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Unread 4th of August, 2012, 01:52
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VTT/PbP hybrid (Inceptum players, please read!)

I have an experiment I'd like to try out.

For the uninitiated, VTT is short for virtual tabletop. It's software that allows people to play RPGs or board games in a virtual environment in real-time. It almost always comes bundled with a shared visual space (the tabletop), text chat, and sometimes even video chat.

Almost all of my experience with the format is via MapTool. There is also some very promising browser-based software called roll20, but it's still in beta. In addition to these, there are a few prominent paid solutions (FantasyGrounds, D20Pro, Battlegrounds Games, etc.), but my experience with them is limited.

VTTs have a couple of major pros compared to PbPs, such as much speedier play (especially combat) and real-time conversation, both of which are further enhanced by the use of voice & video chat.

The cons are also significant. Just like with face-to-face gaming, scheduling is a major issue. First, you have to pick a time slot that works for everyone (depending on the geographic locations of your players this is not a small feat), and second you have to actually meet on a regular basis. Most people do VTTs or PbPs because they don't have time to go somewhere and play D&D in the first place.

The other con VTTs have compared to PbPs is that there is a certain level of detail you get with carefully worded exposition and dialogue that is almost completely absent in real-time play. I miss that.

I'm greedy and I want the best of both worlds, so I'm going to try a hybrid game. Here's the pitch:

Game Details

Ruleset: Iron Heroes (hacked version)

Setting
: Valeria (the world we created for Inceptum)

Story: Undecided, although I'm going to make sure this game's story doesn't mess with the Inceptum continuum. I have plans to resume that game in September if all parties are interested. So this game will probably be tightly focused in one region at an earlier point in history. Most of my games are sprawling epics; this one will be short and goal-oriented in comparison.

Players
: I'm looking for up to four. I'm going to give first priority to my past and present Inceptum players since they did so much work on world generation. If interest is heavy I'll consider additional players, but that does make scheduling more complicated so no promises! Post here if you're interested with your available time slots.

Software
: MapTool/roll20. Both are free, but you need to set up an account for roll20. When I say we're using MapTool and roll20 I mean we're using them together. Roll20 has great integrated voice & video but its other features are incomplete. What we've tried with some success in my current VTT is opening a Roll20 session in the background (all of the video frames are at the bottom of the screen) and putting the MapTool session window on top of it.

Hardware
: A web cam, a mic, and a decent Internet connection.

Schedule
: We aren't going to meet regularly. This is going to be a PbP with VTT integration rather than the other way around, which means we'll only schedule a session when there is major (3+ rounds) combat. But all of my players need to have at least one available one hour time slot in common.

I am going to estimate it's unlikely we'd meet more than once every other week and possibly as infrequently as once a month. The VTT sessions will be short - it'll be assumed that everyone is up to speed when we connect, so we'll go straight into the combat or whatever, complete it (IH combats are fast), and go back to PbP. I'll summarize each combat and roll it into the story thread.

My available time slots in no particular order (GMT -6): Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays after 8 PM. Some Thursdays and some Saturdays after 8 PM. Sporadic Wednesdays after 10 PM.

If you really want to play this game but the scheduling is an issue, please make your interest known anyway and I will do my best to accommodate you.
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Last edited by treehouse; 4th of August, 2012 at 01:55.
  #2  
Unread 4th of August, 2012, 02:16
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Ahem.

YES!

Not sure if you are looking for more than that at the moment.
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Unread 4th of August, 2012, 02:18
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My available time slots (Eastern Time GMT-5) are Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday after 9 PM and some Thursdays after 9 PM.
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Unread 4th of August, 2012, 02:24
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I'm in Japan woo.
Limited to, for me, Saturday or Sunday mornings, which would be Friday or Saturday evenings for normal people.
I'm fine with getting up at 8 as long as it's set ahead of time for extra sure and hopefully we don't do it too often.
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Unread 4th of August, 2012, 03:34
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I should probably clarify when I say 'hacked version' of IH. It's actually only a partial hack. I'm pulling some adjustments from here.
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More cocks! Everywhere I look there are cocks! I seem to be surrounded by cocks! -itches

I'm like Jesus, but with more car chases. -BigRedRod

Every outfit has a guy like me. We're usually called "Shut the hell up!" -Doombot
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Unread 4th of August, 2012, 13:01
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As much as I would love to play with you guys I'm afraid I do not have the time to commit to this currently.
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Unread 6th of August, 2012, 00:09
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Hey tree, starting level? 1, 5, something else entirely?
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Kat: No, I didn't...
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Unread 6th of August, 2012, 03:54
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Unread 6th of August, 2012, 05:38
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With one of my primary Inceptum players disinterested and another iffy on the VTT portion of it, we may need to re-evaluate the concept here. I'm running something, though. Stay tuned.
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More cocks! Everywhere I look there are cocks! I seem to be surrounded by cocks! -itches

I'm like Jesus, but with more car chases. -BigRedRod

Every outfit has a guy like me. We're usually called "Shut the hell up!" -Doombot
  #10  
Unread 8th of August, 2012, 07:07
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Would someone close this thread? I am going to get Inceptum's successor off the ground before I start anything else.
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More cocks! Everywhere I look there are cocks! I seem to be surrounded by cocks! -itches

I'm like Jesus, but with more car chases. -BigRedRod

Every outfit has a guy like me. We're usually called "Shut the hell up!" -Doombot
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Unread 8th of August, 2012, 09:15
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tree, you should have the ability to close it yourself. Up the top of the thread, under the 'thread tools' drop down menu.
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Unread 8th of August, 2012, 10:44
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Unread 8th of August, 2012, 12:34
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Originally Posted by itches # tree, you should have the ability to close it yourself. Up the top of the thread, under the 'thread tools' drop down menu.
That sounds like a lot of work.

...fine.
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More cocks! Everywhere I look there are cocks! I seem to be surrounded by cocks! -itches

I'm like Jesus, but with more car chases. -BigRedRod

Every outfit has a guy like me. We're usually called "Shut the hell up!" -Doombot
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