Chat Gaming

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Playing D&D in a chat-based environment requires a few tricks.

(Adapted from Nocturne)

When the GM has a large block of descriptive text, he will denote the end of it with the § symbol.

GM: Natural light dimly illuminates a long hallway extending north into darkness. A faint breeze brings with it sibilant whispers that sound almost like sighing breath. It must be a trick of the wind, but the effect is almost lifelike.
GM: The walls bear horizontal bands of deceptively simple geometric patterns at waist level. In places the bands reveal startling detail, but in others the walls look as though they have been hacked apart with weapons or eroded by the rigors of time. Flakes of ancient paint, brilliant purple and a dull mustard hue, still cling to the walls in places, hinting at what must once have been a riot of color. A thin coat of dust coats the floor.
GM: Just inside the darkened tomb, the hallway branches into shallow alcoves to the east and west. Here the walls bear the most significant damage. Dozens of clumsy etchings mar the beautiful ancient masonry like graffiti on a city wall. A clump of soiled cloth about the size of a halfling rests in the rounded terminus of the western alcove.
GM: Outside, the wind picks up, and a chorus of almost human sounds rises from the darkened hall. §

Anything your character attempts gets * asterisks * on either side:

Firsty: * creeps up behind the demi-lich, hoping to catch a peek at what it is writing. *
Drake: * searches the refectory for religious icons. *
YMF: * takes a running start to leap over the pit. *

Any dialog goes in “quotes.” If it isn’t obvious who is speaking, or to whom, use the character name(s). You can also add physical business with the asterisks:

GM: The raider says, “Your money or your life!”
Liberty: “Die in a fire.”
Drake: * speaks in a stage whisper to Firsty, * "I know this music. Let's...change...the beat."
YMF: * raises his sword. * "To arms!"

Out-of-Character conversation goes in (parentheses).

GM: * The displacer beast swings its sharp-tipped tentacles at YMF! *
GM: (Does 16 hit?)
YMF: (No, AC 18)
GM: * But the barbs scrape up against his armor. *

GM: Shadows lurk in the many corners of the old warehouse.
Drake: (Can I see anyone in here?)
GM (Roll Perception)
Drake: (13)
GM (Looks clear.)
Drake: * strides boldly into the center of the large room. *

Liberty: (Elven) “Do you think we can reason with this guy?”
Firsty: (Elven) “He doesn’t seem to be buying it.”


We’ll be trying to use MapTool. Hopefully, it will be a smooth combat interface. Also, for GM to Player notes (and vice versa), we can use MT’s whisper function, AIM, Y!IM, or something similar.

Finally, I trust you to roll your own dice, but if you would rather “make your rolls in the open,” we can use MapTool. To generate random numbers, type this script in the MapTool chat window will generate random numbers:

/roll dice#dsides#

So, if you need to roll 1d20, type ”/roll 1d20”

You can also add modifiers to the roll:

/roll dice#dsides#+modifier

Or, ”/roll 1d20+5”


Chat Gaming

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