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Old 10-27-2008, 05:15 AM
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Default Method to register PC and NPC positions

Bon dia!

I’ve just begun a new Twilight:2000 campaign with a veteran group of players. After the first gaming session, the general opinion was that it would be better to try another way to represent the positions and movement of the PCs and NPC, with the objective to make the things more fluid. For he moment we use the traditional “pen and pencil” method, with the help of an dry-erase board. I’m preparing counters fort he next adventure, too.
What method do you use? Counters or miniatures? Hex maps? Something different that will mean a revolution for the overcharged GM’s?

Thanks!!!
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:23 AM
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None, in fact. I never like to use any kind of representation out of pure imagination for RPG. I describe the scene, players visualize it, and I try to be as precise as possible (anyway I have the last word ).

Seriously, the idea behind it is that in the middle of an action, things are always a bit confusing and always on the move. Papers and pencils are taking out fluidity. Of course, they are useful when planing an action if you have time to plan. I use them often in case of planing. The problem with this is that the action often evolves in a different way or too quickly. If you take time to plan, oops, you're dead!!

As GM I keep tracks of what my players are doing and I rely on everyone's honesty (usually it works). In my experience, papers and pencils make things more confusing as they are often contradicting your authority as GM. When a player is obviously not playing by the rules he has a strange tendancy to take a leak on minefields and to run bare hands in front of T-72's companies (giving a nice warning to his fellow honest players ).

Last edited by Mohoender; 10-27-2008 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:27 PM
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I have used miniatures with a hex map, toss on some small buildings or even blocks painted to represent buildings and there you go

Of course for alot of things like snipers that are well concealed and have not been detected by observation are not placed on the board.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:31 PM
spielmeister spielmeister is offline
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Hi!

In our group, we've used many ways to keep track of pc/npc positions in a firefight. Our default setting is the simple pen/pencil and paper method. sometimes, we used hex paper or graphing paper to get the distances right, particularly if we are gaming a long distance firefight with a lot of manuevering.

Sometimes, we revert to minis. Many of us have accumulated a whole slew of models and minis in other hobbies and we tend to use these liberally in our games. However, we found out this works best when we have a really large gaming table to put terrain, etc. Somehow this gets to be fun too as nothing quite beats the sight of a mass attack of 50 minis rushing prepared positions of our intrepid pcs. For terrain, we either use what we have (mostly old Warhammer 40k scenic ruins) or even the odd soda can or book.

I guess it really depends on your gaming group's style.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:17 PM
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I normaly use figures in any FtF games I've played. Hidden enemy don't get placed on the board until spotted.

Over the years I've amassed a huge collection of 1/72 scale plastic figures, some I've had for over 30 years. I've got everything from stone age warriors to modern soldiers and terrorists. A slew of model & die cast vehicles for support if I can ever get a FtF game going. I've even cobbled together a scale Vistula Krolowa for kicks.

As far as terrain, a circle on a piece of paper for a hill, a pencil works for a dragon, whatever is handy.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:05 PM
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I have reasonable abilities in whipping up quick maps for players if pure description isn't enough. If there is a major op coming up involving a set position that I know the PCs will have to defend or attack I might make a detailed map in advance. I always take care to cover up or not draw in features that the PCs can't initially see.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:11 AM
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Default pen and paper

our group invariably knock the table around ,spill beer ,herring,ashes or tobacoo,sneeze on it or just fumble something that makes minis etc unpractical -

I love them though -and would like to use them ,but no..

drawing a map on graphing paper/grid paper .

using simplified symbols from regular maps and symbols from the map key.
A small circle with PCs initials mark players.
Nothing gets put on until spotted.

It makes for a mess though -after a few rounds there are crisscrossing lines and paths and symbols all over the place ..

good thing is that it is versatile ,and that you can whip it up in a manner of minutes .

Otherwise we use google earth alot and a laptop to show pictures and maps and then "zoom in " and draw a map.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:39 PM
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IF I have a chance to FTF play (been over eight years now since THAT happened), we gamed almost every Saturday night at this guys 'second apartment' he used as game room and storage. He'd owned a hobby shop at one time and was avid gamer, modeler, collector. He had FIVE sheets of plywood (painted green) and various blocks to build hills. Using HO scaled buildings and persons, though all the military persons were in 1/72 (bigger than HO). The first time I walked into his game room he had a section of the city of Krakow set up. Walled city, rubble, the works. He didn't set up to play but display and after serveral years I told him so. It REALLY slowed down the play, but it drew players (16 at one session I recall, WAY too many). I finally got him to use not diarama but representations. It helped fill in the gaps as he described the place. Also we NEVER rolled our own die. It was all hidden rolls and if he took his favorite white D10 (no numbers and more a worn chipped ball than a die) you knew you were pooched. But that aside, yes it helped and using figures, we moved simultaniously. IF you couldn't see the other player, (and it was determined by getting down and looking some times) you couldnt communicate visually or from distance, verbally. HoG ruled yeah or nay. And hidden objects or persons were the norm. Ah, those were the days. RIP Gene. The ultimate sadistic HoG. Gamed there from 1987-1999.

