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Old November 19th, 2014, 06:31 PM
Hi all,

This might be something of a silly question, but I could not find the answer on the main realm works page, the FAQ, the Manual or from searching the forums.

If I am running a game, and my players are synced and have my realm open, do they see the changes;

1) Once I have saved.
2) Once I have saved and synced.
3) Once I have saved and synced and the players have then synced.
4) Other!

Which of the above is true?

zazaodh is offline   #1 Reply With Quote
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Old November 19th, 2014, 08:42 PM
Door #3.

During the actual game, we're assuming you're going to be using the Player View mechanism to instantly show information to the players. The use of Player Edition during the game is largely focused on enabling players to lookup information independently. Let me cite an example from one of our games...

The GM mentions something that triggers a memory a player had from many sessions ago. He just mentioned that we find some text in a language that looks vaguely familiar. The player remembers a placard in an ancient church that was written in an unknown language. This can play out two different ways.

Without Realm Works, the player stops the GM and recounts his memory of the sessions many months previous. That memory is vague and the GM isn't sure what the player is talking about. Which old church? What placard? After lots of back-and-forth discussion, he's finally pieced the cryptic fragments together and nailed down what the player is actually referring to. Now he spends 5 minutes flipping through his notes to find the details about an old ruined temple, then he reads through them to find out if there was an actual placard and, once that's done, determine what was actually on it. Finally, he informs the player that "no, it wasn't an old church, it was temple ruins, and it wasn't a placard you remembered, but there was writing beneath a statue and it was quite different from what you're seeing now." Almost 30 minutes after the player interrupts things with a potentially good idea, we find it was a wrong theory and resume the game.

With Realm Works, the player does a quick search for "church" and finds nothing that matches his memory. So he looks up the haunted forest where he remembers the church being to find good prospects therein. He sees old temple ruins that sound promising. The temple ruins match what the player remembers, so he dives into the details of that location and what we learned there. There's a few snippets about finding strange writing carved beneath a statue. Roughly two minutes after having the idea, the player stops the GM to inquire if the writing we saw beneath the statue in the temple ruins matches the language we see now. The GM instantly locates the temple by its name (given by the player), scans through his notes to refresh his memory, and says that the writing is in a very different language from what we see now. Two minutes of distraction for the player to independently pursue the idea and only one minute of interruption of the overall game to confirm or disprove a potentially good idea from the player. The flow and energy of the game are maintained.

I'm sure every player (let alone GM) can recount a dozen or more similar situations where having the revealed information from past game sessions quickly available for reference would save significant amounts of time and avoid unnecessary interruptions that derail the fun of the game. That's the focus of Player Edition from our perspective.

Hope this helps!
rob is offline   #2 Reply With Quote
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Old November 19th, 2014, 08:49 PM
Thank you for the detailed run through of a real life situation! You clearly demonstrate some of the advantages of using Realm Works with a Player Edition.

As much as I would love an 'on the fly' updating Player Edition, the practicality is probably quite poor correct? It would presumably have to involve both GM and Players running off a single cloud based database, with live information being read each time a new article is selected.

In a VTT setting, using Roll20, Player View is a little more troublesome. Is there an easier way to do this than Skype screen sharing? That's the only method I am currently aware of.

Even with two monitors I would rather not give one up to the purpose!
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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:01 AM
I am not familier with roll20, but by their very nature a VTT is to share the game map or table. They shoudl be able to connect to your VTT instance and get their players view.

I use D20 Pro, When I run it in GM mode I am the game, players use the "player" veriosn to connect to my game, once setup they see exactyl what their player sees as I unvii the fog of view.

You should not need to use another sharing program if you use a VTT. Now they do usually require licenses, I have 6 guest licenses attached to my D20 pro GM license, so 6 guests can connect to my game with out them owning a player license.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 04:28 PM
You are correct, everything I need is in Roll20 and there is no requirement to use Player View.

The only disadvantage is it means duplicating a lot of content over into Roll20, such as all character portraits and so forth.

So the option for me really is, do I want to 'lose' a monitor while playing, or spend a lot of time adding duplicate content!
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Old November 20th, 2014, 05:25 PM
My players using the player edition can't find the sync button in realms works...they have to exit to the realms loader and sync from there. Is there an easier way, or is that the only one?
Gromnar is offline   #6 Reply With Quote
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Old November 20th, 2014, 05:41 PM
You can only sync in the Launcher.

Parody is offline   #7 Reply With Quote
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Old November 20th, 2014, 06:17 PM
Originally Posted by zazaodh View Post
In a VTT setting, using Roll20, Player View is a little more troublesome. Is there an easier way to do this than Skype screen sharing? That's the only method I am currently aware of.

Even with two monitors I would rather not give one up to the purpose!
My gaming group does not use a VTT, so I'm not familiar with all the particulars of what you're striving to do. You'll likely need to explain things to me a bit so that I can fully understand and best answer your questions here. But I'll take a stab based on what I'm guessing might be going on.

1. Is it possible to use the same screen for both Player View and the VTT? You should be able to designate a particular monitor as the target for Player View, but then you don't have to show stuff on it continuously. You can toggle Player View on and off very easily, allowing you to switch back and forth between the VTT and Player View.

