Roll20 Master Series – 5 Easy Tips to Align, Build & Create Maps

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“Guys. It s cody with taking 20 and welcome back to my roll. 20. Master master series okay so so far in this series.

We have really covered a lot different topics. But one thing that we haven t really talked about much at all is building maps. Now i ve seen a lot of people on the different forums and websites talking about how they re kind of struggling with maps on how to line them up where to find them how to build them all that stuff so i figured. This was a great opportunity for me to share some of the tips and tricks.

I ve picked up that i wish i knew when i first started playing on roll 20. So i hope you guys are ready let s get started okay guys so the first tip. I have for you is a really basic and simple tip and that is to build a flip map you can create a flip map in roll20 quickly and easily let me show you how as you see i ve got my little flip map. Here.

So what we re going to do is we re going to create a new page and then we re going to go over to this new untitled page. And it s kind of bright. So what we want to do is go here to the page settings scroll down. So you get to this background.

And change. This to a color. That s a little bit easier on the eyes. Here.

Let s see what that looks like ah much better okay. And you may want to change the color of the lines maybe a little darker. I don t know it s it s up to your taste. I think that looks pretty good so go in rename it to flip matt and as you can see i ve.

This is my foot map. It s pretty much identical and that is a quick way to one little tip. I have for you guys to just build a flip map in your game. So when you need to come up on the fly with a dungeon you can do so pretty easily okay guys so tip number two is a pretty cool and quick little way to create some variants using tile sets a lot of you guys may be using tile sets that you ve either either bought from the marketplace or maybe you ve even found some through google image search or anything like that and they are great tool to have and as you can see here.

I ve uploaded a few different types of tile sets. But if you re using the same tile set over and over and over it can get a little monotonous for your players. So. What i want you to do is oh.

And here s another great one i mean enlarged. This here is instead of using the same tile set over and over and over and over for your players put and copy out on the field click on it go into its settings. And you can actually go down. Here.

Because it is still a token and tint this thing. So a great opportunity to reuse the same tile sets. And give it a little bit of a different color and feel for your players is to simply go in and recolor the tiles. They snap in the grid.

And that looks completely different than the original tile set that we have you can do the same thing over here. And you can even do something a little bit more fun. Maybe you want to have a golden paved a hallway or something like that she can go in here. Just simply recolor your tiles.

And it s a great way to get a lot more mileage out of the tile sets. You already have without boring your players okay so for tip number three from time to time. When you re running games. You might have players that get the bright idea that it s a good idea to split the party and if they decide to split in such a way that maybe you have one map set up for one level of a dungeon and a second map for the second level.

It can be really hard to balance as a dungeon master in trying to move players back and forth..


But roll20 has actually built in a way that you guys can literally split the party and actually put them on two different pages. Let me show you what i mean if you go up here to the page toolbar you can see this player flag now that s what page all the players are on. But you don t want to have to move this completely over to a different page just because maybe one player is on a different map here s how you fix that if you go down here to the players name and you grab it you can actually grab this and drag it up here to a second page now you ll notice up here that the players image whatever their default token is has actually been moved over to this page. But the rest of the players will still remain along with the bookmark.

So you have in essence completely split. The party on two separate pages. Now when the players decide to rejoin each other all you have to do is grab this token slide it back over the bookmark will highlight and release and as you can see everybody is back over here under the bookmark and that is how you split the party. Okay so tip number four.

I have seen a lot of people struggling with aligning their maps. And it s one thing that kind of bothers. Me when i get into a game. And i see grids kind of all over the place and my character token isn t really snapping to the right area.

And it s hard to use the measuring tool that way because dungeon master s just kind of struggle with lining up their maps correctly. Let me show you guys how to do this the right way so i m going to go up here. And i m going to create a new page and on this new page. I m going to go into the settings.

I m going to make this just a little bit bigger here. Let s make it like 50 by 50. It should be a nice big wide page perfect now. I m gonna go back in here.

And no excuse. Me now it s time to now. It s time to actually load in our map. So i m going to go over here to my art library.

I m going to pull up a map one that you guys may be familiar with i m going to drag the crag maul hideout right onto the page now let s start making this thing a little bigger. Okay now we can t really tell where all the lines are yet. So let s do this let s move this to the map layer and you as you can see i ve got a long way to go before this looks kind of right. So.

Let s zoom out a little bit. And here s a little trick. Going here to the page settings again go down here to this second section. And you can actually change what color.

