Online players

Online players

Online players

Not wanting to let distance get in the way of a good gaming session, I am keen to continue my Dungeon World game online. To this end, what systems are you using if you play online? If you use or similar, how are you setting it up and running the game? As there is no board, what are you doing with the ‘table top’ section?

14 thoughts on “Online players”

  1. I’ve played lots of online gaming using Skype for audio, a shared Google Docs spreadsheet for the character sheets (one per tab, with a GM’s tab that consolidates key info), and catchyourhare as the dice roller.  (We started before G+ Hangouts made multi-party video free.)  Since then I’ve played in a few other GMs’ games using G+ and the Roll20 app, and they used the ‘table top’ just to show images – a town map, for instance.

    Always do a sound check with new players before the day of the session. 20% of players will have a no-audio problem that takes 20-40 minutes to resolve; some will have microphones that faithfully send up every echo from their hard-walled room, their typing, or just a fat buzzing sound. This is death to conference audio.

    I also find maximum group size to be slightly smaller than face to face, ’cause mono audio strips away all 3D positioning information, so you can’t have parallel conversations.

  2. Honestly? I’ve used it with regular no-frills Hangouts and it works great. Share links to Google Docs and you’re golden.

    Otherwise, the Roll20 tabletop is great for images and atmospheric stuff, or for rules reference cards.

  3. Online games get bogged down much more easily than face-to-face games. Keep it moving and don’t let anyone try to rules-lawyer.

    Regarding logistics, DW doesn’t need a board anyway, so you can use roll20, Skype, Hangouts, or whatever else you want. Roll20 has character sheets available, though, so it’s nice to use. You can also have handouts, rules sheets, etc.

  4. I’ve run DW on Roll20 and on Hangouts. I usually just put some kind of “inspiration” image, like a picture of a sewer if that’s where we are, or a sweeping landscape, when I want to use the tabletop. One page is the map where we have left blanks.

  5. My group uses Roll20 mainly for the dice rolling, but the players can also doodle on the play service, which lets them draw out specifics when questions are asked. It does get a little silly sometimes though…

  6. Bryan Plumb: Yeah, but it was optional. I just used Dicestream for the 2d6 roll, but I think I had at least one player who just rolled them in-person. They’re all good friends, and I trust all of them to not cheat rolls.

  7. I run a DW game weekly over  We tried using the roll20 voice and video, but often ran into trouble.  We used google hangouts for a while, but one player was having trouble with that as well.  We are pretty content using Skype for the interaction now.

    I use roll20 for documents.  Primarily character sheets, and i create handouts as needed to track special items, places, hirelings, etc.  I can keep em private as needed, or turn them over to one or more players to curate.  I also gave The Druid a handout called “Menagerie”, and tasked him with keeping track of the forms he has taken, and the moves each form gets.

    I very occassionally use the juke box, although i’m very weak on this.  I’m not mindful enough of this powerful tool, and would do well to spend more time finding appropriate music and sound effects and DJing while GMing.

    Finally, i played for a bit with map-crawling, including line of site, token positioning, etc.  It was too easy to get into a tactical mindset and slowed the action down, so we quit using tokens on a map.

    Now I sketch rough maps when the group is dungeon crawling or fighting.  we don’t track movement on the map, we do that all narratively.   I do throw enemy tokens on the side, not “in position”, to help me track HP, stats, and any fictional status effects.  This also lets the PCs see the number of enemies and each token’s HP ratio (though i don’t reveal total HP).

    All in all, roll20 is great for DW.  I look forward to using it even more to share images that evoke the correct mood, and to developing a better jukebox play list to incorporate rousing music, environmental sounds, etc.

  8. We’ve been playing via Roll20 and it’s awesome! We don’t really use the map much. Our GM uses Roll20’s tools to share images, NPC avatars, even background music. I’ve also recently joined another group that plays DW via Twitter. Will see how that goes 🙂

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