Game Management

Overview

The following is a document containing information pertaining to Game Management on Roll20.


My Games Page

The My Games page, you can join games, create games, manage the games you are a part of. It is accessible either by clicking on the Games option on the Site's main navigation bar or clicking on the My Games option from the Games drop-down menu when you hover your mouse there.


1. Game Search

Across the top of the My Games page is a search bar. If you have a large list of games, this search bar will filter your Game List based on either Tags or Keywords used by the games you've created and the games you are a player of.


2. Game List

The bulk of the page is taken up by the Game List, which shows all the games you can access. Each listed game shows several pieces of information:

  • Click the Game Title to be taken to the Game Details page.
  • The Game Image will also take you to the Game Details page.
  • Launch Game will take you straight into the tabletop for the game.
  • Player Icons are listed for each game, showing you who else plays that game.
  • The Last Played On date tells you when last the game was in session.
    • Games created by you have a Creator badge.
    • Games you are a Co-GM on have a GM badge.
    • Games you are a player in are unadorned.

3. Buttons

At the top right are a collection of buttons for creating, copying, and adding games to your Game List.

  • + Create New Game takes you through the game creation process to set up a new game.
  • Access the Dev Server takes you to the Developer's Server, a Pro subscription perk.
  • Copy from Dev takes you to a page that lets you copy a game from the Developer Server to the Production Server, a Pro subscription perk.
  • Find a Group takes you to the Looking for Group Tool, so you can find more games to join.

4. My Tags

On the right edge is the My Tags box lists all the tags you have defined in decreasing order by how many games have them. You can click a tag to instantly filter the list down to the games that include that tag.


Game Details Page

Each game you create in Roll20 has its own dedicated Details Page. This is where player invites can be managed as well as changing any of the game’s settings. Before they hop into the VTT, this is also the first page new players see after accepting an invite to a game. From this page, players can keep track of in-between session content, such as the next game session's date as well as asking questions and starting discussions via the game’s dedicated private forum.
Game Details Page.jpg


Inviting and Managing Players

On the right hand side of this page is where you can invite and manage the players who will join your game. Within a single game, there are three different roles that a Roll20 user can assume:

Creator

The game’s Creator is the Roll20 user who originally created the game. There is only ever one Creator for a Roll20 game. They have complete control over all of the game's settings and any subscription perks (Dynamic Lighting, F/X Tool, API Scripts, etc…) that the game can benefit from are based on which subscription level the creator’s account currently has. Likewise, content such as Game Add-ons must be bought on the Creator’s account in order for them to be added to the game.

The Creator’s profile image and name are highlighted in purple in the upper right corner of this page. General use stats such as the account creation date and collective hours played are also listed. Clicking on either their name or their profile image will navigate to their Profile Page.

Player

Anyone else who joins the game will be listed as a Player. This section is listed right underneath the Creator in light grey. Players who join the game will be listed in this section with their profile icon followed by their name underneath. They are listed chronologically by when they first joined the game.

GM

The Creator of the game can promote one or more Players in a game to the role of GM. A GM is granted access to alter, add, and delete most of the game's content within Roll20 as well as access a couple of features from the Game Details Page. For this reason, the Creator should practice discretion when promoting Players to this role so these privileges are not abused. A GM, like the Creator, will load into the game on the VTT in GM Mode rather than Player Mode.

A GM has access to the following:

Within the VTT:

  • Full access to all Page Layers
  • Create, Modify, and Delete Pages
  • Place images and tokens to the Tabletop from their personal image library (not the Creator's library)
  • Assign and edit tokens
  • Create handouts and characters, assign their view and edit permissions
  • Move the Player Ribbon to different Pages
  • Add, Remove, and Play music from the Jukebox
  • See GM Whispers and Rolls in Chat
  • Create Macros and Token Actions
  • Modify Dynamic Lighting on a Page if the game's Creator is a paid Roll20 subscriber
  • Access to all in-game options on the Settings Tab in the VTT except the Transmogrifier

Outside the VTT

  • Invite Players (anyone can share the unique join link to the game)
  • View and Edit API Scripts (Creator must be a Pro Subscriber)
  • Manage the game's private forum, including sinking and deleting posts

A promoted player will have a blue “GM” tag added to the upper left of their profile icon in the Player List.


Inviting, Promoting, and Removing Players From a Game

Inviting Players

At the top of the light grey Players section is an Invite Players button. Clicking on this opens a dialog box that allow you to send invites out via email addresses, view pending invitations, and also list the game’s unique join link URL that you can copy and send to friends so they can join the game directly.

Promoting and Demoting Players

As the game’s creator, you have two options available to you when you hover your mouse over a player’s icon or name:

  • ‘’Promote to GM/Demote to Player’’: This will elevate a player to GM Status or demote a GM back to player status. This option changes depending on the current status of the player.