2. Since Player View simply needs a display to point to, you could utilize a tablet for showing Player View. I can't remember the names of the various tools, but there are a number of options on both iPad and Android tablets. Basically, you setup the tablet as a separate, virtual display connected to your computer. Then you simply point Player View to that display. Now the players can view Player View content on the tablet and pass it around.

I just realized that you might be running your game remotely. If so, #2 won't be viable. But I'm not sure of your actual "use case" based on your posts here thus far. Please give me some more concrete info if the above ideas won't work for you.
rob is offline   #8 Reply With Quote
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Old November 20th, 2014, 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by rob View Post
I just realized that you might be running your game remotely. If so, #2 won't be viable. But I'm not sure of your actual "use case" based on your posts here thus far. Please give me some more concrete info if the above ideas won't work for you.
I believe option #2 in conjunction with screen sharing software such as Skype, Google Hangouts, or join.me, could be used to allow remote viewing of the virtual display.
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Old November 21st, 2014, 12:27 AM
Since I ran into the same troubles, here my thoughts to this, hope it helps a little and doesn't make things too confusing.

1. On roll20:
One of the things that make roll20 different from other VTTs is the fact that it's completely run on a remote server.

- In a "normal" VTT the GM runs a Server-Version (or host license or something like that) of the VTT on his own Computer while the players run the player (or guest/client) version on theirs. The players have to connect directly to the GMs computer (kind of a peer to peer thing) with all the possible technical drawbacks like misconfigured routers, ports someone forgot to open and so on.
- In roll20 everything is run on a Webserver. So everybody (including the GM) is connecting to a WebSite using his/her Browser.

While this has some big advantages (one of them that no one has to buy/download/install/keep-up-to-date any software) there are as well some things that make it a little more complicated.
e.g. you have to manually upload everything and sort it into roll20 in order to show it to your players. Especially on a slow internet-connection this may take a while and may interrupt the flow of the game if you didn't do it beforehand. And even if you do it in advance it's still some double work if you're using RW as well.
On the other hand if you already have all the content uploaded and organised then it's quite easy to just show it to the players and your Internet-connection-speed is no factor at all (which is great for people like me who have to live on a relatively slow Internet-connection).

2. On running games online:
I'm running my "Rise of the Runelords"-Campaign on roll20 (just started not far through the story yet), and though i really like roll20 I start realising that its a great VTT, but not so great for storytelling. Especially when it comes to things like managing a lot of Information things start to get a little (for my taste too) complex.
This of course is where RW really shines. I would love to use it more for my online-game, but up to now it's mostly been a tool for the GM only. So up to now i keep track of everything in RW and use another tool (namely roll20) for showing stuff to the players.

This could change with the Player Edition, which is already great for in-between-session issues and some things like rob explained above. The only thing i'm missing is the player-view functionality being more usable for online-gamers like me.

In an online Game (by which i mean a remote online game so no face-to-face at all) things already got a lot of virtualization. You have to get all the stuff that's intended for the players into your computer at some point, otherwise it's not gonna work at all since you need the computer to show the stuff to your players. (Since i can only play online I didn't buy the Pathfinder Print-Books but the PDF-Versions of them which makes it much easier to get the artwork, Handouts and so on into the computer for further use).

In an Online-Game Scenario everything is virtual allready and has to be virtual. That means the usage of a computer in an online-game is different from its usage in a face-to-face session. While it's a quite handy and convenient tool and addition to a face-to-face game it's completely vital to an online-game.
This as well means in a face-to-face session you can make good use of an additional display because everybody can use it by just looking at it.
In an online-game nobody but you can make use of that additional screen.

And thats why this "#2 option" davidp pointed out is quite cumbersome to use in an online-game, because
- You have to Install additional software to use a tablet as a second (or additional) screen.
- That screen is connected via WiFi (which makes it a little slow sometimes).

So if you use this option #2 in remote-play you have a lot of hassle
- setting up everything
- having your tablet running uselessly during game sessions
- having to have a tablet in the first place!
only to artificially create a virtual display on an physically existing device in order to project (share) the contents of this display back into a virtual playing room (using Skype or something similar). - Wow, what a roundtrip :-)

So what we actually need is the online-gaming equivalent of an additional Display. And thats nothing more than a separate Window.
Since Skype can share single windows instead of a whole screen as well a window with the player view in it would IMHO already solve the problem. You just share this window to your players and everything is fine. They can move it wherever they want, make it fullscreen, display it on an additional screen (if they have one), and so on. How they use it you can't control, but you never can in an online-game anyway.
But you as a GM can just move the window out of view, minimise it or whatever and continue work as if you had an additional screen with player view on it facing to your players in a face-to-face setting.

So if possible please give us the option to display player view not only in fullscreen and on another Display, but also in a separate Window (which is something i allready suggested somewhere on another thread – I think, it was in the features request section).

IMHO this in combination with software like Skype would be kind of a killer feature for online-gamers. With this you could use RW for both online-game-sessions as well as face-to-face sessions in almost the same way. And as a benefit it would save the online-GM a lot of work and time putting information into roll20 or other VTTs, because you could use roll20 for the battle maps (what it's really made for) and leave the information management and the storytelling part to RW (things it really is superior at).

Hope my explanation wasn't too confusing.
Best regards

Last edited by DWeiers; November 21st, 2014 at 12:40 AM. Reason: ending was bad, typing errors :-)
DWeiers is offline   #10 Reply With Quote

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