RPGBA Blog Carnival (March 2014) – VTTs and Online Gaming Wrapup

(Note: This post is dated March 31. Additional posts are available below, so if you came looking, you’ll find them underneath this one until March ends.)

The March 2014 Blog Carnival Topic was “Virtual Table-Tops and Online Gaming.” As part of the carnival, I sought out and interviewed as many creators of computer-based gaming aids as I could find.

While the topic wasn’t as popular as I’d figured it’d be – after all, it’s a blog carnival, an inherently computer-based format – there have been some good insights offered up, and I hope that between the interviews and future posts, this topic continues to get attention.

The Interviews

Firing Squad: Interview with ConTessa founder Stacy Dellorfano

Firing Squad: Interview with RPTools’ Keith Athey

Firing Squad with John Lammers of Epic Table

Firing Squad with Doug Davison of Fantasy Grounds

Firing Squad with Benjamin Loomes of Syrinscape

Firing Squad with Nolan T Jones of Roll20

The Posts

RPGs on-line: how I do it (Roger Bell-West)
I use a bunch of smaller programs that deal with individual components. I wouldn’t say I’ve got much more gaming this way, but some of my players certainly have. It’s not as good as physical presence, but it’s better than not having the player at all. I think there’s more of a feeling of pressure to get on with the game when one’s gone to the trouble of setting up a net connection

roll20.net ( +James Introcaso )
Through talking with some friends, I learned about roll20.net. We tried it out and I cannot say enough good stuff about it.

Virtual Table Tops-The Solution or the Problem? ( James Arthur Eck)
Exploring the Pros and Cons of Virtual Tabletops and how to get the best of both worlds.

RPG Blog Carnival (March 2014): Online RPGs ( Craig Duffy)
Online gaming is great but it requires a significant shift in your expectations.

Not only have I played online exclusively for something like three years, but our games have been guinea pigs for our own virtual tabletop. What I’d like to do today is share some of my experience with you, hopefully helping you have a smoother online role playing experience or convince you that it’s worth taking a look at if you want to get your RP on!

March RPG Carnival – VTT Gaming (Ethos RPG)I thought I’d take a stab at giving my thoughts on it.  Unfortunately, I have a deficit of experience and yet, oddly, an overabundance of opinion on the topic. So, foolishly or not, here I go…Online Gaming with Mr. Insidious ( Mr. Insidious) I’m going to talk about gaming with a battlemat, map, VTT, board, or other media to help show positioning first, then talk about gaming over Skype, and then maybe get into VTT’s specifically.

Here’s my thoughts on VTTs.  I only have experience with two of them, but I think they are the most popular two.  I give a short review of what I think are the pros and cons of both.RPG Blog Carnival (March 2014): Virtual Table Tops and Online RPGs ( +Erik Tenkar )
Let me give you a quick background of my VTT history. I’ve tried (and own licenses for where applicable) Klooge, Screenmonkey, MapTools, Battlegrounds RPG, iTableTop, Fantasy Grounds I and II, Roll20 and a small handful of others that escape me at the moment. Yes, a virtual plethora of virtual table tops.Virtual Table-Tops – Impact on Games and Gaming+Eric Paquette )

Technology helped improve our games in several areas. One area in which technological advancements helped is communications and maintaining groups. In the past, when a group member left because of a move, we removed the character from the game. Now, when certain members of our ongoing campaign moved, we kept playing with them through the online networks.RPG Blog Carnival (March 2014): Virtual Table Tops and Online Play+Ken H )
Douglas Cole (Gaming Ballistic) started off a chain of excellent blog posts on other blogs with his post on using virtual table top systems to game online. I have used three systems: Gametable, Fantasy Grounds II, and Roll20.
Multi User Dungeon – Online RPG Blog Carnival (RPGames.be)
As I have no experience whatsoever with virtual table tops, I’ll talk about some online gaming I did a long time ago : MUD (Multi User Dungeon).My Love/Hate Relationship With Virtual Tabletops+Christopher R. Rice )
I’ve been playing role-playing games for a long time, I’ve been into computers almost as long. When I found out the two could combine…oh man, I geeked out. My first VTT was MapTools (version 1.19 I think). I spent hours toying with it and trying to make it work…and it did. But not the way I’d seen others demonstrate it working. It was incredibly frustrating. When I finally get time to evaluate what software is right for me, I’ll probably come back and edit this post.Virtual Table Tops+David Brawley )

Overall, I think with VTT’s can bring a lot to playing online, and I’d recommend that DM’s running online games check it out.

What I Would Want From My Ideal Virtual Table Top (My Wish List)+Erik Tenkar )
After some discussion with a few of the members of the “Friday Night B-Team” I started to think about what I would want from my ideal online Hangout styled gaming session. The list below is NOT all inclusive, I am sure, nor is it written in stone. It has been on my mind, more or less, for a while tho’. It is fairly focused on Roll20, which is what I use these days, but if one package offered all that I wanted, I’d jump VTTs in a heart beat. I can be such a whore 😉

5 thoughts on “RPGBA Blog Carnival (March 2014) – VTTs and Online Gaming Wrapup

  1. I notice that a lot of the fantasygrounds cons mention the data send and images take a while. there is a workaround built in to the system for this. The GM/Host can precache the images to the players in the background. normally when I start a session I will wait for all the players to connect then in the first seconds while players are doing meet and greet I will click the images option to precache. later when the images are needed in game they are already uploaded to the players.making the images load for players instantaneously.

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