[Tutorial] How to Improve your roll20 game using rollable tables

[Tutorial] How to Improve your roll20 game using rollable tables

Rollable Tables are the unsung heroes of Roll20. Few players, as far as I know, ever use them but Monte Cook perfect it. No really, take a look at his Play Space for the Cypher System. Creating a good looking table though might require some times and trial and errors. For my games I usually create a basic template with multiple layers using Paint.NET ( you can use any software you want, but this one is free, easy, and remarkably good. Gimp is probably a good alternative if you are a Unix user).  How to use them then? Well first of all you need I template. here you can download mine for Delta Green.

Before starting: if you are using Paint.NET, install the editable text plug-in. Trust me, it will make your life way easier. By default, text is not modifiable after you first insert in an image in Paint.NET and for a template that you will use again and again… it’s not convenient. Also, remember to save any new text in a different layer to avoid problems.


From here on, I will assume you are using Paint.NET, any other software that allows for multiple layers might works in a similar way but small changes might be requires.

  1. Open TemplateDG.pnd and create your Play Area. Just change the image in the play area (Picture Layer) and the name of the play area (Text). And save a copy for every scene you expect to use in your game as a png or jpg file.
  2. Open TemplateSide.pnd. This file has different option to create different kind of sides:
    • You can create a simple informational side with a map or a piece of art modifying  the Side Layer  and turning on only Side and Title Layer
    • You can create a small insert to focus the attention on a particular object (Cave Layer) and (optionally) add some special effect on top of it (Glow Layer)
    • You can Create a framed picture to represent an important NPC your players are interacting with in the scene (just change the Photo Layer, and modify the name of the NPC in the Name Layer, and turn on Photo, Name, and PhotoFrame before saving your picture)
  3. Remember to save a copy of Side with only the Background and Title Layer activated to show an empty side during your game. And it’s also useful to save an image with only Text,Title, and Background in case your players decide to go somewhere you didn’t planned.


    1.  Create a new game. Go to Collection. And Create 2 new Tables: one for the Play Area and one for the Side Area.
    2. Add the images you have created from the templates in the two tables and save.
    3. Drag and drop the two tables in the map and background layer  and stretch them to fit the dimension of your map (remember to put the side table on top  of the background table)
    4. To change the background or the side, while in the map and background layerright click on the relevant table and select  Multi-Sided -> Choose Side.

Voila’! Here a simple way to improve your game with rollable tables 🙂


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