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Mapping -- do you bother to do it?
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:24 pm    Post subject: Mapping -- do you bother to do it? Reply with quote

When running your own campaigns, do you guys bother to map things out like ship deck plans, Imperial bases, etc.?

If so, how detailed do you get? Do you just want to create a general layout, or do you do it using a grid with very precise measurements and such?

Also, do you prefer to design by hand, or do you use software to assist (and if so, what do you recommend)?

I'm thinking in the near-ish future I'm gonna start running my own games, but I'm still figuring out what exactly I need/want to do in that respect.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is a large range of options, and you are never restricted to one, even within the same game.

I will often do 'theater of the mind' where descriptions are good enough to get the point across:

"We are going to get to the control room..."
So I describe a series of hallways...and throw in some encounters, with the assumption that they will make it where they are going, maybe some wrong turns here and there, but it's not important to map out.

Other times,when finding their way is more time sensitive or there might be real consequences for going the wrong way, I'll draw out a map and ask them..."The hall way comes to a T passage...you can go left or right..." etc.

So...I know that might not be a definitive answer...but in my experience you pull out whatever suits your needs when you need to.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Mapping -- do you bother to do it? Reply with quote

Yeah, it varies. Most things do not need mapped out, and for those that do, quick rough sketches at the moment are often good enough. I might map some more complex settings out in advance.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Mapping -- do you bother to do it? Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
When running your own campaigns, do you guys bother to map things out like ship deck plans, Imperial bases, etc.?

If so, how detailed do you get? Do you just want to create a general layout, or do you do it using a grid with very precise measurements and such?

Also, do you prefer to design by hand, or do you use software to assist (and if so, what do you recommend)?

I'm thinking in the near-ish future I'm gonna start running my own games, but I'm still figuring out what exactly I need/want to do in that respect.


For when i do adnd games, sure i map, and even require my players to have their characters map.
For most SW games though, generally a maps not needed.. BUT if one is needed, i will whip something up.
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RyanDarkstar
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use modular papercraft terrain (examples from Paul's Star Wars Miniatures blog below). It's just printed on cardstock or mounted on foamcore.




I'll use theater of the mind for most the adventure until a major encounter or combat occurs. Then we pause, and I quickly set up the terrain and miniatures.

Here is Paul's updated blog with free downloads from Dropbox, since Wizards of the Coast bumped off the forum to which they were originally attached.

I'm still in the process of making my own walls, especially ones based on the Tantive IV passageways. I'm also working on floor tiles, but the only ones I've completed are for D&D. (Craft Nicks on Youtube has a neat tutorial here that I plan on using.)

Edit: I also use Photoshop, Illustrator and Inkarnate to map out buildings and some cities, if the PCs are going to visit often.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That's an outstanding setup! Very immersive.

For me, I usually just give a basic description and if specific locations/distances are important I'll roughly sketch (my friends will tell you it's VERY rough Laughing ) the map on paper. We're using Roll20 now and it has some great mapping features, but I haven't tried them yet.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all. This is helpful. I'll probably stick with rough sketches, with the exception of something like an Imperial base or ship deck plans. And a fair bit of that will just be so that I have a reference point for figuring out where they are, where the NPCs/enemies are, and where they need to get to.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends. If I think that the ship is going to be a recurring setting for battles or scenes that require precise placement, I'll have a deckplan to scale with our minis.

Most of the time I have hand-drawn maps of areas that require clear communication in terms of placement of landscapes, building positions on a base, etc.

Most of the time I just use a white board at the table that we place our minis on. If someone says, "Where would this be in relation to x?" we just sketch it down for the scene.

Occasionally I'll use a high-quality poster map if I really feel like it fits in well. Christopher West at Maps of Mastery has done some fantastic work that's barely "not Star Wars," so that you can tell... it's Star Wars. Smile
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a recent new Pathfinder player where we pretty much have to use miniatures for our dungeon crawls, it's almost required for us to use maps or their handdrawn equivalent(s). Some people have the resources to buy Paizo.com's printed maps, but others basically use a grid map and just use magic marker to redraw maps as needed.

For Star Wars, this amount of realism would be especially helpful if one has the resources and time to allow for it. If you have the redrawable cloth map, a set of colored magic markers, and access to the innumerable deck plans and maps (sci-fi and otherwise) on the Internet, you can pretty much make maps for any location conceivable in the Star Wars universe.

Oh, and kudos to RyanDarkstar for your setup. That's friggin' amazing, dude.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Some people have the resources to buy Paizo.com's printed maps, but others basically use a grid map and just use magic marker to redraw maps as needed.


Agreed. Some players i know would LOVE to do more with miniatures in their games, when they themselves are the DM's but often lack not just the funds to buy the stuff, but the space to store and bring it with them when they go game, or the time to get things painted/set up etc.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean, there's always Hisham's cache of printable paper minis. He's good for that.
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griff
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always liked the idea of mapping as much as possible, especially places the PCs would spend a good portion of an adventure, a place important to the PCs, or where the climactic sence would take place.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mostly use small 1" counters, and they work both for space and ground. Some scenes and locales don't really need minis of any kind, and others it adds an exciting visual element.

I've recently purchased a starfield map. It has no hexes or squares, but when you use the 1" square = space unit, it's pretty easy to establish distances with a ruler.

The starfield is entirely black/purple with stars all over it. All told it's about 8' long and about 3' wide, so it covers a large table and makes space combat (or chases) very fun!

For ground encounters that involve combat (or a chase), I often draw out buildings on a vinyl map, and then I have hundreds of 1" scale counters (where 1"=5'), representing the PCs, aliens, stormtroopers, etc. that help show where characters are.
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