Playing Online

As we approached the era of COVID, I began playing online for the first time. We used Discord for our game. I have always had an aversion to video-games, and lots of technology. So, if I was going to game, I had to be willing to go beyond my comfort zone. Discord is as far as I have gone. Some of you may be familiar with Discord, others might not. It is an app designed for people who play video games. My understanding is that it is mostly for video-games. 

<L> When COVID was picking up in March 2020, I was on a business trip and couldn’t participate in our normal game as we normally met in person to game. Our campaign had been going over a year in person, but it looked like that we would need to play virtually in future. Luckily, there were some folks in our RPG group that knew how to use Discord (I didn’t. I don’t play video games any more.)

Discord was set up for our RPG group, and we transitioned online. It has been different. Yes, there is Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, D&D Beyond etc. Most of our group is a little older and used to playing pencil and paper RPG. Discord met our basic needs with the group chat and basic video.

Why Discord worked for us:

** Free! (well, we each had to buy a headset for those that didn’t have one)

** Didn’t have to learn how to use a new online system.

** Could play right away; we made a smooth transition from in person to online play with no interruption to our game.

It also allowed remote players to join our game. I have a friend from junior high now living overseas who has joined our game. <S> has a friend in a different state joining our game too.

Why I like Online Play:

I like hosting in person games and going to game in person at other people’s place. However, I also like not having to spend time cleaning the house or driving which gives me more gaming time. Yes, its silly, but time is the most valuable thing we have. My cat does miss all the people for weekly game though.

How we have been using Discord:

** we primarily use the voice chat in our games.

** we do like posting stupid memes of what’s happening in game. the Monty Python ‘Run Away meme’ is quite popular.

** for initiative, we just go down the list in order in Discord. we use group initiative to keep things moving faster. Everyone takes turns rolling initiative, for wandering monsters, and other misch. checks.

** I’ve been posting maps, pics of monsters, handouts, etc.

** we take bio/smoke/food breaks after every 60 mins of play

Yes, I know all the other online game services can do same things and more, but I’m not here to argue with you on what’s better and why you should switch etc. Its basic and working for our group. Future articles to come on the other online RPG systems like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds.