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> iTabletop, Play online Suckah, it works!
DamienKnight
post Sep 29 2011, 03:51 PM
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A group of players from my DC Online League Kirkbizarro recently talked me in to GMing an online SR game. We decided to use iTabletop. Previously I had ran a game using a whiteboard app that lasted 5 sessions and was ok... but combat was a little hinky to track, as was rolling dice.

iTabletop worked GREAT. I am running them through the Denver Campaign from Shadowrun Missions. I went in the night before and uploaded the maps from the Missions Handout (Parliament of Theives), and created 'Tokens' for each player. A token can just be an image used as a placeholder on the map, but it has a ton of other features. I setup Dice Trays for each player, which had each of their common rolls (Like shooting, defend melee, reaction, cast combat spell, etc) which included within the cup a breakdown of what factors contributed to the pool. I found a pile of stock images to use for top down map representations.

You can also attach multiple images to a token, for different statuses. For example, one character was a Jaguar shifter, so she had an Image of her Human form and an image of her cat form. With a click on the token it can be switched.

Also, I downloaded PDF Factory (Free version) and printed out the Charsheet pages from the SR4CG_DK sheet as PDFs, then attached the PDF to one of the characters. In game I can view their character sheets that are attached to the token. Since this was the first game I only had time to setup PDFs on one char, but I think I will do it to all chars going forward.

I setup tokens for Mark Longfeather (the Johnson) and for the Triad and Yakuza lieutenants, and seperate tokens for the Triad and Yakuza thugs. Those I uploaded images for before the game, but created the tokens on the fly while playing. As I needed a roll, I created a new dice cup on the token, so when I was done I had a nearly complete Triad token that is reusable for all my games!

For a street battle my players had found a top-down image of a generic white van, a top down image of a motorcycle, and the A-Team Van. I used MS Paint to whip up a quick street scene and controlling combat was awesome! I just dropped the players on the map, gave them control over their own tokens, then threw down some vans, bikes, and badguys. Combat was smooth once everyone got used to the dice cups. I click once for Triad, he shoots at a player. The player Clicks their dodge cup, then their Resist Ballistic Cup.

There was no easy way to add a negative modifier to dice cups, but when iTabletop rolls for you it lists all of the results from the die, in the order they were rolled. We decided when someone was injured or had other modifiers, we would just ignore the last few results from their Dice roll.

Ie. My Shoot cup consists of Agility 3, Firearm Skill 3, Smartlink 2. My guy has 3 boxes of damage, so he has a -1 penalty to shooting.

I click my shoot cup and the game reports: 3 successes: 4, 5, 3, 4, 1, 2, 6, 5. Since the cup did not include the modifier, we just ignore the last roll, which was a 5, so we count 2 successes.

All in all it was a sweet experience. Best of all, all of the images, tokens, maps etc. are still out there. I set them available to the 'Shadowrunners' Group on iTabletop, so anyone who joins the Shadowrunner group can use them for their own game. I plan on going through the entire Denver campaign if my players are interested that long, so in a couple months there will be ALOT of assets available for anyone who wants to run their own iTabletop game.

Also, when I run a mission I create a new 'Game' instance, with maps, tokens etc. I share these game instances, so if you get on iTabletop and join the 'Shadowrunners' group you can duplicate my game instance and have a great baseline for running your own game.

I highly recommend checking this out. iTabletop is free for limited use. basically up to 5 players can play together without any paid accounts. If you want more than 1 gm and 4 players, then the gm needs a paid account (30 bucks a year) which allows up to 7 players into his game instance. The players need not pay anything.

So ie. Free Account gm has 4 free slots on his game. If one of his players has a paid account, they dont use up a free slot, so he could have 5 players in that instance.

We have 6 players and a 7th spectator, so one of my players put up 30 bucks to get a paid account for us.

We did run into an issue where one of our players internet went down (phone company ended up laying new line to fix it, so he was offline for days!). I guess thats a hazard of online play.

If anyone else tries it out, please comment here about any assets you use and give suggestions. Also, if you create your own awesome tokens, please share with the shadowrunners group.

I intend to go through the SR4a book and make all of the Goons and leiutenants into tokens, along with all of the things set to encounter in the Denver campaign. Eventually I would like to create base tokens for all common drones and vehicles too.
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bustedkarma
post Sep 29 2011, 08:05 PM
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I just checked the site out, and it looks pretty rad. I'm currently GM'ing a Denver game as well, and we are PBP, but using *some* cloud based collaboration.

Excited to check it out, and see if it makes sense for our group.

Thanks for sharing.

-BK
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DMiller
post Sep 29 2011, 09:22 PM
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I have a quick question... We tried iTabletop when it was still a downloadable program (rather than web-based) and the audio quality was very poor.

How did you find the audio? Were you all using headsets or dwas anyone using and open mic and speakers?

Thanks,
D
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DamienKnight
post Oct 3 2011, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (DMiller @ Sep 29 2011, 04:22 PM) *
I have a quick question... We tried iTabletop when it was still a downloadable program (rather than web-based) and the audio quality was very poor.

How did you find the audio? Were you all using headsets or dwas anyone using and open mic and speakers?

Thanks,
D
itabletop runs on Silverlight now, so the audio quality was fine. We only tested using the Audio in itabletop though... Since the group I played with was from my DC Online league, we already had a Ventrillo server setup with 100 user max, and some players were admin on the Vent server, and it allowed others to drop in and listen to our game without counting towards our player limit in iTabletop (which is 1 Free GM and 4 Free Players, or 1 Pro Account GM and 7 free players).

So I have not tested the itabletop audio with more than three people, although the tools to control camera and audio were nice (view your own view, Game Owner controls max video resolution to control bandwidth, anyone can turn their audio/video on or off in game, choose if you want to hide video, etc).

We played our second session this Sunday and it went very well. Now that we have finished the first Denver mission I will strip out the player tokens and reset the maps, and share it for anyone to use.
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