HELP: GETTING STARTED WITH MAPTOOL - TUTORIALS, DOCS, ETC.

Thoughts, Help, Feature Requests, Bug Reports, Developing code for...

Moderators: Azhrei, dorpond, trevor

Forum rules
PLEASE don't post images of your entire desktop, attach entire campaign files when only a single file is needed, or generally act in some other anti-social behavior. :)
Post Reply
User avatar
wolph42
Deity
Posts: 9706
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:40 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

HELP: GETTING STARTED WITH MAPTOOL - TUTORIALS, DOCS, ETC.

Post by wolph42 »

(Click here in case you have trouble launching maptool)

So you're new to maptool and you're looking at an empty field of grass wondering what maptool has to offer and how to forge your own campaign in it.
Below is a full overview of tutorials, vids, introductions, references etc showing you what maptool is, has and can do for you.

If you fully want to use maptool I would suggest to start at the top and work your way to the bottom.

THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE GETTING

THE FIRST THING TO DO WHEN STARTING WITH MAPTOOL - VIDEO TUTORIALS
GENERAL ADVICE FOR THOSE NEW TO MAPTOOL
First off: welcome to Rptools-Maptool I hope you enjoy your stay here!

The thing that nearly every experienced maptool user will tell you is that when you start using Maptool, follow these steps, take a couple of sessions before going to the next step:
1. first use it as a white board. You can make simple drawings on the background, place tokens on it and move them around, this already is ideal for e.g. battles.
Its useful to create a new map as there are some settings, like grid type (square/hex/none) and distance per cell (e.g. 5 feet per square), which you might want to edit before use.
For dice rolls you can use the chat. There is a list of simple chat commands e.g. /w "john" hi (which sends/whispers the message "hi" only to the player john) and dice rolls e.g. [3d6+2] (which rolls 3 six sided dice, adds them and adds 3 to the total).
2. start giving the tokens stats (Strength, Toughness, etc.) per default every token already has a list of stats but you can change these and of course edit them. Very useful for example for tracking wounds.
3. start introducing VBL (vision blocking layer). This is where the learning curve starts to bend upwards (rather steep). I've been using maptool for 5 years now, and I think most people here will see me as an experienced user and last session I had issues with VBL and vision due to a setting I overlooked. There are an insane amount of different settings which can be really daunting to get right, but it *does* grant you the opportunity to get it right for *your* style of game play. Quid pro quo.
Check the vids!
4. I guess by now you will be ready to get some macro running. Simple macros can contain stuff like:
I hit with my Greataxe and roll [1d20+BaseAttack+Strength]
This is typically a macro that is placed ON the PC token which has the properties (stats) 'BaseAttack' and 'Strength' defined.
5. Once you get used to that and have a couple of these macros, you can start looking for existing frameworks (there are a lot of them) that fit your game.
6. Most will never reach this point, but some do (especially if 5 is not an option): start creating your own framework...
Documentation (wiki articles, tutorials, et.c):
USING MAPTOOL
Stack_Size
Introduction_to_Mapping
Introduction_to_Lights_and_Sights
Introduction_to_Properties
Introduction_to_Tokens
Introduction_to_Vision_Blocking
Introduction_to_Campaign_Repositories
MapTool_Preferences
Building a Framework (Step by Step) A tutorial/blog on creating a Framework, very helpful if you want to 'dive' into it. By JonathanTheBlack
SCRIPTING / CODING / WRITING MACROS
AVAILABLE TOOLS CREATED BY THE COMMUNITY
EXTERNAL TOOLS (used outside of maptool)
MapScaleTool - excel sheet to help you scale your map image to align with the grid
Table Editor Tool - excel sheet whith which you can create Maptool Tables FAST !
Light source editor - excel sheet to create complex lightsources
Notepad++ for Maptools - Colored keywords config file which is VERY helpful when creating or editing macros !!

INTERNAL TOOLS (used inside of maptool - e.g. in the form of drop-ins)
The Bag of Tricks - THE drop-in to start your own framework with. Most of the other (general/system agnostic) drop-ins created by others (e.g. Rumbles dicebox, Aliasmask diguise, Lindsays whisper, etc.) have been integrated in the BoT.
[B91] Notepad++ and RPEdit Starter Kit for Windows - Swiftly Import/Export Macros to edit in an external editor
Math.lib - Trig functions
Spell Reference D&D 3.5/Pathfinder SRD - Look up spells
FOR REFERENCE
(more) TUTORIALS IN FRENCH
Maptool forums on JdR-Virtuel
Topic linking to the French Maptool Initiation videos (note : all three videos cover the same curriculum, but were recorded with different spectators)
Link to my Youtube Channel(three playlists for now : Maptool tutorials, Masks of Nyarlathotep recorded gaming sessions, and various other game sessions involving Maptool for most of them)



User avatar
wolph42
Deity
Posts: 9706
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:40 am
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: HELP: GETTING STARTED WITH MAPTOOLS - TUTORIALS, DOCS, E

Post by wolph42 »

as some might have noticed, I've cleaned up the stickies in this part of the forum. Anything that was still relevant has been added to or linked in the OP.

Please suggest, comment, feed me back on the OP !

@Moderators: Feel free to edit, update, change the OP as you wish (as long as it remains in the spirit for which is was created).

dorpond
RPTools Team
Posts: 5530
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:05 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: HELP: GETTING STARTED WITH MAPTOOLS - TUTORIALS, DOCS, E

Post by dorpond »

Well done, Wolph42! Your dedication and consistency is well appreciated. I thank you very much!
How to use my bundled artwork (MT1.3B60+): http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11759


Post Reply

Return to “MapTool”