Reddit Reddit reviews Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes

We found 188 Reddit comments about Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes
Mats are made from expanded vinyl to bring you the highest quality mat currently available.Product Number: CHX 96246Models and games are supplied unpainted and may require assembly or preparation before playAny scenery, paint, or glue is not included.
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188 Reddit comments about Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes:

u/GrandMoffFinke · 56 pointsr/DnD

A battle mat, used to play out any combat during sessions:

u/kamkazemoose · 33 pointsr/boardgames

You'd probably get a better response from this over at /r/rpg Your product is useful for that type of gaming, with miniatures and stuff like that, while this subreddit is generally for modern boardgames, and games that are a complete product, which generally won't need this.

That said, for some useful crituqes, I think your updated design would be hard to use. With all the various different lines, it would be hard to keep track of exactly where the hexes are. You don't really need multiple sizes, because most miniatures are all around the same size, with different sizes for different creatures, but those generally take up multiple squares. I don't know exactly the size, but I think they are around 1" diameter at their base for a standard size. Personally I'd like to see something that just has a square grid on one side and a hex grid on the other side. I have a mat like this one, and I think you'll find that is what most people are using. So if you want to get RPG business, you're competing against them. They are clear and large, but personally I can say that the map is really big, and its a real pain to transport and store. So you're product is nice that it folds up and you can store it where ever. If it was as usable as the mat I linked too, I would definitely consider buying one.

u/red_rock · 31 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

As others have pointed out, the essential book is for 4th edition and is not compatible with what you are doing.

Here is a list of books

  • The starter-set will be fine to get started. That´s all you need.
  • This is the free version of the rules. This is what you can send to your players if they want to read up so all of you don´t have to share starter-set pamphlet.

    After you have run the starter set:

  • Later on I recommend that your group own at least one players handbook. But usually each player has one (when they are invested). I gave one to each player as a Christmas gift ;). A player usually have the players handbook and dice. This will give you more options as well. Look at this to give you an idea.
  • As a DM you might also want to invest in the Dungeon Masters guide as well.
  • You will now have two option. You can buy and run adventures or create your own. If your planning on creating your own I recommend that you buy The Monster manual.
  • You also want to buy a gaming mat. Something like this.

    That will keep you busy for years. Don´t worry about investing in 3D terrain, or getting all of the books, unless you really want to.

    Some tips:

  • Above all else, this is a game, and the goal is to have fun. Say this before you start the game to everyone. Goal is to have fun. This means that the players can´t be dicks because they think it´s fun (like stealing from other players). AKA the don´t be a dick rule. It also means that if a player comes up with a crazy cool idea, you as a DM should try to make that happen. Be the yes man "within reason".
    Player: "Ok so I want to like do like a somersault above the monster and while I am in the air try to hit him with my swords!"
    DM: "As it happens there is a chandelier right after the table and before the monster, you can run up on the table, grab the chandler to get enough height and momentum, do a dex check".
  • The DM makes the rules, the rules in the books are just a suggestion. At sessions, especially at the beginning it´s going to be a lot of discussions about how things work. This is good as all of you are learning. BUT there will moments when some one starts to act like a lawyer, DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Instead make a quick ruling and say that after the session you can have that discussion, you will look up more exactly how it´s done afterwards and make a permanent ruling. Keep the game flowing.
  • Delegate. The DM does not have to do everything. These are thing I delegate. One players keep tracks of conditions on monsters and add appropriate token on the player mat. One player get´s to schedule the next session. One player get´s to decide when to break.
u/berlin-calling · 26 pointsr/bestof

As a player and Dungeon Master, it makes me so happy to see /r/DnD making it to bestof more than once. :)

For those interested, the newest edition being released book by book right now is 5e (previously D&D Next when it was still in the playtesting phase). Player's Handbook (PHB) and Monster Manual (MM) are the only rule books out right now. The main storyline book out right now is Hoard of the Dragon Queen (HotDQ) and soon The Rise of Tiamat (RoT).

What you need to play D&D IRL:

  • D&D Basic Rules for Players and DMs
  • 3-4 players (PCs or player characters) is ideal
  • 1 Dungeon Master (DM), who runs the game
  • Dice (Wiz Dice is a good starting point if nobody has dice. Just buy the big bag.)
  • Paper and pencils
  • Optional: A battle mat (like this one from Chessex)
  • Optional: Miniatures (minis) to represent your PCs, NPCs, and monsters. I use dice to represent monsters in my games, because minis are expensive.

    If you want to play a D&D online tabletop:

  • Use /r/lfg, /r/roll20lfg, or their dedicated LFG function/forums to find other people
  • Roll20 itself has all you need to play the game - character sheets, dice rollers, built in webcam/mic, special view for DMs versus players, music, handouts, macros, etc.

    Shameless plug: My group streams D&D 3.5e (older edition) on Twitch almost every Monday night at 8pm EST. I also play and DM 5e, so I'm happy to answer questions about either edition!
u/Slavakion · 19 pointsr/rpg

If you guys can pool ~$30 you can get a Chessex Battlemat and some wet erase markers. It'll be just a little bigger than (what I'm guessing is) 8.5x11 and just as functional/reuseable as your option.

u/FOOF7783-44-0 · 13 pointsr/dndnext

A Chessex Gridded Role Playing Mat really helped me out ( Obviously things like dice are helpful too - I'd recommend this because who doesn't want a pound of dice lol.

Miniatures on the other hand are a really fast way of blowing through whatever budget you have and should imo be the last thing you get

u/domesticated-dragon · 13 pointsr/rpg

Chessex Battle Mat
1" squares on one side, hexes on the opposite.

u/IamSparticles · 13 pointsr/rpg

Chessex makes a much better product, which is designed for use with wet-erase markers. It's a thick expanded vinyl product.

u/kodamun · 12 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

Do yourself a favor and get yourself one of these, plus some Wet Erase Markers.

I have way too many Pathfinder battle maps and even the Pathfinder map tiles. They come in handy every once in a while, but unless your players keep coming back to the same location, they aren't generic enough that you can use them all the time.

My drawing skills are terrible, but once you GM enough, you discover your players don't expect art. They just need a rough idea of the terrain, pointing out walls and things that can be used in combat (cover, partial cover, rocks for high ground, lava, etc) and even simple lines and circles can cover most of that.

u/fredemu · 11 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

Here's something I typed out for someone else who asked the same question a while back.

Basically a quick guide to what you should get to get started:


Here's what I'd buy, in order (5e):

    1. Starter Set. This contains an excellent adventure for new players - I highly suggest running it if you're a 1st time DM - you can easily transition into a homebrew campaign or other adventures after it's over, using it as a "jumping off point". Also contains core rules and classes (which you can also download online so everyone in your group can have their own copy). The character options are limited, but you can always add more later.

    1. Player's Handbook. Ideally, everyone has their own copy of this, but at least 1 copy vastly expands your party's customization options, and gives you the option to level up past 5. If you continue on past the first adventure, you will need this eventually.

    1. The Monster Manual. You have enough monsters to work with from the starter set, but this gives you a lot more. Good to have in the long-term... not necessary while you're playing the starter set adventure, since all the monsters used there are included.

    1. Dungeon Master's Guide. Honestly, I have little use for this, and I only open it rarely. However, if you run a more "random" or "sandbox" campaign where the players are more free to explore wherever they want in your world, this can be very handy for you. The one thing I do use it for is the magic items, which it has a huge collection of. This one can wait.

      As for non-book stuff, I'd highly suggest the following:

  • EXTRA DICE. I suggest having 1 d20 for each player since it's by far the most common roll. On top of that, have, for the table, a set of at least: 2d12, 2d10, 6d8, 6d6, and 2d4. Having that set greatly speeds up the game as you level up, so you don't want to have to roll your one d6 8 times to get the damage of your attack.

  • An erasable grid. (Something like this one) and some dry erase markers. Some people say "Theater of the Mind" play works fine for them - personally, I think having a grid speeds things up, takes a lot of pressure off the DM, and makes the combat side of the game more "fair". You don't have to be a fantastic artist, just sketch in some borders for the room, and you're good to go.

  • To go with the above, find something to use as tokens. You can buy a big bag of army men, use the player pieces and houses/hotels from the monopoly game you have buried in your closet, or just get some pennies and tape scraps of paper on top of them. Anything you can use to mark where someone is.

  • A DM screen. It may seem like "cheating", but it's actually a good thing to be able to fudge results sometimes (e.g., if you find out you balanced an encounter too hard), or to roll things in secret from players (e.g., a monster's perception roll to see if they know the party is coming). If you don't want to buy one, you can cut one out of a cardboard box, or just prop up a large book in front of you that you can roll dice behind.

  • Food and drinks. The mark of a good D&D game is good friends, good RP, and smooth progression. The mark of a great one is all that plus pizza and beer.

    Good luck!
u/Team_Braniel · 10 pointsr/DnD

Chessex makes two sided vinyl mats that are awesome.

Make sure you get the proper markers for them, normal dry erase markers will ruin them.

The idea is you draw out the dungeon or area as it is explored. It works pretty well for pre-made dungeons.

Personally I had 3 of the 23x26" ones. That way I can map out a larger area of a dungeon without needed to erase, makes letting the party backtrack much more easy.

On the back side they are hexes which work real well for outdoor wilderness exploration. (scaled down)

u/slayeraa223 · 10 pointsr/DnD

This is the cutest game of dnd i have ever seen.

But to answer your question you might want to check this out

You can use wet erase markers on it and create levels on the fly.

For miniatures you can use these coins that you make instead, you can learn how to make it at this site

(great tool for creating tokens

With all this you can save you a lot of money but still give you a official feel.

u/FalcoCreed · 9 pointsr/DnD

I use a Chessex Play Mat for the bulk of my encounters. It works well for quickly drawing out a smaller dungeon or combat encounter. It's about 20x25 squares.

If I need additional space or need to be creative with my level design, I use Gaming Paper. The grid dimensions are 1 inch squares, so it works perfectly with the play mat. Also the gaming paper is durable enough to use repeatedly if you have a few encounters in the same kind of area, like homes/taverns. You could also glue the gaming paper to something like foam board, and create your own dungeon tiles for cheap.

You can get the mat, a roll of gaming paper, and a set of wet erase markers for around $30 USD.

Hopefully that helps!

u/jacoooooo · 9 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

First of all,
>are those the only items?

These are the only pre-made items, obviously. But are they the be all and end all of the magical items available to you? Not at all. As DM and the master of your world you are free to create magical items to your hearts' content, making them as weak or as powerful as you feel like.
The short of it is yes, yes you can make any kind of items you'd like for your friends to find or enchant.
>are there 'rules' to creation?

No, not really. If you want your player(s) to have a +5 Sword of Awesomeness, you go ahead and give it to them (read: let them get it).
>how would my players go out getting a +5 Sword of Awesomeness?

Once again, as the DM, this is really up to you. If you want there to be an NPC that sells magical items in the city/village/wherever your players are, then you do that. Or you can work it into an adventure. Perhaps your players overhear an NPC talking about the nearby tomb of Melvin Awesomesword. They decide to go investigate, and once they overcome the challenges you present them with, lo and behold, there lies Melvin in his tomb. And with him? Why, it's a +5 Sword of Awesomeness! That's just an example, obviously. You've got to make it your own. There really are no rules as to how you give items to your players. If you want it to fall out of the sky in a meteorite, fine. Do it! My advice would be to not make it too easy for them however. It should be a challenge. You (in my opinion) don't want to offer them stuff on a silver platter. There's no better feeling than completing a challenge or winning a fight and being rewarded accordingly!

>tools for making a decent playing mat?

Not really my area of things, but I use this and it works great. You can draw whatever you like on it, and simply erase it afterwards.

Sorry this was a bit wordy! Hope it's helpful...

u/gojirra · 8 pointsr/DnD

This battle mat is absolutely amazing. You can draw on it with overhead projector pens and erase with water when you are done.

u/Blarghedy · 7 pointsr/DnD
  1. This encounter builder that someone on here built is all sorts of lovely. I'm doing something somewhat similar to you; my group is 6 players and we're playing a campaign built for 4. On top of that, we're playing a 3.5e campaign in 5e. Converting encounters manually is a bit of a pain, but with this app I can just see that the encounter calls for (this is a specific example that I did yesterday) 2 bugbears, check how that compares, see what happens by adding another bugbear, and call that a day. Super quick, super simple, super easy.

  2. Mood can be set by the players, and mood can be set by the DM. Generally mood is set by both. Talk with your players individually and out of character. Ask them what they want. Once you get a general idea of what they want, talk to them as a group or individually and say what you've found. Something along the lines of "Some of us want a more serious game, and a couple want a lot of humor. We can have both, but when it's time to be serious, please be serious for the rest of us." People will generally at least try to be accommodating.

  3. First, you are the DM. Your players are not. You are the final say on rules. Your players are not. If you have an idea of how something should work, make a quick decision about it. Look it up when you have more time. Don't let your players bog you down with minutia or rules lawyering. You are the rules. That said, if a player can actually manage to pay attention and look up rules at the same time, feel free to allow them to do that when it is not their turn, and when it is their turn they can bring up what they found. Deal with it as you like; retroactively or not, whatever. Also, you have 8 players. 8 players is a LOT. You and your players don't have time for people to look up their spells every time it's their turn. Have your spellcasters and ability users write up skill sheets for themselves... spell cards and the like. It's a bit of work but it saves a ton of time in game, when it matters.

  4. You don't necessarily have to have everyone. My general philosophy is if 1 person is gone, they're off doing something else and we continue playing with the rest of the party. If two people are gone, I just cancel the session. I'm not sure where I'd draw that line with 8 players, though. Alternately, just schedule for when everyone is available if possible.

