Thursday, 8 September 2016

Mapping issues in the modern world

I keep waiting to be inspired so I can write a long post, but I have decided smaller, minor posts are probably a better idea, and might see me actually do something... lotta commas.

MAPS!  There are some awesome maps out there these days, but of lot of them have grids, and numbers and secret door symbols that stick out of the wall... I hate this.


Today I use Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds to run games with, on a big TV screen for all my players to see. I use Fog or War or better yet (Roll20's advantage) dynamic lighting, so you only see what you can see (LOS and emitted light). To use this tool you have to lay down a grid of lines to show where solid objects are and where the light stops.

But if you have a big S marker sticking out of the wall it is extremely hard to hide it, or you dynamic light lines have to stick out or bend around it, which the players will be able to spot... oh look a bump in the wall, lets look for secret doors there.

And while I am at it, a wish list: Soft lines, so it still allows light to get through but just weakens it a set amount, like a curtain. Perforated LOS lines, for portcullis and holes in walls etc.


 On top of that the game controls movement distances by having its own grid, visible or not. I don't need a grid on my map that conflicts with the VDD grid, not to mention trying to get them to align.  Dyson Maps are awesome in this regard, they provide non-gridded versions.

Wishlist: show movement ranges as a token is selected, taking into account rough ground. Defining rough ground areas would be good.


There are orcs gathered around the large number 5 engraved on the floor of the room... Use layers guys! Let me remove all that stuff.


This is just a query, how do others handle walls in a VDD? I tned to either use vector style lines inside solid areas, creating sectors and allowing the walls to show, OR I draw the lines a short distance inside the walls to allow players to see they are walls, along with the lovely drawing effects used with the wall... but this may reveal things on the other side, or you suddenly drawing right up against the wall will tell smart players something.

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