The infinite realms of tabletop role-playing games that are traditionally played in person are increasingly playable online. With modern communications apps like Slack, you can easily keep all the content, characters, conversations, and critical hits in one convenient place.
Create Your World In A Workspace
In essence, a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) is cooperative storytelling where random chance can dictate the results of your actions. There are countless systems of rules that dictate what you can and can’t do, the most famous of which is the high fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons from Wizards of the Coast. In fact, to help assuage the woes of isolation during quarantine, the TTRPG developer is providing free adventures and resources that can help get you started.
To get your TTRPG up and running today, start by creating your own Slack workspace for free. In this new workspace, you’ll want to create spaces for play to happen. You can create a channel for posting links to character sheets, a channel for uploading rulesets and source materials, and out-of-character chat where players can talk and share. There are countless digital character sheets you use; D&D Beyond’s character sheets link beautifully in Slack.
You’ll also want to create in-character spaces: a channel for images of the world you’re adventuring through and the people your characters meet, a channel for in-character dialogue, and most importantly a channel for rolling dice.
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Roll Dice With Slack’s D&D Dice Roller App
Slack provides developers with a huge array of tools for developing custom apps for the platform. Slack’s D&D Dice Roller app is the only Slack app you’ll really need to start playing your TTRPG. You can add the app to Slack by navigating to its page in the Slack App Directory and clicking the “Add to Slack” button.
Once you’ve given the app permission to access your Slack workspace, you’re ready to immediately start rolling. Type
/roll into the channel you created for rolling dice to view the syntax for making your roll. You can roll as many dice as you want and the app will automatically show you the total, as well as the results of each individual roll, any modifiers, and even the reason for that roll.
Come Together and Start Adventuring
Now that you’re up and rolling, with your rules, characters, maps, and images uploaded to the proper channels in the workspace, it’s time to start playing. This new workspace is where you can hold your sessions through free audio or video calls. For most players, playing on a map is essential. Fortunately, while Slack doesn’t give you the ability to move icons around a map, there are countless tools for maps including Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds. You can even upload any image to Google Drive and give your players permission to edit the document so they can upload and move their character tokens or icons.
Alternatively, there’s always the option of forgoing the map and playing via “the theater of the mind.” This involves describing the nature of the encounter and the layout of the environment and conducting play entirely through everyone’s imagination. Lastly, for players and game masters with busy schedules, there’s always the option of playing by text. This option is much slower but can allow your players to contribute to the story without having to coordinate schedules and dedicate long periods of time to a gaming session.
With these tools at hand, you can use Slack to easily set up any TTRPG system to share with friends around the world. Explore the cosmos, become a supernatural detective, or create any story you and your friends can imagine, all without leaving your desk.
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