  5. Personally, I adore my this thing. It makes drawing encounters for people so easy. I also love tactical gameplay and play with other people who, like me, grew up as video gamers, so there's that. For miniatures, I use chess pieces. I have a game of chess 4 which has 4 complete sets of pieces. Players pick their pieces and enemies are generally pawns. Once I have a bit more spare cash and am no longer spending all of my spare cash on D&D books and related paraphernalia, I'll start investing in actual miniatures. Paizo is just one source of those, mind; there are many more, including randoms on eBay. For a cheaper alternative, there are character tokens. That picture came from here. I don't know where to buy just tokens, but it's a thing people sell.

  6. I don't use fog of war, really; once a character has seen something, all the players can always see it... but then you get into distinguishing character knowledge from player knowledge and vice versa. Encourage your players to act as though their characters only know what their characters could know. Frodo's finger just got bitten off by Gollum? Aragorn doesn't know that, because Aragorn isn't in bloody Mordor.

  7. Eh, no opinion here; I don't bother with a screen. I like when people see how screwed or not that they are.
u/ezikial2517 · 6 pointsr/DnD

You should definitely start with a live tabletop game to get your hooks into them. Typing in a macro and rolling imaginary dice while talking over Skype isn't for newbies. That's for filthy addicts who need another crit just to get through the day. Myself included.

I recommend running a short, concise campaign that has a clear ending but leaves it open to further sessions. Build up a MBEG (Medium Bad Evil Guy) that they can capture or kill after 4-5 encounters including one 'tutorial', some overland travel, and 2-3 good puzzles. Drop nuggets about the world at large, and once they kill MBEG have them find a map/instructions/scroll that hints at his even evil-er master. This way you need a commitment only of two weekend nights (or one mega-weekend) to get them through a legit story. I'd recommend making them level 3-5.

In terms of cost, there's a few ways to approach it:

A) Pay money, but go the budget route. Get an erasable battlemat, a big bag of dice, some washers, and a gluestick.

B) Do theater of the mind. It's going to be a bigger leap for new players to get into it, and for you as a new DM, but you can still have fun with it.

I recommend 5th edition because it's so simple to pick up and play. The Proficiency and Advantage/Disadvantage system is SO much easier than the endless adding and subtracting of numbers I got used to with 3.5e. I never played 4e, but really as long as you engage them in a lively way hopefully it'll stick.

u/tezoch · 6 pointsr/DnD

In my opinion, a battle mat is a must have for any campaign. Check around your local game shop if you have one, they probably have some cheap dry erase ones. I am fond of Chessex mats, but any will do.

As for miniatures, I'd say that they aren't necessary, but can really help new players feel connected to the game. Being able to see your avatar is useful, especially if you guys are having trouble visualizing battles.

u/Aceshigher · 6 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

I use this one from Chessex and I love it. Not sure if that's the size I have or if I went with the one that's 1 bigger. I think the linked one is the same size as what came in the beginner box.

Just be sure to use wet erase markers and erase it within a few weeks or it bleeds into the material a bit.

u/Gamegeneral · 6 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

I play 5th edition and all advice is for that edition. 5E is pretty wallet friendly if you don't get it all at once. Here's a bunch of stuff you can look at to help your decision, though not all of it is mandatory.

  • Number one, the cheapest, is to simply review the (somewhat limited, I'll admit) materials available on Wizards of the coast and start from there.

  • Second is available in the form of the 5th edition starter set. I own one of these and it comes with everything you need for a game with a group of friends. A criticism I have of it though, is that experienced players will probably destroy the module included with it. I'd just forego this option entirely if you plan to buy any other materials, but it's a very low risk purchase.

  • Third is just a player's handbook, which you really should own regardless of anything . The 5th Edition PHB has enough material to easily homebrew your own campaign with, but it will definitely leave you wishing you had more to work off of.

  • Fourth is any of the several available modules for the game out right now. Having only played Hoard of the Dragon queen (And it's direct follow up, Rise of Tiamat), I can say that with the exception of a long, slightly boring segment in the middle, it's a solid adventure all the way through for the players.

  • Fifth is the supplemental Dungeon master's Guide and Monster Manual, additional resources to help you craft better campaigns, but unnecessary until later. The monster manual should definitely be the first of the two purchases, in my opinion. I wouldn't even recommend the sword coast adventurer's guide unless you plan to specifically adventure in Faerun.

    So now that books are out of the way, let's talk figurines. You really don't need them, because ANYTHING can represent things on a board. But they're a fun thing to collect and use. BUT they are a great and fun thing to have. What we do at my table is have everyone acquire their own. I like to buy from Reaper Miniatures, but local comic book and hobby shops might have them as well. Make sure you have bases that are less than an inch wide (A square inch works best), because if you're using miniatures, then you're using a battle grid.

    Speaking of battle grids, they're also not entirely necessary, but they definitely help. This is a very reliable one if you take care of it and don't crease it too much. But the fun thing is, if you have a printer, you can print your own Battle Maps! Just set it to print a grid set to 1-inch increments and have as big or as small as a battle mat as you need. 5E technically uses a hex grid for outdoor maps, but we've always ignored that at our games.

    As for dice, I think it's the players responsibility to acquire their own dice, but on the off chance you just want to buy the things for everyone, I find a lot of enjoyment in picking through a Chessex Pound-o-Dice, or a Wiz Dice 100+ pack just so everyone has some. Plus, you never know when you'll suddenly need 20d6 for maximum fall damage!

    Other than that, just have pencils, paper, and a good way to keep notes handy and you're set.

    This is far from a comprehensive guide, and probably the worst thing you could do is buy everything or nothing right at the start. Consider asking friends or checking libraries for these books (And secondhand bookshops near you!) to save a penny or two.

    So, in summary, if I were starting out DMing and buying anything, it would be a player's handbook, a set of dice, and if I weren't confident in my ability to homebrew, I'd buy a module or a dungeon master's guide. But you can go further or less far if you like.
u/Cojones893 · 6 pointsr/DnD

I used a chessex vinyl mat. Wet erase markers are perfect on it.

u/Donthin · 6 pointsr/dndnext

I use the Chessex battlemaps, they are tan on both sides but super durable, and pretty affordable all things considered.

I have both the both the battle map and mega map, and they have seen near weekly use for the last 3 years without any problems. The only down side is that blue ink does need to be washed off quickly or you will have a faint stain there.

u/Azrielemantia · 6 pointsr/arkhamhorrorlcg

Are you looking for something efficient or something pretty ?

I use those flip mat for d&d, like this (I also like this one because the hex side is easier on the eyes imo)

They're not especially good eye candy, but they're enough for the whole game area (without players, but it helps set up a visual delimitation imo), they're not too expensive, and we draw the connections between the various locations on them, which is actually fun to do.

I don't like the idea of a mat with dedicated player space anyway, because of all the ways you could gain or lose equipment space (bandolier, charisma, items that take 2 slots, like flamethrower or enchanted blade, ...)

u/vampirelupus · 5 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

The flip mats are great once or twice, but they lack reusability. Not bad for Pathfinder Society or if there is a blank side, but overall, I would recommend a battle mat instead ( Maybe not as much details or as pretty, but good quality and lasts ages.

As for fog of war with flip mats, post it notes.

u/[deleted] · 5 pointsr/DnD
  1. Passive skills include passive perception (your ability to notice something in the environment) and passive insight (your ability to read a persons body language, to gauge truthfulness etc). They are your relevant ability modifier + 10

  2. An at-will power is exactly that, a power you can use as much as you like on your turn as per game rules (Encounter, once per 'fight' and Daily, once per day). The power will state, Standard, Minor, Move, Free action.

    2.5) In 4e Crits are maximum damage possible + any extra dice (Ranger with hunters quarry must still roll their d6/8, same applies for Warlocks and other special dice needed). People tend to make their own rules around nat 20s and 1s. At my table a nat 1 in combat is just a miss, a nat 1 outside of combat is a fail. A nat 20 in combat is a crit and a nat 20 outside of combat is usually a critical success

    2.75) Bloodied is just an indicator to your friends (healer, defender) that your hurt and need assistance. The same applies to monsters. It's just a visual identifier to keep track on who is nearing death.

  3. Check the side bar and YouTube for guides on DMing (Chris Perkins is a name that appears alot, search for Acquisitions Incorporated)

  4. I just write it down, turn an A4 page landscape and do it down in a list with HP. This way you can attach effects like sleep or dazed, it also helps with initiative, just follow the list

  5. Snacks are up to your and your group (same applies for alcohol, if it's your first game, drinking may not be a good idea)

  6. The length of each adventure depends on the party (for reference, it took my group I think a full night of gaming) It's like herding cats!

  7. Set the table rules before you begin playing. If you don't want phones, tell them. If they disrespect, make them roll a saving throw and see if they were too distracted and were hit by a falling boulder/stray arrow/fell into a ditch etc (be creative)

  8. Eventually you may get the Player Handbooks and other source materials, in those books are lists of magic and non-magic items they may wish to spend their cash on (the famous bag of holding being one example)


  9. If you want to continue playing, you'll want at least the Players Handbook (just #1 to begin with) and the DM's Guide. A Monster Manual wouldn't hurt either. You'll also want to either make your own adventure or procure some of those

  10. For Monsters, have a look at the Pathfinder beast box, it usually has the right monsters for the job. You may also want a Gaming mat but you can make your own. For PC's, try local game stores, they usually have minis. Also, there are Pathfinder/DnD sets released with mini's in them you can use.

    Hope this helped

u/MelissaJuice · 5 pointsr/DnD

Deeply useful. Very good investment that can be used for all sorts of things in D&D.

I recommend wet erase, though, not dry.

u/James_the_Third · 5 pointsr/DnD

The Chessex battlemat is definitely the gold standard here. I’ve had mine for ten years and it’s still in great shape. They’re wet-erase, but don’t let that dissuade you.

u/Krimmitt · 5 pointsr/DnD

I personally find it good to have the grid, tokens, and minis. It clears up a lot of miscommunication between the DM and the players.

I have played in a group that chose not to use any grid or props besides tokens. As a player I was constantly confused as to where the tree line was, where the door was, what door I was doing a perception check on, and so on.

The best example of this was when the party said "we will stay a few feet away from the door while we rest." The DM took this as we were literally huddling around this small door. The monsters beyond the door hear us, got a surprise round, and we almost wiped.

My recommendation to you is to get a grid and some wet erase markers. You dont have to stay in the squares, and if you want, you can even use the hex side.

When it comes to large scale maps, ones where a square represents more than 5ft, I do prefer that it is just drawn sloppily on a piece of paper or something. As long as everyone understands where they are, what way is north, and how they can get from one place to another. The best way to do this, in my experience, is to have a drawing.

TLDR: Get a grid mat and some wet erase markers. Less set up time than Roll20, more customization than almost anything, and it is sufficiently accurate for almost all D&D encounters.

u/insanityv2 · 5 pointsr/rpg

I'd go with chessex.

There's one twice that size for a few dollars over 30.

u/PFS_Character · 5 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

Don't print them… draw your own on a reusable surface. Your maps don't don't need to be super detailed.

Get a $12.00 flip mat and some wet erase markers and just sketch out the corridors to scale.

Another solution is a chessex map. If you're really going to get into the hobby then this is a longer-term solution than the flip mats.

A final option is to buy a roll of 1" grid paper and some sharpies, and draw your own.

All of these are cheaper than buying a projector or printing each map to a 1" grid scale.

u/Altecvex · 4 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

This, is your new lifelong roleplaying friend, treat him well, and he'll take you anywhere you want to go. -

::edit:: also, this

u/DnDYetti · 4 pointsr/DnD

> 1) what do you recomend to do?

I'd personally start with 5e, because it is a much more simplified system that allows for more aspects of role-playing, which is great for everyone - especially new players.

A nice start for new groups to DnD is a starter set. Here is a link to buy a starter set which comes with a 64-page adventure pre-made module book, a 32-page rule-book for playing characters level 1–5, 5 pregenerated characters, each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice. If you are playing 5e, you need the 5e books - the 3.5 books won't work for 5e, they are completely different games due to additional information added over each new edition.

I'd also recommend that you all sit down together in the same room, hook up a computer to a TV in the room, and watch some good DnD games to figure out what role-playing means, how DM's look in action, and how the game runs overall. Shows such as Critical-Role, or Acquisitions Incorporated are amazing.

Here is the playlsit for Critical Role on Youtube:

u/supersmashandy · 4 pointsr/DMAcademy
  1. Book coverage: Waterdeep is a lot like a broad template at times - like reading the Wikipedia recap of a TV episode. Many aspects are fully fleshed out. Others say "The players are tasked with finding three bandits who stole a necklace" and then you just have to figure that out yourself. Get ready to improv!

  2. I would only consider doing voices if you think you have 30+ unique voices in you already. Otherwise, they'll all sound mostly the same, and your players may get confused. Learn a few of the most important characters (the main villains, vital NPCs, etc) and make a voice for them. For everyone else, generic fantasy British works most of the time!

  3. Buy one of these ( and a set of wet erase markers ( and never worry about battle maps again - unless you REALLY want to make unique and custom maps for every single thing the players see. I find that the flexibility of being able to quickly draw out a big rectangle with some trees and barrels on one of these maps for those encounters you couldn't have planned on outweighs the benefit of having a detailed battle map you custom-make for everything (unless you just have the time and money to do so!). The official Dungeon Tiles are also great, and you can lay them on top of the map I linked earlier. (

    Also, check out the official Waterdeep: Dragon Heist subreddit for an entire host of questions, answers and resources just for that book.
u/AlphaAnt · 4 pointsr/DnD

Yes, battle mats are pretty necessary in 4e. It would be easier to switch to a different edition than to decouple the need for grids.

That said, the most common thing you'll find is a rollup battle grid like this one that you can draw on with wet erase markers.

u/Vecna_Is_My_Co-Pilot · 4 pointsr/dndnext

The easiest cheapest option would be the Paizo flip-mats (produced under the Pathfinder and Game Mastery brands). These are foldable, and you can get bare battlefield versions or ones with printed maps on them. All function fine with dry and wet erase.

Another popular choice is the Chessex game mats which are rollable and blank. They're more durable than the Paizo ones and can be gotten with squares and/or hexes. They come in a variety of sizes, some large enough to cover a tabletop -- here's one example.

