Step 5: Load your persona for the Matrix
You've been selected for a game session / job! (Now what?) Well, here's where that laptop or desktop comes back into play. Due to the difficulties in getting people across the globe to meet at the same table, Runnerhub has adopted a "Virtual Tabletop." What this means is that you can sit at your computer and play the same game session with others doing the same thing. To accomplish this, Runnerhub uses two primary software packages. (Relax; they're both free.)
What's the LTG again?
To make communication possible, Runnerhub uses Skype as the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) host. Skype (specific RunnerHub appropriate instructions here) has the benefit of being free, and allowing chat to happen. Typically, a session might have Skype open in the background, and three other windows open during play. Very few of the sessions rely on a webcam, but a microphone is absolutely essential. And unless you want others in the background to hear what's going on (and some sessions are not PG), get a comfortable set of headphones to go with your microphone.
So, I rolled all sixes again. (yeah, right.)
Not that we don't trust you, but the second set of software used on Runnerhub is the workhorse of the game session. Roll20.net is a virtual table top system, and if you have not used it, sign up now. (Go ahead. I'll wait.) It handles maps, visual display, chat (so you can have a "teamspeak" conversation while your character interacts with an NPC), and a dice roller.
That's right, a digital dice roller. So your vast collection of dice are no longer needed to play. (Doesn't mean you have to get rid of them, though.) In the chat window, you can type in code to let the system roll dice for you. On the play window, you could see a map of a building, a photo of a bar, artwork representing the Dragon that owns the club, or more. Character interaction is possible, but the GM has final control.
A word about formatting:
Both Skype and Roll20 have formatting that Runners use heavily. It's jumping ahead a bit, but here's a direct link to the page where we keep the most commonly used formatting tips and tricks. (Probably best to open in a separate tab, neh?)
Next step: Multitasking
So, you'll have a lot of pages or windows open. Now we'll discuss some more.