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Katana_Geldar
2011-03-22, 09:11 PM
Ever tried it? I've gone without a map through necessity when I've been unable to put one up online, but I still knew the relative position of players.

It's rather interesting, and you need a lot of description.

valadil
2011-03-22, 10:19 PM
Nope. I really like playing 4e on a map and have no intention to try otherwise. If I were to play mapless though, I'd like to know ahead of time. There are characters I could enjoy without a map, but I'd want to make sure not to play with too many movement powers.

mobdrazhar
2011-03-22, 10:43 PM
Nope. I really like playing 4e on a map and have no intention to try otherwise. If I were to play mapless though, I'd like to know ahead of time. There are characters I could enjoy without a map, but I'd want to make sure not to play with too many movement powers.

this really is where the problem lies. when there are lots of movement powers in play it can be hard to place everyone (monks are especially bad for this)

gurban
2011-03-23, 02:50 AM
Yeah, one thing i like about maps is keeping everything there, for everyone to see. If someone gets up for a glass of water and the grid changes, they instantly know what is going on.

Leolo
2011-03-23, 02:58 AM
I play without a battlemap in about every 2 of 3 adventures. Most of the time i only draw the positions of the combatants if the players ask for it or say something like "my character tries to get an overview over the current situation.

I still write down the positions behind the screen, and describe what the players see at the start of their turn.

You might think this takes too much time, but it does not take more time than moving all the miniatures.

The one thing i like on playing without a map is that distances and positions are not precisely. You do not waste time discussing if the Wizard could place his fireball exactly that way it misses the fighter and hits all monsters. Or if there is a opportunity attack free way through them. It brings some of the chaos of a real battle where you actually could forget the opponent behind you or make false decisions.

Tengu_temp
2011-03-23, 09:18 AM
If you don't use a map, players whose characters have a lot of movement-based powers (most controllers, many leaders, some others) will feel cheated because you just rendered an important part of their characters pointless. So it works for some groups, but not for others.

Leolo
2011-03-23, 09:50 AM
No, because movement powers still works like before.

You move someone a distance in some direction. There is nothing in this that does need a map.

valadil
2011-03-23, 10:25 AM
No, because movement powers still works like before.

You move someone a distance in some direction. There is nothing in this that does need a map.

Usually if you ditch the map, you also ditch distance. The way I've seen mapless work is that the GM mentally tracks who is engaged with who. You take a round moving to engage someone. Other people can be arbitrarily far away and take a couple rounds to engage. If you're handling distance like this, what's the difference between a 1 and 2 square push?

Positioning for bursts and blasts would also be weird. If I'm dropping a 3 square burst somewhere, I want to see where it can go. Maybe the GM will tell me I can hit these 3 targets or those 2 targets and it's up to me to figure out which is more important. What if I slide someone as a minor first? Is there anyone who could be slid into burst formation?

In a mapless game I'd just as soon not take any powers that rely on precise bursting. English is not a great language for conveying spatial relationships. I don't want to make my GM relay everyone's location to me. If they do that, either it'll take forever or the locations will be ambiguous and I'll misinterpret something when figuring out where to burst. I don't like either option and I'd rather play a character who isn't that concerned with movement or positioning.

Cartigan
2011-03-23, 10:31 AM
No, because movement powers still works like before.

You move someone a distance in some direction. There is nothing in this that does need a map.

False. A number of controllers and leaders and other classes designs are based on pinpoint movement abilities. Without the map, the entire game runs on GM's rule of thumb which is going to screw you over either way, where he is for or against you.

3.X was designed with a map in mind. 4e was designed to use a map - not just a map, but literally a grid. There are no units of measure in 4e. All "units of measure" in the game are given in squares on a traditional battlemap. The concept of not using 4e on a battlemap is a farce.

WickerNipple
2011-03-23, 11:13 AM
For me the real joy of 4th edition is they've made a fantastic tactical miniatures game and integrated it into my favorite role-playing system - so going 'mapless' really defeats the point of 4th to me. There are oodles of other systems designed to be mapless, and it simply makes sense to pick one of those if that's your preferred playstyle.

That having been said I'm tremendously fond of going 'gridless' and translating all square ranges into 1" and bursts into round templates.

Allows for a lot of fun flexibility and fixes one of my big gripes about grid based movement in 4th: diagonal distances.

Tengu_temp
2011-03-23, 11:48 AM
No, because movement powers still works like before.

You move someone a distance in some direction. There is nothing in this that does need a map.

