For those who use maps...

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Virgobrown72
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For those who use maps...

#1 Postby Virgobrown72 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:53 am

Whats the average map size you guys use for encounters? Do you use a lot of indoor type mats, or more outdoors type encounters?
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#2 Postby Lord Karick » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:55 am

Whatever fits on a standard flipchart sheet of paper, preferably one with 1" squares :mrgreen:

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#3 Postby Virgobrown72 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:59 am

Any particular dimensions? (36x36, 24x24, etc...)
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#4 Postby DGMiller » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:13 pm

I use a Chessex "megamat" 36"x48" with 1" squares. I have also used other commercial battlemaps that I print out and laminate after assembly. I also use some 3d buildings assembled from cardstock.

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#5 Postby sablemage » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:11 pm

I generally don't use maps, although we often go the route of putting out figures with whatever is lying around to use as scenery ("So, the orcs are hiding behind the building - that's this pile of books here - and the stapler is the drake, OK?").

When I do use maps, they are almost always 24" x 33", because that's what you get from a 3x3 grid of A4 sheets. I normally find a picture - 1970s/1980s boardgame boards are especially good - and use MS Paint to print it over multiple sheets, then laminate for durability and tape together.

The main reason for that size is it's the biggest battlemat I can fit on the dining room table...

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#6 Postby sablemage » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:17 pm

Oh, and I normally treat buildings as one large area unless the internal structure is important. If you're on a piece of paper, book or whatever that represents a building, your Pace is halved, and you get the benefit of light cover if moving or medium cover if stationary. These effects represent having to dodge around furniture, through doors etc while being partially protected by them.

This is because if you actually map buildings out to scale, the figures are in base to base contact with the walls, the furniture and each other almost the whole time, and it gets a bit fiddly for people with big, clumsy hands like me.

Most of my maps are outdoor areas, though.

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#7 Postby sjmiller » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:18 pm

For any given location, if I am using a map the biggest it can be is 3' by 4'. That is the size of the piece of plexiglass that fits on my table. Then it all depends on the scale I am using. I learned something awhile ago, however, that made me rethink maps. If I am mapping a building, a dungeon, whatever, I no longer feel restricted by the size of the piece of paper. Maps can be gigantic, as long as no single location is bigger than my playing surface.
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#8 Postby Bhoritz » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:23 pm

I am using maps on screen with a VTT program. (How it is done).
So, there is no real limit for maps sizes. The maps for "Don't drink the water" you'll find by following the link above were around 40x30, but could be extended or combined for a larger display (such as the final attack on the mexican fort, with the village set around it).

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#9 Postby fanchergw » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:56 pm

I use one of those Chessex battlemats as well, though mine is of the hex grid variety. If I need to map someplace really big, I just declare that each hex is 2" or 3", and adjust movement accordingly.

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#10 Postby Vinzent » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:58 pm

For me, a lot of my encounters happen in tight confines like inside a warehouse or alleyway. I find a 2'x3' map serves most of my uses but I keep a 3'x4' map handy for those rare situations where I have a large battleground. However table space is almost always limited.
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#11 Postby Virgobrown72 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:06 pm

DO any of you guys use pre made maps or map making software of any kind? If so, what size are they usually?
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#12 Postby Bhoritz » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:17 pm

Yes to both. I use premade maps I buy on RPGnow.
And I use Photoshop and Tiled when I make my owns.
Photoshop to make (draw and paint) the maps, and Tiled because it turns any map you own into a set of tiles that you can re-use to make your own maps (great program, and free). The quality of the resulting maps depending on the quality of what you put into it, obviously.
I obviously don't print them, but if I was to do it, I would print them probably at 8"x8" to be able to make any combination I need.

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#13 Postby sablemage » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:02 pm

I use some premade maps, mostly from old boardgames (most often Cry Havoc!) but some more recent stuff from RPGNow (most often Wydraz).

For software, mostly Hexographer (free), and Hex Map Pro (cheap if you already have an iPad), which can overlay a grid, tokens and/or coloured areas on an existing map - not quite a vtt but good for solo games, and maybe group games too if I can link it into the TV.

I've tried various mapping software, but it generally has a learning curve that is too steep for me - I just want to slap something together from tiles, print, and play. Gridsmith or Dungeon Crafter 1 were about my speed, sadly neither is still supported.

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#14 Postby Virgobrown72 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:33 pm

I ask because I saw a set of 6x6 tiles on another web site for dungeon creation and spaceship creation, where you can mix and match to create original maps. I liked idea, but didn't like all of the ideas present, so I'd thought I would try my hand at it. This went from creating 6x6 tile sets for Sci Fi, to creating Fantasy and Modern sets, as well as setting up larger maps for outdoor encounters. In other words, this project has taken on a life of its own. I was attempting to get a feel for what other Savages preferred for thier gaming experiences. This mapping thing is quite the bee's knees!!!
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#15 Postby Vinzent » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:20 am

The problem with tiles is that they get repetitive or don't always give you what you need unless you have a wide variety of them. Since I'm a mobile gm, I have a limit on how much weight I'm willing to carry.

I have a few of Paizo's flip mats but I rarely use them. Game tiles might be fine but what if I want special items in the room like vertical plasma dischargers or a row of toilets? The maps we draw on may not be as pretty as tiles but they are versatile.
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#16 Postby Takeda » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:58 am

DGMiller wrote:I use a Chessex "megamat" 36"x48" with 1" squares. I have also used other commercial battlemaps that I print out and laminate after assembly. I also use some 3d buildings assembled from cardstock.


Me too ... ish. I have the 36"x48" 1" hexmap with line of sight dots and numbered hexes. Without a map that large you'll rarely even get into Medium Range let alone Long Range.
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#17 Postby Virgobrown72 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:39 am

Me too ... ish. I have the 36"x48" 1" hexmap with line of sight dots and numbered hexes. Without a map that large you'll rarely even get into Medium Range let alone Long Range.


This is so true. I also use the Chessex Battlemaps, and switched to a larger size just so I could extend the ranges in my encounters. In creating individual maps, instead of tiles, I can create extended ranged encounters AND customize the encounter. I just have to cover the cost of cardstock and ink...
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#18 Postby Virgobrown72 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:42 am

"Mobile GM". For some reason, love the sound of that. I too wish to be a Mobile GM... :wink:
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#19 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:59 am

sablemage wrote:Oh, and I normally treat buildings as one large area unless the internal structure is important. If you're on a piece of paper, book or whatever that represents a building, your Pace is halved, and you get the benefit of light cover if moving or medium cover if stationary. These effects represent having to dodge around furniture, through doors etc while being partially protected by them.

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#20 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:32 am

I've done something similar with building interiors, inspired by the below-deck rules from Pirates RPG (for which the "Bilge Rat" Edge was handy for very-close-quarters fighting). "True scale" representation of building interiors would make it pretty hard to have a place to put figures with their wide-stance bases (even more so with the scale creeping up into 32mm "heroic" territory and 30mm lipped bases replacing the 25mm rounds).

On the flip side, when I have an outside "street scene," most of my building facades are a bit too truncated to work for realistic structures that you could actually house a store or hotel in. I see that sort of "scale compression" going on in "sandbox" style games (Fallout New Vegas, etc.), or else players would have to expect to spend a LOT of time walking, walking some more, and doing still more walking. Rather than fret too much over it, I just notify all the players that it's "2-for-1" scale: one inch on the table equals two game inches, for movement and ranges. I still use the same burst templates, however, because base sizes haven't changed any, and to do otherwise would mean you could never get as many zombies with one Molotov cocktail.
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