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"RPG using Skype and a large TV?" Topic

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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2014 4:54 p.m. PST

Anyone with experience care to share the pro's and/or con's of running an RPG over Skype (hi-speed Internet required, obviously…)? Two members (a married couple -- share one camera, or use two separate camera's on two separate PC's?) of my old gaming group moved away, to another State, many years ago, and we would all like to start up the old campaign, as the main storyline was never completed, and it still has a great deal to offer all of us, should we finish pursuing it.

Would like to hear some voices of experience on how it plays: good, bad, or ugly. All comments welcomed. Cheers!

coryfromMissoula05 Aug 2014 5:32 p.m. PST

Having participate in a few games for the same reason, my experience is that it works far better when everyone is digital rather than a few in a room and one or two more via computer.

The biggest downside is that players tend to be distracted with other electronic activities while playing. Facebook, words with friends, Wiki, whatever.

There are several sites that offer an electronic map/board function along with player video and chat.

haywire05 Aug 2014 5:50 p.m. PST

This is our setup

Using Google Hangouts

A laptop with camera pointed at the GM and all present players from the far side of the table.

A separate camera (such as a phone) for seeing the table map

Usually works well as long as GH doesn't lock up.

Stryderg05 Aug 2014 7:25 p.m. PST

From a more business perspective, a big problem is lag (talking over the other person because you didn't realize they weren't finished). If everyone is patient and understands the issue, it should work better.

How you gonna keep people from rolling 20's all the time?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2014 7:50 p.m. PST

Simple. Don't use dice. Best RPG I ever ran had no rules, no dice. You tell me what you do I tell you what happens. With a good group it could be the best game you ever played.

shelldrake05 Aug 2014 8:38 p.m. PST

I was planning some games with this

Mardaddy05 Aug 2014 10:00 p.m. PST

Have hundreds of hours on Roll20 playing Pathfinder now…

The table & rolling format, micro's, etc. meet our needs in spades, but we switched to Skype for the verbal interaction due to so many drops requiring reloads (and reboots!) and other audio-visual interaction issues with the site. It held up the game…

Never had a problem since we switched to Skype for the audio, but we all have Roll20 up at the same time for the "virtual table."

wminsing06 Aug 2014 5:23 a.m. PST

We Google Hangout and Roll20 up at the same time, similar to what Mardaddy describes, and it works a treat. We've run 4 different campaigns this way.


TwinMirror06 Aug 2014 6:47 a.m. PST

That's interesting – thanks guys. One of my best friends moved back to the 'States, and we've been meaning to keep on rpging via skype, but it hasn't happened yet – the time difference between there and here in europe doesn't help!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2014 5:43 p.m. PST

Thanks for the responses! I have looked into the dedicated-to-RPG's services (pay for the service -- ack!), but all I need is video and voice. The bells and whistles of electronic dice rolling, and virtual tabletops, is too much hassle for me to mess with.

As to keeping my remote players honest? They are both honest folks, so no concerns, or issues with that. I've had some less-than-honest players in the past, who cheated in front of my face! They are no longer involved in my games, except for the rare mass battles game, but that can be more difficult to cheat on, with so many eyes watching them roll buckets of dice (2nd Ed. BattleSystem)…

It sounds like Skype will work, so long as we can do a group/conference call, with multiple cameras, multiple views. I understand, and I had anticipated, the issues with distractions, and the talking over one another. Those are things which can best be learned, and overcome, with experience. I know the importance of keeping the game moving, as well as keeping each individual player active in the game.

All of the responses thus far, have been very helpful. Thank you, very much. I look forward to any future comments anyone might share. Cheers!

Ethanjt2108 Aug 2014 3:08 a.m. PST

Skype and Teamspeak work well. Teamspeak does not do video however.

Last Hussar12 Aug 2014 11:44 a.m. PST

My son intends to do this when at Uni this September.

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