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Creating Marketplace Modules

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These are general guidelines that will help you get started creating modules for the Roll20 Marketplace. Whether you are using your own homebrewed game or creating modules on behalf of a publisher, using licensed content, there are best practices that should be followed for higher-quality content and a better user experience. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Contents

What Goes Into a Module

Modules are complete adventure campaigns, laid out in full in Roll20. They should utilize the Roll20 platform to the fullest:

  • All adventure text should be organized into Handouts
  • Link between Handouts whenever possible: for example, you can link a character’s name in a Handout, to pull up that Character Entry.
  • Maps should be aligned to the grid
  • Maps, tokens, and other information should be layered: when possible, GM information (such as trap doors and additional notes) should be scrubbed from the map background and re-created on the GM Info Overlay
  • Encounters should be laid out, with enemy and NPC tokens placed as described in the adventure text
  • Tokens should be linked to a Character entry in the Journal; enemy and NPC Character entries should have a filled-out Character Sheet.
  • While not required, using advance features such as Dynamic Lighting on maps will increase the value of the module. Depending on the game and what you wish to accomplish, you can also explore using additional Roll20 tabletop features such as Rollable Tables, Jukebox, custom Card Decks, etc.

Payment & Distribution

The Roll20 Marketplace exists as a distribution center, promoting professional level content. You retain ownership of your content and receive 70% of all sales (with the remaining 30% going to Roll20 for distributing, advertising, and hosting the content, along with handling all credit card transaction fees).

How to Get Started

Learn how to use the Roll20 tabletop to the fullest! If you’re new to Roll20, the best way to learn about the many features available is to take our tutorial.

Licensing & Copyright

Many game systems have Open Game Licenses that grant permission to creators to modify, copy, and redistribute some of the content designed for the games, notably game mechanics.

In some cases, you will be required to request a license or other specific permission to use game-related content in a module you sell for profit.

Research and awareness of what is covered in any game’s OGL, or additional legal requirements, is the responsibility of the creator.

Art

If you wish to collaborate with an artist to create unique custom tokens for your module, this is absolutely encouraged. Fees and other payment for such commissions must be decided and executed between the module creator and the artist.

All content released on Roll20 must be wholly original. Any content that features another person's work without their knowledge and approval is prohibited. This includes free content you find on forums or anywhere else online.

Regarding content (textures, programs you use, etc) you acquire from a website, company, or any other source: you must be certain you hold the proper license to release such content for profit. For example, many sites that offer textures for artwork creation require you to purchase an "extended license" if you are planning to modify the image and use it in a product you sell for profit. It is the Creator's responsibility to attain these licenses. We stress these issues to protect all Creators from legal issues and copyright infringement.

A Note About Working with Publisher Graphics

Images provided by a publisher are typically designed for print which uses a different color system (CMYK) and a far higher print resolution (~300 PPI/DPI) than what is needed for web content. Leaving the resolution that high and keeping the CMYK color system puts a lot of stress on an individual user's bandwidth to download every single graphic that's displayed on the Roll20 tabletop. This can cause undesirable lag when playing the module. Images uploaded to Roll20 should be converted over to the RGB color system and their resolution should be downgraded to 72 PPI/DPI. You also may want to adjust the color balance and intensity as well as image contrast. Designing for print requires you to tone down on colors and contrast for an image to print as desired. These images may look very drab and muted on a monitor without a necessary touch up.

Image Presets

  • Any Image that Requires Transparency (Tokens, GM Layer labels, trap icons, etc.): 72 DPI/PPI, RGB Color, PNG file type
  • Any Image that DOES NOT Require Transparency (Handout images, battle maps, Character portraits, etc.): 72 DPI/PPI, RGB Color, JPG file type, each grid square should be 140 x 140 pixels in size

Game Setup

A module creator must put together their game materials within a Roll20 Game. Once a module is primed for release on the Marketplace, a master copy of the game is made and kept on our servers. This copy is used to generate the module for any user who has purchased it from the Marketplace. Here are some requirements to keep in mind when designing the module in Roll20:

Character Sheet

A Character Sheet of the intended RPG system should be loaded for use in the game's settings. Every NPC and PC character in your adventure should have its own dedicated character journal which has a sheet with pre-loaded stats. They should all also have a linked token to their sheet.

Post-Production

Review & Feedback from Roll20

Once your module is in near-complete form (maps & tokens are laid out, handouts & character entries are created, etc), you can send it into team@roll20.net for review. Simply send us the link to your Game Details page, along with an explanation of the adventure included, and the game system you’re using.

Feel free to ask specific questions if there are elements of your adventure you don’t know how to incorporate!

When your module is complete and has been approved for sale on the Roll20 Marketplace, you will be asked to send in the details for the product page.

  • Banner Image: This will serve as the advertising image for your module on the site. Banner images must be 512x512 pixels, and should include the module title and publisher name.
  • Product Description: Write a description to explain what is included in your module, to entice Roll20 users to purchase it. Make note of any Roll20 features you’ve used, any included custom artwork, as well as tidbits about the actual adventure.
  • Price: modules must be priced $7.99 or higher.
  • Up to 6 display images, showing off the interior of your module.


Still have questions? Email Roll20 for additional guidance on getting started with module creation.