Finding a combat map simulator can be hard. But have no fear – on this Game Night Guide, we will explore how to find the best battle simulator for your next game!
Keep in mind that all of these options have some great benefits and some downsides too. The best option for you all depends on what you are looking to get out of your combat encounters.
Roll20 is both the most revered and the most hated of combat map simulators. It was one of the first, becoming synonymous with online tabletop gaming. Everyone and their mother has heard about Roll20 and it’s gaming possibilities.
The upside of Roll20 is it’s accessibility to numerous game groups and campaigns. Since it’s been around the longest, Roll20 is a great resource if you are looking to get involved in a game. It also allows you to customize the terrain of the map to precisely your choosing. You can have everything on screen exactly as you like, creating some truly unique combat maps.
The downside – it is a HUGE learning curve. There are so many things going on at the same time for just one map. You have to be able to spend hours learning the tools and then being able to prep for a session. If you are an off the cuff DM with random encounters, than this makes showing those combats nearly impossible.
Where Roll20 is the map fanatic’s wonderland, Owlbear Rodeo is the improv DMs dream. Need a quick map? Choose one from Google Images, upload it to the site, then post it for everyone to see. Use the icons on the right as players and creatures, and boom – you’ve got yourself a fight.
Owlbear Rodeo’s biggest benefit is it’s simplicity. Anyone can learn how to use this software quick and easily. It is the perfect example of pick up and play. The one downside is if you want a specific mini for a game to represent a creature or a character, you will need to find it and upload it properly to the site.
However, if you are just looking for something that is going to be easy to get onto the next adventure, then Owlbear Rodeo will do ya just fine.
Mythic Table is a little bit of column A of Roll20 and a little bit of column B of Owlbear Rodeo. This combat map builder allows you to customize and build combat maps, but also to run something on the fly. It’s a very versatile tool, allowing for some great benefits in both directions.
Of course, as the old saying, jack of all trades, master of none. This program doesn’t do what Owlbear or Roll20 nearly as well as these other two programs do for their own. Consider what you are looking for in your next campaign to help see if you want this dual ability, or if just one type would be better.
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