Over the New Year's weekend we had our 20+ year marathon event (we get together from all over for a long gaming weekend). For that weekend we played strictly tabletop environment with no MapTools. The D&D 4E stuff was painful without MapTools. 4E battle is FAR more cumbersome than earlier D&D versions and MapTools takes all of that burden away. Our D&D3.5 adventure worked well, and since there were 13 players and a DM, I am not sure MapTools would have been the right answer for that chaos.
So, our weekly game session continues and I continue to use MapTools to run the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. With b48/49, I added a first cut at a character sheet for the tokens. Additionally, the story has now progressed to the point that I need to map out the 300+ "room" dungeon. Urk.
I quickly tossed out the idea of putting this monstrosity all on one map. That is just too much to ask of poor ol' MapTools (and my PC). Plus, thanks to CJack42, I have some gorgeous
maps of many of the areas in the dungeon (vs. the muddy crap that comes with the module). So I really want to make use of these amazing maps. My compromise has been to make one map that is the mega overview where I will manually uncover fog as the PCs explore. Then I am making a new MT map for various sub areas. Here I am dealing with tool limitations...1) Light sources
Initially I had 20 light source objects (torches, lanterns) plus what the PCs carried. This brought the tool to its knees. So I quickly turned off most of my added sources and once I got down to 10 or less light sources we were able to proceed. So torch lined hallways may be cool, but they require serious processing.2) Cross map tokens
Since my massive dungeon is broken into chunks, tokens will be moving from map to map. The cut-paste mechanism works, but is non-intuitive, and scary. I am always afraid I am going to copy instead of cut, or I will fail to paste or some other potentially loss inducing operation. I live with it, and it is bearable, but not smooth.
During the session we had a couple of tool hiccups noted here:
- Frames. The character sheet, and image handout functions I use, open up frames. A very large percentage of the time, the frames fail to open visibly and then the client needs to have Window--Restore Layout run. This totally hoses the window layout and causes one heck of a lot of moaning and whining and I often have to wander around and help people reset their windows. (The windows in MT are very flexible but most of my players have not encountered that type of docking before and get confused and frustrated by them.)
- Library token. My Handout macro sends a link to chat for folks to click to have a frame with an image in it show up (thanks Potace for the great idea!). This worked on my GM machine just fine, but my players got an error when they would click the link. In the end it turned out the Lib: token needs to have checked Visible to Players. It can live on the Hidden layer though.
Maptools with 3 unstacked character sheets open to different parts of the sheet:
P.S. - MapTools keeps getting better and better. Any "issue" comments I make here are really just to help with the betterment of the tool, but overall it is quite wonderful!