Monday, March 11, 2013

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map (in Keyed and Unkeyed Flavors Please)

No, I'm not literally asking for the readers of this blog to make me a map. I'm directing this at publishers, big and small.

Many of us do our gaming online, either via a Virtual Table Top or an app such as Roll20 (all hail Roll20!)

This allows us to import maps from adventures and use features such as Fog of War to reveal what the PCs can see (and hide what they can't see).

What FOW can't do is hide room numbers, obscure traps and keep secret secret doors, all of which show up on the reveal.

Is it that difficult to give us the addition of a "play map" for use with the "new fangled" gaming tools we have access to these days?

I know Purple Duck has been adding such to it's DCC releases based on feedback, and it's an awesome  feature of their products, especially for those of us that game online.

Oh, before you say it, using Paint or Photoshop or some such to remove the offending material leaves tell tale signs (alright MY SKILLS leave tell tale signs, as I literally have no such skills). Players ain't stupid ya know ;)

So, what say you? Who else wants some "Unkeyed Map Goodness" in their newt OSR adventure purchase?

13 comments:

  1. Honestly, I found the keyed numbers a convenience the last couple sessions. Instead of trying to describe "the room four rooms ago" it's really easy to say "we'll head southwest from room 9".

    I found if we were looking for a specific room we'd refer to it by feature ("the room with the bones" or "the demon room", or in another adventure, "the bat cave").

    Room numbers probably aren't a problem, but concealing secret stuff (traps, secret doors, etc.) would be a good idea.

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  3. I've pointed this post out to the good folks at Black Blade who will be putting out Castle of the Mad Archmage. It might be too late in the process to work this in, but I figured it was worth looking at.

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  4. as map making mania has gripped me of late - my biggest request is to include grids which as non tactical combat gamer i forget. Not sure if my suggestion to use grid on acetate. Do these progs need a grid or do they overlay any size grid/hexes as desired? So I will take note and publish multiple versions - but future proof tips apreciated

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    1. Just to clarify from my unclear point - i get requests when i post on my blog for versions of maps with grids to be added - i never use myself.

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  5. I think this is a great idea - tricky with hand drawn maps, but I'll try it next thing I produce.

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  6. When I use the Mapmatic tool @ the BFRPG (another shameless plug) I always make a DM and Player map version.. Although I don't remove the keys since they don't really affect anything..(having an AHA moment) unless they use the numbers to figure out if there is a missing room and figure there is a secret door they are missing...

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    1. I always number secret rooms with a letter and the room it can be accessed from. (so room 12a is the secret room attached to room 12)

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    2. I like that! I noticed that in some of my maps I've done that and others they got their own number..

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  7. Oh and when I ran In Search of the Unknown using Maptools my crappy photoshop skills gave away two secret doors because the spot was cleaner than the rest of the scan..

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  8. The 1st commenter had a good point - if the map is keyed for the DM, wouldn't the characters themselves key the map and take notes on the rooms? Probably not use the same numbering scheme, but still, it's not that outlandish for rooms to still have a number.

    Secret stuff, not so much.

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  9. I worked on something like this for Simon Forster's Lottery Dungeon, here.

    http://fictivefantasies.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/some-lottery-dungeon-adapted-cartography/

    I don't know how it would hold up to player scrutiny, but it's an effort in that direction.

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  10. I always make my own maps, and have secret rooms and traps which are "hidden" from player sight. Using Maptools, all I have to do is right click, and change it on a drop-down menu, and suddenly the players can see it. With traps, I have a token set up that has their own macro.

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