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ronpyatt
07-12-2008, 07:43 PM
I purchased some dungeon tiles. Very pretty. In the past, I've purchased poster maps, hex maps and vinyl grids for drawing out my own maps. This is different.

Someone told me today that they don't use tiles because they don't use miniatures in their games.

Is this true for your games?
How do you use your tiles?
And the most important question of all: What do you use to carry your tiles once you've punched them out of their frame?

Webhead
07-12-2008, 10:22 PM
I bought the set of Star Wars tiles that WotC released, mostly out of curiousity to see their quality and how generally usable they are. I was rather pleasantly surprised.

I was initially hesitant because I don't like to use battle maps unless necessary, but I figured that it might be an easier way to handle them than to have to draw and redraw on a big, erasable battle mat.

You know what...it is. They have proven to be quite handy for whipping up a battle mat on the fly (takes less than 2 minutes or so to arrange the tiles into an interesting configuration). They are thick and very sturdy and the color and design are good quality. And the Star Wars tiles are all double-sided with different illustrations on each side for adding different elements to your map. Very nice.

The only down side with the Star Wars tiles is that they are all for "interior" locations. There are no tiles representing outdoors encounters. There are, of course, generic "gray" tiles which can be used for any kind of situation, and they work just fine in that regard. I'm hoping that a future pack will include some "exterior" type tiles.

All in all, for your money, they are a good value if you intended to use "grid-based" combat in your games.

tesral
07-12-2008, 10:37 PM
I've got a bunch I just printed out. (One of the free PDFs RPG Now was giving out.) I have not used them yet but I can see the appeal of the things. I have to trim them down and attach them to some heavier stock.

I have used similar "made myself" things in the past. They are useful.

The only restriction I see is the fact that you have the tiles and well you have the tiles. If you don't have a shape you either need to make it or do without. It remains to be seen how much that effects design.

My ideal product would be something like the Dwarven Forge stuff by made of dense foam and with lower walls for better visibility. Then however, you get into storage. The other end was a set of stamps I saw for sale to spiffy up your battlemat drawings. I can't seem to find the website in my book marks. A bit of Google Fu is in order.

All in all tiles are a nice middle ground.

Are there not some on line programs to construct tiles from pre-made elements? I remember hearing about them.

Edit: Found them (http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts.asp_Q_ProductLineID_E_2137418020_A_Ma nufacturerID_E_2145082713_A_CategoryID_E_4_A_Genre ID_E_)

Kilrex
07-13-2008, 09:55 AM
I've got a bunch I just printed out. (One of the free PDFs RPG Now was giving out.) I have not used them yet but I can see the appeal of the things. I have to trim them down and attach them to some heavier stock.

I bought some of the tiles from Game Mastery I think it was. They were very nice. I used to make my own out of 3x5 and 5x8 notecards, make a loop of tape, and stick them to my grid. Now I make my own on the computer or download them, print them out, and paste to notecards.

One of my players in my last group made a triangle out of paper, drew the front of his char on one side, the back side he put a small character intro and taped the bottom to a 1x1 plastic tile. Was very cool and he ended up having to make one for each character, bought with in-game wealth.

jade von delioch
07-13-2008, 11:12 AM
I download them and print them out when they are needed.

Engar
07-13-2008, 12:53 PM
I just picked up a set of wilderness tiles (DnD) and a set of future tiles (Saga) after seeing a GM use them. The actual heavy stock versions you can buy (or probably make if you want) are very modular. As a battle shifts (or even splits) it is easy to pick up the first tile everyone moved off of and toss it down in the new direction. Maybe it is just my general aversion to mats at all that this is a "new" idea to me, but it works and since I will at least occassionally have to use a grid for 4e...

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-14-2008, 02:30 AM
Sure do. I use dungeon tiles when i can.

I'd love to have a complete set of http://www.dwarvenforge.com/store/home.php
but my income wont allow it at this time.

Thoth-Amon

tesral
07-14-2008, 11:28 AM
Sure do. I use dungeon tiles when i can.

I'd love to have a complete set of http://www.dwarvenforge.com/store/home.php
but my income wont allow it at this time.

Thoth-Amon

Not to mention where would I put the things?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-14-2008, 12:41 PM
Not to mention where would I put the things?
Exactly. They do take up quite a bit of space.

