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  1.  
    I have tried to find the answer to this question in the manual and TOUM but, if it's there, I couldn't locate it. I'm sure it has been asked before - so please forgive me if I'm repeating it.

    My grandson suddenly announced he wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons and would I teach him. His father has all the old books we used to use when he was a child, so I told my grandson to do some reading, I'd prepare a dungeon and we could play it through. This also gave me the opportunity to use DD3 for the first time and I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience. I'm now close to being ready to start revealing the terrors I have prepared. However, I suddenly realised, there are all the monsters and traps in full view. How do I hide them and reveal them when appropriate? I want to use the internet to play the game as my grandson lives 150 miles away and I'm hoping there's some software available (a bit like Vassal) that will allow us to do this - does anyone have some recommendations?

    My immediate thought on hiding the monsters was to have a graphics file that did not show them and then another that did - but they're not all in the same place so simply hiding a layer or sheet is not an option. I can't believe I'm the only DM to have encountered this and I'm wondering if there's a built-in solution or work around I can use?
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2019 edited
     
    You can create buttons to hide and show sheets or layers down the side of the map. The technique is described here:

    http://rpgmaps.profantasy.com/hiding-and-showing-map-features/

    (Credit to Remy Monsen for both writing this article and making me aware of it just a couple of weeks ago :) )

    Because you can have as many buttons as you like, and as many layers as you like, it would be possible to hide everything individually and each thing have its own button.

    Using the macros you could even forget the buttons and just attach the macro to an invisible rectangle covering the grid square where the monster was hidden, then click the square to find out what lies there.



    Other than that you might have to invest in a game engine like Fantasy grounds... though I wouldn't know where to begin with one of those.
    • CommentAuthortaustinoc
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2019
     
    Posted By: LoopysueOther than that you might have to invest in a game engine like Fantasy grounds... though I wouldn't know where to begin with one of those.


    Or Roll20 (which has a free version) or MapTool (which is just free).

    They all have helpful communities for those who need help figuring stuff out. (All are pretty easy at the most basic level.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2019
     
    I recommend using one layer (for the hidden stuff) per room/location, then you can just show the layer for the appropriate location when needed. Maybe 2 different layers if a location have some stuff they would notice immediately (monsters, etc.) and some stuff they must find (secrets/traps)
    • CommentAuthorseycyrus
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2019
     
    Fantasy Grounds is a wonderful VTT and has a wonderfully friendly online community.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2019
     
    Posted By: seycyrusFantasy Grounds is a wonderful VTT and has a wonderfully friendly online community.


    I checked this out and it looks great. However, I'm not into taking out subscriptions for software. I don't mind paying to own a piece of software but monthly fees are not on.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2019
     
    Epic Table is buy once. Players don't have to pay anything.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2019
     
    Oh dear! I'm sorry, Mike. I didn't realise it was subscription software. I would not have mentioned it if I'd known. My only experience of it was when another friend showed me what an experimental battle map I'd drawn would look like in a game engine environment.

    I don't like subscription software either.
    • CommentAuthortaustinoc
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2019
     
    MapTool is 100% free, and their support forum is the only one I've ever seen as friendly and helpful as this one.
    • CommentAuthorseycyrus
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: mike0liverI checked this out and it looks great. However, I'm not into taking out subscriptions for software. I don't mind paying to own a piece of software but monthly fees are not on.

    Fantasy Grounds offers both a one-time fee AND a subscription model.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Fantasy Grounds offers both a one-time fee AND a subscription model.


    Forgive me, seycyrus. I obviously didn't scroll my screen down far enough. You are quite right. $39 seems reasonable, so Fantasy Grounds could be back in the running. The website says the $39 version does not allow the owner to "Host Games for Demo Players". I'm not clear on what "demo players" are; does this mean that the other players in a scenario must download the Demo version of FG to become "demo players" and participate in a game whilst, under these circumstances, the GM must own the Ultimate version? If so, this means that, either the GM must pay $149 for the Ultimate version or the other players in a scenario must also buy the "Standard" version.

