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JMobius
2007-12-24, 02:32 AM
To represent your combat, that is.

My most recent game was with the HERO system, on printed out hex sheets, generally using writing utensils to reflect walls and obstacles and coins to represent characters. This proved a little too easily disturbed and vague for my tastes, so I'm looking for suggestions for my next game, using Star Wars d20. I'm willing to put out a little bit for a proper setup, but probably not enough for an extensive miniature collection or anything like that.

Thanks. :)

Jannex
2007-12-24, 02:39 AM
For D&D, groups I've played with have had a great deal of success with dry-erase whiteboards; these have the added advantage of providing a convenient and visible place to keep track of initiative orders as well.

JMobius
2007-12-24, 03:27 AM
Ooooh... I really like that idea, actually. Thanks! :)

Jannex
2007-12-24, 03:31 AM
Glad I could help! :smallsmile:

cupkeyk
2007-12-24, 03:46 AM
We also use acetate on top of the white board, for recurring areas that we know we will go back to.

mabriss lethe
2007-12-24, 03:47 AM
using some stencils and some paint from the local hobby shop, you can permanently grid your dry erase board as well.

Get a big one. trust me.

Chronicled
2007-12-24, 03:58 AM
The dry erase board worked excellently for our group as well. Everyone loved it.

Kurald Galain
2007-12-24, 04:25 AM
My group doesn't use any kind of tactical map, we find that combat plays much faster that way.

Solo
2007-12-24, 04:30 AM
My DM casts Major Image and uses it for the tactical map, character figurines, and special effects.

Chronicled
2007-12-24, 05:13 AM
My group doesn't use any kind of tactical map, we find that combat plays much faster that way.

We started out not having any sort of visuals, but when the first thing a person did during their combat turn was ask the DM where everyone was at that point, we decided the board would be faster.

When the board wasn't available, a simple paper drawing works great.

ghost_warlock
2007-12-24, 06:50 AM
I had the big battle map from the D&D Miniatures starter pack laminated. It works like a dry erase board, now, except I didn't have to go to all the trouble of painting a grid on it. I was working at the school print shop at the time so the lamination was free, too. :smallsmile:

Because I'm a collector, I own a wide assortment of miniatures to use for character/monster representation. But I've played with groups who used washers, dice, dollar coins, paper "tent" miniatures, or even Clue and/or Monopoly game pieces. Once, a player used his cell phone to represent his character riding a horse.

Leadfeathermcc
2007-12-24, 07:14 AM
If you have a old storm window that works well also. The one I have is 4x5 feet, and we lay it over a coffee table that is gridded out in one inch squares. The glass can be drawn on just like a white board, and the glass can also be lifted up to slip premade maps under it.

Kiero
2007-12-24, 07:39 AM
When I used to play D&D...nothing.

Now with other systems...still nothing.

Altair_the_Vexed
2007-12-24, 07:54 AM
I got a dry-erase folding grid / hex sheet - Paizo sell them now I think, or your local hobby shop.

I use generic metal minis and a bunch of the WotC plastic ones. I made bits of scenery (trees, bushes) from that modelling foliage stuff and old wine corks with a penny on the base as a weight - I've always found actual objects work best for trees and stuff that gives cover, it helps people see the line of sight. I've also got a bunch of polystyrene packaging blocks of various sizes that I use for general things...

I used to just play with the battle in my head - then with jelly beans (eat them when they're dead!) and the table top, but I've found there's less confusion in combat when we have minis.

The Professor
2007-12-24, 07:57 AM
My DM casts Major Image and uses it for the tactical map, character figurines, and special effects.

But what does he know about Espers?




Our group uses a grid from the Starter D&D Minis thing. We were thinking on getting it laminated, as that seemed like a good idea. Now I see that it's an excellent idea.

nerulean
2007-12-24, 08:33 AM
Ditto with the dry erase. We usually use d12s for minis, but coins coloured in with different colour marker pens have worked too, and putting a little blob of blutak on the bottom stops them from sliding all over the place if some oaf knocks the table when he goes to get a drink.

