Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Roll20 Gamemaster Chronicles Episode 1

A few nights ago I played D&D 5th Edition online with Roll20 as the Game Master.  I have played games on Roll20 many times but this was the first time as the Game Master (and the first time I have been “behind the screen” in a very long time).


Things went reasonably well from an entertainment standpoint.  I think the players enjoyed themselves and there were no long pauses to consult the rules.


We did experience some problems with the Roll20 interface.


I sent the game invite out to my regular local game group through Roll20.  So we used the Roll20 in app voice/video rather than through Hangouts.  Unfortunately we could not get voice or video to work.  We had a connection and a screen but the only person anyone could hear was me (I was the host/game master).  Since there did not seem to be anyway to correct the problem we switched to Skype for voice.  This was fine for a first session but I would like to get this straightened out.  I went to the wiki for Roll20 and really did not find anything that would explain the problem.  This was our only major problem.


Another problem, though a minor one, was that I could not figure out how to align the squares on my map with the squares in Roll20’s play area.  So we just ignored it.


The next issue we had was that I could not figure out how to get tokens to work. I have a pro license so I have free tokens.  I could place them on the map, but I could not figure out how to scale them and I do not believe my players (who have free versions) could see them. So the players each drew a square or circle or squiggle on the map and moved that about as a token.


Another thing I wondered about was doing my GM rolls in Roll20.  I do not know how to put the monsters in the app so I can roll their attacks so I just rolled dice outside of the app.  It might be best for fudging rolls anyway.  But I wonder if there is a way to put the monsters in the app.


Any help more experienced Roll20 players can provide is appreciated.

Roll 20 Players perspective of the dungeon

As far as the game, it is a short introductory scenario I wrote for D&D 5th edition when I first got the rules a year ago. “The Sleeper Wakes” was written to be a lead-in to the Starter set adventure Phandelver, although we are not planning to run Phandelver.  I might post the map after the adventure is completed along with a session report.

One thing I did have to juggle is the introduction. The players are travelling to Neverwinter and stop at an Inn when a widow enters and asks for help because her son, clever Cynric has found a way to enter The Sleeper's Tomb. The players are asked to rescue him.  With a party composed of such an interesting group of races I had to come up with a reason why anyone would approach them for help rather than hiding in the cellar as soon as they entered the village.  So I told the players that this was their favorite inn on a regular caravan route they had been travelling all year.  The locals were used to the dwarf, dark elf, tiefling and half-orc caravan guards.

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