Tabletop Roleplaying (Battle Grids Discussion)

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Tabletop Roleplaying (Battle Grids Discussion)

Postby Telva » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:07 am

Personally I will not play a game without, at least, a battle map. Too many times has a GM had a villain run through what was a wall when the scene was originally described. It breaks me from character. I'm focused on the mechanics

For those of you who play Tabletop RPGs with maps (I know some games do not use them), I was just wondering what all of you prefer to do for battle maps. Squares? Hexes? Tactical Tabletop (i.e. Warhammer 40k)?

Do you use 2d drawings for your maps, or make 3d models?

Do you take facing into account?

Personally I like to go Tactical Table top (closest thing to not using a battle map, but you're still using it simply to keep "who is where?" straight.). When possible I like to have 3d models (at least general shapes, squares and rectangles). It makes LoS much easier to determine.

I'd like to take facing into account for combat, but turn based strategy, to me, cannot possibly take into account everything that is going on around you *because* it is turn based. Would you see that dwarf charging you with his battle axe? Yes. Would you react? Yes. Turn to face him? yes. Have you already acted on your initiative? Yes. Well then: too bad. What happens in a round may all happen within 6 seconds, but turns are not taken at the same time so your opponents can flank you, or get behind you before you have any say so. To me that's exploitable and wrong.

I do take it into account if it's a vision based challenge. (i.e. sneak past the guards)
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying (Battle Grids Discussion)

Postby Strobe » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:36 pm

I current have a 4e D&D game going which we use a standard 1 inch battle mat for. We use markers to drawn on terrain/environment. Since it is quite a simple game (mechanically) I haven't found a need to have height shown much more than this is upstairs, this is down.

On the other side of it I have just started in a Shadowrun game and was wondering what to do for miniature representation. I also dislike the "stepping through walls" you can encounter even when it is just a misunderstanding. The idea I am currently toying with is a 1 inch hex (the other side of my D&D mat) but using 6mm scale figure. For those who aren't aware Shadowrun can have some pretty large scale combats or tactical encounters. I would still probably go with markers to drawn down the area of play simply as I cannot devote enough time to having a series of practical buildings/interiors for the game.

I do intend to make some furniture for my D&D games of basics things like tables/chairs, doors and the like to give people a quick glance at the room but I think that prebuilt walls won't add much to the game whilst being a pain to set up quickly. I guess I don't know without trying though so I hope to see some posts from others who have tried this approach.

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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying (Battle Grids Discussion)

Postby Lady Nerevar » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:25 am

we used a dry erase board to map out the location, and then used dice to approximate the location of the players, enemies, and major features. it wasnt very precise, but it served its purpose.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying (Battle Grids Discussion)

Postby kefkakrazy » Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:10 am

I had a friend give me his old vinyl hex map. It's old and has a bunch of nigh-indestructible marker on it, but it serves its purpose. I take a deck of Magic cards (best thing I had; it works fairly well) and lay them out on the board. It's surprisingly effective. I can approximate buildings and terrain features fairly easily; I also have a bag of those little flat-bottomed round stones that you put in fish tanks and stuff, as well as an ever-growing setup of modeling stuff. Enamel paints stick to the smooth glass pretty well, so I can paint symbols on the stones for whatever I need, in case I need to approximate terrain features that are to small to represent with a Magic card. For instance, when my guys were in a horror-themed world (they're dimension travelers), I had a couple with "!" and "?" marks, to point out spots where they heard something. Worked out fairly well. And for larger things, one card makes a decent car, and two or three together can approximate a tank or something bigger.

Note that the cards aren't the BEST solution; they're just the most economical, because I'm a bit gunshy about putting MORE marker on this old warhorse of a hex map.

Anyway. We mostly play HERO, which doesn't do much with facing. It does has some pretty cool stuff to deal with things you need to react to; while it IS turn-based, of course, it has options to where you can react to an incoming threat by performing an action known as an "Abort." Essentially, you give up your next action in order to do something. You can activate powers (like a force field, or something), Dive for Cover (essentially, throw yourself out of the way to attempt to avoid an area-covering attack), or try to block or dodge. Pretty nifty.
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