We found 56 Reddit comments about Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
I believe it was the Paizo Flip-Mat. Basically a foldable cardboard mat.
Chessex battlemaps and Pathfinder flip map are two of the common maps.
As for miniatures, Pathfinder paws are the biggest bang for your buck. They are thick card stock and fairly durable and would be the easiest buy. If you want miniatures, sites like miniature market has around 160 for $2 or less for each miniature, the cost can add up quickly, but are pre-painted.
Kudos for doing that, but couldn't you just have bought the official Pathfinder Flip-Mats for way less moneys?
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.
I HIGHLY recommend Paizo's flipmats. They are cheap and you can use wet erase, dry erase, and apparently sharpie.
I swapped from my old wet erase Chessex to them. You can even get them with terrain on them (and I got some white chalk pens so you can see the ink on the dark terrain) if that floats your boat.
They fold up to a squareish shape the size of a piece of paper and they cost under $20.
The basic one is $14 on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Paizo-Inc-PZO30024-Pathfinder-Flip-Mat/dp/1601255381/ref=sr_1_2?crid=39IMFAIP4GZIU&keywords=paizo+flip-mat&qid=1568080272&s=gateway&sprefix=paizo+%2Caps%2C125&sr=8-2
They have a larger one for $20: https://smile.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Flip-Mat-Bigger-Jason-Engle/dp/1601257821/ref=sr_1_1?crid=39IMFAIP4GZIU&keywords=paizo+flip-mat&qid=1568080294&s=gateway&sprefix=paizo+%2Caps%2C125&sr=8-1
I HIGHLY recommend them... I've used a ton of things in my over 30 years of gaming and these are what we've landed on that hits that sweet spot of utility + convenience + cost effectiveness.
I like to draw the outline of areas at home with wet erase pens then when I'm at the table, I fill in details with dry erase as they explore/do things. A LOT less messy that way.
First, I'd recommend that you keep the box and all of the components in good condition, so you can consider re-selling it once you're done with it. The Red Box seems to be out of print and is selling for far above its $20 MSRP, and if you can recoup some of the money you spent on it to buy some resources that will have more lasting value, it might be worth it (depending on how highly you value your time), since you will have little use for most of the contents of the box once you're through with the initial adventure.
Or, if it's not too late, you may want to cancel your order. The Starter Set is a relatively gentle introduction to D&D, but not necessarily the best one and certainly not the cheapest.
To prepare, you might want to read, and have everyone else read, the quick start rules. You can also have the players choose pre-generated characters from that document and print off the corresponding character sheets. The Red Box method of character creation involves running through a solo "choose-your-own-adventure" book, which you might not want to do 3 or 4 times in succession for each of your players. Note that the the quick start rules uses slightly different versions of the character classes presented in the Red Box, but the characters/systems are compatible.
You will not immediately need to create your own group adventure, as one is included with the Starter Set.
Also, as an alternative to the Starter Set, /u/Dracoprimus posted a bunch of links to free adventures. You can also choose to run one of these adventures after you finish with the Red Box.
However, neither those those links nor the Red Box will not give you the resources needed to build your own characters or advance them past level 2, nor do they contain the info a DM needs to create his own campaign, or extensively modify an existing one. For that, I recommend getting the following resources (buying some of the books used may yield a good savings):
I would make them a bit larger - maybe 1m square. You could use paper instead of cellular rubber unless you're planning on making permanent model scenery. Not sure dry erase markers come off of the rubber and they might store easier.
Squares are probably easier to add than hexes and work just fine. There are also pre-made battle mats printed on laminated cardstock.
I normally draw the whole map on grid paper beforehand and cover parts of it with plain paper, then reveal it as the players explore. I also use these reusable grid mats for impromptu locations, which might be good for you if you want to stick with drawing maps as you go.
I understand where you are coming from, my players as well like the grid more. Combat for us is like 20-30% Theater of the Mind and 70-80% Grid.
But those 20-30% is often an extremely trivial encounter or some sort of chase/trap event.
A grid does make it easier for AoE spells or Auras on how many they hit. The grid often brings clarity to the group on how they can spend their abilities. It also removes some DM pressure of telling them every time how many enemies a spell can hit.
If you live in the US it could be cheap starting a Grid.
I just use that one and use what ever tokens, bottle caps and so forth you have at home.
TL;DR If you want large, vinyl, hexes, and wet erase: look to Chessex. If you want large-ish, laminated, no hexes, and dry erase: look to Pathfinder. I'd say measure your game space first.
