DM Tips in 140 characters or so #8

#1: Hey DMs what do you use for a map? Dungeon tiles, flap mat, graph paper? Why do you prefer it?

: I’ve got a ton of dungeon tiles, but I find them too fiddly to use in actual play. Always end up using wet-erase on a battle mat.

deadorcs: I use a combination of basic map grid sheets from Paizo & terrain I’ve created using Hirstarts molds.

Sewicked: I usually use a map; partially because I have these great mapping stamps (bushes, camp site, river, etc)

ethankillett: I’ve got a ton of tiles that I use! Very easy to set up and my players think they look cool. haha

GeekyLyndsay: Whiteboard on the floor!

CombatCast: Photoshop and MapTool.

JesterOC: I use Mega Map (Wet erase pens) primarily. Dungeon Tiles (latest from WoTC), and once in a while Dwarven Forge and Fat Dragon.

mrfb: Last few weeks or so I’ve been using Gaming Paper. I draw the map on the roll with marker and then cut it out. Works great.

gamefiend: Put me down for Gaming paper as well. A great way to pre-draw a bunch of mapss for a game.

TheAngryDM: During play: vinyl battle mat, almost exclusively. Its not as pretty as tiles, but it is much more versatile. During prep: usually I keep all of my encounter maps in my head. Sometimes, hasty scratch paper and scribbled notes.

WolfSamurai: I like dungeon tiles best because they’re usually the easiest and most detailed option. More immersive. However tiles aren’t very versatile unless you have tons of them. So a battle mat is a go-to option for me since you’re not as limited.

mjbrenner: Tiles, Heroscape terrain, and hand-drawn maps on poster grid-paper that I keep under a Lexan cover. Variety is the spice of life. I especially like drawing maps on the grid-paper with colored pencils. It lets me really customize design and use visual clues. I did build a nice fort using two sets of the Harrowing Halls tiles. I’ll use a poster map for terrain around it.

Macadosche: Giant Post-It pad with pre-drawn 1-inch squares. Thirty 3’x2′ sheets for $20 at Staples. I use colored pencils w/ Sharpie outline I like being able to use full sheets for open areas or cut pieces for smaller rooms. Or color one blue and cut out boats!

plays2much_DnD: I use a 2’x3′ cork board with gaming paper tacked on, then clip a section of clear shower curtain on it & I use dry-erase markers. Shower curtain makes 6 easy to swap out sections making 4 fast #dnd map switches between encounters, saving $ on gaming paper

pdunwin: Right now in my F2F game I’m using printouts of maps from  My fallback when I don’t have maps is a vinyl mat. Sometimes I prepare it beforehand.  I have a lot of tiles, but haven’t gotten much use out of them yet. For my current PBP game, I’ve been able to use wotc maps from Dungeon Delve (which are based on the tiles).

steve_the_dm: I used Tact-Tiles. Puzzle-piece like 1ft by 1ft dry erase with a 1 in grid. Better than a battle map cuz of scrolling! Now, though, I use electronic maps expanded to mini size and printed with posterazor. My players like the extra detail from them.

Atrophied: Tiles usually. Great versatility and customizability combined with ease of setting up. Erasable battle-map for large-scale travel. Have been known to use heroscape tiles when an encounter flows better with hexes.

AlioTheFool: Dungeon Tiles, poster maps, hand drawings, printed ones found online and blown up to scale. I’ll use any source.

SlyFlourish: on maps I use Dwarven Forge with Dungeon Tiles, preprinted maps, and Gamemastery flip maps.

deathanddrek: I play AD&D. Our maps are hand-drawn by players based on my verbal description.

ObsidianCrane: for maps I use dungeon tiles, a gamemastery battlemat, and sometimes my data projector for really complex or large maps.

#2. What is your favorite published adventure you have ever run?

: I think its unofficial, but its called “El Segador de Medianoche” don’t know how to translate that to english xD. he other one is in Dark Sun, The Obsidian Oracle, I think based on the novel, don’t know yet

SlyFlourish: I loved Keep on the Shadowfell.

theinsomniakid: Definitely Tomb of Horrors. I’ve played in it and ran it and it’s just as insane both ways. Deadly, but fun.

ethankillett: Since my group has yet to do Shadowfell Keep, the Bandit’s Hideout in 4E Dungeon Delve has been REALLY fun to do.

Saeblundr: The only one i have run is for odnd, @Chgowiz quickstart. run twice, and i love everything about it. its published ya? 😀

ObsidianCrane: lfr mod Silver Lining, BECMI mods Rahasia & Castle Amber, #l5r mods Night of 1000 Screams & Tomb of Iuchiban all leapt to mind:) oh and DL1 was awesome as well.

pdunwin: Keep on the Borderlands with some caveats. Wasn’t the one to start it. Never finished it. Mostly ran my own side quest.

