Converted my campaign to Maptools

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Teksura
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Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by Teksura »

I had been running a 4e campaign with a group of friends I knew online for a while. Well, truthfully, several of us have been running our own, but for simplicity's sake I will reference my own game only.

I had been using Gametable for quite a while, but the frequent appearance of bugs had slowly worn away my patience.

I had taken a look at Maptools some time before the switch, and was intimidated at first. This brings me to my first observation:

:!: Maptools can seem intimidating at first with the abundance of features.

The video tutorials were extremely helpful, and after watching them my players and I quickly became comfortable using Maptools.

The first couple sessions were slowed as everyone had to familiarize themselves with the new systems, but this was to be expected. In time, we got into the flow of things and became quite fond of the macro system. This brings me to my second observation.

:!: The macro system is very well done. I especially like the fact that stats and mods can be entered into the character's token, and then used in the macros. Given the way the 4e system works, and how normally several macros would need updated every other level, the fact that it can all be tied to a single stat is very pleasing.

The very first map I designed in Maptools was pretty pathetic, but it got the job done. It just so happens that the current campaign involves a haunted castle, and I quickly found that simple matters such as the look of the game can make a critical difference. See screenshot below.

Image

The map which used fog of war, and vision blocking certainly added more to the haunting effect than the simplistic "Here is roughly where the walls are, here are some monsters that you can see now." style we had gotten used to.


I feel that it wouldn't be logical to make a feedback post with only praise, so I close this post with the problems I have and the things I did not like.


Although I was originally pleased that a single campaign file can host several maps, I was disappointed when I could not find a way to remove maps that might have been created in error, or that were deemed not necessary after all. It is possible that I may have overlooked this feature (Possibly with it staring me in the face), but if it should turn out that this is not presently possible, I would like to suggest the feature be added. If it is possible, I'd appreciate if someone could tell me where to look for this functionality.

Secondly, my network setup makes it impossible for me to host. I have to depend on one of my players to act as the host for me. However, we quickly discovered that only the hosting computer is able to open campaign files. Even as a GM, I was unable to open my campaign file. The obvious workaround here was for me to email the file to the hosting player, and have him open it from his end. This is pretty much handing one player the DM's notebook with all the details and secrets of the campaign, and hope they don't look at it between sessions. I certainly hope that a future update addresses this issue.


The last issue I have has to do with the way campaign files load. I think it would be nice if they could be set to load looking at a specific location in the map, and at a zoom level that is chosen by the DM who makes the map. In the screenshot I posted, the map always loads zoomed in really close to the corpse pile, which is mildly irritating and seems unnecessary.


Overall, switching to maptools was a step up, and I am quite pleased with the results.

Phergus
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by Phergus »

Welcome to the forums and MapTool!

Teksura wrote:Although I was originally pleased that a single campaign file can host several maps, I was disappointed when I could not find a way to remove maps that might have been created in error, or that were deemed not necessary after all.

Most of us find using the Delete option of the Map menu works well for that. :D

Teksura wrote:However, we quickly discovered that only the hosting computer is able to open campaign files.... I certainly hope that a future update addresses this issue.

Probably not any time soon but it is a known issue.

Teksura wrote:I think it would be nice if they could be set to load looking at a specific location in the map, and at a zoom level that is chosen by the DM who makes the map.

A very common feature request. In the meantime you can use the Center Players on Current View option of the Tools menu as the GM. As a player, the Map Exporer is your friend as you can double-click on your token in the list to center the map on your token.

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wrathchild
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by wrathchild »

Phergus wrote:
Teksura wrote:Although I was originally pleased that a single campaign file can host several maps, I was disappointed when I could not find a way to remove maps that might have been created in error, or that were deemed not necessary after all.

Most of us find using the Delete option of the Map menu works well for that. :D


Yes - but it might not be entirely obvious that you have to select the unwanted map to enter it before you can delete it.
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Teksura
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by Teksura »

wrathchild wrote:
Phergus wrote:
Teksura wrote:Although I was originally pleased that a single campaign file can host several maps, I was disappointed when I could not find a way to remove maps that might have been created in error, or that were deemed not necessary after all.

Most of us find using the Delete option of the Map menu works well for that. :D


Yes - but it might not be entirely obvious that you have to select the unwanted map to enter it before you can delete it.

Had a feeling it was there, said it was most likely staring me in the face... and.. Yeah. Thanks.

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skester
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by skester »

Yeah, today I was looking for the delete map and it took me a bit longer than I expected to find it.

But then again, I misplace my glasses when holding them in my hand.

Skester.

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aku
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by aku »

would there be any interest in adding some right click functionality* to the zone/map selector? I'm thinking specifically of Delete and copy functions from the map menu.


*I am in no way, yet, a contributing, acting contributer, person of interest, person of skill, or any other type of person, other than occasional user, in regards to maptool.**

**but i am interested in trying to become one of those types of things, and this seems to be like a nice, simple enough to get my mouth around, hard enough to learn from it type of project, that someone might find useful, and that might get approved by The Master.***

***Really, i dont have any more astriskable comments to make, but for some reason (prolly because it's 230 am, and i'm not tired at all (honest) i like using them, at the moment)

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trevor
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by trevor »

@Teksura thanks for the post, it makes me happy to know that you had a good experience (even with a few snafus). The reason the GM can't upload a remote campaign is that file upload kinda sucks. right now it's a serial process, which means it has to upload all of the images before it can upload the campaign, and there isn't a UI to represent uploading image progress. So it'll look "stuck" until all the images are uploaded. It's not an insurmountable problem, I just haven't had a chance to get to it yet. Being able to set the starting view is important, but also haven't had a chance to fix that

@aku feel free to do that :)
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Engineer91
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Re: Converted my campaign to Maptools

Post by Engineer91 »

I'm not a huge fan of game-table. It looks really good at the on-set, but I was having problems with bugs as well. I agree that Map-tools can be a little intimidating at first, but it's pretty well set-up. And if you get lost, there's usually someone around here that can help you. :-)
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