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15

These are on two different scales. Generally it does not matter where a Player Character is on board a ship in ship to ship combat. Treat each ship as a figure until they are at boarding action, then the exact location matter and change scale. That is, for ship to ship combats have a Sea Map with Ships on it. Once the ships are in contact, change to two ship ...


15

S scale models will fit best on a standard 1-inch grid, and with your heroic scale 25mm miniatures. With a 1-inch grid, where each 1-inch square represents a 5-foot square, you are playing at a 1:60 ratio (where 1 real-life inch represents 60 in-game inches.) Your closest model railroad scales are: (source) S scale (aka 3/16" scale) at 1:64, or ≈7% ...


15

Nothing special happens by RAW There are no official rules describing being on or off a map in 4E. Squares, and what might be in them, are defined as game elements, but maps are not. Technically, DMs that allow movement off map that looks like it should work (e.g. continuing along a forest path) are playing by RAW. If you can move to a location, and it ...


14

4th Edition, from experience When inflicted on a 4e group as part of a curse, it gave everyone a headache and made combats incredibly long. The hex based map presents incredible difficulties in calculating zones relative to the ease of calculating zones in a square map. Either zones in a hex grid are the same area as a square grid or they are the same ...


14

Wizards.com itself has a massive collection. Finding exactly what you need can be tedious, but for sheer volume it's hard to beat the wizards.com galleries and archives. The Art & Map Gallery and the Map-A-Week Archive are both free, and give access to most of the maps published in D&D 3.5 physical volumes and adventures (though not the content ...


14

You can draw on stained areas with a non-permanent marker then try to remove it. Once I had written on my friend's gaming mat with a permanent marker by mistake. We couldn't remove it no matter what. After a week, while drawing with a non-permanent marker on the stain that left from permanent one, I discovered that permanent marks can be dissolved once it ...


12

Roll20 is another option you should consider. It runs in the browser, allows you to upload images to be used as tokens/maps from your PC and provides a number of other features that sound suited to what you want.


12

Here's something I've done for fantasy games. I've never tried it in modern, but it should still carry over. Give the bad guys terrain they can use to their advantage. When I was running D&D 4e, my favourite thing about it was the monsters. They were balanced pretty well. Each one had an XP value. For a fair fight, you took set amount of XP and ...


11

You can make your own with paper easily. Take a standard sheet of paper and put the grid on it manually. Graph paper will make this step easier. Once you have one page with the proper gridlines, photocopy as many as you need for your mat (I'd estimate somewhere around 15 or 20). Match the gridlines up and tape the pages together. Now get some clear ...


10

The d20 SRD has a simple and useful section on using hexes instead of squares. In terms of ramifications it has this to say: Using a hex-based grid changes relatively little about the game, but poses a mapping dilemma for the GM. Most buildings and dungeons are based on 90-degree and 45-degree corners, so superimposing a hex-based grid on a structure ...


10

Option 1: Reference Speed This is the quick and dirty approach (and the one I've used most). Effectively, you move the map at the same speed as one of the things on the map. That thing doesn't move, everything else moves around it. For example, a ship moving north at 30 squares/turn, chasing another ship moving north at 25 squares/turn. The faster ship ...


10

Typically in any roleplaying game whatsoever, if the action moves off the map (a Out Of Character construct to help players visualize the area), you add more to the map, either re-drawing it to show the new area or getting out a bunch more graph paper. Unless of course there is a terrain feature in the way (like a wall, or a ravine), in which case you ...


9

Savage Worlds Deluxe edition is designed to be played with miniatures and battle map. Using Miniatures The rules are written for the table-top because that requires exact measurements and precise rules. That’s why all the weapon ranges and movement values are listed in inches (rather than yards or some other unit). Using miniatures and ...


9

There are numerous products available for sale that provide an erasable surface that has a pre-printed 1" grid on it. Here's one a lot of folks use. Chessex Battlemat. Comes in several sizes, but it's pretty expensive and if you use certain markers on it, they won't come off. You can also buy a large white board and draw a 1" grid in wet erase or ...


8

Make your own using a variety of options. Kittrich Corporation Con-Tac® brand It's almost always 18" or 27" wide. checkerboards/White 922300 Blue /White 9P2300 Black/White 921300 Yellow/White hex-grid equivalents 961300 Marigolds on White Clear Use for covering some other option… 9993 (18"x9') 999800 (18"x24') Note also: Kittrich used to make, and ...


