Monstrum Maps: Our choices, and why we made them

by Mar 1, 2019Articles0 comments

Battlemaps are not intended to give people the look and feel of the area. Because no matter what you do with a map, whether it’s 2d or isometric, the players are still missing something that might be important to the point of view of the character in the map.

As a result, we will tend to use rough details, muted colors, and simplified features when using a map.

What a map should do is give an idea of the spacial relationship between objects and characters because verbal descriptions from DMs, especially during combat, is difficult.

As a result, we are making maps that have multiple displays – a 2D overhead and one or more 3D views of the area or building. We will have maps that have cut away features and show the map with and without the feature. We will make maps that are meant to be played on with tokens, and maps that are meant for visual display. They will include important details such as height of the walls, or depth of a pit.

We will deliver maps in segments so they can be displayed in pieces as a party explores the area.

In order to take advantage of our unusual method of creating maps, we will tend to focus on locations that have multiple levels, that have features that have significant height or depth. We will focus on maps that have overhangs, places where people that can hide, places that are visually striking when viewed 3D. We will focus on maps that show realistically defensible locations. We will focus on maps that invite players to think strategically and position themselves carefully. We’ll deliver hints to DMs about how enemies can do the same.

We don’t want to create memorable maps, we want to create memorable encounters. We want our locations to be important to the DMs story, not just an afterthought. We want people to make our maps part of their adventures because of the interesting things that can happen at these locations. We want players to think of the locations in our maps as real locations, not just a fancy texture added to a grid.

We’d like to invite DMs to think creatively as they layout the maps. Setting them up in sections, using a tabletent to show the 3D visual. We want players to not be burdened with worrying about whether they can reach an area of the map, but rather to focus on the gameplay.

We will incorporate standard map symbols into the 3D displays we create.

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Banner image used in the Monstrum watermark created by Deven Rue.

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