These lines are so i m going to make them nice and bright and white and i m going to crank the opacity up so i can see kind of where these are on the map got it let s slide over here to the map layer and we re going to kind of just put this in the corner. And we re just going to stretch this out a little bit till it gets close it doesn t have to be perfect. We re just going to stretch this out okay so here s what we re going to do we re going to change this we re going to right click. It and we re going to go to advanced and we re going to make this a drawing now perfect now here s the trick once you ve made it a drawing.

I want you to try to get these sized up the right way. We re going to slide this a little bit left. And as you can see if i stop right. There let me zoom in just a little bit.

So you guys can see exactly what i m talking about so. As you can see this line looks pretty good. But this line happens way before this one does so that means that my square is too big. So i actually need to crank this down a little bit.

Let s slide this down okay now just to show you where my eye is because i m going to do this next one without stopping again. I m lining each one of these lines up and then comparing if the map lines are bigger or if my grid lines are bigger. So still have some area to go let s keep slide and keep sliding. Wow.

That looks pretty good okay..


Let s check the other side of the map looks pretty good. Let s crank it down over just a touch and we have now lined up the width. The horizontal lines are guess technically the vertical lines and all we re going to do is go back to the bottom. And do the exact same thing.

So let s get this thing lined up here s the trick line up one line. Okay. So i m looking right here on my visual. And as i can see this black line box.

Is taller is whiter. So i need to crank the map down a little bit and boom right about there. Let s check. The top of the map to make sure everything is still lined up it looks really really good now for the finishing touch.

Let s go back to our page toolbar. Go over to the page settings and crank. This opacity opacity. Opacity.

Opacity down all the way. So that it is invisible and now as you can see here when i bring a player token onto the map. It whoops. I think i put that in the map layer here.

Give me just a heartbeat to move this to the back. Let s click on this token. Because i forgot to change layers. And let s put that back in the token layer let s go back over here to our objects and tokens and now as i move this character around the map.

It is perfectly lined up and snaps into grid. Exactly the way you want perfectly and that s how you align your maps okay so i m going to show you guys one more tip in this video. I m going to show you guys a really cool tool called donjon if you re not familiar with it it s a fantastic website. That has all kinds of generators for you to use for your 5e and i think maybe even 4e.

Honestly i m not sure i didn t play for you terribly much. But uh. This is great to use even if you re playing pathfinder or 13th age or anything like that to generate maps let me show you what it can do okay. So as you guys can see this is a random generator for dungeons now don t worry i will put the link in the description below so that you guys can go right to this page now you can come up here and rename it and there s all sorts of things that you can add to this dungeon you can change the levels you can change the motif.

All kinds of things so it will start off with a black and white. Which is the map standard style. But if you go down here to some of these other ones and kind of play around with it a little bit you ll notice that it gives you these really cool textures built right into your maps. So what you can do is is you can actually take this map construct it at that point it will export to a jpeg and i ll show you that those steps here in just a moment because we re going to use this a little differently from this texture.

So let s go back over here to the standard and i m going to make this maps my size a little smaller here. I m going to go over. Here to diminutive and let s just go ahead and construct it let s see what it does okay perfect. So it s built as this nice pretty map to use down here.

You can download it and if you re playing whatever system you can see that it ll actually create some other cool fun stuff to play with just a little pro tip. If you want to just throw. Together an encounter for your group. Or even if you re running a one shot just use this for for some fun hacking slash.

So what we re going to do is we want to download not this map exactly because as you can see it has some like secret door markings right here. But instead what we re going to do is we are going to go to the players map we re going to download this players map and this is called the secret halls of you do see those click this players map as you can see it has downloaded okay. But we re not done yet. What i want to do with this is i m going to show you guys a way to use this not just as a black and white map.

But actually to add your own textures in behind it to give it a little bit of a more unique feel for maybe whatever dungeon you re running..


If you weren t able to find any of those particular styles that you liked with the different options at donjon. So we re going to go over here and i m going to open this up in a tool called paintnet. Now i don t want this to be a paintnet tutorial. But i will show you guys just some basics on how to use it in essence.

It s a completely free program and you can exchange. It for you know adobe or gimp or anything that you personally use to edit your photos and. Stuff i like paintnet and i ll show you how easy it is to use for for kind of how we re intending to use it okay so i have opened paintnet. And what i m going to do is i m just going to drag this image over here for my folder off screen and drop it on here.

I m going to add a layer and that looks perfect now here s what i want you to do i want you to go over here to this background click on it and then delete that layer so it s gone. So. All we have is just this one image. There s no layers above it or below.

It now the next thing. We re going to do is as you can see it s kind of selected here we re just going to hit the oops we re gonna hit the escape button we re going to go over here to our magic wand and we re going to click on this white section. Here and then all you have to do is hit delete. And then we re just going to go through the map.

