Type of site
|Online virtual tabletop|
|Owner||The Orr Group|
|Created by||Riley Dutton, Nolan Jones, Richard Zayas|
|Alexa rank||2,989 (Global)|
|Users||3,000,000+ (as of August 2018)|
|Launched||17 September 2012|
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.
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. After a short beta period following the end of the Kickstarter campaign, Roll20 was released to the public in September 2012.
In July 2016, Roll20 announced that they had acquired a license from Wizards of the Coast for official Dungeons & Dragons material. 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.
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.
In September 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. Many users criticized the ban, Jones’ response, and the inclusion of Roll20 staff as moderators of the subreddit. Roll20 released a statement apologizing for the incident, turning moderation of the subreddit over to the community.
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. The interface also includes integrated text chat, voice chat, and video chat, as well as Google Hangouts integration. 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.
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.
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