View Poll Results: What mapping software do you use? (multi select enabled)

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  • Raster (bought) [e.g. Photoshop, PaintShopPro, Painter]

    662 54.22%
  • Raster (free) [e.g. GIMP]

    483 39.56%
  • Vector (bought) [e.g. Illustrator, Corel Draw, Xara]

    274 22.44%
  • Vector (free) [e.g. Inkscape]

    235 19.25%
  • Vector (Symbol driven) [e.g. CC, Dunjinni]

    307 25.14%
  • Online Generator [e.g. City Map Generator, Fractal World Generator]

    106 8.68%
  • Fractal Generator [e.g. Fractal Terrains]

    172 14.09%
  • 3d modelling [e.g. Bryce, Vue Infinite, Blender]

    157 12.86%
  • Scanned hand drawn maps

    408 33.42%
  • Drawing Tablet and pen [e.g. Wacom]

    337 27.60%
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Thread: New to Digital Cartography? Software General Information

  1. #161
      RPMiller is offline
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    Yea, GMs open doors. This is not a computer RPG it is a tool. Just like any tool, you have to use it the "right" way. Sure, I agree that it would be cool to allow players to open doors, but the reality is that it just simply isn't worth the time and energy to "fix" something that isn't really broken. GMs should always have the ultimate control over the game and that means the map as well. Visibility within the room is easily controlled by leaving the existing VBL in place, opening the door, drawing a new VBL line over the door and erasing the part that is "open". However, once VBL can be attached to symbols then that process will go away and will behave like you said, but the GM will still be opening the doors.
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  2. #162
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    Yea, GMs open doors.

    ...

    I agree that it would be cool to allow players to open doors, but the reality is that it just simply isn't worth the time and energy to "fix" something that isn't really broken. GMs should always have the ultimate control over the game and that means the map as well.

    Visibility within the room is easily controlled by leaving the existing VBL in place, opening the door, drawing a new VBL line over the door and erasing the part that is "open". However, once VBL can be attached to symbols then that process will go away and will behave like you said, but the GM will still be opening the doors.
    This may be a current state of play in the MapTool view of the world - but I do want my players opening doors when it is they who are opening the doors. Just as I want them to act on objects when they are the ones acting on objects.

    Not
    Player saying "I'm going to open the door"
    GM - "How far"?"
    Player "1 foot, slowly"
    GM opens door 1 foot.
    Player "OK, I'll open it another foot"
    GM opens door another foot.

    You may like that level of 'control' as a GM, but I don't. When everything was done with words, that's the way it had to be. Doesn't really have to be like that now.

    And I don't want to have to be drawing and erasing VBL lines just to open a door. That is something that can be automated as part of the door object. I want to be free to concentrate on the game too, not spending my time concentrating on working the technology.

  3. #163
      RPMiller is offline
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    Just curious, how many times have you played a game using a VT, and how many different VTs have you used? I am referring to actual game sessions, not just trying them out.
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  4. #164
      dormouse is offline
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    BRPG (since 2005). Up to that point VTTs never seemed to have enough about them to be worth using. No idea of how many sessions in total, but it has to be a lot by now. All basically f2f with different computers and monitors. Certainly not saying it does everything I want, but that doesn't stop me knowing what I would like a VTT to do. We've looked at others, MapTools (started Aug 2006) more than most, but never got into campaigns with them.
    Last edited by dormouse; 05-07-2009 at 05:43 PM.

  5. #165
      RPMiller is offline
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    Do doors work the way you indicated above in BRPG? I only played one session with BRPG about 2 1/2 years ago I think it was. Maybe longer than that, I would have to go check to be sure.
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  6. #166
      dormouse is offline
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    No. The key issue (as with MT) is the VBL (MT terminology). For it to work as I want, it needs to be a property of doors and walls, and probably settable as a property to any object (and some objects will allow just a little visibility); once that's there, and I'm sure it will come in all VTTs - well, BRPG & MT definitely, then I think everything else follows. For now, the DM has to control all changes in the FoW (reveals etc) as things happen, except for light source movements. But it is clearly something that can be automated.

    Slightly complicated by the fact that the VTT will recognise no features of the base map and the DM will have to set that up for use in a way that the VTT understands. Would probably require defining walls specifically (so that door properties can easily be defined as they will always(?) be attached to a wall at a hinge) as well as other unmovable objects.

