Speaking of remote play...

I realize this has been mentioned in the 'Everyone here familiar with MapTool?' thread, but I am looking to flesh this out a bit.

I am part of a small group of friends that gather about once a month to game. One of our friends is moving to California in less than a week. I had just introduced the group to Call of Cthulhu and now this friend is hooked. I am working on a campaign and would like to include her; the considerations/concerns I have are:

  • Visual - We want to see her and have her see us as we game
  • Audio - We prefer voice over chat (keep things flowing and more personal)
  • Materials - Player handouts, etc. This could be shared on a web-tool possibly...

The other members and myself will be playing at my house; I have a laptop I use for the sessions plus a 42" LCD monitor specifically for gaming. I will happily purchase a web cam but I am not familiar with any services (though I hear Skype is pretty good).

Has anyone here been a part of a situation like this or have any advice you can help me with?

I appreciate any guidance, thanks!

Skype - it's free and easy. Plus you can type/chat as well during if, for example, you need to 'pass a note' or give specific character knowledge.
Skype's got a rep as a bit of a memory/bandwidth hog, and that rep's not entirely undeserved. However, if it's just two ends on a call (as opposed to a six-way conference), it's probably going to work just fine.

You can use MapTool entirely as a handout engine if you want. It's got a big map pane, but you can paste handouts into that pane the same way you'd paste any graphic. I've actually been considering using MapTool to run CoC, and my thought was simply to use a huge Desk Blotter image and then paste handouts onto it, as well as use the map pane to allow the players to create and share their own investigation notes.

And as an aside, CoC really thrives on the "let the dice fall where they may" concept: your fate could be decided on a whim not too unlike a die roll. And MapTool would be a great place to make die rolls happen that can't be fudged.
Thank you for the help! I will grab Skype and MapTool; sounds like a 'clean' solution (read: easy to set-up and use).

I love CoC - it was the first RPG I played (way back at the tender age of 18...), I am pretty lenient with the players, though I warned them this campaign would be tougher >:o)
Someone made a CoC framework for maptool. I don't play the game nor have I used the framework, but looks like the author has a video tutorial and well documented thread to get you started.
This looks nice! All the more reason to dig into MapTools.

Thanks Chris!
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Spammer ^^