And all this movement is completely pointless, because if you go mapless you no longer benefit from shifting an ally one square this direction or pushing an enemy one square that direction. You need a map to create and recognize such situations. Either a map, or help from the DM: "hey look, the enemy is standing right next to a big pit". And powers that have a point only when the DM decides they should have a point are not very fun.

DontEatRawHagis
2011-03-23, 01:01 PM
Ever tried it? I've gone without a map through necessity when I've been unable to put one up online, but I still knew the relative position of players.

It's rather interesting, and you need a lot of description.

My first GM did mapless, it turned into using proxies(d4's) on an open table to represent where we were. It gets really difficult to keep track when there is no representation.

Recommendation have some representation of where people are on the board, to avoid cheating about position.

RebelRogue
2011-03-23, 05:47 PM
It's not impossible, but I agree that it will be a less-than-ideal way to deal with combat encounters.

Surrealistik
2011-03-23, 06:22 PM
Positioning is usually too important for this to really work well (if at all) in most cases.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-23, 06:55 PM
Going mapless would be great for total darkness.

Dergmann
2011-03-23, 07:05 PM
Me and my friends are all fairly new to 4e, and Ive never used a map. Any movement-based powers sort of get pushed aside. If the occasion calls for them to know what the area looks like, I just do a quick sketch.

mobdrazhar
2011-03-23, 07:17 PM
Me and my friends are all fairly new to 4e, and Ive never used a map. Any movement-based powers sort of get pushed aside. If the occasion calls for them to know what the area looks like, I just do a quick sketch.

By pushes asode do you mean don't get used? because if that's the case you're missinf out on a lot of powers and even a lot of items powers

Cartigan
2011-03-23, 08:51 PM
By pushes asode do you mean don't get used? because if that's the case you're missinf out on a lot of powers and even a lot of items powers

You're missing out on Controllers entirely, and therefore are missing out on the point of 4e.

NMBLNG
2011-03-24, 01:12 AM
I've played and DMed without a map. It's not impossible, but I much prefer using a map. It's much easier to track ranges and movement, terrain, and stuff like that.

Leolo
2011-03-24, 04:15 AM
Usually if you ditch the map, you also ditch distance. The way I've seen mapless work is that the GM mentally tracks who is engaged with who. You take a round moving to engage someone. Other people can be arbitrarily far away and take a couple rounds to engage. If you're handling distance like this, what's the difference between a 1 and 2 square push?

I do not ditch distances or keep track about positioning or distance mentally. I just keep track of it behind the dungeon master screen. So I still know the exact distances and the players can look at this if they really want. (like: "I want to make me an overview over the current situation")

Doesn't happen that much, though. The reason why i still keep track about positioning is that i do not like arbitrary decisions, but still want my players to feel like there characters are in a battle, and not like they are just moving miniature figures. And i do not like tactical discussions exactly because of this. You do not have time to discuss the perfect tactic within a battle.


And all this movement is completely pointless, because if you go mapless you no longer benefit from shifting an ally one square this direction or pushing an enemy one square that direction. You need a map to create and recognize such situations. Either a map, or help from the DM: "hey look, the enemy is standing right next to a big pit". And powers that have a point only when the DM decides they should have a point are not very fun.

I think that's the point. As a DM i gave this help by telling every player at the start of his turn how the current situation for his character is.

And allow questions.

In fact i would do this even if i would play with a map, just to ensure that players remember conditions or things they know about the monsters. (Like: In front of you is a scary gnoll and he might have extra attacks if you fight him bloodied.) People tend to forget things like this, especially if the time between their turns is more than a minute.

If you think this would take extra time nevertheless, i would disagree. Because it also prevent players from discussions (and discussions are a real time eater) by staying in a in character speech. Also it protects the tension of a battle. For the players a battle should look chaotic, and they should loose the perfect overview.

Of course this is a playstyle question. I understand people who does not like to loose the view from above or exact knowledge about what happens at the other end of the battlefield. And i think it is not possible to play like this without arbitrary decisions if the DM does not keep positions behind the screen. But my experience is that this playstyle enriches the game. People describe more of their actions if you start to describe more of the situation.

valadil
2011-03-24, 09:41 AM
I do not ditch distances or keep track about positioning or distance mentally. I just keep track of it behind the dungeon master screen. So I still know the exact distances and the players can look at this if they really want. (like: "I want to make me an overview over the current situation")


Ah, I misunderstood. My interpretation of mapless was entirely mapless, not PC mapless. If you're using a map, just privately and away from the players, I agree that small pushes still matter.

