View Full Version : Handling 3d encounters online

2008-10-02, 09:30 PM
I've got this scenario in mind, for a spherical room with random gravity effects. Theoretically, it'll be super-duper, except that the software we play on (Maptool) is rather flat.

If the players can't visualize where their characters are easily, I can see it turning into a real pain in the ass. So, gurus, any suggestions? :smallbiggrin:

If all else fails, I could just turn it into a cylinder and use color coding to represent height, but that's not nearly as cool.

2008-10-02, 09:57 PM
The problem with representing a sphere on 2D in general is that every projection has its quirks. You could try using a world-map style projection to make a grid of the sphere, then write the distance towards the center. It would get very complicated, very fast, though.

2008-10-02, 10:00 PM
just assign the room a z axis and keep a note of it

it would make all the squares into cubes

2008-10-02, 10:11 PM
just assign the room a z axis and keep a note of it

it would make all the squares into cubes

Hmm. Building the sphere from cubes might indeed work. You'd need to keep track of the maximum distance the players can move up or down. This might not be so useful if they're walking on the walls of the sphere.

2008-10-02, 10:23 PM
That would also be a really, really slow way to handle things. I don't know if spherical combat works well IRL, let alone online.

2008-10-02, 10:38 PM
If the sphere doesn't map well and the players are disoriented you could always attribute that to the players being disoriented by being in weird gravity fields.

When we do 3d encounters in PnP, we do the encounter on a normal battlemap and put a d12 next to everyone to indicate their distance in 5' increments from the ground. Up and down movement is usually free since it's not worth calculating how far you move diagonally. I'm not sure if this helps, but it's worked for us.

2008-10-02, 10:42 PM
The only thing I can think of is the (already suggested) concept of indicating position in terms of X, Y, and Z axis. This will require you as a DM to be on the ball constantly in terms of how the PCs are moving, and what the bad guys can do, as well as the actual dimensions of the arena.