Do maps have to be the same?


GM Discussion

Grand Lodge 2/5

What the title says. Do maps have to be "the maps" stated in the scenario or can they be equivalent? For instance, I have far more D&D tile sets than pathfinder map packs. If I can piece together something that's close for the encounter is that good enough?

5/5

As long as it's not greatly changing a possible difficulty factor built into the layout, that's generally fine from what I remember. Some maps, like the finale to 3-25, have built in challenges for the players based on the room setup so you want to try and create those as accurately as you can.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Well sure, if the environment specifically plays into the encounter then it makes sense to use what it says, but most of the time it's simply just art (or a square mat with wall outlines) underneath the character that doesn't actually matter--it's the latter I was intending to ask about.

Sovereign Court 5/5

claudekennilol wrote:
What the title says. Do maps have to be "the maps" stated in the scenario or can they be equivalent? For instance, I have far more D&D tile sets than pathfinder map packs. If I can piece together something that's close for the encounter is that good enough?

Generally, yes. However that's not strictly RAW and TPTB can't publicly condone anything less than exact sameness because of a slippery slope.

There are some non-golem'd folks who insist everything must be completely RAW and would rather see maps penciled down on paper than something else that doesn't exactly match.

Whether they're contrary on the forums just to be trolls or whether they'd actually put up a fuss in person might remain to be seen. About 99% of the forumites appear to be in support of a cool-looking map that doesn't exactly match, so long as it doesn't change the mechanics of the encounter. And in my experience (3+ years of PFS) that number goes to 100% support when actually at the table in person.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle

Several of the flip maps in the older scenarios are out of print, so you will often have to substitute different maps anyway. Just note any specific features called out in the encounters (hiding places, hazards, drop offs, etc.), and draw those in if the substitute map doesn't have it there.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

I really wish they would reprint a few of the older maps... and maybe a Map Box made like the Beginner Box. (Good size and very sturdy construction)

Shadow Lodge 4/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope not. My hand drawn maps are usually unrecognizable, pale imitations of the maps in the scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

For anyone that's interested you can get the PDFs for the discontinued maps and make yourself a pretty decent map for yourself.

1 - Print the map out. I copied it map to Excel and printed it out on six pages. Just adjust the margins and such.

2 - Get some of the single sheet no-heat laminate sheets. Use these for the pages you just printed.

3 - Use some clear packing tape on the back side of the map to put it all together.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Mystic Lemur wrote:
I hope not. My hand drawn maps are usually unrecognizable, pale imitations of the maps in the scenarios.

I'm quite proud of the Weapon in the Rift map I drew this past weekend for an upcoming convention. I was also shocked that it fit on one piece of the 25"x30" lined easel pad I purchased.

I only wish I had been able to add a 3rd dimension to it for the final encounter.

Silver Crusade 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tempest_Knight wrote:
I really wish they would reprint a few of the older maps.

Unfortunately, Paizo has a strict corporate policy against reprinting anything other than core hardbook books (stuff that's on the PRD). They've also got a strict corporate policy against questioning any of their 10+ year old policies, to see if they still make sense. I'm assuming the people behind both of these policies have pointy hair and look like Dilbert's boss.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:
I hope not. My hand drawn maps are usually unrecognizable, pale imitations of the maps in the scenarios.

I'm quite proud of the Weapon in the Rift map I drew this past weekend for an upcoming convention. I was also shocked that it fit on one piece of the 25"x30" lined easel pad I purchased.

I only wish I had been able to add a 3rd dimension to it for the final encounter.

I got lazy. I extracted the image, blew it up in Scribus, exported it to PDF and sent it off to a Staples Copy and Print and made an engineering print. I consider the 3 bucks it cost me, money well spent.

Silver Crusade 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ****

I love extracting the maps and printing them up full color... The only problem comes when "secret" or "trap" markings aren't in separate layers. Then you either need to edit them pixel by pixel before printing, or ask your players to pretend that they can't see the red marks...

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

Fromper wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
I really wish they would reprint a few of the older maps.
Unfortunately, Paizo has a strict corporate policy against reprinting anything other than core hardbook books (stuff that's on the PRD). They've also got a strict corporate policy against questioning any of their 10+ year old policies, to see if they still make sense. I'm assuming the people behind both of these policies have pointy hair and look like Dilbert's boss.

Its a shame considering how often the Darklands map comes up.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Tempest_Knight wrote:
I really wish they would reprint a few of the older maps...

In case you're not already aware: Why Paizo don't reprint.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Ottawa

Mike Bramnik wrote:
I love extracting the maps and printing them up full color... The only problem comes when "secret" or "trap" markings aren't in separate layers. Then you either need to edit them pixel by pixel before printing, or ask your players to pretend that they can't see the red marks...

I usually do a bit of copy and paste from another part of the map to remove the secret doors and rooms (sometimes put a logo on the covered room so that players don't realize that there is a blank space and metagame).

I print up the map a second time with the secret doors and rooms indicated, cut them out, laminate and simply drop them in place when/if they are found.

Dark Archive 5/5

Projector! Shine the beautiful cartography down onto the (whiteboard) table. Use Gimp to edit the map and cover with a fog of war. Not the cheapest of methods, but WOW is it worth it. Always use the correct maps and no one sees my lame artistry skills.

