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Old 03-07-2021, 08:43 AM   #23
SolemnGolem's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Fallen Column?
Default Re: Virtual Table Tops?

Further to Tabletop Simulator, I just ran my first virtual GURPS session in TTS. I had six players, and I had two maps: an aboveground tavern (two levels) and a below ground map of an underground cavern complex.

Making multi-level maps:

The tavern had two levels, and so I planned the ground level in its proper place on the map surface, but I put the upper level floating in midair, as well as offset in the lateral axes so that the players could see the lower level without having the upper level blocked in view.

Each level was constructed of locked pieces manipulated into proper place and shape via the Gizmo tool. The plot depended on the tavern having a stone ground level and a wooden top level, so proper walls and textures were used for them (I cannot find these in-game in the Counting's 5e Dungeon editor, so they must have been exogenous - anybody following these instructions can PM me and I'll be happy to share my set of dungeon walls). For a floor, simply take a wall and squish it way down in the Y axis, and stretch it way out in the X- and Z-axes.

Staircases were a bit finicky: I had to improvise with tiny scaled-down walls to form little steps, and then stack them in a diagonal ascension as a symbolic representation.

(The game featured a horde of rock mites surrounding the tavern at night, and one unwitting guest inside was serving as a local attraction for them - she had a big bag of uncut gems. So her position within the tavern was actually causing the rock mites to follow her rough position around outside the tavern. The PCs could have picked up on this and saved their stabled wagons of gear, but so far they haven't done so.)

Most items placed in the levels want to be locked (especially things floating in midair on the second level) - just be careful exactly where your mouse is pointing when you unlock them, since a misclick can cause the entire floor to collapse in sudden deference to in-game gravity.

Simple steps:
  • Create a wall block, squash it flat and stretch it out laterally to make the floor.
  • Lock the floor so it doesn't move in space.
  • Spawn and lock walls at the edges of the floor (assuming a quadrilateral is desired).
  • For a door, you may want to use a "wall - gap - wall" array, putting a door item in the gap. The Counting set has two separate door models (one closed, one ajar) and it's possible to combine the two as separate states of the same object (i.e. mouseover and type 1 or 2 to make it open or closed) but I have forgotten how to do this. [I can share the combined in-game item with anybody who needs it, as a trivial matter.]
  • Counting's construction set has a bag that contains lots of other bags, which eventually contain 3D models and 2D tiles. Some of them no longer function (it's possible that Counting stopped maintaining the online asset URLs) but most still do. Tables, kegs, stoves, wells (important for my adventure), beds, bedrolls, sofas, etc. are all placeable assets.
  • Lock them in place when they're set up and use the Gizmo tool (left margin bar) to move, stretch, deform, rotate, and otherwise manipulate them.
  • To save: there are several levels of save profundity available. Easiest is just to save the entire table, which will include the entire map as well as incidental stuff (fog of war, dice, miniatures, etc.). This will take the longest lag time and memory, but as a backup it's a wise choice. You can also use the "Stage" card tool near the GM's end of the table. Clear off all unwanted items from the map portion, and then hit the right button on the Stage card. The program will carefully pack the entire map into a bag. This bag can be saved in a couple of ways - one is to long-click and drag it to the chest next to it, so it's in the chest and can be visually clicked-and-dragged back out (place it on the Stage card to unpack again - but note that this destroys the only copy of the bag, so you'll have to repack when ready). Or you can right click on the bag and select Save Object. This puts a local copy on your computer and you can retrieve it by clicking the Objects button (top margin) and reselecting it. The bag will pop up into existence and you can put it on the Stage card again to unpack the level.

I've also made an underground cavern complex, which is basically a locked premade tile (somebody kindly scanned some caverny-watery artwork onto it ahead of time), with a number of 3D rocks piled on top in order to create natural-looking corridors and crevasses and so forth.


Ground floor of the tavern with attached stables enclosure

Upper floor of the tavern - I could not create the windows properly so we had to abstract them

Cavern system underneath the tavern, accessed by the well, with a BBEG crypt visible in the top right
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