OP what kind of mapless game did you have in mind?

Leolo
2011-03-24, 10:03 AM
Ah, I misunderstood. My interpretation of mapless was entirely mapless, not PC mapless. If you're using a map, just privately and away from the players, I agree that small pushes still matter.

OP what kind of mapless game did you have in mind?

In fact it would be the same if the DM only "stores" the map in his mind. I just do not think it is really possible. And as a DM i do not want this (because i know myself - i would forget something).

But for the players there is no real difference.

valadil
2011-03-24, 11:27 AM
In fact it would be the same if the DM only "stores" the map in his mind. I just do not think it is really possible. And as a DM i do not want this (because i know myself - i would forget something).

But for the players there is no real difference.

Yeah, that's why I'd store a vastly simplified version of the map. I think I could remember which enemy engaged which PC and if anyone was sniping from farther away. Anything more complicated would require a diagram.

Cartigan
2011-03-24, 01:47 PM
Doesn't happen that much, though. The reason why i still keep track about positioning is that i do not like arbitrary decisions, but still want my players to feel like there characters are in a battle, and not like they are just moving miniature figures.

Let me say this again - all units of distance in 4e are given in battlemat squares. I think you want a different system.

Leolo
2011-03-24, 02:07 PM
Let me say this again - all units of distance in 4e are given in battlemat squares. I think you want a different system.

Well i am from a different country. A country where players might tell you: "You make a five foot step? But you only have 2 foots! How is this possible?" ^^. Its not that crazy most of the time, but people tend to discuss how much a feet is in meters, how D&D calculates this. And new players are confused in general.

I had to calculate distances ever since i have played my first AD&D session. In fact it is now a little bit easier to do this, because i can simple say 1sq = 2m if i do not like the 1.5m calculation.

Or can say the distance in a in game measure unit. Why exactly should mapless play be difficult if the measure unit is feet, meters, squares or Tyrmian double step?

I simple don't see the problem. And have never had this problem during all the time i play without a battlemap.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-03-24, 02:08 PM
Let me say this again - all units of distance in 4e are given in battlemat squares. I think you want a different system.
Each square is a 5' by 5' area of space, by RAW.


Your speed is measured in squares on the battle grid, with each 1-inch square representing a 5-foot square in the game world. A character who has a speed of 6 can move up to 6 squares (or 30 feet) on the battle grid by using a move action

* * * *

Anyhow, "mapless" can mean two things:
(1) Keeping rigorous measurements of relative distances (in feet or meters) but without using a battlemat or miniatures.

(2) Using approximate measures rather than rigorously tracking distance.

#1 is perfectly compatible with the way that 4e is written. However, it really seems more trouble than it's worth to keep all that in your head. Better to use a map & minis, IMHO.

#2 plays hob with the basic conceits of 4e combat. Everything from charge distance, OAs, and areas of effect can become hopelessly confused when you lose your mental connection to the actual distances of everyone involved. Primarily, it nerfs Controllers and Defenders, but it can also annoy your other Players if both you and your Players end up with different "mental maps" of the battlefield.
Battlemaps are simply the easiest way to communicate shared mental maps of the imagined world. Words can be misinterpreted or forgotten; pictures are much harder to receive misunderstandings about and any such misunderstandings can quickly be identified and resolved.

Cartigan
2011-03-24, 03:21 PM
Well i am from a different country. A country where players might tell you: "You make a five foot step? But you only have 2 foots! How is this possible?" ^^. Its not that crazy most of the time, but people tend to discuss how much a feet is in meters, how D&D calculates this. And new players are confused in general.
Are you playing 4e? There are not 5 foot steps in 4e. No inches, feet, yards or miles. No meters or kilometers. Just "squares." There is no unit of measurement. It is a square on a game battlemap. The entire system in 4e is an arbitrarily meta system to make it simple to play the game on a battlemap regardless of what unit of measurement you use.


Each square is a 5' by 5' area of space, by RAW.

Of course, who cares? Everything is given in squares. Movement, areas, sizes. Everything else is fluff.

Oracle_Hunter
2011-03-24, 03:51 PM
Of course, who cares? Everything is given in squares. Movement, areas, sizes. Everything else is fluff.
...I care? :smallconfused:

I mean, you need some sort of reference to help people imagine the size of things. Saying that a horse is "about 3 squares by 2 squares" is meaningless unless you know that a square is 5' x 5' - or whatever your local units translate.