The mat you're most likely talking about is the Chessex MEGAMAT.($30) This is by and large the most popular battlemat on the market. It's vinyl, rectangular (3' x 4'), hex reversible, quality make, but it's wet erase. (You'll probs need to buy wet erase markers) This is also the mat I have. Here's my brief critique: it is larger than I have ever needed, though I will admit I have sometimes been encouraged by the mat's size to make a larger battlefield. It's so large that it barely fits on the table, giving my players little room for their papers, making it difficult for me as a DM to quickly access all parts of the map, and making transporting it a minor annoyance. The wet erase is only slightly annoying, but if you're going to be doing a lot of erasing, you'll quickly tire of the rags and water. However, it is very high quality, plenty big, and terrific if you have the right space and table to use it.
A very similar mat is the regular Chessex Battlemat($22) It's smaller (2' x 2'), vinyl, square, high quality, hex reversible, and still wet erase. Really again a great mat that's very similar to the MEGAMAT, just a little less. . . MEGA.
Another large vinyl one more similar to the MEGAMAT is the Wiz Dice Battle Mat.($32) It shares all the same qualities of the MEGAMAT, but owners have claimed that is does not erase quite as nicely. However, it is a clean white mat, rather than the sort of textured beige of the Chessex mats.
Finally, the most viable dry erase mats are the Evolve Skins battlemats($28) which come in white or beige, are not hex reversible, are laminated, are 3' x 2', and seem to not be entirely dry erase. A better choice would probably be the laminated, 2' x 2.5', dry erase, not hex reversible, Pathfinder battlemats.($13)
I'd recommend measuring your game space, prioritizing what you think are the most important qualities, and then comparing these options that I have presented.
Another thing you could try is just get basic blank flip maps like these. My group and I just draw terrain with dry erase markers on them. Works pretty well if you don't want to but 800 maps.
This. I bought it along with a set of dice when I started playing and we use it all the time, I can't imagine using anything else. We also bought a couple of markers in different colors, so we can easily draw things like spreading fire.
These are the mats I'm talking about: https://www.amazon.com/Paizo-Inc-PZOSQW30024-Pathfinder-Flip-Mat/dp/1601255381
Super happy to hear you're enjoying D&D with your GF and getting more into DMing!
Dry Erase Game Mat - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paizo-Publishing-Pathfinder-Flip-Mat-Basic/dp/1601255381/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1458214248&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=dry+erase+game+mat (That's exactly the one I use). You'll need some dry wipe pens, I recommend NOT super big ones so you can do detail.
The tiles I use are Dwarven Forge, (http://dwarvenforge.eu/) very expensive but very cool! You can also get pre-printed card tiles, search for Pathfinder Adventure Tiles.
As for Minis, we luckily had Yogs buy us a set of 32 booster boxes of the Pathfinder Red Dragon set. Other minis I use include the Reaper Bones series, but they need painting (painted by myself, Trott or Katie).
I buy booster boxes from: https://www.tritex-games.co.uk/
Hope this helps!
Canadian here too. I picked up an awesome blank grid in a pathfinder box from 411 games in Toronto for 20$. Allows dry and wet erase.
This is the product on amazon. Highly recommend it.
That’s a really neat idea. You’ll probably find that an Othello board is too small, though. An 8x8 grid doesn’t give you much room to maneuver.
One suggestion I have, if you’re willing to forgo minis and play more fast and loose is to get yourself a small portable whiteboard, and a cheap pack of dry erase crayons. I use this exact thing when I’m trying to travel light:
The crayons are great, as they wipe off easily but don’t accidentally smudge. Perfect for drawing out gridless situations and maps. The set is dirt cheap, too.
If you definitely want a grid, though, I’d suggest a Paizo flip-mat. They’re light, cheap, and laminated for use with dry erase markers. They fold down to a size smaller than the PHB, and very thin.
For cheap minis, I’ve seen folks get a lot of use out a plastic dollar store chess set, using the pieces to represent various PCs and monsters. Again, light and cheap.
Possibly something like this? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601255381/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
hopefully the link works
I've been using the Paizo Flip Mats. The basic grid is half the cost of the Chessex vinyl mats and works with both dry and wet erase markers. The downside is they are folded cardboard so you have to deal with creases popping up for a while. The creases broke in after running a couple games on both sides for a few months, and I find it convenient to store them folded along with my books.
I use a dry-erase game mat, but you can also use standard graph paper, or gaming paper.
Looks like the same on my DM uses, not sure on the brand though
Upgraded the Starter Set a little bit!
In total, there is:
Take a look at Matt Coleville's videos. He plays 5e currently but has praise and experience for all editions and his advice is evergreen. Most other advice I could give would be a repeat of stuff he's said.
It will be easiest if you pick up a short module for 1st level character that is written for the edition you've chosen, this will make it easiest start for both you and your players and a short adventure will be simple to transition out of -- either to a larger published campaign or your homebrew world.
