Roll20 Virtual Tabletop, Origins, and Gen Con

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My gaming group has gone into a year of transition.  every group has them.  Players move away, work changes, have kids, generally life gets inthe way.  this year one player moved to a new city to start a new job, another is just too busy with life and work to get to a table.  another member moved a couple of years ago but we had kept in touch and usually hung out together at Gen Con each year.  so our issues were two fold either the player lived too far away now or home life was too hard to get away to go game somewhere.  I researched all the major virtual table tops.  I tried roll20 last is I knew it was free to play for the most part.  My thinking being that free to play meant less capabilities.  turns out I was very wrong.  Roll20 offers just about everything other table tops offer and they are constantly trying to make things better.  I will admit as a DM I upgraded to a monthly fee account due to the larger storage space.  My group has been playing for a month and a half playing DnD Next play test with old 1st edition Modules that I have converted to 5th edition.  they have done “village of Hommlet” and are currently in “Temple of Elemental Evil”  they are mid mid way through 6th level and are having a great time.  we game once a week as our schedules allow and around 8m so those with little kids have them in bed.  no drive time, is a great plus.  I find that the table top tend to keep the attention of my player far more than when we were at an actual table.  they accomplish more in the 3hrs we play than when we played for 5hrs at a table. Don’t get me wrong I also try to game locally with some that group as well.  I love rolling dice at a table and seeing the expressions of their faces as they role play situations is great as well.  I also gained a player who now plays in both groups.  My oldest son has joined the ranks.  It makes me proud that he and I can share this together.  My younger son is also chomping at the bit to play as well bt he is still abit young.  I took them to the Origins convention in Columbus, Ohio last year and hope to be able to again this year.  next year I play on taking my Eldest son to Gencon with me.  I have been to Gen Con nearly every year it has been held in Indianapolis Indiana.  though last year I attended both for the first time in about 6 years.  I was very surprised ad glad to see Origins had gone back to its roots.  years ago Origins was mostly driven by players and DMs form everywhere running events for other gamers. it was about they players.  then the bad years came when major corporations had control and became less about the players and more about the products they were pushing.  Now with the major corporations not doing anything official and generally not releasig new product at Origins it has once again found it calling.  If I were goning to only one  convention I would seriously consider Origins if all I wnated to was to play the games I love.  Gen Con has its Glitz and Glammer and all the latest and greatest new releases, but if I truely cared solely about just gaming the games I love I would go to Origins  and save a bunch of money in the process.

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