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Map Accuracy for Scenarios


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, Idaho—Twin Falls aka Rendrin

I'm about to run a scenario that uses the Woodlands flip mat . I have been trying to get all the flip mat and map packs for the scenarios I've been running because trying to draw an accurate map with zero artistic abilities can take a bit of time. The Woodlands is out of print and out of stock everywhere.

I'm wondering what level of accuracy I'm expected to deliver with translating the maps from the scenario page to the tabletop. Obviously I'm not going to be able to put all the fine details to make an exact copy, but do I have to ensure all the same squares have the exact same boundaries, difficult terrain, etc.?

I know there are other options besides flip-mats. I can figure out how to print the map from the scenario to scale for the 1" squares then laminate the pages. I can buy the PDF and hope it automatically prints to the appropriate scale so I can laminate the pages (after I find a color printer). Or, I can draw the map ahead of time as I've done for the Forest three times before I finally found a copy.

Am I allowed to use the Forest or Deep Forest maps in lieu of the Woodlands map or do I need something more accurate?

What happens if I run a scenario at a convention and it's not one I have prepared ahead of time? Using the Forest flip mat might be more accurate than anything I can draw in a short enough time to not bog the game down.

Silver Crusade **

Like you, I prefer to use the pre-printed maps, and it's frustrating that so many of them are no longer in print. And like you, I worried about getting all the details right when drawing the maps the first few times I GMed.

But given how often I've seen GMs draw something that's no even close to what's in the map in the adventure, I don't worry about the details any more. The more time I have to spend drawing the map beforehand, the more accurate it is. But the last time I GMed, I was doing First Steps, part 3 with zero warning, so I had to draw four maps in a single session. I didn't even bother trying to pretend I was going for accuracy.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Count me in the camp of "use the cool pre-printed maps and don't worry whether they're the exact ones that are called for."

I have used the many outdoor maps interchangeably in various scenarios, and have used the many market/city maps the same way. Just be very cognizant of the baddy's abilities and don't give it a map that is MORE ideal for it than what is suggested. I.E., don't put a river in between a ranged bad guy and the party if one isn't in the encounter, already. Things like that.

Grand Lodge *** Venture-Captain, Idaho—Twin Falls aka Rendrin

Fromper that is exactly what I imagine happening to me at a Con or some other event.

Dragon, that makes a lot of sense. As long as it doesn't overly affect the tactics in anyone's favor it should be alright.

Qadira **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Thorkull

With experience, it gets easier to draw maps out (although I'm a huge fan of using the flip mats and the map packs). I'll be honest, though, if it's an outdoor map or a cavern I just approximate the map if I have to draw it. When the cartographer and author are kind enough to provide an encounter area that's straight walls (and maybe a few regular curves), then I stick to it.

Grand Lodge ****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm a firm believer in doing the best you can and making the best out of that. If you are like me, your organic lines aren't going to be exact replicas, but I doubt any of your players will mind so long as it doesn't increase(or decrease) the difficulty beyond that of the original map.

Cheliax *

I absolutely hate many Paizo's maps. I refuse to buy the ones that are predwarn for how terribly they are done.

I especially dispise:
How many squares are half terrain feature, half clear or some other percentage
I do not want to keep track of which squares are clear and which are too much terrain
Then have to remember what I called ten turns ago
Tunnels going diagonally when current reach rules prevent attacks two diagonals away
Details that are not really detailed but instead too blurry to make out what is on the table
Overlapping floors where you cannot tell what is beneath the stairs, landing, ect
Stupid nonsense like a fountain or pillars off grid or where it is not asymmetrical

I do not care is a map looks like minecraft, as long as I can tell what square is what. To helll with the organic look of curves or diagonal walls!

I feel writing out the whole map partially destroys the fun of exploring but the maps are too much to spare the time to draw them as exploring. I feel like I have to predwar them before a society game. Sme mods take too long as it already is.

On the other hand, I love the very early map they did with plain square grid on one side and plain hex grid on the other.

