Roleplaying In A

I Need Help With Maps

In General on March 3, 2010 at 8:00 am

I had the coolest idea: hook my laptop up to the HDTV and use it for a battlemap.

Online gaming programs do this. You have a rocking map and everyone moves tokens around. Often the online programs have a “fog of war” element so the GM can see things the players can’t. I won’t have that since everyone will be using my laptop. That’s ok, I’ll still save money on ink and paper.

The Problem: Making maps. I want cool looking modern maps.

Solution: Learn to use the programs on my computer that can create these maps.

2nd Problem: I have no idea where to start. I am a truly clueless newb in the realm of computer graphics.

Solution: Ask you guys for help! Please, link me up in comments to places I can use to learn the software.

I use Windows 7 (thanks @datainadequate for pointing out you might want to know that DUH).

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  1. I use the GIMP for everything. I have some great terrain textures I’ve made that I can send on over to you if you’d like. There’s a ton of gimp tutorials around – I’ve found a lot of good ones on deviantART.

    Just as an example, all of the background textures (and the key and border) in the KingdomBuilder were made in the gimp.

    Why are you never in the irc RPMN chat?

  2. I would love it if you could send me anything helpful. My email address is and I’ll check deviantArt for tutorials.

    I use a different irc server for chatting with a different group of friends and don’t really want to add yet one more thing to pay attention to online.

  3. Get a copy of Maptools from RPTools. There are a bunch of tutorials you can watch, and tons of pre-built pieces you can use. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the program also does fog of war, line of site, and has built in condition markers and initiative tracking. I use it for my online game, and I’d use it for a tabletop game if I had a nice HDTV and a tabletop group.

  4. I have a copy of Maptools and had planned to use it for the games themselves but wanted to make good, modern maps to load into it. Thanks, though, it looks pretty excellent.

  5. I recommend personally. It is not as powerful as The GIMP but much simpler to learn & faster to do light edits with. I’ve heard both Maptools & The GIMP are quite good though. That is one problem with PA games is a lack of maps, though I imagine if you use floorplans & such you can just add some filters to rough them up, past some rubble on and whatnot?

    Anyway, the big place to get map help:
    Check it out, it is the RPG map place.

  6. Yeah, I plan to use floorplans liberally to at least layout dimensions 🙂 Thanks, Canageek!

  7. […] want to thank everyone who responded to my cry for help. Maptools and Google Earth will likely do everything I need for this. I recommend them to anyone […]

  8. […] Laptop and Tabletop Gaming In Props on April 18, 2010 at 7:10 am Back in March, I asked for help with mapping and one of the responses was MapTools, “an online, multiuser, networked, graphical, […]

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