View Full Version : Online Battle Grid for PbP?

2009-07-22, 01:15 PM
Hey all, I've been tinkering around with the idea of starting up an online DnD 4e campaign and have come across one small sticking point, namely that 4e relies a lot on a battle grid during combat. I was wondering if any of you in the Playground had any advice for how to create an effective battle grid that I can easily put online for my players. Any and all advice and suggestions on this matter are welcome.

2009-07-22, 02:15 PM
I've mostly seen PbP DMs just make a grid in Paint, Photoshop, Inkscape, Illustrator, or even your basic Excel screencap with good results. It doesn't have to be fancy, but as long as you can tell where PCs and enemies are, what the terrain is like, and stuff like that, it should work.

Once you've got it drawn up, just host the image on Photobucket or wherever.

Here's an example. Took me just a couple of minutes to put together. (Wasn't for an actual game, but you get the idea.)


The characters (F, M, P, and S) have their own color, the Dragon is clearly labeled, as are the Kobold minions, the dark lines indicate an obstacle (a cliff, plus several cacti), the Bard's inspire courage area (a Close Burst 5) is laid out, and so on.

2009-07-22, 02:19 PM
Google has a brilliant online spreadsheet program that allows you to build a map, save it, and share the link. I use that and it saves a ton of time since 75% of my game time is actually while I'm at work and it would be a real hassle to email myself an excel document every day or so.

You can also grant people with google accounts access to your spreadsheet so they can move their own pieces.

2009-07-22, 02:40 PM
rtg0922: That looks really nice. Which program did you use for that?

jmbrown: Very interesting idea. I'm going to have to check that out since I think a lot of my game would be run from work as well.

2009-07-22, 03:11 PM
It was just Microsoft Excel (i.e., the standard spreadsheet application that comes with Microsoft Office). I believe jmbrown's suggestion of the Google spreadsheet is probably based SOMEWHAT on it, probably without all the fancy features, so that could work just as well if not better.