5/09/2015

New Frugal GM PWYW Product: HackMaster GM Battlemat

New Frugal GM PWYW Product: HackMaster GM Battlemat
After a brief detour to help work on someone else's RPG project I was able to finish up my HackMaster GM Battlemat and put it up on DriveThruRPG.

I know that maybe only one of my 12 regular readers might find this product useful, but I think it fills an important role if you happen to run games of the current edition of HackMaster.

I've tried multiple ways of running combats and while I think a computer program did the best I've been doing what I can to eschew..... "vertical" obstructions between me and my players. My iPad is reserved for looking things up and the occasional sound effect (I'm working on that one) and the laptop stays off the table.

What I keep coming back to is a simple use of pen and paper, but in order to keep from forgetting combatants, my paper has started looking more and more like some fancy sport scorecard. On my most recent battle I had a little extra prep time and I ended up making a numbers sheet that I could simply scan on each count to see who had to go. I marked it up with circles, dashes, and dots, but I still had a few issues....mostly because I didn't have some things standardized.

Colored Version of the 11' x 17" battlemat
Much smaller than the 300dpi 11" x 17" size
This is why I made the HackMaster GM Battlemat. It is capable of storing most all the necessary information used during combat (for 25 combatants) and I added a quick reference sheet on the side in case you needed to look up some rules. I deliberately left out the Initiative box to save room and because that was a one-time at the beginning of combat deal I'd only use once. If I needed to I could just mark up the sheet where I had some space. I also made a deliberate choice to list some items in the reference list more than once, because I hate puttering around and having to look up stuff. Reading the whole list to get to "tenacity" when I'm thinking "morale" is just frustrating.

I'm sure folks who find this useful will figure out how they want to mark it up, but I did mock up something quick as an example:
Rough demo of battlemat in use

















There are actually two versions of this battlemat on DriveThruRPG. One is color and the other is just in black & white. I priced out printing at the local print shop and for about $5 you can get the black and white version printed and laminated. The colored version costs up to $1 more.

For my own personal use I plan on making a few more 11' X 17" reference sheets with rules so I can have a double-sided battlemat and use it to replace a potential GM screen.