The glow of the monitor, the shine of the keyboard…

Oftentimes, it’s the journey that makes the adventure.

At least, that is the case with most tabletop RPGs. It’s about the friends you make and the struggles you encounter and work together to solve.

When it comes to finding a way to play with others, the struggle can be a frustrating one, and that’s a problem. Having fun shouldn’t be frustrating. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that make gaming together easy in this era, where distance is no longer the only reason you can’t gather a group of friends around a table.

My foray into tabletop RPGs began on the internet. I was instantly drawn by the thrill of the dice and the collaborative combat and storytelling potential. However, I couldn’t play the game on my own, and most of my friends were preoccupied with prior commitments. As I researched online, I happened upon glimpses of large communities for these games.

In hindsight, finding these communities and these ways to play over the internet helped me prepare for the uncertain times that we’re going through now.

 Fun shouldn’t have barriers. 

With so much technology at our disposal, tabletop RPGs are becoming more and more accessible, and anyone can gather a party, learn how to play, and host game nights without much difficulty. What’s crucial is knowing what technologies are available and how to use them.

It’s no surprise that these games are very popular. To find potential players, I posted about my interest in running a Dungeons and Dragons game on social media. My posts could be found easily on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook through the use of hashtags and key words.

Soon enough, I began receiving responses. Some people even messaged me directly. We were all in the same boat: interested in the game but without a group, or unsure of where to start. Taking that initiative to make the posts was a crucial step in our collaborative gaming future.

Once I had a sizable group of interested players, I had to find a platform where we could reliably chat and communicate to play. I used Discord and Roll20 to create maps and a group server, providing my players with helpful, easy to follow articles and instructional videos to my group so that I could help them learn the game with ease. The rest of the story wrote itself.

I’ve been running this campaign for over two years now, and what started as a group of strangers and acquaintances has grown into a band of friends.

Fun shouldn’t have barriers. Social media algorithms make it easy for your messages to reach the intended audience, and once you have an adventuring party, it’s just a matter of coordinating and figuring out a time where everyone is available. It’s all about knowing what services are available to help you get adventuring as soon as possible.

With so much changing in our lives, with the way we live, work, and play evolving, it can be hard to sit down and play a nice game together with a group of friends in person. Don’t let that hold you back. With so many versatile technologies at our disposal, game night can be easy, accessible, and most importantly, enjoyable.

Do you have any experiences with running games online? How did it go and what tools did you find most helpful?