What is Roll20? And how can you use it?

Do you have too many tabletop game boxes and reference materials in your house? Do you want to be able to purchase expansions for your favorite games in a more convenient and timely manner? Or are you seeking a means to play a game with a group of people on a tiny tabletop or from afar? If yes then Roll20 is the best option for you.


All of these things, and more, are possible with Roll20. However, we must caution you that the platform itself necessitates some commitment.

What Is Roll20?

Roll20 is a tabletop game management software with an accompanying mobile app. Over twenty games, including Dungeons & Dragons, FATE, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Call of Cthulhu, are supported on the platform.

It is possible to play a whole game fully on the Roll20 platform, as long as all players do so. Otherwise, a “hybrid” style that combines Roll20 material with actual gaming equipment works well.

If you’re the game master, you’ll probably want to use the main web interface, but if you’re a player, the mobile app may suffice.

Although this essay will mostly focus on the online interface, the program also allows you to manage character sheets, roll virtual dice, and do other more basic actions not directly related to a game master’s material.

The basic account is free; however, there are subscription levels with additional features. Without reference materials and other information purchased through the platform’s marketplace, even the free edition lacks a lot of teeth.

How does it work?

The Roll20 ecosystem may be divided into five primary categories, which can be found in the banner menu at the top of the Roll20 page: Home, Games, Marketplace, Tools, and Community.


Home is where you’ll see the dashboard for any active campaigns you’re running right now. It’s where Roll20 reports fresh debuts in the commercial center and other news that the group accepts you’ll be keen on.


By joining Game tools, you may manage your ongoing campaigns, establish new campaigns, and even seek other Roll20 users to start games with remotely.

The Player Directory connects you with existing Roll20 players, making it easy to plan games, share data, and do whatever else you need to accomplish.

The tutorial is found at the bottom of the Games menu. This is a game master’s lesson for the real gameplay experience; however, it concentrates on the map tool.


The Roll20 Marketplace is a store where you may purchase games, expansion packs, and other Roll20-related items. You may also use this page to redeem gift certificates and manage your previous purchases.

Game materials, rulebooks, compendiums, and adventure packs often cost $20-$50, but additional assets such as character marker packs, maps, and map effects typically cost $5-$13.

These materials may be used directly in the Roll20 system, but you can also download and print them to give your party actual copies. This is useful if not everyone in your group utilizes the Roll20 system, or if you want to use Roll20’s numerous tools and features without removing your favorite tabletop game’s actual components.

If you wish to request a return, go to the Marketplace menu and look for a bought item in your account inventory. The procedure is straightforward and quick, but once you’ve opened a digital package and downloaded assets from it, you can’t return it.


All of your stuff on Roll20, including your gathered and purchased assets, is housed in Tools. This contains Compendiums, which are the core information books you’ll need to get started with any Roll20 game.

Compendiums for the supported games are searchable for free, but they don’t operate in the Roll20 gameplay system unless they’re part of a marketplace asset bundle.

With the help of the tool tab, where you can find your character markers, as well as export and import characters figures from one game to the next. Keep in mind that the number of characters you may manage at any given time is determined by your subscription tier.

Finally, go to Manage Audio to organize your background music and sound effects playlists for your excursions. You may either listen to publicly accessible choices or add your own audio to the site.


Blogs and forums, help centers and wikis, videos, and live streaming may all be found under the Community category. It also houses the Change Log, which is where the firm uploads site updates. If you follow Roll20 on social media, you’ll notice that they’re always working to improve the user experience.

If you find yourself spending a lot of time on the community tab and changelogs, you might want to consider upgrading to the “Pro” tier, which gives you access to more features in the system’s backend.

How much does Roll20 Cost?

Roll20 is available for free, however, there are two membership levels: Plus and Pro. Each membership tier adds additional uploadable content storage, more game, and play slots, and makes it simpler for other players to locate you for games.

The two premium tiers also remove adverts and enable dynamic lighting on maps. They also unlock shared table functionality and unlimited character storage. The key differences between Pro and Plus are in the software, specifically API and dev server access.

We wrote this post using the free version, and there didn’t seem to be many things that were worth paying for. It’s simple to understand how Plus-level capabilities may be useful. But the majority of Pro-level functions appear to be much above the ordinary user’s requirements (or wants).

It is a platform for passionate gamers

Because Roll20 has so many features, learning to use it might seem like learning to play a game all over again. Unless everyone at the table is utilizing the platform. The GM will have to switch back and forth between features or print things out as physical handouts.

This isn’t to say that the platform isn’t valuable. It makes handling games a lot simpler if you familiarise yourself with it (and maybe print out some handouts. Which may make all the difference in a fast-paced session. And, in terms of the sheer number of games for which the platform offers resources, it is an unrivaled instrument.

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