Q: Running hybrid AD&D game: virtual+in-person?

(Also asked this on the r/OSR subreddit...)

Thanks to COVID, I had to put my long-running, in-person AD&D campaign on hold. So two years later... I'm looking to start things up. Finally!

Problem is, one of the longer running players who really contributed a lot to the campaign has moved across the country! And he's asked if there's a way he can participate.

So while I have done hybrid meetings at work with meeting rooms with huge wall monitors and tracking cameras, I play my in-person AD&D in my gaming room in my basement. I don't quite have the $$$ to put something like that in.

So have you run an AD&D/OD&D style game in hybrid mode - with people in person and virtual? How did you set it up? How did you deal with situations when the minis come out, for the virtual folks? What should I be thinking about or anticipating facing?


  1. Well, shouldn't be too hard. I've been using Roll20 for several years now, and I've heard that some folks do just what you're considering. You could dispense with the tabletop miniatures altogether and have everyone bring a laptop.

    If that's not realistic for your group, I've heard of folks who just point their webcam at the battleboard on the table, and share that with the remote player. You could use any of the video-conferencing systems for that, Zoom or whatever, or use Roll20 just for that. Using Roll20 provides the added advantage that he can make his dice rolls there, and you can give him access to scans of whatever handouts you might have for the in-person folks.

  2. I don't use Roll 20 or anything fancy; just running the games on Zoom. I put my laptop at the end of the table facing me; essentially the online player(s) fill a chair at the table. That way they can see everyone else and be seen by then. When it comes time for minis, I use a second camera with an overhead view of the battlemap.

  3. If you'd like I can send photos. I've run a hybrid table for years precovid. I have a large wall mounted TV I run client Fantasy Grounds on, then a smaller tv that was Hangouts video, now Discord video. That is mounted on the wall at one end of the table, GM sits on the other end, in person players sit on the sides of the table. Everyone rolled open on the table, and GM and remote players would roll on Fantasy Grounds so everyone here and away saw their rolls. If we used a map, the players shared a wireless mouse for tokens. Character sheets, dice etc were not on Fantasy Grounds.

  4. I've both run and played in hybrid games, sometimes for one remote player, other times for several.

    When lockdown hit I started a DCC game for my family and another family. We set up a laptop at the end of the table, they did the same, and we were off and running. I also used to video in for a 5th ed game I was a player in, because it was on a weeknight and sometimes my schedule didn't allow me to game in person, so the GM set up a laptop next to him on the table and we were off and running. It worked fine. They even set a can of Mt. Dew next to the laptop for me.

  5. Oh, fun story along these lines. Way back in the early 90's when the Internet was still dial-up, we had a guy in our group who took a contract job that had him earning a lot of money, but had him stuck in the middle of nowhere. He mailed up a speaker phone, paid the long distance fees, and joined our gaming sessions.


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