PDA

View Full Version : What things should NOT be on a VTT map?



RobA
05-08-2008, 03:38 PM
Just a question (as I don't use VTT software). What should NOT be on the map..

So far I have heard:

grids
higher elevation objects like trees


What about things like:

doors
room contents that can be shifted
shadows/lighting

??

-Rob A>

RPMiller
05-08-2008, 03:58 PM
There really aren't any hard rules on this, but basically it boils down to: Is the object going to be moved or changed? If so, leave it off the base map so that it can be added by the GM.

Anything that gets in the way of the 'immersive' feeling that the VTT supplies should be left off such as grids and text.

Shadows/lighting is typically left off as those are dependent on what the PCs have with them. Also, with the newest version of MapTool, as an example, light sources can be assigned to objects so that the object radiates light. If you put in shadows and lighting they could conflict with what it should look like.

Definitely leave off NPCs or things that move about as those will likely be tokens that are added.

Torq
05-08-2008, 05:23 PM
The PCs?

Torq

su_liam
05-08-2008, 05:33 PM
Coffee stains.

Redrobes
05-08-2008, 07:02 PM
Coffee stains.

:) heh nice...

Tis a can o worms that question to which many megs of web serving harddrives have been consumed.

My opinion... anything that you either want to change during play or really would not want on it when you come back to it a long time later. I am not as anal about it as some tho where anything more ephemeral than the bedrock should be omitted

Grids are a bit special as its not part of the map but more a construct of the mapping process. A grid is alright sometimes but the VTT app can do more if it owns the grid so that kinda depends on the app. Same goes for trees. I have no problem with my own trees but as a single flat bitmap you can't magically go under any umbrella shaped objects.

su_liam
05-08-2008, 07:20 PM
My own silliness brought up a question for me. Would it be inappropriate to make a VTT map in the style of an old map on torn, faded, folded parchment. Given the amount of effort that goes into making maps look like they are on old paper that got left in someone's pocket in the wash, the brown ring of quality doesn't seem altogether unreasonable. And a pink stain from the baron's sherry.

RPMiller
05-08-2008, 07:25 PM
Depends on personal preference really. Most VTT users want something immersive and "realistic" looking to play on. If you look through the VTT sites you can get a really good idea of what people want/use. I posted a link to the Battlegrounds VTT forum page that lists all the VTTs and has direct links to them. I forget which thread I posted it in so I'll post it again here:
http://www.battlegroundsgames.com/links.html

delgondahntelius
05-08-2008, 11:07 PM
How do you approach adding secret doors to a VTT map?

RPMiller
05-08-2008, 11:35 PM
There are a several methods there as well and can really only be answered specific to the VTT that is being used. For example, in MapTool, Fog of War would be in place to cover up the 'secret passage' and on the GM map there might be a note or something stating that there is a secret door there, but the players wouldn't be able to see this as it would be invisible to the players on their screen. Once the secret has been discovered the GM would "open" the door and reveal part of the passage beyond to the players dependent on their light sources and vision distance.

So, on the player's view of the map there would be no secret door icon or the like. On the GM's view of the map there would be a stamp or object placed on the map with the pertinent information. Therefore, you as the map creator would treat the secret passage as simply part of the wall/cavern/whatever and draw it as such and then indicate in the adventure text somewhere that there is a secret passage there.

An alternate method that I have seen is that the passage is actually drawn in as part of the map and then the GM places a stamp/object that looks just like the wall over the opening and then removes it when the door is discovered.

Redrobes
05-09-2008, 08:05 AM
How do you approach adding secret doors to a VTT map?As said, theres several methods. Also it matters whether you think your group tries to cheat. The preferred way to do it in VDale is to have the map made of lots of bits and have a GM map which is a blank map with all the bits already on it. Now simply the secret door is just a bit that hasnt been added until you search for it instead of being able to see it. Until you addd that section the players do not have that bit of the map anywhere on their system.

If your group is adult enough not to cheat then its easier to map the wall to a certain thickness and have the corridor, or passage behind it. Cover the passage with the fog of war like the rest of the unknown map and reveal it. You can see tho that when the players have the map before secret that it is possible to look at the images on the HDD and see that there is a passage there.

If the secret merely goes to a room or otherwise disjoint part of the map then you could put a jump token down to the new secret bit of map when they find it and then jump through it.

Naryt
05-12-2008, 12:15 PM
We use a mix of maps:

Overview (classic stained parchment or a slice of a modern globe depending on setting) to show where the party is generally.
Detailed combat maps for, well, combat!

For overview maps, throw everything on the map you'd expect to see on an actual map.

For combat maps, make it more immersive using the suggestions already given.

meleeguy
05-12-2008, 06:45 PM
We've talked about secret doors, how about regular doors?

Thanks,
-meleeguy

RPMiller
05-12-2008, 06:57 PM
Hehe, just replied on your other thread, but it is worth mentioning here as well. Doors can be included as part of the base map. There is a minority of GMs that like to have them as separate objects so that they can actually rotate them "open" when the PCs state that they are opening the door but if you aren't going to offer a "door stamp" then I wouldn't worry about it and just put them in.

RobA
05-12-2008, 07:22 PM
What about dead bodies?

-Rob A>

RPMiller
05-12-2008, 09:47 PM
What about dead bodies?

-Rob A>
What about them? Unless they are going to animate and attack the PCs or disappear from the location they are in, or be moved about they can be made part of the base map.

RobA
05-13-2008, 07:33 AM
What about them? Unless they are going to animate and attack the PCs or disappear from the location they are in, or be moved about they can be made part of the base map.

I ask because I ran a small dungeon where half the corpses were zombies and half were not... I left them all off.

-Rob A>

torstan
05-13-2008, 08:21 AM
I'd generally have dead bodies added to the map separately. I know my players have a distressing habit of using them as improvised weapons, barricades or (on one memorable occasion) food.

RPMiller
05-13-2008, 12:43 PM
I ask because I ran a small dungeon where half the corpses were zombies and half were not... I left them all off.

-Rob A>
That sounds like a fun dungeon and the right way to go with the dead bodies for the VT.

I'd generally have dead bodies added to the map separately. I know my players have a distressing habit of using them as improvised weapons, barricades or (on one memorable occasion) food.
:shock::shock: and eww... and :twisted: