Role, an integrated tabletop play experience—the company shies away from using the term “virtual tabletop,” hoping to convey a more holistic offering—is now going to be fully available on mobile app. The press release states that this will provide “seamless game room support across smartphones, tablets, desktop, and more.”
Rapidly expanding its free offerings, Role has developed and launched “immersive room theming, custom audio support, colored dice, and video improvements.” According to the press release, it is the first company in the TTRPG industry to offer all these integrated virtual tools in addition to the virtual tabletop/play room that players and GMs can establish in order to keep all their virtual gaming assets in one place.
Role has been actively adding new games to its catalogue of digital offerings focusing on small to mid-sized games. There are popular branded TTRPGs like Dune: Adventures in the Imperium and common favorites likes Masks: The Next Generation. Indie darlings like Lancer and Mörk Borg are also fully supported, meaning there are pre-made digital character sheets and game rooms created to help facilitate gameplay. There is also the option to create your own game within the framework, or put your own game up on the site for purchase via Role’s quickly-expanding creator’s program. Role has worked on its own game, Chrome, a cyberpunk RPG based on the Panic Engine, which is fully digital. All of this will be supported on mobile.
We chatted with Elle Dwight, co-founder and CEO at Role, over email to learn more about Role and its movement into mobile play.
Linda Codega, io9: What games are supported on mobile?
Elle Dwight, CEO at Role: The Role mobile experience features all the same support as our desktop play rooms, meaning players can discover, create, and play with game templates for quite literally any game they can imagine. There are over 10,000 unique game templates published on Role today, enabling support for thousands of games. And Role’s drag-and-drop builder tools empower anyone to create custom game templates for titles they don’t currently find in our database. In short: Role is designed so that you can play any role playing game you want!
io9: How is “Play by Post” integrated?
Dwight: Our play rooms feature text chat for group messages as well as private DMs. Our chat log also features a dice log of all rolls players have taken in a room, so people can easily track and see results over time. The chat log is persistent and always easy to access from the play panel navigation within a room.
io9: Are there any paywalled options? What are they?
Dwight: Role is currently in Early Access and 100% free! There are no paywalls on play or creation tools at this time.
io9: What are you excited for players to experience with the app?
Dwight: Role makes running any TTRPG easy, fast, and fun. We’re excited for more players to discover just how different and empowering our play and creation tools are. With Mobile, we now enable people to enjoy the Role experience on any device. This unlocks great potential for groups playing online, in-person, and even play-by-post. We’re most excited to see what new and unexpected ways players use Role to augment their favorite games!
io9: Is this part of a larger movement to create an independent platform?
Dwight: Absolutely. Role has always been designed and built to be an independent game-agnostic platform. We focus strongly on giving everyone access to the tools they need to create and share their own game content, and easily integrate that into a seamless play experience both online and in person. We believe the TTRPG industry is strongest when players, creators, and game developers come together around open community content creation & play - and we seek to empower that.
io9: What’s next for Role App?
Dwight: We’re actively working on updates to our dashboard and play experience to make it even easier for everyone to discover all the great community-made content published on Role. We’re also working on enhancements to our play experience to better support more unique game mechanics such as custom card decks, better tabletop maps, whiteboarding, and much more. We believe that community content creation is what makes Role, and the TTRPG community in general, extremely special. We want all players, both experienced and new, to fall in love with the diverse range of amazing games and universes this community has to offer. For us, it’s never been about focusing on one or two big popular games. We’re on a mission to help everyone thrive.
I also wanted to clarify on our Mobile launch: this is not a series of apps, but rather a mobile web experience. In keeping with our ethos of providing free and easy tools to everyone, Role’s new mobile experience has been built for mobile web first, rather than native apps exclusive to one or two app stores. While native apps may come at a later date, we felt it was best to focus on web first as a way to best ensure that the greatest number of potential players can enjoy Role on any device they prefer to use.
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