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Roll20 Crash Course

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Welcome to Roll20, this wiki page serves as a 101 course for a GM who's looking to move from the physical table to the virtual one. Moderator, Kristin, will guide you through how she sets up a tabletop campaign. Each video is accompanied with relevant info about the subject covered and includes links to wiki pages that flesh out topics only briefly mentioned in this video series. This crash course is specifically designed as an overview of how to get around Roll20 and what features are available in the application. For the nitty gritty details, we recommend topic searching within our wiki for more information.


Contents

Course Overview

Roll20 is an easy-to-use system agnostic virtual tabletop. It's flexible to handle most Tabletop RPGs as well as simulate popular board and card games. Don't let our product name confuse you. Roll20 can run more than just d20 systems! We have players from around the world who commonly play games such as Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Fate, GURPS, Fiasco, World of Darkness, Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, and many, many other official and homebrewed games.

Here's what you can expect to see on our virtual tabletop:

Creating Your First Campaign

Crash Course Video 1 - Creating Your First Campaign
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

In this video series, Kristin will be building a basic Pathfinder campaign. This won't be a system specific tutorial, so if you're not familiar with Pathfinder, you should be able to still follow along just fine. If you are a Pathfinder player, there's a wiki guide dedicated to detailing tips and tricks to setting up a Pathfinder campaign in Roll20.

Kristin's outlined her first session as follows:

  1. PCs meet one another in a tavern of a small city
  2. Thugs show up to shakedown the tavern's barkeep and a tussle between them and the PCs ensues
  3. After the fight, the barkeep discovers his young son missing and the PCs discover a ransom note demanding the barkeep pay his debt or his son's life is forfeit
  4. The PCs go around town looking for information on this protection racket - they eventually find out that bandits are operating out of the city sewers
  5. The PCs travel into the sewers and find a hidden headquarters of bandits where their leader as well as the barkeep's son are hidden
  6. The bandit leader will try to coerce the PCs to work for him, depending on the PCs actions will determine how the next session goes


Designing The Tabletop

Crash Course Video 2 - Designing The Tabletop
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Map Marketplace Content Used:

  1. Fantasy Tavern and Inn map pack - Sean Archer
  2. The Dungeon Delve I - Kevin Brown

Wiki Reading Suggestions

While you can learn how to create Pages and add content to them by just experimenting with the interface, here's a list of wiki links below for more indepth discussion about each feature of the Tabletop in particular.

  • Page Settings: Walks you through all the game system options available for Pages
  • Manipulating Graphics: Explains how to move about the Tabletop and transforming images placed upon it
  • Drawing Tools: For when you want to freehand a drawing or add text to the tabletop
  • Split the Party: When you absolutely have to split the party between Pages



Managing Character Sheets and Handouts

Crash Course Video 3 - Managing Character Sheets & Handouts
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

All account users have access to the community created character sheet templates. It requires a Pro subscription to customize them or create your own. To see what character sheets are in the works or request help with on, check our Character Sheet forum.

Recommended Wiki Reading

  • The Journal Tab: This wiki goes over all the features for character journals and handouts.
  • Character Sheets: This wiki covers everything from how to add a template to your campaign to creating your own.

Creating Minis

Crash Course Video 4 - Creating Tokens
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Token Marketplace Content Used:

  1. Adventurer Avatars - by Phillip Wright

Recommended Wiki Reading

Token Features: Everything you need to know about tokens and their properties can be found here.


Working With Dice

Crash Course Video 5 - Rolling Dice & Creating Macros
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)


As mentioned in the video, users who plan to use text chat a great deal should look into using inline rolls for their macros. An inline roll eliminates the several lines of text that result from a dice roll and instead only lists the final tally of the roll.

Recommended Wiki Reading

  • Dice Rolling GUI: Simplest means to roll dice
  • How to Roll Dice: If you want to roll something a little more complicated than the GUI allows, you'll want to read this first
  • Dice Reference: This lists all of Roll20's available rolling formulas
  • Macros: Macros allow you to roll a formula repeatedly, this wiki explains the selectors available to make rolling dice easier
  • Token Actions: Shown at the end tail of this video. Token Actions link rolling macros to tokens
  • API:Introduction: A Pro subscription feature, this allows you to script actions in Roll20 that the application doesn't normally do
  • RPG System Guides: Some of our users have already created wiki pages explaining tips and tricks of how to play their favorite RPG systems.

Campaign Extras

Crash Course Video 6 - Campaign Extras
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

The two music tracks sampled from SoundCloud were also tracks by Kevin MacLeod.

  • Tavern Track: Skye Cuillin
  • Sewer Track: The Complex

Recommended Wiki Reading

  • The Jukebox: This Wiki page walks you through how you can add music and SFX to your campaign
  • Fog of War: This tool is available to all account users. It hides and reveals area on the tabletop.
  • Dynamic Lighting: Like Fog of War, but more sophisticated. It's an interactive lighting system available to Pro and Plus account users
  • Card Decks and Rollable Tables: This Wiki pages talks about how you can use and create your own card decks as well as rollable tables that can be used to create objects like dice that use pictogram sides or randomized equipment lists.

Inviting Players

Crash Course Video 7 - Finding Players
Music: "Master of the Feast" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Beyond using the LFG system, you can also use the Looking For Group Forum to find players.

Recommended Wiki Reading

  • Campaign Management:This touches on the all the features one can edit on the Campaign Details page, including inviting and removing players from the campaign

Playing A Session

If your group chooses to go with voice or video chat, Roll20 offers two methods. There's a built-in video service provided by TokBox and you can launch the Roll20 application within a Google Hangout.

Recommended Wiki Reading

Video and Voice Chat: This explains how to set up Roll20 to broadcast your mic/webcam to the rest of the party Playing in Google+ Hangouts: This walks you through how to launch Roll20 in Google Hangouts Live Stream and Record Game Sessions: A growing trend on streaming sites like Twitch.tv are gaming groups inviting the internet to come sit in on their games. If your group feels like streaming or recording their game for the masses, this wiki will guide you through the setup for livecasting your campaign.