View Poll Results: Which grid type do you prefer?

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  • Square. I prefer 90 degree angles and slightly longer diagonals.

    13 37.14%
  • Staggered Square. Diagonals aren't a problem anymore.

    2 5.71%
  • Hex. 6 sides worth of facing and movement.

    10 28.57%
  • None. I don't need no stinkin' grid.

    14 40.00%
  • Other. Have you ever seen this grid before?

    1 2.86%
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Thread: Questions of the Grid

  1. #11
      RPMiller is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Besides that, it's much easier to desribe a rooms dimensions and have everyone just know how much room there is because they are familiar with grids.
    I rarely describe dimensions in exacting terms unless the PCs have some sort of measuring device, and if they are playing via VTT the sizes of the various objects and their own token is enough to give them the spacial size.
    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Personally, I would not mind using hexes, but I abhor staggerded square.
    Interesting. Why do you abhor staggered square? I am very curious about that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    I voted for none but it depends a little.
    That's why I made it a multiple selection poll.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    For outdoor use I don't see any need for a grid at all. With hex I always thought it was more for convenience than any kind of real need for it.
    Some systems use hex for their mechanics as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Some kinds of indoor stuff can be easier to map if calling it out on paper. I always remember the groans and slow down in play when you got to caves. But a VTT overcomes all of that.
    Agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    The main reason I still use a grid is for mapping with a snap to grid option. Putting in pillars, tiles, walls and so on is much easier. Getting perfect 45 degree angles and so on is hard without some kind of snap action.
    I totally agree with this as well. We all tend to need some sort of reference when drawing up the map, but it shouldn't limit the map either as is the case with most old school maps that have right angles everywhere, and as for including it in the map well VTTs handle that as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    In some ways the grid gets in the way when the perfectly round fireball template lies half way across a grid.
    Exactly!
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    Truly for me, I never use a grid on my own maps when I play D&D, approximations spoken in game works well enough for my group.
    Good to hear. I think most groups can deal quite well with it if they have the imagination to envision the scene. If the need more exacting details then the grid because an important crutch for those players.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    We used and sometimes still play Battletech - and that of course requires hex grid maps.
    Always a great game to toss out for a break from "usual". There is a great demo on the RPTools site that shows mechs walking around with their spot lights on. That always puts a smile on my face.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    However, nowadays I am making maps for others and have to meet their expectations. Squares are fairly consistent for the printed battlemap market, and its what's expected.
    Depending on the system of course. If you did a square grid map for the Hero System players they would look at you like you were from another planet and then burn it in effigy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gamerprinter View Post
    Plus D&D movement rules is usually square not hex. And if I'm creating a VTT map, then I use an implied square grid to get scale correct across the map, but then I don't include the grid with the final, as grids are inserted and scaled at the user's whim.

    I use square, hex and no grid - it depends on who the map is for.
    All good points and since you mention mechanics again, I have another question and this is for everyone above who mentioned mechanics actually.

    Why do you adhere so strictly to the published mechanics? I already know the answers that will be "Because I don't play with the same people on a regular basis so I need to keep the rules as expected". I'm more interested in those of you that play with the same people. Do you not like using House Rules that could potentially "fix" a broken mechanic or do you feel that you won't be playing the system "right" or something else? I'm curious from a game designer perspective. In every system that I've been involved in there has always been a statement to the effect of "If it doesn't work for you, toss it out". I'm just curious if folks do that.

    Also, I don't quite understand the need for "conversion rules" for D&D mechanics to hex. All a square or a hex is is a unit of measure. If you went through the book and everywhere it said 'square' you replaced it with 'space' wouldn't it still work just fine? I admit that I'm not real up on the most current rule sets, but it seems silly to me that you couldn't easily just replace the square with the hex or whatever and call it good.
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  2. #12
      su_liam is offline
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    I voted for none, but I'm not averse to a graticule for some purposes. Hex is just too unnatural for a map in my opinion; it just kind of shouts, "game map," to me(although I might use hex for an alien map). Staggered squares is just poor man's hex.

    After doing miniature gaming for awhile, I don't find the use of rulers(or protractors or even retroactive encabulators) to be excessively onerous, although I find I prefer to let the computer work out line of sight.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    I voted for none, but I'm not averse to a graticule for some purposes. Hex is just too unnatural for a map in my opinion; it just kind of shouts, "game map," to me(although I might use hex for an alien map). Staggered squares is just poor man's hex.
    Yea, staggered square is the answer to those that use squares simply because they need orthogonal lines.
    Last edited by RPMiller; 05-08-2008 at 04:13 PM.
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  4. #14
      ravells is offline
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    I went for 'no grid' as well, as on the very rare occasions that I play these days, we tend to freeform.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    After doing miniature gaming for awhile, I don't find the use of rulers(or protractors or even retroactive encabulators) to be excessively onerous, although I find I prefer to let the computer work out line of sight.
    Oh, that brings back memories of Battletech games. There used to be some tool that a guy had for LOS and figuring out range if we didn't have hex maps. It wasn't a rule, but it had markings to represent LAM range, MG, rail guns...

    Now I'm suddenly craving a Jenner vs. Phawk fight...

