Ev-erron
 member, 1 post
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 05:58
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Hello RPOL GPIA,

(Ooof, I didn't realize how long this is, so I'll make at TLDR at the bottom)

I'm new here and like the many thousand or million of people here in the US and abroad I'm more or less trapped inside and that means I can't DM the campaign I was going to with a brand new group before this Covid19 pandemic began.

Before writing this GPIA, I sent an rMail to RPOL's mods and admins.  I got a reply back clearing my idea with bigbadron, so I'd like to see if there's any interest in a DND5e game that would be played as follows:
The game would be played both on RPOL as well as via Webcams so we can all see and hear each other, simulating a real-life tabletop campaign.  Obviously, I'll be the DM, and I'd like to find 4-6 players who also wish to pursue this idea of mine.

bigbadron also told me that this idea will not be permitted if we are Skyping (or whatever) and only use RPOL as just a place for us to store our character sheets, loot, and other stuff like that.  I completely agree.  I'd love to use RPOL to roleplay in between our sessions as well as post journal entries in your character's voice about what happened after every Webcam session.

The majority of the game would be played weekly via our Webcams (or microphones plus speakers at the very least). In between video sessions we'd use RPOL to roleplay as our characters by way of journaling in the voices of the characters, interacting during down-time, researching new spells and abilities, keeping track of loot and experience, and so on.  Basically, we'd be playing face-to-face once a week, but the rest of the week will be used just like any Play-By-Post games are played.  Most of the action will happen during our live-sessions, but there's plenty of other stuff we can do with RPOL in between the end of one life-session and the start of the next one.

As I stated, I'd like this to be run using DND5e rules and the campaign will take place in Eberron.  My hope is that we can keep this game up and running for quite a while and therefor your characters would gain levels pretty quickly and maybe even make it a 1-20 campaign!

This will be my very first time both DMing and playing DND5e after deciding that Pathfinder1e was becoming way too min-maxy as well as munchkiny.  When I picked up DND5e, I realized that there's much more of an emphasis on RolePlaying not RollPlaying, if that makes sense.  That said, I've been playing DND/PF for 25+ years, so I have a lot of real-world experience running homemade campaigns that my players have always throughly enjoyed!  I hope that I'll be able to continue the trend with you on RPOL as my new group, and new friends!

In terms of players, I'd prefer to find 4-6 who are more or less in the same place if their lives as I am.  I'm 36, married and have no children (unless you count our kitties!)  My ideal group would be a mix of men and women around my age since diversity is a wonderful thing in TTRPGS.  However, it can be challenging when playing with others who are in a completely different chapter in their lives, like undergraduate students for instance.  I don't want to put anybody off by mentioning this, but I feel that that's important information to be shared with you all.  Having a group that consists of people in similar places in their lives tends to make DMing for the group a little easier, as well as helps the other players get along with one another.

Since I'd like this to be a Webcam or Skype game, I feel I should tell you that I live in California.  That means I'm in the Pacific Time Zone and would probably be best of people interested in this game were in the same or similar time zone as well.  As for the day and time of our Skype or other Webcam sessions, Tuesday and Thursday evenings work best for me.  Say Tues/Thurs starting at 4 or 5 and ending after playing for 5-7 hours into the night.  That said, while in quarantine I'm pretty much free most of the time.  The only exception is when my wife is Web-Conferencing with Zoom for her graduate school.  Those times she does not want me tying up our internet because her education must take priority over a hobby.  I completely agree with her and I imagine most of you would understand that request of hers as well!

So, since I'm looking for feedback, I'd like to know your thoughts on what I've explained above. Any piece of input you share with me will be greatly appreciated!  If you think that it would be better to just make a Play-by-Post game, tell me.  If you like the idea but have a suggestion of a better way to Web-Conference, tell me.  If you think a different day or time would be best, tell me!  Basically, tell me whatever you think about this idea of mine!

As I begin to get some feedback I'll post a blurb introducing the actual campaign I've been working on ever since the quarantine began.  I have tons of free time on my hands, and I'm very excited to finally find a way to DM this campaign for some new friends I've yet to meet!

Thanks a lot!  Looking forward to starting up a game with some of you if this idea is appealing enough for 4-6 players!




TLDR?

Would you like to join a DND5e Eberron Campaign where we play live with each other via Webcam with Skype or something as well as RPing with Play-by-Post here in RPOL?

