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    • CommentAuthormehrkat
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    Hi all,

    I've found lots of options to create maps. Admittedly none as complete as Profantasy.

    What I've had a world of trouble finding is a program to map the battle itself projected on a TV or a projector from a computer.

    As far as I can tell none of the virtual tabletops (Rolemaster, Fantasy Grounds etc) are good for it because at best it would require a computer and another account to transmit too.

    -- If there is an easier way to do this with one of the programs let me know. -- I don't really want to create a second virtual desktop as I can't imagine that being a smooth easy prospect.

    I want to basically have a virtual version of a Battlemap. Move the characters and things around on the screen easily by selecting and moving. My mental image is almost like the old time SSI DnD games in appearance and movement

    ideally a copy of the map on my screen and a copy of the map with fog of war projected or sent to the TV.

    Just seeing if anyone has come across something good or even a good way to do it with profantasy products.

    Thanks for any advice you have.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    I use MapTool for this. Granted, I do have a second computer running the viewer connected to the projector, so I do have to run two instances of the program, but the program itself is free, and no accounts involved, and it works over a lan without internet connection, and it lets me have a DM view on my screen, while the projector has the player view with light blocking and fog of war.
    I guess one could use this on a single computer by just starting two instances of maptool, and put one instance on your screen, and another on the player screen (connected to the same computer) although I haven't tried this.
  1.  
    I used Fantasy Grounds for this. No second computer or second license needed. FG allows you to start a second instance of the program on the host computer and then connect to it using the alias "localhost".

    I just have my TV set up as a second monitor on my laptop. So then my GM version runs on my laptop screen while my player version uses the 'localhost' client version. There is then a community extension you can run if you want that scales the map to the TV size so you have 1 inch squares, if you are using the TV flat and with mini's.

    Only 1 account (standard license) needed. But, If you don't want all the 'stuff'' FG can do, then Maptools is probably a better solution. Or, if you already have the map as an image file, why not just open the image on the TV as a second monitor using whatever image viewing program comes with your computer?
    • CommentAuthormehrkat
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    thanks to both of you.

    The truth is I'm looking for ease of moving tokens around where the image is one thing and movable things are something else. Most graphics programs don't allow for this. Selecting things under this circumstance becomes a drag to the game play (or at least it would for me)

    Thanks for suggesting Fantasy Grounds. I had heard FG wasn't particularly good at local area games but I will check which one suits my purposes.
    • CommentAuthormattekure
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    Posted By: mehrkatthanks to both of you.

    The truth is I'm looking for ease of moving tokens around where the image is one thing and movable things are something else. Most graphics programs don't allow for this. Selecting things under this circumstance becomes a drag to the game play (or at least it would for me)

    Thanks for suggesting Fantasy Grounds. I had heard FG wasn't particularly good at local area games but I will check which one suits my purposes.


    Maptool is actually really good for what you described. It works on a 4 layer system. You put your map/background image onto the background layer, then drop your movable tokens onto the token layer. There is also a GM only layer and an object layer. The GM layer is hidden from connected players so any images/tokens on it are for GM view only. I use it to hide traps/secret doors. The object layer appears beneath the token layer, so I use it for movable objects, but token layer images go on top. so for example, a bridge that breaks. If wanted it can also do vision blocking, light sources, etc, but that depends on how you want to use it.
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    I use a flat screen tv. I am in the process of building a frame for the TV, but for now, we just place it on my coffee table. I've got plexiglass velcro'd to the front, to protect the screen, and my PCs put their minis on it - I can also use a wet erase on it. I display the maps using Roll20 - with the fog of war and dynamic lighting, I DM from behind a computer screen instead of a cardboard one :)
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    I also use MapTool. Using one PC I simply open two copies of the program and set one up as server and the other as client. Connect the two up and off it goes. I don't use in-game tokens though. I have 1000s of minis and we roll real dice so have never had a need to go the next level of digital. MapTool supports full screen mode on the client which means the players don't have to see anything but what you want them to see. I started with Roll20 but the only way to get rid of the UI is with a dodgy hack.

    I keep hearing that Fantasy Grounds does not have Fog of War. Surprising given it seems to be leading the market in everything else.
  2.  
    I've never used MapTools, but I suspect it will be the best application for your use case. I would try it first to see if you are happy before trying one of the other VTT's (Google "VTT Comparison Chart" for possibilities).

    There are a lot of misconceptions about Fantasy Grounds. Just to clear up a two mentioned here;
    - Never understood why people say it doesn't work well for face to face gaming. Lots of us use it that way. PM or whisper me if you want details.
    - Yes FG has Fog of War (FoW). It does not have Dynamic Line of Sight (DLoS). Assuming by FoW you mean the ability to mask an image/map so that players only see the parts of it that the GM wants them to see (i.e. a manual process where the GM draws polygons or freehand shapes to reveal or hide parts of the map). And DLoS is is where you have a map with defined occluders (such as walls) and light/vision sources (such as the player tokens) and the computer calculates dynamically/automatically what they players can see and reveals the map/image accordingly.
    • CommentAuthortaustinoc
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2018
     
    I'll give another recommendation for MapTool, especially if everything is local. (You need some networking knowledge to set it up for remote players). You can run two instances on the same computer, one as a player, the other as a GM. I do this every game, and it works fine. (You will have some issues with who controls the mouse if you let the players move their own tokens, but acting like grown ups will generally resolve those). And it's free. There's also a forum on RPTools' web site that is as friendly and helpful as this one (though not as busy), if you run into any problems.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2018
     
    I bought a copy of Epic Table. The guy who designed it is making some big updates to version 2. The video I saw showed being able to turn icons for characters, monsters, etc. by the arrow keys. And he is adding the ability to make cave/dungeon walls a different texture, for example: lava.

