When you game, assuming you use a battlemat or tile system, how do you typically handle trees when the group is adventuring in a forest? Â In my case, on a blank battlemat, I either draw a rough line to indicate the edge of the forest and define one side as clear, and the other as difficult, or simply declare the entire map forest. Â I used to try to draw out the trees themselves, either with rough circles for the branch limits, or with large dots for the space of the trunks. Â In general though, neither method really worked – it was either far too generic, or much too time consuming to be practical.
Last night however, I had a bit of a brainstorm. Â I honestly don’t know if anyone else has come up with a similar idea in the past or not, I could not find any such products, but I certainly don’t expect this to be an original concept. Â I was thinking, if I use artwork for the top of a tree, and add a “trunk”, along with a 1″ square grid, it would be fairly easy to print and use as a template to add directly to the battlemat – no drawing needed.
As I worked on that idea, I realized that the grid actually limits the use. Â Although it helps to line up with the maps grid, and perhaps helps with movement, it also requires the tree to be located in a specific spacing. Â Removing the grid allows the tree to be placed anywhere, making it a bit more useful.
I also realized that if the tree was printed on a transparency, with the non-tree sections as a transparent layer, then the various plants could overlap without issue and the various patterns could be sized (before printing) for a variety of different tree sizes. Â Then by printing a variety, it would be fairly easy to create a full forest.
With a bit of searching on google, I found a good, high resolution representation, and easily resized it for a 4″ square to start with. Â Since I am travelling today, I can’t really print and test the design yet, but that will be one of my tasks for this weekend once the kitchen remodel is completed (or I get a break).
Once I get a working prototype I am happy with, I will most likely post a finalized PDF format, in case anyone else can find them useful.