Kingmaker online?


Kingmaker


I am sorry if this has been asked before but I am trying to run a game online with my friends and I am wondering what program would work best? Something like Maptool, TTopRPG, but I would like to stress that freeware is absolutely preferred. I am confused by all these different programs and which can do what and what they can't do.


fallenvash wrote:
I am sorry if this has been asked before but I am trying to run a game online with my friends and I am wondering what program would work best? Something like Maptool, TTopRPG, but I would like to stress that freeware is absolutely preferred. I am confused by all these different programs and which can do what and what they can't do.

I use Maptools, and have been using it for... close to five years now. The latest version (1.3) really can do pretty much anything you wish it could do, and more if you know how to program it. (Not to say it's the best at doing everything, but at the price who can complain?) You could almost completely excise the GM from the game with Maptools - it'll certainly take care of all of your bookkeeping if you do a little legwork (or crib someone's else's).

I suppose if you want details... ask.


I was looking the most into maptools, but the problem is, I have no idea what to do with it. There is so much you CAN do with it, but to me all seems to require extra work. I just am not sure what route to take with it.


If you just want the battlegrid, you can just use Maptools as is. You do have to make your own maps (as you would with every other VTT I've seen) but that's pretty easy to pick up. RPtools (the people who write Maptools) also provide TokenTool, which you can use to create your own tokens to use with Maptools - this, too, is ridiculously easy to use.

(If your problem is that you have no idea how to make maps, then your problem is far more basic than which VTT to use.)

Maptools only gets complicated once you want to start using the scripting language. You really don't need this - some people like it (I do), some people don't (my players don't) - but it's neat if that's what you're into. Writing for the scripting language is pretty simple, there's a wiki with all of the info on it if you want to learn and write your own scripts. Alternatively, check the RPTools community User Development forums - tons of people have created their own frameworks, including one for use with Pathfinder. It'll take a bit to learn to use this part, but, like anything, take it one step at a time and you'll get the hang of it.


I assume the map making will be easy, especially since I am using Kingmaker. I assume that maptools has a hex feature no? Now the tougher part that comes into play is dealing with the city making stuff. Do I just treat it like making a battle map normally but making new custom tokens?

But I want to have a somewhat easy DMing experience once actually running the game itself. Any advice on the specific tools you personally find extremely useful? Like I know the dice roller is nice with it's setup, and that there is some kind of character sheet function I can use. Any other tips you can think of that I may not immediately find on the wiki?

EDIT: Yes, the map making should not pose too much issue for me, the system doesn't seem overly complicated in that regard. What I can't seem to find is information on character sheets in the wiki, do the tokens have some built in character sheet function?

EDIT 2: I just realized, what would you advise in regards to mapping the Kingmaker hex map for my players? how would I go about making things hidden properly with it? What is (in your opinion) the ideal route to take in regards to both the mapping aspect and the aesthetic aspect for my players?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Maptool + Skype and you are set. =)

Maptool has a learning curve, but it is easy (and free) to get started and you can slowly ramp up the options you use.

Also, there is a Pathfinder macro set for Matool available that is quite good. Again, there is a learning curve, but man it is soooo worth it.

Good gaming!


fallenvash wrote:
EDIT 2: I just realized, what would you advise in regards to mapping the Kingmaker hex map for my players? how would I go about making things hidden properly with it? What is (in your opinion) the ideal route to take in regards to both the mapping aspect and the aesthetic aspect for my players?

If you want to hide things, there are two options.

First, there is a hidden layer you can put objects on. Second, individual tokens have an option to be player-visible or not. There are some great tutorials on their website that explain about 75% of what you need to know. Unfortunately, you can't hide labels from the players, but you can create hidden tokens and then show token labels.

I put together the "world map" of the Stolen Lands using maptools that I'd be willing to share with individual GMs. It has most (if not all) encounter locations on it. E-mail me at (game-info at nekocode dot org).