Removing a Player From the Game

  • ‘’Kick from Game’': This will remove the Player from the game and change the unique join link URL of the entire game. This will prevent the Player from attempting to rejoin with the previous join link.

Selecting either of these two options will cause the page to reload to process the new changes.


Managing Your Game

The rest of this page covers information and settings for the game. Most of these options can only be altered by the game’s Creator.


Game Icon

At the top of the Game Details page is the Game Icon, which is an image used to represent your game in the Game List and Looking For Group Listing (if enabled). This image also helps convey the game’s theme to your players when they join it. To set the image, either drag the desired image to this section, or click the Choose a File... button to be prompted to find an image file on your computer. This uploaded image will be added to your Art Library. Once one is added, you can change the image to something else by hovering your mouse over this area and clicking the Change Image link that appears.


Game Name

The Game Name is used to identify your game in the Game List and Looking For Group Listing (if enabled).You can change the Game Name at any time by clicking the name to edit it. Once you are satisfied with the change, you can click the Save button.


Launch Game

Launch Game Button.png

Clicking on the pink Launch Game button will launch the Game on the Roll20 Virtual Tabletop.


Content

GameDetails Menu Content.png

The Content Button has two menu options available when clicked: Chat Archive and External Journal.  The Chat Archive will open a new window that displays the entire chat history of the game. There is a button in the top right to Hide Whispers in the chat log. Players can only see Whispers and GM rolls of which they were originally a participant.

External Journal Access is available for games with Creators who are paid subscribers. This option redirects to a new page where GMs can view all journal entries for un-archived Characters and Handouts within the game. Players also have access and can view any Characters or Handouts they have control permissions of within the game. Only the "Bio & Info" tab of a character is accessible from the External Journal. An individual's "Character Sheet" or "Attributes and Abilities" tabs can only be accessed within the VTT.


Looking for Players

GameDetails Menu LookingForPlayers.png

The Looking for Players menu allows a game's Creator to create or manage a Looking for Group listing. Adding their game to Roll20's game directory will allow other Roll20 users to find and apply to join to it. You must include some basic information about your game in order to list it, including the type of game that you'll be playing and the date and time of the next game to be played.


Game Settings

Game Settings Menu Options.jpg

The Settings menu provides several options for the game. The game's Creator can access all of these options, while Promoted GMs have limited access. Players only have access to the Leave Game option detailed below.

Game Settings

This option displays the Game Settings Page.

API Scripts

This option will give the game’s Creator and GMs access to the API Script Editor. The game's Creator must be a Pro subscriber for this feature to be available.

Copy Game

This option allows the Creator to create a duplicate of the current game on their account. They can rename the duplicate, change its tags, and decide which elements are carried over to the copy: Players and Player Settings (Including Macros), Pages, Decks and Rollable Tables, Chat Log, Journal (Characters & Handouts), Jukebox Playlist, or the Game Forums. Currently, the character sheet will default to None during a copy, so you’ll want to select the sheet you need for the copy. When you have everything designated for the duplicate, click the blue I'm ready, Create Game! button.

Note: adding tags to a game that include an apostrophe, such as "Xanathar's", will induce a known bug that will disable the ability to copy your game. Be sure to refrain from using apostrophes when tagging your games!

Clear Chat Archive

This option permanently deletes the entire archived chat history from the game.

Delete Game

This option opens up a dialog box to confirm the Creators’ decision to delete the game.

Roll Back Game

The Creator must have a Pro subscription to have access to this feature. Between the hours of 4 and 6 AM PST, a save state is made for every game on Roll20. Seven days’ worth of save states are kept on file before they’re rewritten with new save states. Pro users have the ability to roll back their game to any save state available from the past seven days to correct any drastic mistakes made to their game.

To commit a rollback, click Roll Back Game. This brings up a dialog box that allows you to choose the date of the save state you would like to roll your game back to. Select the date and click on the pink Rollback button to initiate the rollback process. This may take a minute or two, but once finished, the Game Details Page will prompt you when the rollback has successfully completed. This process cannot be undone; however, you can choose to roll back again to a later save state you have available if you discover you’ve rolled back too far.

Leave Game

This option is only visible to Players and GMs invited to the game. Once a player leaves a game, they no longer have access to the game and it will no longer show up on their Games Page. 


Game Information

The next section below the Launch Game and Settings buttons shows specific information about the current game, from what system will be played to when it will be played.

Playing

This field shows what system(s) the Creator has specified are being played in this game. The Creator can edit the Playing list by clicking into the text field and choosing popular systems from the drop-down that appears.

If you don't see your preferred system listed, choose Other Games. This list of available popular games are updated on a quarterly basis and if a game system surges in popularity, it gets added.

