View Full Version : (PbP) An Alternative to Image Maps.

2009-07-16, 08:46 PM
When it comes to long distance long term campaigns I've found that I prefer play by post to all other implementations. It's hard enough to get people together for a game when you're in the same neighborhood, when you throw in different time zones things really start to go to pot. That's not to say that there aren't significant problems to PbP, there certainly are...and I think I just might have found a solution to one of them.

I've found Image Maps to be a pain to edit, lining up grids can be obnoxious, uploading is ugh, and downloading can be ugh-er. The nicer ones often end up massive in size, beautiful to look at sure but a pain to use.

So, long story short, GoogleDoc Spreadsheets (http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=t1p0uzeZelnRzXMb7AQuhJQ). Easy to edit, no uploading, easy to save a battle turn by turn, grids are in by default, don't need to find an image host, and size is minimal. And, to top it all off, you can list other useful info on the side and can still pop in a few images for added flavor if you so desire (though there's something to be said for simplicity). It's not perfect mind, resizing the grids for the map is a bit of a pain for one, but I prefer it over Image Maps.

2009-07-16, 08:53 PM
Personally, I've been pretty happy without using anything at all, just letting our DM describe things, or occasionally draw us very simple maps of places we visit. Sometimes I'll need to ask how far I am from various things to figure out which spells will work on which enemies, but that's about it. As long as you trust your DM not to fudge distances on you, it works out pretty reasonably.

That said, I think this is a pretty good idea. Real-time spreadsheeting is awesome, and this is a really clever use for it (heh, and we thought we were clever using it as a very odd chat program). I especially like the idea of tossing notes and things on the sides of the map.

2009-07-16, 09:11 PM
That looks freaking awesome.

2009-07-16, 09:15 PM
I popped over to MythWeavers to post this there only to discover that someone over there had thought of it first! :P Ah well, I'm tickled enough that it works and will make what GMing I do that much easier.

2009-07-16, 09:32 PM
Still, nice work on that map! It's simple but evocative. I'm not running any PBPs that require a lot of combat, but the reason is because of a lack of a good map! I'll see if I can use this next time I try one.

2009-07-17, 09:42 AM
Apparently someone at Mythweavers also uses Google Sketchup (http://sketchup.google.com/). It looks like it makes for prettier but more difficult to edit and less mobile maps.

2009-07-17, 11:16 AM
I've been using editgrid.com for my maps for the last couple of months and I highly recommend it.

Here's my example one I post whenever I want to show it off (http://www.editgrid.com/user/jokes/Example)

You can change the permissions so only you, or only you and your players can edit it. It even has a chat function. What I'd love is to be able to put an image behind the grid as a background (like you can in OpenOffice Calc), rather than rely on blocky maps.

2009-07-17, 08:01 PM
Interesting, I'll have to sign up and give it a try. If it can load images in the background that would be extremely handy.