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Battlemaps and feedback requested


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So I have downloaded GIMP and started playing around with some battlemaps for virtual tabletop use. I have not done any design like this in a long time. I don't claim to be a great artist, but I like to make things nice enough to allow easy suspension of disbelief for the players. As such, I would like to know if other do their own battle maps, make do without any, use those that others have made or some other solution? If you make your own, what do you use?

 

Here is my first attempt, it's a cavern setting that will probably end up being a 2 session thing because of the number of encounters unless the players are very clever or very sneaky. It's set right now for hexes at 5 feet, I'll probably set them for 2m for the conversion, made this to be more generally usable in 5e settings. Feedback welcome, good, bad or indifferent.

 

Fungus_Caverns

 

- E

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Wow.

 

That's pretty amazing, actually.

 

I have no artistic ability, but I have a brother with routine access to a plotter, so I make due with large (like blueprint-sized) printed hex maps and just take a pencil and scribble in what I need as the need arises.

 

I _wish_ I could art.....

 

 

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4 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Critique wise, you made no mistakes. Good color choices, and very gameable. How many pixels across is it? 
 

As for their use, I find maps and minis necessary for any game that has a large tactical element. 

3500 pixels square. Equates to 50x50 70 pixel hexes which is what Roll 20 uses. I can pull the hexes out pretty easily if someone wants to scale it differently.

 

Thank you. I still feel like I have a ton to learn, but good to know it's usable.

 

- E

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10 hours ago, eepjr24 said:

3500 pixels square. Equates to 50x50 70 pixel hexes which is what Roll 20 uses. I can pull the hexes out pretty easily if someone wants to scale it differently.

 

Thank you. I still feel like I have a ton to learn, but good to know it's usable.

 

- E

Well Hero uses either 1meter or 6 foot hexes depending on edition, do different scale hexes would be useful in a Hero context. 

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I just steal existing RPG maps off the internet and roughly overlay hexes.

 

I have no detectable art ability.

 

I'm always a bit envious of people who can do artistic things. But then I stand and watch how much time and effort it takes them to make their incredible creations...and talk myself out of trying to learn any of it. :D 

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1 hour ago, archer said:

I just steal existing RPG maps off the internet and roughly overlay hexes.

 

I have no detectable art ability.

 

I'm always a bit envious of people who can do artistic things. But then I stand and watch how much time and effort it takes them to make their incredible creations...and talk myself out of trying to learn any of it. :D 

I am not "traditionally" artistic. I enjoy artistic pursuits, but they normally are far, far away from the 2d drawing, painting, sketching kind of thing. I love 3d arts (wood working, jewelry making, some sculpting) but my drawing ability is mostly on the stick figure level. Part of what I liked about the tutorial that helped me create this is that it started with a rough sketch that even I was capable of managing. And then everything just builds up slowly from there. Probably this is how some (or maybe most) folks draw, but it makes a lot more sense to me for maps than wood work or sculpting techniques which are more "keep taking things away until you have what you want left".

 

Anyway, back on topic, I am trying a medium sized town / city map now, so lots more detailed objects to create but the process has been very similar. I'll post it when I get done.

 

- E

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13 minutes ago, eepjr24 said:

I am not "traditionally" artistic. I enjoy artistic pursuits, but they normally are far, far away from the 2d drawing, painting, sketching kind of thing.

 

I try to make an art of the written word.

 

Sometimes I'm more successful than other times. What I usually tell people is that I use words "like a scalpel rather than as a blunt instrument".

 

I'm more hopeless at 3d art than with drawing. I can at least TRACE someone else's drawing which is a heck of a lot more than I can do with woodworking.

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I think you did a great job on that image.  I do something similar when I am making maps.  I do buy quite few maps from DriveThurRPG and I have a few Patreon map makers I support.  I will often hack and combine maps as well.

 

My gaming group is using Tabletop Simulator for our VTT.  To create the 3d terrain I am using the method that is documented by Murder Hobo.

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Here are some hex grids I created in Illustrator. Feel free to use them for creating hex maps by placing them over the top of other files. I've included transparent files with both white and black lines.

 

These are originally 48x48 inches so the resolution should be good for about any project. There are PDFs and PNGs.

 

 

48x48-hex-grid.png

48x48-hex-grid-white.png

48x48 hex grid white.pdf 48x48 hex grid.pdf

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1 minute ago, MordeanGrey said:

Here are some hex grids I created in Illustrator. Feel free to use them for creating hex maps by placing them over the top of other files. I've included transparent files with both white and black lines.

 

These are originally 48x48 inches so the resolution should be good for about any project. There are PDFs and PNGs.

If you are using GIMP it's pretty easy to add square or hex grids as a layer. Then you can control the color, size, opacity and other settings on the fly. 

 

- E

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1 hour ago, eepjr24 said:

If you are using GIMP it's pretty easy to add square or hex grids as a layer. Then you can control the color, size, opacity and other settings on the fly. 

 

- E

I use Photoshop and the full Adobe CC professionally. I thought these large grids might be useful to overlay on existing maps, etc.

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I think the Fungus Caves look quite nice. Thank you for sharing!

 

Me big tech dummy, so I usually just sketch locations with erasable pen on my friend's big plastic hex sheet... or in pencil on a sheet of notebook paper. I expend a bit more efforts on regional maps: I have an antique graphics program called PhotoFinish that has a library of texture effects, so I can suggest mountainous regions, use sand texture for deserts, etc. But still quite primitive.

 

I also map out buildings floor by floor on graph paper or hex paper. As well as tactical placement (if it matters for a fight), I like to know exactly what is where. They tend to be rather dull layouts because I try to stay plausible about things like heavy stone walls having support underneath them. I sometimes redo these maps with PhotoFinish to share them with players if it's something they ought to know, such as, "Here is the exact layout of the house you rented in town."

 

For instance, here's the house and shop of the jeweler Plautus Taruntius, part of a block of connected buildings. I expected the scenario would become a hostage situation, so players needed to work out potential angles of fire and things like that. This was D&D, so each square is 5 feet.

PLAUTUS.GIF.4cd0db2f0719e16c4fa53a3590243886.GIF

 

Dean Shomshak

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