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I run a lunchtime game session once a week. Due to temporal constraints, we try to keep our sessions around the table limited to the more active aspects of encounters; for example, those that require maps, charts, spreadsheets, figurines and/or copious amounts of dice rolling. As such, we move much of the actual roleplaying away from the table and onto alternative forms of collaborative communication.

Until recently, the method of choice for these interactions was Google Wave. However, with its impending death, we now find ourselves without an adequate communication tool for PC/NPC interactions (i.e. plot development).

What now is being lauded as the best communication tool for RPGs and what are the compelling features? I'm looking for web-based options more specifically, since my players use differing OSes and the web is a universal platform.

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As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to the FAQ, the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and our rules for game recommendations. All responses must cite actual experience or reference others' experiences!

You might want to look here: – BBischof Sep 22 '10 at 21:05
As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to both the FAQ and the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and the guidance on recommendation questions on our Meta. In particular, all responses should be based on actual experience and contain references and examples whenever possible. – mxyzplk Aug 22 '13 at 2:28
Are you looking for a real-time or asynchronous solution? – leokhorn Aug 22 '13 at 13:22
Real-time would be a bonus, but async is fine. – Felix T. Katt Nov 8 '13 at 13:35

I still don't really see what google wave can do that a wiki or a dedicated forum cannot, if not in real time.

Both allow big chunks of text, easy responce and a way of managing content.

If I really wanted I might consider some of those game websites (such as obsidian portal) that combine forums and wiki's into one smooth package.

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I haven't used Wave personally, but I can see how the real-time aspect could be pretty useful for keeping things interactive. I think the incentive to use Wave for role playing was that if people were available, it was a real-time medium (a la a chat room or IM), but that it degraded automatically to a BBS-like format when others weren't around. Still... +1 for Wikis. – AceCalhoon Sep 22 '10 at 21:50
Pluses for Wave were the inline gadgets (like the die roller) and the ubiquity of notifications. My players use many other Google products (GMail w/ Buzz, Google Apps for Domain, Google Reader, etc.) so notifications were quickly seen without them needing to specifically remember to check the site on a regular basis. Granted, many wiki and forums sites have notification systems - but while they CAN perform the task, SHOULD they? – Felix T. Katt Sep 22 '10 at 21:55

I played a game on Roll20 recently. It has a very good interactive system. You might make an account there and see if you like the layout and features. Also, Maptools is a downloadable program that each person would need to have. Once again, I have very limited experience with it, but from what I saw, if you take the time to learn and navigate its tools, it can be a very powerful gaming tool.

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MapTools is very powerful - but has a fairly steep learning curve and puts a large amount of work overhead on the DM. I have not seen Roll20 before, but I'm willing to check it out. Thank you for the suggestion. – Felix T. Katt Nov 8 '13 at 13:37

If you are interested in real-time communication, then Skype can be very helpful. It allows group calls and also group chats. You can also send messages to offline persons and they'll get the message as soon as they login again. It runs on windows, linux, and mac.

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