If you're in 4th edition make sure you have a 1" square or hex battlemat, as all combat is predicated on the usage of a grid -- you could get a cheap one and either upgrade or move away from it down the road.
Here's the exact mat I use.
Have you taken a look at these yet? I think it would solve your problem pretty handily.
Reaper minis are the cheapest I've seen, by far. If you're not set on minis, you can use army men, tokens, or anything really.
As for maps, I personally use this mat, but I'm thinking about switching to paper maps. I just had Staples print a 3ftx4ft Wave Echo Cave map for me, and it was only $7.29 (engineering print).
Ha forgot to put it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601255381/ref=ox_ya_os_product_refresh_T1
I found mine at the local gaming store but I live in a major city at the moment.
The one I use is the "Pathfinder Flip Mat Basic"
One of my mates just prints a 1'^2 grid on A4 and draws on them, and another buys 1'^2 grid butcher paper on a roll.
My option was more expensive in the outset, but I want to reduce my waste so I feel the erasable markers and a reusable mat are creating less waste than non-erasable markers and a disposable roll of mat.
As far as erasable mats go, I opted for the less sturdy of the two options in my store, but it is easier to erase, doesn't require a solvent to clean. There are thicker mats which roll up and can be erased with a gentle solvent, but I thought this was a better option for now.
How much does it cost you to print / laminate this? I'm guessing it will probably be more expensive than a simple flip mat such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Paizo-Publishing-Pathfinder-Flip-Mat-Basic/dp/1601255381 (although it's just 24x30, so you'll need at leest two of those to get to your required dimensions)
Or even better, the 2-pack http://www.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Flip-Mat-Basic-Terrain-Multi-Pack/dp/1601255578/
I can't believe these aren't more popular. I love mine - dry erase is so much easier and faster than wet erase!
For when I'm travelling by air for fun, all I have with me are:
==Carry-on Travel Kit==
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.
To start, I'd recommend the pathfinder flip mat, as it's cheaper and easier to carry around than the (somewhat nicer) chessex rolled-up kind.
Being somewhat of a DnD noob myself, I think some things that might help are maps, miniature figures, and dice. I love being able to see where people and creatures are in combat. I think it helps with the immersion into the world. When I started playing (a month or so ago) our DM had miniatures he bought from his group in the army. Seeing them made me start buying Reaper miniatures and painting them myself.
For a group of people, this set of dice works. You get 20 sets and a bag for $30. They're not the best dice, but they work.
What is your budget, and what do you dislike about the one that comes with the Beginner's Box?
One way is to print it yourself! Just print 1" graph paper on standard sheets of paper, which is darned cheap.
I use Flip-Mats, which I just discovered are Pathfinder products. No matter. They're plastic-coated heavy card stock that can take both wet-erase and dry-erase markers, and fold out from 8"x11" to 27"x39". I draw "permanent" terrain (walls, etc.) in wet-erase markers beforehand, then use dry-erase for doors and to mark other destructible parts of the environment. After the game, I wipe it all down with a wet paper towel and it's all gone with no visible residue.
My problem with paper is that I end up going through a lot of it, and the Flip-Mats have lasted years.
Pathfinder battle mat. + a Lexan Sheet over the top on it. Draw on it with dry erase markers. Laminated stuff will eventually break down and you won't be able to get it completely clean over time. The lexan sheet is cleans very easily, doesn't break down, and gives you a nice flat surface for minis and the like and can double as a table protector if you use stuff like metal dice.
One dice set for each player is a great idea. You can actually find decent dice lot for a reasonable price. Sharing dice set is a pain and slows down the pace. Plus, the bag I linked has actually 20 sets, so you can actually lend or give your players more than one (that helps for when you need to roll more than one of a certain type of die).
Miniatures, as stated by others are a question of preference. Depending on system, I either use the theater of the mind (this is great, even the best with creative players) alone or, for when it is more tactical, I use tokens. For years I used chess pieces as tokens for both heroes and foes. It is only recently that I switched to paper mini (I made them stand with binder clips), and am moving slowly to real miniatures that I paint as I feel it is more immersive. Although using tokens of any kind will put you in need of some sort of playing mat. You could easily print 1 inch squares on paper, use a chess board (it's too little to my taste). If your family gets hooked, you can invest in a playing mat later on.
What you might or might not need is this tip: don't forget it is your (as in your family and you) game, and fun is the purpose. If you are ever in a position you are not certain about a rule, don't pause the game to search it. Improvise. If it is at players' advantage all the better. They don't feel cheated this way and you can always add a lurking goblins if you feel the need to tip the scale a bit. They will never know you added them because you will never tell them (game masters have to keep those illusions!).
Heres what I do. IMO its the cheapest and most agile way.
I place a one inch grid mat (erasable) at the center of the table.
