View Full Version : Online battlemap suggestions?

2011-02-20, 11:24 PM
As mentioned in the topic title, I'm looking for suggestions. For running your average RPG, you've got a couple different areas you operate at; the city/countryside/planet, where the players have a static map, and they say There, that's where we're going. If you're running a game online, this map can be a simple .png or whathave you that they can all see. For social interaction scenes, a map is rarely necessary, just describe it with words for the most part. For combat though, having some sort of central representation that everyone can see is extremely helpful.
Specifically, I'm looking for something that everyone will be able to see, and maybe even move their tokens on. Preferably something that allows maps to be saved in advance then loaded up. I don't need something that creates really pretty maps, we're not against imagination, but something that allows them to see: it's a circular room with a twenty-five foot radius, doors here and here, a high window on this wall, and there's what appear to be four unlit braziers on the floor at these four places; there's also five monsters waiting for you inside.
Something that doesn't take too much time to create a simple map like the one described above. If they stumble into a wilderness encounter, or I have to come up with something from the top of my head, no more than five minutes to throw together a simple scene. I don't want something that require learning what eighty different buttons and how to script this and that to do; here's the button that lets you pick which kind of tile you're laying down.

So, all that said... any suggestions? Realtime online combat map system?

2011-02-20, 11:59 PM
I understand a lot of people use maptool to good effect. Personally, I found its interface confusing and far too heavyweight to be useful.

I've written my on online tactical battlemap system for my local group. We play with it projected onto a wall, so it doesn't yet support automatic asynchronous updates, but we're getting to the point where people would like to be able to move their own tokens and spell effects around on their own laptops, so I really should get off my ass and make that happen. Anyway, if maptool or whatever else anyone suggests here doesn't suit your needs, flip me a PM and I'll let you take it for a spin.

2011-02-23, 07:51 PM
Anyone else have suggestion/s? I've poked around with MapTools a little, the interface for making maps isn't exactly easy as far as I can tell, and the map navigation itself is pretty awful. On the other hand, it works, so it's better than nothing.

2011-02-23, 07:56 PM
I use maptools for nearly all my online games. The trick with quick maps in map tools is to have a set of general tiles stored in your resource library to drop into the map. IE a straight line corridor, corner corridor, square room, circle room, or the break down of tiles to create these. Then you just drop them onto the background layer.

The only one I've seen that is simpler than maptools is gametable. However I've had serious server issues getting it to run correctly so everyone can connect.

2011-02-25, 05:18 PM
Don't make maps in maptools. You're much better off making them in another program and importing them as images.