D&D 4E in Google Wave Setup
Our group of intrepid roleplayers have now being using Google Wave for six months and both our style of play and the way we use Google Wave has settled down into something that we all feel quite comfortable with.
A lot of the basic structure we first set up came from suggestions within the D&D 4E in a Wave posts and we added a few tweaks of our own.
This post is to present the setup we use which may be of use to others new to Wave or without an established structure. I will follow up this post with others that describe each of these areas in more detail so you can take them into your own game should you so wish.
One of the first things we decided upon was the way to distinguish between in-character and out-of-character waves, and how to keep everything readable for people coming in from scratch, or catching up after an extended break.
Each player has their own character wave, including a brief bio of their character and their character sheet in PDF form, which is read/write for the DM and player, and read-only for the rest of the players.
There is a central character status wave that contains compressed details of each character pertinent to combat, such as the number of hit points remaining, healing surges left, action points, experience, etc. This is updated by the DM after every short or extended rest. The character status wave also contains a list of any ‘plot’ items that have been found by the party and the description for them that was used within the main scene action for easy reference.
Each player has their own OOC wave with only the DM involved, to keep private questions away from other eyes and for general chit chat. There is also a group OOC wave for all of the players and DM for party-wide chit-chat and questions. This wave is also used to describe some of the mechanics or rules when required.
At any point in time there is only one in-character wave, and this is the current scene. Early on we decided to chunk up the play into Chapters and Scenes, with chapters being a particular part of an adventure, and scenes being either combat encounters or interludes and roleplaying between.
For roleplaying on Google Wave to work well we certainly believe battlemaps are a must, particularly one where a good map with a grid can be placed and DMs and players alike can add and move counters of some form.
We have gone for Fighty+, mainly because we liked the name in the first instance, but it has definitely served us well. There are a few issues with maps rendering correctly in Firefox (they are fine in Safari and Chrome) and as it uses maplib.net to provide the maps you need a single account, and you’re relying on that service being up (which every now and then it has a blip for a while). Apart from those minor issues, it seems to do everything we wish for.
We use Random Lee for dice rolling and have never had any problems. It gives us the flexibility to list all of the various bonuses and penalties to dice rolls as individual entries so that we can all see how the final result has come about.