Interactive Maps and Grids (Warning: Rant)


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Paizo.

I love you guys. I'm one of your most ardent defenders. 2e is my favorite game system ever published. The quality of your adventure paths in terms of the writing and the characters and the stories is absolutely incredible.

But you guys have been doing this for well over a decade. And for some reason, still cannot manage to publish maps that actually have aligned grid squares.

For those of us who use a VTT to run your adventures - which is a lot more of us now for obvious reasons - the frustration of not being able to fit a map to a grid because different grid squares on the same map are different sizes is... well, extremely frustrating.

Spending half an hour fighting with an image editor to try to get a useable map is extremely frustrating.

For that matter, having to use a third party program to extract decent quality images from the "interactive maps" in the first place is extremely frustrating. The fact that the interactive map PDFs are password protected boggles my mind.

Please, Paizo, please. Throw a bone to your VTT players. Find a way to provide maps that have an actual, consistent, aligned, ideally 50x50 grid.

I'm begging you.


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What vtt are you using?
With roll20 is not that hard ( keep pressed the alt key while moving your map to match the squares).

I have issues with secret doors instead.

There's no way to remove em with the provided PDF options ( numbers are removed, but the S meant to indicate the secret doors seem to be part of the map).

Liberty's Edge

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HumbleGamer wrote:

What vtt are you using?

With roll20 is not that hard ( keep pressed the alt key while moving your map to match the squares).

I have issues with secret doors instead.

There's no way to remove em with the provided PDF options ( numbers are removed, but the S meant to indicate the secret doors seem to be part of the map).

Using the various in-VTT tools to line up a square exactly will only keep the map accurately to-grid if all the square sizes are the same. At least with the older APs that I'm running in a VTT, if you just take the map out and align the top left square perfectly with the grid, you'll end up with irregular sizes for squares causing it to out-of-sync with the VTT's grid quite quickly.

The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've never experienced this resizing issue as described.

I usually take a screen capture of a few squares of the map, then set that as a tile over my Map in VTT. If the party discovers the passage, I simply move the tile to the GM layer (or otherwise hide it) so the players can see the S.

That being said, I do agree that it would be easier if the maps let us remove them in the first place.

Liberty's Edge

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Ravingdork wrote:

I've never experienced this resizing issue as described.

I usually take a screen capture of a few squares of the map, then set that as a tile over my Map in VTT. If the party discovers the passage, I simply move the tile to the GM layer (or otherwise hide it) so the players can see the S.

That being said, I do agree that it would be easier if the maps let us remove them in the first place.

To replicate the issue here, I've directly extracted a battle map from a Paizo AP that's large enough to show the issue without giving away almost anything about the room. Hopefully that should mean it can't be used in any meaningful way and isn't breaking any rules? But I'm not entirely sure on that front. Fingers crossed! I've applied a 12-pixel and 13-pixel wide grid, as they're the two sizes that most clearly fit the first square at the top-left. You can see that the 12-pixel grid is too narrow for some squares, leading to it being undershot, and the 13-pixel grid is too wide for some squares, leading to it being overshot. It doesn't overshoot/undershoot on every square, only some of them, but the black grid I overlayed quickly gets pretty significantly out-of-sync with the actual grids being used. To be honest, I just turn off the grids in the Interactive Maps and then overlay one with the VTT :)

Radiant Oath

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What really annoys me is when there are partial squares at the sides of a map. When there are full squares across the whole map (like on Flip-mats) I can just resize the map to Squares x 100px and import it with no issues. When there is what might be a third of a square along one side and what looks like a half a square along another then I need to cut away the outside partial squares, but on a large map that can result in distortion since I'm not going to get the cuts pixel perfect and any error amplifies as it goes across the map.


Arcaian wrote:


The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)

They don't

Neither AoA nor EC PDF remove the S.

I don't know if I can post part of the maps here but I am currently on the last EC map with either Tags and Grid off, still the secret doors are there.

As for your grid issues, anything I could use from the EC campaign to better understand what you mean?

Liberty's Edge

HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:


The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)

They don't

Neither AoA nor EC PDF remove the S.

I don't know if I can post part of the maps here but I am currently on the last EC map with either Tags and Grid off, still the secret doors are there.

I just checked on Adobe Reader for the EC Book 4 Interactive Maps .pdf, and it did get rid of the S. I wonder what's happening here?


Arcaian wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:


The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)

They don't

Neither AoA nor EC PDF remove the S.

I don't know if I can post part of the maps here but I am currently on the last EC map with either Tags and Grid off, still the secret doors are there.

I just checked on Adobe Reader for the EC Book 4 Interactive Maps .pdf, and it did get rid of the S. I wonder what's happening here?

Extinction Curse:

We don't have the book 4 yet ( we currently bought 1-3 ).

Mind to countercheck the maps I have ( EC book 1-3 )?

Book 1, the tower ( the last map ) I can't get rid of the 2 Secret doors meant to contain the Invisible Stalker

Book 2 - Lower moonstone hall- Can't get rid of any of the 4 Secret doors on the north part of the map. Same goes for the 3 Secret doors on the south part of the map

Book 3 - Can't get rid of the Secret passage in the last map


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Ravingdork wrote:

I've never experienced this resizing issue as described.

