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View Full Version : Maps Any simple mapmaking programs?



ChaunceyK
02-22-2009, 09:11 AM
Wondering if there's a simple program available to make maps. I'm talking really simple, like good for a plain vanilla dungeoncrawl.

Remember the old game of Dots, where you take turns drawing a line between the dots, eventually forming squares & then you put your initial in it? I'd like something like that for creating my own simplistic dungeon map. And then maybe some simple furniture/landmarks like: tables, thrones, pools of water, etc.

When I say simple, I really mean simple. Just something I can do on the computer & refer to as a DM before drawing it out for the players...hey, it'll cut my paper use in half, even if it will drive my electric bill up a bit!

Baldwin Stonewood
02-22-2009, 10:45 AM
I use dunjinni for a mac (but they have microsoft version too), it is as simple of a program that I have found. it is also cost effective in comparison to other programs.

Sneaksta
02-22-2009, 11:38 AM
Here is a link to a random web based generator, and it is free...
Generates random dungeons, and fills them , but I just ignore the stuff it puts in them mostly, and fill it myself.......

http://www.bin.sh/gaming/tools/dungeon.cgi

not bad fer whippin' up a quickie.

.......

ChaunceyK
02-22-2009, 05:37 PM
Both look pretty interesting in their own right...not what I had in mind, but both with potential.

Any others out there?

Sneaksta
02-22-2009, 10:09 PM
There is graph paper several places online, download one in word format or other simple format, and open it, then use yer MS Paint, or other paint program.. there is usually 1 embedded in most word processor thingies... use the wide brush and black out your map....


really cheap and simple.. especially if you have yer own map idea, and don't want the random effect.


hey, you wanted simple :confused:

ChaunceyK
02-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Odd as this may sound, I never thought of that...I could even google for clip art. Hmm, now I have 3 options!

nijineko
02-22-2009, 11:35 PM
i have two simple options. you can use google docs to put your maps up online, then everyone can see them and have the potential to manipulate them. i know one group who uses it for live mapping even in face-to-face games, in addition to the online games. =D

the other simple option is gametable (http://gametable.110mb.com/Gametable/Home.html). very easy to use, but can be made to looks seriously nice with either talent, or effort in tracking down free tiles.

a not-so-simple option, but with lots of features, is maptool. worth checking out, especially if you don't mind a bit of a learning curve.

Baldwin Stonewood
02-23-2009, 07:37 AM
I like the graph paper suggestion, sounds easy. think I will give that a try today.

DragonPrince
02-23-2009, 09:20 AM
I prefer the graph paper myself. I have drawn many dungeons and world maps on it. The best part is if you have a party member in your group that also graph they can draw the map as they go thru it almost to a "T" to yours. That way if they get lost they can find thier way out if they map it correctly.....

InvestFDC
02-23-2009, 12:03 PM
Electronic graph paper is a great idea. I'll be testing that one out very soon.

Sneaksta
02-23-2009, 05:48 PM
Here is a town map random Generator
http://www.filefactory.com/file/af19469/n/roleplaying_city_map_generator_zip

2mb file, simple, and free

yukonhorror
02-25-2009, 03:55 PM
google docs is a great idea.

being really low-tech (and poor as hell), I would use the spreadsheets (which have a chat feature), make the cells the same height and width, and color the inside of a square to indicate statue/player1/wall/etc...

YOu could have templates premade for area effect spells to just copy and paste onto the spreadsheet.

MrFrost
05-26-2009, 09:41 AM
I use graph paper for making dungeons and inside of buildings large enogh to warrent a map but they really need a simple effect way to map making (largescale world type maps) like clip art and cutting and pasting simple stuff rather then using all that mumbo-jumbo of the campaign cartographer types.

Iceberg
02-04-2010, 02:06 PM
You should still be able to find copies of Gridsmith online. Basically makes maps to fit 1" squares by default though that's adjustable. Very simple little tile program and can print to scale.

I may still have a copy floating around on an old cd somewhere. Email me at my yahoo account under my contact info if you can't find a copy and i'll see if I can't find my copy.

outrider
02-04-2010, 05:34 PM
autorealm is freeware that has mapping capablitities. There is a learning curve for it but it works.

Frobozz
02-05-2010, 01:26 AM
I use Dundjinni and it works really well. Fast, easy to use and truckloads of art out there for it.

Downside: Tough to install on a modern system. It's really amateur programming. You must have a "specific" version of java installed to install it, you gotta run everything in admin mode on a Vista/Win7 machine. It seems like all programming support is gone from it as well since the last update was a while ago and v2.0 seems to be vaporware.

Still, it will install with some prodding (I got mine on a Windows 7 64-bit machine) and despite it's programming deficiencies, it does work exceptionally well and makes beautiful grid-based maps.

ckd
02-18-2010, 02:17 PM
all that mumbo-jumbo of the campaign cartographer types.