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  6. #16
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    I rarely describe dimensions in exacting terms unless the PCs have some sort of measuring device, and if they are playing via VTT the sizes of the various objects and their own token is enough to give them the spacial size.
    I am more thinking of old school. I have not GM'ed in around 15 years. Mainly, back in the day, I made my maps on grid paper to make it easier for me. We never played with miniatures and while one or more of the PC's usually mapped, during battle, it was usually a case of me giving verbal directions and ranges rather than someone looking at the ma, though in a few instances the map was referenced in case of obstacles (such as altars that might hamper movement)


    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    Interesting. Why do you abhor staggered square? I am very curious about that.
    heh.. they hurt my eyes like hell! Someone posted on the maptool forum about possibly using diamonds to force perspective, but the example with just the grid hurt my eyes as well (though no where near as much as staggered squares). But that may have been because there was no background items such as doors, altars, etc to break up the noise.

    If I ever get to GM again, I will most likely use hex via Maptool or some othre VTT.
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  7. #17
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    Ah, those both make perfect sense. Thanks for the clarifications.
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  8. #18
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    I prefer square grids for dungeons, floor plans and battle maps. For overland maps, I prefer no grid at all, but there is something very appealing about a hex grid overland map to me, but only for the aesthetics, not the functionality. So call me "ol' skool".
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdaph View Post
    I prefer square grids for dungeons, floor plans and battle maps. For overland maps, I prefer no grid at all, but there is something very appealing about a hex grid overland map to me, but only for the aesthetics, not the functionality. So call me "ol' skool".
    But why? Why do you like square grids for dungeons, floor plans and battle maps. Is it because of the system you use, aesthetics, or something else?

    ================================================== ===============

    For everyone, I'm asking because we as a society, nay as a species seem to be stuck in the "Because it has always been done that way" mentality, and even though I have heard just about every reason under the sun I have yet to hear a strong logical reason for continuing to do something that might be "obsolete". (NOTE: I'm not saying one grid type is superior over another it just happens to be part of the conversation.) I see it a lot in the work place for instance and I'm just curious how far it extends and why people become "stuck in their old ways".

    I'm not saying that anyone is inferior or stupid, I'm just curious what the thought process is, or even if there is no thought process, behind the continuation of old methods. When I was teaching I used to hear IT professionals give me the "because it's always been done that way" reason about a billion times, but no one could ever tell me why the better method wasn't being used. Of course grid use is a silly topic to shine this sort of light on, but I see it as a related aspect of human habit and thought patterns that fascinate me.

    One of my favorite stories is about a woman that invites her neighbor over to her house for a dinner party with the woman's mother and grandmother.
    The neighbor comes over early to help the woman prepare.
    The woman tells the neighbor that she is making a ham and takes it out of the refrigerator. She then sets it out the counter and cuts off both ends of the ham.
    The neighbor asks the woman why she did that and the woman says, "Because that is the way I've always done it and the way my mother showed me."
    The neighbor asks, "Isn't that a waste though?"
    The woman just shrugs.
    Then the woman's mother arrives and the neighbor gets to ask the question that is now holding her curiosity hostage. She approaches the mother and asks, "Why do you cut both ends of the ham off before putting it in the oven?"
    Interestingly the mother's response is the same as the woman's, "Because that is how my mother did it."
    Now the neighbor is bursting with curiosity when the grandmother arrives and quickly insists on asking the fateful question, "Why do you cut both ends of the ham off before putting it in the oven?"
    The grandmother smiles and says, "Oh. I don't do that anymore."
    Both the woman and her mother stare at the grandmother now curious as well about why they do what they do.
    The grandmother continues, "I used to do that because the only pan I had to cook it in wasn't big enough to hold the whole ham."

    The moral of the story? I'll let you figure it out.
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  10. #20
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    Post Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller

    Why do you adhere so strictly to the published mechanics? I already know the answers that will be "Because I don't play with the same people on a regular basis so I need to keep the rules as expected". I'm more interested in those of you that play with the same people. Do you not like using House Rules that could potentially "fix" a broken mechanic or do you feel that you won't be playing the system "right" or something else? I'm curious from a game designer perspective. In every system that I've been involved in there has always been a statement to the effect of "If it doesn't work for you, toss it out". I'm just curious if folks do that.
    I've got nothing against house rules, but my gaming group had a 10 year D&D hiatus after the auto accident death of our primary DM. Last year, someone everyone in the group knows but never played with had a nearly full set of 3.0 with some 3.5 books and wanted us to playtest his campaign world. So know we are tip-toeing through the rules just as 4E is about to come out. We want to know the rules well enough to fix what is broken in our game - but that takes play time to fully understand what is wrong.

    Regarding square grid and D&D, two issues.

    For printed maps only targetting a D&D gamer market, using square grid is the "expected" format as the existing game mechanic uses square for movement - plus it matches the square bases, lots of miniatures come with.

    The second is, well from my experiences at work, (not including VTT) if there's no grid, their's no visible scale - How big is that tree, oh I thought that was a bush. Scale issues arise.

    Like I said in the games I DM, a grid is something "foreign" to my maps - I don't use them at all. Grids can hide and confuse detail on the map.

    Also on that commissioned map I did for the Blue Max game, they wanted Hex of a specific size, based on the scale of the miniature planes being used in the game and its game mechanic requirement of a visible hex grid. I didn't want to hide the detail, so I created a "fatter" line on the grid, made it white, then gave it a 60% transparency. They weren't really lines, rather shapes cut-out from a rectangle the size of the map area.

    Xara doesn't let me apply transpanency to lines - I can change color or make them not visible. Any object or image can have transparency applied, so I created a grid object, not stacked hex pattern with a defined line width.
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