Posted by : David Guyll July 07, 2011
That last time I really messed around with Virtual Table was basically at the start of its Beta cycle roughly a year ago. I spent a lot of time building maps from The Twisted Hall and Dungeon Delve, hand-writing monster stats and powers using whatever format worked for me at the time, so I was already pretty familiar with various features like AoE zones, pointing, visibility, etc. Even so I was a bit nervous because I'd be playing with a bunch of strangers with the advantage of internet anonymity, which can make even the attempt at civil discussion a herculean endeavor.
Despite my, er, previous "experiences" with online games and gamers, I was surprised to find that the people were patient and fun to play with, despite not knowing them, being able to see them, and the DM having internet issues. We managed to get through almost two encounters before he was unable to get back online, but it was very easy to pick up and play with minimal instruction. Unfortunately I have not used other online software so I cannot compare them, but I really like Virtual Table: even seemingly simple features like automatic initiative sorting cut down quite a bit on combat preparation. Voice support made it feel more like a table-top experience, as we were able to joke around quite a bit between actions and waiting for the DM to reconnect. My only gripe is that I would like a larger variety of tokens and tiles, which serves as a major bar for me because I want to build maps that are not limited to dungeon interiors.
That, and most of the "games" instruct you not to join. I might have to bite the bullet and run some delves.