I'm not going to argue this point further but is it really necessary to argue so stridently?

Cartigan
2011-03-24, 08:45 PM
...I care? :smallconfused:

I mean, you need some sort of reference to help people imagine the size of things. Saying that a horse is "about 3 squares by 2 squares" is meaningless unless you know that a square is 5' x 5' - or whatever your local units translate.

I'm not going to argue this point further but is it really necessary to argue so stridently?

Well you know a person is one square by one square.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-24, 10:41 PM
A person is a box?

Kylarra
2011-03-24, 10:47 PM
A person is a box?Technically a cube. Perhaps gelatinous.

mobdrazhar
2011-03-24, 10:52 PM
Technically a cube. Perhaps gelatinous.

hmmm... all the PC's are Gelatinous cubes... makes for an interesting game...

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-24, 11:14 PM
Does that mean they can divide like amoebae?

WickerNipple
2011-03-24, 11:45 PM
That's disgusting, and offensive.

Budding is antithetical to family values! ;)

huttj509
2011-03-25, 12:47 AM
Are you playing 4e? There are not 5 foot steps in 4e. No inches, feet, yards or miles. No meters or kilometers. Just "squares." There is no unit of measurement. It is a square on a game battlemap. The entire system in 4e is an arbitrarily meta system to make it simple to play the game on a battlemap regardless of what unit of measurement you use.


Of course, who cares? Everything is given in squares. Movement, areas, sizes. Everything else is fluff.

That was his point.

3.5 measures are given in feet (unless editions for other countries have the conversion everywhere, I dunno). For people who are not used to thinking in feet (basically everywhere but the U.S.), they need to keep converting to get a mental idea of size and distances, this provides an extra step that can disturb the immersion.

4.0 measures are given in squares. You can either just get used to 1 square is 5 feet, or 1 square is 2 meters (ok, not exactly the same, but close enough and the math is easy both ways). This means everyone needs a mental conversion to units they can visualize, but it's a straight x5 or x2 conversion to your units of mental preferance, as opposed to taking a 20 foot fireball spread and converting to ~6 meters, and doing similar for every distance measurement.

Basically with squares those who use english units of measurement are needing to do what everyone who used metric had to do anyway, but easier. Metric users get an easier conversion, so it's better for them.

Leolo
2011-03-25, 02:52 AM
Couldn't have explained it better by myself. The 5ft - step example was of course from 3.5.

But the point is: Even if i would use squares as a measure unit and not feets or meters or steps of quaran (sq) this wouldn't have any impact on mapless play.

I could still say "the orc chief is 5 squares in front of you", "You push the gnoll 2 squares into the direction of the old tree" or "the goblins are close enough to each other for your fireball". And there would be no difference if i would use meters or feets or steps of quaran in this description.

If i use squares this is just a different measure unit. Easier to convert into other measure units than feet. But still just a measure unit.

Cartigan
2011-03-25, 08:34 AM
A person is a box?
For all points and purposes related to D&D.

The New Bruceski
2011-03-25, 01:12 PM
Assume a spherical cow...

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-25, 02:52 PM
My group says each square is a metre as we're used to that through Star Wars Saga.

Ozreth
2011-03-25, 11:26 PM
In 4e I feel it is almost a necessity. The game was simply built for it and it works out well.

In 3.5 I use a mix of both, usually with a map though.

2e, meh, who needs it?

Trog
2011-03-26, 09:46 AM
*a troglodyte pokes his head into the thread*

Next up: Chess without the board. Followed by football without the field and Olympic diving sans water.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-26, 04:09 PM
You have obviously never heard of chess notation.

Cartigan
2011-03-26, 05:16 PM
You have obviously never heard of chess notation.

So do you keep D&D notation? No? You mean by "going mapless" you run it by rule of thumb? Well that's totally different than the point you are trying to make!

Trog
2011-03-26, 05:33 PM
You have obviously never heard of chess notation.
No, I have heard of it. Didn't come immediately to mind though. Hmm...

I still feel that glancing at a board/map is a TON easier than reading some coordinates though. I wouldn't ever play 4e without a battle mat myself but I suppose there could be reasons to do so if you can make it work and everyone in the group is cool with it. But either way positioning is going to be vital to keep track of in some way.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-26, 06:04 PM
So do you keep D&D notation? No? You mean by "going mapless" you run it by rule of thumb? Well that's totally different than the point you are trying to make!

