It was a dark and stormy night and all through Phandalin not a creature was string not even an orc... Wait no there was a lot of string going on. A group of us were wanting to play some D&D so my good friend Adam Volunteered to be the Dungeon Master. Hes in the midsts of moving out in couple of weeks and its his first time DMing in several decades, so he opted to keep it easy for himself and use the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure with the Essentials Kit adventure, Dragon of Icespire Peak. We used a combination of Zoom and Roll20 to be the virtual platform for this as we are all still locked up in quarantine.
Roll20 has a lot of material to use for an adventure maps and auto generation of characters (in case your character dies mid adventure you can be back up and running in 5 mins, right Rick?). The platform makes the rules part of the game easy so everyone can focus on the role
playing parts. For example you want to roll to hit with your long sword just click the box and it comes up with the die roll in the log window, then you want damage just click the log window roll and boom it rolls damage, very convenient. The maps that you can load up from roll20 are nice. You can add custom Icons for your characters to give them a little more flavor.
Roll20 is great site to use. I have not been on the other side of dungeon master's screen in Roll20 yet. but from the player side its very slick and easy to use.
Here is an excerpt from DM Adam's recap of the session, I find it hard to sum it up better.
"They arrive at Phandalin around dusk. The exhausted party heads directly to Stonehill Inn for some R&R as does Sildar. Upon entering, Aegon, a dragonborn visitor, offers up his table to try out this whole "socializing" thing as the rest of the town would avoid him for some blatant reason. Tolben Stonehill, the proprietor, introduces himself and serves them a nightcap of mead. Sildar, Tuprat, and Townsend buy some lodging and catch some Zs at the Inn. They're escorted to their rooms by Trilena Stonehill who gossips to them about the fate of the town wood carver who's family disappeared after his murder at the hands of the RedBrands, a gang of ruffians that has taken over the town. Birel naturally prefers to sleep under the stars and, out of a sense of duty, under the wagon and Elrondo's cloth wrapped body. The package will be delivered in the morning.
Morning was a long ways off as far as Frank and Aegon were concerned. Maybe it was their freakishly large demeanor or their common disregard of it or maybe it was the mead but whatever the rate, they quickly bond. Frank being gregarious, excitedly takes Aegon to the The Sleeping Giant to meet the locals and the barkeep, Grista. Upon arrival, a group of Redbrands on the porch call them little puppies. Aegon points out the poor logic of their statement. The Redbrands become offended and demand respect. Aegon continues to pester them on the poor logic of what they're saying, forcing them to stand down by feeling foolish. Inside, Grista greets Frank and informs him and Aegon of how bad things have degraded under the shadow of the Redbrand Gang. After some whiskey and mead, Frank and Aegon stumble back to the Inn to gain numbers in a plan to attack the Redbrand ruffians at the bar.
Aegon and Frank wake Birel and proceed to argue with her under the wagon. This wakes Townsend, Tuprat and Tolben and they all go inside the Inn at Tolben's request to be quiet. They drink another round of whiskey. Aegon, new to drinking is trashed. They muster up the courage to take on the Redbrands to find them waiting outside. The ruffian gang demands the party leave town. Aegon pukes poison on the lot of them and combat pursues. The party captures one of them alive, killing the rest. Frank drunkenly piles the bodies in front of Townhall. Tuprat and Townsend bring the prisoner back to their room at the Inn to take turns face punching the prisoner between naps. Birel goes back to sleep protecting her charge, the wagon and Elrondo's corpse. Frank and Aegon go back to the Sleeping Dragon believing they're heroes and Tolben is grateful. Grista is not. She serves them a round of whiskey on the house and recommends that they leave town as she now must. Being half orc, Frank opts never to sleep in town anyway and recommends the dragon born to follow suite. They go to a nearby cave as the hangover starts to set in."