A group of us have bodged together some AD&D first edition characters, dug out headphones and webcams and gathered around our respective laptops, PCs and fondleslabs (tablets for those who have never read The Register) to see if the old gamer chaos still lives and thrives within us. To this end we’re using the Roll20 website, which allows us to share maps and images in a virtual tabletop. You can employ scripting and all manner of upgrades, but we’re taking a fairly low-tech approach.
Our first attempt at a session, last week, didn’t really get off the ground, due to the GM having been taken unexpectedly into hospital. Not knowing this at the time however, we assumed that we had been rather spectacularly pranked, especially as phone calls, texts and instant messaging attempts were all met with stony silence… We weren’t put off however, and used the time to work out who was generating the most outrageous echoes and feedback loops so that we could name and shame them.
So our week one dawned in our second session this week – GM duly released back into the wild and five players (with another two AWOL due to work demands) assembled around the virtual table.
We’re running a group of eighth level characters, tasked with recovering artifacts from a temple complex recently overrun by an invading army of Orcs and other unpleasant entities. With our own small army of hirelings, henchmen and acolytes to hand, we have (so far), a mix of clerics, monks, rangers, wizards, and warriors – though no one who is admitting to being a thief – so the potential for mayhem is rather large.
Stats blocks and automation are being kept to a minimum, with scraps of paper all over the place, and an additional complication caused by rule books being split between several of us and our GM relying on a mix of memory and selective questions of the couple of people who managed to remember where their Dungeon Master Guides had been lying, covered in dust.
And… it was rather fun once we got going. There were some technical issues around microphone levels and some people had more spare bandwidth than others, but there was a certain free-wheeling approach that let us bulldoze straight through and overlook the fact that we were pretty much making it up as we went along. As is also traditional, beverages were drunk and junk food consumed, and yet a certain level of adult common sense somehow crept in, so that we didn’t go on too late, instead stopping at a dramatically appropriate point with one battle in thick forest complete, and an even greater one to come.
I think I might document the campaign’s progress on this site as we go along…