While there are many advantages to playing D&D online, there can be some challenges unique to the use of technology to play the game.
Often, when more than one person speaks at once during a voice chat, it becomes difficult to discern words or hear each other. A strategy that D&D guru Lili Sparx has taught me is that while a DM describes a scene, players can send an icon or a mark in the text chat to indicate that they want to do something or say something. This helps keep everyone from overlapping when speaking.
Respect the game! It is easy to get distracted by something else when you are chatting online. Keep the same common curtsies that you would apply when meeting up in person. DM’s may be working very hard on their campaign or your fellow players may be performing an action, try to pay attention to the game.
A key part of running a successful campaign is not making the right moves or getting lucky with dice rolls, rather everyone actively participating in the game and encouraging each other.
It may become overwhelming to play online. You end up having a ton of tabs open, can’t remember which one is your character sheet, trying to find the handbook on another one, countless spells and weapon statistics, it can feel like a lot of work.
For me, having some physical items helps me not get overwhelmed. I print out my character sheet because its easier for me to write everything down quickly and transcribe on the computer later. I put post it notes on my screen, under everyone window, that has their character name and role on it. And my favorite, I like to roll physical dice. There is a satisfaction to rolling dice in person. While it’s all based on luck, the good rolls feel like something I contributed to.
Most importantly, just like there isn’t a “best” way to play Dungeons and Dragons, there isn’t a “best” way to play D&D online. Try different methods and find the one that works best for you and your party. Try different combinations if some parts work for you in one area but some parts are lacking.
D&D may be almost 50 years old but with the aid of modern technology it can still be enjoyed by new generations now and well into the future. The world is connected more now than ever so people all over the globe can sit together at the same virtual table, roll dice and have the adventure of their lives.
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