A more flexible option are these interlocking dungeon tiles. Each has a blank grid, and I think they're neat because you can draw out your dungeon and reveal it room by room by placing down individual tiles. This is the only one I've not used myself.

Lastly, Arcknight makes a wide variety of printed plastic products, from plastic minis to AOE templates to printed battlemats that are all dry erasable and stuff. They are all relatively large sized so they won't fit in a bag, but they're really beautifully made and quite durable.

u/CaptainCarroway · 3 pointsr/DnD

My group primarily uses one of these, which is a really good investment along with some dry wet erase markers. Other this I've seen is buying large grid paper from Staples or some other office supply retailer, which you can also have laminated to use as a dry erase mat, but often costs the same or more than ordering the chessex mat.

Edit:I made a mistake, you should be using wet erase markers for chessex mats. Dry erase can ruin the mat, and even with thorough care, dramatically reduces its life span. With wet erase markers, the worst it will get is you need to give it a thorough cleaning once in a while with something other than water. There are some tips and guidelines here to help maintain the life of the mat.

u/Gandledorf · 3 pointsr/dndnext

I'll usually use something similar to this:

I'll use wet erase markers and either draw something ahead of time, or draw quick outlines and erase them and redraw as needed if my players go off course.

The fact that it's double sided comes in handy too. You can use one side for improv battles and the other for preset encounters.

I usually only use maps for encounters, I'll use smaller drawings for world or city maps. I typically don't draw too much detail. The outline of the encounter area/room and major defining features that could come into play in the battle(a giant chasm in the floor for example). I'll rely on descriptions and any questions my players may have to fill in the blanks and give any other relevant information about the area.

As far as LMoP goes, in planning each of your sessions you'll probably have a good idea of what you'll be going through in each sitting so you should be able plan accordingly and really only have to improvise if your players go off the rails or decide to pick unplanned fights.

It's also perfectly OK to not use grids at all and just describe the area to you players and let them know where the enemies are on relation to them. You don't have to spend money on this part, especially if it's your first time, but Ive found it easier to use a grid especially for new players. It definitely helps keep things straight.

u/crimsonfury73 · 3 pointsr/DnD

TL;DR: can push pins be used as miniatures on vinyl mats without doing too much short-term damage? We are looking at this mat.

My group and I are just getting started, and so far we kind of improvised a paper grid on top of a cork board so we could use color coordinated push pins instead of miniatures. We really liked this because it meant we didn't have to worry about anything bumping/shaking the map, even if we left the table for a while.

We are looking into a more permanent option now, and I see that the vinyl mats seem to be the preferred option for most players. I just want to make sure we know one way or the other, before we accidentally wreck a brand new mat!

Ideally we'd be reusing the same pin hole on any given square as much as possible, so hopefully that would minimize the damage from using the push pins...

u/EdgeOfDreams · 3 pointsr/dndnext

I don't print maps for my players at all. I only draw a map when a situation is complex enough that we need the help tracking where everyone is. I use something like this mat with wet-erase markers as a reusable surface for drawing maps on:

u/Kindulas · 3 pointsr/DnD

Well I suppose you said you've played before, but I'm going to give you a basic resources spiel, so forgive me if I'm saying anything obvious. The basic things you're going to want are a set of dice /for each player/ (a d4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20, to be clear). I mean, you can get away with a single set of dice, but it's a pain to pass them around. Personally I like to have enough dice so I can roll all at once for a given ability - a spell that deals 4d8 damage? I have 4d8s. Of course, people with smartphones could get an app like Dice Ex Machina, too. Then, if you want to play with a board (I understand some people can play certain systems like 5e by just having the DM describe how far apart things are but that sounds maddening to me), you're probably going to want a playmat ( and some Vis-a-Vis wet erase pens to draw on it. Lastly, you're going to need /something/ to represent people on said playmat. Miniatures are super expensive, so you can theoretically, especially starting out, scrounge up various little things that fit in the 1 inch squares - pieces from other board games, whatever. Now, if you've got more money to spend a great deal that's much more cost efficient than minis are Paizo's Pawn Boxes such as this

Now, you could also go the super cheap route and grab graph paper, and then write letters to represent characters, then draw and erase when they move. This is how I started - it sucks, but it's free. Another free way to circumvent ALL of these play resources by playing on the computer: This has obvious pros and cons but it's simultaneously free and fancy if it works out. If you use that, you'll want this too:

As for systems, I have two recommendations. My biggest recommendation is for the new 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It is excellent, and most importantly it's really easy for beginners. You can get the starter set for a mere 20$, which comes with 4 pre made characters, a good adventure and a set of dice. And maybe a DM shield? Anyway, free basic rules here:

After that, there are 3 books, the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manuel. They're all great. And 50$ each. If you try the starter set, like the system and have a dedicated group of players, I definitely recommend them if you can afford them. If you can't, however, there's my other recommendation:

Based off of 3.5e Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder is a great system with tons and tons of content, and with the exclusion of published adventures and flavor books, it's all free:
It also has a free module you can try out:

Thing is, it's also quite complicated. For beginners to learn it without a veteran to teach them - to learn just by reading the rules - would be very very difficult. No way I would have been able to learn by reading. Plus, that 'tons and tons of content,' while awesome, makes it all the more overwhelming for beginners. Still, it's freeeeeee.

u/stevensydan · 3 pointsr/DMAcademy

I just ran my first session as a new DM with LMoP last week! I'll jot down my experience running a group of 4 beginners. (so take my advice with a grain of salt as a beginner that has not finished the campaign)

First, read through the books in the Starter Set! (If you can afford the Player's Handbook, that is a good idea as well.) I highly recommend going through the rulebook (or Basic Rules) then at least skimming through the entire LMoP module. You don't have to memorize everything but as a DM it is important to have the idea of the setting in your head.

For combat, you have to decide if you are going to run "Theater of the Mind" or battlemat+miniatures for combat. Theater of the Mind is more flexible and requires less preparation but battlemats give great visuals at a cost of preparation and supply.

Then you have to decide if you think your players would want to make their own characters or not. For my beginner group, I decided that they would be a lot more invested/excited if they could identify with their own creation so I chose to not use the pre-generated character sheets. Once you are comfortable with the rules of D&D enough, set a date to meet with your group.

Since we had to make characters, I held a Session 0 to introduce the basic concept of what to expect in committing to D&D as well as character creation. I highly suggest making characters together a separate day before Session 1 because it usually takes a decent amount of time for the first time (3ish hours for me).

My Session 0 looked like this:

  • Introduction to D&D

  • Explaining all races, classes, backgrounds and letting them pick

  • Giving character sheets, rolling stats

  • Guiding them through the char sheet by referencing DNDBeyond for background/race/class bonuses

    After everyone was done, I let them take home the character sheet and work on character appearance, personality, and background story.

    The week after, we had Session 1. Make sure you actually read through the LMoP module in depth, at least up to Part 1-2 beforehand. I also decided to take some elements of this supplement Part 0 for LMoP to use as a tutorial for my players. Then, begin your adventure! My party took a lot longer than I expected and only got to the entrance of the Cragmaw Hideout after 3 hours.

    Good luck to your campaign, I'm looking forward to my second session!


    Some recommended guides I used:

  • Matt Mercer tips (all DM's love this man)

  • Don't Stop Thinking guides (great graphic visuals and in-depth coverage)

  • Matt Colville tips (gives a good idea of how D&D should look like at an advanced level)

  • DungeonDudes (channel that covers good topics)

  • DNDBeyond (amazing website for the Basic Rules, classes, and races)

  • OneCritWonder LMoP tips (helpful overview of the module)

  • LMoP enemies (generator that adapts to how many players you have)

    Supplies I personally prepared (BUT ARE OPTIONAL):

  • Beginner dice (shared with my beginners, they are planning to get their own sets soon)

  • Custom character sheets (a bit overwhelming at first but I find helpful for each class)

  • Spell cards (I don't think many people use these but I find it an amazing resource to give your players if they are spellcasters)

  • Battlemat (use with Wet-Erase markers)

  • Paper minis (dedication and time required, can use coins, legos, or anything instead or even real miniatures if you can afford it)

  • DM Screen (the official and most standard and affordable screen)
u/Time-osaurus_Rex · 3 pointsr/criticalrole

here are a few simple things that i have found a newbie like me make things easier...

  1. spell cards this is an easy resource to help you keep track of what spells you have. its even easier if you do like marisha does and set it up in a spell folder. . u can pick this up at your local staples/ office depot.

  2. a small notebook to write notes in, such as everyones names. important NPCs, loot you found, i always date my pages so i know when and what happened. marisha and laura are really good at doing this in stream.

  3. lazer pens. + battle mat + minis. or even paper minis.

  4. sit as close as you can. preferably around a table.

  5. index cards. i use index cards sometimes for my special paladin abilities that i always forget i have. when you are new, it can be overwhelming keeping track of your special abilities. its easier to see than writing it on your character sheet.

  6. Ale
u/digitallyApocalyptic · 3 pointsr/DnD

I'm guessing that you're thinking of a Chessex Battle Mat, which allows you to use wet erase markers to draw out maps. You can also use graph paper to accomplish much the same function, although this will mean that you'll have to pass the combat map around, which may not be as good as everyone being able to draw on it at a given time.

u/Monosynaptic · 3 pointsr/DnD

If you're willing to pay a little, there are nice erasable mats out there. Cheaper in the long run than using paper and certainly much more transportable/manageable.

u/Drunken_Economist · 3 pointsr/DnD

The starter set can be run without maps entirely, I really think a battlemat (like this one from chessex: helps the players a lot

u/sevy85 · 3 pointsr/DnD

200$? Challenge accepted.

Buy the books for 100,76$

players handbook

dungeon master's guide

monster manual

To be fair, you're already set now. I would advise the players to also buy a player's handbook or at the very least download the free basic rules

If you need figurines you can google what you want, print them off and use them or you can use this from u/printableheroes and pay him 10$

You don't need an erasable battle map to play, you can just draw everything yourself but I would highly recommend it and it's not that expensive. just 21,66$

For the dice, just buy a bag of everything for 19,99$

you're now all set to go on epic adventures for a combined total off 152,41$

If you have any money left that you would want to spend, I would recommend buying the starter set, so you can learn how it is to DM before making everything up on your own. And at 29,99$ it's really a steal

This would bring your money spend on 182,4$

Allright we're 17,6$ under budget. You can use that to buy some drawing paper, pens and what not.

Then if you want to start DM-ing go and watch these videos, You will learn a lot from them. Also, if you want to start playing on wednesday, you're either going to have to read as a maniac or use the first adventure that u/mattcolville talks about in his first videos. If you make up a town with a few NPC's and have them travel there with an encounter (let's say wolves in a forest), you've already got a few hours playtime. However, you will all need to roll up characters which will also take some time. Especially if you are all new at this. Maybe use the templates from the starter set to get the feel.

Also, because they are fun, awesome and it will help you understand what d&d is and to grow as a DM, watch some critical role.

In the spare time you have left, contemplate on how much time you had before you started this awesome hobby and how you wished somebody else would DM so you could just sit down on a lazy chair and kill things.

Congratulations, you're one of us now.

u/PghDrake · 3 pointsr/DnD

For miniatures, be warned that the Heroclix and Mage Knight minis, while useable, are mostly larger than the 1" standard width (for a medium character or creature) - this is generally not that big of a problem but if you're going with modular terrain it means they may not fit well, especially along with other miniatures beside them.

Ebay is a good choice for miniatures, especially if you have particular needs for certain things - you want that male elf archer in leather armor, or are you looking for a beholder? You can find and get them there. Here's my favorite seller for these things, shipping is definitely reasonable and the choices are expansive:

Another option to miniatures are tokens, and they are much, much cheaper. These are small cardboard circles that fit a 1" block as standard size (larger creatures will fill more, of course). The best starter set for this for a DM is the Monster Vault, but there are a ton of others as well. I suggest ebay for these for the most part, there are some that sell them by the sheet and others that sell the full boxed sets. You can get these for characters as well as monsters. Here's a link to the Monster Vault so you can see what you get with it:

Cheapest and most versatile "professional looking" option for the map / terrain is a chessex battlemat - make sure you have WET ERASE markers, not dry erase and keep it clean between adventures. Below are links to one of their mats (there are other sizes, just search on amazon) and to some excellent markers:

Cheapest option for modular-type terrain would be tiles. These are cardboard "grids" that most often have designs on them and come in different sizes. The best starter set out there is the Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The Dungeon. It has a lot of tiles and is pretty versatile, at least for base grid options like dungeons and general floors. There are a ton of other options for them - again I suggest you look on ebay for these because you can often find used ones that are in perfect shape sold as a set, or even individual tiles if there's something in particular you need. This is the link to the aforementioned base set on amazon so you can see what it has:

If you want to spend more money and go with something much more dynamic, there are 3-d modular sets ranging from paper to near-stone like quality but they can cost a ton. I have a large set of Dungeonstone ( that I bring out and always get oo's and ahh's. But they're heavy to carry around a lot, especially if I need the whole set. Another option, that's generally slightly more expensive than dungeonstone is Dwarven Forge. You can look them up - but I only mention this in case you decide to spend more money than you want to at this point. :)

Good luck! I hope this helps.

u/lost-dragonist · 3 pointsr/DnD
  1. Depends on your group.

  2. Depends on your group.

  3. Depends on your group.

  4., assuming they ever start shipping. Barring that, a Cheesex battlemat is pretty standard fare assuming you can deal with the cleanup of wet-erase markers:

    I'm not trying to be flippant. It really depends on your group and the type of game they want to play. I've played war gaming D&D where the battlemat was the game. I've played narrative D&D where it was faster to just go with the flow.

