Monday, May 27, 2013

I'll Never Go Without a Grid Again!

Actual picture of our gaming table. 

I had my first experience playing Dungeons and Dragons on a grid with minis about a year or two ago... Which you may find strange, as I've been playing now for over 20 years.

The group I'd played in just... never bothered. We always kinda just drew out rough maps of the area with x's for bad guys, and initials for our pcs. We'd scratch out the symbols, and draw arrows to where the new one are to show that they'd moved. We just kinda estimated the space, which truth be told, my brother handled most of that, as he loves numbers so much that when he takes a crap it actually comes out a number "2"... He can tell you how high a mountain needs to be to be seen at X distance, and whether or not you'd be able to see it on the horizon if you were say, on a boat, or whatever elevation... Or how many rounds it would take to run the circumference of a "thing" while doing x y and z, etc...

I'm a math-bonehead, so I just take it for fact when he says it. We have had other part time players question my brother's math, and it all checked out numerous times...

So when I say "we estimated" it's really a pretty accurate thing in our case.

I'd always felt like using minis and a board would be too much unnecessary work when a piece of paper worked well enough. I also liked the fact that D&D was NOT a "board game" and I guess I felt like it I played with minis and a grid, I'd feel more like I was playing a board game like Monopoly or something.

However, what I didn't know what just how easy it is to use a grid with things that are available these days. The one our current GM uses is basically a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle made out of whiteboard material. The material is divided in a grid specifically for table top D&D-like RPGs.

The quick little sketches are still in effect, it's just done in dry erase marker. Also, there's no possibility for someone to dispute the GM's judgement when he/she says "No, you probably wouldn't make it to him on this turn, but next turn, no problem".

Now, having played with the grid and the minis, I don't think I'd enjoy playing without it as much. It's become such a great tool for our games.

Do you play with minis and a grid?


  1. Nope, never had. We tend to play games where description is heavy and environments are rapidly changing in three dimensions. Grids would be restrictive.

  2. Hi Rob, thanks for stopping by. :) I can see that, and that's exactly the way I felt before using them, so I can definitely relate.

  3. It depends on your system weather a grid will work. I run Champions(Supers) and we use a grid because it makes more sense. Some games on other hand like Story based games(white wolf) might not need it.

  4. I'm impressed with people who can wrap their brains around games like this. I'd get brain-pain immediately, though it seems like it'd be fun and addicting.


    1. Heya Robyn! Thanks for stopping by! I'm assuming you landed here by following the google trail from my comment on your site?

      This particular blog is specifically for RPG playing, and frankly I don't update it too much...

      But I have a more, generalized blog at that might be a more interesting read for you. :)

      Thanks again for looking me up though!