Sometimes, a character’s story outlasts a campaign.
It’s happened to me countless times. I fall in love with a character’s backstory or build and they seem to take on a life of their own. Sometimes, I plan out a character in advance and have a general idea of where their story arc will take me–this reclusive monk will see some of the world and have their values challenged, or this thief will develop a conscience and maybe redirect some of their special skills to a more noble cause than the pursuit of treasure.
But then, once I’m at the table, something unexpected happens–I realize there’s more there that I want to explore, maybe something that’s outside of the scope of the current campaign.
It happens with my NPCs, too–someone will show up to dump exposition on the players, and as I’m improvising their speech and mannerisms something more lasting than I could have ever anticipated will emerge just from the course of play.
It’s hard to say goodbye to these endearing characters. Fortunately, with the Character Vault, you don’t have to.
What is the Character Vault?
The Character Vault is a Roll20 feature that allows you to store characters so you can use them in multiple games, without having to make them over from scratch each time.
If you play in any sort of organized play environment, such as Adventurers League, you can use the Character Vault to import your character to different game sessions run by different GMs.
The Character Vault is also great for GMs who want to store pre-generated player characters for guest players, or memorable non-player characters for recurring appearances.
Who Gets to Use the Character Vault?
A game on Roll20 can have one of two levels of Vault access: Limited and All Access.
Limited is the default level for all games on Roll20. With Limited access, only players who are Plus or Pro subscribers can import characters into the game.
All Access is the premium level of Vault access. It lets anyone–including free players and GMs–import a character into a game.
What determines the Vault access level for a game?
The Vault access level for a game is determined by the subscription level of the game’s creator. So, if the creator of the game has a Plus or Pro account, that game will be All Access. If that creator’s account is free, the Character Vault access will be Limited.
How Do I Use It?
Using the Character Vault is easy. There are really only two steps; importing and exporting a character.
When you import a character, you bring them into the Character Vault. Either a GM or a player with permission to edit a character’s sheet can initiate the import process.
To get started, select the Import Character button on the main Vault page. You’ll see a list of your games here–then, it’s just a matter of finding the right game and the right character and choosing Import Character once again.
After a few seconds, the character will be imported. This imported character is essentially a snapshot–their information won’t change or update in the Vault as you continue to play with them in a game. Everything will stay static from the moment you import the character. You can get an “updated” version of a character in the Vault by re-importing them.
When you’re ready to use a character in the Vault, you’ll need to export them into a game.
Click the Export to Game link next to the character you want to use. You’ll see a list of your current eligible games. Note that you’ll only be able to export to games where:
-You’re the GM
-You’re a player with permissions from the GM (on the Game Settings page, the GM has turned on the “Allow Players to Import Characters’’ setting). In this case, once you’ve exported a character to a game, the GM will also need to give you permissions to edit that character’s sheet.
And that’s it! You’ll have a copy of that character ready-to-play in the game, with all their stats, info, and items already detailed in their character sheet. Remember, the Character Vault just captures a snapshot of a character, so the changes you make to a character once they’re out of the Vault won’t persist across games.
Your character’s story doesn’t have to end just because the campaign’s over. With the Character Vault, you can bring a character’s story onward and upward–and with a Pro or Plus subscription, the only boundary is your imagination.