Maps 3: Dry Erase Battlemats and Poster Maps

So moving on into the next portion of Maps in your game experience.  Battlemats and Poster Mats bring a lot to your table.  But are they better then paper maps. For the long term gamer in many ways yes. They are more expensive in comparison but with that money comes a few things.  So a few points to consider.

Dry Erase
With dry erase mats you get versatility. Far and beyond any of the paper mats I talked about last time with the exception of gaming paper.. but dry erase does just that. Making the vinyl  dry erase mat one of the most important tools in your DM belt. Everyone should have a dry erase mat in some form or another.. You just need one. Why you ask ? Because it is the fastest way to lay out an encounter for your players to see short of a printed map of the battle field your players are in. Secondly when you wing it. You wont have to be restrained to the confines of a map your players have seen over and over again.

When it comes to dry erase mats you pretty much your first and easiest choice is to look no further then Chessex. They have every shape and size your ever going to need. I for a time even had my 11 foot dinner table covered from end to end with a Chessex mat tablecloth style.

 

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The Downside with dry erase simply falls into the hands of the users. Unless your an artist or have one at your table. Your maps will do the job but they are not going to be the most amazing part of your gaming experience.

Poster Maps                                                                                                           With poster maps you get a reusable high quality printed colored map that you can use for specified encounters. Used them wisely and they will go far for you. Toss the same map on the table every session and your players are going to bore quickly. Lacking in the versatility of the dry erase mat the payoff is the immersion and speed. You just flip the map out drop the players on the board and away you go!

They are often designed so they come in as generic a layout as they can get away with, yet visually awesome. Also often poster maps are of locations that can see a lot of reuse because often they would have the same layout in other locations. Such as Grave Yards, Churches, Road Side Inns &  Markets.  But every time you  place these maps on the table they are the same.  On  a plus note they are almost always double sided and cheap. So in no time and some spare change you can get a decently map collection put together.  Also as a note In recent years many of the new poster maps are being printed laminated so you can dry erase on them as well.30

Winter is coming !

Inspired by the recent “cold Vortex” !!! Winter is coming is my first mini adventure for the blog. Each day I will post another encounter. These can all be used individually, or tied together for a short adventure. Enjoy

72771bWinter has come early this year and the north the ice shelf rapidly cut off the port village of Frostport. The first snows have fallen and the party has been  hired to get the last shipment of supplies to Frostport before the coming Blizzard season cuts off the only pass to the town for the winter. If the town does not get these supplies the villagers will not make it through the winter months.
The usual Sled team are too far to the south. If the adventures go now they just might be able to save the village and make it back to the pass before the snows block them in for the duration.  If they don’t make it out in time they will be stuck in the cold port towns bar for weeks to come.

Stalking_Yeti

Once the players hit the Pass the blizzard sets in. As they are coming down out of the high mountains they are beset by a group of Yeti’s. The Yeti have the high ground rolling boulders and throwing Tree limbs at the party.

 

From this point if you are running this as a one shot, the players deliver the goods and make it out of the pass with only a few hours to spare. If you are running the full set of encounters as the players make their way back to the pass and the blizzard sets in. The players look to be able to still make it out when they see a vengeful surviving Yeti that causes an avalanche blocking the pass and stranding the party in Frostport

 

Links to Part Two & Three
Frostport: Winter Is Coming Part 2
Frostport: Winter Is Coming Part 3

Priced to Move

This side story is best played when the adventures find themselves in a city. When the player’s head to the market place of supplies and to shop they come across a corner establishment on the edge of the market.
The merchant is quite pleasant and has a wide selection of wears mundane and magical in nature. All his items are priced at a 20% mark down and he can be negotiated to go as low as 25%. If questioned about his great deals he informs the party that he is in a bit of a price war with two other local establishments and a small loss on the front end of his goods is undesired but the Cheaper rates keeps the customers in the door and makes up for any losses with the volume of his sales.
As the players prepare to return to the road when they have finished their business in town they are confronted by either the local militia or another adventuring party. It seems that everything the players have purchased from the corner merchant was stolen from another adventuring group.
When the party returns to the scene of the crime the entire establishment is gone vacant. Striped down as if it had never been used.

Welcome and what to expect

Long ago I use to keep a notepad of all my Game ideas in one place for any instance when I would need a little something extra for my games. Every little idea that came to mind I penciled down and stored away in my own personal beat up brown leather binder of DM Goodness.  Sadly I no longer have that book. I will save that story for another time.

Well recently I picked up another notepad and I prepared to collect my ideas once more. I paused and made the choice to start this blog.  What I hope you will see in the coming days and weeks will be a collection of thoughts and Ideas on games and gaming in general. As well as reviews of things that might spark my interest or I hope will spark yours.This time the notebook is not just for me It’s for everyone.

What I hope will come of this blog is simple. I deeply hope that my knowledge and experience from years of gaming will make your games more fun and enjoyable. If I am able to reach even a few people and improve their gaming experience then this blog will have been a success.  With that in the words of some of my players   “Annnd Go! “