The idea of chess notation is so you can play chess without the board.

Anyway, playing 4E without a map is possible, not advisable or ideal but possible. One thing I have noticed in my other games I play is that we tend to lean on the fact of having a map rather than keeping it in our heads, as it should be.

Cartigan
2011-03-26, 06:53 PM
The idea of chess notation is so you can play chess without the board.
By keeping specific, recorded track of where the pieces are and how they have moved
No one has advocated doing that to replace maps in 4e. The idea is to get rid of maps and play by rule of thumb and imagination. It voids the point of 4e entirely.

Leolo
2011-03-27, 05:04 AM
Well - no.

In fact i did already mentioned in this thread that you can play without a battlemap and still without rules of thump. This is just one way to play without a battlemap, and not the only one. I do not use a chess like notation (it is much to short) but still keep track on positioning.

And of course the goal is not to get rid of maps. This is just a tool to reach other goals like bringing the player perspective from a 45 view from above to a more in character perspective. And thinking on all the aspects of 4E that brings narrative elements into the game i would not say that this "voids the point of 4E".

Cartigan
2011-03-27, 10:10 AM
Well - no.

In fact i did already mentioned in this thread that you can play without a battlemap and still without rules of thump. This is just one way to play without a battlemap, and not the only one. I do not use a chess like notation (it is much to short) but still keep track on positioning.

And of course the goal is not to get rid of maps. This is just a tool to reach other goals like bringing the player perspective from a 45 view from above to a more in character perspective. And thinking on all the aspects of 4E that brings narrative elements into the game i would not say that this "voids the point of 4E".

Tossing out the battlemap voids the design of 4e. Since it was designed to be played heavily tactically on a battlemap.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-27, 05:22 PM
Why don't you try it?

I would use a battlemap for a big encounter that's complex, but sometimes encounters are too short to even justify getting it out. Relying on the map too much makes it feel like it's a board game.

Also, the worst thing about using the battlemap is getting it out and arranging the minis. You do it ahead of time, you ruin the surprise, you do it at the right moment and it drags the game. First 4E session I played in (also the first one the DM ran) had an encounter without a battlemap, and it was hilarious. We described what we were doing to the DM, like in the old days.

mobdrazhar
2011-03-27, 06:34 PM
Why don't you try it?

I would use a battlemap for a big encounter that's complex, but sometimes encounters are too short to even justify getting it out. Relying on the map too much makes it feel like it's a board game.

Also, the worst thing about using the battlemap is getting it out and arranging the minis. You do it ahead of time, you ruin the surprise, you do it at the right moment and it drags the game. First 4E session I played in (also the first one the DM ran) had an encounter without a battlemap, and it was hilarious. We described what we were doing to the DM, like in the old days.

this can still be done with the battle mat. In fact i encourage it by giving my players a bit of extra xp for describing the action that they are attempting. and it makes it more enjoyable for the descriptions if they roll a Nat 1 or Nat 20.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-27, 07:04 PM
I remember saying "I move in for a flank" and I rolled a natural 1. :smallmad:

mobdrazhar
2011-03-27, 07:11 PM
I remember saying "I move in for a flank" and I rolled a natural 1. :smallmad:

I'm sure that ended well.

I had a session yesterday and one of my players left off thier horse using a power that lets them shift through an enemy sqaure and they rolled a Nat 20 for the Acrobatics check i made her take. For that she got Sneak attack on both zombies that she was fighting along with the whole spin through the air and bow at the end of the leap.

Katana_Geldar
2011-03-27, 07:42 PM
Yeah, I think I dropped my sword.

Just a thought: 4E uses an almost identical combat mechanics system to SWSE, right? The only times SWSE gets complicated in encounters is either in space battles or when you have a Force user in your group. For the former, space battles, I never use a map for the simple reason that space is not an ocean and it makes things so much simpler.

Drglenn
2011-03-31, 08:50 PM
I would use a battlemap for a big encounter that's complex, but sometimes encounters are too short to even justify getting it out. Relying on the map too much makes it feel like it's a board game.

If an encounter's too short to warrant the minute or so it takes to get out a mat and draw a map on it then that encounter is probably too short to run at all, the DM might as well go 'yea... you beat those things up'


Also, the worst thing about using the battlemap is getting it out and arranging the minis. You do it ahead of time, you ruin the surprise, you do it at the right moment and it drags the game.

