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. #1
      RPMiller is offline
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    Question Questions of the Grid

    Inspired by this thread: May Entry: Bell Mines I decided to start a thread on a subject that continually comes up in various forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by rlucci View Post
    I think it comes from not being constrained by the grid.
    I can't tell you how many times I've commented about that very thing. This is the bad thing about square grids and I wish more people would stop using them as the base of their drawing. Just draw your map then lay a grid over the top. I understand the old school mentality and the benefit of having the grid for mechanics reasons, but it just "feels" so much better when a map isn't confined by orthogonal lines.

    In my opinion, the staggered square and hex grids are superior to the square in the realm of mechanics as well, and I remain baffled that D&D doesn't at least take the small step to using staggered squares. The mechanics would actually be simplified in some aspects by that move and the old school mappers would still have orthogonal lines to draw on.

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

    So this brings me to my questions.

    1. Other than sentimental reasons, why do folks still use the square grid?
    2. Of the three major grid types (square, staggered square, hex), which one do you prefer? Why?
    3. Now take the game system out of the equation and tell me which one you prefer? Why?
    4. Did you know that with Virtual Tabletops such as MapTool that you can actually play without any sort of grid because it is able to measure distances?

    And here is a small example of each type just to make sure there isn't any confusion.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Questions of the Grid-grids.png  
    Last edited by RPMiller; 05-08-2008 at 11:38 AM.
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  2. #2
      RPMiller is offline
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    For myself, I prefer either hex or no grid at all. Hex is handy for fast distance calculations and provides smoother turning radii and 12 facing directions.

    No grid is great for playing on a VTT and is less distracting regarding the map and the options that you have available. Unfortunately not all systems can cope with the lack of a grid such as threat zone rules and the like.
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  3. #3
      torstan is offline
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    Well, I now map without a grid. However I play in maptool with the grid turned on because players like to know where they are, who they are flanking and like having an easy way to eyeball spell area of effects. Also, maptool currently works better with the grid on than off.

    However, my slavish addiction to the rules will not extend to the 4e rule that the diagonal of a square is the same as the length of a side. A square is not a circle and I don't find non-Euclidean geometry to be 'easier' (waits for 4e flame war to derail mapping thread...)
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  4. #4
      RobA is offline
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    For 1 I'd answer game mechanics. I play 3.5e pretty exclusively, and everything is detailed based on square grids.

    If someone wrote a hex conversion for 3.5e I'd probably consider it (or try that micro rule set posted if it works with hexes)

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  5. #5
      NeonKnight is offline
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    I am so old school I go with Squares. But then that is because my game mechanics demand it.
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  6. #6
      Kasim is offline
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    Other than sentimental reasons, why do folks still use the square grid?
    Old habits are hard to break.

    Of the three major grid types (square, staggered square, hex), which one do you prefer? Why?
    Hex shaped would be my main choice as it gives more choices for smooth movement, the 12 facings and better sense of front, back, sides.

    Now take the game system out of the equation and tell me which one you prefer? Why?
    I'd prefer none at all, instead using overlays and ruler type tools.

    Did you know that with Virtual Tabletops such as MapTool that you can actually play without any sort of grid because it is able to measure distances?
    I'm actually looking forward to doing the same with Viewing Dale. Using a ruler overlay to measure distances, for that true table top feel.

  7. #7
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    I grew up on MERP, which was generally gridless. I've never quite grown accustomed to using a grid, so I generally leave it off of my maps unless there is a pretty good reason to have one. Even then, I'd prefer to use an overlay rather than putting it in the map itself.
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  8. #8
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    I remember in the olden days where you drew maps, you did it on grid paper cause it was such a pain to use the ruler to measure each and every single line you ever put. 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. Personally, I would not mind using hexes, but I abhor staggerded square.

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  9. #9
      Redrobes is offline
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    I voted for none but it depends a little. 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 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.

    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.

    With a VTT you can place down an area template for fireballs and measure distances with similar types of ruler. Personally I don't think its a good idea to let the players get a good idea of exactly how far their bow shot is until they have let fly. And I don't particularly like the restriction of tile based movement or facing. These all seemed like constructions to make the game play easier from being able to say to DM ill move 5 squares north and for the DM to say that you can have exactly 3 squares worth of attackers around you. In some ways the grid gets in the way when the perfectly round fireball template lies half way across a grid.

    So I wouldn't want to be without the option but generally, no, I don't need no stinkin' grid.

  10. #10
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    Post I voted for other, because it depends...

    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.

    We used and sometimes still play Battletech - and that of course requires hex grid maps.

    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. 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.
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