Who needs a gridmap?
You forgot your gridmap? Or your minis? Or you need a change of pace for your campaign? Here a 5 ways to replace the battlemat.
Top 5 ways to run a game without a grid map
- Whiteboard or chalkboard
- When I was in college I would often get together with some friends and play one of the 14 ongoing campaigns I was playing in. We’d sneak into a vacant classroom and play D&D, Vampire, or whatever was hot back in the 90s. Anyhow, what I want to say is that having a large surface to draw battle zones on like a classroom chalkboard often led to creative combat scenes. I even ran a few D&D tournaments on chalkboards.
- Description only
- If you’re a good storyteller and narrator you could describe all of the action. I’ve done it a few times when I was GMing a Mage: The Ascension game. With a minimum of preparation it can go smoothly.
- Go diceless
- This approach really encourages players to be creative. Let the players know that their characters are mor e likely to succeed if their actions are well described and encourage superstardom by rewarding bold decisions.
- Kindergarden comes in handy
- You can tape sheets of paper together and draw a grid map!
- Avoid combat
- This might only be possible if you have some non-combat encounters planned or if you’re running an investigative campaign. If you plan on avoiding combat, your players might still get their characters in trouble. So keep an open and resort to one of the other techniques to handle the possible combat encounters.
I hope you have a blast next time you get to play without your grid battlemap.
PS: Does anyone use online tools to run combat? Let me know.