Roll20 Stats Contest

For a little Thursday fun for people playing games online with Roll20, let’s hear what your Roll20 stats look like! Specifically, how many hours have you played using Roll20? I noticed this little piece of information a few weeks back when I was prepping my Shudder Mountain DCC campaign. I thought it would be interesting to see how much Roll20 time other people have logged.

Here is how to check your stats.

  • Login to Roll20.net
  • On the upper right portion of the screen, choose My Profile
  • Just below your name on your profile page, you will see a line that includes when your account was created and how many hours you have played.

Something like this:

roll20_stats

Looks like I started using Roll20 back in June of 2012 and have logged 262 hours of play time since then! Just for those curious, the vast majority of those hours have been running Dungeon Crawl Classics games, but I’ve also logged some hours running Labyrinth Lord one-shots and playing in Dungeonslayers, Swords & Wizardry, and Labyrinth Lord games as well.

Contest

I haven’t run a contest at The Iron Tavern for well over a year, so let’s turn this into a bit of a contest. Post a comment here with the amount of time you have logged on Roll20. Only comments on this blog post will be considered for entry. Feel free to mention what you’ve been playing as well, I’m curious.

On Monday (2/16/2015) I will compile a list of comments and randomly select 3 winners who can choose to receive one PDF product selected from The Iron Tavern Press offerings at RPGNow.

Two of the three drawings will only include people who have logged hours on Roll20. Please be honest. But if you haven’t played on Roll20 yet and have no hours logged, post in the comments 0 hours and I will still include your name in the 3rd drawing.

Chromecast and Roll20

chromecast-imageChromecast

Google entered the streaming media player market with their Chromecast product last year. Priced at $35, the Chromecast is slightly larger than a USB key and goes into the HDMI slot of your TV. It needs auxiliary power through either a USB connection or power adapter. Once installed (which is very easy) you can “cast” certain applications to it – Netflix, YouTube, HuluPlus and such. You can also “cast” Chrome browser tabs to the device from a computer. This opens up a few more possibilities for the device.

We have several streaming media devices at home as we cut cable/satellite years ago. We have an older model Roku that serves our needs very, very well. One of the TVs has Netflix built-in which also covers a lot of our streaming needs. And of course a PS3 that has the ability to stream various forms of media.

So why would I even consider the Chromecast (and the tie-in for this post to an RPG blog)?

Roll20 and the Chromecast

When I read a little more about the casting of a Chrome tab my thought went to gaming and could I cast a tab running Roll20. I did some quick Google searches and it seemed some folks had tried this. With an Amazon gift card I decided to try this out and ordered a Chromecast.

It arrived a couple of days later and I set it up on the main TV in the house. One of the first things I tried was casting a Chrome tab (after installing the Chrome extension). A normal web page cast with minimal issue, though there was a bit of lag between what was displayed on the computer (MacBook Pro) and the screen. Nothing particularly problematic.

The next experiment was to cast a tab running Roll20. This initially worked pretty well, but soon the flaws became more evident. As I worked in Roll20 (removing fog of war, using the drawing tool, etc) the lag became more apparent and the tab would become disconnected from the Chromecast frequently. Typically I could just reconnect – but during a gaming session I’d rather be gaming – not troubleshooting tech.

I have continued to play with “casting” a Roll20 tab and still had intermittent results. The initial page display is fine, but the longer the “casted” tab is used the more problematic the “casting” becomes with disconnects and such.

Conclusion

At the current time I don’t think the Chromecast is quite ready for the use I had in mind for it. I suspect things will improve in the future as Chromecast updates and Chrome extensions are further refined to make them less resource heavy (both network bandwidth and computer). But for the moment my idea of reliably casting a Roll20 tab is not ready for prime time just yet.

I will continue to use the Chomecast and watch as updates to it and the apps that can use it take place. But for the moment – if you were considering a Chromecast for the purpose of casting Roll20 tabs I would hold out just a bit longer.

Roll20 Launches ‘Rugged Reroll’

Roll20 has put out a press release regarding their major overhaul to the popular VTT gaming application. I have not had the chance to take it for a spin since the update – but I look forward to experiencing the updates!

ROLL20 LAUNCHES ITS “RUGGED REROLL”
Largest, most comprehensive update in the platform’s history goes live today.

