Friday, November 19, 2010

Truly, the End Times are Upon Us...

For the D&D Virtual Tabletop is going into beta test!

Yeah, I know, the world just flipped upside down for me, too. ;)

SquareMans has some intriguing notions about where WotC could take this new functionality, but I think a shift of that magnitude is too great to pull off without an edition change. But then, I'm already in shock that the VT might actually see the light of day.

And this isn't entirely useless to us old-schoolers, since the interface appears to be rules-agnostic, from what I can tell. Be interesting to keep an eye on this one, and see where they take it.

UPDATE: Oddysey, whose young eyes are keener than mine, is doubtful of the VT being rules-agnostic:

...we don't know that it doesn't, for instance, keep track of where you can move based on your combat speed. It's clearly calculating turn orders and tracking your defensive stats, and this is just the DM view.

The player view might have, say, a list of the powers that you've got, and track whether you've used them and roll for you.

There must be some kind of support for the system built in. Not sure how much, but there has to be something that would give people a reason for using this rather than, say, Fantasy Grounds.

So maybe it's just easier to use, but I can't see WotC competing on interface. ;p
The initiative tracking is going to be an issue in itself, for old school applications.

Since so many of us use alternative initiative systems.

So yeah, don't be buying any DDi subscriptions just yet. ;)


LoneIslander said...

I prefer face to face games, I think it's just funner that way.

drnuncheon said...

Me too, but VTT lets me play with friends that aren't even in my time zone.

That said, WOTC would have to pull off something pretty damn impressive to make me want to give up Maptool.

Stuart said...

And this isn't entirely useless to us old-schoolers, since the interface appears to be rules-agnostic, from what I can tell.

What about existing Virtual Game Tables like Fantasy Grounds 2?

trollsmyth said...

I'm currently running three games via MapTools, and it works pretty well, though there were some really ugly firewall issues when I first started using it. If you're not 'net-savvy, I doubt you'd have been able to overcome them.

A web-based system avoids those sorts of issues, but then you generally have to pay someone to maintain a server for you.

Heck, in a pinch, I can use Google Chat for most of my needs, and I believe that's what Scott of "Huge Ruined Pile" is using as his primary solution. Still, if WotC can deliver a customizable, stable, reliable option, I'll at least give it a look.

ghostofmarx said...

Watch this video. Within the first minute you see that you can pick different rule sets all the way back to 1st edition.

trollsmyth said...

Oooo! Very cool! Thanks for sharing that.