Warstories: Large battle maps

Posted on October 16, 2009 by

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Warstories is the name I’m giving to a short series of articles meant to spark discussions and advice amongst DM’s and players.  With the series, I hope to tackle common problems that crop up during the game, and see how other people deal with them at their table.  This is the second of such articles.

I was working on my campaign this morning and went off on a twitter rant about the size of battle maps in some adventures.  It seems that some cartographers and adventure designers are forgetting the fact that we need to somehow transfer some of these maps from their pages to our tables.  Yeah, I know I have a tutorial here with a technique for scaling up and printing maps, but that’s not feasible for all.  A lot of people depend on a battle mat and dry erase markers to get maps up and running.

Pretty large encounter map...

Pretty large encounter map...

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy looking at pretty maps, but I also need practicality at the table.  There has to be a middle ground somewhere.  I feel some cartographers tend to get carried away in their photo-shopping glory and forget that these maps are meant for transfer to the table and not the computer screen.

So am I wrong here?  How do you deal with battle maps at your table?  How do you transfer larger maps while maintaining the artists intent?

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Posted in: Advice/Tools, Gaming