Thoth-Amon

agoraderek
07-14-2008, 05:58 PM
i voted "no" because i dont use store bought tiles, but i do make my own, i dont know if that counts...

wow, those dwarven forge thingies are expensive...neat, though...

cplmac
07-14-2008, 07:22 PM
I've heard of them, but have never seen them before. If they're all like the dwarven forge one, they are cool. Can't justify that type of an expense.

nijineko
07-14-2008, 07:26 PM
i collect them when i can. very useful for online gaming, especially play-by-post. allows everyone to 'see' something of where they are, particularly when "positionally sensitive" situations occur.

Engar
07-14-2008, 11:01 PM
Those dwarven forge things are neat. For me they are not practical enough to buy, but they sure look cool. If I had space and money to burn I would load up.

Tomcat1066
07-15-2008, 07:01 AM
Those tiles are seriously cool. However, I doubt it would be practical for my group.

A shame too, because it would be awesome playing on something like that.

Skunkape
07-15-2008, 08:40 AM
I generally use terrain, whether it be actual tiles or cardstock/plaster terrain created to replace the tiles. I feel that the use of miniatures and tiles/terrain is very important to allow everyone to use tactics if they wish during the game.

I've had players argue with me when an enemy moves and attacks using the same terrain that they had previously, but when it was pointed out to them, they had to stop arguing because they realized that I wasn't being one sided with the rules, you know, allowing the monsters to do something and not allowing the PCs to do the same. If I hadn't had the tiles right there infront of them, I would have never been able to show the player(s) that they had just done the same thing!

Stormhound
07-15-2008, 11:18 AM
I own the cardstock tiles from WotC, but haven't used them yet as I got them for my now-about-to-start 4e game. I figure I'll use them in conjunction with my battlemat, but I too am trying to scratch the "how do I store these?" itch.

Kilrex
07-15-2008, 11:28 AM
I own the cardstock tiles from WotC, but haven't used them yet as I got them for my now-about-to-start 4e game. I figure I'll use them in conjunction with my battlemat, but I too am trying to scratch the "how do I store these?" itch.


I bought a small plastic container from WallsMart. I have about 1/3 of the Game Mastery ones and about 100+ homemade/printed ones. The only problem I have is finding the correct one. Especially if is an altar, got one for every Greyhawk, Forgottem Realms and Eberon deities. And most of the ones for Kalamar and Dragonlance.

MortonStromgal
07-15-2008, 12:03 PM
I don't like minis or grids but for D&D 3.X & 4e I feel required because of certain abilities only working with certain situations. I use a white board 1 inch tile grid that I havent seen for sale in a few years (it is awesome). For Shadowrun I drew general maps on a white board but thats as close to a grid as I like for most games. I prefer to let the narrative dictate the scene as opposed to the board and for me I start focusing too much on those 5 foot steps with a grid.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-15-2008, 02:46 PM
Truth be known, if i ever came into LOTS of money, i would go all out on terrains, dwarven forge, painted miniatures, etc. I'm sure and this has probably been a dream in many minds on these boards, as well.

Thoth-Amon

Greylond
07-15-2008, 06:03 PM
I voted yes, but it really depends. If I have Tiles that match up with an encounter, yes I use them. Otherwise, I use a custom made battlemat. If I don't have Minis I use dice...

tesral
07-16-2008, 07:41 AM
I own the cardstock tiles from WotC, but haven't used them yet as I got them for my now-about-to-start 4e game. I figure I'll use them in conjunction with my battlemat, but I too am trying to scratch the "how do I store these?" itch.

File box. Either the el-cheapos in cardboard or spring for some plastic. Get a few hanging file folders and sort them for easy location so you are not fumbling though the box looking for the right tile.



Truth be known, if i ever came into LOTS of money, i would go all out on terrains, dwarven forge, painted miniatures, etc. I'm sure and this has probably been a dream in many minds on these boards, as well.

Thoth-Amon

<VOICE="Kool-ade pitcher"> Ooooh Yeeeah! <]VOICE> You have that so right. My dream is a huge basment with a wargaming area and a role-playing area and all the cool minis and terrain I can dig up.

