I am a Dungeons and Dragons nerd. I have been playing it since I was about 8 years old. So naturally, if I find a girl that likes to play or is willing to play D&D, it makes for a great date opportunity. Instead of the board game date idea, play DnD instead. Playing Dungeons and Dragons is the perfect group date idea. What makes D&D a more immersive experience is the battle maps. But professional ones can be pretty expensive. No need to shell out lots of cash, when you can make your very own D&D battle maps that are cheap and reusable.
What are battle maps?
A battle map or battlemap is a piece of paper with gridlines on it. Each grid line usually represents 5 feet or sometimes 10 feet depending on the scale. It provides spacial awareness for your characters. Lots of times there is very nice-looking artwork on it. This is used for encounters when your characters fight the bad guys. And they are used in conjunction with paper minis or store-bought miniatures.
In this article/tutorial I will show you how to make a cheap reusable battle map for D&D or Pathfinder or any game that could use a battle map with grid lines. It wasn’t until 4 or 5 years ago that we started using battle maps, tiles, minis, etc in our campaigns and adventures. And I am so glad that we did because they are awesome!
These cheap reusable D&D battle maps are very easy to make and won’t break your budget. If I can make it, you can make it, let’s get started!
What do I need to make D&D battle maps at home?
In order to make your very own cheap reusable Dungeons and Dragons battle maps you need just a handful of items and tools:
- wrapping paper with cut lines or you can buy specific battle map paper
- a large piece of vinyl
- dry erasable markers
- paper towel or eraser
You can buy already pre-made battle maps but those can run 25 to 35 bucks depending on what you buy. We are going to use normal cheap wrapping paper. You can get a roll of 25 feet for like 3 dollars, who knows you probably have some scraps laying around, don’t throw them out!
On the back it will have cut lines or your grid lines, isn’t that awesome? Now you can draw on these if you want and make permanent maps, or you can also get a piece of vinyl from the fabric store a 3 foot by 4-foot square will probably run you 3 to 4 dollars.
Place the vinyl over the top of your wrapping paper and voila! A reusable D&D battle map. You may want to tape down the corners of the vinyl to help it lay down flat.
You can draw anything you want on the reusable battle map
After you place the vinyl on top of your gridded wrapping paper, you can draw whatever you like. The outline of a cave, the inside of a fortress, etc. Again, you can pre-draw these and get fancier if you want, since the wrapping paper is so cheap. Or just draw them on the fly during the game. Make sure to use dry-erase markers.
The grid lines are a little hard to see in these images, but they are there. Then you can place your store-bought or homemade minis on top and have your battle.
When you are done you can erase the lines of your cavern, dungeon, etc. And then draw a new one for your next encounter. So all together for the paper, vinyl, and erasable markers, you will spend around 10 to 12 dollars total. Not too bad at all. 🙂
Now time to grab your date or significant other for an amazing group date night of Dungeons and Dragons. Happy gaming!
Don’t forget to make some yummy snacks for your game. If you need some ideas, check out my other blog In The Kitchen With Matt.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make homemade D&D battle maps
Here are other group date ideas you may like: