View Full Version : PbPs, maps, grids, and hexagons

2014-12-12, 12:23 AM
Fairly recently I've started DMing play-by-post campaigns. I'm using 3e rules, so it is often helpful to have a grid for some combats. More generally, long-running campaigns can benefit from maps of important locations.
I know there is a lot of different mapping software out there, so I am asking you, the forum, to recommend your favorites to me.

The main criteria I am looking for are:
1. Easy access:
Ideally, I could edit the map/grid directly in my web browser, and post a link in the pbp thread. I don't want to have to have all the players join a private group on a website separate from where I am running the game. For example, I tried roll20, but I could not figure out how to make campaign information visible to anyone without them joining the group on roll20.
2. Basic functionality:
In RPGs, I like evocative descriptions. If visual artwork is called for, I'll either show it to the players directly (if at the gaming table) or upload and link to it (if in a pbp). However, when it comes to combat grids, I prefer the simple and functional. I regularly do things like this (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0413.html), or use things that aren't miniatures at all as miniatures.
Now, I don't mind using a mapping tool with a lot more features than I need. Extra features just aren't a priority for me.

So, taking advice from another pbp GM, I tried using Google spreadsheets for grids. I write the first two letters of the characters' names in each cell, and give each terrain feature a color.
This has worked out fine, except for one thing: the cells in Google spreadsheet are rectangular, and sometimes I prefer hexagonal grids.
So, does anyone have recommendations for a similarly easy-to-use way of managing encounters in a pbp game, that is compatible with using hexagonal grids?

2014-12-12, 12:37 AM
I wish that I had an answer for you that was more in-line with what you're looking for. I likewise use a lot of visual aids for my PBP games here, and love to use gridded maps for combat.

But, I make or edit all of mine in GiMP, just doing each round of combat as a separate image as the fight progresses and uploading/replacing it at the end of the round. It is a lot of work, but I like doing it and really love having it for combat.