Roll20 Logo

Wichita, Kansas (December 16th, 2013) The developers of the online virtual tabletop Roll20.net have maintained a rapid update schedule since their successful Kickstarter launched the platform in April of 2012. So rapid, in fact, that the developers found themselves with a unique set of problems.

“We’ve been pushing new content live so fast that we weren’t giving ourselves a chance to see how everything fit together into the bigger picture,” said Roll20 co­creator Riley Dutton. “Our subscribers get really excited about improvements, and we get excited about the challenge. But we had come to a point where we wanted to take our time and do some bigger features, and that’s what the ‘Rugged Reroll’ has been about.”

While Roll20 typically has operated on a three week update schedule, the Rugged Reroll was a planned ten­and­a­half week grouping of large improvements. These included a major overhaul of the system’s rendering engine to better handle sizable maps, the addition of “waypoints” to allow better shared strategizing between players, the often­requested ability to “split” a group of gamers between two locations in a single game, context­specific token actions, the ability for users to access character and journal features outside of the game space, and a massive improvement to voice and video chat powered by TokBox’s new WebRTC platformC. All of the changes were made available to Roll20’s Mentor subscribers to test and provide feedback on throughout the process and were unveiled to the community at large via regular developer blogs.

Co­creator Richard Zayas said, “This update has given us the chance to make substantial changes, in a way that engaged our community while really giving us something to be proud about as an undertaking. And we gave ourselves time to get proper help documentation for once!”

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Zayas, and Nolan T. Jones in touch via long distance gaming. Since launching via Kickstarter, it has attracted over 345,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.

Roll20 Wins Tabletop Gaming Industry Award and Surpasses 250,000 Users

Roll20 has released a press release regarding their recent ENnie award for “Best Software” and surpassing 250,000 users! It seems like just yesterday I was posting their announcement of surpassing 100,000 users.

My comments regarding the press release follow the press release posted below.

ROLL20 WINS TABLETOP GAMING INDUSTRY AWARD, SURPASSES 250,000 USERS
Online Application’s Creators Attend Gen Con Indy as the Gaming Hobby Soars
Roll20 Logo
Indianapolis, Indiana (August 25, 2013) The development team of the browser based virtual tabletop Roll20.net was recognized last weekend as creators of the “Best Software” at the Annual Gen Con EN World Roleplaying Game Awards, known as the “ENnies.” The Roll20 program added its 250,000th user over the weekend since launching the popular gaming platform eighteen months ago.

Project lead Riley Dutton said of the ENnies win, “It is exciting and encouraging to be recognized as valuable to the tabletop gaming community. Some of the very best creators in the industry were recognized at the ENnies, and to be listed next to them is a true honor.”

Added co-creator Richard Zayas about the Gen Con weekend, “So much of what we do is online, so the chance to go to Indianapolis and see nearly 50,000 gamers– meet some of our users, play new games we haven’t yet gotten to try, and just enjoy the celebration of these hobbies was fantastic.”

On the subject of Roll20’s quarter million users, program co-creator Nolan T. Jones said, “We created Roll20 as a way for us to personally play games with our friends across the country, and knowing that we’ve been able to help so many others do the same is staggering.”

The Roll20 development team stated at panels over the Gen Con weekend that future updates will revolve around better methods to find gamers in their system, and that they are actively seeking to work with major publishers to bring their content to users in easy-to-use formats.

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Jones, and Zayas in touch via long distance gaming. Their project became public with an eighteen day Kickstarter campaign in April of 2012. Since then it has attracted over 250,000 users as a free service. The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.

 

I thought the “Best Software” award was well deserved. While I was torn between wanting Roll20 and Purple Sorcerer’s Crawler’s Companion to win this category with 250,000 users it is little surprise Roll20 ended up with the gold.

If you haven’t checked out Roll20 yet and have any interest in online gaming with a virtual tabletop, you owe it to yourself to take a look. I have been running a DCC RPG campaign over Roll20 for the past year. The software has pretty much just worked. We lose no time sorting out connection difficulties or anything typically associated with a VTT. Though their features have increased over the months, one can still just use it to display a map for a more theater of the mind game keeping complexity to a minimum.

Roll20 has certainly allowed me to get a lot more gaming in over the past year than I would have otherwise.

In regards to surpassing 250,000 users, it was January 21, 2013 when their press release went out announcing surpassing 100,000 users! Here we are in late August with a 150,000 user increase! Very impressive! That is quite the player pool to work with when looking for a new game to play or group to play with.