As Elorebaen stated, the framework is great for running Kingmaker. I used the maps in the Kingmaker Map Folio and stitched them together with GIMP. I then place FOW over the whole thing and use a token with it's own vision to allow the players to move the token on the map. This then clears the FOW and if there is an encounter, we run it. Now that they are in the building part, I made some blue and red hexes to place on the map. Blue signifies claimed and red signifies explored. As for the city grid, they wanted to do it as well inside MapTools, so I stripped the pics Paizo so kindly drew and made them 50x50 pixel tokens for house and such and 100x50 for the town hall and 100x100 for the castle and such. The party can then place the tokens down on the map where they want. I would really like to stop time and create macros for rolling the stability/loyalty/economy and event rolls and such. There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. Plus my PC's have me adding in a bunch more encounters to make the world feel real.

The Exchange

I recently saw a post on another thread where someone had made the Stolen Lands map in Civ V editor. It looked amazing, with 3-D graphics and all. Not sure how that would translate to Maptools (if at all), but it looked really sweet. I'm gonna take some time this week and try to do my own with Civ V editor.


Personally - and this is totally my own experience here - I started with making the Stolen Lands map completely hidden from the players, with them slowly exploring it and revealing it to them through FOW. This sorta created a problem though, because at the time it became impossible to determine which hexes (and, yes, Maptools has a hex feature) were fully explored and which were just passed through.

Spoiler:
(My PCs, for example, immediately left from Oleg's to hunt down the bandit camp at the Thorn River ford, blazing through a couple of hexes to get there.)

So ultimately, I decided to forego Fog of War, and just revealed hte whole map to the players, while marking individually (with a small token marker) which hexes were explored fully. As we determined we were too pressed for time, we decided to skip the exploration aspects of Kingmaker altogehter now that we're into kingdom building, and so it worked out fine in the end.


Shieldknight wrote:
I recently saw a post on another thread where someone had made the Stolen Lands map in Civ V editor. It looked amazing, with 3-D graphics and all. Not sure how that would translate to Maptools (if at all), but it looked really sweet. I'm gonna take some time this week and try to do my own with Civ V editor.

That sounds pretty bad assical. I would love to take a gander at that beauty.


Shieldknight wrote:
I recently saw a post on another thread where someone had made the Stolen Lands map in Civ V editor. It looked amazing, with 3-D graphics and all. Not sure how that would translate to Maptools (if at all), but it looked really sweet. I'm gonna take some time this week and try to do my own with Civ V editor.

That would be a sight to behold :)

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I started working on it last night. One thing I have noticed right away is that it mass represents things. You can't have a mountain in just part of a hex, it is either the whole hex or not at all. Also, rivers are along the edge of the hexes, so you need to be a little liberal in your placement of them. I'll see if I can't post something by the end of the week.

Until then, I found the one I had seen earlier.

Civ V Kingmaker Flat

Civ V Kingmaker 3D

I did some lurking, to see if they had updated the map, and sure enough. Here is a close up of part of their Stolen Lands map.

Scarab Sages

I use MapTools and love it. I'd love to show a screenshot of the current kingdom (they're about to start the third book) but as it contains the Greenbelt map I don't believe it would be allowed. In any event, I use the object layer to draw 'borders' for their kingdom and others (like Varnhold or Brevoy), and various icons to represent farms/mines/cities/etc. The map is covered black in the background layer which I'll reveal as soon as they enter a hex. If they don't fully explore it, I leave a little icon of an eye with a red slash through it to indicate it hasn't been completely explored.


Karui Kage wrote:
The map is covered black in the background layer which I'll reveal as soon as they enter a hex.

Wow... that solution is so simple I actually feel a little bit like an idiot right now.

Scarab Sages

Archmage_Atrus wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
The map is covered black in the background layer which I'll reveal as soon as they enter a hex.
Wow... that solution is so simple I actually feel a little bit like an idiot right now.

Haha, it's not all too simple honestly, there's probably a better way. Whenever they enter a new hex I put some fog of war over the area so they can't see, then go to the background layer, remove a chunk around where they are to reveal the map, then add some black around the edges so only the hex itself is revealed.

I might also recommend what I do with my Serpent's Skull game. Set the map layout to hexes and put fog of war over the whole thing. Moving a token they own on the map *would* normally reveal the whole thing, but what you can do is make a custom vision that only reveals one hex. Look at the "Short Vision" example in Preferences (or Properties? not sure) to see how it should look. Heck, Short Vision (or whatever it's called) might work for you in truth. In the end, moving them on the map should just reveal a small area that reveals their current hex and a little bit of adjacent hexes.

