• Justin Handlin

Online Roleplay with Roll20

Listen to Episode 30: Online Roleplaying with Roll20 Now:



Crit Academy talk Roll20 an easy-to-use system agnostic virtual tabletop. It's flexible to handle most Tabletop RPGs as well as simulate popular board and card games. While we discuss it as platform for Dungeons and Dragons, it can run more than just d20 systems. Games such as Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Fate, GURPS, Fiasco, World of Darkness, Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, and many, many other official and homebrewed games.

Here is a short list of some of the features you can expect from Roll20:

  • Video and Voice Chat as well as Text Chat

  • Character Sheets

  • Battle Maps with or without your favorite style of grid.

  • NPC and PC Tokens that can be linked to a character sheet.

  • Multiple dice rolling methods, including Macros for ease of use.

  • Storage and quick lookup of notes, maps and other adventure details

  • Initiative Tracker

  • Jukebox for sound effects and background music

  • A looking for group system to match up players with GMs

  • And much more...

Main Topic: Online Virtual Tabletop Roll20

Elegantly Simple:

  • Virtual Customizable Tabletop, Compendium, Character building tools

  • Right through your browser, no need to download anything

  • Inviting others is as simple as sending a link to them

Enhanced Storytelling:

Roll20 gives you tools to enhance your unique storytelling games

  • You can upload your own images and maps or use maps they provide

  • drawing tools – great for quickly showing paths on map

  • handouts – send actual ransom letters to your players

  • secret whispers – share knowledge without letting everyone else in on it.

  • background music – add to the ambiance and tension in scene

System Agnostic:

Any DnD edition, pathfinder, shadow run savage worlds and fate alike.

  • Provides many dice options, including 3D dice that bounce around on the table.

  • You can create macros:

  • Combat actions

  • Pre-written dialogue or puzzles – no need to keep repeating yourself

  • Initiative trackers

  • Hp tracking

  • Markers – great for conditions

Dynamic Lighting:

Fog of war

  • Limit what players can see on the map in real time as they move their characters

When a character is blinded you can turn out the lights, literally.

  • Objects that radiate light provide bonus visuals – dancing lights or torches

  • Allows for very surprising ambushes- instill fear of darkness in your players

Voice and Video Chat

The program has built in chat and see functions

Being a social experience that D&D is, this is very cool

  • Player emotions and reactions are what make memorable moments.

No need to have third party programs such as discord, or skype

Great for getting newbies involved without having to make sure they have a lot of stuff set up.


Unearthed Tips and Tricks: New and reusable D&D content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.

Character Concept: My imaginary friend

Character often engages in discussions/arguments with someone that’s not there

Could play on out of character discussions?

Great warlock/cleric concept? Maybe they think they are speaking to their deity, but in fact are just crazy?

Often asking their imaginary friend for advice, maybe even counter to what the party is saying.

If asked to do something, maybe he asks his imaginary friend to do it, then blames him for when it doesn’t get done.


Monster Variant: Gravebear

Origin: Brown Bear

Additional Features:


Undead Foritude. If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5+ the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.


Rise Again. The first time the Gravebear drops to 0 hp, make a new initiative check for the Gravebear. After 1 minute, the Gravebear uses move action to rise with 20 hit points.


Encounter: The Eye Tyrant!

A Beholder has discovered an excellent location for a new lair. Just one problem, there is a city filled with disgusting 2-legged surface walkers.

An eye tyrant has decided to attempt to subjugate a cities populace as well as powerful monsters in the area. Unfortunately for him, this city is known for its excellent Air Force! The city prides itself on its combat Airships. Monsters, hippogryphs, griffons and many other beasts attack the city under the control of the Beholder.

Our adventurers have been tasked with riding in the city’s most powerful ship The Haedalyn! Their goal is to focus on dealing with the Beholder, while other smaller vessels and the knights deal with the other threats.

Airship Guide on Pg 119 of DMG

Magical cannons can be used in place of normal cannons.

The ship fails all saving throws: Immune to conditions:

The ships have several types of cannons each requiring an operator; add as needed: recommend 5

  • Crew: The crew makes group cannon attacks at a +5 for 4d10 fire damage every round!

  • Blast Cannon (2) – Fire damage Chromatic Orbs - +7 to Attack – increase spells range by 30 feet.

  • Chain Net(1)- Launches a chain net at the target range 75/150 +4 to attack – add users wisdom modifier to the attack bonus. A strength check of DC 20 can break the chain. Creature affected can only use a single action each turn.

  • Barrier(1) – This device launches the defensive spell Shield!

  • Navigator(1) – Assists the pilot in maneuvering the ship.

Actions: Ship gets one Action Per Turn.

  • Evasive Maneuver! Everyone gains advantage on next save this turn and the ship avoids a single attack of your choosing.

  • Close In! Ship is maneuvered into a range of 50 feet of the target

  • Retreat! Ship is moved to a range of 200 feet away from target

  • Ram! The ship must first be within 50 feet. The ship rams the target, the target makes a Dex saving throw of 16. On a failed saving throwing takes 5d10 bludgeoning or half as much on a success. The ship takes half damage. This brings the creature into melee range for 1 round.


Magic Item: Dagger of Swarms!

Dagger, Uncommon

This dagger has rose like carvings etched into the hilt, with a dark green blade with vine and leaf filigree on it. When this dagger is used as a thrown ranged attack, it is under the effects of Hail of Thorns spell.

Hail of thorns:

When you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack with this dagger, rose thorns sprout from it. In addition to the normal dagger damage and effects, the target of the attack and each creature within 5 feet of it must make a dexterity saving throw of 12, A creature takes 1d10 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.


Dungeon Master Tip: Add sporting events

Capture the Flag(Sigil, Emblem) – Non lethal combat to recover the enemies flag.

Dodgeball- Use a ball made of magic, when it hits an enemy and is not caught it stuns them momentarily, or teleports them out of the arena. Or a more primitive version, Bloodball, stones or rocks are thrown, great for a goliath or orc game.

Demolition Derby: With magical chariots.


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick! You can avoid dickitude by...

Mastering those generic items

Use generic items!

Hempen Rope – Everyone uses it, what about everything else?

Crowbar – advantage on strength checks to break into doors, windows or crates

Oil flasks – burn shit down

Ball bearings – cause problems for someone chasing you

Caltrops – stop a creature’s movement, slow them down

Hunting Trap – another way to lock down a creature

Holy Water – Burn fiend or undead to the ground


If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on twitter and facebook @critacademy.

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Keep your blades sharp and spells prepared heroes!




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