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Musings, Collusion Kills and Excel Maps

To celebrate TT’s new three-column layout (ahem), how about three GMing links?

Musings of the Chatty DM [1]: Phil’s got some good stuff to say about GMing (and other topics, too) — try The Rule of Cool [2] to get started, or dive into part one of his four-part series about workplace team development applied to gaming groups [3].

Collusion Kill [4]: Robin Laws takes the approach to PC death found in Primetime Adventures — where a character can die only with the player’s consent — one step further, and suggests introducing PCs with deliberately limited life spans. Interesting stuff.

Excellent Maps [5]: Cayzle offers tips on using MS Excel to draw fantasy maps, particularly useful if you’re running an online game (PbEM, PbP, et al). Check out the sequence in Humonculous Quest [6] to get an idea of the versatility of Cayzle’s technique.

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#1 Comment By John Arcadian On October 2, 2007 @ 7:14 am

So I just popped over and looked at Cazyles mapping idea. I am now picking my jaw up off the floor. That is an incredibly excellent idea. You can even take character pictures and insert them directly into the spreadsheet for character tokens. Just grab a PNG mapping library and downsize all the pictures (so it doesn’t make a massively HUGE excel file) and you’ve got a brilliant, adapatble, and simple mapping solution.

My applause to Cazyle.

#2 Comment By Clayton On October 2, 2007 @ 7:24 am

Given that I have been trying to find a way to do maps…that last link with the Excel Map is amazing. I am going to have to give that a shot (although I use OpenOffice for my doc work)

Thats a nice link, thanks for finding that Martin! 😀

#3 Comment By Brent On October 2, 2007 @ 11:29 am

Excel is a great battlemat!

I’ve also been using Google-docs for the same reason (mind you, they can’t be made as pretty), but they are shared docs that any player can use. I also create separate tabs for each player’s stats and die rolls (which are done in the doc with the rand() command).

#4 Comment By Yax On October 2, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

I love the Chatty DM’s stuff. He sure writes a lot – chatty is an understatement!

#5 Comment By Telas On October 3, 2007 @ 7:54 am

Good links, all.

Excel mapping seems perfect for a “classic dungeon map”, especially with 25% gray fills, and different tabs for player and GM knowledge. Hmm….

Coolness always makes up for sloppy plots or techniques, in the sense that an attractive person can make up for the sloppy clothes they’re wearing.

And a co-opted player character sounds like the perfect thing to pull on a jaded group.