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I use MapTool (also a Java program) for the game map during a game. So I use a Raspberry Pi 3 B and Raspbian connected to a projector mounted on the ceiling and facing down onto the table. A large piece is white artwork paper is the screen. MapTool runs on my PC and I enable the MapTool server. Then I VNC into the Raspberry Pi over the local network and run MapTool as a client. My Laptop shows me the GM’s map and the Raspberry Pi displays the player’s map with fog of war, vision blocking, light sources, etc. I zoom the player’s map to 1” squares and the players put their minis on the displayed map. I use MapTool counters for monsters. I play Pathfinder and use the Pathfinder macros in MapTool that allows me to import the all the monster’s stats and hit points.
Eventually, I will replace the non-smart projector with a smart network projector and eliminate the Raspberry Pi from the setup, and just run MapTool in two instances on my PC, one for GM and one for PC on the extended desktop which will be the projector. Or perhaps I will build a tripod elevated mirror and use a short-throw projector to project up to the mirror and down to the table top to make the idea portable and completely eliminate the need for a network connection. As it is now, I don’t need internet access, but I still need a network to connect the PC instance to the Raspberry Pi instance.
To learn how to use MapTool I watched the video series from Thomas Chapman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rVo2Yj-xcw&list=PLD4i-ngGs9thEXoHaxzRqD0b3zWcmpAOn, and read some posts on the MapTool forums.
This process has worked well for 2 years now. I am running Curse of The Crimson Throne Adventure Path for an average of 3 short (2.5 hour) sessions a month. MapTool lets me prepare the maps, vision blocking, fog of war and monster tracking in advance helps me keep the game moving in the short game sessions.
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf Of Brad Fonseca
I've played around a bit with DungeonFog (https://www.dungeonfog.com/) [Thank you for the suggestion Christoph Stahl!]. I turned out this simple map (see attached) with very little effort using the free version of the web app. I really like that it's a top-down mapper and I can apparently create "fog of war" effects on a displayed map so I can use it during a gaming session. I have to work out how to do that still but this is a very cool option.