Roll20 Outage Aftermath

Roll20 LogoSaturday evening Roll20 had a service outage. I typically do not get to play on Saturday evenings as most of my gaming takes place on weeknights as that is what fits my schedule the best. However, I started seeing the tweets about it on Saturday evening even though I was not playing. Then earlier this afternoon the good folks at Roll20 posted a note on the previous evening’s downtime.

Technical problems happen with anything that involves tech. Anyone that owns a computer, smartphone, or any tech device has been troubled by a technical issue at some point. Even the big companies like Amazon or Google’s Gmail have the occasional outages and they have substantial amounts of money invested in avoiding these outages. Hitting 100% uptime is very difficult, even for the big players.

A key differentiator between different companies is how they communicate with their users during these outages. I must say, Roll20 handled things very, very well. Let’s look at how Roll20 handles keeping folks up to date on their availability.

First, they maintain http://status.roll20.net/. This is the method they provide to check the current status of their servers. If there is an outage, it should be reflected here. The historic availability is also available for the past three months on the status site. This is a handy resource for Roll20 users if they are experiencing some issues. It provides a quick easy way to see if it is a server problem or a player having isolated technical issues.

Next, Roll20 maintains an active Twitter presence. If you use Twitter and play in Roll20 games, you should follow them. Looking back at their Twitter timeline from last night you can see they were up front about the issues and were tweeting updates about the problem keeping people informed. While tweets do not fix the problem, communicating about the problem really helps people know what is going on and that the issue is being worked on.

And finally, after the outage last night Riley posted on the Roll20 forums more details about what happened. He reassures the community Roll20 takes the downtime seriously and goes on to describe what is going on to help minimize these issues in the future. I have great respect for companies that post these post-problem updates publicly.

I am quite happy to see how Roll20 handled the outage and communicated during the outage. Technical issues happen, it is how the companies handle them that differentiates them from the others. Kudos to Roll20 for handling last night’s brief outage like professionals in an open and forthcoming manner.

Roll20: TSR Endorsement and Tabletop Forge

Roll20, the virtual tabletop, has been having a busy couple of weeks. Last week they released a press release announcing they had surpassed 100,000 users. This week Roll20 has released a press release announcing their endorsement by the newly launched TSR as their “official tabletop”. This week’s press release also announces Tabletop Forge ceasing development and joining in with Roll20!

My comments, particularly on the Tabletop Forge news, follow the press release presented here in its entirety.

ROLL20 GAINS THE SUPPORT OF TSR, TABLETOP FORGE
Application solidifies its status as the preeminent long distance gaming solution
Roll20 LogoWichita, Kansas (January 29th, 2013) – This week two major announcements regarding the popular online roleplaying program Roll20 became public.  The first involved the newly launched TSR company endorsing Roll20 as their “official tabletop,” the second pertained to the lead developer of competing game space Tabletop Forge announcing he was halting production on the program to instead help with future enrichments to Roll20.

“The most flattering part of all this is that they both came to us,” said Roll20 co-founder and lead developer Riley Dutton.  “It really helps make us feel like we must be doing something right.”

The new TSR was formed by Jayson Elliot to cover multiple aspects of gaming, beginning with the launch of “Gygax Magazine” next month.  Elliot was one of the first adopters of Roll20 in the Kickstarter phase.  Additionally, a feature by Roll20 co-founder Nolan T. Jones’ brother, Nevin P. Jones, will be in the initial issue of Gygax Magazine covering Nevin’s first roleplaying experience which was accomplished using his brother’s application.

Tabletop Forge was begun as a Google Hangout application by Joshuha Owen with the purpose of helping the vibrant Google+ roleplaying community to better realize their games.  The Google+ page for Tabletop Forge boasts over 11,000 members, many of whom supported the program’s KIckstarter last year.  However, Joshuha decided that the community would best be served by a single HTML5 solution.

“There are lots of options for roleplaying over the internet, but it became redundant to have both Roll20 and Tabletop Forge, as in many ways they were serving the same community and had similar features including a common goal of being lightweight and easy to use,” remarked Joshuha.  As such, the creators of both programs say they will be treating all Tabletop Forge’s Kickstarter backers as if they had made their pledges to Roll20, migrating Tabletop Forge assets to Roll20, and be working with a multitude of RPG artists to bring their content to the platform.

