Dungeons & Dragons Online

Planning, Improv and Battle Maps

So my friends I've got something I've been really struggling with as a DM.and could use some advice.

I am a newer DM that realized early on 90% of DMing is pulling grok snot out of my Tantaun and I have embraced that as the way I run my sessions. I get a gauge idea of the land, some thoughts about the individuals and factions that would be there, and call it good. When my party meets an NPC he gets a name right then and there, my DM notes are the things I take in session so I can remember the name of the people and places I came up with on the fly. Heck encounters I base by skimming through the MM a few hours before and thinking "that looks interesting l maybe the players will be fighting a pack of those today." That's just how I roll making everything up on the fly and just kind of having a vague outline, a big part of this is because I am busy with school work and kids and so I don't have much time to prep things in the first place.

The good news is that it works, my players like it, it avoids railroading, it gets them into some interesting situations and makes everything a lot more versatile and fluid. There is one problem though, I like to keep combat and rp at pretty even levels in my campaign with any given session varying between 25-75% RP.and then combat making up the rest, and again it works well it allows different parts of the party to shine and do what they enjoy and keeps things from getting stale. The problem I have however is prepping battle maps, I feel like combat gets just to darn hard to keep track of without them and it takes to much of the DM and Party's time to constantly be restating distances and coordinates and it really breaks immersion in my opinion. But like I stated above I don't have a ton of time to produce battle maps in the first place, my game is all online so making them on the fly would just be a huge pause on the game and off the shelf ones often don't quite fit the situation my party finds themselves in, plus I don't even know what situation my party will be in when we start.

Read more:  PSA: You are Stronger Than Your D&D Character

So DMs of reddit I coming seeking thee advice on what to do on this matter. How do you balance kombat, improv, battle maps, and prep? Should I just get over my hesitation about using off the shelf maps, should I just go all theater of the mind for comabt? What do you all think?

Source: reddit.com

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