More often then not, I predraw the maps on one inch grind paper before the games and it takes me several hours sometimes to do all the big maps. Especially when they put stupid stuff on the map and I feel a necessity to correct the stupidness so I am not pulling my hair out during the actual combat when adjucating turn to turn where people can stand or walk through.

Andoran ***

Raymond Lambert wrote:
Tunnels going diagonally when current reach rules prevent attacks two diagonals away

Had to point out that you are incorrect on this call.

Due to 3.5 legacy rules, and other issues with the game, a few people think that a 10' reach weapon cannot attack on the diagonal at all, which is both incorrect and very much broken.

"Hi! I kjnow the baddy is using a reach weapon, so I am going to spend this turn maneuvering along the diagonals to get to where I move from too far for him to attack to too close for him to attack without ever going through a threatened square." Broken. In either direction.

You travel through any of the squares non-adjacent to a 10' reach weapon user, you will provoke from them.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kinevon wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:
Tunnels going diagonally when current reach rules prevent attacks two diagonals away

Had to point out that you are incorrect on this call.

Due to 3.5 legacy rules, and other issues with the game, a few people think that a 10' reach weapon cannot attack on the diagonal at all, which is both incorrect and very much broken.

"Hi! I kjnow the baddy is using a reach weapon, so I am going to spend this turn maneuvering along the diagonals to get to where I move from too far for him to attack to too close for him to attack without ever going through a threatened square." Broken. In either direction.

You travel through any of the squares non-adjacent to a 10' reach weapon user, you will provoke from them.

While someone would provoke moving towards the reach weapon user diagonally, the reach weapon user cannot make an attack against the second diagonal, as per clarification from SKR.


Yep, it is really dumb and makes 10ft reach basically a non issue, but with terrible movement rules you have terrible situations like reach

Taldor ***

Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
kinevon wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:
Tunnels going diagonally when current reach rules prevent attacks two diagonals away

Had to point out that you are incorrect on this call.

Due to 3.5 legacy rules, and other issues with the game, a few people think that a 10' reach weapon cannot attack on the diagonal at all, which is both incorrect and very much broken.

"Hi! I kjnow the baddy is using a reach weapon, so I am going to spend this turn maneuvering along the diagonals to get to where I move from too far for him to attack to too close for him to attack without ever going through a threatened square." Broken. In either direction.

You travel through any of the squares non-adjacent to a 10' reach weapon user, you will provoke from them.

While someone would provoke moving towards the reach weapon user diagonally, the reach weapon user cannot make an attack against the second diagonal, as per clarification from SKR.

derail What? Source, please. Sounds like a very, very arbitrary and irregular ruling.

*****

You can buy all the maps in pdf format and print them on card stock ... so you're not completly out of luck. Your link has the "add pdf" portion right on it.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka CRobledo

Deussu wrote:
derail What? Source, please. Sounds like a very, very arbitrary and irregular ruling.

Derail: here is the post and thread from SK. A spearman with 10' reach doesnt threaten the diagonal (as it is 15' away), but they do get an AOO if someone came at them through that diagonal.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Deussu wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
kinevon wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:
Tunnels going diagonally when current reach rules prevent attacks two diagonals away

Had to point out that you are incorrect on this call.

Due to 3.5 legacy rules, and other issues with the game, a few people think that a 10' reach weapon cannot attack on the diagonal at all, which is both incorrect and very much broken.

"Hi! I kjnow the baddy is using a reach weapon, so I am going to spend this turn maneuvering along the diagonals to get to where I move from too far for him to attack to too close for him to attack without ever going through a threatened square." Broken. In either direction.

You travel through any of the squares non-adjacent to a 10' reach weapon user, you will provoke from them.

While someone would provoke moving towards the reach weapon user diagonally, the reach weapon user cannot make an attack against the second diagonal, as per clarification from SKR.
derail What? Source, please. Sounds like a very, very arbitrary and irregular ruling.

Link for your reference.

