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So here's some thoughts on all of that stuff.

1. Playing with Randos/ finding players

The plus to GM'ing is you get to pick the players, and if you ask some good questions in the application process you'll probably have a very good idea who is not for you.

If you're into some streamers, you can also look into whether they have any social media communities, like a facebook group or a Discord. I'm in a few Discord groups related to RPGs, and they always have people looking for games. Posting your game there, is a good way to improve your chances of attracting like minded players, or even discovering specific people that you'd want to play with. When I ran my game I posted in three different places besides the Roll20 site and I think I got a good result. 

2. People dropping out

As far as people dropping out, this will probably happen, but I think that's just the odds of any RPG campaign whether at home or online. Everyone has lives and jobs and it gets crazy. The game I'm in that I documented the first couple of sessions in this thread, just lost a player. He might comeback down the line but college and work have switched up his schedule. One of the other players in the game said "Hey I know a guy," and we brought his buddy in, which is so much better than opening it back up and pressing our luck. I myself almost had to drop out for a few weeks because my performance schedule for the show I'm in is fucking crazy, but we worked it out. I think it might be better to be optimistic in regards to this issue, besides, it's not like you have a better option. 

3. GMing Materials and re-buying Books

The Official licensed materials on Roll20 are optimized for the system. It's basically Jpeg cutouts of monsters/tokens, handouts, and maps that you can drag and drop. I hate double dipping, so I feel the pain, but all you're really paying for is saving yourself time.

You can absolutely run Tomb of Annihilation without buying it again on Roll20. Depending on your GM style, it would require a bit of extra work or even LESS work. The one option is theatre of the mind. IF you go with that you won't need any of that stuff. You'll be using Roll20 for storing documents and character sheets and rolls. Easy.

If that's not for you and want the characters to be able to interact with the maps, then you can either just hand draw them on the system grid(like the olden days of yore!) or make your own. I was running a module from a book and just built battle maps for my players to play on. One of the maps I made using free assets that you can search for through Roll20. The other map was one I just googled for.  There are a ton of free assets that you could use to recreate something you've got in a book, or create your own.

If you have the PDFs you could clip out the maps you want and try to resize them to the grid. This will take some tinkering, and the quality of image may not be super great, but there are tutorials for resizing images so the grids line up that are pretty simple. 

As far as the Xanathar's Guide/Player's Handbook and books that have character class options, you don't really need them. The game I'm in right now I'm playing a Paladin from Xanathar's Guide. My DM doesn't own the book and neither do I. Roll20 allows for you to just manually input whatever you want to the character sheet. So I just copy and paste Oath of the Redeemer stuff onto my sheet. So again you're only really paying for your time. 

I think most players won't care if you don't have all the bells and whistles just because they'll be happy someone is running the game for them. I mean you're doing it for free, and it would be hard for it not to be fun, whether your playing with the official assets or just some marks on a grid. 

4. Run a game

I'd suggest running a one shot. Just to see how much Roll20 can accommodate your style without having to pay for all that shit. And if you do a few, you might find some players you jive with that you'd want to play bigger campaign like Tomb of Annihilation with. 

My free time is fucked for the rest of September, but if you want to try something in October I'd be happy to play so you can have at least one familiar player. 

5. And another thing.

I'm going to be playing in my first live stream game on a Sunday in October. I have no idea what's going to happen, but I'll let you guys know when it goes up so you can watch me make an ass out of myself.

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On point number 1, if I ever do set it up, I will 100% be posting on at least one streamer's discord with a looking for game section. Also I am considering starting with 5 PC's if I do it, because adjusting from 5 to 4 if you have to is honestly fine and kind of what D&D is built to do, whereas 4 to 3 is harder to adjust considering nearly every major D&D module is written "for 4 to 6". My only concern is that the experience gain with 5 is kind of shitty but that's really not that hard to fix. 

I do think the one shot would be the place to start if I do decide to take the plunge, because it is a great chance to meet other players. I should put some serious thought into it for sure.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/4/2019 at 11:13 PM, Oyaji said:

I would not hate it, in fact quite the opposite, if you clued a brother in on these.

@jaedmc I downloaded the Baba Yaga hut and will put it together when I have a minute or 120. They have some really dope stuff.

@Oyaji there is another Reaper Bones KS running in case you were not aware...

$1 get-in price... core set is $120 but has like 120 minis in it already... plenty of add-ons

The $1 will get you access to purchase core or any add-one without having to buy the core if you are interested...

 

just an FYI since I recalled you mentioning in the past....

 

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Haha, I just backed it this morning. Thanks! I'm confused by the set up. The Greek and Japanese sets are not part of the $120? Said something about $50 core sets and the descriptions didn't really make sense to me. 

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I really wish White Wolf/Paradox would do something like Roll20 with V:TM.  You'd think with v5 and the popularity of the G&S game they'd be all over it, but hey.

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1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

Haha, I just backed it this morning. Thanks! I'm confused by the set up. The Greek and Japanese sets are not part of the $120? Said something about $50 core sets and the descriptions didn't really make sense to me. 

 

Correct, the $120 is just that box that says core set - I think the minis are numbered 101 - 214 plus the others in that same box.  Anything labeled Options or Expansions are additional or replacement purchases you can choose.

