Looking for battlemap software

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Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:07 pm

Hi guys,

I am a pretty serious dungeon master for Pathfinder. I have been playing RPGs on pen and paper for more then a decade and really enjoy them, but I am to the point now that I seriously need to make better battle maps. I have been patiently waiting for Dundjinni to get their shit back on line but seeing as its been more than a year since that they went down, I am not waiting any longer. My question is this. I am not a graphic artist in the least, in fact I pretty well suck at making images in general. I would like to make nice detailed battle maps for my players as they put alot of work into the game and it adds a really nice feel.

Will this software be up to the task? All I have seen is one battlemap example. Is there enough support around to do well laid out maps for use with my d20 pro software? Someone please let me know. I am starting a new campaign and really want to make this look good.

Best,

Paul
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby MarkOliva » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:13 am

A lot of folks mean different things with the word Battlemap. You probably will get some good answers if you explain in more detail what kind of Battlemap you have in mind.
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:23 am

I need something that creates a good scale board for use with grids. Either for figures or with D20 pro. I would like to be able to design buildings, dungeons and forested areas that look nice for my players to face their enemies in.

Paul
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby MarkOliva » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:19 pm

Pbenner2250 wrote:I need something that creates a good scale board for use with grids. Either for figures or with D20 pro. I would like to be able to design buildings, dungeons and forested areas that look nice for my players to face their enemies in.Paul


I don't work with d20Pro. I did take a quick look at the website earlier, and if my vague recollection is correct, d20Pro can use JPGs and PNGs.

In that case, as I understand your answer, Fractal Mapper 8 should be able to do everything you want with ease.
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:59 am

Awesome. Yes, d20pro uses pixel dimensions to form a grid over the top of images imported into it. I have been looking for a program that will paint walls with some depth, give me some realistic looking floors and props. Like beds and what not. I do alot of dungeon crawls in city buildings so making temples, basements, houses is all up my alley. Interior details concern me the most.

Best,

Paul
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby MarkOliva » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 am

NorthCrossingInn.jpg
NorthCrossingInn.jpg (658.72 KiB) Viewed 1736 times


Pbenner2250 wrote:I have been looking for a program that will paint walls with some depth, give me some realistic looking floors and props. Like beds and what not. I do alot of dungeon crawls in city buildings so making temples, basements, houses is all up my alley. Interior details concern me the most.


I've worked with Fractal Mapper 8, Dundjinni (TM) and Campaign Cartographer (TM) 3. My choice and my own recommendation is FM8. The floor plan above (which will be part of a map of the week release in a week or two) gives a quick sampling of what you can do in terms of what you're seeking. The depth may not be enough for you, and you might want to put dark areas into something like this. You can take care of the depth by adding stronger shadows and/or shading in FM8. Overlays will give you dark areas. Feathers and blurs will enhance them. All are very easy to do in FM8.

Before we continue, let's make comparisons:

Dundjinni would be almost as good in your case, but it won't let you add shadows as FM8 does. It sounds like this could with time become an important tool for you. However, all of this is academic, because Dundjinni has been off the shelves for the better part of a year, and it's doubtful that it will return. You doubtless can find a copy somewhere, but you can't register online anymore. In addition, the current and last Version 1.07 is from the Year 2004. It hasn't been updated since then.

Campaign Cartrographer can do most things that FM8 can (and a few that FM8 can't). However, it has a learning curve that could compete with Mt. Everest, and users constantly have problems with the program. If you doubt that, look at the FM8 forum and see how often problems are reported. Then look at the CC3 forums at:

http://www.profantasy.com

Make up your own mind what's more reliable.

Another point important to you needs to be discussed:

Pbenner2250 wrote:give me some realistic looking floors and props. Like beds and what not. I do alot of dungeon crawls in city buildings so making temples, basements, houses is all up my alley. Interior details concern me the most.


These interior details are made with fill patterns and symbols in FM8 (called textures and objects in Dundjinii). None of the three programs will give you collections of symbols and fill patterns that will serve your needs for long. The Dundjinni commercial art packs no longer are available, so there's no point discussing them. CC3 delivers a considerably larger symbol package than FM8, and you can buy additional symbol collections from ProFantasy which also will install automatically in FM8, if you have it. However, with FM8 that's an unnecessary expense, as we soon shall see.

If you don't want your dungeons and scenarios all to be furnished almost identically and look the same, you need to get more symbols and fill patterns than NBOS delivers with FM8 or ProFantasy delivers with CC3. Fortunately, that's no problem whatsoever. And everything's free. The biggest source of good symbols (which work fine in FM8 and Dundjinni but only after conversions in CC3) is on the still alive and very active Dundjinni forums. Just go there, pick the search option and type in the description of the type of symbol or fill you're seeking:

http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_topics.asp?FID=8

Our project group has released about 1,500 free symbols and fill patterns for FM8 that you can download under Vintyri (TM) Cartographic Collection at:

http://www.vintyri.org

Two other good sources for free fills and symbols are:

http://www.rpgmapshare.com/ and

http://greytale.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=32

Best of all, you can evaluate all of this through using it by going to:

http://www.nbos.com/download/download-trial.htm

and downloading the trial version of FM8. It does everything the full version does except save the maps that you make. It also comes with fewer symbols than the full version.

Then go to:

http://www.nbos.com/nox/index.php?action=1001&id=125

and download the official FM8 tutorial (PDF). It's excellent, and it's easy to work with it. It will give you the basics about as completely as possible. Then go to:

http://www.nbos.com/vintyri/pdftu01.zip

to locate the FM8 raster mapping tutorial by our group. It will teach you how to make maps like the one above and much more. Also download the support pack for the tutorial at:

http://www.nbos.com/vintyri/tu01sptpack01.zip.

Caution: The raster mapping tutorial deals in one chapter with downloading and using the CSUAC. Unfortunately, the CSUAC no longer is available, but the Dundjinni forums will give you all of the alternative symbols that you need. If you start working with FM8 and sekk a symbol that you can't find, let me know. Chances are good that I know where to locate it.
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Gave it a test. Wish I had access to more graphics but it looks okay. With some work I can probably make it work more easily. Thanks for everything, will be around regularly. Paul
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:40 pm

I hadn't realized it had been this long, but things got crazy towards the end of last year.

I went ahead and bought FM8, and so far I am enjoying it very much. I will have to do a bit more pre-planning for my campaigns to use it, but I think it will be better than the battle map option.

I created the layout of a Village in my world over the last few days. The party is has just arrived and are about to be treated to a "dusk till dawn" type scenario, mideval style. I did the whole village at a rather large scale, and plan on trimming down the portion that they are going to make their stand in. d20pro doesn't appear to like dealing with a file that large in dimensions to make into a grid. I think that I have something wrong there.

So far so good. I am liking it. As I get more comfortable this should be more and more fun.

Paul
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby MarkOliva » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:49 pm

Pbenner2250 wrote:I created the layout of a Village in my world over the last few days. The party is has just arrived and are about to be treated to a "dusk till dawn" type scenario, mideval style. I did the whole village at a rather large scale, and plan on trimming down the portion that they are going to make their stand in.


Why don't you let us see it? Post it on the NBOS forums and/or under resources.
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Re: Looking for battlemap software

Postby Pbenner2250 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:00 am

Here it is:

Image

It's no where near the quality that I would like, but this program will take a bit of getting used to.

Best,

Paul
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