    I'd start without one. Just have some paper and a pencil handy if you need to draw something out for clarification. If you find yourself needing to draw a lot of stuff, you might want a battlemat.
u/Spritzertog · 3 pointsr/DnD

Personally, I like using the wet erase mats like this one

It's less wasteful, and you can easily make changes to it as things happen.

u/pcx226 · 3 pointsr/dndnext

Two things I think are essential for player 5e are PHB and MM. All other things are nice to haves. Please get those 2 books at a minimum.

Everything else is nice to have. Personally I like having an erasable grid. I like to draw things on the fly and having a grid is invaluable to me. Not everyone likes to draw so if you don't like to draw, this goes down to just above minis. I got this mat for cheap.

After the mat, the DMG is great. Esp if you want magical items. If you don't care for magical items in your game(trust me you do cause players love magical items) you can skip it entirely.

After the DMG, Volo's is fun. It isn't needed but fun is always fun! Also in this range is the EE players book and the sword coast adventure guide along with w/e other published players handbook additions that give more playable races/class options/backgrounds and what not. These are nice to have and fun!

Now we're at minis. This is where it gets expensive. If you don't have the budget, use coins, small dice, pieces of paper or anything else you can find. Old action figures, stuffed animals, lego men, toy soldiers literally anything is good. Once you have the budget, a nice set of minis is a great asset.

The last thing is a screen. Literally anything can be used as a screen. I personally got the official screen because I liked the artwork and the on the fly NPC naming.

u/threelite · 3 pointsr/DnDIY

I suggest either buying gaming paper or a Chessex mat (which you can use wet-erase markers on) like this one.

If you can't afford those I'll make some A3 sized grids for you later, just remind me :)

u/forgottenduck · 3 pointsr/DnD

I make use of the Chessex Wet-Erase battlemat (comes in 2 sizes and is reversible for hexes vs squares) which works well for my games.

Alternatively you can buy some large 1" grid paper. Which is great if you want to do prep work for your dungeon and draw out nice looking maps ahead of time. Typically this allows you to have more detailed maps because you're not under the pressure of doing it at the table before combat starts. I want to start doing this more often, but even more so I want to get some props and do more elaborate battle sets.

u/bluesman99999 · 3 pointsr/DnD

That's a Chessex Wet-Erase Battle Mat, a very useful tool if you're playing with miniatures.

u/drunkengeebee · 3 pointsr/dndnext

Buy the starter set.

Buy a pound of dice

Buy 18 sets of dice

Buy a battlemat

That's all you need to get started. Don't spend $300 buying EVERYTHING. That's just a silly thing to do.

u/Rantheur · 3 pointsr/dndnext

What you're looking for is what the community refers to as an FLGS (friendly local game store). Usually these aren't chain stores. So, unfortunately, you'll have to do a little bit of searching. Often times you can just google "D&D store" or "game store" and your city/town name and you'll get a good place to start. If your town has both a video game specialty store (at least one that isn't Gamestop) and a tabletop gaming specialty store, usually the employees of both will know where the other one is and will happily send you to them. Your FLGS will have all the books you need (and if they don't, they'll order them for you) as well as the official character sheets from Wizards of the Coast, and all the dice you could ever need.

Here's the shopping list for you to get started strong.

  • Player's Handbook

  • Dungeon Master's Guide

  • Monster Manual

  • Dice

  • Character Sheets (if you have a printer, you can download them and print them off here)

  • Pencils & Paper

    The following are optional enhancements.

  • Graph Paper

  • A Vinyl Battle Mat

  • Wet Erase Markers for your battle mat

  • Figurines for your battle mat
u/magicmanfk · 3 pointsr/dndnext

I have something like tthis which I think is great.

u/Hosteen_Coyote · 3 pointsr/DnD

I just bought a mat. You can use dry erase markers on it, then wipe it down when you're done. Rolls up for easy storage. You can also buy a large pad of grid paper and just draw on it, then toss the sheet when you're done. They sell them in most office supply stores. The pads are large, intended to be placed on an easel and used in presentations.

u/IR_1gn0r3d · 3 pointsr/DnD

You can get chessex mats from amazon or other sites. I live in Belgium and my local game store even has them in stock most of the times. I have even ran with a whiteboard on which I drew a map with gridlines. Takes some time but it works.

u/Entice · 3 pointsr/rpg

I use Battlemats. They use Wet erase markers and you can draw what you want on the fly, and afterwards a quick bit of windex and a paper towel and its all gone. Takes some $ up front (just under $30), but after that as long as you take care of them, it will last years.

u/AllUrMemes · 3 pointsr/rpg

The only product I really recommend buying is this Chessex battlemat:

Also pick up some WET-erase markers (not dry erase). You can draw the walls of each room as they enter.

Miniatures are cool, but not necessary. Coins, paper tokens, cardboard (D&D Monster Vault) all work fine. But I think that having a map with miniatures helps everyone visualize the battle much better. It's practically a necessity for 4E.

I also really recommend making your own campaigns and adventures if the DM is up for the time and challenge. They are usually better because the DM has a deeper understanding and knowledge of his own world, and can customize it to his players better.

u/Conquestador · 3 pointsr/DnD

If you want to use pdf versions of the books, you'll have to look for them, piracy isn't kosher in this sub. Character sheet is easily found by searching "4e/3.5/Pathfinder dnd character sheet" depending on what version you choose.

There are some free published adventures available online, but I'm not familiar enough with them.

As for dice, I bought a ~100 dice set on amazon for $30 (or you can buy 5$/set at any game/hobby store, and they're a bit nicer), and a wet erase mat from Chessex for $30 (this one), and I use Sorry pieces and extra dice for monsters and Lego minifigs for players and companions.

u/LazerdongFacemelter · 3 pointsr/DnD
u/MurphysParadox · 3 pointsr/DnD

Chessex Battle Mat is the best product for such things. It is $26 and uses wet erase markers to draw on it.

Now, if that's too much, you have a few other options. For the longest time, we used a cheap plastic frame like you'd get for holding posters. Then you either print out grid paper, buy some, or draw it yourself on the cardboard and you can use markers on the plastic. It isn't perfect; the plastic isn't perfect for the markers and over time it will tinge. Also, test every marker you use in a corner (let it dry for 5 minutes, then remove) because some colors seemed to be far harder to remove than others.

For the truly low budget, you can do some sheet of paper with grid lines and tape them together. I'd set it up to print without margins and overlap the paper by a full square (1 inch) so you can easily tape it.

u/KWiP1123 · 2 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

Solutions I've used in the past:

  • Vinyl battlemats with wet-erase markers (I've had more success with these over dry-erase).
  • Grid paper easel pads or grid paper rolls with your drawing utensil(s) of choice.
  • I used to have a simple tile-based dungeon maker app (I'll see if I can find it once I get home) that would export to an image that I'd then take to Office Depot and have them print on their large format engineering printer. It would usually be <$10 for all the maps needed for a one-shot adventure (B&W only).
  • Similar to above, I had another DM print gridless maps on large-format paper and just said that 1" = 5ft and let us move in any direction.
  • I've even played games simply on 8.5 x 11" graph paper. The DM would draw the map, and lightly draw where we were in pencil, erasing and redrawing when we moved.
  • At PAX, I saw DMs using full-color printouts on regular printer paper, and players and the DM would simply point out and explain on the map where they were and what they were doing, using theater-of-the-mind for everything else.

    There are tons of options, and you can do whatever works for you.
u/Rathhunter94 · 2 pointsr/DnD

I was one of the oddballs that started playing D&D on 4e and moved to 5e. And honestly, 4e wasn't as bad as many people make it out to be if, and this is the big if, you are fine with doing a lot of mental calculations and tracking of abilities. This edition turned virtually everyone into casters, which means you can customize your character's combat identity to be exactly what you want no matter what your class, but makes you essentially a muscle-wizard, magic-wizard, sneaky-wizard, etc.

Level ups are crazy, too, requiring you to recalculate almost every stat on your character. The power creep is real in that edition, and you will eventually become an unkillable force of nature. No, seriously, epic destinies in that game often go "You hunt gods for fun, and respawn unharmed 6 seconds after you die."

However, to your original question, combat can easily be done using anything to represent your characters: we used everything from pogs to minis to coins. A battlegrid is still a life-saver, and I'd recommend biting the bullet and getting something like this. Otherwise, prepare to use a lot of paper for crudely drawn maps, because you pretty much need a grid for that edition.

And the good thing is you can use that mat for any other edition as well. And personally, I would actually recommend starting with 5e unless you're all engineering types who have fun with math and like the epic-hero power fantasy, or have some experienced players who can help teach the rules of combat. Otherwise combat, even at level 1, would take forever. My first group was a bunch of engineers and math minors at college, so we enjoyed the number crunch, and the DM and 2 of the 5 knew the system already.

u/Krisgonewild · 2 pointsr/DnD

All the other options are probably better, but Roleplaying mats or grids are always useful. Chessex is a solid for the price.

But there are other options out there as well.

Anyone have any ideas on gifts for the DM/player who has it all?

u/Amorphous_Shadow · 2 pointsr/DnD

Looks exactly like this one I ordered a week or so ago.

u/PascalsTaser · 2 pointsr/DnD

I had a real problem sourcing some UK based battle map resources, be it paper or re-usable mats. In the end I took the hit and ordered one of these. It's quite expensive but really is good providing you use dry wipe pens and don't stain it.

Obviously that wont help you for tomorrow but have you considered simply drawing the outline of the area itself on an A1 piece of blank paper? You can get them cheap enough from Ryman's or WHSmith and obviously won't have a grid on but from my experience once you're in the heat of combat no-one will really mind.

u/Chance4e · 2 pointsr/DnD

I bought a Chessex roll-up battle map about twelve years ago. I still use it today. You can write on it with crayola markers and wash it off after. Best $20 I ever spent on DND.

Anyway, that's what I draw on. Usually I only draw encounter maps, dungeons, and exploration areas on it. It's great for minis because mine has a 1" square grid.

I usually just draw town and world maps by hand on sketch paper, and use those as general reference. I give these to the party when they arrive in a new town or are planning to set out on the road.

When I'm planning an encounter or dungeon, I usually sketch out a rough idea of each room, with a few notes on where terrain, hazards, monsters, and traps are located. I try to use the same notation marks as the official published maps, but, c'mon, ain't nobody got time for that.

Then, when my party starts a dungeon or enters a new room, I sketch it out a bit more carefully on the battle map. Pro tip: use black markers for dungeon walls, brown for terrain and hazards, dark blue for features, and never use red (it stains the mat).

u/Rhodes_Warrior · 2 pointsr/DMAcademy

Brand new DM here. Currently running LMoP for 3 first-timers and 2 (barely) amateurs. Bought these for my party. $17 USD

Google “LMoP paper minis” for the enemies/villains. Use some common coins as and some Elmer’s Glue for a base. It honestly takes 2 hours (with breaks for beer and Reddit lol) to cut and paste once you assemble the materials.

Otherwise get a double sided battle mat, like $22 USD and some dry erase markers, $6 USD

Skip the party’s minis if you want to save some money. But the battle mat and markers can be used FOREVER.

u/adephage · 2 pointsr/DnD
I use this mat with wet erase markers. If you don’t want to spend money on miniatures, legos work in a pinch. Last campaign we used a bunch of skylanders figures my nephew had. They were a little too big for the map but worked in a pinch. You could also print out paper miniatures and glue them to little bases.

u/FuckCargoShorts · 2 pointsr/DnD

Yes! I'm messaging my DM now and I'll post the link when he sends it my way

Edit: This is where my DM got his mat for those wondering.

u/xytek2k2 · 2 pointsr/DnD

You mean like this?

u/RattyJackOLantern · 2 pointsr/rpg

If you want tactical combats and visible layouts I'd just use a wet erase or dry erase battle mat and draw out the rooms with marker. Much less expensive than using tiles. Something like this or this

If you want tiles though, you can make them fairly inexpensively from cardboard and other found or cheap materials. DM Scotty and other youtube channels are devoted to this. Here's Scotty's build of some tiles for a zombie apocalypse.

Also if you're trying to save money you might consider using print and play miniatures rather than buying traditional ones. You can use small binder clips for the bases rather than mounting them so they're easy to store. You can find lots of free or cheap ones online or make your own. Some methods for making them are here and here

You can find free premade ones here and here

u/Dourasin · 2 pointsr/Pathfinder

Phew This'll be a long a post, but certainly reward to read by the end of it. Playing D&D/Pathfinder really is the Nerdiest, Nerd thing I've ever done, and it is a lot of fun! Watch +DawnforgedCast's Session 0 video and download his checklist here: It's meant for a GameMaster/Dungeon Master, but that checklist will help you out greatly in understanding what you want when starting out in a new group, with or without veteran players. If you aren't able to find a group locally (I don't recommend online groups for your first introduction) then taking up the mantle of leadership as the GameMaster/Dungeon Master, can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. However, if you're one with a vivid imagination, or are good with thinking on the fly (believe me, it gets better with time) then you'll already have a headstart on the majority of GMs out there. A great beginning module that has a little bit of everything, adventure hook (i.e., reason why your players should be doing this), NPC interaction, wilderness adventuring, dungeon crawling, is the Hollow's Last Hope module for 1st Level Players as it works for both D&D and Pathfinder. You don't really need the print version, since you can download it for FREE at Paizo's website

I greatly recommend you get the Pathfinder RPG: Beginner Box ($25-$35) it is a different game, but the rule set is uber-simplified and honestly, superior to the D&D Starter Set ($15), and is worth the extra money. The Beginner Box literally has the all of the beginning needs for play. Pre-generated characters, blank character sheets for the four classes (Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, and Fighter) with either of the three races (Elf, Dwarf, and Human) that are easy to introduce new players to, a flip out map that you can use dry-erase- or wet-erase markers, and permanent markers on (all of which can be erased off, I use these wet-erase makers that are $9 because I'll draw camp fires with brown, yellow, orange, and red colors, green helps with trees and shrubbery, blue for water, and black for everything else), a Hero's handbook, and really, really, good GM guide, plus thick, cardboard punch-out marker pawns of various Monsters, NPCs, Player characters, and other creatures, that amount to a wealth of miniatures that would take a lot of money and time to paint them all up, plus they're easier to store in the box. Unfortunately, it only comes with one set of dice, so it wouldn't hurt to get these on these 7 sets ($12) on the cheap and pass them out to your players, or if they have their own, then you'll have plenty of extra multiples of dice, which will come in handy during combat with spellcasters and sneak attacks by Rogues. I handed them out to my players after they told me what their favorite colors were. =P

That'd would be all you'd really need to start, $30ish Beginner Box, plus $10 for markers, and $10 more if you or your players need dice. Now, what follows is what I used for my first GMing of a game, based on many different people's recommendations. In order to make combat work in a logical way that I could understand, I bought the Pathfinder Combat Pad $20, along with those wet-erase markers from earlier. It's usefulness has been far better, and worth it's price in gold, to use than a cheap $1 store notebook, when I would have to erase or rewrite when players would defeat monsters or would hold their actions, or would tell them the wrong initiative bonus to start (lol!). Again, rather use a dollar store binder, I bought the Pathfinder GM Screen $16ish, because it was short enough for me to look over rather than 3-ring binders or a paper folder at the actual game table. Speaking the table, I bought the Chessex Battlemats this is a link to the smaller one ($20), since I bought the Megamat ($35), only because I had a large table, and players could use it as a coaster for drinks too (even though I did have coasters, to prevent spillage). As an added bonus, I recently discovered the Condition cards $10, to use with Pathfinder, and they are great to hand out to players (as you would already know these conditions since it's written behind the GM Screen) so they know what condition they are in at a glance. Keep in mind though, you only get 4 or each, so if you are lucky enough to have more players, it wouldn't hurt to buy an extra set (however, it would be strange if all of your players had the same condition).

