20 October 2013

Why AD&D now? How to play online?

So, I just posted some house-rules for AD&D/OSRIC here!

Why did I do this, given my ongoing focus on various d100 games -- namely, RuneQuest 6, OpenQuest 2, Call of Cthulhu, Renaissance, Magic World, etc. -- my house rules for Swords and Wizardry, and my contributions to Crypts and Things?  Why go to AD&D now (albeit it with some tweaks to the rules that, no doubt, would infuriate certain kinds of grognards)?

Well, I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for those other games.  Quite the contrary!  I would love to get a RQ6 or CoC campaign (or 'Dark Streets' or...) campaign up and running in the near future.

However, I'm trying to start up an online campaign with a couple of old friends, and we agreed (for reasons of unabashed nostalgia) to play some AD&D.  This would give me a chance to run some classic AD&D modules, ones that I either haven't run in decades (the wonderful U1-3 series), or that I have never run, but have long wanted to (e.g., UK4).

And I chose the Moonshae region of the Forgotten Realms (the 1st edition version, of course!) as the setting, because I rather like the 'Vikings-versus-Celts' feel of the place.  Essentially, the Moonshae Islands are a fantasy version of 10th Century Ireland and Scotland.  The region reminds me a bit of Jack Vance's Lyonnesse -- or at least that is how I interpret it.  And since I recently played through the classic CRPGs Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate (I'm old school even when it comes to my computer games!), I have been reminded of the main elements of the Forgotten Realms world.  (I'm ambivalent about the Forgotten Realms overall, but there are parts that I quite like.)

Since I'm trying to run this game online, and have never done anything like this before, I'd be grateful for any tips that you gentle readers might have.  I've looked at Roll20, and it strikes me pretty good, though I have yet to try it out.  Do others recommend it?


  1. I really like Roll20. I hope the game goes well for you.
    I posted some thoughts on it here:

  2. I've become smitten with Roll20, and I consider myself a Roll20 Minimalist - I don't use many of it's features, including tokens.

    Actually, I posted about my Roll20 Minimalist tendencies earlier tonight - http://www.tenkarstavern.com/2013/10/running-hangout-games-as-roll20.html

    I run sessions 2 or 3 times a month on Sat nights with it - currently Swords & Wizardry Complete (houseruled)

  3. Roll20 is my favourite way to game online right now. One tip: if your connection is slow and getting annoying, turn off your video. It reduces the personal feel of the game a bit, but makes for a much smoother experiance.

  4. Thanks for all the comments and tips on Roll20! I look forward to reading about your experiences with it (Mark Craddock and Erik Tenkar) later this week. :)

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  6. I heartily recommend Roll20 if you want to play online. Not only does it feature all types of dice, you can create your own decks, you can create handouts and most of all you can create maps on the fly. Of the tools I've tried so far for online play free of charges, this one ranks #1. The use of cameras and sound is a bit wonky. Sometimes we could all see and hear each other, in other occasions only some of us could hear and see. However, we turned to Google Hangouts and it worked quite well.

  7. Yeah, roll20 is great. You can also combined it with Google Hangouts so that you can use some hangouts features (Better vid chat, labels under players with player/character name, sound effects, and best of all, scheduling of games).

    I would really like a post where you explain why you wrote some of your hour rules; why do you add things to stats for example.

  8. I stumbled upon this blog from a link on another that I follow. coincendently I've been re-reading my FR boxed set, and plan to possibly run some adventures in either the Dales or Sembia, I haven't decided which. I haven't had a chance to run anything on roll20, But I've heard good things. I suppose as long as everyone has a decent internet connection it should be fine.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).