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glewis2317

Tips on Skype games.

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Hi guys,

I'm old. New ideas and things frighten me. I've never run a game over the internet and was looking for some advice. Basically, I want it to be simple. I don't need a lot of options. It would be even cooler if I could do this from an iPad, but I understand that may not be possible..The one feature I would like is the ability to record or sessions.

Where should I start looking?

Thanks.

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GM I know uses Twitch to record his sessions.

 

In terms of general playing online, Google hangouts with the EotE Dice Roller extension, and using Roll20 (which can be used with Hangouts and the dice roller) can be useful if you like to use maps.

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If you want to keep it simple and are playing with those who know the game, you can play using Skype (voice and or video) and just roll at home. No need for dice rollers, chats, map layers, tokens, initiative trackers, online character sheets, or anything else like that. This game is no different than any other.

 

If you aren't playing with those familiar with the game, or want to tie the group together a little better, that's where Hangout or Roll20 step in. Since others can kind of affect or be affected by any given roll, it is advantageous to roll in the open (in online terms, use a publicly viewed die roller). But I'd still recommend keeping it simple. There is a lot of cool stuff you can do with Roll20 with maps, tokens, handouts, background music, and anything else imaginable. But I ran a demo of Hackmaster last year using maps and tokens and I nearly lost my mind. I felt than tracking tokens and initiative on-site was just something else I had to worry about and I didn't feel like it added anything to the game.

 

As others have brought up, maps are really great and help keep players engaged and are a great way to activate visual learners, but this isn't a miniature wargame. If you're using maps, you can't get too invested into them, the locations of tokens, the details on the maps, movement distances, etc. Just run the game as you would if it were in front of you.

 

Otherwise, I've read up on considerations for running online games. Even games run over voice tend to run a little slower than face to face. People seem to have huge reservations about playing with video (not to mention bandwidth issues), which is a huge impairment to body language and engagement. As a visual-kinesthetic learner, I find that I get lost during long scene descritptions or have a hard time following what is going on. Part of this can be alleviated by being able to identify each other's voices (playing with familiar :faces" helps, as does smaller group sizes or speaking more in third person). Things like that. Once you're playing, you'll start to see what I'm talking about.

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Thanks guys. I guess I'm going to have to start using Google hangouts. Can you record your session, from Google Hangouts or Roll20?

Do you mean voice or typed? Roll20 has a typed chat logger as well. I don't know if roll20 has an Edge dice plugin.

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Thanks boyguys. I guess I'm going to have to start using Google hangouts. Can you record your session, from Google Hangouts or Roll20?

Yes you snow do hangouts on air which records your session as a YouTube video. The link in my sig will give you an example of what that is like. Any questions about, just let me know :-)

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my last 3 campaigns have been over g+ and they were great.

i agree with what others have said about roll20.

 

personally, i never have messed with programs for maps or tokens or anything, but dice rollers are a must for a game over video chat. 

 

only other piece of advice i can give is that i have found rules-lite systems/campaigns have seemed to run more smoothly than very tactical/"crunchy" ones.

 

also, there are a whole host of distractions when on a G+ game that wouldn't come up in an in-person game.  you might need to talk to your players about stuff like distractions (other people living in the house, web browsing while gaming, cell phone games, etc.)

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FYI, Roll20 does have an EoE die roller. I'm not sure if it's automatic, but you just type !eed and the dice you are rolling by color.

 

For example, !eed 2g 1y 1b 3p 1r 1blk

 

Force die is w.

Its not automatic, its a script you have to input and turn on. Very easy to do so, I use it myself.

It does otherwise work exactly as described, and the new script enabled character sheet (while not 100% functional itself) does have a dice roller built in that allows you to just dial in your roll.

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