Maps: Zones instead of Grids

Malcadon's picture
June 17, 2013 - 4:14pm
For those who have played Marvel Superheroes RPG or use the FATE system, you might know what I'm taking about.

This is about altering a map to display large areas instead of cutting the map into little squares. This makes the action less about strategic placement (reach, zones-of-control, etc.), and more about little staging areas where the characters and NPCs are close enough to fight or interact with each other. For action on the streets, this might be a building, empty lot or a span of roadway. For action indoors, this could be a room or span of corridor. Range and movement would be knocked-down to a few "zones" instead of several squares - the Port Loren map in basic AD is almost like this. Here is what one looks like (note: large image). Also, wargames like Risk, A&A and Grayhawk Wars (more so with this, as they have open lands as big areas, while mountains are small slivers of summits sandwiching white peaks that can stop an army cold) use this type of mapping.

So, what do you guys think of this, instead of normal grid maps?

OnceFarOff's picture
June 17, 2013 - 6:40pm
I found the zones in FATE pretty interesting. They definitely simplify ranged combat! I guess I sort of use zones if there is a large scale battle (multiple hundreds per side) or if a battle is going to be over VERY quickly - these I sort of handle narritively and sketch out something on a piece of paper. 

Most of my maps I do in map tool, and the ranges are all built into the interface. So I actually don't find it any harder in most circumstances to use actual ranges.