Roll20 began as an effort to keep developers Dutton, Jones, and Richard Zayas in touch via long distance gaming.  Their project went public with an eighteen day Kickstarter campaign in April of 2012.  Since then it has attracted over 100,000 users as a free service.  The program continues to be funded by subscribers who receive features that assist advanced gameplay.

The news of the TSR endorsement from Saturday’s Gygax Magazine unboxing has been out there for several days already. The TSR endorsement does not come as a big surprise to me. Roll20 is very easy to use and has remained so even as they continue to add more features. I have had very little trouble getting people connected and up and playing with Roll20. Congrats to Roll20 on this endorsement though, it can only grow their player base.

The Tabletop Forge news is the big item for me. My first experiences with VTTs in a Google+ Hangout environment was with Tabletop Forge. Several of my early G+ games were done over G+ Hangouts and Tabletop Forge. TTF development moved at a very rapid pace in the beginning. When they ran a Kickstarter for TTF I pitched in and I pointed several people to the Kickstarter to help support them.

Since then things slowed down from the TTF side. Development appeared to have slowed, art assets were slow to get released, etc. My groups ended up playing on Roll20 and really did not look back.

Joshuha Owen did a good job of communicating in the aftermath of the Kickstarter. Several of his developers who had been helping him left, leaving him with the Kickstarter ball. And though the process was slow, he did get the art assets to people via Google Drive, even if they weren’t integrated with TTF.

I think this move to bring content that was Kickstarted to Roll20 is a good move on Joshuha’s part. It seems like a very eloquent way to bring the TTF Kickstarter to a close and attempt to make everyone happy in the end.

This move will also likely benefit Roll20 rather significantly with an influx of art assets, map tiles, and such that were funded as part of TTF. And it will likely bring them an influx of more users as word gets out that Roll20 is the VTT that will continue moving forward.

Roll20 Passes 100,000 Users

Today the folks at Roll20, the Virtual Tabletop, put out a press release announcing they had passed the 100,000 user mark! Here is the press release in its entirety:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASERoll20 Logo

ROLL20 “VIRTUAL TABLETOP” PASSES 100,000 USERS

Wichita, Kansas (January 21st, 2013) Just under a year ago, Wichita, KS programmer Riley Dutton had grown envious about the gaming joys of his former college roommate Nolan T. Jones, now of Las Vegas, NV.

“We’d talk on the phone, and he’d talk about how much fun he was having getting back into tabletop roleplaying games. And I realized how much I wanted to play with my friends again, but we were literally spread across the country. That’s when I had the idea, and tried to get Nolan to talk me out of it,” said Dutton.

But Jones talked Dutton into pursuing his idea, and with the help of another former roommate — Richard Zayas of Arlington, VA — they started testing a system to play table based games online. After two months of testing they took their program to Kickstarter, an online “crowdfunding” platform where entrepreneurs pitch projects for funding to users that only expect a working product and input in return for their investment. They made over $39,000 in an eighteen day campaign at the end of April 2012. By June they moved the program into an open beta test and in September declared Roll20.net to be in regular service. Today Roll20 has logged its 100,000th account, with over one hundred and fifty-four years of gametime amassed by their users.

“We knew we were filling a need– both in reuniting people across long distances and giving potential newcomers to tabletop gaming a safe way to try these games from home. But I don’t think any of us knew this would become so popular so quickly. The community that’s rallied around this program has been incredible,” said Zayas.

The system is free to use, but has subscription options for those who desire more advanced features. The creators say that the most popular games used in Roll20 are various editions of “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Pathfinder”, but the system is capable of handling a variety of popular card and board games. Currently the group is working on expanding the social elements of their website along with making game setup faster.

“Our success to this point has been based in being easy to use– which is a result of us building Roll20 for our own use. We intend to keep using it, so we intend for it to keep getting easier to pick up and play,” said Jones.

Contact: Nolan T. Jones
620-230-5434
nolan@roll20.net
http://www.roll20.net

Congrats to the folks at Roll20 for this milestone! I have been using Roll20 on a near weekly basis since about July or August of 2012. It has been a wonderful tool and has done a marvelous job of lowering the technical barrier to effective play over the Internet.

Aethercon Update

The Iron Tavern is proud to support Aethercon as part of their Bell and Scroll. Below is the most recent update from this online convention.

A lot has happened over the last two weeks:

We heartily thank those who have contributed prize support.  The prize bundles for each of the tournaments are currently valued at 265 dollars for first; 170 dollars for second; and 100 dollars for third.  You can see the growing list of companies adding to our prize list by visiting ‘To The Victors’.

