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15

The 5-foot square is the standard measurement in every edition of D&D published by Wizards of the Coast, starting with 3rd Edition in 2000. In editions prior to WotC taking over publication, there was no standard. Mapping of constructed areas was typically in 10-foot squares, and the ubiquitous gridded battle mat was almost unknown to D&D players. ...


14

What you are looking for resembles the Castrum Ferrariae, which triggered the city of Ferrara, in Italy. Its first installment is from the 12th century, to be developed later until the 16th century. Link to the image source


13

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 ...


13

I don't see it working. A 2d map is still only going to ever give you the upper most surface. Consider a troll under a bridge. How do you know what's on top of the bridge vs what's below it? IMO this is no better than a flat map. What has worked for me for minimal effort is Construx. They were a competitor to Lego during my childhood and can be ...


13

It depends on how much the characters can see, how surprising the details they can't see are, and how much you trust your players to not act in-character on out-of-character information. If you want to keep surprises from them, re-drawing the map as the characters move (as you suggested) is the classic way of dealing with this. But there are other options. ...


12

Clues and Map scraps. First they need a clue to point them in the right general direction. That's fairly easily accomplished by the usual methods, whatever works in your game. Next: if the party finds, buys, is given a partial map (mapscrap), that gives them the essential tool to go find the objective (macguffin). But don't think in terms of classic maps, ...


12

First and most important point: The actual map is actually the least important and interesting part of a treasure map. Remember, the purpose of a treasure map is almost never to make it easy to find a treasure - It's to make it easy for the mapmaker to find the treasure - or possibly one of his relatives, if he doesn't manage it himself. As a result, most ...


11

A nice random generator is Hexographer.


11

Taking some measurements, the scale is clearly wrong. Looking at the castle-shaped building in the section labelled 12 with a true-distance measuring tool (I'm using GIMP's Measure Tool), I find that its central block is about 12 pixels from river-side front to back. Measuring the scale using the same tool, 15 pixels is 20 feet, making the castle sans towers ...


10

Historical buildings are a great source of real floor plans: guild halls, merchant adventurer hall, churches, and castles will all have a visitor's map which you can easily adapt to your game. Another great source is archaeological digs of pre-dark ages sites: Carthage, Rome, Greece, etc... all have many great floor plans that are easy to adapt. Catacombs ...


10

Sure. This original Greyhawk map, also known as the "Darlene" map; has a scale of 1 hex = 30 miles per the World of Greyhawk Glossography from the 1e boxed set: Each map hexagon is 10 leagues across (30 miles). Travel rates are given in miles per day. It's about 4 hexes from Dyvers to Greyhawk, so that's about 120 miles. For more maps and info you ...


9

Here are some of the sites I use the provide me maps and such. Some are free, some are donation. They are provided by the authors and are "no cost", but they do it for the love of the game. Please help them out if they have a donate button, they work very hard on these. DragonsFoot Dream Weaved Worlds Dungeons Unlimited Fanastic Maps - Jonathon Roberts ...


9

Dundjinni is quite intuitive and gives you good results for encounter maps Campaign Cartographer has a steep learning curve but provides many features. It lets you create anything from overland maps over city maps to dungeon maps. AutoREALM is a free alternative, but I have no experience with it. Hexographer is a tool to easily create hex maps. There is a ...


8

Give them a map or turn-by-turn directions, but make them slightly unreliable. Maybe an old adventurer tells them the story of the tome he dropped in the pit in the lower level: "If you go down to the crossroads--you know the one I'm talking about, right?--it's the right passage, which you take for a while till it hits the kobold warrens. On the other side ...


8

The maker of Hexographer has a new product out for dungeon mapping called Dungeonographer. I like these applications a lot. You can learn it and start making decent maps in an afternoon. You don't need any drawing skills or knowledge of how to use CAD or vector drawing. It is point and click for the most part.


8

Downtown Seattle, Renton and Bellevue Bam. There's three of them simply by typing in "shadowrun google map" into Google.


7

Here's the big version of one of the maps you linked to. Zoom in to 100% resolution and you'll see the scale: 1 hex = 65 miles. This map was included with the D&D 3rd Edition Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, so it's about as official as any source you're going to find. Note that the political boundaries represent the world as it looks like after the classic ...


6

The easiest tool I have found to create floor plans is Undermountain Games' DTiles: Dungeons. It is not really a mapping tool as such but I have used it as such by down-scaling on the screen and doing screen grabs. For Example:


6

The simplest method is the in media res mode: "You finally arrived at the rubble pile beneath the opening, rubble which is relatively fresh. This seems to be the place the patrol mentioned. Now, it falls to you to explore and pacify it. As you look, you notice that the air inside is fresh..." The second is to have a map of the major central area, the "safe" ...


6

Cut off the edges of a sheet of printer paper. Soak the paper in tea to give it a darker color. Use a pen to draw the map. Write your riddle either on the back or under the the sketch. Make sure the riddle makes sense. Ideas for the riddle: Make it rhyme Make it a math formula Tie it to some type of landmark Tie it to an NPC Note, if you're using a ...


6

Here is a quite elaborate SR3 Seattle Map with city parts and safety zone demarkations. Another, pretty Seattle Map, making different gang territories nicely visible. There is a thread on shadowrun.com called SR Interactive Maps vault that collects some more.


6

I believe it is mostly to be taken abstractly, but specified when your story needs it. I know when I make cities for my games, I usually leave whole neighborhoods as amorphous collections of boxes that I can fill in when need arises. Most of the creators of the Forgotten Realms are basing their city creations on Late Medieval, Early Renaissance Europe - ...


5

If you are looking for non-digital methods, we used to make templates out of really thick car stock or cardboard. We would have square ones, arcs, and other shapes that let us draw on a huge sheet of butcher paper that was strewn over the table. We would try to map with fountain pens or other "archaic" tools to try and give the maps a little more feeling of ...


5

MapTools comes bundled with a variety of nice set-piece tile graphics for things like walls, stone floors, furniture, torches, and so on. My approach is to sketch the rough map on graph paper, scan or photograph the sketch to a JPEG, and then use it as the blueprint for the rest of the map. MapTools also works as a virtual tabletop. So once a map is ...


5

To answer your question: both. If I think that the actual map in-book has something that would lead to a better understanding of the terrain or area, I'll allow my players a glance while blocking off areas that they either cannot realistically see or have yet to explore. In addition to that I, and every DM I've played under, use a game mat and draw the map ...


5

There are two easy ways, one narrative and one dungeon-structural. The easy narrative method is to skip the "finding the interesting place" part of the game with a quick narration. Something like: You enter the Grey Portal and quickly make your way through the echoing, dripping tunnels. Cries of surprised terror and threatening growls pierce the silence ...


5

I've had some success with PyMapper and Tiled. PyMapper is a bit tricky, but is great if you have dungeon tiles and want to pre-determine layout. Tiled is fantastic for generating arbitrary maps, as you can use any image as a "tile reference" and lay out the map exactly as you like.


5

I use the Masterplan tool. In addition to mapping, it includes adventure planning, monster customization and combat tracking.


5

I am generally pretty impressed with NBOS products. You might check out their AstroSynthesis program. It does all sorts of 2 and 3 D star maps and system animations. If that's too much, you might be able to get a stellar graphic set for their 2d fractal mapper program.


5

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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