Playing Games Online

COVID-19 has meant that a reasonably large number of people aren't allowed to interact in person without following strict health protocols.  That means for many of us, tabletop RPG's are not happening in-person for a while. Online video calls are a possible solution.

Gaming over video calls can be challenging because the audio connection cuts out when people speak over each other, which is fairly common in most tabletop games. It can also be hard to transition from an in-person campaign where you are used to having side-conversations or interacting with NPC's as a group, to an online-campaign which requires one person to speak (and act) at a time. 

I'd like to draw your attention to some one-shot Imaginary Empire games that can work fairly well over an online video chat and that might provide some light relief until we can meet in-person again:
  • In Soaring Lions only one player acts at a time, describing their actions inside and outside a professional wrestling arena. Randomised tables for speedy character creation can be entertaining and you'll be amazed just how much drama comes with the dice rolls made to execute wrestling moves. To play online ideally each player can see a copy of the Character Sheet, which has all the key rules for the game and one player keeps a track of the Lineup (order of character actions) and possible Special Matches using a Big Show summary sheet.  I suggest using a shared online dice generator like the excellent like Rolz so everyone can see the 'dice' as they roll. Character & Big Show Sheets can be downloaded here for free.
  • Death of Legends (and the sequel First Kingdoms) also use a turn-based sequence for characters to act, reducing audio overlap.  As with Soaring Lions the Character Sheets summarise the key game rules and an online dice generator keeps everyone involved in the action. The game would work best if one player is willing to act as facilitator, tracking the Enemy Returns reference sheet, assigning the Final Act cards during the game interlude (via email) and keeping track of the map crossing out territories (an online whiteboard function or screen-share works well for this).  The Game Materials can be downloaded here for free.

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