Tomcat1066
07-16-2008, 10:31 AM
For his birthday, I bought my son the game HeroScape.

I've already asked for his permission to use it for D&D! It sure looks like it'll work :D

mrken
07-16-2008, 10:44 AM
Truth be known, if i ever came into LOTS of money, i would go all out on terrains, dwarven forge, painted miniatures, etc. I'm sure and this has probably been a dream in many minds on these boards, as well.

Thoth-Amon


Why not go all out on terrain and just build it yourself.

I was going to vote on the poll but didn't really know which way I should vote. I do use tiles (err, sort of) but they are not the tiles mentioned in the poll. I make my own. These work just as well but cost almost nothing but some spare time. Yeah, I know, it is finding that spare time that is the killer most of the time. Then of course you might find yourself in the same boat I am now in and just have to build the next really cool item. Right now I am building a square keep four levels high. Starting to look pretty cool.

tesral
07-16-2008, 12:46 PM
Decent would also be a game source of tiles, and el-cheapo minis as well.

tesral
07-16-2008, 12:53 PM
Why not go all out on terrain and just build it yourself.


Time, equipment, and skill. The Dwarven Forge terrain is made of resin. Take it from me, it is expensive to make the molds and cast same. That is why Dwarven Forge costs so much.

There are molds to make the terrain from plaster, but while cheaper it is much more fragile. Then you have to assemble it and paint it. It took several days for me to assemble a plaster bridge kit. One must wait for the glue to dry between steps. It was fiddley to make sure everything was square, and you must. I have tools for that.

Third you get to paint it. Have fun. I like painting, but not everyone does or has the time.

Law Dog
07-23-2008, 07:41 AM
No. Of course I don't play a lot of fantasy RPG's these days, but I still think the whole miniatures/tiles thing is way too micromanaging for most RPGs. Last time I can remember using any map/figure combo with any regularity was the Marvel Super Heroes RPG. And the whole idea of "spaces" in that game was very flexible.

mrken
07-23-2008, 08:32 AM
Like Skunk I use a version of tiles very similar to Dwarven Forge ones that I build myself. Not as expensive or heavy as Dwarven Forge tiles and more realistic and durable than the cardboard tiles. A must have once you have used them.

Webhead
07-23-2008, 09:38 AM
No. Of course I don't play a lot of fantasy RPG's these days, but I still think the whole miniatures/tiles thing is way too micromanaging for most RPGs. Last time I can remember using any map/figure combo with any regularity was the Marvel Super Heroes RPG. And the whole idea of "spaces" in that game was very flexible.

I was very fond of MSH's use of "zones" as well. It was a quick way to gauge distances, movement and area of effect without actually having to move pieces on a grid. Evil Hat Games admitted to borrowing that idea when they developed Spirit of the Century and I like its presence in that game as well. Combat should be constantly ebbing and flowing and a chaotic jumble of people who circle, weave, tumble, swing, dogpile, etc, which doesn't translate well to 5' grid movements. A "zone" system (in my experience) serves the same purpose of keeping everyone aware of relative positioning without being overly restrictive.

Valdar
07-28-2008, 02:17 PM
If I had the money, my ideal gaming setup would be:

--Flatscreen monitor the size of the gaming space (:eek:)
--Table with plexiglass top, with monitor mounted underneath the plexiglass
--Monitor attached to laptop running Photoshop
--Maps drawn in Photoshop, with a black layer set up over the top. The black layer could be erased as the party progresses to remove the "fog of war"...

I suppose this could also be done with a projector mounted above the table pointed down, but it would be tough to get the scale correct, and intervening hands would cast shadows and remove the map entirely...

Currently not using tiles because they seem slower than the combination of battle grid and hydrocal-cast blocks.

DMMike
08-01-2008, 10:42 AM
I still can't get over Webhead trying not to use maps. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a battlemap is worth about 400 pictures, since each square is a new perspective on the battlefield. That adds up to a lot of talking on the DM's part.

I picked up a dungeon set of Tiles, and have yet to use it, but it's terribly convenient, since I can combine pieces to get the room size I need, and don't have to wet-erase my roll-up battlemat. The tiles aren't as easy to store as the battlemat, but I have a 2nd edition introductory set box that keeps the tiles contained.