You can see the games in our lineup by checking the Game Glance page.

If you want to play in one just fill out our Player Registration Tool.

Everything you’ll need to register in the Events menu bar on our main site. So get your spot today!

The following games and GMs have recently been confirmed:

  • Joseph Flanery – Shadowrun
  • Marcus Flores – Monster of the Week

The following games have been added to our schedule:

  • Dave Michael – Cyberpunk 2000 – Vanilla Extract – Saturday and Sunday
  • Joseph Flanery – Shadowrun – Things that go Bump – Saturday and Sunday
  • Dave Michael – Steampunk Crescendo – Fire in Cairo – Friday
  • Anthony Preece – Savage Worlds Deadlands Reloaded – Red River Blues – Friday and Saturday
  • Erik Evjen – Basic Fantasy RPG – The Battle of Mount Ravinfell – Friday and Saturday
  • Stephen Smith – Castles and Crusades – A Scratching on the Glass – Saturday
  • John Dorman – Dungeon Crawl Classics – Lake’s End Portal – Saturday

Here’s a quick view list of all the games we have in our schedule at this time:

System Total Sessions Friday Saturday Sunday Tourney  
All Flesh Must Be Eaten 2   X X    
A Thousand and One Nights 1   X      
Atomic Highway 2   X X    
Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game 2 X   X    
Burning Wheel 2 X   X    
Call of Cthulhu 13 X X X X  
Castles & Crusades 2   X      
Cyberpunk 2020 2   X X    
Dark Heresy 4 X   X    
Deluxe Revised RECON 1 X        
Dresden Files 4 X X X    
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2   X      
Eclipse Phase     X X    
Labyrinth Lord 2   X      
Legend of the Five Rings 2 X X      
Leverage 2 X X      
Macho Women with Guns 2   X      
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying 3   X X    
Mouse Guard 2 X   X    
Mutants and Masterminds 1 X        
Paranoia 2 X   X    
Pathfinder 20 X X X X  
RIFTS 2   X X    
Savage Worlds 19 X X X X  
Serenity 4 X X X    
Shadowrun 10 X X X X  
Star Frontiers 2   X X    
Star Wars (D6) 2 X X      
Steampunk Crescendo 1 X        
Time Lord 2   X X    

Current games confirmed for AetherCon currently include:

  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  • A Thousand and One Nights
  • Atomic Highway
  • Burning Wheel
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Castles & Crusades
  • Dark Heresy
  • Dragon Age
  • Dresden Files
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • Eclipse Phase
  • Fantasy Craft
  • Labyrinth Lord
  • Legends of the Five Rings
  • Leverage
  • Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
  • Macho Women with Guns
  • Mouse Guard
  • Mutants and Masterminds
  • Palladium RIFTs
  • Paranoia
  • Pathfinder
  • Pathfinder Society
  • RIFTS
  • Runequest 6th Ed
  • Savage Worlds
  • Shadowrun
  • Star Wars (D6 WEG)
  • Swords and Wizardry
  • Time Lord

We are currently looking for GMs to help run the following tourneys:

  • Pathfinder
  • Savage Worlds
  • Shadowrun
  • Call of Cthuhlu

The Artist’s Enclave welcomes Jordy Lakiere, the hand behind Gartlegarn Coalcrusher,  and Kai Ortmann, the hand behind Brindlebee Burrbonnet, our latest free downloadable wallpaper release.  Eric Lofgren has been nabbed by Privateer Press for a project.  Watch for his upcoming wallpaper, Kruultok Azgraatugaan.

You can find all of our wallpapers here.

Watch for Carver ‘Crash’ Doering by Jon Gibbons (U.K) (AEG, PEG), Keburil Kotsboddle by Stanley Morrison (USA) (AEG) and Eduourd ‘The Gallic Rooster’ Henrique by Cristian Montes (Chile) coming soon.

The Fest Hall welcomes Charles White of Fabled Environments and Robert W. Thomson of 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming.

The Vendor’s Hall welcomes Clockwork Gnome Publishing to booth #7. Polyhedron Games adds demos for their D6 based Keep It Simple System (KISS). Imperfekt Games adds demos for Invulnerable RPG and playtests for Broken Symmetry. Ophelia’s Shop of Roleplay Specialties adds a raft of Fiasco demos to the schedule all weekend long.

Check out the rest of our Vendor’s Hall here.