PhallicWarrior
2007-12-24, 11:58 AM
I haven't met up with my group in a while, but when we do, I usually use a special laminated grid from Steel Sqwire for combat, and a dry-erase whiteboard for keeping track of initiative, status effects, VP/WP (I use SWD20 too.) and other such things. For miniatures, I usually use Legos, coins, rocks, and the occasional WH40k figurine. I'm eventually going to make little cardboard chits for each of my regular players to use for their characters.

de-trick
2007-12-24, 12:11 PM
we use minature, we invested alot of money. but we may only use 15 minature a session, when we have over 200 combined. Its more like a trading game for us.

Saph
2007-12-24, 12:35 PM
We use a battle mat and eraseable markers. You can get a big mat, plus a marker, for only 10 or so (20 bucks for you US types) if you buy one from a cheap place. Dealers usually sell cut-price ones at conventions.

Then everyone decides on their own whether they want to buy a minature for their character or to scavenge off someone else. Either way, they can decide on their own. Whoever's DMing usually borrows the miniatures collection of the resident mini-maniac, but for my part I tend to use dice or glass counters for monsters, as I can't be bothered to get a different minature of all the hundreds of different monsters the average party fights in D&D.

The battle mat makes a big difference, as everyone can see at a glance where everything else. Really speeds up play, and allows you to do running battles through interconnecting rooms and corridors.

- Saph

DLoFunk
2007-12-24, 03:38 PM
Here's the awesomeness!

I took a 3'x5' of plexiglass and etched 1inch graph on it. For most things I just dry erase marker it, but for when I'm REALLY ambitious, I use my 3 foot printer and make a custom full table map for under the plexiglass.

Riffington
2007-12-24, 03:47 PM
Here's the awesomeness!

I took a 3'x5' of plexiglass and etched 1inch graph on it. For most things I just dry erase marker it, but for when I'm REALLY ambitious, I use my 3 foot printer and make a custom full table map for under the plexiglass.

That's a great idea.
One day when I'm rich, I want to get a giant whiteboard, and hang a projector from the ceiling. That way I can show the characters more and more of the map as they explore it...

Thyatira3902
2007-12-24, 03:59 PM
our group has a bunch of minis to use. everyone has a character and because we run a few campaigns at a time during the year everyone can pick and choose their own. we've probably used a large majority of the figures for battles and such. we find that they give us a lot of ideas. I mean... when you're looking at 3 owl bears 14 kobolds and 15 skeletons... it's like.. hey, battle time.

we use felt pieces about the size of printer paper for laying out the area. it takes a little more time sometimes, but it's nice to be able to see everything in some kind of color. we don't use a battle grid. we've always done it free form and it works pretty well.

i like that storm window idea though.

Leadfeathermcc
2007-12-24, 04:21 PM
That's a great idea.
One day when I'm rich, I want to get a giant whiteboard, and hang a projector from the ceiling. That way I can show the characters more and more of the map as they explore it...

We did that for a while. As the DM I found that to much of my limited prep time was used making electronic versions of the maps, and I am a graphic designer with access to the best graphic design programs, come to think of it that might be why it took so long, I was a perfectionist.

Although projection does work great with preplanned dungeons, I find a white board or glass sheet and markers works much better for sandbox games, where you do not know exactly where the players are going to go next.

Renegade Paladin
2007-12-24, 04:40 PM
We have a dry-erase gaming mat specifically for the purpose.

SoD
2007-12-24, 04:42 PM
Standard grid for DnD, with the option of using white-board markers which rub off! Two different grids, each double sided, plus one extra. I have outside (grass), inside (paved stone), a boat, a tavern and...something else.

bosssmiley
2007-12-24, 05:14 PM
My DM casts Major Image and uses it for the tactical map, character figurines, and special effects.

"Hey! No recursing." </xkcd>

Paizo, GW, D&D Minis and home-made map boards. Battlemats. Sundry minis. Some sort of initiative tracker (either the paizo magnetic one, or cards).

We like the toys. :smallwink: