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Playing any of the 40k RPG games online is not only possible now, but thanks to some amazing tools it is actually in some ways easier than playing face to face. I recommend the following tools:

Communication:  Skype

Some people prefer other VOIP applications but I prefer Skype for simplicity and call clarity.  Almost everyone already has it, which makes your life easier.


Music & Sound Effects: Virtual Audio Cable + Scene Sound + Skype or Shoutcast/Icecast

If you want to be able to play background music that everyone can here, or sound effects for your group, there is a bit of setup involved.  This is my setup:

We are going to use a program called VAC to create a virtual audio device. We will then use a program called Scene Sound to manage, play and store all of our sound effects. Scene Sound will be told to output to the virtual audio device we created with VAC. To get this across the internet to our players' ears, we have two options. The simplest option, but with the lowest quality and the potential to disrupt your voice comms (bad), is to create a second skype account and conference call it in during gametime. That second skype instance will be told to use the virtual audio device as its input (instead of microphone), and so all players will hear all sounds playing through Scene Sound.

A better option is to not use skype, and instead set up a shoutcast server that you broadcast the sound to. Then all players can connect using their favorite media player, like winamp, vlc, or whatever, and listen to your "rpg radio" in high quality without interfering with your skype call. Additionally they can more easily manage the volume levels themselves.

Skype method (simple, low quality)

  1. Download VAC In VAC open up the control panel and change Cables (top left) corner to 2 instead of 1. Click Set, then click Exit.
  2. Download Skype Copy your skype shortcut to the desktop. Right click it, choose properties, and then add "/secondary" to the end of the Target field, so it looks something like this "C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" /secondary Hit save then double click the shortcut, it should open a second Skype window. Create a new account, and add it to your main accounts friend list. In your new secondary Skype, go into Tools -> Options -> Audio Settings and change your Microphone to Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable) and your speakers to Line 2 (Virtual Audio Cable).
  3. Download Scene Sound Run Sound Scene and add a few sounds. Toggle one of them to loop and play it. Now choose Audio -> Audio Output Devices - > Line 1(Virtual Audio Cable).
  4. Use Skype to call your secondary skype. As soon as the call connects you should hear the sound from scene sound. And you're done! Add your friends to the skype conference call and everyone can hear the music. You may however experience low quality sound or degraded voice performance, which is why this second option is much better

Icecast method (more complex, high quality)

  1. Download VAC In VAC open up the control panel and make sure you have only 1 Cable (top left). Click Set, then click Exit.
  2. Download Scene Sound Run Sound Scene and add a few sounds. Toggle one of them to loop and play it. Now choose Audio -> Audio Output Devices - > Line 1(Virtual Audio Cable).
  3. Download BUTT Run BUTT and click settings. Under Main choose Line 1(Virtual Audio Cable) as your Audio Device. Then click Add under Server and enter your icecast or shoutcast server details. If you don't have your own icecast/shoutcast server and setting one up is beyond you, you can use the 40krpgtools server. Contact me for the connection info. Hit Save. Now add a Stream info and just give it whatever name you want the stream to appear as, then hit save. Now click the big Save Settings button. Press the play button on the main BUTT window and you should see the On Air message appear, along with connection information if you set everything up correctly. If sound is currently playing through scenesound, you will see the BUTT sound meters moving
  4. Open your favorite audio player and tell it to open your stream address (VLC calls it Open Network Stream for example). Your stream address will look something like http://radio.40krpgtools.com:8000/scene.xspf
  5. All done! Just tell your players to open that link in their audio players and everyone will be listening to your own radio, broadcast from scene sound. Dpeending on your connection and server set up there will be a couple seconds of lag, so plan accordingly.


Online Tabletop/40k RPG Simulator: Maptool + Wolph42/BTS's 40k RPG Framework



This is the tool that I have used to play 40k RPG for years. It has made it possible for me to play skype games so easily that I now use it to play in person games as well. A crew of delightful maniacs led by Wolph42 have assembled a gigantic system for implementing virtually every single 40k RPG rule from all the settings.

This means you can play a game with your friends where you have a virtual tabletop that you can create maps on, add tokens/miniatures to, and have the computer correctly handle all of the rules and rolls. Each token represents a character and with a couple clicks you can roll skills, simulate complex attacks including lightning attack/dodge/parry/full auto/cover/unnatural toughness/etc, use psyker powers, engage in vehicle and starship combat, and do pretty much anything 40k RPG allows. It does have a bit of learning curve but it is well worth it in the time it saves you and the fact that it frees your brain to tell the story rather than remember vast charts of modifiers and rule specifics. There is NO other online tabletop that even comes to 1/100th of the rules implementation and power.

It is an evolving project so there are some bugs but it is in active development and nothing spurs them like new people using it. You can also get involved and I've worked with them before to add things like faith powers and new psyker powers. Very cool people.

To get started follow these steps:

1.  Download Maptool 

Maptool is a java-based online tabletop program, so it runs on windows and mac. maptool-1.3.b87 is the one you want. To get this to run properly you need to make sure the stack size of at least 5. In the latest versions of Windows: Right click the file Launch MapTool-1G-Memory.bat and choose edit. Replace the contents with:

"C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javaw" -Xmx2048M -Xss5M -jar maptool-1.3.b87.jar run

If you have Java 7 64 bit (its faster) or

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\javaw" -Xmx2048M -Xss5M -jar maptool-1.3.b87.jar run

If you have Java 7 32 bit.

Save the file, close notepad, and then double click the file you just edited to run maptool. I recommend LogMeIn Hamachi if you are having problems connecting to each other.  You can find more informationa bout these steps on the Maptool Wiki


2. Download Wolph42/BTS's 40k RPG Framework

That is also the forum to ask your questions on. Wolph42 and BTS are always thrilled to have new people using their framework so don't by shy asking questions, you will often get a very quick answer.

3. Open this campaign file in Maptool.

As simple as File -> Open Campaign and browse for the campaign file you downloaded in step 2.

3. Play around and learn

Maptool Wiki & Documentation

40k RPG Framework Wiki (This is quite out of date, but maybe with more attention it will get brought up to speed.)

RPTools Forums (The maptool forums, filled with friendly people and other GM's)

Imperial Aquila