I usually take a screen capture of a few squares of the map, then set that as a tile over my Map in VTT. If the party discovers the passage, I simply move the tile to the GM layer (or otherwise hide it) so the players can see the S.

That being said, I do agree that it would be easier if the maps let us remove them in the first place.

I do the same Ravindork. but it's frustrating... also, some players might notice the difference between squares ( I am bad at using software to substitute squares ).

Liberty's Edge

HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:


The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)

They don't

Neither AoA nor EC PDF remove the S.

I don't know if I can post part of the maps here but I am currently on the last EC map with either Tags and Grid off, still the secret doors are there.

I just checked on Adobe Reader for the EC Book 4 Interactive Maps .pdf, and it did get rid of the S. I wonder what's happening here?
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
That is rather odd - I'm seeing the same thing as you on books 1-3, but double-checking book 4, it definitely does get rid of them. Book 5 or 6 don't seem to have secret doors on the maps, though I just did a quick scan - not actually running EC, just got it in the Humble Bundle, so I figure I'll not spoil myself in great detail. Maybe some feedback to provide in the appropriate thread of the interactive maps? Very strange.

Arcaian wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Arcaian wrote:


The interactive maps should let you turn off the secret doors :)

They don't

Neither AoA nor EC PDF remove the S.

I don't know if I can post part of the maps here but I am currently on the last EC map with either Tags and Grid off, still the secret doors are there.

I just checked on Adobe Reader for the EC Book 4 Interactive Maps .pdf, and it did get rid of the S. I wonder what's happening here?
** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **

I opened a thread months ago. in the paizo products subforum, but got no answer.


I agree. I ran most of Age of Ashes (books 1 through half of 4) before running out of steam on the campaign, and throughout the campaign I had to use community-created maps in order to make it work properly on a VTT. Maybe it wouldn't have been as much of a problem if I didn't use Roll20's dynamic lighting, but I do, so I very much need grids that fit the VTT exactly.

Honestly, the low image quality of the maps I could deal with, it's the fact that the grid is seemingly not a consistent size that kills me.

Sovereign Court

Sometimes the rectangles are just clearly not squares - some columns are wider than others, some rows are higher than others. WHY?


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In general roll20's 'derive a grid from a 3x3 gridded region" works better than FG's 'derive a grid from a single 1x1 grid size" since when Paizo has the +-1 grid size problem the 3x3 averages it out pretty well. But you still need to be lucky in picking a region that is representative of the differences. And when different regions of the map have different differences no 'simplistic' grid derivation will work.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah my solution has unfortunately been to find the approximate grid size, disable the grid, and then add the image sans grid to the VTT, relying on the rendered grid on the tabletop app and ignoring the one on the map itself.

Doesn't work when you can't hide the grid on the image and is more work than I'd like, obviously.


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Easily the most obnoxious thing about the adventure paths. Narchy has made some pretty great maps for several APs on foundry, but, it'd sure be nice to have better quality ones straight from the tap. I can live with some blur. I can even live with some misaligned grids, but secret doors showing up on the clean maps makes them a complete non-starter.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Some time after making that post I was able to determine that a grid with width 48.6 pixels and height 48.4 pixels roughly fit the map in question (Fist of the Ruby Phoenix BTW), at least well enough to use.

The specificity of those numbers should give you an idea of how annoying arriving at that answer was.

I guess the part that is most frustrating to me is that I know that high-quality, pixel perfect versions of the maps must exist. I know that because every Fantasy Grounds module release comes with high quality maps with pixel perfect grids.

I just don't understand why it's so hard for Paizo to get those into the hands of their players.


When I started finding maps with fractions of pixels was when I broke down and bought DungeonDraft and started making my own maps.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree. It's incredibly frustrating to try and get grids aligned.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just use the pre-done APs in Fantasy Grounds. The maps are already done for me, and there are no S's anywhere for secret doors.
I'm probably gonna be doing an AP using my own effort soon. Either Serpent's Skull or maybe Second Darkness. So I'll have to import my own maps then. We'll see what happens.


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I struggled with this for the longest time to be honest, and really Paizo aren't even the worst offenders in my experience. As someone who likes to run homebrew campaigns more often than all up AP's, I have found a Huge number of free maps around the interwebs to use in lieu of flexing my, frankly pitiful, artistic skills. I have found maps that boggle the mind with how misaligned their grids are. Some I think may have been hand drawn in paint, others perhaps image compression warped the image.

I would absolutely love flip maps that are easily just plug and play with VTT's.


Pazio STILL haven't released their first 3 interacrive map sets for PF2e with higher res maps.

We know they exist because FG had them day 1, and we know they can put higher res versions in PDFs because abomination vault included even larger and higher res maps again.

Either Paizo has the worlds most complex method of updating existing pdfs, or they simply don't care as long as someone has already paid for it. Because in a sane world it is an hour, maybe two, of work to get all three AP up to basic standard with the interactive maps. Or you know, just give a zip file and use quality webp compression.


Hmmm. I recently tested out a couple of newer Paizo digital flip mats and flip tiles and they seemed to line up fine in Maptool.

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