Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Here’s how you can use D&D Beyond Maps for your campaign!

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

D&D Beyond has launched the early release version of their Maps features, called Maps: Alpha. This feature allows you to create and draw Dungeons & Dragons maps as a DM and use them in your Campaigns. It also allows players to interact with the maps with their characters and lets you add enemies, NPCs, buildings, objects, and more.

D&D Beyond Maps has a variety of tools at your disposal for your campaign: Basic Maps, the ability to upload images as maps, Draw, Fog of War, ruler, tokens, and more. Maps are a useful tool for both online and in-person campaigns.

How To Access D&D Beyond Maps

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Maps (also known as Maps: Alpha) is currently in early release for subscribers. You can access the early release by having the Master-Tier subscription to D&D Beyond.

How To Create A Map

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

There are two ways you can create a map:

  1. Create a campaign
  2. Use one of their premade campaigns: Intro to Stormwreck Isle, Frozen Sick, or Prisoner 13.

Once you have a Campaign ready or have selected a premade one, go to the Tools dropdown menu and click Alpha Maps.

Next, you’ll have the option to upload a Map from an image on your device or to create a Basic Map.

Creating A Basic Map

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

By creating a Basic Map, you can make a map for a variety of different settings and locations.

Basic Maps gives you the following options: Mushroom Cave, Grass Field, Grass, Wood Floor, Red Sands, Snow, Water, Boat, Stone Tiling.

Uploading Your Own Maps

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

If the Basic Maps aren’t your style, you can upload your own.

By selecting Upload Map, you will be directed to name your map and upload your desired image from your browser.

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Next, Maps will ask you how a Medium Token—or a single square—will look when placed on the image you uploaded.

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Lastly, select the plus sign from the My Uploaded Maps menu to add it to your current Campaign.

If you selected one of their premade Campaigns, the Basic Map and Upload Map functions will be the same. The controls will also be the same. The only thing that will change will be the characters, monsters, and companions you can place on the map.

In this instance, they will be turned to these Campaigns’ assets, but you are able to add and make your own as you normally would for your own Campaign.

Map Tools

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Now that you have a map at your disposal, you’re free to draw on it and add things to it using a variety of DnD Beyond’s tools.

Open Menu

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Open Menu shows you all the maps you have in your Campaign, allowing you to easily switch between locations.

By clicking on Open Map Browser, you can open the Map creation screen so you can create new maps and add them to your Campaign.

Pan

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

Pan lets you move your current map around the screen.

Fog Of War

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

  • Shortcut: F key

Fog of War lets you create a large visual block object on the map. You can change the shape of your brush from a circle to a square, as well as the size of your brush. This feature also comes with an erase tool, which lets you erase anything you’ve drawn with this tool.

You can only erase things you’ve created with the Fog Of War tool using the Fog of War Eraser.

Furthermore, you will have the option to Cover All and to Reveal All. Cover All covers the entire map with the Fog of War tool. Reveal Allcompletely clears everything that has been drawn on the Map using Fog of War. You can undo Cover All by selecting Reveal All.

Reveal all permanently erases everything you have drawn with the Fog of War Tool. Likewise, Cover All permanently covers over everything you’ve drawn with the tool. Make sure you haven’t drawn anything you don’t want to get rid of using this tool.

Draw

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

  • Shortcut: D key

Draw is like the Pencil or Pen tool on drawing and photo editing programs. It allows you to draw and write on the map. This can be items, objects, buildings, and more. You can change the size and color of your pencil. You’re also able to erase what you’ve drawn and change the size of your eraser.

You are only able to erase things you’ve created using the Draw tool.

Ruler

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

The Ruler tool allows you to measure how far two points are apart in the map. This saves you from counting squares if one of your players wants to run forward 40 feet or if one of them wants to get enough to an enemy to use a certain spell.

Point And Ping

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

  • Shortcut: X key

Point and Ping are two different tools, but they’re in the same menu.

Point functions like a laser pointer. If you want your players to pay attention to something, you’re able to draw their attention to it.

Ping highlights a small area in red temporarily, kind of like a radar. This is useful for attacks, skills, and abilities that have a specific area of effect.

Token Browser

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

  • Shortcut: T key

The Token Browser allows you to search for and add your players’ characters, monsters, and companions. You can place them anywhere you want on the map. You are able to edit their names, their border colour, and hide them so only you can see them.

Other Features

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Use D&D Beyond Maps

At the bottom of your screen, there are a few more buttons. You can start the session, zoom in and out, set the map to full screen, view the game log, and copy the invite link to your campaign.

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