Despite all the rot we talk on these blogs, we all know there are only 2 real problems with RPGs:
-it's hard to find players, and
-even if you have players, it's hard to throw a game together on the spur of the moment since someone has to be mentally ready to GM.
D&D With Porn Stars is happy to announce:
These problems have been solved. Thank Google + free multiperson video chat. Let the RPG renaissance begin. Play any game any time from anywhere with anybody.
Me and some D&DWPS readers rustled up an insomniac's pick-up game of D&D (Labyrinth Lord, technically) ex nihilo last night:
I said "Hey who wants to DM?"
Il Male stepped up.
Then got 2 other players, made some Labyrinth Lord PCs and then we rolled--took less than an hour from "Ok, who wants to play" to "Alright, roll characters".
And this was, note, in the dead of night, when hardly anybody comments on this blog.
Antion was a halfling, Graham (no blog yet) was a dwarf, and I was a wizard named Gruesome. Il Male did an ace job getting us rolled up and equipped fast.
We ran from some skeletons, talked to a corpse hanging from a tree, fought some goblins (I wish I could roll as well as I did last night all the time--didn't have to use my one spell once) then met a baffling witch who fucked up Graham's shit with a riddle and so I had to shoot her in the stomach.
IMPORTANT: If any other PCs want to rescue us in subsequent Google + sessions: we are trapped in the northmost (?) room under the weird looking tree behind the graveyard. We have 25 gp and will split it with you in exchange for our freedom!
Like I said: Google + has free multiperson video chat built right in. If you have a camera on your computer (or just audio) and anyone you know anywhere is on Google +, you can get in on The Neverending Con.
If you're like me and your eyes glaze over when you see computer stuff, let me walk you through it:
So step one is get a Google + invite from a friend.
Step Two: Once you get that you show up on the site and go "looks like facebook" then you leave.
Step Three: Forget you have it until you decide it's time to play GURPS Supers at 3 in the morning with someone in Madagascar who must be a good DM because he likes Motorhead as much as you do, at least judging from his comments on your blog...
So once you have Google + you can get to your page by clicking like so...
...which takes you to a very Facebook-looking page. Here are the important bits about this page:
-there's a green button on the right that says "start a hangout" which you can use to start a video session (only if you're not already in one on Google +)(though you can use Google + and Skype simultaneously--the people will be able to hear each other).
-If one of your friends has started a video session, there will be a green button allowing you to join in under their name, where this Larry Page guy has his message written in the picture. Click it and you're in.
This is what a video session looks like (only perhaps the people in your session may look a little less...festive...than the models in this Google PR photo I found on-line.) Anyway, important bits to remember are in red:
A-Hitting this button will make a little text chat window appear in the margin which allows you to type shit to the other people there. It's good for keeping track of dimensions of rooms, PCs names, etc. Also, if it's hard to hear someone talk you can type something in. Usually the audio's pretty good, though.
B-Hit this to invite new peeps to the session. You can do it by name or by "circle" (Google + name for a ton of people you've put in the same category)
C-This button theoretically lets you all watch the same youtube video but it doesn't seem to work yet.
D-The program senses whoever's talking and makes their head big. (Beardy is talking here, apparently). However, if, for example, the GM is holding up a map to the screen and you want the big camera to stay on one person, just click on their little head. To switch it back, click the little head again.
-Some people get asked to download a plugin when they first start a Google + vid chat and can't join until they've done it. After you download it, you should be cool.
-The thing freezes occasionally. (4 times in 2 hrs for 5 seconds each time with us, probably because we had a player in Italy) If this happens, just use the text chat thing in the corner for a few seconds while it unfreezes.
Personally, since I sit at a desk painting all day most days and can play tolerably well while painting, I predict I'll be using this a lot. If you try to add me on Google + please shoot me an email (zakzsmith at hawt mayle dawt calm) to say what your screen name on there is so I can add you--I get a lot of random requests for random reasons but if I know you're from the gameblog I will add you on to the right "circle" rather than to my "who the hell is this?" box.
If you are interested in DMing a Google + game this week, please get your pitch together: Day, Time (describe the time you're available using at least one western hemisphere and one eastern hemisphere time zone so peeps can figure out whether they're around), system(s), level, do we need to bring anything? (like, say, a 3rd level character) and anything else you think might make your pitch intriguing--setting, etc.) and I will put up a new post tomorrow where you can leave your pitches for this week in the comments (I want to give everybody a day to sort of let it sink in.) Please include a way ppl can contact you OUTSIDE of Google + so that you can tell who they are when they request you and you can discuss details.
Playing a game at midnight Pacific tonight. Comment on my most recent Google + post if you're in.