Online RPG Resources

Last updated 03/16/2014.

Resource Description Resource Link
Use Guide Link
Campaign-specific Links
(AOL Instant Messenger)

AIM chatrooms provide a single place for all players and the GM to gather and conduct the game. Individual windows can be used for "off-screen" discussions. A diebot (die-rolling mechanism) is included. The AIM program and registering screen names are free.

- Easy to set up and use
- Works on most computers (PC and Mac)
- Includes die rolling command
- Connections can sometimes be unstable
- Does not include mapping options (though works well when paired with a mapping option like Google Spreadsheets)

Guide to AIM

Gametable Gametable is a remote RPG whiteboarding client. It is designed to play RPGs online, providing an interface for all players to use a shared map. It also has a die-rolling interface. Freeware.

Google Spreadsheets

Google has a Documents section which allows the sharing of documents and spreadsheets online, and simultaneously between multiple people. These are very handy for a quick and easy online battlemap. Free.

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Can leave a grid uploaded and use it multiple times (sharing privileges remain intact)
  • Pairs nicely with AIM for a complete virtual tabletop
  • Everyone needs to register with Google (free registration) to share the spreadsheet)
  • Doesn't work with all browsers
  • Spreadsheet has limited functions, so complex pictures are hard to draw, and can't be uploaded.

Go to and click on "more" in the upper right, then "Documents" in the drop-down menu.


IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is an Internet messaging protocol designed for text-based discussions. Clients and browser add-ins are available for free.

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Chat client only; no grid or mapping capability
  • Die rollers available.

Guide to IRC

Playing Heroes of Rokugan online


MapTool is one of a set of tool from which integrate maps, chat, die rolling, and character sheet support. It can be used as-is with simple maps and tokens, or with campaign frameworks that allow the use of advanced macros.

- Simple to set up and use basic support.
- Setting up the advanced tokens can be time-consuming, but once created, they're easy to update.
- Requires that someone in the group be able to host the server; usually requiring nothing more than the ability to set up your network so that others can connect.
- Frameworks available for 4e and other systems.

Guide to MapTool

Instructions for fixing a Java error when using Maptool v1.3.b87 with Java versions later than 6u39.

Framework for Legends of Arcanis campaign
Framework for Legends of Arcanis Campaign, including a generic map

LFR Campaign files for MapTool

Framework for Chronicles of the Shattered Empires campaign (obsolete)


OpenRPG is a full-featured integrated virtual tabletop which includes a "chatroom", battlemat, customizable icons, a die roller, and programmable macros. OpenRPG is free, open source, software, distributed under GNU/GPL license.

- Requires more setup than most, including prerequisite software
- Requires that someone be able to host the server
- A bit steeper learning curve than some of the others
- Rich interface for both conducting the game and roleplaying, and for combats.


PyMapper is a mapping program that makes creating maps for MapTool campaign files easy.



Skype is an internet telephony service that allows conferenced calls between multiple people. Free between internet (VOIP) calls; charges a fee for calls to land-line or cell numbers.

- Closer to a face-to-face experience since the participants interact by talking, not typing
- Does not have dice-rolling or battlemap features

Guide to Skype


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© Maryrita Steinhour, 2007, 2012, 2014.

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