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Harzerkatze

Playing L5R via the internet

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Hi there,

in the times of the corona virus, meeting with 4-5 people weekly to play L5R RPG is not a good idea, so I looked into how to do it via the internet.

L5R usually is played without battlemap or miniatures, which makes it easier to do online. But the unique L5R Dice were the problem.

I have found that an Android emulator like Bluestacks (https://www.bluestacks.com/de/index.html) can run the L5R Dice app.

So setting up Skype as part-screen with Bluestacks running the L5R Dice app allows all players to see what was rolled.

The GM would use the App, and players tell him what skills&rings they have, which Dice to keep etc. He can then remove Dropped Dice, add Exploding Dice, reroll because of Advantages etc.

The test setup:

Online-play.jpg

Tomorrow we'll try it in earnest, I'll report how it goes.

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We just use Tabletop Simulator for our online RPGs.  The downside to TTS is everyone in the game has to buy TTS so maybe not for people who are not planning on using it often.  Though my group prefers the virtual 3d space since it sort of gives you a tactile experience.  Roll20 or Fantasygrounds would taylored specifically to RPGs so they actually have tools to help make GMing more convenient online.  Something worth looking into if you plan to do this long term. 

I agree about Skype.  Discord is probably a better alternative.  That said I just use my Teamspeak server for all online voice because it isn't broken so why fix it.  So I'm not exactly living in the modern day when it comes to voice applications.

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Posted (edited)

We use D1-C3 bot on discord

It allows you to roll, keep and reroll L5R dice as needed. We use roll20 just so the GM can have an easier place to save locations, npc and check out character sheets 

Edited by Diogo Salazar

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We've also just been using Discord with the aforementioned dice bot and a Rhythmbot for music for my Force and Destiny game. We'll be using the same for when a friend starts L5R. I find Roll20 tolerable as a player, but I don't have the patience for it as a GM. Even when I was playing in a Roll20 game, we had Discord for voice. I would suggest making a separate text channel just for die rolls, or they'll clutter things up quite a bit.

I don't use maps all that often, but I like to have some sort of visualization available, so I've been toying with Google Drawings. Basically I just want some sort of online whiteboard everyone can use, so we'll see how this goes. As long as someone can grab their little token and move it about, that's all I'm after.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

I don't use maps all that often, but I like to have some sort of visualization available, so I've been toying with Google Drawings. Basically I just want some sort of online whiteboard everyone can use, so we'll see how this goes. As long as someone can grab their little token and move it about, that's all I'm after.

Google Drawings is great! I set up a series of circles, grouped them as one, which I can then drag to each character on their turn to visualize the range bands.

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1TaiTvyHXM3QI7Cv-kwqrbzu9oeB_zLfEyzb9o42zNGs/edit?usp=sharing

The colored circle I kept around each character icon - that's range 0. From the colored one to the next is Range 1, next is 2, etc. I used a 5ft square grid plus the range bands as squares measurements from the core book to measure it all.

Edited by Hida Jitenno

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17 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Google Drawings is great! I set up a series of circles, grouped them as one, which I can then drag to each character on their turn to visualize the range bands.

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1TaiTvyHXM3QI7Cv-kwqrbzu9oeB_zLfEyzb9o42zNGs/edit?usp=sharing

The colored circle I kept around each character icon - that's range 0. From the colored one to the next is Range 1, next is 2, etc. I used a 5ft square grid plus the range bands as squares measurements from the core book to measure it all.

Man, I never even thought of that!  good work!

 

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Posted (edited)

Have tried now and both L5R Dice App via BlueStacks and Discord with the D1-C3 Bot work well.

1) Bluestacks took a while to download and start, but needed no special knowledge. As the DM, install, log into Google Play, start L5R Dice App, get a nice desktop icon for the dice app to start it up again next time. Put it next to Skype, show window view, play. If you need to talk about a rule, just open the PDF, everyone can see the text.
GM makes the rolls, players tell him which dice to drop or keep or reroll.

Play_Skype.jpg

2) Discord on the PC was new to me, so setting up the group and adding the D1-C3 bot for rolling took a while, but was manageable.

Dice rolling works great in-app with the commands:

!roll bbbww  = Roll 3 black dice and 2 white ones.
!reroll 134 = Reroll the dice 1, 3 & 4 from the left.
!keep 12 = Keep dice 1 & 2 from the left
!Add bb = Add 2 black dice

Everyone imputs their own dice, but all can see the results. The screenshot doesn't show the player cameras, they float in the space to the right.

D1-C3.jpg

I prefer version 1, as it requires less command memory from the players.
But both work well.

Edited by Harzerkatze

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We will be trying Roll20 tomorrow. There are two Character Sheets available at the time, "Legenf of the Five Rings (Fantasy Flight Games)" didn't seem to work for me, dice rolls couldn't be managed. However, the other version "Legend of the Five Rings 5th edition" works just fine. The only thing is that you have to roll exploding dice one by one, but that seems to be a minor drawback so far - I will report after having tested it.

What I really like about the character sheets is the ability to add your techniques and share them with the others in one single click.

However, I really have to get back into using Roll20, it's been a while 😉

 

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1 hour ago, klatschi0212 said:

The only thing is that you have to roll exploding dice one by one,

Presumably that's because you technically have to choose to keep an exploding die before rolling it again?

Strife Management, essentially.

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On 3/18/2020 at 5:12 PM, Magnus Grendel said:

Going to be trying it via either zoom or Skype- will probably be using my phone as a 'dice cam' and to look at whiteboard to hand draw stuff....