Only the first two systems alphabetically will be shown in a Looking For Group listing, so be sure to only choose two if you'll be using that system to find players.

Next Game Will Be

This field is where the game Creator can set the date and time for the game’s next session. The time is automatically converted to the viewer's local timezone.

Note: The time selector uses a 12-hour clock rather than a 24-hour clock. 12:00 AM is used to indicate Midnight (00:00) while 12:00 PM is used to indicate Noon.

Game Description

This is where a Game's Creator can add a blurb advertising what to expect out of the game, adventure flavor text, or provide pre-requisites for potential players. This free-form text field is for anything the Creator feels would be convenient for the Players to know.

To edit the description, simply click inside the text field to activate it and change the text to suit your needs. You can use Markdown formatting to customize the look of your description text. When you are satisfied with your changes, click the Save Changes button.


Game Addons

Game Addons, unlike Marketplace modules, are smaller content packages that are meant to enhance your existing games such as: custom card decks, maps, single encounter adventures and more. Once bought, these content packages are available via a dropdown menu in the Game Addons section of the Game Settings Page. Select the one you wish to add and click on the blue Add to Game button beside the drop-down menu. When a Game Addon is appended to the game, it will be added to a bulleted list underneath the "Addon in [Title of Current Game]" list. This list is shown underneath the addon drop down menu and the blue Add to Game button.

Note: Adding an Addon more than once will overwrite the previous version of that addon you currently have added to your game. You will lose any changes you may have made, but this will also assists a GM who made any edits by mistake and wish to revert back to the original copy of the Addon.

Removing Addons

To remove any Game Addon content you've added to a game, you will need to delete it manually from inside the launched game. If you ever delete a Game Addon unintentionally, remove the Addon from the Addon List on the Game Details Page, then add it back in again.


Game Patching

PatchUpdate.png

Occasionally, corrections need to be made to an existing module or game addon. A patch is made to correct the issues discovered. A notification will appear on the Game Details page when a patch is available for a module or addon installed on your game. Typically, a link will be included in the notification to the patch notes that lists all the changes that will be made by the patch.

To preserve as much of your edited content as possible, patches only overwrite the tabletop elements that were directly changed by the patch. It's worthwhile to check the patch notes before updating your game in the off chance you need to duplicate some journal entries to preserve player or GM edited module/addon content. Additionally, if a patch is making changes to a Page you and your players are currently active on, you may want to wait to update your game until after the group is between dungeons/maps. That way elements such as tokens, DL, etc aren't reset mid-combat between gaming sessions.

When you click on the Update button, your game will be sent into a queue to begin the update process. You can cancel the update while it's still sitting in queue and hasn't started processing. You will receive new notifications on the Details Page as a patch moves through the queue line to eventually begin processing the patch. This process can take a couple minutes to complete. Once done, you will receive a final notification that the patch has installed successfully.


Game Discussion Forum

Each game has an exclusive mini forum. It behaves exactly like the public Roll20 forums. Everyone in the game can create their own threads on this forum and also make replies. The game's Creator and GMs all have access to the Sink, Sticky, and Delete commands on individual posts within this forum.

The Sink command will keep a thread at the bottom of the forum regardless of activity.

The Sticky Command will pin the thread to the top of the forum.

The Delete command will remove the post's text from view by those who are not the Creator or GMs. Deleting the first post in a thread will remove the entire thread from the Game Discussion Forum.

This section of the Game Details Page only shows the ten most recent posts from the Game Discussion Forum. To see the entire discussion forum, click on the ‘’’View All Posts >’’’ link at the bottom of the Page.

Clicking on the + Post New Topic button redirect you to full Game Discussion Forum so that you can begin drafting a new forum thread.


Game Settings Page

Public Access

This option is only available to Plus and Pro subscribers. This setting called "Allow public access to this game?" is a Yes/No toggle. If enabled, anyone who views the game's Game Details Page can view any public journal entries (those with their permissions set to "All Players" in-game) from the Content on the Game Details Page. Any visitor to the Game Details page can also read the game's chat archive, as well as read and post on the Game forum. This Setting is disabled at default.

Game Background Image

An Example of the Animated Background "Field" displayed on the Game Details Page. A Pro Subscriber Feature

This option is only available to Plus and Pro subscribers. Roll20 offers a couple of backgrounds that you can add to your game's Details Page as well as your Looking for Group listing (should you choose to list it). At default, no background is chosen, but you can choose between Magic, Matrix, and Field backgrounds by clicking on the radio button under each option.

All of the available background options are animated! If you hover your mouse over the thumbnails of the backgrounds, you can preview the animation. Only Pro subscribers have access to animated backgrounds. Plus subscribers will have a static image display of their chosen background.