Now, let's say you enjoy Pathfinder, and you bought the Core Rulebook $20 (if it's a hardcover, always look inside for the Sixth edition printing, the paperback will already be that edition) but are getting tired of looking up Monster stats online, then grab the Paperback version of the first Bestiary $16 which has the great majority of all of the "regular" monsters in either D&D or Pathfinder. If you're not much of an artist, then there's the recently released Pathfinder Traps and Treasures Pawns Collection $25 but be warned that you only want to place on the board AFTER the players find out what it is or after they trip it since it does have text explaining what it is as a trap, and if you're use the treasure ones, make sure you add whatever is actually printed on the tile is IN the list of treasure you give the players, because they can and will ask about, "can't I grab that cup or sword, it's on the tile?" ;)

Lastly, if you enjoy being the GameMaster/Dungeon Master, the storyteller, the world builder, then I'd recommend getting the Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide $15, which again, can be applied to both RPG games. And if you what better weather effects to throw at your party than what is presented in the CRB and GMG, then Pathfinder Ultimate Wilderness $30 has all that you need, and then some, plus some cool spells and tons of new animal companions and familiars for spellcasters alike, and a new shapeshifting melee-fighting class called the Shifter, which is pretty neat to use (albeit, you may want to check out Paizo's website for any official errata or clarifications, just in case). If you want to actually create a campaign and are having a hard time coming up with ideas, locations, groups/factions, kingdoms, races, then one more purchase, which is what +DawnforgedCast used for his Pathfinder games seen here is the Inner Sea World Guide $45 It is pricey, but again, very much worth it, to create your own world or to use the pre-made world, as well. Remember, the Beginner Box, Markers, and Dice is really all you need, the rest of this is to expand out. I hope this helps you and anyone else out as well. =P

u/Neganti · 2 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

This one, but really, I am kind of disappointed with how wavy they are. The creases and such keep it from lying flat. If I had to purchase a new one, I'd get the one sided roll out kind. All told, it is still usable and the double sides have come in handy.

u/HighTechnocrat · 2 pointsr/40krpg

For miniatures, it's really hard to beat the tabletop Warhammer minis. Yes, they're a little pricy, but a Cadian Command squad comes provides a LOT of flexibility, and averages out to about $4/mini, which isn't any worse than something from Reaper (the company that makes the Pathfinder minis). I've heard that the Necromunda minis are also great options.

For a map, a Chessex Dry Erase Mat is a great option. However, it occasionally gets annoying to handle multiple maps in a single session. I picked up a huge pad of 1"x1" graph paper from my local art supply store, and I absolutely love it. I use my dry erase mat for things which I didn't anticipate, and I use the graph paper to draw out maps before the session.

I also saved a couple of links for custom tokens:

u/ScrubTutor · 2 pointsr/DnD

You could do that, or use one of these. It will last you just as long if not longer, and you won't be throwing away all that paper every week.

Plus it's got a grid.

u/a_skeleton_wizard · 2 pointsr/dndnext

Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes

EXPO 16078 Vis-A-Vis Wet-Erase Overhead Transparency Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 8-Count

If I don't have a mini for the monster I need I use a cheap, solid color dice from a big set I bought. Looks like the one I got is no longer being made but this is similar:
Yellow Mountain Imports 42 Polyhedral Dice, 6 Colors with Complete Set of D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20, and D%

Pathfinders Bestiary Box 1 goes on sale for 20 something dollars sometimes, tons of monsters from the Monster Manual at a decent price:
Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box

I wouldn't worry too much about having minis, and terrain, and everything as dnd is more about the imagination and sometimes too much detail at the table can detract from that. My friend runs his campaign mostly "theater of mind" style but has a little tiny dry erase board he draws on to show relative positions and obstacles and it works great.

Hope this helps!

u/RanAngel · 2 pointsr/dndnext

I have been running games for a long time but haven't used a grid before. I'm about to start a new campaign and wanted to give it a go. I'm a dad of young kids, so I'm time and storage space poor. Here's what I'm doing:

  • Chessex battlemat. Reuseable with wet erase markers (these things).

  • Warhammer fantasy bases, that I've picked up in bulk from eBay. 25mm = small and medium, 50mm = large. Larger ones for huge and gargantuan. I'm planning to just print out portraits for characters and monsters and stick them onto the bases for a 2D representation of the battlefield.

    Should cost me nothing now that I've made the initial outlay for the grid, markers, and bases.
u/Fauchard1520 · 2 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

Look around for maps. I've seen fan-made versions that you can print out, but unfortunately I don't have links handy.

For serious though, just buy one of these guys and some wet erase markers. Draw as you go!

u/splepage · 2 pointsr/DnD

If you're looking to play with minis, a 1 inch grid playmat (like this) and a pack of wet-erase markers is a good investment.

u/superdupergc · 2 pointsr/DnD

The other guys have explained D&D vs Pathfinder very well. As for the mat, one of the more versatile solutions is to buy a wet-erase mat like this one and draw your own maps. It's easy to change things, improvise, and you can just mark locations of characters mid-combat and pick up next week.

u/Little_Mouse · 2 pointsr/rpg

You can also get roll up mats (like this ) which allow you to use washable marker to draw dungeons out.

I find them very handy when complicated battles break out.

u/Hippster · 2 pointsr/DnD

I've always used something similar:

This is what I've seen 2 different DM's use as a map. One drew right on it and the other put plexiglass over it to erase easier. Either way works, and it's a huge help to the realness. I've never played without one but have seen pictures of people who have. I don't know how they do it.

u/stingernick · 2 pointsr/DnD

So do you want a reusable one? If so, a Chessex battle mat is what I use. It works with wet-erase markers, but don't use dry-erase on it. If not or if you want something you can use colored pencils on or something, then the post-it thing that exleye mentioned would work fine.

u/thorium_cowboy · 2 pointsr/rpg

Regarding the map, all you really need to draw out is the area directly important to a combat encounter, everything else you can just describe. You could be a larger dry erase map like this.

You can always have someone else run your girlfriend's character while she's away, if she doesn't mind. Or if the party has a group of hirelings she could step into any of those. I have a lot of players come and go, and until recently just ignored how they were all popping in and out of the existence week to week.

If you're feeling lenient you could secretly roll for characters when they are about to trigger a trap as a sort of emergency danger sense. It's something you probably don't want to do very often, because there's a price for foolhardiness! Try to include descriptions of possible traps when you're describing a room. Don't make it obvious, but some flags to spur them on to further searches.

I'm sure there are rules for both werewolves and necromancers in some book or online somewhere.

u/ThatPhatBaby · 2 pointsr/DnD


Or maybe instead of the DMG, buy a mat/whiteboard and some pathfinder pawns or something for minis. Up to you really. You could always do theater of the mind, but having minis is so fun!

Edit: Found these for a quick comparison of the prices PHB £27.41 MM £27.29 DMG £38.99 Mat £21.99

Looks like the DMG is the most expensive bit.

u/Burndown9 · 2 pointsr/dndnext

Something like this?

It seems like a great idea to hold off on miniatures. I'll probably use some kind of cheap stand-in in the meantime. Thank you for your response!!!

u/SmoSays · 2 pointsr/mattcolville

> Should I let them build there own characters, or should I bring pregens?

This is up to you and your players. I’d ask each of them what they’d prefer. Personally, I would have pregens (or ones you’ve made) available as backups.

> As wargamers, we have TONS of minis, but no battlemat. Is there a cheap alternative? Do I really need one? I could pick one up at my LGS, but it'd be a bit more than I'd like to pay atm.

It’s not required. I know plenty of DMs who don’t use a battlemat.

I paid $35 for my mega mat so it depends on your budget. You can get a smaller one for $23.

Standard battle/megamats have 1 in. squares. You can find graph paper with that size squares at hobby lobby type stores or office supplies stores. You can get 8 ½ x 11 on up.

> I don't really want to purchase an adventure, but homebrewing the first game is kind of daunting. I mean, I know these guys would be perfectly happy being dropped in a dungeon and killing every last monster in the place without any kind of motivation whatsoever, but I really want at least some roleplay, if only to see how they react. I'd be grateful for any advice in this regard.

Dm guild is a very good resource for free campaigns or modules.

u/AVestedInterest · 2 pointsr/DnD

>I hadn't thought of the dry erase board...

Try this! I love that stupid thing.

u/TheSignOfGuilt · 2 pointsr/RolEnEspanol

Con respecto a los mapas, si buscas versatilidad por precio, recomendaría comprarte un BattleMat, o busca el básic mat de Pathfinder, es lo mismo que tú hoja A3 pero más grande y podés usar marcadores para dibujar y después borrar tus dungeons o escenarios de combate, yo uso uno y me resulta más fácil para dibujar sobre la marcha pasadizos secretos recién descubiertos, etc. ( )
Ahora, si querés algo más lindo y elegante, compra tiles, son escenarios ya dibujados (de forma muy profesional y realista) que podés combinar para extenderlo, el único problema con este método es que llega un punto que reciclar lo vuelve monótono, aunque es más realista por las imágenes del mapa que el battlemat. ( )

Con las miniaturas, lo mejor que te puedo recomendar es que busques las cajas ICONS OF THE REALM de D&D, vienen 4 miniaturas por caja, al azar, 3 medianas o pequeñas y una grande, allí encontrarás más que nada enemigos, algunos muy interesantes, otros meh. ( )
De la misma línea hay unos basados en el starter set que vienen heroes básicos (un enano clérigo, un humano guerrero, un elfo mago, etc), quizás ahí veas una oportunidad para buscar algo más representativo a tu grupo. ( )

Espero te sirva :)

u/funkenspine · 2 pointsr/dndnext

If youre still looking to do dungeons sometime, I have a great site that generates them! I used it all the time its so handy.

A couple notes, play with the dungeon generator to figure out how big the dungeons are, remember that bigger is not always better, and small corridors force players to choose their actions very carefully sometimes and makes it more exciting.

Also, when you get the stats for the traps/monster look through them before you run the dungeon. I know the traps in particular are very strong in this gen and its ok to nerf them if your players are new.

Also its .. really worth getting a grid mat, even a small one. I have one like this and I love it

u/Hasjustbeenpwned · 2 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

First trick is deciding which edition you want to play, for new players I highly recommend sticking to 4th edition, the rules are simpler and combat is generally more interesting. If you guys are brand and are new starting with nothing, I highly recommend picking up the 4th edition DM Manual 1, Monster Manual 1, and the Player's Handbook 1.

If your DM wants to take his hand at designing his own adventures I also highly recommend picking up a wet erase play mat as well as wet erase markers. I recommend wet erase over dry erase as dry erase can easily be wiped off during combat and such.

You'll also want to buy some dice for everyone to use, there are a few ways to go about that, you can mismatch dice from local hobby shops, you could buy dice sets or you could purchase the Chessex "Pound of Dice" for the whole group's use and ease. I, as a highly superstitious gamer, own 2 dice sets of my own and an additional lucky D20 that I don't let anyone touch (as they'll likely suck the luck out of it), so figure out what kind of gamers you are and what dice will best suit you.

As you guys grow and expand you may want to look into getting the other Player's Handbooks, to increase your options as players, as well as the other monster manuals for easier adventure creation for your DM.

I also highly recommend your DM (for his ease in adventure creation) look into reading materials on the internet (easily found for free) to help create the most interesting and fun adventures possible. One I can recommend off-hand is Chris Perkin's (a writer for the D&D books and "professional DM") "blog" called "The DM Experience."

Also if you have any other questions feel free to ask me in a comment or message me, I love to see new player getting into the game and would like to help in any way possible.

Just be sure to have fun, happy gaming :D

u/da_kink · 2 pointsr/DNDNL

Battlemap via Amazon

Qua mini's will marktplaats nog aardig werken, of als je een heroquest spel kunt vinden

u/RogueDM1214 · 2 pointsr/DnD

Essentials, Pen, Pencils, Paper, Players Handbook, and some dice.

Most of that can be purchased at Target/Walmart/CVS. PHB can be bought from B&N, a local came store, Amazon or other online retailers.

As far as extras go? I'd get some sort of layout. These work really well for me. And then something to act as miniatures. You can get actual minis if you have the money. If not; coins, dice, lego men or any other small objects work.

