Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Our first Roll20/Google Hangouts test session

Okay, so last night we finally got our schedules together and did a test session logging in to Roll20 and Google Hangouts to see if we could get it all to work.  My friends Kirk and Steve came over to my place, with Kirk kindly bringing a couple laptops to share.  The rest of the crew, Mike, Bill, Kaiser, and Doug, all logged in from their respective domiciles.

Logging in to Roll20 was easy and some of us spent time filling in details on our character sheets in the online campaign space.  We played around with the die rolling functions, spell casting macros, chat area, and moving our character icons around.  At first I was annoyed by the size of the video windows on screen for the other players, but I found the controls to shrink them down out of the way of the starting tavern map.  I plan to work on tailored macros later but for 1st level characters you don't need much.  Moving the icons is very easy and the on-screen drawing functions worked well.

Not everyone found it easy to get into Roll20 but eventually all of us did.  Google Hangouts proved a bit more difficult.  The audio came and went occasionally.  Part of the problem may have been that most of the time we were trying to use both simultaneously.  Also, at my house the wireless bandwidth may not have been up to carrying three laptops running two video and audio feeds at the same time.  In future I'll be on my desktop which is cable connected to the router.  I did find that when I moved my headphones back from the borrowed laptop to the desktop where they had been all sound was weird.  I'm still working on figuring that one out.

So, we're just waiting for Bill to finish getting the campaign ready, Doug to finish his character, me to make a portrait for Doug's character, and (maybe) to see if Alex wants to join as well.  I expect we'll have our first session in a couple weeks.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Quick Potion Characteristics Tables for Old School Games

Okay, so here is a set of simple tables for quickly rolling up the characteristics of potions (or poisons or other liquids).  Roll one each of d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 and check the tables.  I'm thinking these are best when the characters first encounter a particular potion.  They can check out the color, scent, and other characteristics, including a small taste by maybe dipping a finger in it before actually quaffing it.  As each potion type is determined, write down the rolled characteristics for future use.  For instance, when they again find a potion which is Hot, Opaque, Bubbly, Orange, and Mushroomy, they'll know it's an invisibility potion without needing to magically identify it.

Potion Temperature (1d4)
  1. Hot (almost too hot to hold or drink)
  2. Warm
  3. Cool
  4. Cold (almost too cold to hold or drink)
Potion Appearance (1d6)
  1. solid/opaque
  2. swirly (roll one or more extra colors on the color table)
  3. floating spots/particles/chunks (roll one or more extra colors on the color table)
  4. silty
  5. clear
  6. glowing
Potion Texture (1d8)
  1. fizzy
  2. bubbly
  3. smoking/vaporous/steaming
  4. thick/lumpy
  5. watery
  6. gritty
  7. slimy
  8. contains small crunchy bits
Potion Color (1d10)
  1. red
  2. green
  3. yellow
  4. blue
  5. purple
  6. orange
  7. black
  8. white
  9. gray
  10. brown
Potion Scent/Flavor (1d12)
  1. Flowery
  2. Earthy
  3. Acrid/Bitter
  4. Bloody
  5. Salty
  6. Musky
  7. Mushroomy
  8. Cinammony
  9. Herby
  10. Fruity
  11. Smoky
  12. Buttery

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hooray! My Bones II Kickstarter minis are here!!

(Review and more pix later.  FYI, if you look closely at the lower right hand corner of the Thank You card, you'll see the signature "Jeff Vader".  I'm pretty sure it's a reference to the hilarious Star Wars Canteen sketch by Eddie Izzard.)