This week I started a new job, and it has been consuming my mental energies. I hope to return to Age of Swords and this blog in the near future. After I get a better handle on the job.
With the new hours, I had to bail on my regular gaming group. They play too late into the night, and I am now waking up way too early. So I decided to turn to Roll 20 and see what it offered.
I had looked into Roll 20 before, as I was hoping to use it to playtest Age of Swords. That night, I decided to start playing some 5e D&D. So I went looking for a group.
As I only had a couple of hours before playing, I didn’t find a game to join. After all the message system sucks. So I started my own group. I found it easier to get people to join it than to find a group I could play with that evening. I used tricks I learned decades ago playing Starcraft to find players for the game. In a short time, I had players.
As a word of advice, Roll 20 isn’t really a last-minute system. The messages system is flat out bad. It is best to go a day or two before to either start or join a game. This fact does make sense because campaigns will have better player retention if people have to invest to join.
Since my real goal is to play Age of Swords on there, I decided to use Wildworld as a setting. The upside would be I know this world. It has some unique stories. And I already have adventures designed for it.
The downside is that people don’t read. And it has been an interesting learning experience as I am now GMing two groups of players in two identical games. Same story with different characters and players. I get to see different ways they are handled by players.
What the strengths of 5e D&D with it produces is that it has this common thread throughout it. Its semi-defined worlds have this shared commonality. Players can say, I want to be a half-elf Rogue, and everyone knows what that means.
In my world, there are no half-elves. I have to convert that information. And since no one seems to be reading the guides, or perhaps not understanding them or caring, people are creating all sorts of strange Heroes. It is amazing that everyone wants their own spin on heroes. More than half of the players are looking for exceptions, other publication races, and classes, or to change up the rules.
I guess that people want originality and don’t know how to get it in role playing. So they go looking at rules for their creativity.
In Roll 20, the first thing is everyone wants to use Discord. The first group wanted us to use D&D Beyond for characters. The second group wanted us to roll dice in Discord. Really, Roll 20 is barely used except to start the game.
If I was using mini-map aspect, then I am sure Roll 20 would play a more significant role in the game. It is my favorite to roll dice. But what I am really learning is that to play 5e, all I really need is Discord.