WolfSamurai: Until my current game, I’ve never actually run a published adventure before actually. That said, I really would like to run Tomb of Horrors, Temple of Elemental Evil, Keep on the Borderlands, and some of the other classics.

Chip17: I loved The Witchfire Trilogy!

#3 How long have you been playing/DMing?

: I’ve been playing since January of 2007 and DMing since about October of 2007

deadorcs: I’ve been playing 30 years. Identified as a DM for 10 years now.

DMSamuel; I have been playing for 28 years, with a 4-5 year gap in there; DMing for all but 3 of it

digitaldraco: I’ve been playing RPGs for ~15 years, GMing for ~14 but had a gap in regular play of about 6 years in there.

SarahDarkmagic: Playing for little over a year, DMing for a little under that. 🙂

warpgames: I’ve been playing for just over 20 years now, and GMing for the whole run. I was our first GM when I was eight.

WolfSamurai: I’ve been playing different games off and on for about 17 years.

ObsidianCrane: woot another ? that doesn’t need a picture. 26 years of DMing.

DrOct: just under a year now!

SlyFlourish: about 21 years.

pdunwin: Player & DM for ~22 yrs, with a hiatus here & there.

offby1: I’ve been gaming since I was 8 (25 years!) and picked up the rulebook for OD&D at the library. I DM’d for most.

IllusiveDreams: why not players? Well I played 2e a long time ago & started creating my own game based on 2e then got away. Started 4e feb ’09.

phaezen: Got given the redbox for my 10th birthday, been playing ever since.

digitaldraco: I was introduced to the Marvel Superheroes RPG by a friend in 8th grade humanities. It was downhill from there. Didn’t actually discover (A)D&D until a friend invited me to his game, junior year of high school.

WolfSamurai: RPGs in general were because I played the Shadowrun game on SNES and loved it. So I read the novels and then the RPG. D&D, however, was because at the time most people around me who gamed did D&D. It was the only one everybody really knew about.

ChrisSSims: Been playing and DMing for 30 years.

theweem: Playing 21-ish years, DM-ing dnd most of that (17-18 years at least)

dndblog: about 20 yrs

deathanddrek: DMed between 1990-1994… BIG break with no gaming at all, then back in 2010.

theprint: I’ve been at it for just about 25 years, behind the screen from day 1.

#4 How do you deal with players who constantly challenge you over game rules?

: Rules Lawyers? We tell them to look up the rule in the book and get on with the game. Our rules lawyer is a pompous ass so he says something then sits there looking like we should all applaud him for challenging. When he KEEPS sitting there and doesn’t say anything to back it up we all just keep playing and ignore him. Waste of time.

deadorcs: I make it clear up front, that while the game is in session, my word is law. After game, we can discuss changing the rule forward

AlioTheFool: Get ticked off, throw my hands up, give them their way, then spend the next 2 weeks btwn sessions overpowering encounters.

bensrpgpile: I make the DM in-game call. We write the rule in Q down & then post to Twitter or wotc dnd forums for the official consensus.

WolfSamurai: I try and work with them, but I let them know that in the end it’s my game to run and that I don’t work strick RAW

ChrisSSims: Understanding: Making house rules clear. Table rule: Challenge a DM decision only if it’s important and can be solved quickly. Acknowledge that stopping the game to challenge DM calls all the time is jackassery. Enforce Rule X.1: Don’t play with jackasses.

SlyFlourish: I let the other players yell at them.

Chip17: to set ground rules for that when I start a campaign. I explain that if there is any disagreement on rulings we will discus after the encounter. So we don’t slow down the game. Once we come to a decision on the rules we keep it that way. If a player continues to disagree they can talk to me privately BUT if they continue to disrupt the game I remind them its just a game and if continues and the player ultimately decides to disagree with and slow things down; I then start to penalize him to the point of not caring about the rules or to the point he wants to leave the game. I mean loss of exp for disruption loosing items and etc

Milambus: As a player who does this more than I should: 1) Ask if its important enough to deal with now or it i can be dealt w/ later 2) Make sure you take that time after the session, or email later. 3) Know the rules well. 4) I’ll often ‘correct’ DMs in an effort to help, so if you are doing something non-standard, say so up front.

pdunwin: I liquidate them for their impudence. Seriously: I try to let them have their way, unless I know the rule cold, or it impacts the other players negatively. One thing I’m learning in my latest turn as DM is that the exact rules rarely matter. Then again, I don’t currently have major rules lawyers in any of my current groups.

Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

Tags: , , , , ,

About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
Subscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post

2 Responses

  1. Pingback: Curiam Die TreuNo Gravatar

  2. Pingback: KavlaNo Gravatar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *