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DIY Professional-quality D&D maps

Let's face it: Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) can be an insanely expensive hobby. After you've invested in all the books,dice, miniatures,maps, tiles, and whatever else you might need, you can easily spend anywhere from 20-200+ dollars. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to lessen the dent in your wallet. One of the biggest money sinks are maps and tiles.You're basically paying anywhere from 10-20 bucks for sheets of perforated cardboard and paper. Fortunately, making your own is a relatively easy process if you know what you're doing. If you're willing to invest an hour or two of work,you can make maps or tiles that rival the quality of the Wizards of the Coast variaty at a fraction of the price. 
 
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Step 1: Get materials

   You'll need a computer, of course. Since you're reading this, I'll just assume you have one already.
     If you already have Photoshop or a similar image editing package, discount this step entirely. However, if you don't,then you'll need to download a package off the internet. MS paint is NOT good enough for what we want. I suggets getting paint.NET. It's one of the best packages on the market,and it's totally free. You can download it at http://www.getpaint.net/
   A printer is a very important part of the process. If you don't own one, there is almost always usable computers and printers at your local library. You'll of course also need some printer paper as well.
     If you own or have acess to a laminator machine, then you'll be able to make your maps last significantly longer. If you don't, though, it's not a big problem. 

Step 2: Get paint.NET ready

Once you have the software downloaded and installed, start it up and click File>New. A pop-up box will appear and ask you to input some settings. When you've set them,press OK to load up a blank white document.
willywoozle9 months ago
I'm unable to open the kit in Paint.NET as the file download seems corrupted as I'm downloading a .tmp file not any form of image file. Is the link broken?
charby2 years ago
I can't seem to be able to open this file in Photoshop CS5. Is there any way you can make the file a .pdf .psd or .png file? Or perhaps some advice as to how to go about converting it myself?
charby charby2 years ago
* by "this file" I mean the HD grid kit
The laminating is a great idea! I had been trying to think of some way to do this and originally thought about making wood tiles. I think your method is smarter! Have you tried printing these double-sided to get two different textures on the same tile or is there the issue of having them line up properly on either side?

I was also wondering how well the tiles stay together if you're laminating them. I feel as though dice rolling around might knock the tiles around too. Maybe some kind of "under mat" with velcro or something could be used to secure the tiles on it using... velcro or sticky tac?

I ended up giving in due to time constraints and complications and simply bought an eraseable dungeon mat since it gave me the flexibility of being able to draw on it... sadly the texturing is less impressive.
thatnerdguy (author)  GreatAssGoblin3 years ago
I haven't tried to double-side them, but it might be worthwile to try. As for slipping, I've found that foam kitchen drawer liners work wonders for keeping them steady.
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