Author Topic: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?  (Read 7005 times)

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Midnight_v

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What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« on: July 03, 2011, 05:14:01 PM »
I really want to start dm'ing via pbp, and have a few ideas, my question is as stated in the subject line.
Honestly its what primarily keeps me out of the Online Dm'ing game. I have not methods at my disposal
to display visual movements, that I'm aware of. Do any of you have a program or can I get a few suggestions?
Once I get a mastery of it I'll be trying my hand and running a campaign.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide in the matter.
M_v
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Agita

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 05:36:14 PM »
Maptool is your friend. It has a slightly steep learning curve and needs images and tokens to go with it, but it's not too bad and pretty much foolproof once you get the hang of it.
It's all about vision and making reality conform to your vision. By dropping a fucking house on it.

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Tenebrus

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 06:09:32 PM »
You can also rough it in Paint, which won't cost you anything since every computer in the Microsoft Empire has the program as an accessory.  Draw a proper grid.  Find pictures you like and shrink them to scale or freehand notable details if you have some talent a/o time.  Draw in the good guys and bad guys.  Take the finished product and save it as a jpg since bmp files are gigantic (no compression) before you send it over the wire.  Keep the maps small, just to provide clarity rather than show off.

veekie

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 11:31:06 PM »
GIMP or any image manipulation program with layers makes it easier, but MapTool works better mostly due to being a specialized tool.
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Agita

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 11:34:38 PM »
I've seen some DMs use Excel spreadsheets for maps, alternatively. But of the methods outlined, Maptool really is the easiest to work with, as veekie said, due to it being specialized for the task. Gimp also works. Paint is a nightmare, compared to everything else listed so far, and I recommend against it. All of the methods suggested so far are also free, so there's really no reason to use it (MS Excel isn't free, but the OpenOffice counterpart is and works just fine).
It's all about vision and making reality conform to your vision. By dropping a fucking house on it.

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Sohala

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 02:10:16 AM »
I use DungeonForge, it seems to work alright

You can use it to put tiles in every square, or drop in a picture as the background for an instant grid, along with item placement.

The images are capped at a certain size though, anything beyond that it scales down.

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Midnight_v

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 04:13:53 AM »
Wow  :D, well okay then I guess I better get to work aquainting myself with these systems.

Thanks all and hopefully we'll have a new pbp dm in a few weeks!  ;)
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Melblen_Cairn

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 07:29:21 PM »
I use a combination of GIMP, Paint, and Excel. For the SW:DoD campaign I am running, the battlemaps so far have started out in Excel. I use format cell to get the floor color right. I then cut and paste in tiles from the galaxy tiles set for things like crates and computers. Then I will drop this image into GIMP over a dark colored background for a border. I will add a layer for movement, and layers for any darkness or "fog of war" if needed.
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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 06:58:17 AM »
http://davesmapper.com/

This map generator is fantastic.

jojolagger

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 01:38:41 AM »
Google Docs spreadsheet can be quite effective. Make the cells square, and you're set.
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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 01:17:46 AM »
You can also rough it in Paint, which won't cost you anything since every computer in the Microsoft Empire has the program as an accessory.  Draw a proper grid.  Find pictures you like and shrink them to scale or freehand notable details if you have some talent a/o time.  Draw in the good guys and bad guys.  Take the finished product and save it as a jpg since bmp files are gigantic (no compression) before you send it over the wire.  Keep the maps small, just to provide clarity rather than show off.

This is what I did. If I felt feisty, I could use GIMP for layers, but I have a pretty good system down with Paint. If you're interested, I have a few grid GIFs already created.
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PhaedrusXY

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 03:50:00 AM »
This website + Paint.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 05:46:43 AM »
Quote
Paint
Why Would You Do That?!
Unless you're at work or somewhere with no tools
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

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ShadowViper

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 12:12:23 PM »
This website + Paint.

Wow Dude! Holy shit! Thank you!!!!  :D

I had lost the link to that site and had been unable to find it, heh was just considering making a thread describing the site and asking if anyone had the link.
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PhaedrusXY

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 03:43:55 PM »
Quote
Paint
Why Would You Do That?!
Unless you're at work or somewhere with no tools
:D
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Tenebrus

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 05:34:42 PM »
Quote
Paint
Why Would You Do That?!
Unless you're at work or somewhere with no tools
Because it's simple and free and sitting on your PC.

veekie

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The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

PhaedrusXY

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 07:57:04 PM »
http://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_pictures/gimp_portable
No admin rights, so I can't install anything... nor would I want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs on my work PC...
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 08:26:14 PM »
No need to install anything. You just install it on a thumbdrive at home and run it straight from USB.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

reel_big_gish

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Re: What do you guys use to creat battle maps, in pbp?
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2011, 10:52:00 AM »
Real men use GIMP. Quiche-eaters use Photoshop*, mostly so they can display their disposable income while they look trendy at the coffee shop with their macbook pro, probably covered in sleater-kinney stickers.

*Not that anything's really wrong with Photoshop, but $900, come on Adobe.