As a DM, what changes do I need to make to my preparation when transitioning to online play?

I, like many others, have been forced by the current situation to re-evaluate how my games are played. I current run/play in pathfinder 1e and D&D 5e campaigns that have been played entirely in person with pen/paper character sheets and hand-drawn battlemats.

We are investigating the move to online play instead. Likely using a combination of Roll20 and Discord but this question is intended to be digital platform agnostic unless it has significant bearing on the answer.

Specifically I am looking for advice on what parts of my DM preparations need to be modified, extended, added or removed in comparison to in-person play.

Typical preparations for me look like:

  • World Building / Adventure Planning: Large scale worldbuilding in Onenote. Places, people, adventure hooks and lore. Often I am months or even years ahead of my campaign in this area.
  • Session Planning: On a session level I usually go on fairly light on detailed planning. Some stats or details for NPCs and creatures they might encounter in this region. Occasional write-ups of set pieces for specific situations.
  • Encounter Building: I typically build my encounters on the fly. Free handing my battlemat based on the current environment and then choosing appropriate stats for the monsters and NPC.

I have found this style of lots of world prep, little specific session prep, allows me to run a very sandboxed world where I can be ready for pretty much anything my party can throw at me with minimal fuss. However I’m not sure how well it will adapt to online play.

Some things that I am concerned about:

  • Creating encounters on the fly may be more difficult with digital tools. Do I need to pre-make more encounters and maps to keep the game flowing?
  • Decreased immersion due to lack of visuals. Should I prepare visuals for NPCs or environments to help maintain immersion?
  • Other limitations I haven’t even thought of that may arise during the session and be difficult to adapt to without disrupting gameplay.

Transitioning from Lost Mine of Phandelver to Out of the Abyss with level 5 characters

My party of 5 just finished LMoP and we’ve bought OotA.

The beginning of the book is important to the whole story, as is the feeling of desperation as they run low on resources, chased by a powerful enemy they can’t hope to match at this stage.

I’ve spoken to the players, and they’d like to continue playing their characters they’ve grown attached to, so I’ve told them I’ll need to temporarily depower them, if they want to get the most out of the book. This’ll mean taking some of the magic items they have (they found most of the stuff from LMoP, plus a few extras I threw in) and restricting access to spells/extra attacks.

I’m going to have them jumped by the drow in the middle of the night in a very one sided ambush, just to really push home the threat of the drow, but make it clear they’re trying to capture, so no one gets killed.

My question is, how much should I take off the players, and how should I do it?

Transitioning line chart has unsettling overlap effect as x-axis expands

I am building a line chart which I would like to transition when a new dataset comes in from an API. Not only will the values (y-axis) change, but also the date range (x-axis) which is being viewed.

The problem is (for me) when the time period grows, the parts of the line on the left take longer to get where they are going than those on the right (because they have farther to travel to accommodate the new data’s required room) and consequently the line overlaps itself as it transitions leftward.

Is this even a UX “bug” or is it just annoying to me?

If it is, is there a canonical way to resolve this?

I like the way the transitions look on the axes and on the line (when it does not do its overlap thing). Perhaps I should consider just animating the axes and fading-out/fading-in the chart when data arrives. That might be an overwhelming amount of animations though, especially considering there is a pie chart below that will also have its slices transitioning as new data arrives.

The below CodeSandbox is just randomly generating some dummy data, so you will probably have to click the Update button a few times to see the effect.


Is transit visa required for my journey via Reykjavik (KEF) where there is a date change during transitioning

I have booked a round trip flight ticket of Wow Air which is via Reykjavik (KEF) airport. My layover details are below:

New Delhi -> Toronto    (2 hrs Layover at  Reykjavik  ) Toronto -> New Delhi    (7 hrs Layover at  Reykjavik  )  

My concern is with the return ticket transit visa requirements (if any). I have read in Iceland visa sites and forums that

“Visa required, except for Holders of confirmed onward tickets transiting on the same calendar day”

My Ticket details are below. There will be a date change while transitioning in my onward ticket in the late night flight. Will it create any issue for me: I am an Indian Citizen and Canada PR? Do i need a transit Visa for any part of Journey? Please help.

Departure: Fri, Mar 22, 2019 New Delhi (DEL) 07:00Toronto (YYZ) 18:00 Flight 1: | 11h 50m | WW323 | Operated by: WOW air Layover: 2h 10m | Reykjavik (KEF) Flight 2: | 6h 30m | WW213 | Operated by: WOW air    Return: Wed, Mar 27, 2019 Toronto (YYZ) 19:00New Delhi (DEL) 03:15 + 2 day Flight 1: | 5h 45m | WW214 | Operated by: WOW air Layover: 6h 55m | Reykjavik (KEF) Flight 2: | 10h 5m | WW322 | Operated by: WOW air