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# GM Workshop

A community-created and maintained place for Game Masters of all systems to bounce ideas around. It's a place for inspiration and sharing tips.

# Photoshop combat maps

Great Wyrm

Photoshop combat maps

So I always had problems when running pbp to make maps but well with a little practice, now I do the maps in photoshop and using different layers and sprites for the characters. So one question, is it easier to use letters and numbers or this kind of map is fine?

Examples of combat map:
Intro initiative and the likes

Step 2 Prier moved toward Majin and they can engage in battle. (just let me know where you want to move by saying which squares you going through, moving 1 square south and 2 squares to the west.)

Critics and suggestions are welcome.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Chaos Emerald So one question, is it easier to use letters and numbers or this kind of map is fine?
Do you mean a grid, so you can give
 or Row/Column
(x, y) coordinates? Yes, that would make is much easier.

Like chess

Wait, you can do that?

coordinates would help unless you give the characters the ability to place their tokens where they want it with something like ditzie.

If you don't want to manually input a grid you can just go by Cartesian coordinates and designate the lowest leftmost square as (0,0) and people can count from there.

coordinates are definitely helpful and make it a lot easier for both the players and the DM.
here are examples of battle maps I have created

Great Wyrm

Very nice, you expand the map after making the grid and add the coordinates with text. I like it a lot.

Comicius Super-Villainous

It's easier to use letters and numbers.

Can you imagine navigating a map like this without them?

Even on smaller maps, where they might not be needed. It still is helpful. Or perhaps something in between, with the numbers away from the grid but still easy to tell the GM you are moving to F5 without cluttering the map with a grid and numbers. For example:

All example maps in this post were made by me (Valiyn) for Mythweaver-run games.

Wiggly Wyrm

Even when using maps that allow you to move tokens around I still think it's useful to have an alphanumeric key for each grid. I also ask that people write down the grid they move to in their actions spoilers as it makes it sometimes prevents mistakes or confusion (especially if they are moving in a complicated way - say to avoid a trapped square).

I normally put the keys on all sides of the map as with large maps and small screens they are easier to work with sometimes.

ie. http://beta.ditzie.com/x/4bac50eeb32ed

Off topic: Love ya maps Valiyn

Great Wyrm

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Chaos Emerald So I always had problems when running pbp to make maps but well with a little practice, now I do the maps in photoshop and using different layers and sprites for the characters. So one question, is it easier to use letters and numbers or this kind of map is fine?
Cartesian co-ordinates (x, y) is great for characters traveling into spaces that they have already explored and aren't covered by 'fog of war'. Otherwise, moving into fog of war to explore new spaces requires the players to list a direction of travel and possibly contingencies, like 'travel down a hall way until I reach a dead end but be prepared to attack any monsters that show up' (their choice; the GM would consider the 'prepared to attack' as a readied action that triggers if the attacking monster doesn't surprise them).

This is because they might list (x, y) for a space they haven't explored and end up being unable to reach it due to barriers. (x, y) should still be noted for everything for the GM's sake (because the GM can see everything, get it?).

Also, already explored areas can be used to stage new encounters for GMs - the GM can just say, 'monsters are now at co-ordinates (etc.)'. For 'fog of war', a player stating his direction of travel really helps since it involves a movement path - which is very useful during combat - once combat begins, PCs are assumed to move around areas they've already explored unless the player says otherwise (or something happens, like the monster kidnaps the PC or the PC finds himself moving away from danger into an undesired direction due to a reflex save).

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Valiyn All example maps in this post were made by me (Valiyn) for Mythweaver-run games.
Those maps are amazing Val, what are/were they for? A Starwars game?
I think I'm seeing speeders in that first one, though that could just be my eyes playing tricks again.

Long complement short, may I pick your brain on how you went about creating them?