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Old September 21st, 2020, 10:51 AM
dto dto is offline
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Default Are people playing online via Zoom/Discord?

I'm trying to get back into Traveller after many years, and I'm looking for a campaign. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like many players are no longer having face-to-face sessions.

Have people had much luck with online sessions via Zoom and Discord (with camera and audio)? I tried another RPG online a few years ago and it was a pain. I'm wondering if videoconference software like Zoom is making online play feasible.

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Old September 21st, 2020, 10:58 PM
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The several options are all viable to the right group, and a disaster with the wrong one.
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 04:41 AM
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyComet View Post
The several options are all viable to the right group, and a disaster with the wrong one.
Pretty much this. My regular RPG group is using Skype and occasional screen sharing / image sharing and that works (though we've not done Traveller yet, it worked for the other games we've played over the months). I tried that with my other group which is solely The Fantasy Trip, and via screen sharing did the tactical level thing okay but as 2 of the players are 13 and 10, it did not work out in the long run as they don't play as much theater of the mind and it does not keep their interest in the game.

I've played with Roll20 but not enough to have an opinion on it; I use Steam's TableTop simulator for board games but see how it could readily be used for RPGs as well with a bit of work. And that is as far as I've gotten with virtual gaming despite having a few friends who that is the only way they play.

There may be a few PBP (play by post) games still active on this forum, and while I know there are other on-line games being run, not sure how to find them.

Sorry not much more help than that.
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 02:17 PM
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My group went virtual in 2018 after several members moved a few hours away for school/work. It also allowed another player to rejoin us after leaving the state several years ago.

We use a combo of Skype, Roll20 and Google Docs. Asides from an occasional technical glitch with Skype or Roll20 and if everyone is willing to adapt to a different playing style and keep the cross talk to a minimum, things work reasonably well.

A big plus for virtual is you don't have to clean/up the play area before or after the game if you were hosting at your place. Another is you have a bigger time window or better availability to play. No worrying about the road conditions or being out too late. No sleep driving (unless you have a Tesla

The part I find the hardest is not being in the same room with my buddies. The "togetherness" is just not there. It's like having pizza that has sauce that is missing one ingredient that would turn it from "good" pizza to "F%$K, that's GOOD pizza".

But, that is the new way of things I suppose. Used to be, if you didn't like it, you went home. Now you don't like it, you go find a corner to blubber into.
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 02:41 PM
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Maybe using Zoom to have a virtual discussion on some traveller topics as an ice breaker?
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 04:50 PM
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I did several sessions in April and May, but two weekly D&D games crowded out Traveller, unfortunately. We used Roll20 along with Discord. Eventually Zoom pushed out Discord.

One interesting thing about Roll20: the virtual tabletop is great for adventure path games, where you more-or-less know what the players are doing in advance. They're exploring the sewers of Waterdeep, or venturing into the Wormcrawl Fissure, or fighting the dread pirates of Drinax. This gives you a chance to set up the maps and NPC tokens.

A sandbox game, and particularly a wide-area sandbox game like Traveller, is much much trickier to run on Roll20. The players might want to jump to the boring high-pop world you haven't fleshed out instead of the low-pop one full of animal encounters. You can roll with that easily enough in person, but it's a bit harder when you are "expected" to have audio/visuals prepared. In a pinch you can open up a blank hex or grid page on Roll20 and sketch stuff up, but you lose many benefits of the medium.

One solution would be to acquire a bunch of pre-made terrain pieces like "generic starship cargo bay" or "generic TSA hostel" or "warehouse." Just like it's handy to have a bunch of pre-made NPCs or patron encounters. Roll20 has great support for D&D and Pathfinder and fantasy games in general, but far less for sci-fi settings.

Another solution would be to just ignore the Roll20 and just go Theatre of the Mind for everything. I'd miss seeing the dice rolls, but that's ok.

Last edited by Garnfellow; September 22nd, 2020 at 07:43 PM..
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 06:17 PM
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Default Discord is my weapon of choice

Been running my campaign since early '18(no cameras). It's CT, so not rules heavy.
Did it mainly because my buddy wanted to play, and he lives about 250 miles away.
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 04:29 AM
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Old September 23rd, 2020, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Harkaman View Post
Maybe using Zoom to have a virtual discussion on some traveller topics as an ice breaker?
You can use discord for just voice chats.
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