Jun 27, 2007

The Open RPG online virtual table top

I mean, really, how often have you used a virtual table top? Let alone an online one... Anyway, it seems they can come in quite a bit handy, provided you're not looking forward to putting your ornate tequila glass on them, but rather using them for some lovely pen & paper RPG gaming with your friends. Online, that is.

You see, them virtual tables provide gaming groups with everything they need to play their RPG of choice without having to physically meet or touch any sort of dice, which might seem quite the antisocial thing to do, but can be very helpful for playing with friends living thousands of kilometers away or for spending some truly productive time at work. Open RPG for example offers players and GMs an integrated environment complete with miniature map, die rollers, chat, data organizer and the ability to run ones own game server, that's flexible enough to host any game system imaginable.

What's more, Open RPG is absolutely free to use and you can download it here. A huge variety of plug-ins can be found here, whereas online-gaming maps are available here and quite a few hand-drawn "miniatures" here. Oh, and if you really feel like paying for something you could give Fantasy Grounds a try.

As for Gnome's Lair, well, you know, being the happy cheap ass gamers we all are, we could give this online RPG thing a go. The entity behind from the gutter seems to be interested in it already, and rumours have been heard of a Call of Cthulhu session. Anyone interested, please, do leave a comment or drop me a line. Could be fun you know...

Related @ Gnome's Lair: Roleplaying Games for CRPGers, tons of free character sheets, the joys of Dungeons & Dragons


  1. Excellent info. I installed it pretty easily last night and fiddled with some character creation. I'll have to read the docs for it, but it doesn't look that difficult.

    You provided great resource links, but I noticed the portraits seemed a little . . . sparse. I wonder if the Neverwinter Night portraits would work, too, especially since there are so blasted many?

    Also, I wanted to learn about CoC and found this quickstart guide. Chaosium has other free downloads.

    I personally don't mind buying the rulebook (though there are multiple editions), but you probably have recommendations for learning the basic gameplay introduction.

  2. (Carries in 260kg Lion.......drops it on the floor....)

  3. Ah, yes, the quickstart guide is all you will ever need to cover the rules dear guttertalk and the Neverwinter Night portraits are quite fantastic. Now, guess I'll have to look for some more Cthulhian portraits/props, though they are definitely not 100% needed.

    I should also prepare an introduction to CoC post me thinks and link to the quickstartguide.

    As for the different CoC editions, it doesn't really matter as their differences are almost unnoticable and are in essence compatible with each other. Then again the 20th anniversay hardback edition (should be available @ chaosium) is the one I'm currently using and an absolute joy to read.


    (the sound of a lion dropping on a gnomes feet)

    Why, oh why, Mr. Elderly?

  4. Piss! I wish I had the time for these games... It would be a blast to play the same game with all you guys...

  5. You're always welcome to give it a shot you know...

  6. "a Call of Cthulhu session. Anyone interested, please, do leave a comment or drop me a line


  7. Right, right.

    (adds E to the tome)

  8. Jeez I've no idea what all this is about... Why did God bestow the Dreamcast on us if you're gonna mess about with pencils and paper?

  9. I would love to play, but I have no experience whatsoever. If that is ok...I'm game.

  10. Absolutely great Ilthmer! You're in. just do download the Chtulhu starter guttertalk suggested, please.

    Now, FK, sure you aren't game?

  11. Excellent Father! Now, do bother and have a read of the CoC quickstart guide guttertalk linked to and have a stab at the open RPG program.

  12. You might also check out MapTool, which is another free online and face to face battlemap replacement. And also TokenTool makes it trivial to create tokens for these kinds of virtual tabletops.

    They can both be found here:


    There are webstart versions so if you have Java 5 or 6 installed you can launch them right from the web page.

  13. Thanks for the tip Trevor. Guess I'd better blog about it eh?