Battle Boards!

I run a D&D 4e campaign and every session I need to draw up maps (welcome to Fourth Edition I can hear Andrew saying). I used to use Paizo flip mats for this and that worked pretty well. For $11 I had a 24x30 blank slate that I could use repeatedly. With a few different colored markers I drew whatever scene I wanted. This worked really well but somehow I always felt like I needed maps that were 24x30 to properly use the mat. After a while that becomes a little boring.

Enter Battle Boards, or more accurately Battle Graph Dry Erase Boards. 10x10 dry erase tiles which are awesome. I got 9 of them so I could setup a 30x30 map if I wanted to but its more fun to take advantage of their modularity. My group is in the underdark and I really wanted to run an adventure with a sense of exploration using small encounters as they traversed through it. The battle boards work amazingly well for it. As they traverse tile to tile, I draw what they encounter on the next tile, around the curve. When they get past a certain point I no longer need the old tiles so I erase them and keep the adventure going. When they take a left at a fork the whole map shifts. In terms of virtual space I have infinite amounts of space to work with as long as I keep it down to 20x20 at a time (to have slack tiles).

Running adventures like this triggered a fun realization for me. Having more space to work with helps me setup the dungeon with smaller rooms. Without worrying about fitting into a 24x30 space I know I can have the extra space I need by scrolling the map.

After shifting things around a little

After shifting things around a lot! Only one tile remained from the previous picture.


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