Battle maps are important assets for a lot of video games like D&D, as they’re a instrument in your gamers to visualise a scene and be on the identical web page about the place the whole lot is. And guess what? You don’t must be an artist to make a handsome map! Through the use of on-line instruments (like DungeonFog) and following some fundamental ideas, you’ll turn out to be your personal map artist very quickly!
How one can create battle maps
1. Plan your map
Should you’re studying this, you in all probability need an evocative map that matches your world—in any other case you can simply lookup generic battle maps on the web! So, earlier than even opening the mapmaking software program, it’s an incredible concept to write down down what you need it to appear to be! And to try this, go to your world’s meta doc. Certain, you may assume you bear in mind the whole lot about your world, however forgetting even vital particulars may be very straightforward!
Right here’s an inventory of issues you possibly can plan earlier than beginning your map:
- Theme and style: darkish fantasy maps may have a darker tone with fewer mild sources, whereas a noble-bright setting will likely be cheerful, with open areas and vibrant colours.
- Who lives there? If the map is for a metropolis, city, or home, spend a couple of minutes fascinated about its residents. Are they wealthy or poor? What’s their occupation? What do they do of their free time? Including little particulars within the map that relate to it will make it really feel extra actual and lived-in!
- Terrain: Take into consideration the sorts of terrain that will likely be current on the map (forest, city sq., underwater citadel, outer area). Ensure that they’re in line with the story thus far.
- Factors of curiosity: Determine on any notable places or landmarks that will likely be current on the map, and ensure they’re related to the story. For giant-scale maps, this could possibly be ruins, castles, or monuments. For small-scale maps, think about trapdoors, chests, and magical (or technological) gadgets.
- Situation: is the place in pristine situation, burned-down, or one thing within the center? Take into consideration its latest historical past to determine it out.
Lastly, I extremely advocate sketching out the map on a bodily piece of paper. It doesn’t must be fairly—this will likely be only a structure reference for if you begin drawing the precise map. It’s straightforward to get blocked when confronted by a clean canvas, so this start line will provide help to a ton!
So, now that you simply’ve deliberate the whole lot out, it’s time to go to the subsequent step!
2. Construct your map
That’s the second you’ve been ready for! Seize your mapmaking software program (we advocate DungeonFog for battle maps) and observe these tricks to create an attractive battle map:
- Define: trying on the map you sketched within the earlier step, define the essential areas. Don’t get misplaced in particulars, merely mark the place streets or roads will likely be, in addition to different factors of curiosity like lakes, monuments, or trapdoors.
- Construct on the define: when you’re pleased with the final structure, begin including vital parts like partitions, doorways, bushes, bushes, and so forth.
- Take into consideration technique! It is a battle map, so be sure there are parts that your gamers can use strategically. Embrace excessive floor, objects that may be thrown, used as cowl or improvised weapons… you identify it!
- Add particulars: for cities or rooms, you possibly can add props like meals crates, barrels, books, and different parts that make it really feel lived-in. For pure locations, add flowers, hen nests, and branches on the bottom to offer the same impact.
- The flamboyant stuff: also referred to as lighting and shadows! Play with brightness and shade settings to vary the temper of the map. For instance, glowing blue or purple hues will give it a magical environment, whereas glowing inexperienced or pink may flip it into an evil-looking place.
Earlier than exporting the ultimate model, I like to recommend letting the map relaxation for some time and coming again to it a few days later. it with a contemporary thoughts, you’re positive to search out areas you wish to enhance!
3. Play your map!
Earlier than the session, assessment the battle map and ensure it’s prepared in your gamers to fiddle in. Should you added chests, give you loot tables. Should you added trapdoors or secret corridors, be sure to know the place they result in. Then, it’s only a matter of printing it or importing it to your VTT of alternative relying in your model of play! Whereas enjoying, be aware of what the gamers loved or didn’t take pleasure in—and hold it in thoughts in your future maps! Artwork is an iterative course of, so that you’ll solely get higher with observe.
What’s the very best battle map maker?
When you can create battle maps with any artwork software program (even with MS Paint!), specialised software program provides you with mapmaking-specific instruments that make the method a lot simpler. Our favourite battle map maker is DungeonFog, a incredible instrument for sport masters that allows you to create immersive and evocative maps in your video games! It has a really easy-to-use interface and contains tons of property and instruments to customise each single facet of your map!
Do you create your personal maps in your video games? Share your ideas beneath! And ensure to take a look at DungeonFog!
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