OutlawJT
 member, 307 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 09:05
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Expecting everyone to be eager for webcam interaction right now is probably a bit optimistic. Skype/discord voice chat isn't too much to shoot for, though. You should probably establish up front that all the game's rolling will be done via the dice roller here on RPoL. It reinforces the need and connection for using the site here, even during the 'live' weekly session. Another suggestion, I wouldn't worry about player time zones even a little. Just be up front about when you anticipate you'll be running the 'live' sessions with everyone who applies so they know what they're committing to.

I'm interested as a player. Eberron is my favorite setting.
Ev-erron
 member, 7 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 10:40
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Thank you for your opinion, OutlawJT.  One of the reasons I'd really like to have a webcam/voice weekly session is because I can't really imagine how long combat will take here as Play-By-Post.  If a combat encounter in real-life can take anywhere from 30 mins to several hours, then it could take several days for everybody to even make it through the first round of initiative.  Of course, I've never actually played or DMed on RPOL (or any PBP for that matter), so I could be completely mistaken.

Would you recommend that the weekly live session would be better if it was played with voice and sound only?  It's my fault for not really understanding how people play online with each other, and I only assumed it was via webcam.  I'm completely behind in terms of the technology that most people use when connecting to one another via the internet so any more suggestions will be great to hear!

It's kind of hard to hear tone in a forum post, but it seems to me that you're not too keen on showing yourself via webcam, which I completely understand.  So if it was a weekly live game that, as you suggest, uses RPOLs dice-roller, what would the best way to talk to each other via microphone+speakers?
borderline_dnd
 member, 405 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 13:36
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I'm interested too.

I like OutlawJT's suggestion that we use rpol's dice roller. And if you build the game you'll get a ton of applicants :)
Ev-erron
 member, 10 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 14:13
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I've been rMailing with some other people who saw some of my posts in the Beginner's area, and it's been suggested that a webcam/voice game played live and PBP might be a little difficult to get going.  So, while I continue to seek out more and more feedback about this type of game, I might go ahead and make another game that's strictly PBP only.  Anything pertaining to that game will be sorted out in another thread so this one can continue to concentrate on receiving more input on how to make a Live+PBP game.

I'm also guessing that there are a lot of people on RPOL who are lurkers that don't really contribute very much to a GPIA thread like this one, but once a game is set up, they pounce on the opportunity to become a member of that game.  So for this idea, I'll have to be aware of who has helped me out by giving me some feedback vs anyone else who just decides to try to play once it has begun.  Thanks for the tip!
borderline_dnd
 member, 406 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 14:32
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Have fun!
Welcome to rpol.

Learning the nuts of bolts of rpol as a player/GM can be difficult. But there are many resources (points to the upper right corner of your screen) and users that can help :)
Ev-erron
 member, 11 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 15:58
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Thanks!
jstabel
 member, 80 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 16:02
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I am also interested in this, though I don't have a webcam to use. I do have a headset to use voice though, so if that's enough, please consider me as a player.

On that point though, my advice to you is use the rpol dice roller so its fair for everyone, get one of your players to help teach you the ins and outs of GMing on rpol, and make your expectations and rules clear before allowing players in.
Ev-erron
 member, 12 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 16:18
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Its beginning to look more and more like live voice sessions is a better way to go than webcam.  But having never really done anything like this before I'm not certain what services there are for voice only conferencing.  I know Skype, which uses webcams, and I know that my wife is using Zoom for her graduate school courses since the campus was shut down due to the virus.  I wouldn't pick Zoom as my first choice because it would be a paid service and not everybody could afford something like that.
jstabel
 member, 81 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 16:22
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Skype can do voice only. A webcam isn't required at all. So skype is a perfectly viable option for this. Or you could create a free discord server to use for it too. It's up to you.
Waxahachie
 member, 167 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 16:33
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Ev-erron:
One of the reasons I'd really like to have a webcam/voice weekly session is because I can't really imagine how long combat will take here as Play-By-Post.  If a combat encounter in real-life can take anywhere from 30 mins to several hours, then it could take several days for everybody to even make it through the first round of initiative.


You could be onto something great here, if you can get a good group that is interested.

Despite not having run a play-by-post game, your instincts are good on the time it takes to run combats here. Unless you have an extremely active group of people who are posting all the time (less common, but they exist), combats can measure in weeks and even months.

