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ExtravagantEvil
2010-08-19, 01:07 PM
Good Morning, the Dark overlord ExtravagantEvil descends from his throne to ask for assistance, I'm going to be running RHoD in a Play by Post, and need to know something, what is a good/easy way to design maps for a PbP, I've seen these in Play by Posts in the ongoing forum, and would like to know how this is done.
Important Note: If it costs money, ExtravagantEvil will not consider, I have very little financial resources.

Person_Man
2010-08-19, 01:38 PM
For world maps (navigating from town to town and whatnot), the easiest thing to do is to play on an alternate Earth and use Google maps. It does a really good job of calculating walking distance and time between any two locations. Alternatively, you could just email everyone a map of your fantasy world.

For tactical maps (showing each player's and monster's location in combat), my suggested method is that you set up your maps in Excel. Set the column and row heights so that they're squares. Use the "Fill" function to make your squares grey, green, or whatever, and add notation as needed. And then email it to all of your players. Here's an example:

http://www.foerster.cc/temp/wolfie/CemeteryDungeonMap.gif

Characters and monsters can then easily move by notation. "Bob the Cleric moves from A4 to A8." (Though this map doesn't show it, Excel has horizontal letter notation and vertical number notation). Each player can easily track where Bob moved to, and update their sheet accordingly. When it's the DMs turn, if there are a ton of enemies you can just move them all and then email them an updated sheet.

UPDATE: FyreByrd is right. Open office or Google spreadsheets would be better. It's 100% free, and you can create shared documents that anyone can edit. I just said Excel because I'm of the age that Excel = Spreadsheet, just like Kleenex = Tissue.

FyreByrd
2010-08-19, 01:40 PM
The way I do it (Absoloutly no graphical ability at all) is openoffice spreadsheet + the gimp

(check the terelmin island link in my sig, and find your way to the ooc thread for examples of the maps)

It's by far the easiest and quickest way I've found to do them, as long as you don't mind them simple.

I could explain more, but I only will if you're interested in me doing so...not so good on the explaining sometimes!!

EDIT:
Swordsage'd...but you really shouldn't use excel..it's the work of the evil one!

ExtravagantEvil
2010-08-19, 02:14 PM
The way I do it (Absoloutly no graphical ability at all) is openoffice spreadsheet + the gimp

(check the terelmin island link in my sig, and find your way to the ooc thread for examples of the maps)

It's by far the easiest and quickest way I've found to do them, as long as you don't mind them simple.

I could explain more, but I only will if you're interested in me doing so...not so good on the explaining sometimes!!

EDIT:
Swordsage'd...but you really shouldn't use excel..it's the work of the evil one!

Please continue to explain, I'm not all that technologically skilled to be honest, so where would I go to download the Openoffice spreadsheet; my googlefu is poor at best :smallfrown:. What is the step by step way to do it as well, see the previous statement of low technological skill.

FyreByrd
2010-08-19, 02:21 PM
Ok here you go (you asked for it!)

Here's a step by step:

Step 1

Click on the grey box to the left of the "A" column, and above the "1" row - this selects the whole sheet.
right-click on one of the column headers(letters), and select column width. Change the width to 0.5cm and click OK
right-click on one of the row headers(numbers), and select row height. If not already change it to 0.5 and click ok.
YOu should now have a grid of squares.

Step 2

Select as many of the cells as you want, I make sure I keep the map on one screen so I tend to select a box from A-AZ, and from 1-20, but dependent on your screen depends what you want to do.
Select the fill colour(the icon of a paint pot being tipped) I tend to for brown, but that's just me. This is the colour of your WALLS

Step 3

Now highlight groups of cells, and "carve out" rooms, and corridors. For example highlight B,2 - G,6. Then go back to fill colour, and select "no Fill"
Rinse and repeat until the basic layout is done
For doors, use the cell border button, to add a thin black line

Step 4

This gives you a very simple layout of your map, now dependent on what you prefer you can either copy and paste this map to a second sheet or print it out. On this second sheet/print out record where traps/creatures/treasure or any other important information is. This is obviously not seen by your players.

Step 5

Switch back to your original map. Move the mouse cursor as far off the screen as you can and press the "Prnt Scrn" button on your keyboard. This sends and image of your screen to the clipboard.
Click Edit>Paste as>New Image
The screenshot should appear in the gimp
Use the Crop tool(in the toolbox) to draw around your map, make sure you leave the coloumn/row headers in (See my maps for an idea of what I mean)

Step 6

Once you have your image cropped SAVE it! Save it somewhere you will find it, and make sure you save it with the extension .xcf (so for instance the filename might be "map.xcf")
Click Windows>Dockable Dialogs>Layers to show the layers window.
Right click on "Pasted Layer" and click Edit layer Attributes, then rename it layerBackground.
Click Layer>New Layer then rename it "layerTokens", make sure that "Transparancy" is selected, and click OK
Repeat the last item, only call the next new layer "layerFog"
This allows you to edit the black fog, and the player positons, without damaging your physical map.

Step 7

With layerTokens selected, use the paint tool to put spots on the map for the player locations. When you need to move the players, use the rubber tool to rub out their previous location, and then the paint tool to put them back where they belong. Same with monsters, and anything else you need.
With layerFog selected cover the area the players cannot see in black. Then when they move, use the rubber tool, to rub out the black.

Step 8:

When you are ready to post your map, save it first as "Map.xcf" then save it again as "Map1.png"