I recommend hunting down some Dragon back-issues, because they included some battle map posters a while back that I love to use.

Webhead
08-01-2008, 12:46 PM
I still can't get over Webhead trying not to use maps. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a battlemap is worth about 400 pictures, since each square is a new perspective on the battlefield. That adds up to a lot of talking on the DM's part.

I just prefer to take much bigger pictures...at more of a 50' x 50' scale rather than at a 5' x 5' one. And I like players to get their word in too.

In part you have to understand that until D&D 3e came along in 2000, my groups and I never used battle grids in any of the RPGs we played up to that point. Yes, on rare occasion when players wanted help visualizing the set-up of a scene, we would take small pieces of scratch paper and do a rough pencil sketch of where things were in relation to each other, but we never tracked individual character movement on a detailed scale.

In some games, including later editions of D&D, maps become a necessary evil, and in those cases, I will play along. Part of the problem (in my experience only) is that I find the "5-foot grid battle map" tends to confine a player's imagination rather than enhance it. They rely upon the map to imagine the scene for them, so they don't have to. That's not always how it goes down of course, but it's suspicious that I've witnessed the trend more strongly post-3e.

And I'm not opposed to maps in general. In fact, the "zone" mapping method of MSH and SotC are a perfect blend for me of "mapped combat" and "imaginative, free-flowing combat". The strength of the "zone" method is that movement and relative position is still tracked, but on a broader scale which introduces a little more freedom. It also makes maps supremely easier to draw out and conform to whatever shape you want the area to be.

A 5-foot grid demands more precision, but is thus more rigid in interpreting how characters move. A character standing 35 feet away is a significantly different consideration than a character standing 30 feet away. 5 feet of movement can change a group's entire tactic. It also introduces the need to precisely track each and every character within the area of the map. If you are fighting 30 goblins, you will likely have 30 figures (plus PCs and PC minions) that each move individually...yikes!

In a zone system, you can say "there are 30 goblins in this area" and can have them interact as necessary, but you don't have to know exactly where each and every goblin is. They can swarm, pair up, flank, spread out and do all manner of things and it just requires the GM's imagination and description. "5 of the goblins go running out the rear door at top speed while 10 of the goblins pull back and begin loading crossbows!". On a 5-foot grid, if you wanted 4 goblins to surround a PC, you'd have to move each of the goblins into place to find out if they have sufficient movement to do it and check for possible AoO's that could ruin the plan. In a "zone" system (assuming the goblins are in or can reach the PC's "zone"), the GM can simply say, "4 goblins begin to surround you".

I don't think I'm totally against maps, I just think the map should be a broader "guide" for directing the action of a scene and clearing up confusion and not so granular as to discourage exciting and creative flair. If I want my character to slide down the banister in front of some foes, I should be able to and not have to worry about "the banister is 75 feet long and you can only move 60 feet down it...sorry but you'll be standing on the banister until next round when you can complete your move".

Engar
08-01-2008, 04:22 PM
In part you have to understand that until D&D 3e came along in 2000, my groups and I never used battle grids in any of the RPGs we played...

Same here. The introduction of the grid detracted from my experience. It changed it from an exciting flow of events to chess maneuvers. It moved some fancy actions into the realm of the system rather than the imagination, but I do not deem that a net gain. I often forget that many modern players have no idea what it is to play without the grid.

Webhead
08-01-2008, 04:45 PM
Same here. The introduction of the grid detracted from my experience. It changed it from an exciting flow of events to chess maneuvers. It moved some fancy actions into the realm of the system rather than the imagination, but I do not deem that a net gain. I often forget that many modern players have no idea what it is to play without the grid.

Aye.

tesral
08-01-2008, 04:51 PM
Same here. The introduction of the grid detracted from my experience. It changed it from an exciting flow of events to chess maneuvers. It moved some fancy actions into the realm of the system rather than the imagination, but I do not deem that a net gain. I often forget that many modern players have no idea what it is to play without the grid.

Ceric of the 5 Form Way: "Have you noticed my brothers that our world is divided exactly into 5 foot squares? Verily even the buildings which we build conform to the cardinal directions and no structure is less or more than divisible by five? Notice how that we sit around the fire, each in our own square. It is no thought that places us there but the very workings of the universe."

