It can be difficult to play Dungeons & Dragons Online, but platforms like Roll20 can make digital adventures feel smoother. Tabletop RPGs are undoubtedly the perfect pastime for those of us who are currently confined at home and in need of some social interaction. But, are there Roll20 alternatives?
Of course, there are. With the other alternatives, you get to not only escape into a fanciful world and solve someone else’s challenges for a bit, but you also get to do it with your friends.
If you’ve been playing D&D or another RPG in person, now is the moment to take it online. And if you haven’t, you should start your own adventure now.
Playing Tabletop RPG with Roll20
Roll20 is a website that has a set of tools for playing tabletop role-playing games, sometimes known as virtual tabletop games, that may be used in person or remotely online. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the site was launched in 2012.
The platform’s purpose is to build a true tabletop experience that does not try to convert the game into a video game, but rather assists the game master in giving intuitive online tools. The platform’s blank slate allows for the integration of a wide range of tabletop role-playing games.
Roll20, one of the most well-known digital tabletop RPG systems, is a free online solution that offers you just what you need to conduct a streamlined role-playing experience with your friends as long as you have a browser open and a decent internet connection.
This platform has a whole range of new and classic campaigns, adapted and ready to launch with the click of a button, as well as an undeniably flexible selection of tools to build your own using custom-made assets.
Moreover, it now has direct support from Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and other tabletop RPG behemoths.
Making the transition from pen and paper to the digital tabletop, on the other hand, is naturally daunting, and with a UI as notoriously confusing as Roll20’s, the prospect of starting an online campaign may be as terrifying as dealing with a tyrannical game master.
Troubles with Roll20
Even though there is a built-in tutorial, novice players will find Roll20 to be somewhat confusing. Moreover, the game is also hampered by the inability to add custom items to a virtual compendium.
Despite the fact that this feature has been requested numerous times over the past year, the developers are unwilling to implement it due to security or copyright concerns, despite the fact that it requires no more security than any other custom feature they have implemented, such as custom species.
A lot of really advanced features are behind a paywall, which is well worthwhile if you’re a frequent player. However, if you have the time to understand how to use it and don’t want to build a game that is highly customized, Roll20 is a good option. If not, there are numerous other platforms comparable to Roll20.
Best Roll20 Alternatives You Should Know
This free alternative to Roll20 is a Java 6+ virtual tabletop platform that is networked, colorful, collaborative, and customizable, available for multiple players online.
It can be used for both face-to-face and real-time role-playing online, even if the players are on the other side of the globe. These tools are not intended to be a stand-alone role-playing game or to take the place of everything at the RPG table.
Instead, it is made to be as adaptable as possible, suitable for a wide range of gaming systems, from fantasy to science fiction, and from tabletop miniatures games to completely spoken-word games.
Because the tools aren’t developed from the ground up for any single RPG, it has a lot of versatility. However, as a result, it can be difficult for the platform to simply show people how to use the tools for their specific needs.
Fortunately, the community forums are a vibrant, active source of quick solutions to any issues you might have. This is one of the developers’ biggest strengths, and they invite you to join the forum.
If the game you want to play is widely available, there’s a big probability you’ll be able to find someone who has already done the majority of the fine-tuning for you. MapTool is one of the most recommended substitutes for Roll20.
2. Fantasy Grounds
If you are a game master who wants to play tabletop RPG with a couple of friends online, this of the best Roll20 alternatives is perfect for you. It allows you to do things like roll dice, manage character sheets, keep campaign notes, share handouts and pictures, and many more features just like you would play in person.
Dice rolling is an essential aspect of any role-playing game. Fantasy Grounds’ dice rolling feature has distinguished it from other platforms since the beginning of this trend. This is one of its most popular features to date.
RPGs frequently demand players and game masters to keep tabs of information during the course of the game. With a free, built-in library of rules for Pathfinder and D&D, Fantasy Grounds makes this easier.
Details regarding abilities, monsters, equipment, and many more can be found here. Moreover, you can also purchase other extensive rule sets that you need, such as Call of Cthulhu and Rolemaster Classic.
All in all, Fantasy Grounds is a simple and user-friendly software that you can use to play in maps that features many capabilities to mimic a real-life game. You can start playing with your friends in no time at all.
This Roll20 alternative is an all-in-one fantasy map-making tool with a large collection of components and a free edition. You can make global and area maps, city and village maps, battle maps and interiors, and scenery maps using Inkarnate.
Inkarnate offers a wide range of map types, including globe, regional, parchment, and top-down battle maps, as well as attractive visuals and a simple UI. You can also explore, clone, and alter other people’s maps, which can be quite useful.
