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While mapping has been extensively covered but always from either the Virtual Tabletop perspective, not the on-the-fly-mapping idea. Basically what software could you use to map a grid-based dungeon in real time? It doesn't have to look pretty, the current tool in use is Excel with square cells & cell boarders. However the 'right tool for the right job' person in me pulls my hair out every time I hear this, so I want something better. It must be at least as fast as excel, support marking of secret & normal doors and such. I plan my dungeons on grid-paper, so rectangle only is fine for now.

This is just for old-school mapping: Not a battle mat, not for online play. Just something that is easier to share then scanning in a sheet of grid paper.

No Mac or iOS solutions. Android, Windows and Linux are what we use More obscure OS programs are also allowed, due to the fact we are huge nerds.

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Have you looked at Maptools? –  okeefe Feb 21 '12 at 1:38
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That stuff called 'paper' seems to work pretty well. –  Macona Feb 21 '12 at 13:36
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You have to pay for paper every time you use it, it can't be transferred across the internet without equipment, same for equipment, and Canageek asked for something other than paper explicitly. –  Kyle Willey Feb 21 '12 at 15:40

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I like MapTool. I've also been known to use the GIMP to tile together images, but that's only worthwhile if you've already got tiles.

I've actually used the toolkit from the original Neverwinter Nights to generate a map, but this is rather slow and whatnot.

I've also messed around with other things but they're mostly random in nature, so I'm assuming you don't want them. If you are, I'd suggest http://donjon.bin.sh.

Also, I just found an awesome site for this: http://pyromancers.com/dungeon-painter-online/

Hopefully one of these is helpful.

Edit: Dunjinni looks like it could potentially be cool, but I'm not very familiar with it. There's also Dungeon Maker, which is less fully featured than Dungeon Painter Online but a good backup just in case, Tiamat, which falls somewhere in-between, and PyMapper, which is downloadable, though I had issues with its installer (and I don't have Python on this computer to test the from-source version, though if you had Python you could click-to-run it).

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Maptool is far too slow. You have to carefully align each tile. I'm talking like 'click squares to make room' type of software. Maptools is for making pretty maps, not on-the-fly ones. –  Canageek Feb 21 '12 at 16:42
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Pyromancers looks perfect. If someone hooks me up with a non-web tool I'll probably move to that, but you get the accept until then. –  Canageek Feb 21 '12 at 16:44
    
Found another few: dungeoncrafter3.com/screenshots.php dungeonmapping.com/df/public_html yeoldemapmaker.com Courtesy of a forum thread: cartographersguild.com/… I haven't looked at these myself other than just the examples, but they look potentially promising. The second link is a map-making community with both an older and newer tool, but you do have to register to get them and I'm in a hurry right now. –  Kyle Willey Feb 22 '12 at 20:43
    
Dunjinni is a bit slow as well I think, it is again a tool to make nice pretty maps, not on the fly 'which way is out' maps. –  Canageek Feb 23 '12 at 19:16
    
Yeah, I hear you. I'm so freeform when I GM that when people ask me for a floorplan I have an anxiety attack. I'm actually going to use some of these in my own campaigns. –  Kyle Willey Feb 23 '12 at 19:35

Have you looked at Dungeonographer? It's a java app so it runs on at least 2 of your preferred platforms. There's a free version, which will allow you to at least try it out before committing to it.

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Have you considered using something as simple as MSPaint? Square boxes of your own sizing with added text wherever you can fit it. Various colors for... whatever. Lava, water, trees, hideous deathtrap of spiked poisonous tentacles. If you're not using this for a battle-map and it's just a way to share an idea of the layout of places, then it doesn't have to be exact.

Keep it simple.

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I'd prefer something that gives a nice grid, as it is then easier to see when you might have missed a hidden room or such, and you have less issues of 'opps I drew that room too big'. –  Canageek Feb 21 '12 at 17:02

Hexographer sounds like it may meet your needs (t. There is a free, browser-based version and a $25 desktop version.

It is related to Dungeonographer, which is described in a post that was made after I started writing this one... I would recommend looking at both.

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