Battle Map Modes
Battle Map has two modes:
You can switch modes by tapping the "swith mode" button in the top bar.
Game Master Mode: In this mode. you can draw your map, add objects, and view the entire map regardless of visibility settings.
Player Mode: In this mode, you can move your characters around and view just the portions of the map your characters see or have explored.
Here's the recommended way to use Battle Map in an adventure:
1. Create the map using Game Master Mode.
2. Allow the players to take their turns using Player Mode.
3. Hide Battle Map from the players, and switch to Game Master mode to take the monsters' turn.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 until your adventure is complete!
Note: Only the Player Mode view displays on an external monitor or projector, so your players don't accidentally see unrevealed terrain!
Drawing Your map
LOADING AND SAVING MAPS
Main Menu allows you to create new maps, save maps, load a saved map, delete maps, or configure the settings. The Main Menu can be opened by tapping the icon in the upper left of the Battle Map toolbar.
DRAWING THE BACK GROUND
To draw the background, tap the "background" button in the bottom toolbar, and choose the back groud you wish to draw with.
Then simply drag your finger along the screen, and Battle Map will automatically complete the edges of your tiles to make your map look amazing!
You'll notice that there are two kinds of backgrounds: backgrounds that slightly overlap neighboring tiles (such as grass, caves, dungeon tiles, etc.), and tiles that stay within their bounds (such as tables, rugs, etc). This allows you to create same great effects with ease!
Note: backgrounds are layered in the order they appear in the list, to help make maps look elegant and natural.
You can add a variety of objects to your map, such as characters, monsters, or other items such as treasure chests, tables, statues, and much more!
To add an object, tap the "objects" button in the bottom toolbar. and choose the object you wish ro add,
Then tap on the screen to choose where to add your object. By default, Battle Map will automatically switch to movement mode with the new object selected, so that you can resize, reposition, and rotate your object until you get it in the spot you like.
If you would prefer to draw several objects at a time, you can turn on the "Drag to Paint Objects" option in Settings.
To move an object, simply drag the object to a new location. You can also tap an object to select it, and pinch to scale or rotate.
By default, scaling objects is disabled to make it easier to rotate objects, but you can easily enable scaling of objects by turning on the "Object Scaling" option in Settings.
If you have a lot of objects on your map, you may want to disable the "Drag to Move Object" in Settings. If this is disabled, have to tap an object to select it before you can move it by dragging.
To set properties on an object. double tap the object to bring up the Object Properties popover:
Here you can set the following properties:
- Name: Text that will appear underneath the object. Useful to name characters or monsters, or note certain effects.
- Position: Moves the object to the front (above all other objects), or to the back (below all other objects). Useful to make one object appear on top or underneath another. By default, objects are displayed in the order they are placed into the map (oldest at the bottom).
- Is Character: Toggles whether this object is considered a character. This way, you can use any object as a character - perhaps a monster, or self-aware treasure chest for example! If an object is a character, the tiles that it can see will be visible in Player mode. Note if you set an object as a character, you may wish to give it a light source also if you are using a dark map.
- Blocks LOS: See the Battle Map Visibility section.
- Tint Color: Colors the object the specified color. Useful to distinguish between similar objects or note certain effects.
- Mark Colors: Choose a series of colors to animate underneath the selected object in a sequence. Useful to distinguish between similar objects or note certain effects. Note that this is not supported with an external display connected.
- GM/PC Mode Lock: If an object is locked. the object cannot be moved or scaled in the designated mode However, you can still double tap the object to bring up its object properties. It may be helpful to lock objects that are part ofthe background to avoid accidental selection.
- Dark Vision: See the Battle Map Visibility section.
- Range of Light Source: See the Battle Map Visibility section.
- Hidden Object: See the Hidden Objects section.
- Has Been Revealed: See the Hidden Objects section.
ERASING BACKGROUNDS & OBJECTS
To erase backgrounds, select the "delete" button in the bottom toolbar and drag your finger over the background tiles you wish to delete.
To erase an object, select the "delete" button in the bottom toolbar and tap the object. Objects are not deleted when you drag your finger, so that you can monre easily replace the background underneath objects if you would like. If this is not what you want, you can turn on the "Drag to Paint Objects" option in Settings. which will let you drag your finger to delete objects.
MOVING WITH IN THE MAP
To move around the map, select the "move" button in the bottom toolbar and drag your finger on the map. You can also pinch to zoom.
As a shortcut, you can also move the map while in delete or paint mode by using two fingers at once to pan or zoom.