Deleting out all of these white sections and basically. What that s going to do is that s going to make this transparent now i am also going to zoom right here on the stairs. Just a little bit. And you don t have to do this.

But i personally like it that way i m just going to delete these extra little line these extra little white spaces out to make the map completely transparent. Okay done let s zoom back out. And this looks really good so. Here s what we re going to do we re going to go over here to file.

And we re going to save this as and we re going to just put this right here. As you can see i have a few of these i ve done so far and we re going to put this as the secret halls of theo to see the player version and i m going to save this as a png so as you can see i ve saved this as a png and i m going to hit save at this point. It s going to tell you all this stuff here. It may if you have multiple layers.

It s going to say do you want to compress them. If it does just hit ok and then go ahead and hit ok. There perfect now. It s saving.

Okay. Now that we ve created it let s go find it and make a map. So go over. Here.

Your page toolbar and make a new page go into the pack pages settings and let s crank this back up to 50 by 50 done now let s slide over here. And then let s take this and slide it onto the map. Okay perfect. Now you can t really see because again we gotta line.

This thing up so let s rank this opacity up opacity. Why do i keep setting that so that we can see things a little better and i m not going to show you guys how to align this since i just went over that but i m going to go ahead and line this up one more time real quick and we ll come right back. Okay. Now that we have it all lined up let me show you how to add some fun textures behind this thing.

So. All we have to do is go over here to our map and background layer and what i want you to do is go find on google image or anything like that go find some fun textures. I ve grabbed this gravel stone through google image search and let me show you what this does so we re going to take this and we re going to make this a excuse. Me is drawing and we re going to go crank this bad boy down you just like that we re going to go back over to the objects and token layer.

We re going to take this and we re going to change this to the map layer go back to the map layer if it disappeared not a problem click on it and go to the back and then boom just like that you ve created a different type of texture or your players now one last trick to do with this is instead of a texture..


Let s do something a little different let s go over here and move this to the back. So i can delete this out okay. And just to make things easier. I m going to put this back on the token layer for just a moment now.

I m still in the maps and background layer now if you ve found any cool. Dungeon tile sets like this one here really caught my eye really awesome awesome tiles that i just found online you can take it and you can just copy copy copy paste and it doesn t matter if you go over it s really not a problem and go ahead and click on one of these and maybe move them around a little bit so they don t look quite so uniform for your players. So that your players again don t get terribly bored of it. But once you ve kind of mixed them up a little bit just take the whole row and paste.

It there again these will all snap right into grid. And if you don t want to go over just because it s going to bother you you can always stack them on top like that now we take this whole section copy and basically. I think. At this point.

You guys are getting the idea. So let me fast forward in the video. So you guys don t have to watch me kind of do this the whole way down okay. Now that we re done all we have to do is go back over to the object and token layer click on this dark portion that we have created and move that to the map layer okay.

Now that we ve moved it to the map layer just highlight over a couple of these pieces move these to the back. So you can grab a good section. There and move that to the front and voila just like that you have created your very own textured randomly generated map using a few different tools we used donjon to create the actual. Map we used paintnet to remove the white and basically make it transparent and we use both textures.

And we used tile sets to give it two completely different looks to keep your players you know more engaged because there s more kind of a things aren t monotonous and kind of stale. Okay now the final tip. I have for you is a very simple one and that is please just like with the handouts. We did earlier in this series go ahead and archive.

This map. If you re not going to use it so by that you have a ton of little bitty tiles here and if you re not using it at the moment. It s just best to archive. It we re into the page settings.

We re going to go down here and we re going to archive this page when we need to access it not a problem at all we can go right in here. Find whatever maps we have set up and just restore the map. And just like that the map is a functional again or if you want to look at the one that we just created just hit restore then go right back over here. And you can see this map has been set up okay.

So that s it for this video. Now. I do have at least one more cool map tip and trick that i want to share with you guys. And that is how to create your very own dungeon tile sets completely for free that look and function just like those really cool ones you see on the marketplace.

So stay tuned for that video. It will be the next video in the series and hopefully you guys will enjoy that as well. If this is your first time here and you love role playing games as much as i do i d love to have you subscribe. I ve been putting out new videos every week on dm tips player tips more roll20 tutorials and all kinds of things so.

If that sounds like something you d be interested in hit that subscribe button down below and come join us also if you want to reach out to me or have any questions you can leave your questions in the comments. Below. I ll do my best to answer as many as i can or you can always hit me up on twitter at taking d20. Thank you guys so much for watching my name is cody the major games be filled with awesome memories and even better friends.

I ll catch you guys next time 1 2 3. All right kiddo. ” ..

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