Yea, grid think. It does stifle I've seen it at work.

Webhead
08-01-2008, 04:57 PM
Yea, grid think. It does stifle I've seen it at work.

Yes, when the players (and thus their characters) begin thinking and rationalizing in 5-foot increments is when it is most damaging to the imaginative process. I too have witnessed "5-foot syndrome".

Valdar
08-01-2008, 05:21 PM
Counting squares is one of my peeves. One of these days I'm just going to have to say, "The orcs couped you while you were meticulously surveying the room. Sorry!".

I heard the idea here earlier that one square is a "pace", which can be between 4 and 5 1/2 feet. I guess that explains why a square can be the same length across the diagonal as it is along one side... sigh...

The jokes about the 14.4' pole will of course continue, however.

tesral
08-01-2008, 06:00 PM
Yes, when the players (and thus their characters) begin thinking and rationalizing in 5-foot increments is when it is most damaging to the imaginative process. I too have witnessed "5-foot syndrome".

In a recent game I flipped the megamat to the hexes. Blew their minds. "Square rooms!! hexagons!!! Dogs and Cats LIVING TOGETHER!!!!"

Not quite that bad but it broke the 5-foot think.

dar
08-01-2008, 06:27 PM
I love mini's and the tiles.

I'll play without them, I've often done so, and have had a great time, and will do so in the future.

Even in games that really require them, often there are large stretches of the game that go without them.

I just love the effect of mini's and tiles. And no, I don't have any problems imagining the scene with them. They enhance the game imho.

tesral
08-01-2008, 09:30 PM
I love mini's and the tiles.


I love minis. I'm not so sold on tiles. Gots a big old dragon staring down at me and a big bin of the minis. Love the things, cheap and nigh indestructible.

How indestructible? I keep them in zip lock bags. When Mr. Z wanted to see the humans last week I tossed him the bag from across the table.

ronpyatt
08-01-2008, 10:59 PM
I just love the effect of mini's and tiles. And no, I don't have any problems imagining the scene with them. They enhance the game imho.
Yes, it's great to see the look on player's eyes as they gaze at the scene as I lay out the tiles and the minis. They gasp as their excitement easily doubles, and then triples as I describe the scene and calmly ask for initiative rolls. I'm thinking that much more excitement and they'll pass out!

mrken
08-02-2008, 08:54 AM
I'm with you Ron.

Even though I don't use minis all the time for every scene, I do like to use them for the combat. And so do all my players. Not discounting those who like to play in the living room setting on the couch. But my chairs in the basement are very comfortable and the table accommodates all of us well. And my computer is right here and the music is right there. I will continue to use (sort of) tiles because I (we) like to.

Engar
08-02-2008, 10:52 AM
Do not get me wrong, grids have an upside. They solve some issues like putting everyone on the same "grid" so the PC is sees the same thing the DM does. I just look at it like electricity deregulation when first introduced in California. Lovely theory.

Webhead
08-02-2008, 10:57 AM
I use battlemats or tiles in combat for game systems that call for them (d20 and some others) largely because you invalidate significant portions of the game if you ignore them. If the rules don't specifically require that level of measurement, I prefer to be more loose with it.

I have found tiles to be slightly more convenient than erasable mats, but they are, by their nature, a bit more limited. Still, even having some "blank" or "generic" tiles becomes a quick and satisfying way of "changing gears" into combat mode when needed.

Engar
08-02-2008, 11:39 AM
Allow me to rephrase please. There are times when the grid can be useful or beneficial, like alignment (riled up yet?). If used rigidly or too often it becomes a drag on my game. This is what I call, "playing chess". Others may love "playing chess", I hate it.

I came to be creative, imaginitive and theatrical; to pretend. I can be as strategic as the next guy, but that mat you just tossed down requires zero pretending. I quickly lose all interest in "playing chess". I will make it easy on you. All I require is cooperation to add some pretending along with the grid.

