16 thoughts on “If you are a GM who draws intricate maps, how do you use them?”

  1. Even in my D&D days I never used overhead maps. It makes it feel less like a roleplaying game and more like… I dunno, a Zelda game where you pause the game to look at the map.

    I don’t know how to use them in any effective way that doesn’t feel like that. I was just trying to say: /sub

  2. I don’t like overly detailed maps because people will get too concerned with the squares and minutiae for my taste. I don’t want to play a board game, so I use them very loosely. So I’m kind of in your camp that maps can take players out of the game more than immerse sometimes

  3. I draw in front of them, generally wildly ad libbing as the dice and mood strike me, and adding details as they become pertinent or interesting to me. I’ll usually have, like, two “set pieces” I’m super hype about? And use those to anchor where my brain goes when the players ask questions or make demands of me.

    So, yeah: Theyre not just for me, I don’t make copies, I’m not omitting, I’m not cutting pieces…

  4. I barely have time to prep before play, making maps would increase that work load. Plus, I have a bad tendency to marry myself to my ideas if I invest too much into them, so I try to prep with a light touch.

    I think one or two interesting bits, and keep in mind the magnificent dungeon design philosophy in Kevin Crawford’s Dead Names supplement for Stars Without Number. If you haven’t read it, it’s all about goals, and purpose of the space, and choosing a thematic hazard, and caring only about important rooms and not the parts in between — it’s quite good, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since I read it.

  5. I used to make maps, but (for me) it was super tedious AND looked pretty terrible. I came up with methods to make it less tedious, but I’m still no artist! Now I keep everything mostly in my head and we draw the map together during play.

  6. I repurpose a lot of maps I find in the internet, but I liked the idea of handing over parts of the hexmap overland map I’m gonna use in the next campaign.

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