Every tabletop gaming group has their own preferred set of tools and rules for role-playing, but most groups tend to use maps. If you’re playing a game like Dungeons & Dragons, where your character’s position and the terrain around them matters, having a map on hand, so everyone easily understands the area in which a battle takes place, is incredibly useful.
The immediate follow-up problem is that it’s kind of a pain to make maps. Sometimes, fights will break out in various locales. Other times, the players will make unexpected choices, so my painstakingly created map of a lord’s manor is now useless, because we’re throwing down at the city docks.
This is why I’ve been so impressed with Dungeon Scrawl, a web-based map generator by developer ProbableTrain, a student from the UK. Dungeon Scrawl launched on June 14, and is currently in open beta.
It has an impressive array of tools, and I found myself making clear and laid out maps in minutes. The app has both isometric and 2D views, as well as a selection of brushes and tools to quickly make shapes or draw a path. Users can also import images, which is handy for adding landmarks or props to the map.
With tools like Discord for voice chat, various dice-rolling bots, and Dungeon Scrawl, it’s much easier to get the tools together for a virtual campaign, even with friends from far away. I’m running a Star Wars RPG in the Old Republic, and it’s nice to finally have a tool on hand so we stop asking where the wookiee is.
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