Ever since October 2013 and Virtuacon I have fallen in love with playing RPGs over Voice of IP (VoIP). VoIP gaming is not new by any stretch of the imagination. I can recall attempting to play through very crude live chat programs with inferior equipment and not ever really getting into the gaming mood because of technical issues back in the day. For the youngins, back in the day means in the mid-nineties.
Since the mid-nineties the technology has grown and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Today, there are a variety of online virtual table tops and VoIP options. My personal preference is Roll20 and Google Hangouts. For me, the choice was easy, it’s free and very easy to use and accessible by everyone. Some of the other platforms are not as accessible and most definitely not free to use. For the record, Roll20 has a subscription system; while it is optional, it is highly encouraged. I know there are cheerleaders for every different virtual tabletop out there. That’s awesome, but I am sticking with Roll20. Don’t try to change my mind.
What VoIP gaming does for me and can do for you; is rather simple — enables gaming! Let me qualify that statement. VoIP gaming, no matter the platform or the virtual tabletop, allows us to have access to players, GMs and more importantly games that we might not otherwise ever get the chance to play in our local communities. It allows us to harness the connectivity of the internet and through that connectivity, the world. How many times have we found what we think is an awesome game and want to run it locally only to find that no one in the local community wants to even give it try? I have run into this so many times that I am almost at the point of no longer trying to run new games locally. I am confident in saying that this has happened to each of us at least once, if not more than once. There is no need to continue buying or dreaming of buying a sweet looking RPG book only to let it sit on the shelf and collect dust. Take advantage of VoIP gaming and buy those books!
VoIP gaming has enabled me to play games such as Dungeon Crawl Classic RPG, Labryinth Lord, Chronica Feudalis, 13th Age and Cavemaster. I also have a game lined up for late February to play a draft of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Ages (2nd edition) with the author who lives in North Carolina (I live in South Carolina). None of these games, with the exception of 13th Age, would have been remotely possible locally. The reality for a heavily saturated RPG market is that many would be great games never get the attention they are do if left to local communities to play. Add VoIP gaming to the equation and the chances of these games getting some serious table time and players being able to access games they would not otherwise be able to grows exponentially. While I do appreciate local game stores and the community building they offer, we can no longer over look the accessibility that VoIP gaming gives us. All gamers should consider checking out this medium for playing!
a. There are several G+ communities dedicated to VoIP gaming can connecting players and GMs.
3. Google Hangouts
5. RPG Geek
a. A VoIP group exists to connect players and GMs.
I know there are more resources out there, but these are the ones I use and can personally recommend.