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I'm looking for a piece of software that will allow me to show a player map on an external monitor and a GM map on my laptop screen. I don't want to be dragging the player map back and forth from screen to screen. I want to be able to update the GM map – move pieces, fog of war, stuff like that – and have the player map auto-update. Anyone have any ideas?

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4 Answers

Battlegrounds hosts a table comparing popular virtual tabletop software. One of the comparison lines is whether it's "Suitable for offline use".

Based on the comparison, the best bet is MapTool since it explicitly notes that it supports dual map windows so that the player map can be moved onto an external monitor. The other entries indicate support for in-person uses, but are less descriptive about how that works (one notes that it supports this use, but only has one map window). MapTool has the distinct advantage of being free, so you can easily see whether it suits your needs.

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You should be able to do this with MapTool. Start one instance as a GM, set it up as a private server. Start up a second instance, log into the local server as a player, move that instance to the 2nd monitor. If you're controlling the fog of war correctly, the instance on the players' monitor should only see what you want them to see, while everything shows up on yours. –  Oblivious Sage Jun 1 '12 at 1:14
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Take any virtual tabletop tools, setup a GM instance, and a player instance on the laptop and use the localhost address, 127.0.0.1, to connect the player instance to the GM instance. The localhost address doesn't require a network to be hooked up. I have done this on Fantasy Grounds. I believe Maptools can do this as well.

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Masterplan can do just this. It's billed as a D&D 4e adventure design studio, but if you're not playing 4e you could fairly easily ignore all the 4e specific stuff.

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You may like to participate in testing Dungeon Pilot. Contact them via the contact form to get a free test account. The tool is entirely browser-based: no need to install software or plugins, you just need a decent browser with javascript enabled.

Dungeonpilot is an online tool to paint dungeon maps and to explore the dungeons during a role playing session, using two computers. Preferably, one of the computers is a table computer on which the players can see the already explored parts of the map, while the other computer is used by the master to reveal the dungeon map to the players. Having one computer with two monitors and two browser windows will work too.

I'm the developer of Dungeon Pilot.

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Since we're a Q&A site and not a forum, it's never too late to submit a good new answer! To improve this as a standalone answer though, could you briefly describe how the software could support this use? Even if it's trivial, a description helps. :) –  SevenSidedDie Jan 26 '13 at 19:06
    
@SevenSidedDie I've added more details. I hope the details makes sense :-) –  Torsten Robitzki Jan 26 '13 at 22:38
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Self-promotion is acceptable here as long as it's part of a good and relevant answer - and this answer is good and relevant. However, you must state your affiliation with the product you're promoting. For more information, see our FAQ's section on promoting. –  Jonathan Hobbs Jan 26 '13 at 23:33
    
Puh, thanks for the patience with me :-) Much to read for the next days. –  Torsten Robitzki Jan 26 '13 at 23:55
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