Maps and blips? How useful?

greybird
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Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby greybird » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:00 pm

I'm getting ready for my first session of TE. Long time GM, but I have yet to play or run this system. I'm gathering the tools, learning the rules, preparing the accessories, and so forth.

Now I'm trying to figure out how useful character/enemy tokens (er, blips) would be. It's quite an investment, and part of the appeal coming off of several years of D&D, Pathfinder, and Savage Worlds is going miniature-free and just sitting around a table that isn't cluttered with 'stuff.'

So, for those who own them, how often do you actually need them? For those who don't, how often do you either wish you did, or find yourself improvising something to the same effect?

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:09 pm

I never use them.

Our table is normally littered with biscuit wrappers and sweets, so there isn't much call for maps. When I do have them, they are adhoc on A4 squared paper for reference more than anything else.
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Atama
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Atama » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:12 pm

The game rules are fully set up to support grid-based gameplay, if you make each hex/square by a yard in width. We use minis and maps for most combat encounters.
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greybird
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby greybird » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:39 pm

Oh, the system is close enough to Savage Worlds that it wouldn't be hard to adapt that miniature system at all, and I have probably 2,000+ miniatures.

The thing is, I'm not asking so much whether it can support them, but whether they're necessary. I honestly want a break from elaborate set-ups for a while. If the markers are needed, I'll get them. But if they're not necessary, I'd rather play without. I was hoping that all the helpful folks with a couple of years under their belts could chime in on how important they are.

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Atama
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Atama » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:43 pm

You can make it work without minis, my advice is to just keep notes determining relative proximity (especially who is in melee range for purposes of blast attacks and firing into melee).
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby ZorValachan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:00 am

I find Torg (both old and Eternity) to be equally enjoyable and playable with or without.
TE rules really are written for Theater of the mind, even with all the tokens and maps they produce.
I'm amused that my own group played OT totally TotM without grids/maps for 20+ years, but with TE "demanded" to use grids maps. This led to my grid combat rules in the Paraverse, which is basically movement, line of sight/effect and area of effect/blasts. AoE/Blasts are about the only TE rule that doesn't directly translate well to a grid/map, because its an abstract chart of Maximum foes hit (allies have no maximum)
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Greymarch2000
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Greymarch2000 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:14 am

I've been using tokens in Roll20 which is similar to using the blips in real life and they've been quite handy. That said I could easily see playing without them. I'll admit I've been tempted each time to upgrade to them but it's just a little bit too much so I've stuck with the standard cardboard pogs that come in the survival boxes. Be aware, there have been many encounters that use either more of a mob than you have blips for, or entirely different creatures/npcs so at some point you'd have to sub stuff anyway.

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Count Thalim
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Count Thalim » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:07 am

I use the maps but not the blips. It helps give my players a sense of the scene and frequently will give them ideas about crazy stunts to use during them.

The blips occasionally find use for grouping badguys. I.e I'll have a bunch of shocktrooper token to represent how many there are and as they take them out I can just take away the token without having to maintain running totals anywhere.
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Kuildeous
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:03 am

I don’t use the printed maps and blips. I never wish I had the blips. I sometimes will draw out a map, but it’s mostly to show relative position when it is important, especially when firing into melee could be a concern.

One good thing about having a map ahead of time is that it’s not up to GM fiat when a player asks if they can take cover. The map already tells you where cover is and probably even a good idea of just how much cover is available.

For a little bit, I used a whiteboard app on my tablet and cast it to the television on the wall. It mostly works out well, but the app I chose kept crashing, and I hadn’t been impressed with the other whiteboard apps. I’d love to have a stable app with layers.

For my PbP game, I do rudimentary Photoshop scribbles. That does have layers, which I use for the meeples on the map. My drawings are very crude.
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Padre
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Re: Maps and blips? How useful?

Postby Padre » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:59 am

I use the cardboard blips that come with the box, but not the maps. I use the blips for relative positioning, but that's it.


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