Online Newb


Hey guys. I am a long time RPG GM and player, but I have never played a single game online. I have no idea where to start even. My tech-savvy is non-existent. Is there someone looking to run a game so that I could learn as I go and eventually run my own games? Is there a resource or how to guide somewhere online? I’d be very grateful for any info.


Question about Requirments to sit at the cool kids table!

Hi Gary!

Here are some of the basics:

  1. You’re going to need a microphone. You can go cheap for this, or you can grab something like these:
  1. A webcam is great to have, but not required. If you do elect to get a webcam, here is an option for something super simple (I daresay, idiot-proof, because it has worked for me):
  1. Generally, you’ll want to use some type of video conferencing webservice or software. A lot of us use Google Hangouts because it is free and reliable. If you’re only doing theatre of the mind type games, you really don’t need anything else. Others here use Discord, and I have used everything from JoinMe to TeamViewer.

  2. If you want to run maps, you will need some program to handle that. A simple setup might be the DM sharing his screen using Hangouts and running the map straight from a graphics program like Gimp or Photoshop. Generally, a lot of us use a dedicated gaming platform, from something super simple like Roll20 to something a bit more crunchy like Fantasy Grounds. And, whichever platform you choose, you’ll probably have to spend a little time learning it. I watched some handy YouTube videos to get started.

And that’s about it, beyond having some players who are willing to link up on the same time and date. If you’re using something like Roll20 and Hangouts (my current setup because it’s just crazy easy), everyone you are playing with will have to have accounts there, but registering is free and easy. Some of our playthroughs are on The Roll For Effort channel on YouTube, which will give you a sense of how it looks.

If you have any additional questions, hit me up, and I’m always happy to help. I know other members of the forum will have good advice as well, and depending on scheduling, maybe we can grab you for a one shot or something in the near future to get you started.


+1 to everything @Alex said, with the caveat being: don’t skip out on a decent mic. You don’t need to spend $100s, but bad audio is a deal breaker for me on any game. I already struggle with it with my players.

Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds are really your best options. Roll20 is easier to use, however, I really dislike it as a GM. Your mileage may very though and a lot of people here like it. Fantasy Grounds is clunky though, and may be more of a learning curve then you want to pick up.


You can buy this mic. It is clip-on, has great audio quality and is relatively cheap (26$).


Thanks for all the info @Alex ! I had basically the same question and this gives me a great starting point


My pleasure. I was an online newbie about 18 months ago, and the above is my setup. I haven’t had a single issue (and going on countless online games now), and if I can figure it out, anyone can. I’m glad you found my response helpful.


Thanks! I appreciate all the advice. I think I’m going to check into Roll20. After surfing around it seems to be what most people think is the easiest and cheapest.