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D&D 3E
Hello all. I've come baring a suggestion. I've recently started… 
18th-Sep-2005 09:11 am
snarl, smartass
Hello all. I've come baring a suggestion.

I've recently started playing a in a campaign, besm if anyone was interested, and learned about a very interesting tool out of game. I know it lacks in complete professionalism and isn't always pretty and neat, but has anyone used a dry erase board? We're using a large one to draw maps and random cartoons and there's another one that has our basic info like health and names.

I thought it was ingenious, I had never heard about it before. So I bring it to you, to use as you wish. :D
18th-Sep-2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
We've been using a dry erase board for years. We started using on in the classroom we met in, and then bought our own small one to write on. We don't have mini's or a battle map, so we draw up a quick grid and use it for combat, or just for detailing setting and whatnot. And if we don't have the board or a pen or something, we use a piece of scratch paper for the same purpose.
18th-Sep-2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
Another GM I know (W:tA and Rifts) uses a whiteboard exclusively. It's great for rules-light games! We have two smaller dry erase boards as well, one for the GM to pass notes, and another for player "conversations".

One warning: If you have a vinyl battlemat, be absolutely certain the markers don't accidentally get mixed up. Dry erase markers are permanent on battlemats.
18th-Sep-2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
A regular tool that I found myself using was a large pad of 1" grid graph paper. We would use it for making quick hand drawn encounter maps and minis. It's perfect for the d20 system (one square=5foot)

Eventually we took on the dry erase idea on a peice of plexiglass placed over a graph sheet. Then we dryerased maps on the surace while still using the graph. One adventurous DM we had made his own combat table with a grid already marked on a folding card table and a plexiglass sheet. This also served as his GM station.
18th-Sep-2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, our group has been needing one of those badly. Heck, we even have this huge space of wall jsut behind the DM that the DM often points to, drawing imaginairy spots on the wall with his finger. :S We basically jsut use pen and paper, but somethings are too big for that.
18th-Sep-2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
I printed off custom-sized 1"sq grid paper and had several sheets laminated so I could use dry erase markers on them. :)
18th-Sep-2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
Dry erase boards are good to use to keep track of initiative, and other notes.

What I try and do is only list the PCs (and any NPCs travelling with them) on the board so they have to keep track themselves when the enemy has it's turn.

Battlemats are relatively inexpensive as long as you use the right marker.
18th-Sep-2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
We got a giant one from a video store that was closing. It's like 5' by 3'. We covered the entire thing with one inch squares with a permanent (non erase marker), so now we can draw in enemies, forests, battlements or whatever other terrain features we need.
18th-Sep-2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
my laser printer will take paper landscape (it'll go in the wide way)... which means I can print 11x17 as manual feed (tabloid) paper... which I preprint with 1" squares... or you could just buy THIS and just wipe it off.. which I did a couple months ago. well worth the price.

18th-Sep-2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
Even better than standard dry-erase boards are dry-erase magnetic boards. It makes it a whole lot easier to work with initiative (and actual combat positions, but I prefer battlemats for such) as you can use magnetic labels for each character and move 'em around. Sure, two seperate boards (one magnetic, one dry-erase) work almost as well, but one magnetic dry-erase cuts down on the clutter.

I've only actually played with a magnetic dry-erase once, but with standard dry-erase many times.
18th-Sep-2005 06:00 pm (UTC)
I use dry erase for bad guy hit points, initiative order, and keeping track of effect durations. I have been doing it for years.
18th-Sep-2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
Our gaming group is working on getting some sort of dry-erase system...with out current campaign and large party size, I think it's about to become a necessity.

I've been using dry-erase fine-point pens on the page protectors I keep my character sheets in for years now...it's far kinder to the character sheets than contstantly erasing hit points.

Just make sure if you're going to have a significant delay between games, that you make a note of whatever you had written down in dry erase so you can go ahead and wipe it off...otherwise it can get somewhat challenging to get the set-in dry-erase ink off the page protectors.
19th-Sep-2005 01:13 am (UTC)
That's a neat idea.
19th-Sep-2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
For a while I used a dry erase board (walmart, $10) and laid out a 1" grid in red permanent marker. Then I'd use black dry erase marker to draw the map. Erasing the map didn't erase the grid, though over time it does deteriorate and has to be redrawn.

I much prefer using the vinyl battle mat with a wet-erase marker. I can preplan maps using overhead transparencies (also with wet erase markers) and lay them out one sheet at a time as the PCs go exploring.

The most overkill I saw somewhere on the net was a guy who bought a projector and mounted it in the ceiling over the playing surface, linked it to his laptop as a second monitor, and used Photoshop to draw maps and "erase" portions of a mask overlay as the party explored.
19th-Sep-2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
I highly recommend the FlipMat from Steel Sqwire.

They have a few good products, but the FlipMat rocks. It has both grid and hex. It can handle dry erase, wet erase, and even permanent marker (including Sharpie!!).
19th-Sep-2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
At the game shop that my group plays at, one of the game rooms has a massive white board and we always make good use out of it. There's nothing unproffesional about it. There's nothing wrong with making good use of what you've got
20th-Sep-2005 02:20 pm (UTC)
You can buy the dry-erase boards with the 1-inch grid already affixed/printed/drawn on. I don't remember where we got it from, but I could find out if you'd like.
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