I do theater of mind for everything except combat. Do NOT try to use a map just to walk down empty hallways, or in a forest, or anything.
Im not running a premade module so combat can happen almost anywhere. So if they got into a bar fight, I would just make up a bar on the spot. I would not try to draw all the tables and chairs. I would simple give a floor plan (and doors, counters, etc). I would be describing the room in detail while I drew it and play from there.
However, if I do know where combat will happen, and its not just "outside" I usually make a map beforehand (these are given to you by the module). Again, I do not draw the whole thing. Just the room they are in if they get into a fight. Maybe an adjacent room, if they retreat. Everything else can be described.
As for enemies, I have some minis. But not nearly enough for everything they fight. So I usually just use representational minis. A little guy can be anything from a knight to a lich. And this lion? Now its a lamia. And this 3 inch square of paper? A hydra.
It cheap, its fast, you dont have to worry about "what if they go somewhere Im not prepared for". The only change I might make is to also use 1 inch grid easel paper for rooms I know for certain the party will have combat in. Or if there is a particularly interesting puzzle that needs some spatial reasoning. I will transfer it from my "whole dungeon level" map to the easel paper, room by room. But again, only if the room would take too long to draw on the erasable mat.
Some people do ridiculous physical builds, and thats awesome and all. But it also takes a lot of money to buy them, hours and hours every week setting up, and worst of all, at least for the way I run it, it kinda forces the party to use a given area.
Best advice I can give you on maps is getting yourself one of these,
These are super worth it, and if you take care of it one will last you a long time.
As for tokens, the cheapest option is probably to find some art that you like on google or something, print it out, and then mount it on a piece of cardboard. Some double sided tape, a cereal box, scissors, and a color printer is all you need.
Reaper bones minis are around 2 dollars on the low end and do free shipping most places above $30.
Alternatly these flat minis are not bad.
A basic pathfinder flip map isn't too steep a price.. https://www.amazon.ca/Pathfinder-Flip-Mat-Basic-Revised/dp/1601255381/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=pathfinder+flip+mat&amp;qid=1559103303&amp;s=gateway&amp;sprefix=pathfinder+flip+&amp;sr=8-2
I use large grid paper meetings etc and draw the maps with pencils.
Pathfinder Mat. 24x30, 1" grid, dry erase, both sides usable and have different background colors, $12.99 on Amazon Prime.
I currently use this: https://www.amazon.com/Paizo-Inc-PZOSQW30024-Pathfinder-Flip-Mat/dp/1601255381/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1538834403&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=pathfinder+flip-mat
They also make a larger one and a one with various different terrains.
I got an inexpensive dry-erase grid map from Amazon. I can draw an encounter map, or the players can use it for exploring and mapping. Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic https://www.amazon.com/dp/1601255381/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_--qWBb2ZC8P3H
I regularly DM for a group of 7, and another group of 4. I love theater of mind, but thoroughly enjoy the boardgame aspect of the grid. Here's my experience and advice.
Invest $15 in a flip mat. Folds up to fit in a book and works with wet or dry-erase markers. (Also available in other colors.)
Have you looked into a Paizo flip-mat? Folds up nicely.
I see people on this sub talk about the paizo flip mats a lot, they're even cheaper Pathfinder Flip-Mat: Basic https://www.amazon.com/dp/1601255381/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_jlq6ybMX5RJS8
So I just ran a session in Death House and also felt the need to use visual aids just to let the players get their bearings. We did theatre of the mind combat, if only because the spaces were too confined for minis to really be necessary or even helpful, but I traced a VERY rudimentary map as they moved through the house so they could better picture their choices and where they were.
There ended up being a whiteboard available in the space, but I had brought a pathfinder flip-mat for the same purpose. (And it would work just as well. I plan to use it for when we DO use minis in combat.)
This is the mat I have, though I got mine from our local game store.
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
There actually is a great battlemat you can buy
It's cheap, uses expo marker, cleans easily and double sided for dirt and stone terrain. It's pretty damn big and definitely big enough for a big dungeon crawl. You can just quickly doodle in terrain and what not AND if you've extra space, you can create multiple arenas on both sides if you're going theater of mind when it's not combat.
You don't have to be Michelangelo and paint the Sistine Chapel everytime. Tell your buddies that you're pretty butt at drawing and quickly doodle terrain and make sure you tell them what's what. Like what angular circle crap are rocks and the poofy clouds are trees.
I use the Pathfinder Flip-Mat with some wet markers.
It's really basic, but it's handy and does the job just fine.
The Iconic Heros minis are pretty great. A dry-erase Flip mat is also a welcome addition to any table. Those can be used well with the minis.
There are a number of great, cheap player companion booklets like the Dirty Tactics Toolbox or Animal Archive or Legacy of Dragons
Meinst du sowas?