer when players aren’t prepared.

Sign in advance so the GM can prep the correct tier. Log on 15 minutes ahead to test your mic and make adjustments *before* the game starts. Get your token to the GM ahead of time. If your GM or lodge often uses a certain brand of VTT, consider making a character sheet in that software.

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COMMUNICATE CLEARLY
Speak clearly into your mic, and know your character basics such as DCs and spell effects. When you cast a spell or perform a maneuver like Trip, include those DCs. For example, “I cast Sound Burst on creatures A, B, and C. They should all make a DC 19 Basic Fortitude save.”

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SOCIETY IS FOR EVERYONE
Players come from a vast array of technology access, financial means, life experiences, and backgrounds. Without social cues like body language and facial expression, many things can get “lost in translation.” Practice the Principle of Charity when others give you feedback, and vice versa.

Other Voice/Chat Tips
Use mentions mindfully in places like Discord and Slack. Never mention or tag @everyone; it’s really annoying. Mention the channel instead (i.e. @channel)
Don’t be spammy.
You can set a nickname in discord to designate your character, and change your display name in roll20.
Acknowledge private messages even if you plan on responding later
Be aware of whose listening — better yet, always assume there is a child who can hear you somewhere and keep it PG.
Don’t dominate the conversation; less is more.
Politely Speak up if you’re having a hard time getting a word in.
Don’t argue or criticize in public — if you must, talk to the GM after the game or on break.
Character tokens should generally be round. GMs often use square tokens for enemies. A standard size is a 400x400 px png.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Good Advice!

1/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Agent, Online—VTT

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It's probably worth adding some a bit of emphasis on one detail: check, double check and triple check timezones. It is very easy for mistakes to happen with people making full plans to show up, but thinking the game starts an hour later than it actually does. A lot of online games are posted on Warhorn, which will automatically display things in your own timezone, but mistakes still happen there sometimes when people check the same game listing but are no longer signed in, which will then dis play the organizer's timezone.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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The problem with Warhorn is that some people don't realize that they need to set THEIR timezone in their profiles.

A new user will default to the Pacific timezone.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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Use the chat window for important but not the most important things

Voice is for things the dm and the rest of the table have to put at the top of their priority list. Namely, the actions the person taking their turn is doing. If you have a rules question, don't know what ability someone is doing, have a bit of snark, or are having a side conversation with another character it doesn't have to STOP because its someone elses turn. Throw it in the chat window. Just keep it short so you don't wall of text someones attackroll.

Players: Roll then math. DMs. Make sure your players know they can roll then math.

People will list 5 modifiers and an equation, roll, forget the modifiers,list the 5 modifiers again, go through the equation again. and add them to the roll. Then get a 1 or 20 on the die that make it clear they succeeded/failed no matter what.

Skip the first step.

OPTIONS like power attack or deadly aim or multishot should be declared. (preferably with "I always power attack unless otherwise stated) Things that automatically kick in (flank, weapon focus, ranger enemy bane etc) don't need to be stated.

The converse is that DMs have to not pounce on the first bright shiny Number they see on the screen and be willing to count fingers and toes when the dice are close. If you want the number right the first time it will be... eventually.

make use of the magic machine you're on.

There's no doubt that playing online loses some things from a game, human interaction, being able to see when someone is talking, being able to have more than 1 conversation at once etc. But having a miracle math. machine in front of you adds some things. If you have a pathfinder character with 57 natural attacks you can easily display those. If you have a starfnder character that relies on a result -20 for trick attacking or affects a CR of 1.5 X 10 + level a little bit of algebra can do the math for you. Just because DMs are geeks doesn't mean they're the type of geek that can be read a number and a formula and quickly crank out a result.

Winter is coming and I'm going to want to game with my socks on soon

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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Be proactive in mustering
A group that's all in the same subtier generally has a more enjoyable game. Low-level characters playing up can feel ineffective, and high-level characters playing down can overwhelm adventures. One of the worst things that can happen are a single high-tier character dragging the whole low-tier group up into a brutal high tier. Also bad is when the front row character is low tier while the high tier characters plan to hide behind them.

