Roll20

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Roll20
Roll20 logo.png
Type of site
Online virtual tabletop
Available in English
Owner The Orr Group
Created by Riley Dutton, Nolan Jones, Richard Zayas
Website www.roll20.net
Alexa rank Increase 2,989 (Global)
Registration No
Users 3,000,000+ (as of August 2018)
Launched 17 September 2012; 6 years ago (2012-09-17)
Written in HTML5[1]

Roll20 is a website consisting of a set of tools for playing tabletop role-playing games, also referred to as a virtual tabletop, which can be used as an aid to playing in person or remotely online. The site was launched in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

History[edit]

Roll20 was originally conceived as a personal project by three college roommates, Riley Dutton, Nolan Jones, and Richard Zayas, to help them continue to play Dungeons & Dragons after graduating and moving to different cities. After realizing that their personal app could help others as well, they started a Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2012 with an initial goal of $5000; the campaign managed to raise almost $40,000.[2] After a short beta period following the end of the Kickstarter campaign, Roll20 was released to the public in September 2012.[3]

In July 2016, Roll20 announced that they had acquired a license from Wizards of the Coast for official Dungeons & Dragons material.[4][1] Along with the announcement, they released the first of three official modules for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, The Lost Mine of Phandelver, on the Roll20 Marketplace. This was followed by Storm King's Thunder in September 2016 and Volo's Guide to Monsters in October 2016.[5]

Roll20 reached 1 million users in July 2015 and 2 million users in January 2017.[2][6]

Roll20CON[edit]

In June 2016, Roll20 partnered with The Cybersmile Foundation to hold an online gaming convention, named Roll20CON. The convention consisted of an organized series of online games hosted on Roll20 and streamed on Twitch, along with other events.[7]

Reddit controversy[edit]

In September of 2018, one of the co-founders of Roll20, Nolan T. Jones, acting as head moderator of the Reddit Roll20 subreddit, banned Reddit user ApostleO, mistaking the account for another previously banned account whom Nolan believed to be circumventing the prior ban. After a failed attempt to get clarification and correction of the ban, ApostleO deleted his Roll20 account and posted a summary to Reddit of what he perceived as hostile customer service.[8][9] Many users criticized the ban, Jones’ response, and the inclusion of Roll20 staff as moderators of the subreddit.[10][11] A reply from Jones regarding the issue quickly rose to become the "second-most downvoted post of all time" in the history of Reddit.[8]. Numerous Roll20 users pledged to no longer do business with the company and all Roll20 staff have been removed as moderators from the subreddit.[9][10]

Features[edit]

Roll20 is a browser-based suite of tools that allows users to create and play tabletop role playing games. It is organized into individual game sessions, which users can create or join. These game sessions include various features of typical tabletop RPGs, including dynamic character sheets, automated dice rolling, shared maps with basic character and enemy tokens, and triggered sound effects.[4][12][13] The interface also includes integrated text chat, voice chat, and video chat, as well as Google Hangouts integration.[14] Roll20 also contains a separate marketplace, where art assets and complete game modules such as the official D&D modules are sold, and a reference compendium for several game systems. In addition to the free content, Roll20 also has extra features available for paying subscriber accounts, including dynamic lighting and fog of war for maps.[12]

Besides the main browser version of Roll20, there are also iPad and Android versions. These mobile versions are more focused on the player experience, containing fewer features than the full browser site.[15]

Apart from the various editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Roll20 also supports other tabletop systems, including Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Gamma World, Traveller, and many other game systems.[1][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jeffrey, Cal (1 August 2016). "Roll20 brings official 'Dungeons & Dragons' content to the virtual table". Inquisitr. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Mongilio, Heather (27 July 2015). "Roll20 Creates Digital Game Table". ARLnow.com. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  3. ^ Dutton, Riley (17 September 2012). "Roll20 Goes 'Live'". Roll20 Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b Murphy, David (28 July 2016). "Dungeons and Dragons Debuts on Virtual Tabletop 'Roll20'". PC Magazine. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  5. ^ Powell, Stephanie (1 September 2016). "Early Launch Achieved - Storm King's Thunder is Available Today in Roll20!". Roll20 Blog. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  6. ^ Wallace, Suzanne (17 January 2017). "Over 2 Million Gamers!". Roll20 Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  7. ^ Shearer, Stew (19 February 2016). "Roll20 Will Host 'Online-Only Tabletop Gaming Convention' This June". The Escapist. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b Asarch, Steven (27 September 2018). "Reddit Rallies Around User Banned For Criticizing Roll20 App". Newsweek. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b ApostleO (25 September 2018). "After 5 Years On Roll20, I Just Cancelled and DELETED My Account". Reddit. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b Gita Jackson (27 September 2018). "One Fan's Criticism Of D&D App Roll20 Sends Its Subreddit Into A Meltdown". Kotaku. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  11. ^ Jones, Nolan (25 September 2018). "response". Reddit. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Brogan, Jacob (9 August 2016). "Welcome to the Virtual Tabletop". Slate. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  13. ^ Senior, Tom (17 March 2016). "How Roll 20 brings the spirit of D&D to PC". PC Gamer. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  14. ^ Hall, Charlie (28 July 2016). "D&D on your tablet and in your browser, complete with dice and a Dungeon Master". Polygon. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  15. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (31 March 2015). "Virtual Tabletop Program Roll20 Comes to Mobile Devices". The Escapist. Retrieved 3 February 2017.

External links[edit]