Only want the strategy? I am about to test your theories about character death at first level. Suicide is never an option, but stupidcide is heading your way. You see, I no longer need that character and dying is a great excuse to leave early.

mrken
08-02-2008, 12:11 PM
Engar, I see your point about playing chess. I too don't really like the game though I own a very nice set. And I also am really into the role playing part of the game. I love that part of the game. Sometimes I will even put on my hats to help set a mood at the table. The role playing part is the best part of the game to be sure, in my opinion, BUT, when it gets down to the nitty gritty and combat pops out, terrain and buildings are a must. The grids are what I find that helps keeps one person from being the one to kill ALL the monsters. You know the one who can seamlessly kill one monster and turn around and take out the next one without even taking the time to move. Not that any of my current players do that but when I run at Cons I meet them all weekend long. Guess they would be called power gamers in this forum.

Webhead
08-02-2008, 12:43 PM
...I came to be creative, imaginitive and theatrical; to pretend...

Yes, the theatrical...I love the theatrical! :)

Engar
08-02-2008, 12:58 PM
...terrain and buildings are a must. The grids are what I find that helps keeps one person from being the one to kill ALL the monsters.

Hmmm. So the grid enforces balance on your game? Interesting; I never thought about it that way. I will have to mull that idea over. There are other ways to handle equality. Be aware of other options and hopefully try them sometimes, but in the end do what works.

I agree that terrain and buildings, environment in general is a must. I simply differ over what constitutes the best means of relaying that information. I prefer the players imagine the setting based on the GM's description. Go too far with props or visualization tools and I see negative returns (like skipping the book to see the movie).

spotlight
08-02-2008, 03:54 PM
Mostly, I only seen 'battle mats' used for play, with tiles used generally to enhance a particular setting or scene. I have encountered several gms who don't even bother with grid or hex mats, but let the characters run free, measuring questionable things with string or tapemaeasure. Much like the old 40K games.

I enjoy tiles when they are used, because they can and do enhance play enjoyment, but, alas, they don't cover every conceivable situation.

One of my most enjoyable game sessions came when we players arived to find the game table covered with a plain white sheet (with various bumbs under it). We were a scout party for one kingdom's army, returning to the main camp only for rest and resupply, and we were reminded that the last game it snowed that (game) night. What an experience!!!

mrken
08-02-2008, 09:10 PM
Hmmm. So the grid enforces balance on your game? Interesting; I never thought about it that way. I will have to mull that idea over. There are other ways to handle equality. Be aware of other options and hopefully try them sometimes, but in the end do what works.

I agree that terrain and buildings, environment in general is a must. I simply differ over what constitutes the best means of relaying that information. I prefer the players imagine the setting based on the GM's description. Go too far with props or visualization tools and I see negative returns (like skipping the book to see the movie).


Generally it only does in games I run at Cons and for strangers. Tehy don't know what to expect from me and I from them. Generally at a Con I will just run four or five encounters, rp tends to be optional. People at Cons tend to want high adventure and rp tends to be secondary to most people, though occasionally someone will give an oratory that I would love to have in said in my home game. As for other options, I am always open to things that work. And I would try them in game given the opportunity. But I am, I'm afraid, a person who has in your opinion "went too far". lol That's ok I think. I like the game I run and I think my players like the game I run, at least I have hear it from some of them.

Adn yes I do still go into colorful and dramatic narratives when needed. Creative writing was a very entertaining class for me. One I did very well in, though my grammar and spelling still sucks if you are good at those. :)

Click on my avatar and check out some of the terrain I have built. That will show you how far I have slipped into the dark side. lol

mrken
08-02-2008, 09:17 PM
Mostly, I only seen 'battle mats' used for play, with tiles used generally to enhance a particular setting or scene. I have encountered several gms who don't even bother with grid or hex mats, but let the characters run free, measuring questionable things with string or tapemaeasure. Much like the old 40K games.

I enjoy tiles when they are used, because they can and do enhance play enjoyment, but, alas, they don't cover every conceivable situation.

One of my most enjoyable game sessions came when we players arived to find the game table covered with a plain white sheet (with various bumbs under it). We were a scout party for one kingdom's army, returning to the main camp only for rest and resupply, and we were reminded that the last game it snowed that (game) night. What an experience!!!