    My requirements are for my son and his son to play a scenario so I can teach AD&D to the latter. He doesn't have £30 to splash out on a game he might not like and I certainly don't have £125 or so for a trial that might prove abortive after one game. I need to resolve this small issue to make a decision.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    If you do feel like going for a VTT, I'll echo taustinoc's recommendation here for MapTool. It might not have all the fancy bells and whistles Roll20 and Fantasy Ground have, but it is completely free. It is what I use myself.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: taustinocMapTool is 100% free, and their support forum is the only one I've ever seen as friendly and helpful as this one.

    Thanks, taustinoc, I've googled the name but I was taken to a website called Toynbee Hall and they were offering some mapping software that would normally be used by such people as local government planning officers and the like. I use PF's CC3+ to do my mapping and simply want a VTT programme that allows me to use my maps for an online campaign. I'm interested in cartography generally and may take a look at this software from that perspective but will it handle the VTT aspect?
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: LoopysueOh dear! I'm sorry, Mike. I didn't realise it was subscription software. I would not have mentioned it if I'd known. My only experience of it was when another friend showed me what an experimental battle map I'd drawn would look like in a game engine environment.

    I don't like subscription software either.


    I didn't intend my comments to be a put down in any sense, so apology unnecessary. I appreciate the help I'm getting from everyone. And it looks like I made a mistake to boot! I always feel that licences are designed to suck you in and become used to the software so that the subscriptions can be made heavier once you are hooked. Cynical, I know, but I've been around for 80 years and experience is a great teacher.
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Mike, the MapTool site you're looking for is, I think, here.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Later:

    I re-googled MapTool and added the letters VTT before the search. This led me to a completely different website and I've downloaded the software. From an initial look, it seems exactly what I want - but I'll need to spend a bit of time playing around with it. So, a vote of thanks to taustinoc and Remy for their recommendation. I'm still going to look at Epic Table and any others that look promising but I would think I shall find something that works for me - thanks everyone for being so helpful (and patient!)
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    Posted By: WyvernMike, the MapTool site you're looking for is, I think,here.


    That's the site I got to when I re-googled - thanks. I am trying out the tutorial videos but can't find one that tells me how to import the maps I've made in CC3+
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2019
     
    That's just a few simple steps:
    1. Export the map from CC3+ to jpg or png. It needs to be a reasonably high quality export to look good in a VTT when zooming in. MapTool doesn't have an absolute file size limits like some of the hosted VTT's do, but the bigger the map, the more meory it will require from each computer involved, and the longer it will take to send the map to other computers.
    2. In MapTools, just select Edit Map from the Map menu, hit the Map button in the dialog, click the filesystem button to get a browse dialog that lets you brows through the files on your computer, then just browse to and pick the image, and hit open
    3. The Distance per cell and pixels per cell are just to set the grid in MapTools correctly. For example, if you have a map that is 100' by 100', and you export it in CC3+ as 2000 by 2000px, the distance per foot would be 20, but if you want 5' cells (a commonly used number), then the pixels per cell would be 100.

    Note that You can create many maps in MapTool instead of just editing the same one, just select New map from the Map menu.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 19th 2019
     
    Hi Remy:

    Bless you for that. I really like the look of MapTools and it seems to cover every need I have plus it's free! The forum there is friendly and helpful (I renewed my communication with taustinoc there) and I'm hopeful that I have found what I was looking for.

    Thank you to everyone on this thread who has contributed to my question - I think we can consider the subject successfully completed.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    Just to bring this enquiry to a conclusion, I have successfully installed MapTools and, with the invaluable help of taustinoc (and others on their forum) enabled Port Forwarding on my router so that my grandson & I can play AD&D over the internet. MapTools has some excellent facilities but I intend to use my PF maps (which I consider far superior) utilising Remy's suggestions for sizing.

    All-in-all, a very satisfying result - I'm obliged to everyone who assisted.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    Glad you found yourself a good solution.

    Note that there are a lot of nice things you can do in maptool even if you import a map from CC3+. I use it myself for my inhouse games, to be able to show a digital battlemap on a projector (I prefer that to physical miniatures), and I take advantage of features such as vision distances, light radii, vision blocking layers and fog of war. Takes some manual work after importing the map, but it is worth it. Just remember to get the scale correct when exporting&importing, that is the key to make a lot of things behave properly.
    • CommentAuthormike0liver
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2019
     
    Thanks, Remy, I may well come back to you if I have difficulties I'm currently re-sizing and improving the definition of my CC3+ map PNGs then I have to see how to get fog of war to work for me in MapTools.