Maps for Gaming

Here's one of the maps I created for an RPGA Adventure during the Dungeons & Dragons Experience (DDXP). This is based on the map that was provided for the adventure COR8-03 Aspirations and served as the throne room for a goblin king.

Underground Tomb - CC3


This is the battle map being used in actual play:
Underground Tomb in Play
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Comments

  • edited April 2008
    Here's a map of a lava chamber with elevated catwalks. This map was printed for use as a battle mat for one of the final battles for our D&D Campaign. The lava was printed on transparent sheets and assembled over a Styrofoam base. Then it was back-lit using some Halloween lighting to give the area an eerily surreal atmosphere. The catwalks were built on foam core sheets and elevated using some megablocks building columns. The stairs from the catwalk were built using Styrofoam.

    Lava

    Here are pictures of the actual printed and built terrain in action:
    Magma Chamber 1

    Magma Chamber 2

    Magma Chamber 3
  • This is just awesome. It reminds me that we haven't heard of an update to Dioramas yet.
    --Dale--
  • I have to second DarrenHill's statement. Fabulous work! I especially liked the elevated catwalk and the use of transparency sheets for a lit lava effect. It really does seem to bring it to life. I hope your players appreciated the amount of time and energy that was spent in creating those settings.

    Ahh, I am also looking forward to the eventual Dioramas3 update (with all new artwork). Perhaps it will be the next one on the list (after CD3 that is!)
  • That is tight!
  • It was a v3.5 game, so the players killed the BBEG in 2 rounds.

    (I'm just joking! That is an unbelievable map--I had some players ask me why I don't do maps like this--and I said I don't like them that much.)
  • Posted By: EugeeIt was a v3.5 game, so the players killed the BBEG in 2 rounds.

    (I'm just joking! That is an unbelievable map--I had some players ask me why I don't do maps like this--and I said I don't like them that much.)
    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Yeah, I do have a pretty awesome group and they get all excited when we have battles in these funky settings. So I like doing these kinds of things for them. It makes the combats more exciting than my drawings on the old Chessex battlemat. The 2d maps get used much more often, but the lava chamber was just an idea run amok. The funny thing is that the 3d map was actually less work to create, print, assemble and light. The 2d map was slightly more painful to create.
  • What are 'halloween lights'? (used in backlighting lava pit)
  • Halloween lights are like Christmas tree lights, but are sold just before Halloween and are orange.

    Some places in the US also sell Mardi Gras lights just before Mardi Gras. Gold, Blue, and green are the colors.
  • Posted By: EugeeI had some players ask me why I don't do maps like this--and I said I don't like them that much.)
    Lol. Same.
  • 2 months later
  • I've got a question about Dioramas Pro. Is it possible to make building styles like this and this in Dioramas Pro, or there is a need to upgrade program to new version Dioramas 3 in future? I've seen previews from Dioramas Pro only with few-color-staff. Maybe some info how to make the nice manycoloured staff in Dioramas Pro would be appreciated in CA.
  • Wow, Dkarr!


    @ShadoWWW: In theory you should already be able to achieve things like this with Dioramas Pro in CC3 using bitmap fills instead of Dioramas own fills.
  • 2 months later
  • Dkarr,
    I to am an RPGA judge and I am looking at CC3 and DD3 to make maps for the new Living Forgotten Realms modules. Do you have any thoughts on how well the Dungeon Tile maps translate over into CC3?

    BTW, hope to see you at this year's DDXP. I will be one of Dave Christ's minions there.
  • Hey Jason, I use CC3 / DD3 to setup my maps for RPGA adventures all the time. Dungeon Tiles or not, DD3 can easily handle any map, and the effects on DD3 are much better than anything on the Dungeon Tiles. In addition I print the whole map and don't have to worry about which tile goes where. The first map on this thread was used for running the LG mod "Aspirations". That map was not mapped with Dungeon Tiles on the adventure. I printed it in 8.5" x 11" paper, cut the edges, and mounted it on Foamcore Board.

    I'm currently working on the maps for The Black Knight of Arabel, an LFR adventure. The maps there do use Dungeon Tiles, but it is not in any way restricting my mapping with CC3/DD3. I've noticed that the maps I make with CC3 look much better because they are more closely "themed". With Dungeon Tiles sometimes the maps look weird because the tiles do not look like they belong together.

    Hope that helps, and keep on mapping.
  • Thanks Dkarr. I'm getting ready to run Cormyr next week. I would love to see how your maps would compare to the ones in the module write-up. If you could post it, I would be grateful. I am about 80% moved to buying DD3 and CC3. Seeing how Cormyr looks might just seal the deal!
  • Dkarr that is a pretty cool set up! Gives me a bit more inspiration for my latest battle maps and dungeon tiles. Thanks!
  • 8 days later
  • edited October 2008
    Jason, sorry for the delay, been busy running some adventures. Here are the maps for the adventure. This is simply using the Profantasy symbols. I'm experimenting with the CSUAC files now, and finding that we can make even more distinct maps.

