There’s a booming business in pretty dice and tabletop battle maps thanks to the healthy RPG hobby.
If you’ve never seen a battle map before, or perhaps if you use a different term, I mean either a virtual or a printed sheet of paper that depicts a top-down view of an exciting location and often with a grid overlay to scale with the movement rules of roleplaying games. You’ll see some examples in this post.
The gaming community is pretty generous with battle maps, and hundreds are given away free by artists. The Reddit Battle Maps community has 111K members. However, if you can’t find a battle map that fits your carefully planned encounter. What are you to do?
At Crafty Dice you can design rooms and close up tiles to your exacting specifications. As the site shows, designs for boats, airships and more significant scale buildings are coming.
You can use The Crafty Dice for free, but only just. Really, the free access to the site is a proof of concept only and designed to persuade you to adopt the Patreon.
On the menu to the left of the page, any visitor can select Wood or Stone for the section of the battle map they want to work on and then do the same for the walls. After that, working down the menu, free users must pick the day time option, adjust the door, apply some effects and decide whether they want a grid.
Choices are limited until an account is created and link with The Crafty Dice’s patreon. You can become a patron for $1 a month or offer to pay more to have a greater say in the development of the site or even get access to the raw Photoshop files for the images used.
Connecting a paying Patreon account to The Crafty Dice’s battle map generator opens up the design options. Not every option is equal, though. Adding cherry leaves to the ground of your map design only requires you to be a tier-one ($1) patron while fall leaves are only available once you pay for tier-two ($3).
Subscribers to The Crafty Dice are paying a similar amount to many of the artisanal map designers on Patreon. It means finding the time to make your own maps and losing the delight of discovering what the next handcrafted masterpiece from the cartographer will be. Still, it means having all your battle maps in a similar style, developing a growing library and tools needed to map your own campaigns.
As a result, The Crafty Dice is a solution that will appeal to many, if not all, gamers and DMs. It certainly appeals to me, and a public Patreon post from Crafty Dice shows, I think, just what the tool is capable of.
There are other examples of what The Crafty Dice can create over at Instagram.
What are your thoughts? Strike up a discussion and leave a comment below.