Campaign cartographer 3 is actually a very powerful/useful piece of software from my experience with it. In my opinion it is not worth the price tag, however it is definitely worth checking out [It is readily available on internet]

While not technically mapping software, I actually enjoy using fortresses I (or other people) have made in dwarf fortress as dungeons. Great for designing dungeons (since [presumably] you are going to design a practical/functioning fortress) and is also quite a fun game :) (Very steep learning curve, however)

mrken
04-12-2010, 09:10 AM
Have you ever used the large graph paper? I really like the large pads about two by three feet. I can start with the first level and somewhere I can go down a level and just flip the page and continue on a lower level. Can go down two levels and really mess with the players minds, and go back up a level and be on the same level with no way to get there but to do the down and then back up trick.

I never map the dungeons for the players. They can do it themselves. ::evil laugh:: Have seen some fairly long time players get really messed up because they didn't map going in and the dungeon/cave was much bigger than they anticipated. Side routes really can confuse them after a few, put in many and they become lost. In some way dungeon/caves are really nice because it is so linear, but I tend to prefer non-linear games.

Anarkitty
03-10-2011, 08:19 PM
My dad had a pad of graph paper like you are describing left over from his college Engineering class.
I was great. Small squares and huge sheets. It ws semi-transparent, which was great because it allowed levels to be aligned over each other to line up stairs, pits and ladders. Even had space at the top of each sheet for project codes and such which made keeping individual dungeons organized real easy.
I don't know if they even make this stuff any more, as most drafting is done on computers these days, but I hope so, because I'm almost out.

ChaunceyK
03-10-2011, 09:27 PM
I completely forgot about this thread...even if I am the one who created it! Its been 2 years since I first started it! Since then I've found I like using OpenOffice's Calc (pretty much an Excel clone) on a laptop for the ease of making grids, and using a battlemat for the actual live gaming.

Soft Serve
03-15-2011, 01:29 PM
I use a whiteboard...

Graph paper to make towns and recurring places, then just copy it to the whiteboard (often hastily but good enough to get the point across) then tell my players what's going on in the room. Not a computer program I know, but just saying...Whiteboards are cool.

yukonhorror
03-15-2011, 01:51 PM
I use a whiteboard...

Graph paper to make towns and recurring places, then just copy it to the whiteboard (often hastily but good enough to get the point across) then tell my players what's going on in the room. Not a computer program I know, but just saying...Whiteboards are cool.

chalkboards are cooler. Found one thrown out behind the school and used it as our game table (milk crates as legs).

ChaunceyK
03-15-2011, 01:56 PM
chalkboards are cooler. Found one thrown out behind the school and used it as our game table (milk crates as legs).

Now THAT is kickin' it old school...its like the Little Rascals playing D&D!

nijineko
03-16-2011, 12:35 AM
heh. gametable is a whiteboard, electronic version. ^^ but to be honest, i use graph paper and even drawing programs too. i still collect graph paper for future use. =D

Q-man
03-16-2011, 07:10 AM
I've found that a cheap way to make maps is with either OpenRPG (http://www.rpgobjects.com/index.php?c=orpg) or DungeonForge (http://www.dungeonmapping.com/df/public_html/).

They both work similar to Dundjinni. Both of them let you drop in images which can be aligned to a grid to make placing them easier. Then once you've created the map you like you can export it to an image file to be printed for use on a table. Dundjinni has a ton of art that comes with it, while these options require you to collect art to use.

You can easily collect images from RPG Map Share (http://rpgmapshare.com/), which has some pretty nice looking maps in their gallery, for use in those programs or Dundjinni.

Another similar option is the Dungeon Tile Mapper (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20061121t) that Wizards made some time ago. It lets you drag and drop dungeon tiles onto a grid to create a map. There's a pretty limited set of tile available for it. At one time there was a hacked version that included more dungeon tile sets, but I've lost that link.

nijineko
03-16-2011, 10:43 PM
adding tiles sets isn't that hard. you can even add your own. just have to readout how the html files work.

Soft Serve
03-20-2011, 04:35 PM
Pretty sure someone mentioned AutoREALM already but it's been one of my favorites. Also the demonweb.bin site that was the very first mention is a pretty amazing free generator. Other than those and my whiteboard I haven't even tried (or needed) anything else.

agent6
04-01-2011, 12:37 PM
You can try out diavida.com it is a VTT but has a map maker too.

Pelendor
04-30-2011, 05:59 AM
For maps that represent geography, I tend to use MS Powerpoint or Excel.

Usually, I plot the outline and internal gridding for scale, then print and retrace with fine-liners for the hand-drawn appearance (I'm an old-school fan). Then, scan back into soft-copy to incorporate into the adventure document.

However, of late I have been finding myself using MS Visio, a simple flowcharting application. At times, it's not only the geography that needs to be mapped. I find Visio is a great way to map event, or event/keyed hybrid adventures.

CountChocula
07-03-2011, 04:45 PM
Here is a link to a random web based generator, and it is free...
Generates random dungeons, and fills them , but I just ignore the stuff it puts in them mostly, and fill it myself.......

http://www.bin.sh/gaming/tools/dungeon.cgi

not bad fer whippin' up a quickie.

.......

holy crap that is FAST!

I had no idea this existed, thanks for sharing!