Hex Battlemap Dungeon Tiles for GURPS

I've started to play GURPS Dungeon Fantasy which is just your classic hack and slash dungeon RPG. It reminds me of how I played D&D back in the 1980's. However GURPS does everything with Hexes! Do you know how many tiles you need compared to square grid dungeons! Gadzooks!

Here is the first samples. I'm still having major problems with print quality!

Dungeon Set up 3

Dungeon set up 2

Dungeon Set up

Room Tile


  • Simon RogersSimon Rogers Administrator, ProFantasy Traveler
    Fantastic. Where did you get the cut outs?
  • edited October 2008
    Very nice. I have had good luck with resolutions of around 72 pixels per inch. With one inch squares it's easy. For hexes, I guess you would have to adjust a little to figure the inches correctly. Also, I have been using Kinko's printing service. You can export to jpeg and then print directly to your local Kinko's from home. They have an app that you download and it sets up a fake print driver that actually sends the print job to them. Regular paper costs about .59 a sheet.

    I realize that you can print directly from CC3, but here is how I do it:
    1.Create awesome map.
    2.Save As Rectangular jpeg.
    (a)Count width or height squares which ever is greater.
    (b)Multiple squares by 72 entering this number under options.
    (c)Put a number 10 times bigger in the other dimension.
    (d)Choose crop and that big number is automatically adjusted.
    (e)Pick 100 for quality.
    (f)After OK, select the area you intend to print,
    making sure you pick exactly the number of squares that you counted in (a).
    3.Open your jpeg file in a graphics app like Paint. (anything that can print an image over multiple pages)
    (a)Make any zoom adjustments you need to get to the one inch per square level.
    (b)Print to the Kinko print driver.
    5.Drive over and get your cool map.

    I'm interested to hear about other techniques.
  • I make each tile no larger than 6"x6" and export the image as 1800 x 1800 pixels png. Using photoshop I resize them to 6"x6" at 200 dpi.

    Simon the figures are Steve Jackson Games Cardboard Heroes. They finally digitized them as it has been out of print for ages, and offer them on e23. You can get sets 1-5 in pdf. They come in triangular fold but I kit bashed a paper hex stand for them and just use a sandwich fold instead.

    Other good paper miniatures are disposable heroes from Politically Incorrect Games or P.I.G. RPG Now has some good ones, but most of them are just Daz snap shots being sold. World Works Games has some.

    Not to side track my dungeons but if Character Artist had just a few more options (monsters) and maybe some shading to it I'd be using those to make paper minis. I just dont have the space, time to paint, or money to collect miniatures anymore so I really enjoy paper miniatures. Plus you can get some that are 2.5D. An example of 2.5D is a Pegasus that is flat but flat wings are glued on it giving it more of a 3D look to it. Thats something to think about for character artist 3


    Hex dungeons are a pain in the rear to make. Why? Because of the number of tiles you need compared to square dungeons. Lets take my set up of each tile being no larger than 6" squared. I have two major corridor types. Narrow and wide. Wide corridors can really only fit in the middle of each tile. Due to the Horizontal and Vertical differences in the grid just to have a wide corridor that attaches to a room I have to make two of them compared to a square grid which only needs one.

    Now lets look at the narrow corridors. Each side they can attach in three places. Left, center, and right side of the rooms. This gives you four different hex grid configurations! So now any corridor I make I must make at the minimum of four different versions of it!

    I need to make two versions of each room tiles as well.

    Thankfully I'm mounting them on mat board so I just place a tile on each side. Which works GREAT for traps or secret doors as you just place the revealed tile on the other side of the hidden one. Characters find the secret you just flip the tile!

    I currently have 56 room tiles and 35 corridor tiles made with more to come!

    Now my GURPS Fantasy Dungeons game is in the same place as my regular Fantasy RPG (which is not so camp as the Hack and Slash games), so to cut them off from the rest of my world I have a legend of the 12 architects which are 12 golems that were made to rebuild or build entire nations if need be. Once they where done they where told by their wizards to sleep until they where needed again, well the golems thought that there was more to do so the just disappeared and kept on building stuff. Every once in a while the players come to city that looks brand new, but never lived in. That would be the work of the 12 architects. So when GURPS DF came out I just used them again saying they have been carving out the crust of the world making caves, sewers, large cities underground. Not cities like large buildings in a huge cavern but an underground city where you will have row houses of two levels each. They all open up on one of the two levels and then have stiars to the second level. The second level is attached only to that first level like a house. Did I explain this right?