8

Cartographer's Guild has a wide selection of maps, some of which are gridded for tabletop gaming. Paratime Design released 100 Creative Commons licensed, black and white dungeon maps in the style of old D&D.


8

I use to draw maps on the fly, as the players explore or get into a situation. I must say that those maps aren't generally very detailed, so the task is done fast and it doesn't slow too much the game. The only advices that I can give if you draw more detailed maps are: Try to know beforehand the next possible rooms, and have them ready so you can draw ...


8

The line-of-sight benefits are not actually very much, if any. If you've every played wargames with model-based LOS, you're familiar with the excruciating process of eyeballing, using bits of string, and finally arguing over whether being able to draw LOS to a teeny bit of the tip of a sword sticking up above terrain counts as having LOS or not. Using real ...


7

Pat and Scott both have excellent answers. Here are some other things to think about. First there is this link where a guy goes step by step through building a digital game table with the projector mounted from below. Remember you can project from above or BELOW. In either case you need to figure out how far your projector needs to be from the surface to ...


7

This might be a digression but there's always the option of using neither of them. A tape ruler and some wargaming templates (warhammer or warmahordes) and you're good to go. Replace squares/hexes with inches and you have a pin point accurate system. Takes a little getting used to at first but it works smoothly once you get going. For the GM, maps suddenly ...


7

I would recommend that you also consider taking a look at the dungeonmorphs products. Rather than a map, they are like Legos for building maps in a moment or two. The dungeonmorphs are classic old-schoolish square-grid maps with exits from each tile at the same locations. So you can use the dice, cards, battlemat images, or fonts to create dungeons at high ...


7

As noted above, Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade modeled spherical, planar combat in D&D in the Elemental Chaos part 1 and D&D in the Elemental Chaos part 2. A concern exists that LOE and AOE in Krahulik's models, as well as, prolonged combat and movement were not possible in the models documented. However, both context of Krahulik's efforts and his ...


6

Amit Patel has a nice blog that has a section regarding hex maps. I especially like the Isometric cube coordinate system. Regarding icosahedrons, consider each facet to be a triangular hex map where edge hexes(FJM, NLI and BCD) are shared between two facets and corner hexes (A, E and O) are actually pentagons common to all five facets at the vertex. O ...


6

I hate to say it, but is there any reason why you just aren't using Photoshop (or a free equivalent like Gimp)? You seem to be a more advanced mapper, and that is the route that I would recommend. I don't know if Photoshop elements would be enough to fit what you are looking to do, but I can't think of a better graphics program for large scale mapping.


6

I draw maps on the fly, and here's a few tips Make sure the map is easily reachable for drawing - you'll probably have to forgo (or at least move) a DM screen. Speed is better than precision - since your grid lines are already on the page, don't worry if your lines exactly match. Drop rocks on any players who complain. I tend to minimalism on my drawings, ...


6

One solution would be to use your map only to draw fight zones, and keep the rest of the map sketchy or abstract. While that sounds weird, it can be more immersive to wander through caves that meander, climb up and down cracks, etc.--which I find I tend to avoid when grid lines guide me to straight lines. You'll save yourself the effort of drawing areas ...


6

Actually, combat in a modern city should be a LOT more interesting than in most fantasy settings! Thats because of the complexity of the terrain. The opponents the players are facing may have numerous types of advantages. Height - the enemies may have higher ground than the players. It may be small scale, they may attack suprisingly from the ceiling of a ...


6

I've never used Crayola Washable markers on a battlemat so I haven't had to deal with this personally, but I have a kid so I'm familiar with a particular resource you might find useful – Crayola has a FAQ of tips for cleaning their products off of materials they weren't meant to be used on. The closest I could find for this situation is for Crayola Washable ...


6

I've had the same issue last year and did some days of Googling to find out what I needed. Even though I didn't need those tools for the same purposes, I'm pretty much sure you'll find them useful. Solution 1: RP Tools Since you asked for a Windows application, these should fit the most. They're actually five applications that stack with each other. You ...


5

You may want to use a staggered square grid. It works like a hexgrid, but is all squares. Here's a poor ASCII art version... +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ ...



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