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How do you handle your Visual aids in PBP

   
It is extremely difficult and open to too much smarmy pandering to run without visual aids IMHO. If everyone running and playing the campaign is all easy-breezy in personality, well, ok, maybe. But the glass is half-empty people, half the world, the doers, make it real, even in fantasy. The "Monty Haul" way doesn't like exactness, it cramps that style. It also reveals sloppiness, laziness, sugar-addiction, and low self-esteem. Not the realm of titans. Again, just an opinion, albeit strongly held. <--- Said humorously

I like maps ... I mean, REALLY like maps

I also like the players being able to have that sensation of moving their character on the maps, so hence my post above.

Ace B's obviously works the same way for him.

GIMP is a nice piece of software that lets me draw maps with some great cloth and paper filters; in my drive for semi-historic games, I like making maps that look like maps the PCs might draw.

Well, Series - and I say this with no snark - I think that my personal track record and testimony of my players utterly repudiates your statement. I haven't kept people interested and having fun for nearly a year, in an original setting, with well over 10,000 posts spread across this and another PbP site, using "smarmy pandering".

Sloppy? A little. Lazy? Not as much. Low self esteem? Not even a little bit

I find it incredible that you believe a good story can't be told without visuals. I mean...we're all storytellers here, right? Who needs pictures when you can paint the scene effectively, dramatically and accurately with words?

I'm a player. I weave stories with my words, other players add their own strands, and the whole becomes something more. As long as the GM can do the same, and misunderstandings can be corrected before things fall apart, visuals are a bonus. That said, visuals allow some situations to be presented precisely in a way that is more readily understandable than with words alone.

It's all about the situation:
If you can picture the scene without needing visuals, then words are sufficient. Most social interactions are actually very good like this, as visuals aren't necessary at at all. The same applies to simple combat situations, or any other interaction where the location can be simply described, and you can visualize where people and objects are in relation to each other and the location.

On the other paw:
A complex place, such as a bar room with an irregular shape, staircases, a mezzanine floor and multiple doors, not to mention multiple tables, perhaps a small stage for performances or an instrument such as a piano, well, that's a lot harder to visualize as a combat location. That's where some kind of visual aid makes things a lot faster and easier to understand.

I like maps for combat... it's often the details of the terrain that give you interesting tactical options.

For maps, I just draw it out in photoshop. I first made a 10x10 Inch board, draw myself some 64x64 Pixel grids, and then just drew the map from there.
I honestly, don't know what I SHOULD do for characters and Objects, but You should get the general idea of what I did here.

The Green 'X' and '+' mark are the two characters currently in the game. Everything else should be pretty straightforward.
It's pretty bare, but It's the first level and I haven't any need to rush anything. I do however wish I could place something like a token instead of drawing it out. It would speed up time and whatnot.

Does anyone else draw out there maps? And if so, what do you use for things like Objects, Players, etc? I haven't found any decent tokens to really use.

It's been a while since I DMed, but I used a simple Excel sheet with the characters' initials.
However, if you use Photoshop, you could find, or ask your players to find, a small picture that represents each character well and copy it as a new layer into the picture, moving it every time. If they have provided a character image, you can use a headshot.




 

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