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Old 11-15-2008, 03:35 PM
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A friend who owns a hobby shop, acts as game master, modeler, collector, and with a second apartment as game room!!!! The Ultimate GM!!!!
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
our group invariably knock the table around ,spill beer ,herring,ashes or tobacoo,sneeze on it or just fumble something that makes minis etc unpractical -
I lovely preserve a pair of large and worn-out folders with all the character sheets of my players. Yellowish papers with coffee stains and cigarette burns. About the use of miniatures and other resources, if I think about it thoroughly, in the past we managed to get the same fun only with the "paper and pencil" method. Veteran role playing groups usually tend to become more and more sophisticated, not only in the "mechanics", but in the gaming plots. Story lines that worked perfectly well in the past can seem too much simple now. Sometimes I have the impression, as GM, to be forced to do "another turn on the screw". A few weeks ago I had the temptation to take these old stained character sheets out of their folders and show them to my players while shouting "Do you remember when we were more ingenuous and our role gaming was easier??!!"
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:52 PM
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Sometimes I use pen and paper to track positions, sometimes we use lead figures or for vehicles, Matchbox, Majorette or Hot-Wheels military or failing that, cars.

Chuck M.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
A friend who owns a hobby shop, acts as game master, modeler, collector, and with a second apartment as game room!!!! The Ultimate GM!!!!
Gene sadly passed away about a year ago. He was single with no close family. He left all his stuff to one of the old group. I'd moved from the area by then. He was a 'strange' HoG, very interesting campaigns and encounters. I still have nightmares about one in particular, as does my other running partner. When Gene's name comes up with T2K that is ALWAYS mentioned.

BTW we could also do the minitures in WW2 using American, British, Russian and German vehicles.. field a 1:1 vehicle for two battalions armored and armored infantry! or RVN with patrol boats, or jungle, or an assortment of other settings. His kitbashed T2K vehicles were something else. I added about 10 hull-line 'representations' in 1:96 for Vistula, including the tug.. We had a good time. His reference library was awesome as well as his model collection. He as also an avid firearms and militaria collector, giving the gunshow circuit a go.

FB
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graebarde
Gene sadly passed away about a year ago. He was single with no close family. He left all his stuff to one of the old group. I'd moved from the area by then. He was a 'strange' HoG, very interesting campaigns and encounters. I still have nightmares about one in particular, as does my other running partner. When Gene's name comes up with T2K that is ALWAYS mentioned.
Mmmmm... I’m sorry. Anyway, it seems that your friend left to you a lot of good gaming memories. Your post makes me think about the secret satisfaction that you feel, as GM, when the group players spontaneously begin to chat about one particular roleplaying session you have refereed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graebarde
BTW we could also do the minitures in WW2 using American, British, Russian and German vehicles.. field a 1:1 vehicle for two battalions armored and armored infantry! or RVN with patrol boats, or jungle, or an assortment of other settings. His kitbashed T2K vehicles were something else. I added about 10 hull-line 'representations' in 1:96 for Vistula, including the tug.. We had a good time. His reference library was awesome as well as his model collection. He as also an avid firearms and militaria collector, giving the gunshow circuit a go.
In the past we played a few GDW Command Decision scenarios. We were always short of miniatures, of course. I was the only one that liked miniature modeling, but my primary interest was about the game, not the plastic soldiers and vehicles. So, we always ended up gaming with a handful of good-looking miniatures and a load of color cardboard counters with the thing they represent annotated in one of the sides and the facing of the unit pointed by an arrow. I’m afraid it was not a very impressive diorama…
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:42 AM
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My first big battle in a RPG game my character was in charge of 2 3x5 index cards.
The GM had a sheet of plywood that had something painted on it, then laqured with a coat of clear, and that was our gaming table. We had sheets of cardboard cut to build the floorplan of our castle, and index cards for each squad of soldiers and enemy.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:55 AM
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Bon dia!

Regarding to this old thread, I've found some balance between fluency and graphical representation for both the players and GM in the way I'm running my games these last two months. First I have downloaded the modern top-down counters of vehicles and soldiers found in the "Junior General" page (the link is in the GM resources thread). I've edited the personnel counters to represent one single soldier in each counter and not two, as usual in a lot of miniature games. Each soldier with a reference number for the GM (the same number I will put in the NPC record forms). Then with the traditional "cut and paste" method, I've produced one DINA4 page for each category of counters. Per example, one page for US soft vehicles, one page for US armoured vehicles, one page for US personnel, one page for "trees and bushes, etc. Then the colour laser printer of office have finished the job, printing over white card. With the help of some of my players we have covered each page in plastic cover (not sure if this is the correct English term) and then we've cut each counter. We use the counters for close-quarter battles, with each centimeter equal to 1 meter.

For all the other cases, we've produced a pair of "portable dry-erase boards" . Portable was needed because we don't have a fixed place to play. Again using material from my office. We've printed two DINA3 hex-maps and we've bound together with two DINA3 hard-cardboard covers and two DINA3 transparency film pages. The appearance is like a DINA3 sized, spiral-bound notebook, with the hard cardboard at the outside. When one opens this notebook, you have two DINA3 hex maps deployed on the table, covered with transparency film, for use with dry-erase markers. Of course, if we do not need the hex-map, we can put any other map or information needed under the transparency film.

We use the counters for close-range action, and the board for anything else.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:38 AM
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We use a dry erase board that a friend managed to get printed with a hex pattern and counters for NPC's. PC's are represented by 1:72nd scale figures from a variety of sources, mostly the esci/ertl and revell range of modern figures. Vehicles are marked by either counters or drawing on the board. Terrain features are marked on with pen as appropriate. Its not an ideal situation, but it works well for us for close combat work. Largerscale maps are drawn on hex or graph paper.
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