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BRP on Roll20


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Helllooooo! I am running a BRP game on Roll20. I used the BRP option when setting my game up, which game me access to Magic World character sheets (which is great). Any other resources or suggestions I can add to my game? I wish oh wish that Yellow Book or the Magic World source book were available on Roll20, but they ain't. 

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  • 1 month later...

I've refereed one session on roll20. It wasn't BRP (it was Coriolis) but I can give my impressions of how it works.

The interface is a bit clunky but usable. There's a central visible screen (as described below) with a sidebar. The main bit of this sidebar you'll use is the chat window where you roll dice etc, but there's also a 'journal' section which has all of the character sheets and a 'jukebox' which lets you play sound effects and music. I was interested in this bit -- why not use the advantages of an online platform as well as enduring the disadvantages? You can also use the 'settings' to change the size of your video avatars and -- I like this one -- roll 3d dice across the screen visible to all players.

For the referee, you need to do quite a bit of prep to upload your maps or pictures to create different screens which the players can see. The screens have three layers: a base (map) layer, a token layer, which the players can interact with, and a GM-only layer on top which the GM can change the visibility of objects there. The layers are a bit like those in Illustrator, Photoshop or the GIMP; they can have elements visible, there can be a grid overlay etc. The GM then moves a bookmark to indicate which screen is visible to the players at any given time. They were a bit fiddly to make but the tutorial was adequate. I found that it was tricky to create these screens 'on the fly' during the session but my pre-prepared ones worked quite well. In my session my players switched between a introductory scene-setting picture and a map of Coriolis Station where they were doing their investigation.

To set up character sheets I created the character in the 'journal' section and then gave ownership of the character to their player. It was a new system for my group so I had had some 'zero sessions' with the players already on the platform to create their group and characters. I didn't find the character sheets perfectly easy to use but they were OK. I pretty much left it up to the players to refer to them during the session (similar to a live session).

I had my adventure outline written up in a text file (an org-mode outline so I could easily flick around between sections) which I referred to on my computer while running the session (alt-tab back and forth). To change maps was just a matter of moving the bookmark between the pre-prepared screens. I also had the rulebook on the table next to my laptop, and spent a bit of time flicking around in that. Next time I would probably include some page references in my outline file.

I used names only avatars partly to save screen space and partly to create an audio-only and more immersive RPG experience, a bit like a radio play. Again, trying to extract the strengths from the platform. However there were a few technical glitches and having no avatars made me miss some connection issues.

Overall the session went quite well. A roll20 session needs to be quite well prepped, at least the technical side of pre-uploading maps, images and music you might need. There are music and sound effects available on the platform, but you need to go through them and listen to stuff to decide what's appropriate for your game.

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