We use a poster-sized dry-erase board for our dungeon-based sessions. I like this because it lets me draw the map FOR them. I don’t have to describe the dimensions of the room and wait for the mapper to draw the thing out on graph paper. Even better, we just place the minitures on the grid as we go, and the players move the pieces as they like. If an enemy shows up or a trap goes off, there is no debate about where anyone is. Nobody can claim they stayed in the last room just because they didn’t SAY they followed everyone else into this one. Your position is determined by where your piece is on the grid. It forces them to think about where they would really want to stand.
I can draw only parts of the map that they can see, which lets them intuit the shape of nearby rooms, even when they haven’t entered. If something changes the environment (for example, say oil is spilled all over, or a fissure opens in the earth) I can draw that right on the grid, during battle. I can depict the positions of furniture and other moveable items and we can move them around with a dry-erase marker as needed.
Here is the grid as it looked at the end of Session 3:
I absolutly love this. I would never go back to a plain paper grid after playing like this.
The Best of 2017
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2017.
What Does a Robot Want?
No, self-aware robots aren't going to turn on us, Skynet-style. Not unless we designed them to.
Resident Evil 4
Who is this imbecile and why is he wandering around Europe unsupervised?
A Telltale Autopsy
What lessons can we learn from the abrupt demise of this once-impressive games studio?
A Star is Born
Remember the superhero MMO from 2009? Neither does anyone else. It was dumb. So dumb I was compelled to write this.