Silver Crusade 1/5

LazarX wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:
I hope not. My hand drawn maps are usually unrecognizable, pale imitations of the maps in the scenarios.

I'm quite proud of the Weapon in the Rift map I drew this past weekend for an upcoming convention. I was also shocked that it fit on one piece of the 25"x30" lined easel pad I purchased.

I only wish I had been able to add a 3rd dimension to it for the final encounter.

I got lazy. I extracted the image, blew it up in Scribus, exported it to PDF and sent it off to a Staples Copy and Print and made an engineering print. I consider the 3 bucks it cost me, money well spent.

It actually wasn't that hard to draw other than the slightly imperfect circle that is the final room. I guess I need to go buy myself a compass, although the compass I remember using in high school might not have been big enough for that room.

And like I said, it was a lot smaller than I remember it being from when I played it earlier this year.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Mistwalker wrote:

I usually do a bit of copy and paste from another part of the map to remove the secret doors and rooms (sometimes put a logo on the covered room so that players don't realize that there is a blank space and metagame).

Must remember that. :)

Quote:
I print up the map a second time with the secret doors and rooms indicated, cut them out, laminate and simply drop them in place when/if they are found.

That looked really cool when you showed it to me the other day.

Angus

Sovereign Court 4/5

Scott Yauger wrote:
Projector! Shine the beautiful cartography down onto the (whiteboard) table. Use Gimp to edit the map and cover with a fog of war. Not the cheapest of methods, but WOW is it worth it. Always use the correct maps and no one sees my lame artistry skills.

Wouldn't it be better to project the image from below onto a semi-transparent paper (rice paper or such), thus the surface wouldn't have shadows created by miniatures and such.

...yeah.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Any projector is a little less than ideal. Your better bet would be to use a flat panel that's rated to sit on its back. Top-down projection is going to have shadows/fan noise/heat that all sucks. Bottom-up projection will generally need a mirror unless you have a short throw projector (like for a digital whiteboard). Regardless of what you use make sure to cover it with plexi-glass of some sort and you should be good to go. Unless you're dying for one right now, I'd suggest you wait until you can get an OLED TV because it'll actually be portable.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 **

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Greg Hurst wrote:
Any projector is a little less than ideal. Your better bet would be to use a flat panel that's rated to sit on its back. Top-down projection is going to have shadows/fan noise/heat that all sucks. Bottom-up projection will generally need a mirror unless you have a short throw projector (like for a digital whiteboard). Regardless of what you use make sure to cover it with plexi-glass of some sort and you should be good to go. Unless you're dying for one right now, I'd suggest you wait until you can get an OLED TV because it'll actually be portable.

Nerd.

:)

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I usually take the images into PhotoShop (or equivalent) and print them out, cos a) I'm an awful artist, and b) the cartography in Paizo maps is usually worth sharing.

On the subject of potential metagaming, if it's a scenario I plan to run more than once, I'll sometimes take the time to cut the maps up room by room (I tend to print on card stock) and lay them out that way.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Bigdaddyjug wrote:

It actually wasn't that hard to draw other than the slightly imperfect circle that is the final room. I guess I need to go buy myself a compass, although the compass I remember using in high school might not have been big enough for that room.

And like I said, it was a lot smaller than I remember it being from when I played it earlier this year.

The compass that I use to draw circles on my battlemats I made myself.

1. Find a flat, thin, long, narrow piece of plastic, wood, or stiff (non-corrugated) cardboard. This will be your compass. School rulers work pretty well.
2. Measure and drill holes, 1/8" diameter, down the length of your compass, in 1" increments (center to center).
3. At one end, halfway between the first and second holes, drill another hole, also 1/8" in diameter.

Done.

To use your compass you will need two Vis-a-Vis markers. Place one marker in a hole at one end, and use that as your pivot point on your map where you want the circle centered. Use the second marker in the hole of the radius you want.

If your circle has a diameter which is an even number of inches, use the first hole as your pivot. If your circle has a diameter which is an odd number of inches, use the second hole (which is now 1/2" off from the others).

Silver Crusade 4/5

Or you could just use a thick string as a compass, as long as you're careful about it. Great use for old shoestrings.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

My general rule of thumb is, if the layout of the map directly impacts the mechanics of the encounter, then draw it exactly as it is.
If not, then go ahead and free-hand it.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

My hand-drawn maps often look free-handed... and nothing like what I tried to draw.

Unless I spend 3 hours doing it (like I did back a year ago with Among the Living - that was an EPIC map).

There is a reason I print. And if I have time, mount on cardboard/cardstock, cut out room by room.

If you were at one of my tables at Gen Con, you know what I am talking about!

Silver Crusade 1/5

Despite the fact that I have a 5 year old son who is in kindergarten, I could not locate a ruler anywhere in my house and I was not in the mood for running to Wal-Mart just for that.

I am now wishing I had thought of the string trick, seeing as I have multiple old pairs of shoestrings laying around the house.

Oh, and since I am doing my maps on a graphed easel pad, I draw them all in pencil first, then go over that with Sharpie. It takes twice as long, but starting with pencil means a mistake can be corrected rather than having to trash it and start over.

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