Pen and Paper RPGs

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Pen and Paper RPGs

Post by Kersus » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:26 pm

While the rest of you may have become fully functional and well adjusted adults, I am proud to say that I never gave up this particular nerdy hobby. With Covid having done it's thing, it's never been a better time to get into playing it online too!

While I've drifted away from d&d over the years, I've picked up on playing a few other games. My favourites so far are Savage Worlds, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Stars Without Number and Dungeon Crawl Classics.

For VTT's (Virtual Table Tops), you've got a few options that generally include everything you need from digital maps, tokens, dice rollers, character sheets and even extra goodies like background music, dynamic lighting and fog of war. While this list is by no means complete, it lists the current major players out there. - The current king of VTTs is simple to use, free for the basic features, works with any system and works right in your web browser. It has paid subscription options for extra goodies, but I've found them to be not super necessary. One of the creators seems to be kind of a dick though.
The Foundry - New full feature rich contender, super slick and fancy to use, gets constant updates and can be used either with downloaded software, or hosted on a web server. A bit more advanced to use but comes with all of the bells and whistles, currently only used for a handful of games though more are being included on a regular basis. Costs the DM a one time fee of 50 bucks.
Astral Tabletop - Another new kid on the block, seems to be trying to vie for roll20's throne by remaining web based. Has several advanced features which requires a bit of a learning curve with a similar payment model. One notable thing about it that I like is that you can upload any PDF character sheet to it and assign it to be form fillable on any spot you want.
Fantasy Grounds - An old and expensive program that uses the client server model still, requiring software for everyone using it and possibly some knowledge of port forwarding. It has recently received a back end upgrade to Unity with plans to allow for easier connections via uPnp. The UI is also extremely dated and will require an enormous learning curve to use. However where it shines above the others is the automation it uses for its supported systems. Has the ability to do all of the dice rolling and number crunching for you once you have it all set up.
Tabletop Simulator - A virtual table top in the most literal sense! This program was designed for board games of any type, and gives you a virtual wooden table with physical 3d game pieces that you can pick up and toss around the room. Dice are rolled by picking them up with your virtual hand and throwing them at your buddies. Less feature rich than the others as everything needs to be done manually, but this one does a fantastic job of recreating that around the table social feel. Plus you can flip the table once you get pissed off at rolling a 1.

Discord + dice bots - Probably the simplest of solutions for those who like theatre of the mind style play and don't want to bother fumbling around with new programs and sites. You already have discord, you already have your friends on discord. Run a dice bot and start playing! Character sheets will need to be stored locally and you'll likely need to use some sort of whiteboard site if you want to use maps or other visualizations.

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Re: Pen and Paper RPGs

Post by CrystalMists » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:18 pm

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Re: Pen and Paper RPGs

Post by auntmousie » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:00 pm

May I also add:
RPG Crossing, a site for play-by-post gaming. Historically my complaint with play-by-post gaming has always been the glacial pace - and that's certainly true for some of these as well - but this provides an opportunity to make up for it in volume. Also generally a bunch of cool people.

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Re: Pen and Paper RPGs

Post by BigDamnHero » Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:32 pm

RPGs are my favorite hobby. Granted, these days it's more like accruing ever more books that I'll never get a chance to play, but I manage to get a little bit in here and there. I've got a monthly D&D 5E game that I'm running over Discord and three play-by-post games of Chronicles of Darkness. One Mummy: The Curse game that I'm playing in, and a Vampire: The Requiem and a crossover Chronicles of Darkness game that I'm running.

My "play as soon as possible" list includes Cyberpunk Red, Alien, Fantasy Flight Games's Star Wars RPG (my avatar is my Devaronian Bounty Hunter that my wife drew for me in Photoshop), and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. I'm also putting together a Pugmire mega-adventure hexcrawl, which I'm hoping to put up on the Pugmire community content page.

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