Here’s how to play Dungeons and Dragons online this quarantine
Whether you’re a newbie looking to join or a long-standing campaign whose game is hurt by the social distancing measures in place, there is a way for you to play Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop RPG online. So if your game has been hurt or you’re curious to give Dungeons & Dragons a try, then check out these online resources to help you in that quest.
If you’re a new player looking for a group to play with or a long-term player separated from your D&D group due to COVID-19, then check out Reddit or a site like D&D Beyond. Both have places where users can find a group to play with online during this time. Just make sure you make your experience level and whatever systems you’re comfortable with clear upfront.
Honestly, to play Dungeons and Dragons, all you need is a Dungeon Master (or Game Master whatever term you like), a couple of players, and some way for you all to communicate. If you’re thinking that you need the miniatures or anything like that, then you’re wrong. Most tabletop RPGs prefer a theatre of mind sort of thing. Everything can be talked through in D&D, even combat.
For whoever is DM-ing, however, you will need to make sure that your players feel included and keep consideration in mind. Rather than restarting a long-term campaign online, we recommend doing a one shot first to make sure that everyone is comfortable with this style of play.
If you want to give the experience with virtual tabletops, then be sure to check out Roll 20 or Fantasy Grounds. These both simulate the pen and paper D&D experience down to character sheets and dice. They, for a DM or a group new to this sort of thing, can be pretty complicated to use. Another thing to try are the live dealer games from SA Gaming.
Roll20 is probably the best for newbies to online D&D play to check out. It works on most devices along with having audio and video chat capabilities, allowing a simulation of face to face players. Fantasy Grounds can be a bit tricky, but if you want that miniature experience then look no further. You can also purchase it on Steam. Be sure to work out the kinks before trying to resume a long-term campaign on it though.
Both have access to other systems outside of Dungeons & Dragons, such as Pathfinder, Vampire: The Masquerade, Call of Cthulu, Monsterhearts, etc.
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