To enter fullscreen mode, simply double tap the map somewhere where there are no objects. The status bars will disappear allowing you to enjoy your cool creation!
To undo many actions in Batlle Map, as moving an object or painting a tile. simply tap the Undo button in the bottom toolbar.
CHÀNGING THE BACKGROUND IMAGE
You can put your own background image behind your map by going to the main menu and choosing "Change Background Image", This can be useful if you have your own background you'd like to use for the map. You can clear the image by choosing "Clear Background Image" in the main menu.
You can add your own custom objects to Battle Map by tapping the "Custom" button on the bottom toolbar. A popover will appear showing any custom artwork you have added in the past.
You can select a custom object with the "reticle" icon, or delete a piece of custom artwork with the "x" icon. Note that if you delete a custom object, that object will no longer appear in any maps, including maps you have already saved.
To add a new piece of custom artwork, tap the "+" button in the popover and choose an image from your Saved Photos.
Battle Map does support images with transparency - you just need to make sure that the image was saved with transparency preserved in your Saved Photos. One simple way to ensure this is to save the image in PNG format with transparent areas, upload your image somewhere accessible via the web, browse to your image with Safari, then hold down your finger over the image until the "Save Image" button appears.
Note that tiles in Battle Map are 128x128 pixels. So when adding your own custom tokens, usually you'll want to make them slightly than this (such as 100x100) so they easily fit within the bounds of single tile.
Adventuring On Your Map
Once you have created your map, switch to Player Mode to begin your adventure!
To move an object or character in Player mode. you have two options:
1. Drag the object or character like you would in Game Master mode.
2. If the object is a character, select the character and then tap nearby the character to move in that direction. Requires the "Tap to Move Char" option to be enabled in Settings. For example, to move one square to the left tap slightly to the left of the character. When you are done, simply tap far away from the selected character.
When you are tapping to move, Battle Map will prevent your character from moving into a tile that blocks line of sight such as a wall. If you intend to move into a tile that is a wall, simply drag to move the character.
When moving a character, Battle Map will display the number of moves a character has made as a helpful reference (requires the "Display Times Moved" setting to be on). Note that this is not necessarily the number of tiles moved - for example, you may have moved a character by dragging, and moved several tiles in a single move.
You can also double tap an object in Player Mode to modify its properties.
BATTLE MAP VISIBILITY
Battle Map allows you to provide a suspenseful and exciting role playing experience to your players by revealing only what the players can currently see!
The following tiles block line of sight:
- Unpainted tiles. If a tile has no background on it, if's considered to be a wall that blocks line of sight. This helps you create a dungeon easily just by drawing the rooms (surrounded by unpainted tiles), without having to manually draw walls.
- Wall tiles. You can use wall (the last tile in the list of backgrounds) to draw arbitrary walls within rooms or separating areas.
- Door objects. See the Doors section for more details.
- Objects with the "blocks LOS" property: You can designate any object as blocking line of sight by setting the blocks LOS property. Note that the object will block line of sight in any tile that it overlaps into, so make sure that your object fits within the bounds of just the you wish it to block.
By default, Battle Map sets maps as fully visible in player mode. If this is not what you want, you can change the following visibility-related settings:
- LOS Calculation
- On: Characters can see a tile if they have line of sight (LOS) to a tile and the tile is illuminated.
- Off (default): Characters can see all tiles no matter what!
- Map is Dark
- On: Tiles are dark unless there is a light source illuminating the tile.
- Off (default): All tiles are illuminated.
- LOS is Circle
- On (default): Line of sight is calculated using a circle centered on the object. Note for a small radius this will look similar to a square.
- OFF: Line of sight is calculated using a square centered on the object.
- Impersonate Char
- On (default): When a character is selected, you can only see tiles visible to that character. When no character is selected, you can see tiles visible to any character.
- Show Explored Tiles
- On (default): Once a tile is revealed, eve if the characters move to a position where it is no longer visible, the tile will still display (but shaded gray). This is to model the characters' memory of where they have been previously. However, objects that are in the shaded tiles will not be displayed until the tile is visible again! This is so the GM can be sneaky and move around monsters or other objects in the darkness, out of sight of the characters.
- Off: Any area that is no longer visible will be blacked.
- Dark Vision
- On: All tiles with in line of sight of this character are considered illuminated, even if the map is dark.
- OFF (default): A character requires a tile to be illuminated to see it.
- Range of Light Source
- Number: All tiles within the specified radius are considered illuminated. By default, characters carry a light source of range 3, and certain objects such as candles are preset to be a light source.
