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I've been poking around the latest AD&D rules, thanks to a heads up from a friend from my old D&D group from the early 80's.  I haven't actually played since then, although every decade or so I read the latest rules and reminisce. 

My friend has tried to organize some of us to play over the net using Tabletop Forge, but we've had some technical difficulties.

Even if we get the technical difficulties smoothed out, though, is still a partial solution.  It solves some of the problems of playing a distance, but it misses an opportunity to actually eliminate some of the bookkeeping of RPGS.

In the way that Linux got a HUGE boost when IBM officially endorsed it, and threw programmers at it, I wonder if an official Wizards/roll20 relationship could benefit both organizations.

Some of the things that immdiately occurred to me while trying to build an adventure in roll20:

  1. I'd love to see integration with specific games (like AD&D) so that you could link to your character sheet, and then instead of type "/roll 2d10 + 8" you could type "/roll Perception" (or whatever) and the game would figure out the dice for you.

  2. Likewise, if you have a target selected, the results of your roll could be automatically applied (perhaps with a manual accept/reject for the DM)

  3. To support the "linked character sheet" concept, Wizards could offer an online version of AD&D that assisted in character creation and storage, specifically for integration with net20.  It's the perfect solution to the problem of copyright: if you don't pay for your subscription, you wouldn't be able to link with net20, and the software would be a hosted service so the code itself can't be copied.

  4. Modules (are they still called that?) could likewise be prepackaged for roll20.

Since roll20 is open source, Wizards could make whatever changes they want (as long as they released them under the same license) while keeping the AD&D code separate and protected.  The roll20 project could use some full time help, as well.

I'd really love to play AD&D again with my old friends from middle school, but we're in our 40's and scattered around the country, and we don't have time to build elaborate adventures using roll20 tools.  A symbiotic relationship between Wizards and the roll20 project would be the game environment I've been dreaming about for 30+ years.
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
 Thinking about this more last night, I have some additional comments:

  1. It would be nice to see clickable/programmable objects in roll20.  So that, for example, you could click on a door and see options to "Pick" "Break" "Listen" etc. 

  2. With the right on-line tools, I can easily envision the rise of "professional" DMs who charge for their games.  I know I'd pay.  Taking a cut from fee games could be another revenue stream for WotC.  (Along with monthly subs, modules, and premium art content.)

  3. It would be fun to have common areas (in cites?) that operate sort of like an MMO, so that you can meet and mingle with other players.  You'd have to disable combat & spending, and provide some kind of "GearScore" tool so that DMs could evaluate the relative power:level of players before inviting them.  

  4. You might also want to give the DM a gear filtering tool to say, effectively, "Ok, you can come with us but I'm going to disable your Vorpal Blade."

  5. I'll bet WotC could raise private equity to do this.  MMOs are a huge business, but the market is kind of saturated.  A hybrid "game mastered MMO" far as I unfilled niche.  If they're worried about selling off control of the company, create a joint venture.  (This is what I did for a living for a long time.)

"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
Ok, this is sort of turning into my private diary rather than a discussion, but another thought to share:

I am trying to address two parallel objectives, which I think are achievable without detracting from the "collaborative storytelling" aspect of D&D (and thus turning it into an MMO loot fest):

  • Automate some of the clerical work that does not contribute to story

  • Make it possible/easier to get together with friends

"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
Online, integrated Bestiary:

  1. Find the monster you're looking for via dynamic search (i.e., start typing "Drag..." and it will show you a list of every kind of dragon.)

  2. Instead of just having one level to choose from (e.g., Red Dragons are level 14), set the level you want and have all values update automatically.

  3. Randomly generate treasure and names, where appropriate

  4. Drag and drop your new monster onto the playing board, complete with graphics

"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
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