I was thinking of playing on a real map - perhaps even using Google Maps or Google Street View as we're playing? Since there's no GM preparation necessary, using real locations might help give direction to the group (finding a sanctuary, etc.).

There are of course pros and cons to using Maps or Street View (or nothing at all).

If anybody has experiences regarding the use of Maps, please do share. How did it affect the storytelling and gameflow?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Our site isn't actually suited to "please share" types of questions. Our specific Q&A system is designed to work well with questions that can theoretically have a "best" answer, but that same design makes it dreck for discussion questions where every possible response is equally valid. Can you narrow this down to a specific problem to be solved that might have a concrete solution? If not, it might be better suited to a forum-type site. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2014 at 7:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Should I rephrase my question so it's accepted as a "game recommendation" one? Like rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/9639/… \$\endgroup\$
    – FDM
    May 4, 2014 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FrederikDeMets That depends: are you looking for how to play the shotgun diaries with Maps, or for a game you could play with certain criteria including that it works with Maps? Sounds like you're interested in the first, and that's definitely not a game recommendation question. (Questions don't need to be rescued, especially not by asking about problems you're not having.) \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2014 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


I had the same idea in my last game, but it was D&D so Google Maps wasn't quite right. Instead I searched for layouts of castles, manors, and villages and plopped those into my game.


  1. The biggest upshot of this method was that my maps included things I never would have thought of. I've got a mental list of rooms that exist in castles and I rotate through them as I make castles. When a downloaded map included a music room, something novel entered my game.
  2. No artistic talent required. Sure, my players can imagine all those lines and boxes and the occasional stray d12 represent a castle. But they don't always bother. I feel like a little bit of imagery can get their creative juices flowing in a way that makes the game more than just a tactical simulation. But my artistic talent and free time are severely limited, so if I can have someone else do this part, all the better.
  3. Less to think about. I can think of one instance where the players went to a town I never heard of and had no prior opinions about. I found a pretty decent map of it and just went with that. This saved a ton of time and brain space.


  1. It's not as big of a time saver as you'd think. If I had a preconceived notion of what I was looking for, it was impossible to Google within that constraint. Sometimes I'd click through blueprints for forty five minutes. At the end of it I'd have nothing usable for game. Had I just drawn out the map I wanted in the first place, I'd have been ready for game. Yes, this is directly contradictory to one of my pros. Sometimes this helped and sometimes it was a time sink.
  2. Tech. I like running my games in analog. I write out my notes by hand. Maybe I'm a grognard and maybe I'm a programmer who doesn't want to have his hobbies rely on the computer too. Using digital maps meant I had to go online to do research. Sometimes it meant showing maps on my TV when the map was too big or too colorful to print. I don't know if this is a hangup for anyone but me, but that's no reason not to mention it.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, good points. The "tech" con is bothering me a bit as well, especially if one has to continuously scroll or zoom throughout the game. The pros are pretty solid though. I'll probably have to give it a shot at least once. \$\endgroup\$
    – FDM
    May 4, 2014 at 13:28

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