Friday, 1 April 2016

Preparations to run The Black Hack online

I have already played few games online using Skype, Roll20, Google Hangouts and Google docs. Now I am preparing to run game like a pro!

I am running The Black Hack (my review), and decided to use it because it is lightweight and new. I have an online group for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, so I wanted to run something a little different yet OSR in compability and feel.

I also wanted to start the game with Where Is Margesh Blackblood? by +Tim Shorts, because it has so much in it from combat to great roleplaying opportunities. I've used it several times, and always love to run it.

A MAP

I am already familiar with the adventure I am about to run, so I don't have to make preparations for it anymore. This time I make an area map for it, though.

A quick drawing of the adventure's area ready for scanning.
After I scanned the hand-drawn map, I added some color with GIMP and text with paint.net.

Here is the map ready for action!
ONLINE TOOLS

Skype is what we use for communications. I am here at my house alone, three of the players are under same roof and the last player is at his place. We use Skype, because everyone has an easy access to it. We use video conversation, and text chat for some meta that is easier to write than explain.

Roll20 is used for dice rolling and for the map.

Here is the map, fog of warred, in Roll20 ready to be revealed for the players.
Trello is an online organizer notes program I use to keep track of the adventure. This is the first time I am using it, but even during pre-game preparations it feels extremely handy! It's easy to add and manage notes. I've got "lists" for house-rules (for quick referance), characters, adventure log and extra information there. Adding new lists and info is so quick and easy I think it won't slow the game down a bit!

My Trello notes look like this. More to come during the play!
Google Drive for hosting all kinds of images, like for NPCs to quickly share and locate.

PHYSICAL TOOLS

There already are quite a few windows open on my system, and even though I use two monitors, I don't want to use pdf viewers for rules and adventure. Also some oldschool notepad and pens are always needed.

I had to print The Black Hack pdf (waiting for the physical reward to arrive). I am lucky to own a printed copy of Where Is Margesh Blackblood? Index card on the top is a simple referance for Ascending to Descending AC. It comes handy every now and then.

HOW DO YOU RUN ONLINE GAMES?

What tools do you use? What is your preferred chatting platform? Do you use voice, video or text only?

Game report to follow...