A hybrid approach that handled most of the roleplaying and narrative via RPOL but ran combats on another live platform (Discord if theater of mind, Roll20 if using maps and tokens) would play to the strength of each medium. From RPOL, you could (potentially) gain thoughtful, in depth characterization, narrative, dialogue, and world building that can be harder to come by on the spot. From your live platform of choice, you can cut out weeks and months of tedious PBP combat exchanges in a single game session's interactions.




As far as voice only solutions, Discord is great. It is a high quality product, free, use of it is ubiquitous, and you can easily integrate bots for dice rolling for the live sessions if you want so people don't have to keep flipping back and forth.
OutlawJT
 member, 308 posts
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 19:17
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
PbP combat here can go from 1-3 days at the fast end (very rare) to 1-2 weeks (common) to 1-2 months (uncommon but definitely not unheard of) at the very slow end. So the prospect of a live session to manage the combat and expedite that side of the game is very appealing.

Skype and discord both work for group voice chat. I suggested that over webcam for two reasons. One being not everyone is keen on video chatting with people they don't know personally. Two, some people might not be keen on video chatting while being shut in for so long right now. Well... three when you consider with a full party that's a lot of video windows to look at all at once. Versus a single unified voice chat which just seems cleaner and simpler to me. I think Skype probably will have better quality sound for the group voice chat but discord offers a lot more options. You can do dice rolls in it but I think you're better doing them here. Discord you can also set up multiple rooms so we can also do live OOC chat during the week now and then.

I have a webcam but sometimes it decides not to work for unknown random reasons. I have a good headset/mic though.

As has been said by me and reinforced more thoroughly by others. The most important thing here is that you be very up front and clear with what you are expecting from your players before you accept any into your game. Make sure they understand what they are committing to. Both in terms of what you're expecting them to contribute to the RPoL portion of the game and what they need to commit to for the live portion of the game.

In any case, I'm still very interested. Love Eberron.
Ev-erron
 member, 18 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Wed 29 Apr 2020
at 22:19
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I'd like to thank you all so much for tailing the time to help me figure out how to do this, and if it would even be possible. At this pint I'm positive that we'll be able to make it work in one way or another. I'm also pretty sure that the Live-Sessions would work best for everyone as audio-only bc of privacy concerns. I totally understand not wanting to be on camera with a bunch of unknown people. Using audio would offer a degree of privacy that video would not.

One other thing that I've been thinking about is that when the Live-Session is happening plenty of breaks must be accounted for. Everyone's body's works differently and I'd be a real a-hole if I decided that you have to be constantly playing for however long we decide we're going to play. For instance, my wife might come home from going to the market or something and even if we're neck deep in a battle, I'm going to need to hit the pause button while I greet her and help unload our groceries. The same would obviously be true for you guys as well.

One other thing I've been thinking about is timezones. In a PBP setup it doesn't really matter that I'm in California and your in Nashville, New York, England, or Australia. Playing live on the other hand means that if I decide that we'll begin at 4pm my time, it could be extremely late or early depending on where you live.

My final thoughts about this for the moment have to do with how we'll connect with each other via our computers, tablets, phones, etc. Now your suggestions about using Skype and/or Discord sound like they'd be the perfect solution. However I exclusively use Linux so I'll need to make sure that whatever method we choose, I'll be able to install the application and depends packages. The software we end up using simply must work on Linux or else there would be no game at all!. If, for instance everyone wants to use Discord, but Discord doesn't work on Linux we'll have a problem immediately. I will have to research what methods of live communication are available on Linux. Then there's also the issue about whether or not to use a battle map. Personally I'd much rather use the "Theater of the Mind" that's explained in the DND5e PHB or DMG (I can't remember which it's in). But, if everyone feels we need a map I'm at a loss for how we'd do that. Suggestions for this aspect would be great. Of course if you think like I do that we don't need a map and can just use our imaginations, then this question would be moot.

Just in case I haven't made it clear, I'd like you all to know that if/when I start this game, everyone who has taken the time to help me out in this thread will have priority for joining as my players. I'm typing this on my phone at the moment but when I get onto my computer I'll have to write down each of your usernames and hopefully there aren't more than 6 of you. I don't think running a live and PBP game for more than 6 people would work very well. The phrase "Too many cooks in the kitchen" springs to mind.

That's all for now. Thank you all so much for helping me figure this whole MacGuffin out!
Ev-erron
 member, 19 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Wed 29 Apr 2020
at 23:17
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
[I hit post by accident. Editing]

This message was last edited by the user at 23:17, Wed 29 Apr.

