Guide to using Roll20 @ AlbaCon

In most cases, the game master (GM) will choose both a “Virtual Tabletop” alongside an audio / video solution so that you can communicate in game.

The RPG listings on the AlbaCon website confirm which “Tools” will be used with Roll20 being one of the Virtual Tabletops available.

You will be provided with an “invite” link to access the Roll20 game in advance of the session taking place. Alongside this you will also receive details of what audio / video software will be used.

If you know your game is going to be using Roll20, then it’s a good idea to register a free account ahead of game time at https://www.roll20.net/ You can also learn how to use the Roll20 interface at the Roll20 Helpdesk – https://roll20.zendesk.com/

Accessing your games

Once you have clicked on the invite link you will be taken to your game session on the Roll20 website.

Once you have launched your game on Roll20, you may need to make a few changes to the settings, depending on which audio / video option the GM is using.

If the GM is using the built in Roll20 audio and video features, then you’ll need to make sure they are working correctly. On Roll20, you’ll see a small box with your name in it. Roll over that box to see the options to enable video and voice (a speech bubble and video icon).

You can move your profile icon around by grabbing the three lined icon that appears in the bar with your name under the icon. You can also change your camera and microphone settings by selecting the gear icon at the top right side of screen.

If your GM has chosen to use another audio / video solution then you’ll need to turn these off in Roll20 so that you’re not duplicating sound and video, which can be confusing for other players.

Access the settings using the gear icon on the far right side of the screen. Scroll down the panel and set both “I want to broadcast to others” and “I want to receive from others” to “Nothing (disable)” then hit the “Reconnect” button.

The Virtual Tabletop or Map

Once you are logged into your Roll20 game, the centre of your screen is going to be taken up mostly by the Gridded map that the GM will be using.

What is on it and how you can interact with it will be determined by the game you are playing and what the GM has set up ahead of time.

The Player Toolbars

The player toolbar in Roll20 has some useful functions.

  • Arrow Icon – Select | Move or Pan View
  • Paintbrush Icon – Draw Shape | Freehand | Polygon/Line | Text
  • Magnifying Glass Icon – Zoom from 10% to 250%
  • Q Style Icon – Measurement tool with option to Show or Hide
  • d20 Dice – Dice Roller
  • ? – Help & Docs | Shortcuts Reference | Report A Bug

To use the Dice Roller, click on it and select the “type” and “quantity” of dice you need.  Once you click the output will appear in the Chat window.

You can also roll dice directly in the chat window, both publicly and privately. Help and a list of shortcuts are available through the “?” icon.

Depending on what game you are playing, your GM may have provided interactive character sheets. These allow you to click on various parts of the character sheet to roll dice or perform actions. If you are in any doubt about how to use your character sheet, or how to roll dice, ask your GM in the first instance.

Safety Tools : Using the X Card in Roll20

The AlbaCon Code Of Conduct requires that all games use Safety Tools, with the “X Card” being the minimum standard.

To use the X Card in Roll20, simply type “/w GM X” in the chat window (without the quote marks).

This will immediately send a private message to the GM which the other players will not see.

Should you need to continue any discussion with the GM you can do so by prefixing anything you want to say with “/w GM”.

Full details of how to use Roll20 text chat can be found at https://roll20.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360039675093-Text-Chat