So, much easier then the way I do it, but you do reveal a bit of other hexes. If that's not a problem, then go for it :)


Karui Kage wrote:
I might also recommend what I do with my Serpent's Skull game. Set the map layout to hexes and put fog of war over the whole thing. Moving a token they own on the map *would* normally reveal the whole thing, but what you can do is make a custom vision that only reveals one hex. Look at the "Short Vision" example in Preferences (or Properties? not sure) to see how it should look. Heck, Short Vision (or whatever it's called) might work for you in truth. In the end, moving them on the map should just reveal a small area that reveals their current hex and a little bit of adjacent hexes.

That's how I started (custom vision limit that equated to just over 1 hex), but I wanted a way to differentiate between "explored" hexes and "just moved through" hexes. And once we got to Kingdom building I wanted all of their claimed hexes to be visible as if they had light sources, so I had to start playing around with individual hex-sized light sources, which slowed everything down to a crawl...

Anyhow, ended up just getting rid of FoW altogether and just revealed the whole map.


I thank you all for your advice. To me the easiest solution to the exploration thing seems to be to label each hex personally with a letter and number and have a list that I can mark down for my players.

The Exchange

fallenvash wrote:
I thank you all for your advice. To me the easiest solution to the exploration thing seems to be to label each hex personally with a letter and number and have a list that I can mark down for my players.

I bought the Kingmaker Map Folio and laminated them. I gave the players the Greenbelt map and allowed them to write on it in permanent marker. If they have just gone through a hex, they leave it untouched. If they have explored it, they write an "X" in the top corner.

Now that they have started building their kingdom we have added a couple of labels. A circle goes around the "X" if they have claimed it. A "R" goes in the bottom corner if they have built a road. A "F" goes in the bottom right corner if they have farmed it. Starting with the capitol hex they have drawn a road out following the path that they took to claim hexes all the way to Oleg's. Bridges are just drawn on the map over the river where the road crosses it. They have also drawn in their city and labeled it. They have even created a wildlife preserve in one hex.

Scarab Sages

Archmage_Atrus wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
I might also recommend what I do with my Serpent's Skull game. Set the map layout to hexes and put fog of war over the whole thing. Moving a token they own on the map *would* normally reveal the whole thing, but what you can do is make a custom vision that only reveals one hex. Look at the "Short Vision" example in Preferences (or Properties? not sure) to see how it should look. Heck, Short Vision (or whatever it's called) might work for you in truth. In the end, moving them on the map should just reveal a small area that reveals their current hex and a little bit of adjacent hexes.

That's how I started (custom vision limit that equated to just over 1 hex), but I wanted a way to differentiate between "explored" hexes and "just moved through" hexes. And once we got to Kingdom building I wanted all of their claimed hexes to be visible as if they had light sources, so I had to start playing around with individual hex-sized light sources, which slowed everything down to a crawl...

Anyhow, ended up just getting rid of FoW altogether and just revealed the whole map.

All I did with regards to that was make a little icon in Photoshop that was just an eye with a red line through it. If the players moved through a hex but didn't fully explore it, I just dragged that icon onto the relevant hex. :)


Wait, are you saying I can easily manipulate the map with photoshop, even while it is displayed in maptools?


The Civ5 maps are mine. It takes a bit of finagling, but I think it generally works out well. I think that once they start kingdom-building, it will really shine.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I use Maptool to run my campaign, but I work to keep it as simple as possible. In previous campaigns I've tried using campaign frameworks with crazy scripting and perfectly calculated light sourcing and everything, but it's a time sink. Also, I feel that Maptool's scripting is currently an elaborate hack. It represents the best and worst of open source, in that it works, but it doesn't have decent documentation, grew out of necessity without any real planning, and is unsupported by the devs unless you're willing to invest a ton of time in figuring out where and why your scripts malfunction.

That said, the devs are good at fixing well-documented bugs (I've reported several in older versions and all have been fixed in the next build released).