You are right, tiles (or whatever you use) can't cover everything. Even when I build a bunch of my own stuff, I don't have every situation covered. Sometimes I have to narrate to continue. But I don't use tape in a RPG because I don't want to get bogged down. I just tell the players to eyeball it if the terrain does not have hexes cut into the pieces. like in our outdoor parts. If they insist on measuring I tell them to use their pointer and pinky fingers to measure. Yeah, I know it sometimes means they get six or seven inches, but I don't really care all that much. Unless they are really stretching it. I will say something for the benefit of the rest of the players.

tesral
08-02-2008, 10:30 PM
You are right, tiles (or whatever you use) can't cover everything. Even when I build a bunch of my own stuff, I don't have every situation covered. Sometimes I have to narrate to continue. But I don't use tape in a RPG because I don't want to get bogged down. I just tell the players to eyeball it if the terrain does not have hexes cut into the pieces. like in our outdoor parts. If they insist on measuring I tell them to use their pointer and pinky fingers to measure. Yeah, I know it sometimes means they get six or seven inches, but I don't really care all that much. Unless they are really stretching it. I will say something for the benefit of the rest of the players.

I'm blessed with a thumb and pinky stretch that is exactly six inches.

I remember a Star Fleet Battles game (Zocchi rules) on a tiled floor (8 inch tiles) and a bunch of Fletcher-Pratt players using transport bombs. Man oh man starship bits EVERYWHERE! Fletcher-Pratt a naval game required one to estimate ranges, same as the transport bombs. For those guys adding the tiles was like passing out range finders.

Anyway. Tiles, grids of any kind have advantages and disadvantages. Given my preferences I would use a scaled map with no grid. Break the five foot think. I like minis and props, it does remove ambiguous placement, but I've seen the effects of five foot think and don't like it. I've told people, move your 30 real and place the character where they land. The universe is not divided into five foot squares. I'll use dividers for areas of effect. If your base is impacted you make a saving throw.

mrken
08-02-2008, 11:09 PM
If you follow the link in my avatar you will see some of my terrain and buildings I use. I think out of all of them only the office building has a grid marked on the floor. All the others have no grid nor is there any place to put a grid during the play of the game. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. :) Indoors is easy to have grids, outsides is not so easy.

Krevon
08-09-2008, 03:38 PM
i have a few d&d mini's and a few star war mini's......so the players are the d&d, my bad guys are always storm troopers.

HolyDiver
08-11-2008, 01:13 PM
MrKen I like your figs/terrains.

I like to use a grid. For my most recent game I tried something new. I took the map from an adventure and inflated it in size on photoshop then, printed it off a page at a time. I cut out each room to place down as the next door was opened. I think it looks sweet, and might try this again. I certainly wouldn't do this for every encounter, otherwise I'd run out of ink quick!


http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o320/ryan-meredith/115.jpg






In this pic the pcs are fighting against a spirit naga.
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o320/ryan-meredith/114.jpg

Skunkape
08-12-2008, 07:07 AM
Looks to me like it would add to the gaming element for the group. Course, I know not everyone would agree with me on this, but I think anytime you can provide the players with a good looking map, it helps them visualize the situation better.

mrken
08-12-2008, 08:18 AM
Skunk, the best type of players map is 3-D terrain. And the best type of 3-D terrain is good looking realistic terrain.

Holy Diver, thank you for the compliment. Personally I think printing those maps off on a printer is really pretty cool. That's sort of how I started to build the stuff I do now. I used to draw the maps by hand and add a bit of color with pastels and colored pencils. Still do, just not as much. One thing I would say is the cost of the ink for your printer is going to kill you, and players don't help in a monetary way.

Skunkape
08-13-2008, 06:51 AM
One thing I would say is the cost of the ink for your printer is going to kill you, and players don't help in a monetary way.

I actually had a player who helped me with printing and building of cardstock terrain. Unfortunately, he moved away!:(

mrken
08-13-2008, 07:47 AM
Moved away? Maybe I need a new place. Where did you say he moved? :)

Tamerath
08-13-2008, 06:34 PM
I'm not a huge fan of tiles...sometimes they work..sometimes they just get in the way

mrken
08-13-2008, 06:38 PM
I think my days of setting around the living room are done. Not that I wouldn't do that again, but I think we just prefer using the terrain pieces. Now if I do ever get with another group that does not want to use them, that would be ok. Some of my best games were without a table even.

Skunkape
08-14-2008, 07:11 AM
Moved away? Maybe I need a new place. Where did you say he moved? :)

He moved to Georgia. He sent me a message out of the blue about a month ago to catch up.