Basically you can back for $1 or $120 right now.  The advantage to $120 is that is more money towards unlocking the locked exclusives and add-ons.  As with all KS, you will  be debited the pledge at the end of the campaign.

Otherwise, it doesn't really matter.  What will happen is you will get access to their backerkit where you will choose what you want to buy.  You can buy the core set for $120, the expansions for $50 each, the options for their prices listed, all plus shipping.  You choose everything you want and it will tally your cost for you.  Then if you backed for $120, you will already have $120 credit toward that cost.  Otherwise, you will have to pay the calculated amount and then in like 18 months they will start shipping and you will receive.

A long time to wait, but the core set for $120 for at least 120 miniatures is the best price per Bones mini you are ever likely to see, including ebay deals.

Hope this helps.

Edited by ctapley
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/8/2019 at 12:25 PM, Oyaji said:

Haha, I just backed it this morning. Thanks! I'm confused by the set up. The Greek and Japanese sets are not part of the $120? Said something about $50 core sets and the descriptions didn't really make sense to me. 

KS just ended with an incredible amount of minis to choose from now.... I am concerned I might be in for like $400 lol

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I just did the pledge manager and it was over $600. I need to narrow it down.

edit: those update emails were out of control near the end, with almost hourly messages about unlocks.

Edited by Oyaji
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I've still never put Stongholds & Followers to use, though it's a very good supplement book.

I think it would go really well with the Ravnican setting. Blending the Ravnica guilds into the different stronghold types would really be a very small set of dots to connect.

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1 hour ago, jaedmc said:

The new Colville book is on Kickstarter and the minis they have lined up for the are fucking killer.

My kids won't get a Christmas this year.

 

Those minis do look incredible, but $1000?  Damn.  That is approaching Kingdom Death pricing...

Zombicide 2nd ed. is also up on KS. 

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Pricing is a bit much though probably not unjustified considering the size. I'll probably only get a couple pieces that I really like and leave the rest for special occasions down the line since they'll be selling them in their store down the line.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So Eberron: Rising from the Last War just dropped on D&D Beyond and I immediately hit up the bestiary. This may be the coolest collection of monsters in a supplement they've done to date (5E, anyway). Ultra boss variant of a Rakshasa, my favourite monster! New kind of aberrations who lead mindflayers and look like half vampire/half Illithid. Angels bloody torn wings. Rakshasa foot soldiers. This is heavenly.

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Good question! Miguel Zavala is still doing Mordenkainen's monsters (his detail and overall skill level has improved a lot and now he's doing it full time) so maybe one of the Patreon artists takes it on or does one or two of them. Lots of them have request slots at certain levels of patronage. 

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Heads up: Hero Forge has a Black Friday sale starting today running through the 2nd on their custom minis. My friends and I are going to order a handful of STL files for me to print off. $4 per custom STL file is 50% off. The site is having some issues due to heavy traffic from nerds like me.

edit: To be clear, they also print them off and ship them if you don't have a printer. I did that once before I got my printers and it was well done though the plastic ones are pretty fra-jee-lay, as my guy's staff broke off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, man. There are some plans out there and videos too for similar such projects. When I get more space, I am doing one of those up. Best of luck! Just finishing up a TV case for now as a temporary measure and so excited to debut it next week for the FRIDAY THE 13TH XMAS ONE SHOT. 🤗

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On 12/4/2019 at 3:45 PM, jaedmc said:

My next project is now a new dining table that doubles as a game table. So I sketched this up:

gametablesketch.jpg

This is eventually what I'm going to do when we buy a new house. Check these out:

Actually, there's a bunch of videos you can see of builds like this. This is just the fanciest one, but I like the guy and his work. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a full line of Festools, a giant workshop, excellent milled lumber, etc.

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  • 1 month later...

Next official WOTC D&D book is the Wildemount source book from Matt Mercer/Critical Role. I'm a religious viewer and I think Wildemount is fascinating and can't wait for this. Mercer's first book on Tal'Dorei was so well done and thorough. Such an excellent job of world building and for my money the world of the second campaign is way more interesting and unique than the first which was great but a little generic-y.

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

Heads up. There are a shit ton of rpg zines on KickStarter right now, and some look so fuckin fun. I've already backed several. Lots of new fresh creators from different backgrounds than the typical TTRPG set.

On 1/12/2020 at 8:34 PM, Oyaji said:

Next official WOTC D&D book is the Wildemount source book from Matt Mercer/Critical Role. I'm a religious viewer and I think Wildemount is fascinating and can't wait for this. Mercer's first book on Tal'Dorei was so well done and thorough. Such an excellent job of world building and for my money the world of the second campaign is way more interesting and unique than the first which was great but a little generic-y.

My wife and I fall in and out of Critical Role because sometimes it can be a little tedious(like any live play series) - but the last few games have been phenomenal. I probably won't be going for Wildemount because I'm not interested in running Mercer's world - BUT I totally want to learn more about the Dunamancy magic. That's some fun stuff.

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If you like Zine RPGs definitely check out Mothership and the expansions. The base rules are a free "pay what you want" deal on itch dot io and there's a couple other expansions out there. Incredible art, cool game.

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