Ev-erron
 member, 20 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 00:16
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Well I've checked and there's 4 of you who have been actively helping me out. So here's what I propose:

I could make the game now, but it'll still be a work in progress. But, idk if I make the game this thread will close, which I don't want bc I definitely want further input. Can someone tell me if I make the game whether this thread will remain alive or be closed down?

Another option is for me to make the game and not share that info in this thread. I'll rMail the 4 9f you and link you that way, then this thread will remain open but you'll already be members of the party.

The way I've written the campaign so far I believe the optimal number of PCs is 5 or 6. That means I'll still need 1 or 2 additional members. Alternatively, I could spend some time tweaking it so it'll work for a party of 4.

The biggest detail that needs to be addressed is what day(s) and time work for the 4 of you. As I've said, I'm in CA which is PST or GMT-8. Tues and Thurs are best for me bc those days my won't need the internet as much; the other days of the week she needs to have as much bandwidth as she can during the day bc that's when all her Zoom courses in her graduate program are scheduled. Her semester started out with 0 online courses but thanks to Covid19 every one of her classes are now online, so she obviously has priority for bandwidth than playing a game for several hours.

So here's what I'm thinking, and please be honest with me about how well my proposals will work for you, and which you prefer.

1) We could live-play once a week on Tues for 6-8 hours.

2) We could live-play once a week on Thurs for 6-8 hours.

3) We could live-play once a week on Tues for 4-6 hours.

4) We could live-play once a week on Thurs for 4-6 hours.

5)... Sat for 6-8 hrs

6)... Sun for 6-8 hrs

7)... Sat for 4-6 hrs

8)... Sun for 4-6 hrs

9)... Finally, we could live-play twice a week if you really want play badly! I'm not counting on it since playing twice a week would be pretty draining but I'm offering it nonetheless!

... And in each of those wed have to start in the mid to late afternoon bc I'm an not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination!  Probably 2pm at the earliest, but 4-5pm would be my ideal starting time.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15877 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 04:22
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Per the rules of this forum, once you make the game and tell people how to find it (even by rMail), this thread will be locked, since any further discussion can take place in the game itself.

If you don't create the game, there is a soft limit on how long this thread can continue (added to encourage people to go and create their game, instead of just talking about it forever).  Basically, once you get over about thirty posts you will be asked to move the discussion to a game board.
OutlawJT
 member, 310 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 05:09
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I think once a week for 4-6 hours should be the minimum planned target for the live session. Planning for it to be 6-8 hours is unreasonable. Now, if it were to every once and a while actually stretch out those extra couple of hours that's great. To have that as an expectation though would be a bit much. Likewise, I think one day a week should be the goal but if every once and a while we fit in a second live session it'd be great. As for which day, it doesn't matter too much to me. Tuesday or Thursday would probably be slightly better for me. I'm on the east coast so the time difference would cause slightly less of a conflict with the family I live with as far as the weekly routine around the house. I can make almost any day work, though.

Skype is it's own software so without checking I can't tell you it's compatibility with Linux. Discord however is an app that can also just be run in a web browser. That's how I use it, so I don't think you using Linux should be a conflict with Discord as worst case you could just run Discord from your web browser.
jstabel
 member, 83 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 21:05
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I agree with OutlawJT and think once a week for 4-6 hours would be fine for the live play session. Out of the choices you've presented so far I would choose either #7 or #8. But honestly I am free everyday except for Friday as I have a previous game on that day already.
Ev-erron
 member, 23 posts
 It's probably obvious...
 I love Eberron!
Tue 12 May 2020
at 03:45
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
I unfortunately had to go to the hospital (not due to Covid19 thankfully), but I've been discharged and doing better now. I don't want anyone to think I just disappeared from RPOL without any warning. As my health continues to improve I'm looking forward to continuing to start an Eberron game or two here!  I'm sorry if I made anyone think I just didn't want to continue setting up my Eberron games here on RPOL. I fully intend to pick up where I left off before I was hospitalized during my CVS episode.  Thanks for your understanding!

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the ToU, at 04:27, Tue 12 May.

OutlawJT
 member, 312 posts
Wed 13 May 2020
at 00:00
Eberron DND5e Campaign played via RPOL and Webcams?
Just wanted to express that I am still interested.