Other than that, a story, some good imaginations and a group are all you need.

u/mandym347 · 2 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

Chessex is a good brand for gaming things. I second the recommendation for the pound of dice.

Gaming mats are also great, with WET/DRY erase markers (Check the product first to see whether it works with wet or dry markers). Toss in an empty spray bottle and a washcloth for a wet erase, or an eraser and maybe a bottle of cleaner for a dry erase, and you've got a great gift set.

Also, a DM screen is great to have.

u/savagehill · 2 pointsr/roguelikes

I think it's nice of you to volunteer what skills you have, and great that you want to contribute.

The sad truth is that I doubt people will want to accept what you're trying to offer.

So I hope this doesn't sound mean, but I'm going to be direct:

No hobby game programmer I know is in need of an ideas guy. I have a trello board full of ideas that I just wish I could get to, plus I need to practice art, rewrite my base code so I can open source it, learn to make music, experiment with foley sound effects, do a lot of experimental marketing, try voxel magic to see if I can make a 3D game feel right, make a networked game, produce a series of youtube video tutorials, the list goes on for quite a ways. And that's just the gamedev hobby list. Life is short, and I'll never get to all the things I want to study, learn, and do. Ideas are not the bottleneck here.

Sorry if that sounds hard. But the truth is if you want to be the idea provider, you just need to learn to make games for yourself.

If you cannot program and don't believe you can learn it, perhaps you should buy a hex/square double-sided game mat like this one and gather a pile of tokens. Now you can create a tabletop tactics version of whatever roguelike ideas you have.

If your ideas are algorithmic and well-justified, then you should be a good board game designer.

You also talk about complex universes. If you prefer something more narrative than mechanical, you could focus on writing and learn to use the twine interactive story engine which everybody says is easy to learn.

Of you could look to rogueliker, who is launching a kickstarter for his tabletop RPG game, he managed to make a game without any programming! Wormhole on Kickstarter

If you can almost learn to program but not quite, there are several nice options for you, such as the Playmaker system for Unity and RPG maker. These tools are specifically designed to allow someone with algorithmic thinking but no ability to code to make their own games without a programmer.

My point is that nobody is going to make your games for you, you have to make them yourself. There are many ways to get that done, and the lack of a technical skill cannot prevent you!

So get to work today, and good luck on your journey! :)

u/inmatarian · 2 pointsr/rpg

Oh! I see, I misinterpreted what you were looking for.

Since this is more battle-mats than dungeon maps, the generic solution that everyone does is a Chessex wet-erase Mat, but you could also try Paizo dry/wet erase flip mats. If you're not pleased with the $20 range and want even cheaper, Gaming Paper for $4, or Graph Paper Notebook for $6.

u/MrWally · 2 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

For the plexiglass, I think you can get something like this:

or this:

Honestly, I just walked into a Home Depot and asked for a big sheet of plexiglass. It was about $25. Someone above suggested that Hobby Lobby may be cheaper.

Here's the battlemat:

Grab some whiteboard markers, and the whole thing will run you about $50. But honestly, I've used this same setup for 4 years and it's been great.

A few thoughts:

  • The plexiglass doubles as a great protective surface for whatever table you're playing on. We've been saved from many spills because of it!
  • The plexiglass is a little heavy and cumbersome. My group meets at a different place every week, and it's a little annoying having to carry around everywhere. It's great if you have a dedicated gaming room, though.
  • The plexiglass can get dirty, but I never notice while playing. Just wipe it down with windex every now and then.
  • Get colored markers! It's so nice being able to track hp in red ink right next to minis as they move around the map, and my players love drawing out possible tactics/formations, etc.
u/Actually_Oberon · 2 pointsr/DnD

I got mine online.

u/RollFirstMathLater · 2 pointsr/DnD

This is very helpful

A monster manuel may be nice to have.

You could always check out dwaven forge for inspiration.

u/RefBeaver · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

The group I used to play with (hopeing to be able to start a new one soon) had a few simple things. The main things are going to be your standards:

  • Set of dice (multiples for new people are nice too)
  • Lots and lots of mechanical pencils
  • Minis and various tokens to represent your characters
  • Plenty of paper of different sorts (lined, graph, and plain being the main ones)
  • Large dry erase square/hex grid sheet like this
  • Dry erase markers
  • Snacks/drinks of various sorts

    I'm hopefully going to be introducing Dungeon World (/r/dungeonworld) to a group of friends. It's a rules light story forward RPG system which is great for beginners. There was a link posted the the Dungeon World subreddit for running a 4 hour long one shot (link here) which brought up using index cards for on the fly map generation which I think is good to have for any RPG adventure.

    edit: Forgot minis... How did I forget minis???
u/zandercs13 · 2 pointsr/DMAcademy

Consider getting a wet erase grid mat and some markers. They're cheap and work really well. Grab something cheap for monster tokens and you're all set. Maybe use an app for character sheets, there are plenty. I have a pdf of the 5e character sheet with editable fields if you want it.

I have this mat

u/Judge_Kaos · 2 pointsr/DnDIY
u/shortsman1 · 2 pointsr/DnD

My buddy has a chessex battle mat, It works well. we use white board cleaner to get the marks off.

I just got in my wizdice battle mat and have not had a chance to play on it yet.

My AL dm uses washable kid markers on his and it comes off super easy.

Edit Fixed the link

u/Capt_DMFiat · 2 pointsr/DnD

You just need a rough sketch of the area. I use a Chessex Battlemat similar to the one linked at the end of the comment. You could easily use 4 sheets of paper with one inch squares drawn or printed on them. Then in pencil just mark out the dungeon walls or whatever.

I personally think using a battlemat makes the game better. It adds something new to the game that it didn't have before (tactical battles). Now mind you, that battles aren't super technical but it certainly makes them feel more technical than just trying to describe things.

I personally don't get much enjoyment from the DM saying, "You backflip off the wall and slice the guy's head off." I can have fictional battles in my head where I'm awesome any time I want.

Using a battlemat also marks a huge difference between social encounters and battle encounters. Social encounters are all done as theater of the mind, so do you really need another encounter that uses the same technique? I think not.

>I was thinking maybe doing no map but for main encounters throw a map on

I've thought about doing this as well, but haven't actually done it. The bonus about it that I can see is that it allows you to fit the expected battles per day, which is what forces the players to manage their limited resources and abilities. (spells, healing dice, ki points, etc.)

In the end I probably won't end up doing that and will just continue to push the players to make their decisions quickly. If they make an "nonoptimal" decision then so be it.

I think the reason battles slow the game down so much is that players plan too much. Too much time is spent on, "Hey who wants bardic inspiration? ... Who's next in the initiative order? Oh, Sally goes before Bob. But Bob would benefit from the inspiration more. Bob, do you mind if I don't give you inspiration this time? What's that Sally? Oh you're going to be using an action that won't benefit from it okay... Then Frank you can have it."

Whew. Longest bonus action ever. Let's hope that player never has to make a decision about movement and provoking an attack of opportunity! Just do your think players!

u/Typick · 2 pointsr/DnD

If you are talking about a play mat you can get them on or your local game store might have it.

u/Metlover · 2 pointsr/dndnext

I would suggest OP purchase:

  1. The Players Handbook

  2. The Monster Manual

  3. A Chessex battlemap

  4. Pathfinder Assorted Bases

    I feel like the inclusion of the PHB and MM are self-explanatory.

    The battemat is something I own and I have used to great effect - It's supremely durable, survived multiple moves, and still looks great. I'm moving more towards tiles now that I have a little bit more money to spend on D&D, but the mat was one of my biggest tools when I was first starting out as a DM.

    The token bases are from pathfinder, a related tabletop RPG, but can easily be used in DnD 5E. Simply print out pictures of the monsters that you've found online, cut them out, and place them in the bases, and viola - instant miniatures! They can help tide your players over while you build your own miniature collection.

    N.B. I agree with many of the other posters here that the use of a map and miniatures is not at all necessary for doing D&D, however, I have found that using them greatly enhances the experience, and it is my opinion that I like them. If you feel so inclined, OP, instead of the battlemap and bases, purchase the DM's Guide, which contains great advice in building and running your own adventures and campaigns, which might interest you down the road if it doesn't already.

    Total cost: $95.86 on amazon.
u/thegreatestalexander · 2 pointsr/DnD

Unless you're running things entirely theatre of the mind style, you'll need some kind of figures and maps for combat. I recommend a Chessex playing matt and some wet erase markers, but you can always just use paper and roughly eyeball distances on it.

Minis can get pricey, so you can work around them. You can honestly use anything; I used unused dice as enemies for the longest time. A more cost effective thing is Paizo's Pathfinder Pawns, which come in bulk sets that include lots of different monsters, and are all flat and easy to store. Plus, they're just cardboard squares, so another thing I'd do is just print out pictures of monsters I'd want to use and just tape them over the pictures of creatures I wouldn't use.

u/AniJhoira · 2 pointsr/DnD

Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: Battlemat Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games (26 in x 23 1/2 in) Squares/Hexes

I use that mat with wet erase markers, mostly just using black. Wet erase and black because it’s the least likely to stain the mat and won’t get smudged during play.

u/WoolyWumpus · 2 pointsr/rpg

My groups use one of these. They are perfect with a set of wet erase markers. The only thing is that it seems like each mat has a specific color that does not like to be erased from it (for mine it's red).

I have considered getting a digital projector and running with digital maps but I just don't have the cash right now. If I did do this I would probably use photoshop for my display program. Just create a layer for your map and another layer on top of it as a mask. When you need to uncover another area on the map you just turn off the projector (or your laptop's external display port), make your masking layer opaque so you can see the map below it, select and delete the are you want to display, make the mask layer solid again, and turn back on the projector. This takes more pre-game time to setup but much less time than drawing out each room you need for combat and explaining funky architecture. Just remember to have a DM map with secret doors and traps marked on it, and another map for the players that does not contain this info.

u/Krispyz · 2 pointsr/dndnext

It's really hard to beat Chessex dice... I've tried several more expensive sets (including a synthetic turquoise set) and none of them were worth the money. The dice I use are all Chessex.

I think the grid is worth it, it doesn't really matter what kind you use. We use this one which I didn't realize was also Chessex until right now... it's nice because it's wet-erase (we tried dry erase, but it's nice to not have your walls disappear while you're moving around your minis) and it has the dual side, so you can use square or hex grids.

u/DiogenesKuon · 2 pointsr/DnD

5E D&D can be played mind's eye theater style with no board. In that case the DM just describes distances and makes a gut call on if someone is, for example, within 120 feet for a magic missile to hit them. Alternatively you can use a grid map (like this one) and either miniatures or tokens for the characters and monsters. Either style is supported and it's just a matter of preference.

I'd very much recommend getting the starter set. It comes with pregenerated characters (even if you create your own it's nice to see examples), and a fairly lengthy adventure (which, again, is helpful for a first time dungeon master). I picked it up even though I've played every edition since 2E.

If you have any rules questions feel free to ask here, or over at /r/DnDNext.

u/PantsIsDown · 2 pointsr/Dungeons_and_Dragons

Awesome! That's how I play!

Here's a list of things I suggest as a DM:

Chessex Mat
or [Megamat](Chessex Role Playing Play Mat: MEGAMAT Double-Sided Reversible Mat for RPGs and Miniature Figure Games - 34 1/2in x 48in
[Vis-A-Vis Markers](Expo Vis-A-Vis Wet-Erase Overhead Transparency Markers, Fine Point, 8-Pack Pouch, Assorted Colors to write on the map
[Starter set of minis](D&D Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons Starter Set
Goblin Minis
Search Reaper Minis on Amazon and you'll find some fun stuff
I also use flat glass marbles as place holders for NPCs that I don't have minis for. They were super helpful when I was first starting.
A graphing notebook and drawing paper
Mechanical pencils and a set of his favorite pens

I can't think of anything else

u/Euphorbus11 · 2 pointsr/DnD

As a starter DM maybe a wipe clean battle map and some dry wipe markers?

Or (and I know this sounds daft) some mepples! They can come in lots of different colours so you can have player meeples and enemy ones all on different colours. Fighting goblins? Green meeples! Meeting a king? Use a gold meeple! cheap and often effective :D

u/S00_CRATES · 2 pointsr/DnD

It looks like Amazon has them for sale. The Chessex mats have both grid and hex patterns which is nice.

u/Jack_Of_Shades · 2 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

If you do decide to get a battlemat, I recommend this one.

u/djdementia · 2 pointsr/rpg

I use a wet erase. Pro tip on miniatures as long as you don't mind that they don't match your PCs... go to a gaming store and ask if they have a box of old miniatures from older games people don't play. The gaming store I went to were selling them for $0.10 each.

The huge advantage of Wet erase is that hands, dice, books, miniatures moving over it don't erase the map.

u/mgiblue21 · 2 pointsr/DnD
u/duckroller · 2 pointsr/DnD

I have this one, and I love it to death. When I run a campaign the players love to doodle and take notes on the edges, and it provides a grid for all kinds of encounters- small dungeons, forest clearings, caravan ambushes, taverns, marketplaces, you name it. Pick up a good set of wet erase makers and you're set. While not really "theatre of the mind," it lets me skip the prep work and ad-lib a lot encounter spaces as I go.

u/PM_Me_Your_Miniature · 2 pointsr/DnD

> The starter set is that fifth edition

Yep, the one you mentioned (With Lost Mines of Phandelver, it's included) is for 5e. If you're learning rules for anything BUT 5th, you may get a little confused while relearning.

> Also if I am designing a campaign do I have to find a way to systematically make sure they hit the main points of the story or just adapt.

Both. Use hooks to draw the characters to the right starting point/NPC/location, but don't expect or force your players into the exact situation you want. If they ignore your hooks and go in another route, adapt your plans. For instance, if you want them to visit the best Mage in town to learn of some danger, but they just keep talking to shopkeepers, maybe have those shopkeepers mention some evil happenings or point them toward the Mage. If you want them to go through Door A, but they go Door B, you can always just move what was behind A to behind B, and they'll be none the wiser.

