View Poll Results: Make an over-the-top battlemap especially for 4e

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  • Yes, definitely - 4e Rawks

    15 60.00%
  • No, sorry - I like realism...

    10 40.00%
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Thread: Over the top 4e Battle Scene

  1. #1

    Default Over the top 4e Battle Scene

    Inspired by my thread on designing 4e specific generic terrains/structure maps...
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...842#post110842

    Create a map that fits the "$100 million dollar action movie scene" instead of realism kind of terrain that is especially useful for 4e exciting battlemaps. This means large open areas, things for monsters to hide behind, hazards like pits, cliffs, quicksand, molten rivers of lava, difficult terrain, etc.

    Theme should be anything you want, as long as it fits in the design paradigm described. An over-the-top battlemap made for heroic fights with bad guys and lots of minions. No 5 foot wide corridors or tiny rooms - everything is big. Try to make this a flashy environment.

    Its an experiment I've been working on myself - and me, a guy who also develops campaign/modules for Pathfinder, what am I doing making maps specifically for D&D 4e??

    GP
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    Well, I do not play 4e and am unlikely to do so. This might put me at a distinct disadvantage, however, if there were enough details so I understood how and why these features were useful and needed I do not see how a map is not a map. In other words, so long as everyone knows what the goal is there should be no problem. If the judging is seriously impacted by the fact that a tree stump is strategically placed so a fighter can dive behind it on his way toward a fire breathing dragon it might mean that those who have no clue on 4e will be less likely to win. Is there some reference for folks who are interested in making maps for 4e but are not players of the game? For instance, Gurps Lite is a short form of the Gurps rules and is free to read. If there are any examples of maps that are good for 4e gameplay that would be helpful I think.

    I know that in Gurps there are charts for all kinds of cover and body positions during combat. Is that anything like what you are talking about? Obviously when I play I use GURPS.

    You mention "large open areas" which seem to me to indicate armies at battle. The more tense movie scenes I think of are a couple of swordsmen going at it on a narrow walkway with nothing to keep them from falling so I'm not sure I get it. Unless you just mean a lot of ground is covered during a battle? I totally get the things for monsters to hide behind, hazards, etc. At least I think I do.

    I'm game to try anything with a few exceptions. I just hope I don't get blown out of the water because I had no idea cranberry hats were some sort of awesome shield against buffoonery.
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  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    I would be pleased to put together a short description of how combat works in 4e - once you have an overwiev of that, the mapping should be easy enough
    regs tilt
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  4. #4
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    4e, different from different versions is all about movement in Combat. A fight is different from previous editions in which you would run up and basically be 'stuck' in the fight until you or the monster is dead. Pushing, Pulling, Sliding, Shifting (think the 5foot step of 3e and 3.5 only instead of a single 5 foot square sometimes you can do it for you full movement, and not always on your turn either.)

    So, 4e needs BIG, BIG, BIG environments to move around in. (look to the batllemaps linked in my sig), these are 4e maps. 20x30 rooms are not the norm. All the monsters are not in the room at once, they come from all over. Terrain IS important.

    So, a 4e map is very important to the battle. Poison clouds, yawning chasms, plumes of smoke and jets of flame only enhance the battle map (remember that PUSH/PULL/SLIDE from above). These are hazards you or your enemy can take advantage of. See my example map and encounter below.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 4e example map.pdf  
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  5. #5

    Default

    Well I can't find the link to it, but WotC offered a free download of one of their adventures to get a feel for the system, which would probably help a lot. Know this, that I don't play 4e, and probably never will, but the idea of creating maps for that system seems like a smart move, since there are more 4e players than Pathfinder for example - so a larger customer base to work with.

    I know things like when a fighter hits an opponent, the opponent might physically move two squares over, and on a miss one square over. A fighter can mark his target forcing the attacker to have a -2 to their attack on anyone other than the fighter that marked him. So something as silly as an archer 30' away, might be compelled to move closer to the fighter to get him, and now be subject to the fighter's direct melee. Both PC and opponent try to force the other into nasty pits, over the edge of cliffsides. Opponents have minions that must have room to work around the NPC/Monster opponent to attack party members.

