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[VTT] Going Back to VTT Instead of Live Play

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
Strange thing happened in the last two months. I was very happy to go back to play face-to-face. I'm the DM but my home is not in a central location. The players don't have cars.

I've decided to travel time of 25 minutes both ways for a 3 hour period is not worth it. Commute in public transit would take even longer.

I would add that since 'winter is coming' parking in dense urban areas can be a nightmare. My friend's apartment, where we play, doesn't have private parking.

We will start playing on line again. I didn't expect that to happen. Just turning on and off the computer and being at home already is a big game changer, pun intended.
 
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SAVeira

Explorer
I understand what you mean exactly. I am very much in the same boat. The ease of just launching Fantasy Grounds and Zoom, is so much simpler then traveling. Plus, the ability to get straight to bed after a game was a game changer.

Also, with Fantasy Grounds I have no problem presenting maps and mini. Then using Syrinscape, I have added backgrounds music and sound effects.

Heck, the ability for players to join from anywhere has meant few missed games.
 



Retreater

Legend
Totally understand. Since the start of the pandemic, I've been able to play more regular games than before when we had to schedule traveling to someone's house in another state, finding a time when kids can be watched, everyone is off work on a weekend, etc. Couple that with bringing in new players from across the country (or even out of the country) who are obviously available only on VTT.
Yeah, I just don't see going back to regular in-person gaming ever happening again. It's a bummer in some respects (I have a nice gaming space, miniatures, 3D terrain, etc.), but the pros outweigh the cons.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I started on online game in the first few months of the pandemic with friends who all lived in San Francisco. Since then, two moved to other cities about two and six hours away, and one now splits his time between California and Oregon. Originally I had planned on transitioning us to in person play, but now with two of us having babies since the start of the campaign I think it will be forever online!
 


While I miss not being able to play in the same room face to face, using a VTT has been a boon for me. My group has players from different parts of the country and I really don't miss lugging my books to someone else's house to play.
 




Randomthoughts

Adventurer
Strange thing happened in the last two months. I was very happy to go back to play face-to-face. I'm the DM but my home is not in a central location. The players don't have cars.

I've decided to travel time of 25 minutes both ways for a 3 hour period is not worth it. Commute in public transit would take even longer.

I would add that since 'winter is coming' parking in dense urban areas can be a nightmare. My friend's apartment, where we play, doesn't have private parking.

We will start playing on line again. I didn't expect that to happen. Just turning on and off the computer and being at home already is a big game changer, pun intended.
I’ve continued to play online (have a 5e game I’m actually playing in). But I’ve managed to play face-to-face over the summer with friends. I’ll play online exclusively once winter settles in. So convenient!
 


schneeland

Adventurer
I will probably stick with online gaming (mostly: Discord + Owlbear Rodeo), too. I wouldn't completely rule out in person gaming, but online play allows me to fit sessions into weekdays and it also opened up the possibility to play with people whose playstyle and system preferences align better with mine.
With one group, we're tentatively planning a gaming weekend in a nice location some time next year. But going back to regular local sessions feels quite unlikely at this point.
 

I find so much lacking in VTT/VOIP play...
  • Ability to read faces and microexpressions
  • The pleasure of watching others dice roll on the table
  • ability to legally pass the book back and forth
  • ability to have the multi-person unspoken body-language cues not visible on camera
  • Ability to share snacks/meals
  • Ability for minor physical interactions.
I've driven 30 min each way for game for the last 15 years... for 3.5 to 4 hours? usually worth it for me.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
I find so much lacking in VTT/VOIP play...
  • Ability to read faces and microexpressions
  • The pleasure of watching others dice roll on the table
  • ability to legally pass the book back and forth
  • ability to have the multi-person unspoken body-language cues not visible on camera
  • Ability to share snacks/meals
  • Ability for minor physical interactions.
I've driven 30 min each way for game for the last 15 years... for 3.5 to 4 hours? usually worth it for me.
Same. I tried playing online and I absolutely hated the experience. It's exactly the same difference as doing a work meeting face-to-face or doing it in video call.

To me, it was so different that I would even call it a different game/activity. Missing out on the energy of people around you, the pleasure of sharing a space with people, the pleasure of not being in front of a screen, the sound of dices on the table, seeing micro-expressions, not having a delay and people speaking over each others.

I will never move to online full-time.
 

I find so much lacking in VTT/VOIP play...
  • Ability to read faces and microexpressions
  • The pleasure of watching others dice roll on the table
  • ability to legally pass the book back and forth
  • ability to have the multi-person unspoken body-language cues not visible on camera
  • Ability to share snacks/meals
  • Ability for minor physical interactions.
I've driven 30 min each way for game for the last 15 years... for 3.5 to 4 hours? usually worth it for me.

  • I'm the GM, so reading faces doesn't matter to me. Although Discord allows video links for the entire group, so it is available. I turn it off to save bandwidth.
  • Still have that. And no fudging, no chasing lost dice, and no delays while someone hunts for the d10 they just had.
  • Have that. Roll20 and D&D Beyond allows you to legally share your books.
  • Again, I don't need to read gamers.
  • Able to afford my own snacks.
  • Not sure what you're doing at your table. I gamed with one guy weekly for 19 years and we never had a reason for physical contact.
What you have, besides a dice roll noting player, weapon/skill, modifiers, abilities, result, and damage, is a tremendously easy-to-use VTT that, if you're playing 5e, will test passive perception to determine whether a PC spots a trigger, and if they miss, trigger both a trap graphic, sound, and roll damage.

Endless supplies of players; I formed two groups of five in 5 days. All good, quality players that show up as planned, and are invested in the game. Earlier tonight I was watching as my Tuesday group text-discussed their future plans. I haven't gamed twice a week since the 1980s. No accepting duds just to make player count. Someone quits or gets booted, you are briefing a replacement in 24 hours.

Dynamic lighting that have to be seen to be believed.

Incredibly simple monster/NPC interface so as a GM you spend more time building a coherent chain of events instead of looking up powers and abilities.

All your notes on the screen, invisible to the player. No scribbling hit points or wound levels on scrap paper.

The ability to show/distribute handouts, from a simple image to a fifteen-page document, at the click of a button.

GM drudgery is gone; the VTT system handles all the dull stuff. You can spend all your prep time focusing on props, plots, and personalities.

All in the comfort of your own home. My VTT is on a 42" TV, and anything else I need to reference is on my 22" monitor. The AC is set just right. A cat sits on my desk and watches.

And when the session is over, the BS'ing and goodbyes are said, you click a button, plug your headphones in to recharge, and...you're home.

I'll never play F2F again.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've been playing online for a bit over a year; refuse to DM online. Didn't like it to start with. Slowly got used to it, still didn't like it. Over the last few weeks technical issues* have pushed me toward thoroughly loathing it.

* - our DM recently started using dynamic lighting on roll20, which causes it to either lag horribly or crash outright on my machine; and I am not about to buy new computer hardware just for this.
 

I've been playing online for a bit over a year; refuse to DM online. Didn't like it to start with. Slowly got used to it, still didn't like it. Over the last few weeks technical issues* have pushed me toward thoroughly loathing it.

* - our DM recently started using dynamic lighting on roll20, which causes it to either lag horribly or crash outright on my machine; and I am not about to buy new computer hardware just for this.
It's true, a decent online experience is restricted to the discerning computer owner.

I've noticed a high percentage of my online gamers also place online games such as WoW and Elder Scrolls, which themselves demand a decent hardware suite.
 


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