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Forums » Smalltalk » Help requested for tabletop RPG concept (survey).


Hopefully I am not in breach of T&C with this topic, as I did review the forum guidelines beforehand.

Me and my mate have been longtime RP and gaming enthusiasts. We are working on a new concept that would change the way in which tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons are played by introducing integrated digital aspects while preserving the 'gather around and have fun' vibe. We are currently in the initial stages and would love to get your valued input on what works and gauge the overall interest.

The survey is found at, takes about 10 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

Much appreciated and have a nice day,

Best regards,

Hey there!

Your survey doesn't really give an opportunity to elaborate on answers, so I thought I'd put my two-bob here. It seems that you are aiming for it to be used alongside live games. In my own experiance, these games are about being there, eyes on the table, talking with your friends, and I think if players and the DMs are constantly reaching for their phones, this actually removes a large social aspect of the game. It's just so easy to scribble a note on a piece of paper or count the dice up in your head. Using an app for that may actually be cumbersome and slow the process. Perhaps a DM may find an app useful to keep their information in one place, but for your average player, who needs to keep track of only one set of stats, it's very likley overengineered and overkill.

A lot of the aspects I think are very useful for completely long-distance games (ease of access to information, accountability for dice rolls, presenting information in an easy to read format). You can't just pass a note over the table, you're typing both your IC and OOC chatter, you have your eyes glued to a monitor anyway anyway. Tools like this make sense in that context. I know my (long distance) Shadowrun DM is constantly looking for a system which keeps track of inititive and NPC data and our roleplay in one place.
Hello Claine,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a well considered and detailed response. It's very much appreciated and community feedback like this is what motivates us to strife for the best design (or nothing at all) and what drove us to lauch the survey in the first place. To your points:

Our vision is that the Tabletop RPG experience should be all about gathering physically and telling a story. We're looking for ways to facilitate this more than anything. This includes creative ways to allow players to keep rolling real dice, for which some options exist, and being really cautions with cluttering the User Interface of an app while still allowing notes to be scribbled down quickly.

What you described is also our greatest concern, that looking at the screen and being immersed in the storytelling will not mesh. It will take a rigorous design process and a lot of playtesting to come to a concept that's lightweight enough to truly add to the experience. If this is achieved though, all the cumbersome aspects, such as evenings lost to 'rule lawyering' or messed up initiative cycles would be overcome.

It's absolutely true that present Virtual Tabletops are imperfect, but they're also improving yearly. Then there's D&D Beyond which looks amazing so far. We feel there may be sufficient options for non-local playing out there, but perhaps our concept would have features that are alluring and unique enough to make online play its raison d'être. Best hope they're difficult to replicate in that case, too!

Thank you again for your feedback and, in case you might have left your e-mail in the survey, I'll be happy to hear your thoughts on our future progress.

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