Note that line of sight calculations always use square tiles, regardless of whether the map has a hex grid overlay.
The light source and visibility algorithms in Battle Map have been made generic so that it can be a good approximation useful for many different RPG systems. If Battle Map's algorithms and options do not meet your exact needs, you can always disable the built-in system by setting Visibility to All, and perform your own calculations.
You can resert the explored tiles at any time by going to the Main Menu and selecting "Reset Map Visibility". This can be useful as a GM if you want to test our your map before exploring it with your players, or if you'd like to use the same map multiple times.
In object properties, you can set an object as a hidden object. This means the object will not be revealed until a character enters one of the tiles that object is in.
This can be particularly useful for traps, or hidden treasure.
Once a hidden object is revealed, the "Has Been Revealed" object property will be set to "On". To re-hide the object, simply turn "Has Been Revealed" to "Off". Note that the object will continue no be revealed if a character is standing on one of its tiles!
When a character steps on a tile, if any part of the hidden object is within that tile it will be revealed. So take care that the hidden object is within the tiles that you want it to be displayed on.
The objects that look like doors have special properties.
- They black line of sight in all tiles that they are a part of.
- You can double tap a door in PC mode to manually rotate the door 120°.
- If a character tries to walk through a door in Player Mode by tapping toward the door, the door will automatically open by rotating 120°. You can disable this behavior by setting "Open Doors" to "Manual" in Settings.
- If any part of a door is in a particular tile, it is considered to block line of sight in that tile. So take care that the door does nut extend further than you intend.
CONNECTING TO AN EXTERNAL DISPLAY
To connect Battle Map to an external display, you will need a Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter (available from the Apple Store) and a display with a VGA output cable. The iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter works for both iPad or iPhone 4. You simply plug the connector into the bottom of your iPad or iPhone 4. and the VGA output into the connector. Battle Map will detect when a display is connected, and prompt you to choose a resolution for display that is supported by your device.
Again, note that only the Player Mode view displays on an external monitor or projector, so your players don't accidentally see unrevealed terrain!
Battle Map comes bundled with the RPG Calc iPhone/iPad app as a bonus, so you can roll dice quickly and easily as you play!
To load RPG Calc, simply tap the RPG Calc icon on the top toolbar.
With RPG Calc, you can type expressions like d10+4 or 2d4+3 and RPG Calc will roll the dice, and the modifiers, and present your result.
Some useful tips:
- Shortcut: double tap a dice for an instant roll.
- MR = result from last roll.
- dX allows you to roll an aribtrary sided sie, such as d34 or d55.
- You can use parenthesis to control order of operations, such as (d8+5)x2.
You can toggle much of the behavior in Battle Map by accessing the Settings menu. Here is a quick reference each of the options:
Options that stay the same regardless of what map you have open.
- Object Scaling
- On: when you have an object selected you can pinch to scale the object.
- Off: you cannot scale an object.
- Snap to Grid
- On: while moving an object it snaps to the grid, and snaps rotation to 45 degree increments.
Off: you can move/rotate an object to any position/rotation.
- Drag to Move Object
- On: if you begin a drag on top of an object and continue dragging, you will drag the object.
- Off: you must select an object first before you can move it.
- Drag to Paint Objects
- On: when painting objects you can drag to quickly paint many objects across multiple cells.
- Off: you paint a single object at a time and Battle Map automatically shifts to move mode after you paint so you can move your new object to the desired position.
- Tap to Mover Char
- On: when you have a character selected you can tap nearby the character to move it in that direction, or tap far away to unselect the character.
- Off: you must drag to move a character.
- Display Times Moved
On: Battle Map keeps track of the times your character has moved in the bottom right of the screen for reference.
- Auto Open Doors
- On: when your character tries to move into a door in "Tap to Move Char" mode, the door will automatically open.
- OFF: you must manually double tap on a door to open it.
- Auto Save
- On: Battle Map will periodically save your map in the background.
- Off: you must save your map manually.
- Sound Effects
- On: Battle Map will play sound effects when you move a token, collide into a wall, roll a dice, etc.
- Off: all sounds are off.
Options that are particular to the map you are working with.
- Display Grid
- On: Battle Map will draw lines separating the tiles.
- Off: Battle Map will not draw any lines.
- Hex Grid
- On: Battle Map will draw a hex grid.
- Off: Battle Map will draw a square grid. Note that line of sight calculations always use a square grid.
- Other Map Settings: See the "Battle Map Visibility" section above.