Getting a happy subtier is generally the job of the players, to coordinate which of their characters to sign up. If you see everyone else signing up with a different level than you, maybe you have a different character that's better suited? If you see one other person with a high level character that's going to wreck the math, talk about it. Most of all, communicate about it. Warhorn has a handy discussion feature for this.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Be positive!
One of the weakest Society experiences I've had this year in an online game involved a player who had clearly had a (recent?) falling out with his local store/club group, and vented about it several times during the game. It really wasn't useful, and wound up bringing the mood down.

I mean, this is kinda like standard in offline games too but... I can only say on my own experience :D

Silver Crusade

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A good habit would also be to understand what "no" means.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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A good habit would be to honor the cooperation tenet of the Society and have productive conversations in good faith with your fellow players to the betterment of all involved.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

1/5 5/5

Equally important is to recognize and provide Courtesy, Dignity,and Respect of one's fellow players.

Recommended: Avoid discussions of IRL politics/religion/most recent media releases -- not only is it a distraction, the probability of having at least one player who does not agree with the above (or does not want spoilers in the case of media releases) is likely.

As a GM, it is tempting to use RL analogies for situations. Having learned from personal experience, RL analogies are not universal for the lessons gained from them.

Some folks have had a horrible situation made even worse because it seems like the horrible situation is being made light of.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) 5/5 5/55/55/5

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Lets just keep this online specific so it doesn't catch fire again.

whoosh of a fire extinguisher**

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Also, don’t bring baggage from previous conversations into unrelated threads.

Grand Lodge 4/5 * Contributor

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This is a great resource and the kind of shared experience that helps small communities grow into larger ones. Painlord would be proud.

5/5 5/55/55/5

For roll 20 you can put your character on the table, with a name plate, without having the DM do anything.

Roll Starter Guide

Create a token on a table you own. When you do this, you are the DM. Ownership is automatically set to "The DM". So you can edit the token no problem.

The problem is that when you export it to another game the permission is still set to "the dm" .. which is no longer you. You have to set the permissions to see the character in the journal and to edit it to either yourself or just to everyone. And set your name AND nameplate to be seen.

THEN you import to your vault. And export to the table

Now it should be on the journal page, and you can drag it onto the map.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Depending on how the GM has the settings, your character and token may not be in your control when you export it to their table and they have to assign it to you. Plus some GMs will make changes to the character/token settings. I know I do. I want the health bar at the bottom, but in the token’s square and not displaying the actual HP. I limit the length of the nameplate to the width of a square. YMMV

5/5 5/55/55/5

TwilightKnight wrote:
Depending on how the GM has the settings, your character and token may not be in your control when you export it to their table and they have to assign it to you.

Nope. Thats what I"m saying. That's not on the DMs side that's on the players. The DM can set the defaults but an imported token comes with whatever settings it had from wherever it came from.

I have all the tokens on my table set to owned by all (because I lend tables out) , but when someone pops onto my table with a token owned by "the dm" they can't get to it. The opposite is true. When I pop one of my commie mode characters owned by all onto another table, I can grab my character right away but the other players who imported need to ask the DM for it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

All I can say is my experience indicates otherwise. The only setting that seems to carry over with any consistency is if you set it to All Players for view and/or control. With that setting, usually, but not always the token comes in under everyone’s controI. I have also noticed that many of the other settings are sometimes over riden by the table settings, while other times they aren’t. I admit I cannot fully determine what settings cause the outlier, but it happens as I have tested this quite a bit (I don’t like importing my character and not have access).

Scarab Sages 4/5

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If you don’t update the default token on the character bio tab, then none of your token settings will come over.

All Players is the only permission setting that will work, because individual tables don’t recognize you as the same player as on another table. You also need All Players set in both the In Players’ Journals and Can be Edited By fields.

Shadow Lodge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Nope. Thats what I"m saying. That's not on the DMs side that's on the players. The DM can set the defaults but an imported token comes with whatever settings it had from wherever it came from.

I have all the tokens on my table set to owned by all (because I lend tables out) , but when someone pops onto my table with a token owned by "the dm" they can't get to it. The opposite is true. When I pop one of my commie mode characters owned by all onto another table, I can grab my character right away but the other players who imported need to ask the DM for it.

Speaking as someone who's spent a fair amount of time working on Roll20 character sheets and API scripts, I believe the reason for this is that each player has a unique ID in each campaign, meaning the ID you're assigned in the game you're setting the character up in is different than the games you're exporting them into.

Consequently, the only permission that carries over when exporting a character from your Vault is "All Players", as that is a global ID that is the same in all campaigns.

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