    So how this relates to DD3 battlemap tiles? Well because they are tiles I can make the second level of these houses and just place them above or below the other tile when the players explore them as they are independent of the rest of the dungeon.

    I'm also working on one of the main markets my players will use. It consists of an open area or large room with multiple pillars for support and then these houses around the sides. Kind of like how some video games are.

    After I finish the standard dungeon tiles I will move on to Sewers and Cave tiles.

    Our standard RPG is a more serious and deadly style game where you only engage in combat if your sure you can win. Magic is real, monsters are real, but flesh is only flesh and humans squish real easy! The GURPS DF allows us to play the super hack and slash like RPG's used to be (and some still are) and like many of the fantasy video games out there. I'm just glad that DD3 is here to allow me to make these tiles with ease!

    I'll keep posting pictures of the dungeon as it gets larger and larger and larger......
  • New Pit Trap!

    My first pit trap

    I did it in photoshop. It needs alot of work yet, but this is my first attempt. DD3 needs more traps. The only pit traps are Brown and they don't go with the grey floors.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Excellent stuff! That looks way deep. :D
  • 1 month later
  • Posted By: RalfExcellent stuff! That looks way deep. :D
    Well you would not want anyone to get out would you? I really need to work on that a bit more as the stones just do not match that well.

    The good news is my computer is back (after being gone for repairs for over 2 weeks) and I can now start mapping again!
  • That's fantastic! Especially that pit trap.

    Also, "Thankfully I'm mounting them on mat board so I just place a tile on each side. Which works GREAT for traps or secret doors as you just place the revealed tile on the other side of the hidden one. Characters find the secret you just flip the tile!" -- That little bit just made me slap my head. I've been trying to think of an easy way to be able to reveal hidden things without giving them away before they actually find them. I can't believe I didn't think of that! Wonderful. :-)
  • 8 days later
  • Highland_PiperHighland_Piper Surveyor
    edited December 2008
    Well I have 125 tiles done so far and probably another 125 to make! Stuff I will be working on is
    • Multilevel tiles
    • Flooded dungeons (need to experiment with multi sheets for water effects)
    • Flooded Multilevel tiles
    • Caverns
    • Sewers
    I will post some in use shots soon
  • Ok had a great idea for a new pit. What do you think?

    New Pit idea
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    I love it. Looks really nice.
    Do you have those pits of yours as png files? I'd love to be able to use them as symbols
  • Yes they are as png symbols. I have one that is just a pit, the one above, and another with two doors at the bottom with one open and light spilling out. More to come
  • Awesome! One of the things I hate in D&D is counting and extra half square if the figure moves diagonally. Great solution. By the way, just a tip, but I use cross stitch backing board for my battlemats since they lay flatter and smack together well. The downsides are that you have to cut it with a hobby knife and curves are a challenge.

    Again, great work!
  • 3 months later
  • Highland_PiperHighland_Piper Surveyor
    edited March 2009
    Ok I am completely reworking these tiles. I'm making them in hex tiles. This way I can rotate them without having to create duplicate tiles because of the way a hex grid lays on a square tile.

    If anyone has any suggestions for me please let me know.

    Here are some of the tiles that I have done so far. Printed out each hex is 1 1/8" giving the full tile 8"x7"


    I also feel like a BIG idiot. I just noticed the "B" and "C" commands for connecting Corridors.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    Really cool. I've never thought about using hex shaped map pieces before. Looks like you have a lot of freedom in assembling these.
  • Highland_Piper
    Those pit traps are spectacular. Can I ask what functions you used in Photoshop to make those pit traps? AT this point I am guessing you used some kind of a stretching effect and then cleaned it up pixel by pixel.
  • Davaris - The first pit was done in Photoshop, one wall at a time. I believe I used Ctrl+T then manipulated it. The second, and much better looking pit, I actually modelled in a 3D program, skinned it (textured it) then I took a screen shot from above, placed it in Photoshop and cleaned it up, then saved it as a png.
  • edited March 2009
    Sounds like a lot of work, unless you know what you are doing. :)
  • I haven't tried this exactly, but some of the modifications in Photoship (I us CS3) allow you to apply skew and perspective to an image. So you should be able to select the rectangular stone texture, and squeeze down one end to indicate that it's further away.

  • 2 years later
  • After two years I'm back at this project. I'm taking a year off from school (Geology BS) so my wife can finish up her PhD. I had to scroll through all of my previous discussions to remember how to do some of this stuff.

