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Leylia
07-13-2011, 04:46 AM
I'm new to the forum, interested in learning mapmaking for my weekly D&D game. It's play by chat, so I have some unique challenges when it comes to showing my players the lay of the land. Hopefully I'll get good quick so they see things the way I see them. Any tips for a total noob are appreciated, and tips for running a game via chat are too, although so far we're doing pretty well.

- Leylia

tilt
07-13-2011, 06:33 AM
hi Leylia, welcome to the guild :) ... check out our tutorial and when you're ready to map yourself post in a WIP (work in progress) thread for help and critique. :)

I've used fantasy grounds for playing D&D online with friends, it features dice-rolling a chat window and the possibility of showing pictures and maps (or parts of maps) to your players :) ... a lot inhere commend Map Tools as well - haven't tried that but it looks good and also have fog-of-war feature (not showing things your players can't see).

Steel General
07-13-2011, 08:42 AM
Welcome Aboard!

jfrazierjr
07-13-2011, 08:52 AM
a lot inhere commend Map Tools as well - haven't tried that but it looks good and also have fog-of-war feature (not showing things your players can't see).

Maptool +1 (Note that I am a fairly regular contributor to Maptool source code over the past year and a half.)

Oh.. and welcome aboard!

Aenigma
07-13-2011, 10:41 AM
Always nice to see a new member join us! Welcome! Grab your tablet like a shield and the pencil like a sword and you're all set! (If you have a tablet, that is)

Leylia
07-14-2011, 08:25 PM
I wish I had a tablet. It would make everything a lot easier. I recently downloaded AutoREALM, so if anyone can give me a review (good or bad are both helpful) on that I'd appreciate it. I also own Corel Painter X, which I've used a little bit for some artwork, but might be handy here too.

What is Fantasy Grounds? It sounds like a program for running a game in. If this is the case, I need to get it a year ago. :)

Leylia
07-14-2011, 09:44 PM
Researching it, it looks like Fantasy Grounds would solve most of my problems.

dragonlady
07-15-2011, 12:13 AM
There are several very good VTT programs out there.
Fantasy grounds you have already heard of.
Maptools is the number 1 free vtt out there (http://www.rptools.net)
Ttrpg is another good free one out there (do a web search)
D20pro is another excellent paid program (http://www.d20pro.com)

Good luck

Sent from my NookColor using Tapatalk

Leylia
07-15-2011, 01:54 AM
But being free, MapTools is my likely choice. I hope it does everything I need. :) Thanks again everyone for the tips.

Redrobes
07-15-2011, 08:44 AM
Heres Herucas VTT comparison chart which lists some of them.

http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/compareVTT.html

jfrazierjr
07-15-2011, 01:55 PM
But being free, MapTools is my likely choice. I hope it does everything I need. :) Thanks again everyone for the tips.

If you have any questions about MapTool, please let me know...

Leylia
07-19-2011, 06:02 AM
Fantastic link, Redrobes. I appreciate the chart, as I'm still comparing. Tomorrow will likely be my last game via standard chat.

jfrazierjr, I will be sure to ask for help if I feel I need it. Thank you so much for the offer.

Leylia
07-19-2011, 06:14 AM
Some questions I have about Maptool: How integrated are the other RPTools? Can we load characters into the system for HP tracking and saves and things like that? How easy is it to make maps on the fly during a game? It looks like no download is required, but is it preferred? Is the only requirement Java 6 as far as system specs? It looks like Fantasy Grounds takes care of most of that, but I really don't want to pay or pirate if I can avoid it, and I love the open source community.

Leylia
07-19-2011, 06:18 AM
Right now my biggest concern is ease of use and getting my players to adopt it. We started on Yahoo chat but that system has major flaws in a conference chat (such as some players not seeing the text entries of other players) and have moved recently to Chatzy but we don't want to pay for a premium room that would store our conversations better, but we do want a log of the games for future reference (especially helpful to me running the game so I can see what BS I came up with last game, I have to make up crap on the fly all the time because my players are insane, as most RPG players are.)

jfrazierjr
07-19-2011, 09:02 AM
Some questions I have about Maptool: How integrated are the other RPTools? Can we load characters into the system for HP tracking and saves and things like that? How easy is it to make maps on the fly during a game? It looks like no download is required, but is it preferred? Is the only requirement Java 6 as far as system specs? It looks like Fantasy Grounds takes care of most of that, but I really don't want to pay or pirate if I can avoid it, and I love the open source community.

Integrated: Not... DiceTool and MapTool both use the same underlying dice library, as does CharTool and InitTool. MapTool has it's own "mini" initiative tracker, but it is far less feature rich than InitTool in terms of functionality. Depending on the game system you use and preferences, there already exist many frameworks which have automation of one level or another (some include fully adding/removing hitpoints as you "hit" a creature). CharTool can convert characters into a specific framework token, but at this time, there are only conversion "files" for one or two frameworks(and I believe D&D 4E is the only game system someone has written the conversion for at this time.)

Maps on the fly.. can be done, you just have to stock up on image resources from the net to use in your maps. However, maps can be made far prettier if you make them in advance, especially out of "stamps" (premade objects from .png files). Check out the video tutorials (http://www.rptoolstutorials.net/) (do note though that they may not contain the latest features!!!).

Download: well... no matter what you are downloading the Maptool code, it's just a matter of control over where it is going to be stored on "your" machine. I prefer the download so I can make subfolders for each build I download and then can choose which version to use as I build my campaign, but that's just me...

NeonKnight
07-19-2011, 02:35 PM
Welcome to the Guild!