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  #1  
Old Jan 11th, 2022, 01:02 AM
Sic Transit Sic Transit is offline
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Mapping more than the obvious

This isn't me asking how to make maps for online play. There's a zillion options for that these days, from Excel sheets to dungeon autogenerators to taking screenshots of roll20 maps or whatever. I'm not necessarily good at maps, but I can get the job done.

My question is... How do people handle the fancier aspects of game cartography? Lighting. Line of sight. Map exploration / fog of war. Do people generally make at least broad sections of map visible and trust in players to explore responsibly? Do you conceal secret doors and the like unless they are detected? Does anyone try to use the lighting rules as actually printed (in, well, any edition)?
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 09:19 AM
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It varies to whether I'm using a vtt or if I'm handling it irl. When I'm at the table with my players and I actually have a map that isn't the world map for them to reference then I'll let them see everything and trust them to act accordingly. For vtt or pbp I'll keep everything in a fog of war and reveal just enough so they can see the interior walls of whatever room they've explored and describe what they can see.

The dynamic lighting most of these vtts have is fancy and all, but I often lack the time to get each dungeon properly configured for it unless I purchase a map pack - which I seldom do. Its easier just to tell the PCs what they can see and keep quiet about what they cannot until it becomes relevant.
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Old Jan 13th, 2022, 07:48 PM
Sic Transit Sic Transit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retry View Post
It varies to whether I'm using a vtt or if I'm handling it irl. When I'm at the table with my players and I actually have a map that isn't the world map for them to reference then I'll let them see everything and trust them to act accordingly. For vtt or pbp I'll keep everything in a fog of war and reveal just enough so they can see the interior walls of whatever room they've explored and describe what they can see.

The dynamic lighting most of these vtts have is fancy and all, but I often lack the time to get each dungeon properly configured for it unless I purchase a map pack - which I seldom do. Its easier just to tell the PCs what they can see and keep quiet about what they cannot until it becomes relevant.
VTT map handling is obviously its own creature. I've run games out of a couple of the major VTTs, and have definitely taken the time to set up the lighting options, line of sight, fog of war, and so forth. And of course, IRL tabletop if I'm free-drawing the map on a board, I only draw what the players can see...

...but I'm especially curious how people handle that such things on this site for PBP play. For example, if you've got a party in a big room with a couple closed doors, do you just go ahead and slap the whole map down and trust the players to use in-character knowledge appropriately? Or do you edit the maps to reveal as you go? It strikes me that the latter might slow down what is already a relatively slow rate of play. Speaking from the 3.5 action economy, if I've got a player next to a closed door and they take a move action to open that door, they've got their standard action remaining, but that would need to wait on the DM updating the map?

I suppose it really should anyway... Perhaps I'm overthinking this.
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Old Jan 14th, 2022, 12:36 AM
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Hi Sic,

Iím no DM, but Iíve been in many PBP games here on RPGX that use maps. I believe that nearly all of them ďreveal as we goĒ to maintain some element of Fog of War.

It certainly isnít speedy, but if speed is what youíre looking for then PBP might not be the right medium for you. Of course, there are conventions such as declaring Readied Actions in advance for ďIf/ThenĒ scenarios, but since it sounds like what youíre worried about would typically require initiative rolls, I donít see much lost in the approach?
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