Silver Gryphon Games released Part 3 of Camp Wicakina:  “Wanagi Mato Lives!” for Aether and Savage Worlds.

Skirmisher Publishing released Insults & Injuries:  A Role-Playing Game Sourcebook for Medical Maladies

The following releases at Aethercon are confirmed:

Troll Lord Games confirms the release of The Giants Wrath.

X-Split for facilitating the live streaming of games.

We welcome Nerd Trek, Bring You’re A-Game,  and The 23rd Stage to the Bell and Scroll.

Dorklands joins our Talking Drums initiative.

Top five cities in North America for unique visitors to our main site to date:

  • Chicago, Illinois;
  • New York, New York (tied);
  • Portland, Oregon;
  • San Francisco, California;
  • Houston, Texas (tied)

Top five cities in Europe for unique visitors to our main site to date:

  • London, UK;
  • Hamburg, Germany;
  • Nuremberg, Germany;
  • Helsinki, Finland;
  • Moscow, Russia.

Top five cities in points abroad for unique visitors to our main site to date:

  • Wellington, New Zealand;
  • Sydney, Australia,
  • Toronto, Canada (tied);
  • Melbourne, Australia;
  • Vancouver, Canada.

Finally, a question: Which of our latest games would you like to play the most? Check out our poll on Facebook or Google+ and have your say.

Help us get the word out about AetherCon by liking and sharing on our Facebook event page, following and re-tweeting via our Twitter page and adding us to your circle on Google+.

Don’t forget to let us know you’ll be a part of AetherCon with our event pages on Facebook and Google+.

If you would like to contact us for any reason including to inquire about volunteer opportunities feel free to use our Contact Us page to do so.

Find us here:

AetherCon 2012

With the rapid advancement of technology the ability to play RPGs online has steadily improved. Improved voice and video chat tools, higher bandwidth at people’s homes and the growing choice of Virtual Tabletops have presented players and GMs with many options to play online. Ways that no longer require a high level of technical expertise to participate in online gaming sessions.

With this increase in available tools the idea of an online gaming convention has really taken off. Online gaming conventions seek to bring a large number of people together for gaming, seminars and more over the course of several days, much like a convention with a physical location.

The Iron Tavern has an avid interest in online conventions as they fit my busy schedule better than many in-person conventions. With that in mind, The Iron Tavern has agreed to help get the word out about AetherCon coming in the Fall of 2012.

So grab your virtual dice bags and mark down November 16-18, 2012 on your calendar, as the AetherCon Online RPG Convention is coming to your computer! Best of all, it’s FREE!

They will be featuring tabletop RPGs of all types throughout the weekend, highlighted by four three-day tournaments of Pathfinder Call of Cthulhu, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and Shadowrun. Game tables will be run on the powerful, yet easy to use, Roll20 browser-based virtual tabletop. Learn more with the Roll20 tutorials and the Roll20 Live Stream.

Additionally vendors, industry guests, and artists are also in our plans. They will be releasing free downloadable wallpapers throughout the months leading up to the con.

Currently Members of the Artists Enclave include Paul Abrams (TSR, Shadowrun); Alex E. Alonso Bravo (DC Comics, Pixar, AEG); Brent Chumley (AEG); John L Kaufmann (Shadowrun); Eric Lofgren; (Paizo, White Wolf, Mongoose Publishing), Chris Malidore (Fantasy Flight Games, PEG), Patrick McAvoy (WotC, AEG, Fantasy Flight Games), Brad McDevitt (Chaosium, CGL, Battlefield Press), Jesse Mead (Fantasy Flight Games), Aaron B. Miller (WotC, AEG, Open Design), and Stanley Morrison (AEG) among other up and comers in the field.

Additionally, to date game publishers confirmed as taking part in AetherCon either through prize support, supplying guests, or taking a vendors booth include:

Battlefield Press, Catalyst Game Labs, Chaosium, Chronicles of the Void, Flying Buffalo Inc., Immersion Studios, Imperfekt Gammes, Kenzer and Company, Paizo, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Scrying Eye Games, Skirmisher Publishing LLC, Stardust Publications, Sundered Epoch, The Design Mechanism, Third Eye Games, and Vigilance Press.

Confirmed guests to date are Wedge Smith and Doug Bush (Chronicles of the Void), Steven ‘Bull’ Ratkovich (CGL), James Sutter (Paizo), and Lawrence Whittaker and Pete Nash (The Design Mechanism).