> I understand most of it is rpg but in terms of battling where do I get/make maps.

Dry-erase gridded battle mats can be bought online and you can draw maps directly onto it. You can also just google 'Dungeon map' or 'DnD castle map' to get ideas or complete maps to use, or just draw out your own. There are many resources for dungeon/location mapping ideas and methods, and tons of free generation/creation tools online. Pre-made modules like the books sold by Wizards (AND the Lost Mines of Phandelver module from the starter set) include maps for important locations, though they may not be separate maps you can just drop on your table.

You can also run theater of the mind wherein your players may not have a map to look at at all - some people like this more, some hate it, so be wary of forcing it onto players.

u/Th3bigM00se · 2 pointsr/DungeonsAndDragons

A not so expensive option for reusable is something like this. Now I don't know your full budget but I know that I used one of these for a long time and it was great. Also if you get one only use black ink and use wet erase not dry.

u/ImpKing_DownUnder · 2 pointsr/DMAcademy

I used 1"x1" paper squares I cut out myself with numbers on them at first. Then when I had some money, I bought the Pathfinder Pawns for minis. I use them for 5e so they don't match up perfectly, but it's enough to just tell my players "This is X monster" or whatever. Someone else is probably going to mention this too, but if you want miniatures for characters or whatever, boardgames like Talisman or the DnD ones are your best bet for cheap-ish minis. You get a bunch (For example, Talisman comes with ~14 minis your players can use) for relatively less than you'd pay to get them individually.

Maps wise, if you have access to Photoshop (never used GIMP) you can make grid lines overlay on whatever you draw. You can also find these online or in stores. 1" square graph paper is good if you don't want to buy a Chessex Battlemat, though I'd highly recommend it and some wet-erase markers. Those things last for years and they're super useful if you don't mind wiping off the map a few times a session.

u/nut_butter_420 · 2 pointsr/AskGameMasters

This is the mat I use, a.k.a. the classic.

Recently I've been playing on the hex grid, modifying some rules to use it for combat. It's handy to have both, and I've had this mat for ~8 years now and it's holding up strong.

u/waflman7 · 1 pointr/DnD

Minis are great in combo with a large grid ( so new players can visualize combat better. I use lego figures because I have a bunch and players can customize how they wish.

u/300lbNerd · 1 pointr/DnD

Here is a decent one for $20 and it has 5ft squares on one side and hex on the other, I have never used hex but at least you have an option for it.

u/AnnieWeatherwax · 1 pointr/DMAcademy

This is the one we ordered BTW. More expensive than some, but the quality is amazing.

u/SneakyRL · 1 pointr/DnD

They're not 100% needed but they do help a lot in combat.

I have this with some wet erase markers and love it:

u/looneysquash · 1 pointr/rpg

Interesting. (Btw, I had to come up with a Canada postal code to view that link.)

I used this for the last encounter, that I think it worked pretty well. I can quickly sketch whatever room they're in. But I've only used it once so far.

u/midevildle · 1 pointr/DnD
u/Kurros_ · 1 pointr/gaming

Chessx makes the one I use:

Wet erase is by far the way to go.

u/DyingDutchmanNL · 1 pointr/DnD

This is the right place! :)

I went with character tokens for like 2 years before stepping over to mini's and it serviced me quite well. You download a token border from google, and the images of the players and monsters you are going to use. Then use a image editor like Photoshop or Gimp to place the images in the token borders, and resize them to the correct size (1 inch for regular sized tokens). Then print them out, and glue them to packaging cardboard (thin cornflakes cardboard). And finally cut them out with scisors.

For the playing field, i can recommend buying a battlemat. Chessex has a very good one. Then get some dry wipe markers to draw maps on the fly, and you are set!

Edit: Made the link more international.

u/RowieMonster · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

First of all, Hi. I see you like table top games. I like table top games as well. You rock.

Secondly, look at this stuff I have found. c:


These are nice dice.

These dice are also nice!

Here's some bags for all those dice. :3

Have you ever played with one of these?

I love collecting dice. :)

Also, this is something I've been wanting for a while and it's less that $10 so you could gift someone else too!

u/simpledave · 1 pointr/Harmontown

This depends on what type of D&D you want to play. I play 4e. From my understanding of previous editions, much more of 4e happens on the table. If you have experience with tabletop games like I, and my friends, had, you should try this out. If not, it's very easy to pick up.

I'm pretty sure that Spencer is DMing a Pathfinder game in the podcast. It's definitely 3.5.

Anyway, back to the starting point. If you're interested in trying 4e, skip the starter set. It's useless. It gives you enough information to get 4 classes to level 2, and incorrectly at that. The provided adventure is boring, and you're not left with a whole lot to do after that.

If you're looking for the cheapest game possible, you'll need:

Players Handbook 1

Monster Manual 1

Core Rulebook

If you want to play 4e correctly, these are the three books you need. Characters, maps, and monsters can be improvised as needed.

If you're willing to spend more, I would suggest this map:

With some wet erase markers (WET, not DRY), you can build any dungeon, castle, or moon colony you can imagine. Beyond those three books, I think this is the best investment you can make to immerse yourself and your friends into another world.

Wizards provides character sheets at the backs of some books, but there are better ones on their website for free.

Last, if you really want to make things as simple as possible, subscribe to D&D Insider.

It's worth it for the character builder alone.

EDIT: Don't forget the dice!

u/ZincLloyd · 1 pointr/battletech

While the map packs are classic, a chessex battlemat and some dry erase markers can give any terrain your mind can dream up. They are worth the investment.

u/Scicageki · 1 pointr/DnD

Have you checked Amazon? There are Chessex battlemaps with very low cost of shipping for Italy ( since it's been reselled by Dungeondice.

Also this weekend there is the biggest italian comic con in Lucca and there is always a big chessex stand on the big Games stand. You can always check there if you are already planning to go.

u/Jigawatts42 · 1 pointr/rpg

For minis you could try out Paizo's Pawns, originally for fantasy Pathfinder, but now they also have them for their new sci-fi game Starfinder, which would of coarse likely translate better to Star Wars. Heres a decent collection for the Core Rulebook that is currently out (and includes ships), and a bigger one for the Alien Archive which is due out in October.

This is a decent and inexpensive battle map, the Pathfinder Flip Mat, though I prefer the Chessex Battlemat myself.

u/Named_Bort · 1 pointr/dndnext

Battlemat: Gold Standard - Chessex, costs 20$ or so, pick up some wet erase markers to quickly make and erase rooms and outdoor battlefields.

Miniatures - Paper minis can be a great way to get tons of minis for less cost - some have mentioned Pathfinder Pawns, each set usually has a few hundred paper icons with bases they stick into, for about $30 - theres an NPC one and a number of monster ones.

IF you want something more substantial, for more money per figure you can find Dnd Miniatures on Ebay or buy some new packs. Game Tokens are often cheaper - meeples make great markers and can be color coded. You can find all kinds of meeples at

u/Vefantur · 1 pointr/DnD

I would suggest just getting a playing mat. It takes a bit more prep work, but then you get to reuse and draw all the maps yourself. As for minis, reaperminis are awesome but you have to paint most of them yourself.

u/amyts · 1 pointr/Pathfinder_RPG

Get a mat made by Chessex. They're available on Amazon. Then get wet-erase (not dry-erase!) markers. You can then draw walls, traps, etc.

I own this one:

It's very durable, and assuming you don't use dry-erase markers it will last a long time.

To start playing you only need one bestiary. Get the others as you get into the game and want more variety.

u/NuclearProtocol · 1 pointr/DnD

Here is a good little mat that should be big enough for most of your encounters, and if not, there is a version for sale that is a little bit bigger. It is nice because it has both hexagon spaces and square spaces. I use it myself with wet erase markers. Works like a dream!

u/Medarco · 1 pointr/dndnext

I was raised (almost literally) playing with minis and a battlemat. I helped my dad build a magnetic dungeon board set when I was about 7 years old. I played recently with a relatively new group of my college age friends who were doing theatre of mind, and I was miserable.

A lot of actions specifically denote spacing, which is very difficult to do in theatre of mind. Attacks of opportunity, spell/attack range, etc all get kinda weird when it's just spoken and imagined. I am certain that other people are better at keeping track of it all, and more experienced DMs could make it more interesting.

I know I am personally extremely biased, but about half way through the session we were supposed to storm a castle, and there was no way I was going to try to keep the different passageways straight in my head without a visual representation. I went out to my car and brought in my tackleboxes of minis, battlemat, and vis-a-vis markers. The DM was a little apprehensive at first, but most everyone seemed to agree that the minis and mat were far superior after playing for about 10 minutes with them.

One of the player's made this analogy: [Theatre of Mind] is like a text based RPG, while minis and the battlemat is like playing Skyrim.

ninja edit

I didn't address prices. Minis can be very expensive. If you get the pre painted figures, they are unbelieveably costly. Here is a site that has all sorts of figures. Their search bar is amazing.

Here is a link to a battlemat on amazon. It may look pricey (I don't know your budget) but this mat is worth more than you can imagine.

Here is a link to a pack of markers that should do the trick for drawing any kind of terrain/buildings/caves you like. Just dip a spare rag or paper towel in some water, and the lines come right off.

u/rebelcan · 1 pointr/DnD

1. Like other people have said: have supplies on hand. Paper, pencils, dice. I went a bit overboard a bought a erasable grid mat and some wet-erase markers, but that's just me.

More importantly: read the rules that come with the starter set. Then read through the first section ( Goblin Arrows I think it's called ) of the Lost Mines of Phandelver (LMOP) book. Then read the rules again. Then read the first section. Then do a few mock battles between the pregens and the first goblin encounter ( dead horses on the road ). Then read the books again. Then do some more fake battles.

The point of all this is to make sure you understand how the basics work, so that you're not getting caught up on what to do next.

2. The 5 pregens are ready to go, straight out of the box. If you don't have the Players Handbook (PHB), stick with the pregens. The starter kit doesn't come with the rules to generate your own characters. It also lets you get straight to playing -- which I think is the most important part. Figure out if you and the players like the game before diving into the player creation / leveling rules.

3. I'd suggest just running through the LMOP campaign. Keep things loose. Occasionally make stuff up when monsters fail to hit with a natural 1 ( critical miss ). As long as you aren't getting bogged down with the rules ( see 1 ) you should be fine. Also: before starting, tell the players that if there are questions about a rule ( they don't understand, or think it works differently ) tell them that during the game your word is law -- BUT! You'll write down their concern to look up later ( during a break or after the session ) to see what the rules say. The important thing is to keep things flowing, not to get everyone bogged down looking stuff up in the books/online.

4. Graph paper works well if you want the players to map stuff themselves. You can always do it for them ( either on graph paper or on something like this ). The first encounter ( goblins on the road ) doesn't need a map, but it can help, although you'll have to make it up on the spot, there isn't a provided map for that in the module book. The main encounter ( goblin cave ) I would definitely recommend using a map.

This is also a personal thing, but as a new DM I found having a grid mat super useful. I've already got tons of other things to keep track of, trying to remember where everybody is isn't a skill I've got yet.

5. For all the encounters in the LMOP campaign, the book tells you exactly what loot each encounter generates. So not something you have to worry about until you get the DM guide and start building your own campaigns.

6. It's pretty much turn-based, turn order is based on Initiative. Again, see point 1: read the books a few times, play a few mock battles by yourself, you'll get the hang of it. Combat in 5e is pretty easy to get into, it flows well and is quick enough ( at least at 1st level ) that nobody gets bored waiting for their turn.

7. Not sure how this works outside of LMOP, but I think if you play through LMOP and see how your players react to the various encounters and whatnot, you should get a feel for it.

8. The LMOP book gives you guidelines on how NPCs should act ( are they friendly? gruff? trying to be fancy? etc ), but what they actually say is up to you. As DM, whether or not you actually "roleplay" or just do a dry "the NPC says x" is completely up to you. It really comes down to what you're comfortable with.

9. So far, what I've learned is that as DM I'm there to make sure the players are playing within the rules of the system ( ie, no jumping over mountains, etc ), controlling the NPCs, and helping the players tell the story by reacting to what they do.

I'm still pretty new, but one thing I've found useful for my players is pointing out 1st-order repercussions their actions might have. 1st-order repercussions are what happens directly due to an action: player hits gong, gong makes loud noise. 2nd-order repercussions are the things that happen that they player might not forsee: gong noise alerts orcs in next area that players are coming.

For example, in the first section of the goblin cave, there's a natural chimney that leads up to where the bugbear is hiding. The players didn't want to risk climbing and falling -- but one of them had a hammer and crampons ( things you hammer into the rock so you can climb with a rope and not worry about falling ). I told them that doing so would be loud -- I didn't tell them that there was a bugbear up there. They decided they didn't want every goblin in the cave ( which they didn't know how big it was yet ) to know where they were, so they went a different way.

If you want to read up on how me DM-ing the Goblin Arrows part of LMOP went: I DM'd last Sunday, was super fun

u/sivin96 · 1 pointr/DnD

I would get a playmat.
They might have them at your local game store.
Just use vis-a-v dry erase markers and you'll be fine. You can draw what ever you need, at its quick to erase.

u/science_diction · 1 pointr/rpg
  1. Best way is to use description and only draw maps when you need to like combat or complicated areas. Get one of these:

    That will definitely help you. There's a larger version too, which I use.

  2. Yes, but don't make any plot points around part time characters. Also, avoid world hopping too much to prevent some type of explanation of why the party left a city but your gf's character did not.

  3. You should be rolling passives, not the players. You should use a screen and try to hide the fact you're rolling anything. The players should honestly not know what their character doesn't know - like the result of a passive perception check. Unless they specifically ask for passive checks, you should be rolling all of them. In fact, even when they ask, roll them yourself.

