I started playing D&D nearly 30 years ago. I remember when they changed it to AD&D, and I still have the book “Monster Manual” that includes the incredible copyright infringement stuff from other fantasy novels. I suppose its not terribly surprising that we picked up a copy of the 4th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook recently – and have started gaming again.

When Karen and I moved to Seattle, we pretty much gave up role playing games. We had a terrific group of folks we gamed with in Columbia, MO – and they’re all still gaming as far as I know – just without us. In the past 20 years, almost none of our gaming was D&D: more a wide variety of other interesting games (some well known, others not) that came off more as “collaborative storytelling” than anything else. We were missing it a bit, but not incited enough to go try and find a new group of folks to game with.

Then this Christmas one of Karen’s friends from college suggested that sufficient tools existed to do this all online and that maybe 4th Edition D&D would be a good trial. We started playing three weeks ago – using Skype and a site called “rpgtonight.com” – and it’s been a blast.

The technology is “just there” in terms of Skype; a 6 person conference call can get a bit flaky upon occasion. The site rpgtonight.com is functional, but frankly looks freakin’ horrific. I’m not sure how they keep their doors open (advertising, I suppose). It’s functional at least.

The folks publishing D&D seem to be going gangbusters with this new version – don’t know if they’ll be raking in the cash from it, but they’re definitely putting a lot of effort into it. They’ve got an online setup that’s forming too – potentially some very cool online tools for doing exactly what we’re doing: playing games online.

I must admit, I never expected to be playing D&D again any time soon – but I’m having a blast with it.

Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at https://rhonabwy.com/.

4 thoughts on “D&D

  1. Have you guys looked into the new D&D online tools? I think Wizards was going to release a “virtual tabletop”, at least in beta, to coincide with the 4.0 release. Maybe it’s not out yet, I don’t see anything other than online character builders a the WOtC site.

    Here’s a video presentation talking about the tools.


  2. From what I’ve heard all the D&D Online tools (except for the Character builder which is online now and pretty good actually) are indefinitely delayed. The other big problem is that they’re Windows only. Ick.

    rpgtonight sounded interesting – but my god. So horrifically ugly. If someone could Web2.0 and ajaxify it and make it suck a lot less it would rock.


  3. Scott – Hadn’t seen the presentation – it does look pretty nifty, even if it is Windows only. God knows if/when they’ll finish it though – I haven’t been able to find a peep out of them recently. It all seems to be tied into this “D&D Insider” setup they’ve got going (subscription revenue model for applications & updates).

    RPGTonight is horrifically ugly. Of course my response is an immediate “Damnit, I could do that better” – but indignation only gets me so far down a project before I stall, and all I’ve really got is indignation at the ugliness of it right now.


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