    I really did try MapTool, and, for me, it was a small area for my maps... I found my maps work in better in Epic Table.

    There is a web site that compares VTTs, but it is way out dated.
  3.  
    Posted By: JimP
    There is a web site that compares VTTs, but it is way out dated.


    If you're thinking of the one on BattleGrounds, it was updated ~18 months ago, but FG put together an updated one more recently than that. They still aren't bad as most of the VTTs haven't drastically changed since then. Google "VTT Comparison" and you will find several that are good starting places.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2018
     
    No, this was elswhere. I tried a duckduckgo search and didn't find the one I looked at around 5 year ago.
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2018
     
    Posted By: JimPI really did try MapTool, and, for me, it was a small area for my maps...


    What do you mean by this?
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    I mean I couldn't get the scale of my maps to match the scale used by MapTool. I did figure it out for Epic Table.
    • CommentAuthortaustinoc
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    Posted By: JimPI mean I couldn't get the scale of my maps to match the scale used by MapTool. I did figure it out for Epic Table.


    With MapTool, it's easier to scale the grid to fit the map rather than the other way around. Especially if you have something on the map that is precisely the size of a grid cell.
  4.  
    Posted By: taustinoc
    Posted By: JimPI mean I couldn't get the scale of my maps to match the scale used by MapTool. I did figure it out for Epic Table.


    With MapTool, it's easier to scale the grid to fit the map rather than the other way around. Especially if you have something on the map that is precisely the size of a grid cell.

    I think this is true with most/all VTT's, I put a 5 foot off-color square in the corner of my maps for VTT use. That way it is easy to size and align the grid to the image. I usually do bottom left corner (just never bottom right, because FG puts a map tool there).
    • CommentAuthortaustinoc
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    Posted By: LordEntrails
    Posted By: taustinoc
    Posted By: JimPI mean I couldn't get the scale of my maps to match the scale used by MapTool. I did figure it out for Epic Table.


    With MapTool, it's easier to scale the grid to fit the map rather than the other way around. Especially if you have something on the map that is precisely the size of a grid cell.

    I think this is true with most/all VTT's,


    I know there's a mechanism in Roll20 to do this, supposedly easily, but I never really got the hand of it. MapTool, however, you can adjust it up and down one pixel/grid cell at a time, and see the results in real time. Might say more about me than Roll20, though. But yeah, all VTTs make it possible. But tastes vary.

    I put a 5 foot off-color square in the corner of my maps for VTT use. That way it is easy to size and align the grid to the image. I usually do bottom left corner (just never bottom right, because FG puts a map tool there).


    I do the same thing. And most of the maps I've acquired elsewhere have something that serves the same purpose, usually floor tiles of some sort, and many come both with and without actual grids so you can use the gridded one to set the grid size, then replace it with the other one.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    I have to admit, I always just use maths. I usually import my maps into maptool using 200 px/grid square, so since I play with 5' grid, that is 40 pixels per foot, so all I have to do is to multiply my map dimensions in CC3+ by 40 and export using those values, and it automatically matches my CC3+ grid without any tweaking (I always export without the grid on though (maptool already have a grid, and I don't want my players actually seeing the grid anyway)). When doing it this way, it is vital to export only the map and not any decorative borders though, because they throw the sizes off.
    • CommentAuthorErdrix
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: MonsenI have to admit, I always just use maths. I usually import my maps into maptool using 200 px/grid square, so since I play with 5' grid, that is 40 pixels per foot, so all I have to do is to multiply my map dimensions in CC3+ by 40 and export using those values, and it automatically matches my CC3+ grid without any tweaking (I always export without the grid on though (maptool already have a grid, and I don't want my players actually seeing the grid anyway)). When doing it this way, it is vital to export only the map and not any decorative borders though, because they throw the sizes off.


    Exporting my maps is something I've never been able to get right. I'm trying out your formula to see how it looks.
    • CommentAuthorErdrix
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    Posted By: MonsenI have to admit, I always just use maths. I usually import my maps into maptool using 200 px/grid square, so since I play with 5' grid, that is 40 pixels per foot, so all I have to do is to multiply my map dimensions in CC3+ by 40 and export using those values, and it automatically matches my CC3+ grid without any tweaking (I always export without the grid on though (maptool already have a grid, and I don't want my players actually seeing the grid anyway)). When doing it this way, it is vital to export only the map and not any decorative borders though, because they throw the sizes off.


    Monsen, do you do anything about the file size? I just exported a map using what you said and it's clocking in at 65 mb.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    Posted By: ErdrixMonsen, do you do anything about the file size? I just exported a map using what you said and it's clocking in at 65 mb.
    No. That sounds like a fine file size to me. Looking in my battlemaps folder, my largest map is 207MB in size. Of course, I have many that are way smaller than that though.
  5.  
    Note that you will probably want to reduce the file size before using in a VTT with remote users. There are various online compression tools, but I usually just change from PNG to JPG file format with 40-70% quality setting using GIMP. PNGs are beautiful, but they are large :)
    • CommentAuthorJosh.P.
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2018
     
    :) I use minis, so as long as the square is big enough to fit the parties figures we are good to go.