Maps for PbP?

fireinthedust

Explorer
So I've got a Pathfinder game on these boards, and we're starting off with a combat. What I found was that, without a grid map, it's hard to keep track of all sorts of things: placement of characters, monsters, effects like Attacks of Op, etc.

I've seen various GMs use maps to good effect, with locations and pictures for each character.

Does anyone know of a program where I can get this sort of thing? Free is important, as I'm broke/expecting a youngster soon. Other options for a later time are also good.
 

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Hussar

Legend
For PBP? Maptools is a virtual tabletop program, and it's meant for real time play.

Might I suggest a combo of two things: DungeonForge (a token based mapping program found here - you need to register to download and something like Paint.net or Gimp (both free art programs) to do the individual pictures with tokens.

Simply place each token on it's own layer and place the battle map on the lowest level, and you can move the tokens around, round by round, and save the maps to display.

En World allows you to attach the images, so, so long as you keep them fairly small, you shouldn't have any problems.
 

Wicht

Hero
I draw them by hand, scan them in with my scanner and then use a combination of paint and gimp to make them a little more presentable and darken up the walls (paint for straight, black lines; gimp for shading and filler). Examples here of the result.

gimp is a free program and not too difficult to learn to use.
 


renau1g

First Post
I use it extensively. Even though it's used for real time games, I find it also excels as a repository for information so I don't have to search other threads for stats such as hp, defenses, etc. I just have it all in the PC's Token. Heck I even have their immediate actions and other notable information there. You can easily change the files from PNG to Jpegs just using Paint.
 

Hejdun

First Post
I imagine the simplest way would be for the DM to keep everything updated on a Maptool campaign, then take screenshots of the battle map regularly and send out pictures. You can turn on grids and coordinates so that it makes it easy for the players to describe location between map updates.

Maptool makes it easy to move stuff around and has support for blasts and walls and things.
 

slwoyach

First Post
I do this in paint:
BATTLE_MAP.jpg


For the next round of combat I simply copy, cut, and paste the character into a new place on the grid. If a character wants to move to a specific square without going in a straight line they need to provide me with the coordinates they pass through.
 


fireinthedust

Explorer
I did a search (duh, I know), and grabbed Map Tools.

I want to use the round tokens, but all I could figure out were the people ones. There's this file of standard D&D monsters, but I don't know how to grab that. I tried to download it, sure, but then it didn't go to maptools, it went to windows media picture-show thingie.

Also: it won't let me save the campaign. I go to file, click save, it says no. Which sucks, as I'd done this keen map for my current game, all nice and such.

When I am done, how do I export it? I tried signing up for the boards, but they won't recognize me. Did the whole thing, and no email was sent to confirm me through.

I reeeeally like the above map with the lighting sources. How long did it take to do?
 

tylerthehobo

Explorer
Thank you for the really informative post, Hussar! +100 XP for you! ;)


For PBP? Maptools is a virtual tabletop program, and it's meant for real time play.

Might I suggest a combo of two things: DungeonForge (a token based mapping program found here - you need to register to download and something like Paint.net or Gimp (both free art programs) to do the individual pictures with tokens.

Simply place each token on it's own layer and place the battle map on the lowest level, and you can move the tokens around, round by round, and save the maps to display.

En World allows you to attach the images, so, so long as you keep them fairly small, you shouldn't have any problems.
 


Hussar

Legend
And yet, many use it for PbP maps. At least some of my DMs. I'm a bit inept, so I use simple excel maps.

It would work. As was mentioned, you could simply screencapture (maptools comes with that function) and store the images on the web. Never thought of doing it that way, but, yeah, that would be very easy to do.

And, as an added bonus, Maptool is pretty easy to draw maps in.

fireinthedust - The best thing you can do for tokens is grab Token Tool from the Maptools site. Great little program that lets you drag and drop any image into it. You then center the image inside the circular token shape, click save, and poof, one instant round (or square if you like - or many other shapes if it tickles your fancy) token. Works great.
 

Merkuri

First Post
Note that once you have your token-looking image you can just drag it from your desktop (or wherever) into the MapTool program to drop it onto the map.
 

Merkuri

First Post
I do this in paint:...

May I suggest Paint.NET instead of "normal" Paint? It works very similarly but has a lot of extra features, like layers.

You could have the grid on one layer and the tokens on a different layer (or have each token on its own layer) and suddenly it becomes MUCH easier to cut/paste the tokens to move them. You don't have to worry about accidentally cutting part of the map grid.

Also, there is at least one plugin for Paint.NET you can use to automatically draw a grid of whatever size you want. I can try to find that plugin download for you, if you like the idea.

Oh, and this is all free.

I created this map in Paint.NET a little while ago (using some textures and set dressing I got from MapTool). It originally had a grid, but I hid that layer before generating the .png because I was going to be using it in MapTool, which has its own grid each player can turn on or off as they want.

innS.png
 


Merkuri

First Post
For those interested in using Paint.NET here's a little "tutorial" I created on my gaming group's forum about how to create rooms like then one I posted above.

[sblock]
First, you'll need Paint.NET if you don't already have it:
Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing

Then you'll need these plug-ins:
Grid Maker
Photo Flood Fill
Feather, Outline, Bevel


First, take your image and add a new layer and call it "Grid":
GridLayer.jpg


With that layer selected, go to Effects -> Render -> Grid/Checkerboard Maker. Set the grid size appropriately (I usually use 50 pixels for each) and check "Foreground Only.
gridMaker.jpg


Add another new layer. Call it "Walls".

Take the rectangle tool, set the brush width to something wide, like 20 pixels, make it no fill, and draw the outline of your building. It looks best if you make it match the grid, but it doesn't need to be perfect.
OuterWall.jpg


Take the line tool or the rectangle tool again and draw in some inside walls. When using the line tool you can hold down the Shift key to make it go straight horizontal or straight vertical.
innerWalls.jpg


If you want, erase some spaces for doors. If you don't want to do this you can overlay door stamps on top of the walls later.
doorOpenings.jpg


Make sure your walls are the way you want them before you go to the next step, because it's hard to go back after this.

Use the magic wand tool to select the walls, then go to Effects -> Photo Flood Fill. Pick a texture that looks like a wall. I find brick or stone textures look best. DO NOT DESELECT THE WALLS YET.
texture.jpg


Keeping the same selection, go to Effects -> Selection -> Bevel Selection. I find it looks best if you decrease the depth a smidge, but otherwise you can usually leave the defaults.
bevel.jpg


Now to add the floor you can either add a new layer or select the Background layer and use that. On whatever layer you pick, select a square area the same size as your building and go to Effects -> Photo Flood Fill again. Fill this with a floor texture. Wood works good here.
floor.jpg


That's about it. Add stamps to give it some character (or save that step for MapTool). You can keep the grid or you can remove it. If you want to keep it you can move it up and down the layer order to look at different effects. I usually like to remove the grid because MapTool has a grid of its own, but if you leave the grid it usually looks best if you put it under the walls and stamps but above the floor.[/sblock]
 
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Merkuri

First Post
Merk, the plugin links come up broken. You might want to check that.

The links aren't wrong, it appears that the forum that held all of these plugins disappeared! Now I'm sad. :.-(

Edit: Wait... they may have just changed domains. Let me see if I can find them again.

Edit2: I managed to find their new forums and searched for those same three plugins. I hope I found the right ones! Fixed it in the original post.
 
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