dungeons and dragons

If you want to roll some shiny click-clack math rocks but don't have a party to gather and venture forth, that can feel pretty crappy. We’re all cooped up inside and some of us are natural role players.

Luckily, Roll 20 offers us a way to satisfy our love of gaming and stay safe at the same time. Here's how to play Dungeons & Dragons remotely with friends.

dungeons and dragons

Bringing the Game to You

Finding or starting a D&D campaign can be a hassle. Players promise to show up then never do, and sometimes people quit mid-campaign, leaving you short handed.

Other times you won’t even have enough players to start adventuring with at all. Roll 20 solves that issue by offering a flexible, easy to use service for all of your roleplaying needs.

What Is Roll 20?

Roll 20 is a web-based gaming service that connects dungeon masters with adventurers from around the world. Instead of having to get dressed, get in your car, and head downtown to a friend’s house or the local hobby shop, you can just pull up your laptop or desktop and start gaming.

dungeons and dragons

Everything you need is provided by the service. If you’re a dungeon master, you can get access to the different books, maps, character icons, and even music you want to use in your campaign to make it as immersive as possible.

If you’re a player, you have access to easy to fill out skill sheets, digital dice for dice rolls (that are visible to all players in the game to prevent cheating. No rolling a 1 and claiming it’s a 20), and even easy to use roleplaying options/dialogue options.

Getting started is simple. Open Roll 20 in your browser, create an account, and search for the type of game you’re interested in playing.

Roll20 doesn’t just offer Dungeons & Dragons. You can play Pathfinder, Cyberpunk 2020 (the game without bugs and glitches), Warhammer, Numenera, and more.

Once you’ve decided on the game you want to play, choose some modifiers, like whether or not you want to experience mature content like blood, gore, and nudity.

dungeons and dragons

Once you’ve set your parameters, start searching for games and depending on popularity, hundreds of game sessions may pop up.

Scrolling through the lists of available games can take a while but it’s worth it to find your ideal campaign. Spending three to four hours a week with bad party members, an inexperienced DM that hasn’t put much work into the campaign, or a dysfunctional group is a bad time investment.

Types of Campaigns

Every group will be different and cater to different interests. Some will prefer story, others will prefer combat and dungeon diving.

Some groups will prefer rules as written, meaning when you cast a spell, the effect of that spell is exactly what’s written in the in-game text. Other groups will play with rules as intended or rules as fun mentality, meaning they’re easier going and willing to let things slide as long as everyone has a good time.  

dungeons and dragons

Take the time to read through the posts that describe what kind of game the DM will be running and what’s expected of party members. Also, pay close attention to how much each game costs.

Most games on Roll20 will be free to play or join, but some Dungeon Masters will charge per session. The fee will typically be between $10 to $15 a session.

Just be sure you know what you’re getting into before you commit because joining a campaign is very much a commitment of time and, if you join a pay to play game, money.

Critical Roll

dungeons and dragons

Dungeons & Dragons can be an amazing experience, it just depends on the people you’re playing with. Roll 20 takes the majority of the leg work out of hunting for your next campaign.

With a few key strokes you could easily be well on your way to playing through Curse of Strahd every Tuesday night.