    Road to Arabel
    The Road to Arabel


    Dark Rider Haunt
    The Dark Rider's Haunt

    Arabel Theater
    Theater
  • Posted By: ShadoWWWI've got a question about Dioramas Pro. Is it possible to make building styles likethisandthisin Dioramas Pro, or there is a need to upgrade program to new version Dioramas 3 in future? I've seen previews from Dioramas Pro only with few-color-staff. Maybe some info how to make the nice manycoloured staff in Dioramas Pro would be appreciated in CA.
    I'm sorry I never answered this question. I've never tried it myself but I have seen a tower that was designed with Dioramas Pro. So yes, it is possible to use that software to design buildings and dungeons like that. If you use "photo-realistic" textures for fills you can achieve pretty much the same effects.
  • Some more maps for some RPGA events. Sometimes for these events they don't give the judges maps, except the ones used as illustrations on the adventure. When I organize these games I usually try to "recreate" those maps and print them to size for use by the judges. Here are two of the latest. I'm still having some issues with how my "roads" are coming out. If someone has some pointers they would be greatly appreciated.

    Road Map
    Road to somewhere

    Cave Entrance
    Foreboding Cave Entrance.
  • 1 month later
  • edited December 2008
    Some more maps:

    These maps are for use with the RPGA Adventure Gangs of Wheloon. I will add more of them and possibly some pictures from the actual game when I have an opportunity.

    City Courtyard
    City Courtyard


    Gang's Hideout
    Gang Hideout
  • They look good.
  • Those look fantastic. I was just thinking the other day that the lava needed light effects -- that takes it to a whole new level!

    So when making maps for a tabletop campaign...

    What do you feel is the best method of printing out, say, a dungeon crawl map? I am trying to find a way which allows me to print out nice battlemaps, but also allows me to keep what's just around the corner (that of the dungeon which they haven't discovered yet) and hidden things out of their view. Ideally, of course, with the ability to reveal these things as they discover them. The only thing that I have come up with is multiple printings of the same maps, and adding tiles as they progress or discover things. I only don't like it because I feel that it may tip them off sometimes, and it also seems a waste of paper and ink.

    Any suggestions?
  • I like the city courtyard! Well done!
  • NeonKnight, Highland_Piper, thanks for the compliments.

    goldgrae, as for your question, it depends. When printing I usually print the map in sections (8.5" x 11") and then assemble it into a complete map (usually 24" x 36"). There have been many times that having the complete map pre-constructed was more important than the "surprise" factor. So in most of my games I'll assemble the complete map to save time. Then I'll take blank cardstock and place it over the parts that they have not visited.

    I tried the "assemble as they go" method, but it became too cumbersome and we lost too much momentum. Not as much as having to draw the map by hand but not as fast as just flipping a piece of blank cardboard off the map. I find that having the whole thing preassembled saves a lot of time and keeps the game pace fast.
  • Yeah, same here. I do similar things, sometimes I print out the maps, sometimes I just draw out the large chamber/collection of rooms they will enter before the game session. Sure, the players get a little extra out of game 'meta-knowledge' of the complex ahead of time, but it means we can just go bang-bang-bang from one encounter to the next without losing momentum.
  • That makes sense. I had considered assembling the whole map and covering portions, but when I discounted it, I think I may have overestimated the amount of knowledge I would be giving away. I can think of a few things in particular that I could do that would give away more, but as long as I am relatively cautious, this seems to be the best solution.

    In terms of CC3/DD3, what size map yields a 24x36 inch (where an inch is five feet in scale)? I suppose, really, that any size map of that proportion would work. Any suggestions on what works best, though?
  • Posted By: goldgraeThat makes sense. I had considered assembling the whole map and covering portions, but when I discounted it, I think I may have overestimated the amount of knowledge I would be giving away. I can think of a few things in particular that I could do that would give away more, but as long as I am relatively cautious, this seems to be the best solution.

    In terms of CC3/DD3, what size map yields a 24x36 inch (where an inch is five feet in scale)? I suppose, really, that any size map of that proportion would work. Any suggestions on what works best, though?
    As long as you don't print out the location of secret doors, for example, you should probably not be giving away too much. One thing I started doing is physically separating areas that are not found by normal means (secret rooms). I will build (assemble) my map but if the map contains an area that is secret, it will not be printed along with the regular map. That way I can easily put it in place only when the players find it, as a separate map.

    A 24" x 36" map is very large. It is comparable to a complete Chessex BattleMat in size. For scale you are talking about something that is 120' wide x 180' long. In dungeon terms that is pretty big. I usually end up making two maps fit in an area that size. If you look at the maps above, you could fit 2 of the "Foreboding Cave Entrance" maps side by side on a 24 x 36 map.
  • Also a good idea, thanks. What about for rooms hidden somewhere in the middle of a dungeon? Is there a more elegant solution than simply having a tile to place over the 'blank' tile once they discover it?

    Yeah, I just figured that I could adjust the size and therefore the scale as necessary once I had a good base to work from, that's all.
  • Gold: the only way i've ever managed it other then put the room down once they found it.. is with transperancy and having it so that it only shows up 'easily' when it's back lit.. which is a royal PAIN IN THE REAR to do.
  • That does give me an idea, though. Maybe a transparency could be put to use as an overlay for the tiles. That is, rather than laying down a full printed tile that has been printed with the secret revealed. Might save ink. Although it would only work on relatively light-colored dungeons with dark-colored secrets...

    Maybe I could use label sheets and then just stick down the secret once they find it. While it might not work very well for hidden rooms in and of themselves, it could be used for sprung traps, secret doors, etc. Probably a pretty limited application, though.

    No reason, of course, that I can't just tell them verbally.
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