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ZEITGEIST Zeitgeist and Roll20, any info?

EnderAsha

First Post
I have two questions. One being new to discovering Zeitgeist for 5E is the story in published form complete?

I also noticed they’re releasing content for Roll20, is that ongoing at a reasonable pace do we know or has it stalled out? I’d like to make that my next campaign once my current group hits 20
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I have two questions. One being new to discovering Zeitgeist for 5E is the story in published form complete?
The final part of the final chapter comes out in a couple of weeks. So pretty much, yes, save that very final installment.
I also noticed they’re releasing content for Roll20, is that ongoing at a reasonable pace do we know or has it stalled out? I’d like to make that my next campaign once my current group hits 20
We licensed the Gears of Revolution adventure path to Ancris IT (@Tormyr), who has just started the Roll20 conversion. So far the first of 13 adventures has been released.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Installments of ZEITGEIST on Roll20 are anticipated to come out every month or two. I missed this Friday's submission deadline, so look for it The Dying Skyseer next weekend.

Each of these is a massive undertaking, with dozens of hours of preparation so that everything is ready for you to read, plan, and play. The entirety of each adventure is set up in Roll20, including placing all the player handouts a click away, integrating with the 5e compendium, and scrubbing all the secret information from the maps so the players will not gain information they shouldn't have.

Rest assured, that ZEITGEIST, one of the greatest APs ever released, will continue to roll out on Roll20.
 

EnderAsha

First Post
That is really exciting to hear!! I still have a bit to go for my current campaign but I’ve been looking into this one and having a fully fleshed out story done in Roll20 will be a lifesaver for me. The hundreds of hours of prep I put into my current campaign isn’t something I can keep up with again now that our baby is here :)

will definitely be buying all of them for sure
 


Tormyr

Adventurer
Any chance of ZG PF Roll20?
We've moved our campaign online and are suffering :) :-(
Sorry, no, PF just doesn't have a large enough market share. You can use the 5e modules for the maps, art, and dynamic lighting to have a strong foundation to build on. You do this by setting up your game with the PF character sheet.

The NPC character sheets would have a very limited/incorrect set of information which you would need to fill in manually from the PDFs, and other monsters would need to be added (because some encounters use different monsters entirely), but it would give you a huge head start.

The other thing to consider is which chapter you are on. Chapter 2 is coming out shortly, but that might still be a bit behind you depending on how long your campaign has been running.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
From my experience of Roll20 the difficult and important bit is the maps, art etc. This is what we sufferred problems with when we were forced to move online.
NPC stats and character sheets continued to be tracked as we always did with Herolabs and/or PDF's from Herolabs. This still worked just as well online. But getting maps and tokens right and importing images and handouts is horribly fiddly and the maps in the ZG pdfs do not all expand well to Roll20 or at least have issues when a ham handed ameteur moves them over. So if I was going to run ZG in Roll20 again I would seriosly consider buying the 5th ed Roll20 modules and dumping all the character stats for the crappy system,(I don't like 5th ed) and going with my normal character npc management.
TBH if I was using 5th ed due to temporary insanity I would still probably look seriosuly at using Herolabs to track the characters as I have no idea what roll20's interface for characters is like and I doubt it has the character design an update features I like to use, and I would still consider not having to do all the map conversion worth the price of buying the modules were someone else has done the work
 

My experience with 5e online is that you hardly need the computer to handle stats and rules and stuff.

I generally just assume the players will track their stats, and each monster token has little spots where you can type in numbers. They don't really say what the numbers are, except one circle is red, one is green, and one is black (I think). So I'd just type in HP damage that each monster took. I didn't bother to actually put full monster stats in.

Heck, while PF and PF2 have a lot more numbers and moving parts, that's all under the hood. Above the hood, really all the PCs interact with is the monster's HP. I imagine you could just have the stats open in one file, and then alt-tab between those stats when you need to roll something, and the VTT interface when you need to record HP damage or roll dice.

I don't even know if you're supposed to be able to, like, click a monster, then click a target, and have the computer handle the monster attacking the target.
 

MarkM

Explorer
There is definitely a continuum. We spent years using Roll20 for a very heavily modified 2e/homebrew system. Roll20 worked just fine. We didn't use a lot of published modules, but those that we did use were absolutely fine and usable. As others said, the biggest challenges are the maps, dynamic lighting, tokens, handouts, and other images, and those are all universal. When we did switch to 5e, it was noticeably better because we could use the included character sheets (instead of keeping them on Dropbox and rolling everything manually, which is what we'd done before). For our new campaign (Zeitgeist AP), I invested a significant amount of time figuring out better ways to use Roll20, including the API functions and extensive use of token actions. These "push a button to resolve stuff" things are not at all necessary, but they speed gameplay tremendously and make the DM's life easier. They are simple for the players, but (at least for this non-programmer) required a significant amount of time (and $10/month) to figure out how to make all these cool bells and whistles work. Completely worth it, IMHO, but annoying that I had to learn from random forum posts and youtube videos and not through something easier and more integrated .

So, I'd say that the Zeitgeist adventures on Roll20 will work perfectly well regardless of which system (including homebrew) you decide to use, and are a great bargain even if you homebrew and don't value your own time very highly. If you are busy, they are a godsend, either to save you time or so that you can spend the same amount of time on the details and prep that make the sessions great as opposed to spending all your time on maps and tokens. If you actually use 5e, there are additional cool and helpful features that make things easier and faster (such as having rollable character sheets for all the NPCs & villains). I also highly recommend the Roll20 API if you are serious about your game. It's a lot of pain for a short time up front, but makes life so much easier on the other side. Some of the functions are 5e or Pathfinder-specific, but most will enhance any game. Token actions don't require API, and also help speed up the game (after some initial set-up pain).
 
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How do you advertise these? Is it just word of mouth, or do you have to hope people spot it on the Roll20 front page? Is there some other site that highlights new Roll20 modules?
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
There really is not a good place to advertise where you can catch all of Roll20's eyeballs. Roll20 used to retweet content creators but mostly tweets their shows nowadays. I generally put together a post here, on the Roll20 forum, and on the Roll20 subreddit.
 

MarkM

Explorer
The Roll20 marketplace is really terrible. You'd think they would be motivated to help people who want to give them money do so, but not the case. I'm baffled as to why you can't search by intended level as well as system. As a GM buying adventures, I would always have a particular gaming system in mind and either be looking for a full campaign or an adventure for an existing party, but you can't look for all 5e adventures for 5th level characters or sort by intended level range. There's also no review system, so it's very difficult to tell what is amazing and what is garbage.
 


MarkM

Explorer
What is this Roll20 witchcraft? I've looked so many times for this, including searching the forums. My filter menu only gives length as an option for adventures. Do you have to type a command in the text search? If so, is there a list somewhere? I've used Roll20 for 4 years, but you've taught me a lot of new tricks. If there is some super obvious button I've been missing all this time I'm going to feel very foolish.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
No, I am a publisher, so I tag my products with filters like those, and I know what exists. You just start typing in the search bar to get the filters suggested. I don't know any other way to find out about it without someone telling you or stumbling on it through dumb luck.
 

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