Generally make things pretty loose and narrative anyway, so don't really need a 'battle map'. 

Zoom worked fine. Due to the ability to share a desktop or app, the one copy of the dice app we have (dating from the beta) was more than enough, and it was pretty much as fun as a normal evening. 

Zoom is free, but 3+ person meetings cap out at 40 mins. Provided you have people's ID as a contact, restarting and resharing desktop takes no time at all, and we just used those for the "go get drinks and snacks break" (or in my case go pay the spaniel some attention....)

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Posted (edited)
On 3/18/2020 at 12:47 PM, The Grand Falloon said:

Man, I never even thought of that!  good work!

What truly inspired me to do it was a thread a while back about how to pay attention to the distance for third parties. "I move 2 range bands towards Bandit A. How far am I now from Bandit B?"

Edited by Hida Jitenno

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Posted (edited)

Just a quick update - so we played via Roll20 in combination with Discord and it worked fine.

Unfortunately, I've prepared for voice chat and implemented a music bot that can play my Spotify Playlists (Hydra), but it doesn't work in video chat. We first planned to do video in roll20 but that didn't work as planned (two camera's wouldn't start), so we switched to video chat via Discord.

Dice rolls were done in Roll20 as well and it turned out fine.

I just have to search for a possibility to stream my Spotify playlists to my players now ^^

 

EDIT: Solved.
I have two Discord Accounts now. One account opens the video call, shares his screen (in this case Spotify), toggles "music on", mutes himself and all the other participants can listen to the music. With the other Account, I join the call, talk and have my video on. Granted, this is a stupid workaround, but it works 😄

Edited by klatschi0212

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10 hours ago, Farseerixirvost said:

I can't find any L5R assets in Roll20. How were you rolling dice there?

When you create a new game, you can choose to use Legend of the Five Rings Character Sheets

 

grafik.png.6b35eb89133acea3b88cab026c962105.png

 

here I choose the Legend of the Five Rings 5th Edition Sheet

 

grafik.png.95c33a08e8dfa8bb4adef1c29ae8ef5e.png

 

This is how the caracter sheet looks like:

grafik.thumb.png.7223de089a9b2ede6b7b65a61dcc4beb.png

When rolling (for example Earth / Fitness) you go to fitness, change the approach to the stance you like and press the die symbol next to it. This is how it liiks in the game chat afterwards:

grafik.png.1213cb9ccdae8cc834eaeddf062a599d.png

if you want to roll the exploding black die now, you can do so by clicking "Roll RIng die" in the character sheet

 

Hope that help!

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On 3/26/2020 at 8:25 AM, klatschi0212 said:

When you create a new game, you can choose to use Legend of the Five Rings Character Sheets

 

grafik.png.6b35eb89133acea3b88cab026c962105.png

 

here I choose the Legend of the Five Rings 5th Edition Sheet

 

grafik.png.95c33a08e8dfa8bb4adef1c29ae8ef5e.png

 

This is how the caracter sheet looks like:

grafik.thumb.png.7223de089a9b2ede6b7b65a61dcc4beb.png

When rolling (for example Earth / Fitness) you go to fitness, change the approach to the stance you like and press the die symbol next to it. This is how it liiks in the game chat afterwards:

grafik.png.1213cb9ccdae8cc834eaeddf062a599d.png

if you want to roll the exploding black die now, you can do so by clicking "Roll RIng die" in the character sheet

 

Hope that help!

TONS of help, yes! But doesn't it also require an API or something? That's another hurdle I can't seem to get over.

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On 4/5/2020 at 7:01 AM, Farseerixirvost said:

TONS of help, yes! But doesn't it also require an API or something? That's another hurdle I can't seem to get over.

Nope, not to my knowledge. All is prepared as long as you use that character sheet (the other one doesn't work).

 

I can offer you to have an online-call the next days and I'll show you around 😉 I'm not employed by Roll20 by the way, however, I really like that platform. so if you want, shoot me a PM, we discuss a time and have a small ZOOM-Meeting and then I'll show you around :-)

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GMed my first session of a new campaign last Sunday through Discord, HUGE success. Had one veteran friend, my girlfriend that is knowledgeable about RPGs but only played a couple L5R sessions before and two complete noobs, both to L5R and to RPGs in general. We didn't use video, just voice, and used both a dice bot and a music bot that can play stuff from YouTube.

We played using 4e because nothing will ever make me use specialty dice, with no house rules but a severely different setting that I traditionally use in my games. Basically, I make Rokugan more like Japan geographically and culturally, make the social castes actually usable and without slurs and make Taint more similar to the concept of "Kegare", or at least my severely limited understanding of it.

For this campaign, the players are a group of yokai hunters being trained by an old monk that was the formar patriarch of their clan. The adventure basically involved them responding to a letter from a vassal of their lord's clan, complaining about yokai annihilating caravans near the city every couple of nights. The character's sensei told them to solve that by themselves, as a test of their training and competency. He was actually following them the whole time to observe and intervene if the beast was too powerful for them, but he trusted the group to be successful.

And OH BOY were they successful! They managed to kill 8 "bakemono" and a "swamp witch" without getting hit ONCE! Also, the two melee characters, a Hida Bushi and a Hida Pragmatist, managed to kill the witch during the "surprise round" by exploding damage dice MULTIPLE times EACH! It was like 90+ damage, completely bonkers!

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