So You Want To RP-A-G? A Few Questions For Those Interested

I’ve been cooking up a small intro adventure that a new group can stumble through. It’s literally a stumble-through adventure: short, cost light on story, order but serves two important purposes. First, see it gets people together to hash out characters and back stories and to learn the ropes of the game system and how to play together. Second, although the adventure isn’t really anything to scribe home about, I’ve got a really decent idea of how it’ll open doors for further adventures.

The Call To Arms

Want to play? Many do! Sadly, I think the limit for participation will have to be capped at 5 people, max. Maybe six, if that was all who expressed interest, but as of right now, I have three pretty sure buy-ins, one fringe interest, and some other rubbernecks who have responded to a general shout-out this afternoon, and that’s only on one social network that’s been kind of slow today.

In the interest of getting on the same page (and helping folks decide, and helping me help you, etc), I wanted to put forth what I have been thinking about, and collect info on what works for people.

1. System

I’ve been leaning towards Pathfinder because A) a lot of people like it, and B) it’s free! But the setting doesn’t really much matter to me, personally. I know some people love/hate D&D 4E. The 5E PHB was just released (don’t have it yet, myself), but lacks DM and monster info.

There are other systems as well. My current idea is rather high-fantasy focused, but if people had a burning desire to really play another system, concessions could be made. It’d have to be back-to-the-drawing-board time, however, to come up with new materials.

If you’re interested in playing, what system would you like to use? Which system would you NOT like to use?

2. Venue

The “how” is probably the second first most important question.

We’ve played with Fantasy Grounds and R0ll20. Both are great tools. FG is normally pay-to-play, but I have the Ultimate License which allows the “demo” version to connect to my server and play like a paid version, so folks would just need to download and install it. Roll20 is, of course, web-based, with built in VoIP and webcam support. Both systems allow for handout sharing and drawing. Roll20 is pretty free-wheeling while FG has some pretty robust tools that help streamline the numbers game.

I personally prefer to play this round as non-tactical as possible, returning to the days of “making shit up” and not worrying so much about drawing out encounters by worrying about where you are exactly on the map. Maps will be used, but primarily to give folks an idea of what a room looks like, or as something that can be pointed to when saying “I move here”, or to give really vague ideas of how many things remain to be killed.

I’m also looking at Obsidian Portal as the “official” record-keeper of the game. Having a player log and an institutionalized recap is pretty new to me, but I’ve looked through stuff that people have done on the site, and it’s pretty intriguing. OP allows players to keep their own notes and recaps, enter their characters, and to have discussions during, before, and after the game. And it allows the DM to load up the wiki with lore and important information that “fleshes out” the game world.

What “venues” would you prefer/be willing to use? Which venues would you like to avoid?

3. Scheduling

Plain and simple: What kind of schedule can people pull off? We had previously played one night per week, but we’re adults and have lives and responsibilities and sometimes even once a week is asking a lot. We should, however, make a decent effort to not commit to a “seat of the pants” style game, in order to maintain momentum and to keep last session’s knowledge somewhat fresh in our minds.

What would work for you in terms of scheduling, days and times?

If you’re interested in joining the Adventure Co., Brand Adventuring Company, please shout out in the comments, ping me on Twittah, or leave a comment in the vile cesspool that is Google Plus. Ideally, you’d comment here and answer the above questions, so we can get a good idea of what people are looking for, where, and when we can find it.

  1. 1.) I think due to some people returning to the scene, that simple would be better.
    5E is probably the simplest out of the ones you listed, but I understand why you might want to wait for more material. I’ve never played the Pathfinder RPG, but that is the one I’d like to play, if we don’t do 5E.

    2.) Honestly, I’m reluctant to spend too much money on a client for this. I already have chunks of dough into books and rules, and I know how games can sometimes fall by the wayside due to people’s life changes.
    That being said, this is my first online RPG, and I haven’t tried any of the clients out there. So I’m open to any, given them being reasonably priced or better yet free 🙂

    3.) Weekly or bi-weekly would be ok for me, generally 9pm EST or later.

    • 1. Thanks! I’m very much of the mindset that the system is really as rigid or as flexible as the group agrees it to be. Combat and healing rules are OK to stick with, for example, but movement while climbing a rock wall wearing burlap as opposed to plate mail? We can fudge it for the sake of “cinematics” if that’s what people want.

      PFRPG is free, which is technically a bonus for folks who aren’t sure/don’t want to spend any/too much money.

      2. Only free tools are being considered to help facilitate the play. Roll20 is free to use. FG is buy to use, but I bought the version that allows everyone ELSE to use the free version. So neither option would cost anyone anything. Others, like MapTools, are also free, but MT is a real PITA to set up and use, IMO XD

      3. Roger that on the time frame. Our last sessions were once a week, 9PM EST, and that seemed to work out well. With the tactical aspects of 4E, we ended anywhere between 11PM and 12AM. Without tactical, we would have gotten a lot more done in that same amount of time. Again, whatever works for folks.

  2. 1 – I’m system agnostic. I do have an interest in Pathfinder after getting into the card game, but I’m willing to try 5e or 4e as well.

    2- I already have Fantasy Grounds, so that or Roll20 is fine by me. I can’t think of anything I want to avoid.

    3 – For me weeknights work the best. Anytime on/after 9 pm eastern. Weekends are a bit more iffy, although Sunday nights should be fine.

    Since I was in Adventure Co for the 4e shenanigans, I don’t want to hog a spot if a ton of people are interested in this round, a large group is tough enough to manage in person.

    • Sounds good. Right now, it seems we have two Yes, two maybe, and several “I’d like to, but can’t commit”. So I don’t think stepping aside is going to be necessary at this point if you really want in 😀

  3. It’s been too long since we RPGd. Wed-Fri would be best for me. I’d like to try 5e but anything is fine.

    • If people HAD 5E, or were interested in picking it up, 5E would work just fine by me as well. I know that buying stuff is often a barrier to people participating, so I’ve offered to go the “free” route, but…if folks want to buy into 5E totally of their own volition, we could absolutely do that.

  4. 1) I am more familiar with D&D but I can try any system as long as I don’t have to buy a bunch of manuals or guides etc. I am a huge fan of 2nd Edition so anything after that I’m pretty lost. I don’t mind mixing different types of Fantasy/SCIFI, but would prefer a good old faction Sword/Sorcery style to any space travel type of stuff.

    2) I don’t mind buying FG as long as we agree to play. I don’t want to get stuck buying software and then having to hunt for people to play it with. lol Other than that, I have no preference since this will be my first forte back into Roleplaying table top since my college days which happen to be back when we actually used a TABLE for this sort of thing.

    3) I don’t mind planning a night during the week, but Thursdays – Sunday would probably be the best. Also, work can be very unpredictable so if I have to had out of town for a few days, it seems to be less likely that its over a weekend. But I can be very flexible.

    • 1. Looks like the 5E is the way to go, since everyone mentioned it. You can buy the PHB if you like, or use the free, quick rules:

      The PHB will provide more options, though.

      2. If we use FG, NO ONE HAS TO BUY IT. BlueKae and Tipa have it from our earlier sessions, but with the Ultimate Edition, people can download the demo free version and use it like the full version so long as I host.

      3. Looks like Thursdays are our best bet, from the schedules I’m seeing.

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