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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Using maps and mapping

    I recently ran a dungeon (worlds largest dungeon, section A), having a PC map out the area as they went. It turned out to be a lot of work, as I needed to tell him the specifics of every room. Giving them the "players map" (without secret doors) would spoil the layout of the dungeon.

    How does your group handle this? Make simpler player maps (rooms connected by lines?) Hand out the map itself?

    I also enjoy reading dyson logos map-blog : http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/

    but find it hard to actually use his maps. I can't hand them to the players (secret doors), then how is the art useful? How do you use them?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Oct 2010
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    Dallas, TX
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    Default Re: Using maps and mapping

    Quote Originally Posted by PetterTomBos View Post
    I recently ran a dungeon (worlds largest dungeon, section A), having a PC map out the area as they went. It turned out to be a lot of work, as I needed to tell him the specifics of every room. Giving them the "players map" (without secret doors) would spoil the layout of the dungeon.

    How does your group handle this? Make simpler player maps (rooms connected by lines?) Hand out the map itself?
    When I started playing, in the 1970s with the original whitebox game, all dungeons were huge, and we had to map every step. We handled it by describing every room in detail, drawing it on graph paper, and it was a lot of work.

    The last time I DMed, I produced maps of rooms in PowerPoint, printed them and put them on the table. Once I have generic corridors of 5, 10, and 20 feet, and basic rooms of the standard sizes, I only had to produce a couple of special ones for a session.

    Mostly these days we have an erasable map, and the DM draws the room out as we come to it. I copy down the map, though not on graph paper, but my map is usually not needed, since we are actually looking at the room as drawn by the DM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    May 2005
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    Somerville, MA
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    Default Re: Using maps and mapping

    I hand wave it away. My dungeons are usually pretty small as I don't much care for dungeons that last longer than a couple sessions.

    Even when I've done a bigger dungeon, I haven't found that the map matters all that much. The players get a list of challenges. They rarely go back through the dungeon, and if they do it's already cleared. Unless there's a retreat, the presence of a full dungeon map just doesn't add anything to the game in my opinion.
    If you like what I have to say, please check out my GMing Blog where I discuss writing and roleplaying in greater depth.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Using maps and mapping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    When I started playing, in the 1970s with the original whitebox game, all dungeons were huge, and we had to map every step. We handled it by describing every room in detail, drawing it on graph paper, and it was a lot of work.

    The last time I DMed, I produced maps of rooms in PowerPoint, printed them and put them on the table. Once I have generic corridors of 5, 10, and 20 feet, and basic rooms of the standard sizes, I only had to produce a couple of special ones for a session.

    Mostly these days we have an erasable map, and the DM draws the room out as we come to it. I copy down the map, though not on graph paper, but my map is usually not needed, since we are actually looking at the room as drawn by the DM.
    Hmm, in powerpoint, I hadn't thought of that one before!

    I should get an erasable map (my gaming paper rolls work, but it is sort of tedious to lift everything for a new sheet...).

    I'm growing more fond of the idea of having the players map the dungeon like a bunch of circles (rooms) joined by lines (corridors). Or perhaps I have a bit too much basic algorithms lately ;)

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    TheThan's Avatar

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    Sep 2005
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    GI Joe Headquarters
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    Default Re: Using maps and mapping

    Iíve tried a lot of different things.
    Iíve given detailed descriptions while pcs trying to draw the map out as they go (which always ended up WAY wrong).

    I've done the whole "use your imagination" bit.

    Iíve drawn maps and handed them out.

    Iíve drawn maps in photo shop and printed them off of the net . Then handed them out to players.

    Iíve got a dungeon crawling board game called ďdecent: journeys into the darkĒ. it comes with what amounts to dungeon tiles you hook together like the pieces of a puzzle. (works really good).

    By far my favorite is to use Map tools and create maps beforehand. Load them into the program and simply tell them to go to map xxx. And reveal it as they go. Iíve spent quite a bit of time gathering tokens and other useful bits of artwork to use in my dungeons. this is for online games.
    Last edited by TheThan; 2012-11-13 at 11:58 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Agent_0042's Avatar

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    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Using maps and mapping

    For non-online games, I use photoshop (or another image program with support for layers). Load the map on one layer, fill another with black, and erase as the players go. If the characters aren't mapping the area, and you pay attention to that sort of thing, you can re-cover the room when the players leave it or lose LOS.
    Last edited by Agent_0042; 2012-11-14 at 12:30 PM.
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