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New GMs, Editable Campaign Maps and Map Printing

In today’s link roundup, tips for new GMs, and maps, maps, maps:

Four Common Pitfalls for New GMs [1]: Kit Reshawn’s excellent Roleplaying Tips [2] article covers GMPC issues, spotlight time, clues and PC deaths — all great topics for folks who are just getting started on their GMing careers. As always, when I see GMing advice like this now, I wish I’d known this stuff when I started out.

Kayuda Maps [3]: At GenCon, fellow GM-Fu panelist Zachary Houghton gave me a link to this site, which is currently in “private alpha” mode. I usually don’t link to stuff that’s not live, but I’m breaking that rule because Kayuda sounds so cool: it will let you upload and edit campaign maps, Google Maps style, complete with the ability to zoom in on specific areas. Bookmark it now and check back in a couple of weeks.

Gamer Printshop [4]: Billing itself as “An RPG map printing service and more for game masters and RPG publishers,” Gamer Printshop can print your campaign maps — in sizes up to 36″x48″, with lamination and mounting options available. $36 for a full-color jumbo map ($48 laminated) seems pretty reasonable to me, although I don’t know how favorably it compares to, say, Kinko’s or Office Depot.

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#1 Comment By Telas On August 24, 2007 @ 8:25 am

I spoke at length with the Kayuda Maps developer. The maps are held on a server online, but I don’t recall the mapping software. Maps are editable like a wiki; editing and viewing privileges are defined by the map creator (from “just me” to “the entire internet”). Points on the map are linked to files – per the developer, potentially almost any kind of electronic document or file.

Per their site, the laminated maps at Gamer Printshop will take “highlighter pens, dry erase or grease pencils”. I think the Campaign Cartographer tactical maps are too busy, but this sounds great for a recurring location (the deck of a ship, a tavern, gladiator ring, etc).

#2 Comment By Dave T. Game On August 24, 2007 @ 11:03 am

As someone who was a poster/sign guy for Kinko’s, I can tell you that the Gamer Printshop prices are way lower than what Kinko’s or other mainstream print shop would charge for full color.

#3 Comment By ShadowChemosh On August 24, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

I have had the opportunity to use Gamer Printshop. I had them do a laminated full color map of Eberron and it came out excellent. They worked with me to make sure it was the correct size without it looking stretched.

#4 Comment By Michael Tumey On August 25, 2007 @ 7:49 am

Hey guys! Thanks for the review on my site and service.

Just before Gencon I opened my RPG Map Print-on-Demand shop – so if there are any RPG publishers with map products they’d like to make available to their game players, we can setup a free account to let you do just that!

I have a productline called Endless Terrain Battlemaps which are a set of 4 dbl-side geomorphic terrain maps, available in Heavy Woods, Woodland Path and Swamp – more coming soon!

#5 Comment By Frank Filz On September 4, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

Michael, I’d love to hear more about your terrain battlemaps, could you post a link?

Frank