So I use fog of war on the main map, only revealing the hex if they fully explore it, or partially revealing if they partially explore (like when they can't cross a river). I stripped out the map/all the icons from the PDF, so I has the same symbols as the books. I need some better icons to represent roads/farms/claimed hexes, but right now the ones I have will do. If they hear about something from an NPC (like the statue, or the Stag Lord's Fort), I just reveal the icon and label, leaving it floating in the black until they actually go. Since my party has made it a point to explore every hex they can, these sorts of partial reveals have worked fine.

I have each kingdom city (group has two at the moment) on its own map, using the city district image from the books, just putting the icons for the buildings in place. It works well enough.

I use Hero Lab to manage all the encounters, happily shelling out the dough for the supplements. It's worth it because I hate doing the data entry, even for NPCs found only in this AP. Maptool's integrated combat management is pretty lousy, and the rptools.net team has a separate app, InitTool, that's decent, but the advantages of having the entire character sheet in Hero Lab are many and varied.

I've been doing all FoW manually in Maptool during encounters (revealing/hiding enemies manually), although the light source stuff is the coolest feature, just because it takes less time to set up. I end up spending tons of time on vision blockage layer stuff to get it all perfect, and it's fantastic, but not worth the hassle. My goal is to offer functionality similar to an actual table with miniatures, and it does that well. It's much more polished/inexpensive than I would get trying to do any of it outside a computer. For some random encounters, I'll scribble a map together with the drawing tools or just describe it if it's super unimportant. Sometimes less is more.

It's definitely fun, though. My players' reactions when they saw the size of the giant whiptail centipede or when the owlbear walked out of the cell in the Stag Lord's fort keeps me convinced it's worth it.

I will also say that if you have the time/energy to use the campaign frameworks and whatnot, you can do some really sweet stuff, like have HP meters on the tokens for your PCs/NPCs and auto-resolution of attacks...But it's a lot of data entry on top of the fiddly nature of the scripting, and I know my limits. My compromise has served well, especially since all my players are actually playing in person.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM Barcas wrote:
The Civ5 maps are mine. It takes a bit of finagling, but I think it generally works out well. I think that once they start kingdom-building, it will really shine.

They are incredibly awesome, so major props. I certainly don't want my players to see them and discover how lame my otherwise effective use of the Paizo-created maps is (I mean, there aren't any sweet isometric 3D views *at all*, so clearly I should just give up) by comparison. I get the same feeling looking at those screenshots as I do when Gabe from Penny-Arcade posts the stuff he's made for his games, which is jealousy and inadequacy.

Ah, well, what they don't know...


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
fallenvash wrote:
Wait, are you saying I can easily manipulate the map with photoshop, even while it is displayed in maptools?

I'll answer, even though that wasn't directed at me: Not really.

Maptool had its own drawing tools, by they suck. Better artists than I can do great works with lousy tools, but they just accentuate my lack of ability.

The most criminal thing is that you can't easily move any work from one map to another, or from one campaign to another.

If you're going to be doing much that requires actual drawing tools, the sanest thing is to do the work in another image editing app, then save it in one of your "resource" folder or just drag it into Maptool, and manipulate it as an object from there. It's how I do everything, including chopping up the levels for the Stag Lord's fort, placing all the AP's maps, etc. You get to be pretty fast at manually resizing map images to make the image's drawn grid match the maps calculate grid (or not, if the scale is off, like Nettle's Crossing). Icons are the same way. Just take the images and plunk 'em down.

I wish Maptool supported more layers. It would make some of this less cumbersome. That's pretty much my number one feature request, but it's on the devs' list, so one day...

Also, please forgive any typos/oddball words, I typed all of these posts on in iPhone and the combination of the keyboard/autocorrect/small screen make them much more likely to slip through.

Scarab Sages

fallenvash wrote:
Wait, are you saying I can easily manipulate the map with photoshop, even while it is displayed in maptools?

No, what I meant was that I use Photoshop to make some new icons (or edit the map) before the game, then put that in MapTools. I am not able to edit anything in MapTools as we play it with Photoshop.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Kingmaker / Kingmaker online? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Kingmaker