RPG Map Tiles

imageAwhile back, I wrote a post about finding maps for your virtual tabletop . This post is more... [View original post]


  • Nice info!

    I come from a strong VT background - have been using one for a couple years now. I personally am not a big fan of dungeon tiles in a VT perspective. Yes, I am a huge fan of textures that are 200X200 or maybe even 400X400 pixels in size because I am able to drop them down in the VT and build my own maps from them. I find that specific tiles, like a 25'X25' room are just too generic for me and I get bored of the look/texture/size/shape after a while. Plus I seem to have a bigger problem trying to fit them together so that the map looks the way I want it to. I think the real key to map making in a VT is the ability to draw out the rooms with textures - with that, it sort of makes tiles obsolete in a VT perspective. Plus it allows for non-square rooms to be made with ease.

    Tiles outside of a VT? I have never tried. I think since players go through so many rooms in a night, it would probably waste too much time hunting down the right tiles and slapping them together compared to a dry erase marker. I don't know, I just recall my DM (who always played on a rubber battlemat) always searching through his hundreds of minis looking for the right monster for a battle and me saying to myself "Dude, switch to a VT- it will dramatically speed up gaming". I fear that putting together tiles at the table everytime the players leave the room might waste just as much time as digging out the correct miniatures.
  • Thanks for your comments, dorpond.

    I suspect that you're correct--that if you have something like Dundjinni or even an image editor talent, you may be better off creating your own maps, rather than using tiles. In fact, the original version of this article was going to be silent on the virtual tabletop front. That said, when I decided I was just being lazy and went looking for tiles, I found some fairly nice stuff, and it's made me wonder if maybe there's a place for explicit support for tiles in a VT.

    On the topic of tiles in a face-to-face game, I think I used to agree with you (that they were too much of a pain), but I can't say as I do anymore. One thing is that I don't draw out everything--only encounters. The rest is (properly, I think) left in the players' imaginations. So, that reduces the time-to-draw/layout element to a handful of tactical encounters a night (for my game, that is). But the thing that really pushed me towards tiles was just how much better that evil temple looks when it's stone and not battlemat-ivory-and-wet-erase-marker. I was also surprised at how strongly my players reacted to a stone crypt rather than a wet-erase crypt.

    Finally, I totally agree with your sentiment "switch to a VT- it will dramatically speed up gaming". That's why this site exists!
  • UKG Publishing makes some decent tile sets, too. As does 0one Games.
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