I personally feel that's the best part of using them as a DM. Watching the player's thought processes as you only lay out 3 or 4 enemies (or even just leave them in an empty landscape).They'll think 'hmm... either this is going to be an easy encounter or one of those guys is an elite' then, BAM! new guy shows up in the middle of the fight that they hadn't noticed before. Yes you could do that with just descriptions but I feel its easier and I prefer the feel of moving around the models and hiding one or two behind the DM screen/laptop/whatever to surprise the players with

Leolo
2011-04-01, 01:21 AM
...
First and foremost it was designed to be a roleplaying game where your characters adventure a fantasy world. You can play it as an extended chess version, but in fact this has not much to do with design intention.

But the point is that intention is meaningless. Columbus did not want to find america. But i don't walk to new york and call it mumbai. So even with the intention of a roleplaying game a tactical boardgame could be created. But 4e has so much more strengths than only tactic and its strength while playing tactical comes from options, not positioning.

To compare it again to chess it would be like every pawn has the options to move to any field of the board, and all other figures have only active options to hinder them. If you play like this position becomes less important. I can give you another example. In 3.5 positioning for the fighter is critical. It is a huge difference if you are standing 5feet away from the orc or 10. In 4e? Who cares.You will move anyway

Cartigan
2011-04-01, 03:32 PM
First and foremost it was designed to be a roleplaying game where your characters adventure a fantasy world. You can play it as an extended chess version, but in fact this has not much to do with design intention.

But the point is that intention is meaningless. Columbus did not want to find america. But i don't walk to new york and call it mumbai. So even with the intention of a roleplaying game a tactical boardgame could be created. But 4e has so much more strengths than only tactic and its strength while playing tactical comes from options, not positioning.

To compare it again to chess it would be like every pawn has the options to move to any field of the board, and all other figures have only active options to hinder them. If you play like this position becomes less important. I can give you another example. In 3.5 positioning for the fighter is critical. It is a huge difference if you are standing 5feet away from the orc or 10. In 4e? Who cares.You will move anyway
This is all sorts of laughable and absurd.

Leolo
2011-04-01, 04:10 PM
You could simple ask yourself the question why positioning in chess is so important.

The reason is: You can not redo a wrong move. If you move a figure to the wrong position you will have to spend a whole turn repositioning. None of your other 16 figures can move during this turn. Therefore you have to think some turns forward, have to think how the positioning will be in the future.

This would not be the case if you could move every of your figures every turn, and if their movement would not be such limited.

For example one of the basic tactics of chess is to bind figures by threats against other figures. And it is a tactic based solely on the point that movement is rare and you can not move both figures at the same time. That's the reason why positioning in chess is important. As more movement you allow, as less important is positioning. Because the position simply don't matter if you can change it when needed anyway.

Thats a theoretic point, and i would not say that positioning in 4E is meaningless. It is not. But many people claim that it becomes more important because there is so much more movement during combat. And the opposite is the case. As less you can move, as more your current position will be critical.

MeeposFire
2011-04-01, 07:55 PM
Tossing out the battlemap voids the design of 4e. Since it was designed to be played heavily tactically on a battlemap.

Not using a battle map does not void the design of 4e. It assumes you will use a map but it does not mandate it. Big difference. Maps are a big help and most people (nearly everybody for a 4e group) will rightly say they are a big help and add to the fun but that does not make them mandatory. Sometimes maps are just not possible for instance when my group decided to play an impromptu game on a trip. We got delayed for a long time and we were bored so we decided to play D&D to pass the time. We had enough room to roll dice but having a physical map was out of the question. So we played without and had a great time. I don't feel we voided the design of 4e which was to have fun using the game system. The 4e books come with a game system not a board they can be used without.

Why are you taking such an extreme stance of "playing without a game board is wrong"? Seems like to me that playing without a board is fine though there are a few consequences to deal with just like in every game.

DMfromTheAbyss
2011-04-07, 11:22 AM
I've played 4rth edition D&D without a map.

It seemed to go fine, fun was had by all. Movement and tactical positioning powers still worked.

The campaign went for months like this before we got the opportunity to play with a map in this particular venue. It helped a bit, but the game was not drastically different.

That being said I prefer using a map, I'm a tactical thinker. But in at least one case (a campaign) it was done and it worked. It certainly harkens back to earlier editions, but that's not always a bad thing.

If anything going without a map seems to engage the players in more of the description and helps with immersion somewhat. It also encouraged immaginative uses for some of those movement related powers.. sometimes to very effective or hilarious ends.

Just my personal experience.