    3e/Pathfinder fights where each exchange of blows on adjacent squares in static fashion is somewhat rare. Its more likely that from the start of a fight to the end, the participants have moved 10 or more squares away from where they started. Battles are more fluid and really move around all over the place. A 10' x 10' room does not serve a 4e dungeon well, nor do 5' wide corridors, consider chambers that are 10 to 30 squares across.

    If you're like me, you wonder how does a 300' x 200' dungeon chamber not collapse without walls supporting the ceiling above you - as I say, throw reality out the window. 4e does not concern itself for realistic engineering concepts rather great fight zones with lots of space, hazards and exotic terrains to make battles more exciting.

    I hope that Tilt can provide an overview of these concepts better than I have explained. My education was over 2 days on a board with 4e lovers trying to beat these ideas into me. They really like my maps, and want me to build something they want to play on, not like the realistic stuff I normally design.

    I hope that helps. Perhaps Tilt or someone could find a link to that free adventure (I hear its not such a great adventure, but it might better explain what I am trying to say here.)

    GP

    PS: thanks, NK, you beat my post by only moments and you've done a better job than I.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 05-08-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    and by the way, thanks for making those maps neonknight, we've just left the trolls caves and returned to town ready for more battle (KofTW), and your maps makes it so much more fun to play
    regs tilt
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  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    I can do my best at least - but neonknight has explained the basics. I've been playing since it came out 2 years ago, and where in my younger years that would have ment 2-7 times a week for 2 years, now it more like 1-2 times a month for 2 years.
    The quick start rules are here: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/TryDnD.aspx
    Basicly you don't need huge spaces to fight in, but the more challenging the map is, the more fun it is. Example - last game, one of my monsters used his sliding power (slide enemy 3 when hit) to push a character down a pit - which happened to contain a gelatinous cube - great fun for all... or was that terror...?
    But even though places to slide people are fun, having tight quarters with corridors crossing running from room to room is also fun.
    And - just at note to GP - for a fighter to "mark" an enemy he has to attack him so sword vs. bow doesn't work here
    regs tilt
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  8. #8
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilt View Post
    And - just at note to GP - for a fighter to "mark" an enemy he has to attack him so sword vs. bow doesn't work here
    Ahhh...But a Paladin can Mark at range, and my Psion can mark in a Burst, so, not all powers can mark at melee.
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  9. #9
    Guild Artisan rdanhenry's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that if you want "action movie" style play, then the Feng Shui advice that a map is the enemy is entirely right. You dress the set of a film after you know what props are actually going to be used. Sounds to me like D&D 4e is trying to ram together incompatible paradigms; up to this point, everything I'd heard about 4e suggested (or explicitly stated) that it was back to the miniatures war-gaming roots of D&D. It may be that I have an incorrect impression. The last time I cared what happened to *D&D, Gygax was still involved.

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    A lot of people is talking about D&D is becomming the pen-and-paper version of a computergame, what I think that people forget is that D&D is more than combat - combat is great fun, but it is all the stories that tie it all together that is roleplaying - so basicly if you play D&D, AD&D, D&D 3, D&D 3.5, D&D Pathfinder, D&D 4e or D&D homebrew - it's all about what you do with it. I personally am very pleased with the new rules, and I love that all characters can be equally involved in combat, a wizard can fire spells all the way through - not limited to 2 magic missiles and then a short nap ... a cleric can help healing, but can do so as a minor action, and therefor is able to fight also and not only a healing machine (which many clerics got reduced to by falling comrades), everybody can heal a little in the new rules (taking ones second wind). All in all well balanced and great fun to play. It is of course always personal taste that decides, but I've played perhaps 30 different types of rpg's during my 30 years of playing, so I've seen a lot of cool stuff and a lot of ... not-so-cool stuff, so I have a little experience to draw from *lol*.
    And kudos to wizards for reviving D&D after TSR let it slide...
    (and neonknight - yep, but the paladin then HAVE to engage, or he looses the mark and the ability to mark for a turn - so they all have advantages and disadvantages ... just trying to say to players that don't play 4e, that there is a lot of tactics involved, not just point-and-click combat *lol*)
    regs tilt
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