April 3

Roll20 the virtual table-top

I know this may seem somewhat of a redundant post doing two in one evening but this doesn’t really belong there and it should be separate and distinct.  Rather than being a story related article, its more of a nuts and bolts piece; a glimpse behind the curtain.

When I started gaming miniatures were not exactly the norm, you could quite happily get away without using them but they did add another dimension to the game.  You could see where people were in relation to the things that were trying to eat them and it was a good thing.

The problem lay with trying to find the perfect miniature for your character or the monster for the evening.  You could get common miniatures like giant rats or goblins for the games but some of the more esoteric creatures were harder to come by.  Plus you also had to be a dab hand with a brush to bring them to like; anyone who ever saw my undercoated space marines knows what I’m talking about 🙂

So while the added dimension was worth it the many complications weren’t and slowly I gave up trying to use them.

When D&D 3 was released like many other gamers I picked up a wipe clean ChessexTM battlemat and wondered how I was going to portray the action to the players.  That’s when I discovered the joy of map tiles, pre-printed tiles you could purchase on-line and print them out to assemble a map.  I bought a few, printed several out, cut them and laminated them to great effect but there was also the added work of trying to assemble a dungeon that resembled the one in the module that you had.

It was about this time that I discovered Fiery Dragon Press, a company producing 25mm tokens in packs that you could buy and cut out, so if you needed a few goblins you were covered.  The quality was certainly a step up in the counter market and I got a lot of use out of them.  They later sold CD-ROMs packed with the images and you could easily print one or two or even a whole host of these tokens for you game.  Since they were paper you could abuse them knowing that more could be printed out for another day.

Anyway, moving the clock on a bit further I came across Roll 20 the Virtual Table Top, a browser based service that lets you play virtual games with your friends almost as though you are sitting around the same dining room table.

A system like this calls out for quality maps and tokens and this is what I wanted to draw your attention to; several manufacturers who produce high quality products for you to use.


DramaScape produce some excellent maps both in pdf and have taken to including a file for use with your virtual table-top.  I have purchased quite a lot of their product and have been impressed by it.  The only downside is that the files for Roll20 are bigger than the maximum upload size and I have been using an image program called RIOT to shrink them.  You can find DramaScape here: http://dramascape.net/

Fabled Environments also produce some excellent blueprints and they are pretty good, I just wish they would provide a file that can be used in Roll20 rather than a straight pdf.  There homepage is here: http://fabledenvironments.com/wp/

Stoneworker Cartography have some very good looking maps and some interesting designs.  I am quite taken with the modern ones and hope to use one or two of them in an upcoming game.  Website: http://www.stoneworkercartography.com/


Arion Games have created some great looking paper miniatures and I hope that they will branch out into the marketplace for Roll20 tokens.  Website: http://www.arion-games.com/

Devin Night recently saved my backside with his free zombie token and I have since purchased some more to use later on.  Website: http://immortalnights.com/tokensite/

Studio Wyldfurr produce top down tokens with a variety of poses for each character with distinctive features that make them stand out from other companies.  Website: http://www.wyldfurr.com/

I’ll add more posts as I discover and use more content.

The Roll20 Website: Roll20.net


Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted April 3, 2014 by GeneralTangent in category "RPG", "virtual table-top

About the Author

I've been gaming on and off since about 1989 and during that period have played with numerous game systems. I'm fluent in a few, have a basic understanding of quite a few more and can get by in others. Somewhere along the way I found time to be a playtester, contribute to an unpublished game supplement and be associated with another gaming magazine written by far more talented people than I. This lead to one infamous article being written in which I followed the letter of the adventure and torched the parties river barge. I'm also listed on http://rpggeek.com as a game designer.


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