Character Vault Options

This setting enables or disables whether a player can export their character(s) from their Character Vault into your game.

The Character Vault, which you can find under the Tools site menu, is a feature where players can store their character journal (including character sheet, if available) from any of the games they are currently in for safekeeping. Importing your character to the Character Vault is available to all account tiers.

Exporting a character into a game requires either the player in question to be a paid subscriber (Plus or Pro tier) OR the game creator is a subscriber. In the latter case, export access is available to all players in the game regardless of tier level.

The vault access for the current game is listed underneath the setting option for clarity.

Game Default Settings

The following options are Page and Token settings that will be pre-set whenever you create new Pages or Tokens in-game.

If you have the game launched in another browser tab, you will need to refresh the tab running the game before any saved Setting Default changes will be seen.

Page Defaults

The way these Page Default Settings are ordered will look nearly identical to how the Page Settings window appears in-game. Every single option is available here with the exception of Play on LoadDelete Page, and Archive Page options.

Token Defaults

The Token Default Settings options are a mix of available settings from both the Basic and Advanced tab from the Token Settings window in-game.

The available Token Default Settings available here are:

  • Bar 1 Current and Max values
  • Bar 2 Current and Max values
  • Bar 3 Current and Max values
  • Aura 1 (Radius, Color, Square toggle)
  • Aura 2 (Radius, Color, Square toggle)
  • Tint Color
  • Show Nameplate Toggle
  • See & Edit Player Permissions for:
    • Name
    • Bar 1
    • Bar 2
    • Bar 3
    • Aura 1
    • Aura 2
  • Light Radius
  • Dim Light Radius
  • Light Angle
  • All Players See Light Toggle
  • Has Sight Toggle
  • Sight Angle
  • Sight Multiplier

Saving Game Default Settings

At the bottom of this section is a blue button labeled Save Defaults. This saves ONLY the changes made in this section.

Access Compendium In-Game

You can integrate one of the Roll20 OGL Compendiums into your game so that you and your players can look up rules while you play or to help with filling out character sheets. "Determined by Character Sheet (Default)" is what is set at default. If your game is using a character sheet template that links to a Compendium, the game will automatically choose that Compendium to include in your game. For instance, the "5th Edition (OGL by Roll20)" character sheet template links to the "5th Edition" OGL Compendium. If you're running a game without a character sheet and wish to have a Compendium available in-game, you'll want to use the drop-down menu here to manually select the desired Compendium you want to use.

You can share your purchased compendiums with players in your game. Details can be found in the Compendium Sharing section.

Character Sheet Template

This dropdown menu is the exact same one that is featured on the Game Creation page. You can change the desired character sheet template at any point and time via this option on the Game Settings page. Selecting the character sheet template from the dropdown menu and the sheet's features, author information, and a preview thumbnail image of the sheet displays below the dropdown menu when a sheet is selected.

Character Sheet Default Settings

The following options are sheet settings that will be pre-set whenever you create a new character journal entry in-game. These settings are determined by the sheet's author. Here are the available setting options for the Roll20 D&D 5th Edition Sheet.

Once chosen and saved, the Sheet Styling setting change is automatically applied to every character entry in the game.

Saving your Settings

At the very bottom of this page is a blue button labeled Save Changes. It is very important to click this button before leaving this page in order to apply any changes you made to the Game Settings.

Applying Defaults Settings to Existing Content In-Game

 

Character Sheet, Default Page, and Token Default Settings that you changed on the Game Settings page can be applied to existing content within a game. With the game launched on your browser, go to the Sidebar and click on the y icon to bring up the My Settings tab. Scroll down to the bottom of the tab until you find the Apply Default Settings button underneath the Experimental Features section. Clicking on this opens up a dialog box that's sectioned off by Page, Token, and Sheet settings. For each default setting you have changed on the My Settings Page, a checkbox will appear under its relevant category. Check each option you want to apply across the entirety of the game. When you're ready, click on the blue Apply Settings button. A confirmation alert will appear alerting you to how many Pages, Tokens, or Character Sheets will be altered. Click OK through the alert to begin the setting conversion. A process bar will appear at the top of the Apply Default Settings dialog box as Roll20 begins converting your existing Tokens, Pages, and Character Sheets to the desired changes. Depending on how many items are in your game, a settings conversion may take anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes to complete. You can cancel out of the process at any time by hitting the ESC key.

Note: Applying Settings will literally alter ALL characters, pages, and tokens you have in your game. Related attributes of these items will be overwritten with the settings you have checked off in this applier. This process can't be undone!

Reverting back to Standard Settings

If you found you've made a mistake or you wish to revert a change you've made with the applier, simply return back to the game's Game Settings Page and change the desired settings back. Relaunch the game and then run the settings applier again.

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