    To help me out I created a blank hexagon geomorph sketch sheet at my site Dungeon Crawlers it is only 154.4 kb and should be at the bottom of the download page.

    I'm also going to start a blog of my process including the research I've been doing on Geomorphs, Hex Maps, and the process of creating the CC3 templates and maps.

    I'm hoping on making large scale Mega Dungeons then offer key points as battle maps for use in GURPS. Also I will be making the Geomorphs. Each Geomorph will come in the large 1 hex = 1" and a smaller 1 hex = 1/4" to allow you to design your geomorphs before adding the larger battle maps.
  • edited August 2011
    AAAaaaaahh DUDE! SWEEEETTTTT!!!!!!

    Man this takes me back. The slightly faded qaulity of the maps that I'm assuming is your printing problem that you spoke about earlier actually gives it a cool "retro" feel - just like the old shop style tabletop base layouts / module add-ons that that they used to sell at the Tin Soldier (A shop that I visited back in the 80s). I remember that they were made of a super rigid cardboard that was extremely stiff and rugged - like a really thin MDF board material.

    AAaaaahhh - the old gamer's shops - with candy jars filled with all kinds of kooky cool dice, aisles full of books, and games, and figure sets, and game related model kits, and a section dedicated to nothing but about thirty different kinds of graph and hex paper, and colored pen and pencil sets - (scuze me kids - while I brush away a tear), and endless pegboards with bags of goodies hanging all over them.

    Those mats that you made would look even sweeter with some painted metal or plastic figures on them. The old mats that I remember didn't have the wall edges printed on them though - just the floor details. You were suppose to use molded stand up wall segments that were made of this biege, plastery, powdery looking stuff with them, that you had to paint yourself. I remember that they sold them seperately in peg board cellophane packs of six or eight walls a pack. Some of the wall units had Doors - some just had archways - and some had windows depending on which set that you bought. Some packs were damaged - with walls that I assume were accidentally broken in shipping and handling - but they sold the damaged packs anyway because I guess you could pass the damaged wall segments off as "ruins" in game play or something.

    In the movie "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" - there's a scene where Elliott, the little boy in the movie, is playing classic D&D at the kitchen table with a few of his neighborhood friends and eating pizza - and they have the walls that I just described set up on the floor mat sets with the figurines. Their wall segments weren't painted though - they were factory fresh tan / biege colored.

    I actually think that I would prefer to have the mats a little "fadey" - than really vivid in color anyway - because it adds to the moody ambience that gives it a classic, nostalgic feel.
  • One of the things I'm trying to do is this in the Annual Old School VC


    How do I get this hex form and the snap to work with it? If you notice I have three sets of hexes in that image. The main large hex (the main Geomorph) the second is the size of the battle maps and the smallest are 3' hexes. I want to do old school for the large maps and colour for the battle tiles.
  • Okay I solved the problem.
    • Opened up the Old School VC
    • Width 100 Heigh 84
    • Selected Grid Overlay->Grid Settings
      • Choose Horizontal Hex
      • Grid Spacing 3.00
    • Selected Finish
    • Selected Draw
      • Hex or Square Overlay
      • Horizontal Hex and Grid Spacing 3.00 was preselected
      • Select Apply
    • The Snap has now been reconfigured to the hex
    • Using Colour 6 I created the proper size Hexagon with the Polygon Tool
    • Create new Layer and Sheet "MASK"
      • Select Colour 29
      • Using the Polygon tool mask around the area
      • Select Erase -> Colour -> Colour 6
      • Make sure the sheet MASK is on the top
      • Freeze Layer
    • Save
    Probably not the best way to go about it but I've never been good at creating my own templates. I did try using instructions by Monson and the PDF's available with the annuals but the Grid overlay never seemed to work properly.
  • This is great stuff! I'm glad you found your way back to CC3, Highland Piper!
  • 19 days later

  • Photobucket

    Link to my new site with battle tiles using CC3
  • 1 month later
  • I love your word! It looks like you're using a foam core backing?
  • Nope I'm only using mat board. I also was using a glue with I higher water content then I am currently using now so I won't have as much of a problem with curling of the edges. I'm also going to experiment with printing on full size label paper so I can just stick them to the tiles.
  • I've found that cross stitch backing board works really well, though it's some effort to cut. :)
  • edited October 2011
    Highland Piper - have you ever considered printing on photostock or cardstock? just wondering.
  • I do print them on 220 gsm cardstock, but I've been considering printing them on Photo Paper if I can find any that won't break the bank.
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