We used to play sitting around the living room as well, on the floor on couches, etc, but I prefer to play sitting around a table myself. Sometime after the first of the year, my wife is letting me convert an empty bed room in our house into a gaming room!

I can't wait!:D

mrken
08-14-2008, 08:15 AM
You are so lucky, and you wife is pretty smart. You get a room that you can set and forget :D and your wife gets all that junk out from everywhere and will be able to close the door on all of it. lol Of course she will never see you again unless she opens that very same door and ventures in. lol

Yeah, our basement is used everyday as the computer area and movie room so it is really more of a multi purpose room than a game room. We only use it once or twice a month for gaming now, but there was a time when it was every Saturday from 11 to 11 and movies were out. lol I miss those days. Am working on bringing them back.

Skunkape
08-14-2008, 01:23 PM
You are so lucky, and you wife is pretty smart. You get a room that you can set and forget :D and your wife gets all that junk out from everywhere and will be able to close the door on all of it. lol Of course she will never see you again unless she opens that very same door and ventures in. lol

Yeah, our basement is used everyday as the computer area and movie room so it is really more of a multi purpose room than a game room. We only use it once or twice a month for gaming now, but there was a time when it was every Saturday from 11 to 11 and movies were out. lol I miss those days. Am working on bringing them back.

LOL!

Well, she'll probably still see me in our home office. I spend quite a bit more time on the computers than I do doing gaming stuff. I used to build models and other things all the time, but I've slowly moved more toward activities on the internet, mostly visiting forums but also tinkering on the websites for my campaign worlds. The other good thing about us converting that room is we won't have our adult kids asking us if they can move back in with us!:lol:

Oh and our adult kids do not play RPGs!:D

wbrandel
08-28-2008, 05:18 PM
I use the dungeon tiles alot. They are easier than using the vinyl battle mats. For storage I use the 100 count baseball card boxes, they also work good for the foam terrain and walls

big_hungry
09-12-2008, 11:44 AM
My group just recently started using minis for their gaming mis-adventures. It makes it so much easier for the spatially challenged induhviduals to see where they are in the encounters.

I've downloaded about 2 gig worth of tiles in PDf, and have printed the most usable ones (the ones that come out okay in black and white- I'm a cheap bastard).

I also use 22"X34" 1" grid sheets used on easels for boardroom meetings, for a quickly drawn map.

For storage, I use an expandable folder I had laying about.
I'd love to be able to use the 3D stuff, but it's so expensive. I'd get my players to chip in for terrain and critter purchases, but only one of them has a job. Slackers, one and all! Lol.

mrken
09-12-2008, 03:05 PM
:D Hey, good move to the minis. :D I am a big advocate of minis. I also am a big advocate to 3D terrain and buildings.

As for your buddies not having money to help buy the terrain and stuff, have them build it. Get them some cardboard boxes, Elmers glue, and some spackling. I have built a pile of stuff with only that stuff, oh, they will need box cutters or razor blades. Can they be trusted with sharp edges? ;)

nijineko
09-13-2008, 04:26 PM
i find that while maps can help, that i think too three dimensionally for maps to really convey the surroundings well. so few bother to look up. ^^

Webhead
09-13-2008, 08:21 PM
i find that while maps can help, that i think too three dimensionally for maps to really convey the surroundings well. so few bother to look up. ^^

Indeed. And it can be quite difficult to get players to think in three-dimensional terms at times when you are too reliant upon a map.

nijineko
09-13-2008, 09:20 PM
since i not only play with a 3d perspective, but gm from same... players find that my encounters will come at them from all directions. =D

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-13-2008, 09:32 PM
I've even been known to use WFRP tiles in my DnD games, shhh... dont tell anyone.

Thoth-Amon

nijineko
09-13-2008, 09:39 PM
i've runequest tiles on tap... ^^

Dolran of Arborea
09-30-2008, 09:58 AM
I bought a couple sets of the tiles. They worked very well in most situations. Any situation that I felt wouldn't work, I just drew out what I needed on the battle mat. The storage is a problem, and I don't think I have anymore of the single 5x5 squares left, but being able to build rooms, dungeons, even taverns, and outdoor terrain together quickly and clean is well worth it.