4. Foundry Virtual Tabletop
Foundry VTT is a self-hosted application that allows players to connect directly over the web to play multiplayer tabletop RPGs. As a virtual tabletop, the software offers a set of digital tools that are meant to mimic and enhance the experience of playing a game with your friends in person.
Character sheets, dice, battle map exploration, and moving heroic tokens are just a few of the numerous aspects that make this experience possible.
Rolisteam is a program like Roll20 that allows you to coordinate tabletop role-playing games with friends or participants who are located far away. It has a lot of tools for sharing maps and images, as well as a tool for communicating with your friends or players.
The aim was to make Rolisteam-managed RPG games equally great as tabletop RPG games. The developers are working hard to give you more and more features in order to reach this goal, such as a music player and drawing tool during campaigns.
6. Battlegrounds: RPG Edition
This Roll20 alternative is a virtual tabletop platform meant to enhance your conventional role-playing games, whether your players are with you or across the globe.
You can use BRPG to play any classic RPG, such as D&D, Rolemaster, Shadowrun, and many more. Moreover, you can use it to play not only online, but also offline.
It’s ideal for those of you who want to play with your childhood friends from back home. In face-to-face game sessions, BRPG is also perfect for use with a projector or HDTV. BRPG is designed to be simple to use; no programming or XML manipulation is required.
Board games, war games, card games, and dice games can all be played using BRPG. This substitute for Roll20 offers a free demo version to download. BRPG also has numerous free and commercial art packs and digital game conversions.
7. Astral Tabletop
This browser-based alternative to Roll20 is a tabletop role-playing game platform that allows you to host and play games both online and in person. Play with others online and converse with them via live video.
Alternatively, as a game master, you can build and host games with strong combat and map management tools, as well as easy access to visual effects for ambiance and a huge library of assets available via an online marketplace.
Almost any tabletop role-playing game can be supported by Astral. With built-in compatibility for the majority of popular game systems, you can get started quickly.
New ideas and feature requests are often included in the system, making playing and creating on the Astral platform a fun, dynamic, and ever-evolving experience.
You are able to create amazing battle maps with Astral’s vast library of scenery, props, and tokens, or submit your own. Pro subscribers have access to a huge number of assets, as well as new packs every month. With simple tools, you may add weather, visual effects, triggers, and much more.
No installation is necessary for Astral’s tools, which are optimized for the phone, tablet, and desktop devices.
EpicTable is a virtual tabletop platform that lets you and your friends play your favorite pen-and-paper role-playing games whether you’re sitting across the table or halfway over the world.
This platform accomplishes this by making the virtual tabletop as quick and simple to use as your physical tabletop. To circumvent networking configuration concerns and handle all picture and data transfers transparently, the developers deploy a centralized messaging system.
Furthermore, they don’t attempt to do a lot of rule enforcement that pushes you to do a lot of prep for the tool’s benefit rather than for your players and game.
EpicTable has allowed players to effectively play Dungeons & Dragons remotely, which makes it worthwhile in and of itself, but more importantly, it works for a face-to-face game just as well.
This Roll20 alternative is a virtual table with an intuitive and consistent UI that simply works. It’s simple to set up with no firewall tricks required, and you can start playing right away.
gTove is a simple web application that allows you to replicate a virtual tabletop. You can place multiple maps and miniatures on the tabletop, and everyone connected to the tabletop is able to see and move them around.
Google Drive is utilized to store shared resources such as miniatures and maps, as well as data for scenarios, in order to keep hosting costs as low as possible and to allow others to fork the project.
It is currently solely being developed for Chrome, with some testing in Firefox. At this time, other browsers may or may not be used for this alternative to Roll20.
gTove can be used straight in your browser. More information, including a basic usage guide and a roadmap of expected future additions, can be found on the GitHub page for gTove.
10. Standard Action
This alternative to Roll20 is a tabletop gaming program that focuses on simplicity while remaining adaptable. Standard Action offers features such as an interactive game board and live chat, among other things.
To bring their gaming world to life, game masters can use dynamic lighting, bespoke map layering, and the organizing of their maps into discrete chapters.
Roll20 may be the free, easy method to play tabletop games online with others. It’s entirely web-based, so you can use it right from your browser. It features video and audio chat, as well as background music, character sheets, a large art library, and other features. Yet, many tools are locked behind a paywall.
There are over 10 applications that are best Best Roll20 alternatives available for a range of platforms, including online or web-based, Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux with various tools catering to your gameplay needs. MapTool, which is both free and open-source, is the best alternative.