D&D General The Grid vs. Theater of the Mind vs. a Mix [a poll & discussion]

How does your group incorporate minis and a grid vs. using TotM?


Stormonu

Legend
And I thought I would be the old timer...(I also did TOM pick up games in school)

Moved to grids while running 2E, and almost always since. In part for "where is my PC issues" but mostly for tactical play.

1E had the most confusing approach to minis...lots of references in the rules, and various official lines of minis, but in practice lots of TOM. But then I got mini curious, then I started to see dry erase mats, in the 90s, and there was no looking back.

Yes, it can also be fun to play with minis, but then you may need lots minis, if you insist on having the right ones for the situation.
Minis are life! I live by the motto “he who dies with the most toys wins!” (and “gamers only die when their paint table is clear” - and I intend to live forever!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Lyxen

Great Old One
Some people are really hardcore about this, but for me, it's just a set of tools and I will just use the one most appropriate to the situation.

For example we love minis, but we don't need a map to use them if all what we are tracking is who is currently discussing with who during a palace intrigue, and it does not prevent that game to be mostly Theater of the Mind. And sometimes we use a map, because it's a battlefield, but no hexes or squares, it's just to see roughly where huge and complex armies are located and track who is fighting who at the moment.

And sometimes it's a more detailed technical fight just because we feel like it and we have a real map (but never grids on it, they format the mind too much for us, although it's fine for people who want a more technical and "complete" feel of the game to prefer them).

But we can go for many sessions without using even a single map, and still have our minis on the table, as they are really gorgeous, see what heroforge did for my demigoddess half-siren paladin:
unnamed.jpg
 

How do you all "reveal" a map when you play in person? I don't mind making a map myself, but I get annoyed when a dm is not clear in their descriptions.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
How do you all "reveal" a map when you play in person? I don't mind making a map myself, but I get annoyed when a dm is not clear in their descriptions.

Well, I either draw it on the wet-erase map as it becomes clear OR if the map is pre-drawn I cover areas with black cardboard or construction paper and uncover portions as encountered.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
How do you all "reveal" a map when you play in person? I don't mind making a map myself, but I get annoyed when a dm is not clear in their descriptions.

Just detail a new area when the players enter it. Clarity is not dependent on drawing something, it can certainly be worsened by a map full of irrelevant details, however gorgeous. It mostly depends on how clear the DM expresses himself, whatever the media, whether it's just voice of if there is another support.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Just use hexes. That's close enough.
Hexes are a bloody nuisance when everything else - including the way I think about directions - uses the eight cardinal points of the compass.

That said, oftentimes people/things/effects want to move or occur on a line that's neither a straight nor a perfect diagonal, meaning it comes down to eyeballing it in any case (or, if critical, measuring precisely with string or a ruler).
 



Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Prior to 3e, my groups were almost always TotM (grid only for complex situations). Starting with 3e, however, that flipped and the grid took over for most combat. Nowadays, I play on on a VTT (Foundry, FTW), so it's all grid all the time.
 

I know when I DM, I personally will set scenes, and sometimes even have the group go through a few traps or setting descriptors, before pulling out the map. Same is true for certain, perhaps unexpected fight scenes. This way the map doesn't become a trigger of "we have a fight." I find it is better. But, many groups I have played with just always have the maps out. Nothing wrong with that either.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top