    BRPG has come a long way in the last two and a half years - as has MT - but there is still a lot further to go.

  7. #167
      RPMiller is offline
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    I think the problem is easy enough to solve. Once VBL can be attached to stamps then the door will inherently block vision. Once that is done, the GM only needs to give the player permission to manipulate the door stamps. The possible issue with this is what does the GM do, when I player just goes up and opens a door even though it is locked? Or, what if players accidentally open a door that they are actually not at yet, because it has been made visible? I still have a hard time swallowing that players should be allowed to open doors. It is just so much easier for the GM to select that door and then Shift+Mouse Wheel it open. Next to no effort and insures that accidents don't happen.
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  8. #168
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    The possible issue with this is what does the GM do, when I player just goes up and opens a door even though it is locked?
    Can't happen until the GM unlocks the door.

    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    Or, what if players accidentally open a door that they are actually not at yet, because it has been made visible? I still have a hard time swallowing that players should be allowed to open doors. It is just so much easier for the GM to select that door and then Shift+Mouse Wheel it open. Next to no effort and insures that accidents don't happen.
    Depends on your group and GM. This isn't something that would happen with us. Again couldn't happen unless the door was unlocked. And no intrinsic reason to believe that the players are more likely to make mistakes than the GM. And if it is done by using the mouse, it is hard to see how this could be done by mistake since it would all be visual.

    In which case, I think spontaneous combustion might be appropriate

    (And I'd do it. And they know I'd do it. And they don't )

    And sometimes players want to open a door that the rest of the group don't want opened. If they can sneak off and do it when they are not looking, they can. Not so easy if they are spotted having a private word with the GM (agreed probably only an issue f2f).

    OTOH, for groups that want GMs to be door openers there's no reason why they can't do that. All groups are different.

  9. #169
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    So, what you are saying is that the GM is still going to have to click each door to unlock it before the player opens it. Why not then, as the GM, simply open it while you are on the door? I'm not seeing the cost savings in having the players being able to open the door. Is it only to avoid, opening it a little by little? If that is the modus operandi of the players, then I would suspect that the GM would just do it by default, asking, "More?" after each movement. That would also put the blame on the GM should a finger slip and send the door crashing open. Like you said, I think it definitely is just going to have to be a group thing where folks just do it how they do it.

    Regardless, the original issue is pretty much taken care of as soon as VBL can be bound to a stamp, and that is done once Trevor double checks the code and puts it into the build. So, I believe we have the issue licked at least as far as MapTool is concerned.
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  10. #170
      dormouse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPMiller View Post
    I'm not seeing the cost savings in having the players being able to open the door.
    Cost savings don't come into it. It's all about illusion and control. This is the reason for using VTTs like BRPG and DJ scale graphics rather than simple DC scale maps in f2f in the first place. Or having visuals instead of the old text adventures.

    As much as is possible the players, should be able to take action without having to have discussions with the GM. Obviously the best answer to the GM having to unlock the door is to add locking/unlocking to the door properties with player control so long as they make the correct role; similarly for detecting traps etc etc. Again, it will come. But the first stage is getting the VBL sorted and have the players able to open the doors themselves so that they can make decisions on how fast and how far to open depending on what they see as the door opens. And, if they are doing it themselves, it can all be in real time (the GM being busy working any NPCs in the room instead of opening the door) which creates much more suspense.

    And the doors don't have to be locked or unlocked. Decisions about that can be taken by the GM. Generally its not something we use for movables as everyone is in character all the time rather than trying to push the game mechanics.

    I'm not trying to make comparisons between BRPG and MT (or any other VTT here), just saying how I want a VTT to play. Other people are much more interested in complex dice rollers for different systems (not something I understand at all; much easier to convert everything to simple probabilities and work those if the system is very complex) or having the VTT facilitate strict rules for initiative etc in combat (again, I can do without that). It's all a question of choice. It is clear that BRPG is more orientated towards the visual illusion than MT - and this is not a question of VTT mechanics or capability (MT does seem capable in this respect) but of the community - since such a large proportion prefer tokens to top-down, not something they'd do if visual illusion were the main driver; I'm certainly not saying that one approach is better than the other, they have different advantages and disadvantages and it is all a question of choice.

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