Newbie learning the ropes

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mike0liver
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Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

I have just installed MapTool (V1.4) and want to set up a campaign to teach my grandson AD&D (1st Ed - it's what I learned on). I'm trying to find a tutorial that tells/shows me how to use the ProFantasy CC3+ maps I have prepared for the campaign. Can anyone help?

Phergus
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by Phergus »

Welcome!

There are numerous tutorials on YouTube on using MapTool such as Thomas Chapman's series.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... b3zWcmpAOn

And the Wiki also has tutorials on getting up and running with MapTool.

Introduction_to_Mapping

taustinoc
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by taustinoc »

You'll also find helpful people in the ProFantasy forums if you run into something you can't figure out here.

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

Thanks for these responses. I have looked at several of the videos but none of the ones I've watched so far dealt with the issue. I shall persevere, however.

Also, I currently have a question posted on the PF forum and am about to pay a visit to see what replies I have.

Nevertheless, if anyone else feels they are able to help, I shall be very grateful.

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

taustinoc wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:35 pm
You'll also find helpful people in the ProFantasy forums if you run into something you can't figure out here.
Thanks, taustinoc,, you have responded to my original post on the PF forum and Remy Monsen has given me a step-by-step set of instructions on what to do. I think I'm on my way.

taustinoc
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by taustinoc »

Being free, and having a genuinely helpful support community (if you need an answer in a hurry, consider the Discord channel, too), MapTool is a great place to start with VTTs. It does have a learning curve, and it's steep if you want more than basic functionality (but can do almost anything if you figure out the macro language), but you find it's more than you want to deal with, you're at least not out any money.

One thing I'll add to Remy's advice is that you don't *have* to use the Edit Map method to put your map in the background. You can also just select the Background layer, and drag-and-drop onto the map from the folder it's in. There are advantages both ways.

And be careful about image size. It's always tempting to export to huge dimensions, to preserve all the beautiful detail, but MapTool can be cranky about memory. This is critically important on computers with limited memory, and can bite you if your computer has a lot more than your players'. With a little practice, you'll figure out what resolution works best on the export, though.

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

Thanks taustinoc. I'm making progress and I think I can see my way in putting a campaign together on MapTools. The help I've received has been invaluable.

However, I seem to have come up against a major obstacle when I want to set up a "play online" link with my grandson. I have read in the documentation that I must either set up something called a "UPnP" or "Port Forwarding". It talks about "Home Networks". It suggests that all this "will depend on your hardware" and to consult the relevant manual. The documentation appears to believe that I know something about how my PC works and that I have some kind of manual and that I will understand what I read there.

Actually, I'm a grandfather trying to teach his grandson how to play AD&D, not an IT specialist. I do have rudimentary knowledge of my equipment but it doesn't extend to this. Is there some simple, non-technical explanation that will show me how, step-by-step to do what is necessary to achieve the objective?

It would be a shame, after all this effort by everyone, to fall at the last hurdle because I don't know enough about the technicalities of computing. If it helps, the computer I plan to use is a laptop running Windows 8.1 although I can switch over to a desktop PC running Windows 10.

taustinoc
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by taustinoc »

Have you read through the networking FAQ yet?

https://lmwcs.com/rptools/wiki/Network_ ... g_and_UPnP

If that didn't help, let's start with the basics:

I'm assuming that your grandson is in a different location. If he's local, it's much easier.

Can you identify the internet router? If so, what's the brand and model?

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

I did look at the FAQs but generally felt I was being offered a lesson on routers and firewalls (much of which was incomprehensible - at least to me). I don't particularly want to understand how the equipment works, I just want someone to tell me what steps to take to link with my grandson (who lives about 150 miles away).

My router is a BT Business Hub BTBHub6 if that means anything to you. Forgive me for appearing to be unwilling to go into the finer points of networking, but this is not a career move for me. It's a means to an end and I am unlikely to want to do it more than once :). If you are able (and willing) to take the time, I shall be very grateful.

Merudo
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by Merudo »

Before spending more time learning the intricacies of port forwarding and the likes, I highly suggest you simply try to create a server with "Use UPnP" checked and by setting a RPTools.net alias. It has a decent chance of working right off the bat without any fancy configuration.

taustinoc
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by taustinoc »

Apparently, newer models do support UPnP, so it's certainly worth a try. If not, it will get more complicated.

Phergus
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by Phergus »

From what I could find in a brief search it appears that the BT router doesn't have UPnP enabled by default.

Getting that turned on will give a good chance that a connection can be made. Talking to BT support would be a good step towards getting things working.

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

I'm being spoilt for helpful suggestions - thanks one and all.

Sadly, this seems to be getting more and more complex the further we get into it. I had no idea that it would turn out that way when I embarked on the project. I'm seriously thinking of either finding some other way of doing it or dispensing with maps and diagrams over the internet and just interacting with my grandson via Skype. The idea of showing him maps and such was simply to make it more interesting but, if I have to start technical conversations with British Telecom to do it, I think I'll pass - he might decide that AD&D is not for him!

Once he's back from his holiday in the good old USA, I'll try the straightforward attempt at a link through MapTools and see what happens. Beyond that, don't think I want to pursue the technical route and mess about with my router.

However, I do appreciate everyone's help and the suggestions provided - thanks, everybody.

taustinoc
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by taustinoc »

You might be better off using https://roll20.net/. It runs in your browser, and is the best at "just works." The functionality is a lot more limited (and the file size for images is brutally small), but to just share maps and move tokens around, it works fine. And there's a free version. (It has a audio and video chat capability, but a lot of people find it flakey, so you might want to stay with Skype for that.)

mike0liver
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Re: Newbie learning the ropes

Post by mike0liver »

Full marks for perseverance, tautinoc. I've looked at Roll20 and was a little uncertain about it. However, I may pursue that line if what I say below has not borne fruit.

Just to show I'm not a total quitter, I went on to my BT router Management facility and found a method where I could set up Port Forwarding. Apparently, as I think someone else mentioned, UPnP is supposed not to be available on my Hub; however, I found a "configuration" tab on the hub manager and this showed UPnP to be enabled (??). I've done what I think is correct (the manager wanted Internal and External port references so I used the same number (was it 51234? - something like that) and this seemed to work. I have no idea whether I've done it all correctly or even how to check when using MapTools but maybe I've done enough to get things working. I really had no idea what I was doing but, as I say, nothing blew up.

If you feel like sticking with me, that would be really good but I'll understand if I've tried your patience enough.

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