Confirmed games to date include:

  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  • A Thousand and One Nights
  • Atomic Highway
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Castles & Crusades
  • Dark Heresy
  • Eclipse Phase
  • Fantasy Craft
  • Labyrinth Lord
  • Legend of the Five Rings
  • Leverage
  • Mouse Guard
  • Mutants & Masterminds
  • Paranoia
  • Pathfinder
  • Pathfinder Society
  • RIFTs
  • Savage Worlds
  • Serenity
  • Shadowrun
  • Time Lord
  • Star Wars WEG D6
  • Swords and Wizardry

with more to come.

If you’d like to play in a game use our Player Pre-Registration Tool.

If you’d like to run a game use our GM Pre-Registration Tool.

If you don’t see your game in our lineup, would like to lend a hand, or need to inquire for any other reason, feel free to use our Contact Us page to do so.

Be sure to visit our websites and show your support for AetherCon via Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Website: http://www.aethercon.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AetherConRPG
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AetherCon
Google+: http://www.gplus.to/aethercon

The Iron Tavern will post the occasional update as information is released. Also keep checking back to see what we will be running at AetherCon!

A Look At Roll20

A couple of weeks ago I took a look at Tabletop Forge, a VTT for use in a Google+ Hangout. I used it to run a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG one-shot game. One of the comments on that post asked about Roll20, another VTT that has the ability to be used within a Google+ Hangout. I had glanced at the Roll20 VTT prior to that comment but that spurred me to take a closer look.

This week I ran another Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game over Google+ Hangouts using the Roll20 application. Roll20 is in open beta and has a good sized features list. Roll20 can be accessed via a web browser and includes its own voice and video system. It can also be integrated into a Google+ Hangout as an application. The testing I did with it was as a Google+ Hangout application, so this commentary will not cover the integrated voice and video chat of Roll20.

Roll20 has several other features including a searchable art library to allow easily dragging tokens and such to the map, a jukebox to play background music to the players, built in text chat, dice rolling, macros, fog of war, turn tracker, drawing tools, health bars and more. Roll20 also allows you to prep a campaign file prior to the game and it will be there when you connect for your actual session.

For the game I ran I did some pre-game prep. Roll20 let me prep multiple map pages before the game. So on the first map I just dropped the module cover into the map. As players assembled in my Google Hangout and launched Roll20, they saw the initial opening image.

On the second map I used a player copy of the map from the adventure I ran and applied the fog of war to it. Since DCC RPG is able to be played gridless, I dropped a single token on the map to indicate the party’s location, but did not represent each character. I tested the revealing of the fog and it seemed to work great during my prep.

Fog of War in Action.

I also took advantage of the macros and setup attack rolls and damage rolls for each of the encounters in the module. This was a nice feature as when combat occurred I could just call my macro and get the roll I needed. It was relatively simple to setup.

Come game time I went to the Roll20 website and chose launch the campaign in a Google+ Hangout. That launched the Hangout, I invited my circle of gamers for this game and the Hangout was live. As players connected I had them go to the apps tab in the Hangout and launch Roll20 from there. All save one connected with no issue. The player with problems launching the app did need to reboot, but quite likely not fault of Roll20.

Page Selection in Roll20

Once the players were connected I moved the player ribbon from the start page with the module cover to the map I had prepped. The fog of war feature worked great and we used the chat based dice roller for our rolls. All seemed to work well and a good time was had.

I followed up with my players this morning and asked them what they thought of the setup and had overwhelmingly positive reactions from them. The fog of war received good reviews. Some thought the dice rolling was a little complicated for doing some of the multiple dice rolls needed in DCC RPG. Some of these issues could be minimized with a little more time with the tool I think.

Overall as a GM I found the Roll20 app a really solid product offering. The application easily integrated with Google+ Hangouts which is nice as Google+ provided me with the tools to meet gamers, schedule the games and then a place to play. The fog of war worked well for me to show a map as the players moves along and the macros were quite useful as well for pre-prep. I could easily see myself running more games over the Roll20 application.

VTTs have come a long, long way in a few short years. With a lot of my online gaming happening over Google+ Hangouts it is great to have two very strong VTT contenders. At the moment I probably give Roll20 a bit of an edge. But with Tabletop Forge’s kickstarter complete I expect them to close the gap in very little time.

I will be keeping a close eye on both Tabletop Forge and Roll20 going forward.