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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Maybe I only noticed it because of what I was doing - wrapping my nephew's Christmas present, which is a 5e Player's Handbook. But I noticed once again that a lot of wrapping paper is marked off on the back in one-inch squares for ease of cutting.

    This means that in two days, there will be big sales everywhere on 4-foot by 10-foot D&D mats.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Good call! I know exactly what you mean. I can't believe I missed that.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Too bad I strongly prefer hexagonal grids...
    But yeah, great observation!

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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    They are also cheap enough, especially after Christmas, that I can draw on them for a single use.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    brilliant!
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    I never understood the need for 5ft/ 1 inch squares battle mats

    We can all guesstimate distance and use rulers for line of sight .
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2017-12-25 at 02:58 PM.

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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    I never understood the need for 5ft/ 1 inch squares battle mats

    We can all guesstimate distance and use rulers for line of sight .
    I don't have to understand it. As long as battlemats sell, I can see that some people prefer to use them.

    There are a lot of products out there I don't see a need for. That fact doesn't disturb either their buyers or their sellers one iota.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Cealocanth's Avatar

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    I never understood the need for 5ft/ 1 inch squares battle mats

    We can all guesstimate distance and use rulers for line of sight .
    In 5e specifically? There really isn't a real need for it, because the system is built using real distances.

    Many other systems are built using a grid in mind, though. Savage Worlds, for example, takes it to such an extreme that the distances for things like movements and spells are described in terms of "inches", as in "a fireball produces an explosive sphere of a five inch diameter centered on a single square".
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    Red Bear's Avatar

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Must be an American thing, unfortunately all the gift wrapping paper I have ever seen was the same color or blank on the other side, too bad, I could have used large cheap gaming mats.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Now that we're in the post-Christmas sales, you may also want to wander through Joann's, Michaels, and other various craft-y stores that sell raw fabric. They have gridded cutting mats of various prices and sizes, almost exclusively with 1-inch squares.

    You can also find various colors and sizes in your everything stores, such as Amazon, Alibaba/AliExpress, et cetera

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    My favorite DM bought a graph board with 5 inch grids from a stationary shop and laid it flat on the table . Needed a cave no problem just draw on it with an easy to wipe away felt tip pen.

    The only thing i use with grids on it are my fancy looking cardboard / paper tiles and tile pieces from DND starter packs . I prefer "gridless" plastic trees or wooden blocks for making encounter scenes.

    This game is only as good as the DM,s imagination . Regarding playing mats , we can all do better than that.
    Last edited by Pugwampy; 2017-12-30 at 05:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    I just have a spare set of cheap 1-in-square paper anyway, so it's not a big deal for me. And yeah, wrapping paper doesn't come in 1-in squares (or squares at all) over here - it's just assumed we know how to use scissors.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugwampy View Post
    I never understood the need for 5ft/ 1 inch squares battle mats

    We can all guesstimate distance and use rulers for line of sight .
    For me it comes out of the tradition of grid-mapped dungeons with 10' squares--graph paper had always been part of a D&D cabinet. So the transition to 5' squares and positioning your miniature on a dry-erase battlemat with the dungeon map or the outdoor terrain drawn around it felt pretty natural. And from there the move to hexes was an unalloyed boon, literally squaring the circles of fireball radii.

    You don't NEED it--you could just use a regular dryerase board and rulers, old-school-wargamer style. But grids, especially hex grids, make it all so much easier.

    And by the way, you can get printable hex grids in pdf form at https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/hexagonal/

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    For me it comes out of the tradition of grid-mapped dungeons with 10' squares--graph paper had always been part of a D&D cabinet. So the transition to 5' squares and positioning your miniature on a dry-erase battlemat with the dungeon map or the outdoor terrain drawn around it felt pretty natural. And from there the move to hexes was an unalloyed boon, literally squaring the circles of fireball radii.

    You don't NEED it--you could just use a regular dryerase board and rulers, old-school-wargamer style. But grids, especially hex grids, make it all so much easier.

    And by the way, you can get printable hex grids in pdf form at https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/hexagonal/
    I've actually found that I prefer the middle ground (between TotM and full grids) of a whiteboard and a flexible ruler. That's because I care most about keeping things flowing, and I can eyeball distances (only measuring things when it's critical). For me, grids encourage areas with entirely right-angled buildings, trees, etc which feels wrong. But that might be my strong "must color in the lines" urge. Grids also encourage people to optimize their actions, which slows everything down. TotM is a pain to keep track of (and I have too much to worry about) and requires lots of back and forth about exact numbers and placement. It can also lead to misunderstandings.

    But I did pick up a couple rolls of 1x1 wrapping paper for those times where a grid is necessary or I can't bring my 4'x6' whiteboard.
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I've actually found that I prefer the middle ground (between TotM and full grids) of a whiteboard and a flexible ruler. That's because I care most about keeping things flowing, and I can eyeball distances (only measuring things when it's critical). For me, grids encourage areas with entirely right-angled buildings, trees, etc which feels wrong. But that might be my strong "must color in the lines" urge. Grids also encourage people to optimize their actions, which slows everything down. TotM is a pain to keep track of (and I have too much to worry about) and requires lots of back and forth about exact numbers and placement. It can also lead to misunderstandings.

    But I did pick up a couple rolls of 1x1 wrapping paper for those times where a grid is necessary or I can't bring my 4'x6' whiteboard.
    I think hexes help me avoid using too many right angles. But I know what you mean--a few days ago I adapted the fungus room from Lost Mines of Phandelver for my family campaign, where I'm using square grid paper for some reason, (I guess to match the module maps) and I'm not happy with the squiggliness of the walls where I was using square gridlines to track where the cave walls and the fungus was and wasn't. (I also upgraded the encounter so it's not just "walk across the room and make a saving throw". Yawn. The players can try to avoid the fungus, which means I needed to specifically place the fungus. And avoiding the fungus interacts with fighting the zombies and skeletons I put in the room. They still have the option to go back, of course. But if they fight the encounter, one of the skeletons has a backpack with a copy of the Monster MAnual page where Wights appear, which is what I replaced the Wraith with in the next section.)

    Ok. I also have in the D&D closet a couple of 11 x 17 posters covered in printed hex grid paper, and then covered in the kind of paper laminate you can buy pretty cheap at Michaels/ JoAnn's / Hobby Lobby etc. Thing I learned--laminate is about 80% opaque, so avoid very light blue for the hexes.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Large D&D playing mats available cheaply

    I just noticed a flash deal on AliExpress for Bathroom Mosaic Wall Stickers (Here if you care), which would also be a very durable, cheap way to turn random surfaces into uniform grids of various interesting colors. You may be able to find Hex patterns with the same thing.

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