Carter’s Nerd Corner: Digital Tabletop Edition

How to play DnD in the midst of a pandemic.

Alec Hume (12) plays DnD with his party on


Hello everyone who may read this article, anyone who has gotten into the Dungeons and Dragons hobby as of recently either through my other articles or having it recommended to you by someone else, has probably noticed by now that getting the party together is a lot harder with COVID-19 being around and all. But fear not, weary and/or bored-in-quarantine adventurer, for I plan to tell you the various ways to get the party together without having to leave the safety of home. 

Method 1 is using Discord. Discord is great because you can use it to both organize your sessions and actually do them via voice chat, however, Discord’s voice chat functions are very prone to glitching out at the most inconvenient times known to man and like in the middle of a climatic story moment. Discord can also be used to roll dice without the need for actual dice via the use of dice bots. 

Method 2 is which is solely dedicated to Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games. You can even store your character sheets in it. However, Roll20 is not very mobile-friendly so if you don’t have a PC or a laptop you can’t use it well. 

Method 3 is arguably the closest thing to doing sessions in person. This is by using a pen, paper, physical dice, and a video calling site like Zoom or Skype. The problem with this is an increased chance of cheating rolls if digital dice are not used. 

The final method is called DnD Westmarch. It’s only possible digitally due to the sheer size of the player groups; imagine a normal size party of about 4 to 5 players and one Dungeon Master and then stack about 10 times more players plus a similar number of Dungeon Masters- you get Westmarches. Westmarches, by virtue of having one game but many Dungeon Masters, are very flexible in when you choose to play and usually contain a hub town for player characters to hang out when there is no quest to do. Players can play as they please, and leave their character in the hub town for months at a time.

In conclusion, playing DnD online is very possible and may even be easier than playing in person.