  4. Werewolves don't work like your friend is thinking in D&D. They are typically out of control and evil as well as being a magical illness that any good aligned character will want to wipe out with extreme prejudice. Have them play a Shifter (a sort of balanced to human power werewolf) instead, which is found in the Eberron book.
u/MissSashi · 1 pointr/Pathfinder_RPG

What is your budget, and what do you dislike about the one that comes with the Beginner's Box?

  • Gaming Paper, $4 for one 30" x 12' roll and other options available. Regular paper with a grid printed on it.

  • Paizo Flip mat, double sided with grid both sides, $15 for 24" x 30". The same as the one that came with the Beginner's Box, only blank on both sides, with one lighter than the other. Wet and dry erase.

  • Chessex vinyl mat, double sided with grid and hex, $20 for 23" x 26", or $30 for 34" x 48". Wet erase only.

  • Crystal Caste vinyl mat, double sided with grid and hex, $25 for 24" x 25". Wet erase only.

  • Dungeon Tiles, modular interlocking grid tiles, $32 for nine 10" x 10" tiles and other sizes/sets available. Modular tiles are good because you aren't SOL when combat moves off the side of the grid -- you can just pilfer some tiles from the other side and extend the map. Also other benefits. Dry erase only.

  • Tact tiles, modular interlocking grid tiles, starting $52 for six 10" x 10" tiles. Same idea as the Dungeon Tiles above but sturdier (made with thick plastic rather than chipboard). Wet and dry erase.
u/BobVosh · 1 pointr/DnD

Whats the advantage of this over, say this? It just seems too small to be useful.

u/EarthAllAlong · 1 pointr/DMAcademy

26x23.5 in

34.5x48 in

Make sure you get wet erase markers for these

As for terrain, you don't really need any to start...and its probably better if you didn't, because then you'll over-focus on that. But if you're a big craftsperson, check this guy out.

u/Lameguy01 · 1 pointr/ImperialAssaultTMG

Use something like this and just draw the maps out on them, and easily make custom maps as well.

u/OverlySexualCellist · 1 pointr/DnD

Does it need to be a board/inflexible? I use these and am also planning to get this when funds allow it. They're great because they're portable and work with dry and wet erase pens (chessex mat is only wet erase I believe).

u/thornwindfaerie · 1 pointr/boardgames

I imagine they mean somethin like a chessex battlemat. I have a bigger version of this one, it's nice but can get wavy if left rolled up too long...

u/Ephemeral_Being · 1 pointr/DnD

Chessex is what I keep hearing for battle mats. For $25, I don't think I can really go wrong there. Any idea what size is best? Looking at this one now.

Jesus, those miniatures are expensive. I'm not dropping $400 on them. I'll buy a PS4 first. How do the Paizo Bestiary Boxes hold up? At around $50 for 200 tokens, that seems like a decent deal.

u/AquaSky · 1 pointr/rpg

RPG players can usually get plenty of use from the Chessex battle mat. You could also find her a nice folder to keep her character sheets organized, and a box of mechanical pencils are a tabletop gamer's best friend. Etsy is just full of dice-themed jewelry too.

If she listed other movie/TV show/book interests, many popular franchises have RPG rulebooks: Firefly, Game of Thrones, etc. You can always try searching for "(Series name) RPG" on Amazon and see what comes up. If you go this route, might be good to send a message and ask which books she has, so that you don't accidentally send duplicates.

u/Shadowknight996 · 1 pointr/DnD

Another option is this wet-erase mat, here's the link:

There are a couple different size options, if you just buy some cheap wet erase marker you can use different colors and simply use a wet rag to erase whatever you draw when you're done.
This is what I use for my group and it's great for on-the-fly maps and pre-determined maps.

u/ConfederacyOfGaia · 1 pointr/DMAcademy

A battlemat, along with a set of dry-erase markers, for both combat and dungeon exploration. Several of the folks in our group are artistic, including the DM, so our maps end up being a lot of fun, and it's exciting (though a bit time-consuming) to watch the dungeon and building outlines appear in real-time.

u/Evilcoatrack · 1 pointr/DnD

Yep, I drew them. They're on chessex battlemats, link is at

Make sure you only use wet-erase markers on them if you pick them up - dry erase won't erase cleanly from this surface.

u/TheElitist921 · 1 pointr/DnD

Do yourself a favor, pick up one of these.
~$25 you can get the mat and a pack of wet erase markers. Out of all the random little "tools" I've purchased, this one is by far #1. I couldn't play without it anymore.

u/DmDomination · 1 pointr/DnD

Sunless citadel out of Tales of the Yawning Portal is a greater starter game for new players/DMs but that is just something for future reference.

I don't doubt you're up to it but I have ran OoTA start to finish (took 2 years) for my Wednesday game and i'm planning to run it for my Sunday group when they finish PoTA in the next month or so you are ABSOLUTELY more than welcome to send me a message directly if you want and i will help you in anyway i can.

I'm not sure of your setup BUT i always recommend VTT (virtual table top) to groups that are able IF you're not able and you want to avoid theater of the mind for a low cost investment i recommend something like this:

u/404_GravitasNotFound · 1 pointr/gadgets

I bought simil "gaming matts" at 4$ each for an A3 size, and 2$ for A4s (mine were offbrand), Erasable markers and I've been using them for 3 years straight. Cheapest solution ever.

For minis We use "RichBurlew - Giant In the playground - A monster for every season".
Select what you need and print on heavy paper. That makes them really strong.

Obviously your solution its cheap in the short term, but look into these options for really frugal solutions. :D

u/NonaSuomi282 · 1 pointr/DungeonsAndDragons
u/Serbaayuu · 1 pointr/DnD

This is $30 (with markers) and infinitely reusable, if you can afford that:

Coins, candy, Lego, spare dice, etc. work fine for miniatures.

(I don't have advice on TotM because I hate it.)

u/ejc138 · 1 pointr/legodnd

I exclusively use legos for player minis and I try to use them as much as possible for NPCs and Monsters. As far as dungeons and taverns I use Chessex mat. I don't feel like you are ever going to get the level of flexibility you need with legos. Sometimes I will add in lego sets (like the one below) for flavor but they are always used as an addition to the battle mat.

u/funandgames51 · 1 pointr/DMAcademy

I make battle maps because I find that stuff fun - but you can make very simple ones!

I use this paper - it comes out to <50c per map.

Though you could just use butcher paper and a wooden dowel with one inch marks on it for for every 5 feet - that's what I'm doing after I run out of the grid Paper.

For city maps, I use this method.

Again, I spend more time with it because I like to, but less so when I too am pressed for time. You could likely make them very simple, and they would still look good and make sense.

I can post a few pictures of some of my town and battle maps when I get back if you're interested.

I tried to use premade maps to print initially, but it was both very expensive and hard to see. Again, I can post pics later if you want.

I'm trying to get my best friend into DMing, and I've encouraged him to look into these, which are available in many sizes. Wet erase marker for 30 seconds, bam a battle mat.

If you want something in the same vein that's a little more hardcore, there's these, which I may get if I run a less serious campaign in the future.

There's also Matt Coville's video onterrain that is very helpful. All of the stuff he puts out is, really.

Hope that helps!

u/PenguinPwnge · 1 pointr/dndnext

A nice Chessex battlemat is never a wrong choice. My party used this one perfectly fine for years until we upgraded to their "Mondomat" which is 100" long to play out the final fight in a long canyon where we relived the previous fights throughout the campaign.

u/sjp2 · 1 pointr/DungeonsAndDragons

In terms of a grid for your table, I'd recommend working with a reusable grid mat or grid paper. You can also buy mats with terrain prints, but that is an investment. As a new DM who also doesn't want to spend a lot of money (right away), my first priority is to get a mat for good maps/combat spaces. I've played with grid paper and nice maps, with reusable maps, and nothing. I feel like it takes away from the story if you don't have a visual aid there (also makes combat difficult).

You can generally find these things for a decent price on Amazon. I try to buy from local stores, but they usually jack up the price. Also, you probably already know this, but all of the information you'll ever need for Pathfinder is on d20pfsrd. Good luck and have fun! :)

Edit: Also, as someone who's played D&D (3.5, 4.0 and pathfinder) for 2 years (meaning I don't have a ton of experience) and is just starting to DM, I'd say trying to play a DMPC (thanks, r/Yawhg for that term) would be A LOT, even if you are running an adventure path. You're already going to be running 1+ characters during combat and role playing every other character in the game. But, if you've got the time and mental power to invest, definitely try it out.

u/malnord · 1 pointr/tabletopgamedesign

For the grid, consider
Great product for any tabletop developer.

u/NinthNova · 1 pointr/DungeonMasters

On the incredibly rare occasion that I actually use a map for one of my games, I use one of these.

But again, I usually prefer not to use maps unless a game requires it.

Side note: Why is this marked NSFW?

u/stakoverflo · 1 pointr/DungeonsAndDragons

Hmm, let's see. Kind of a long topic and I'm only going to go over the newest version of the game. D&D Fifth Edition just came out, and you might sometimes hear it called "D&D Next" or "D&D 5E".


  • Currently, only 1 book is available for purchase- the Player's Handbook which contains rules for every race, class, equipment and magical spells (and more!).
  • Later this month you can expect the Monster Manual which contains detailed information about things you can expect to fight.
  • Later this year there will be the Dungeon Master's Guide that contains more in-depth and complex rules for the DM to create interesting campaign adventures for his or her party.
  • This Starter Set contains an adventure book, pre-generated characters (VERY handy if none of you know what you're doing!!), character sheets for when you feel like making your own character, and a set of dice.
  • There is a free, watered-down "Basic Rules" PDF of this information available here which contains only some of the races and classes.


    OTHER THINGS TO GET [Applicable to all versions]

  • Lots of dice. If you search around the internet for a set of polyhedral dice you'll find results very similar to this set of 7 dice. It contains one four-sided die, one six-sided, one eight-sided, two ten-sided, one twelve-sided and one twenty-sided die. You'll often seen this abbreviated as a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 or d20 for the sake of shortness. People will use that shorthand aloud as well, you'll find. If you guys really don't want to spend money, you can make due with just 1 set of dice and add the totals in your head as needed but this will make things take longer. For example, if you're using a Maul as a weapon you'd roll two d6 (written as "2d6") every time you attack.
  • Erasers and pencils; no ink! You'll frequently be making adjustments to your characters' sheets as you take damage, earn EXP, gain items and grow.
  • A dry erase board isn't a terrible idea, so you can write down temporary things about your character without dirtying up your character sheet
  • Gridded mat for playing on such as this, though I'd advise you find a dry erase friendly one. It really helps to visualize a fight, so you know where you and your friends are and where the enemies are. Basically, in D&D, everything is measured in feet or squares on a grid; general rule of thumb is that 1 square = 5 feet. Most things move up to 25-30 feet, so 5 or 6 squares. So this helps let you see if something's in range of your throwing axe without having to ask the DM, or whatever. Just an extra visual element, really.


    Honestly, D&D is one of those games that's only as complex as you make it. If your whole party rolled up Barbarians and Fighters you'd probably be ready to play very quickly. Once you get into spell casting, generating a character and really knowing how to play is a little bit more complex but it's not that bad. I'd recommend you hit Facebook or to try and find a group of experienced players who can teach one of you, then propagate that information to the rest of your friends. In my experience, the player base is very diverse but everyone I've met has been super friendly and loves finding new players to help. Just remember to speak up and ask questions if you're not sure of something (or if it comes up during a session, write it down to ask later and work with your friends in the mean time to find a common answer to a question so you don't have to pause the fun).
u/dogtarget · 1 pointr/7thcontinent

I just use use my 'battlemat'.


u/KevCar518 · 1 pointr/DnD

I found this one for a cheaper price.

They are essentially the same, right? The one I linked is just a little bit smaller.

u/lyraox · 1 pointr/DnD

Unless you're really committed to switching to theater of the mind, get a solid dry erase mat like this, draw out maps by hand, and use things like different colored dice or small drawn paper cutouts for minis. This is what I do. If you don't have the money for a dry erase mat, any whiteboard will also work, or even 8.5/11 pieces of paper with one inch squares drawn on them.

u/TheRarestFly · 1 pointr/DMAcademy

Why the aversion to dry erase? Is it just a size thing? If so, this bad boy is 23.5" by 26" so is decently sized. There's also this guy by Paizo (which I use) that folds up to be roughly the same size as a 5e rulebook (except not as thick obviously) I keep mine in my bookbag with my notes and rulebooks

u/komalol · 1 pointr/DungeonsAndDragons

Lego minifigs for miniatures, put a 2x2 plate under them for stability. They are also configurable in terms of weaponry and accessories.

For a battlemat I'd go with this:

You can draw on it and it is very easy to take with you anywhere.

u/daphnesbook · 1 pointr/DnD

Actually, the "H" does represent heroic, but it's not level. That is meant to reflect modules that can be linked as a series of adventures. It's from a system of organization in earlier editions that Wizards re-introduced with 4E. So, in other words, H1 is Keep on the Shadowfell and H2 is Thunderspire Labyrinth. You can run these after each other in a campaign! You can find a nice list here.

Also, this is a great battlemat from Chessex. It's durable and it's also not too gigantic. It's actually quite a capable size!

Personally, I will recommend using grid paper, too. I favored a battlemat for awhile, but I've become a big fan of the grid paper approach in 4E. You can draw and prepare what you like for smaller encounters, especially, easily beforehand and then slide standard sheet protectors on your finished product for your tokens/minis. Of course, you can arrange them on your table and keep them together with something as simple Scotch tape (though you shouldn't need to do that too often). You can also re-use locations and save shops or churches or elemental planes or whatever you'd like, that you can quickly recall to the table. The enterprising DM always likes creativity and efficiency together.

I make my grid paper from this generator with settings of 0.25 inch border, 1 point weight, and 1 line per inch and black grid color. Nothing complicated about this, it's a regular print job. By no means is this the authoritative way to do it, I just have found that works well for me and my players. There are plenty of other resources out there for grid paper, office stores, etc. Whatever works best for you!

u/Seanathin23 · 0 pointsr/DnD

They make a great two sided mat one with squares and one with hexes.