To clarify, though, as you are travelling through that diagonal, you DO provoke an AoO. It has something to do with the fact that, while moving from that square to the square adjacent to the creature you are crossing the 10' line where he is capable of reaching. So, going from the further diagonal (it's last half, of all things...) to the closer diagonal, you will be hit with an AoO. I certainly don't do rules templating, so I'm not even going to try to take a stab at the actual wording that would require.

Yes, it's silly. Yes, it needs to be addressed.

I believe it's still being discussed. Most of the argument centers around this thread.

Enjoy the train wreck (-;

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I remember Mike saying in the past that it is preferable to have a colorful professional map on the table to draw the eyes of onlookers to the game than to use a sketchy hand drawn map that is perfectly accurate for the scenario.

So if you have a flipmat or map pack tile set that is close and you'd rather not draw out the map, it is fine to use them instead.

On the other hand, Paizo does pay professionals a lot for the custom maps in any scenario and not using a map created specifically for the adventure could be less optimal.

Sometimes I try to print out custom maps to the right scale on cardstock. I size the window of my PDF reader to show a 7" or 8" x 10" section of the map and do a print view onto a 8.5" x 11" sheet of cardstock. The scale is not a perfect 1" per square, but it comes out close enough to use with minis.

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you're looking to print out maps from the pdf - I would highly recommend PosteRazor. I've used it for a couple maps now and it does really good work as long as you're willing to be patient and use a lot of scotch tape.

Taldor ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh and to de-derail the thread, I've often resorted to drawing the maps on a Chessex battle mat. I dislike round rooms and diagonal walls, those give me a headache. I've often been wondering if these little things in the terrain can result in different gameplay between GMs.

See, if there's a diagonal wall, some GMs might rule you can go into such a square but then you are squeezing. Or then another GM says you aren't squeezing. Some GM forbids you moving to the square. Round walls make this all the more hellish.

I wouldn't mind seeing these maps include a serious legend of all kinds of little modifiers, like difficult terrain, debris, rubble, heavy undergrowth (20% miss chance!). I find terrain to have a very important role in combat, yet most likely it's just a flat are of arid, non-descript sand or grass with no features whatsoever.

So, to recap, I want a legend. I've seen some scenarios have small triangles in some squares to mark them as difficult terrain. This should be a norm and occur often. If nothing else, it will make the place look a lot more lively and vivid.

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer

Deussu wrote:
See, if there's a diagonal wall, some GMs might rule you can go into such a square but then you are squeezing. Or then another GM says you aren't squeezing. Some GM forbids you moving to the square. Round walls make this all the more hellish.

I usually do NOT penalize a character for moving through an area that has a diagonal slant; I character is said to occupy a 5 foot square for the sake of the rules, but the character actually takes up very little of that space whether standing there or moving. Unless the terrain is hindering or the diagonal takes up more than half the square, I'm going to rule in the favor of the player... but I will use the same rules for the NPCs too, so all is fair.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Those little triangles on the maps to designate difficult terrain are a WOTC thing. Not sure Paizo would want to copy that.

Taldor ***

Don Walker wrote:
Those little triangles on the maps to designate difficult terrain are a WOTC thing. Not sure Paizo would want to copy that.

I think I've seen these triangles in a PFS scenario... probably Citadel of Flame from Season 1.

***

Iammars wrote:
If you're looking to print out maps from the pdf - I would highly recommend PosteRazor. I've used it for a couple maps now and it does really good work as long as you're willing to be patient and use a lot of scotch tape.

I discovered this app a few weeks ago and have used it to print a few custom maps for one scenario. I love how it provides overlap on each piece so the poster is easier to "assemble".

I print in cardstock. I use bits of painters tape to hold the map pieces together in place. Then, I flip it over with the underside up. I use clear packing tape to seal the seams. Afterwards, since it's only taped on one side, I can fold the map along the tape seams for easier storage.

I prefer to use flip-maps/map packs but if the scenario uses custom maps, PosteRazor is the way to go.

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