How to Insert / Adding a Map to Roll20

Roll20 is not the easiest site to learn. However after you understand it, the tabletop games are going to go smoother, with every player knowing exactly where they are and what they are fighting. In this page, we are going to share a guide to make your first map on Roll20 and adding your player’s tokens.

How to Add a Map to Roll20

Here is a way to insert or add a map to Roll20:

Step 1: Making a Game

The first two images are of the Roll20 homepage. Once you first go to the site you will find something similar. It shows all the games you have played in and all the games you have made (or you will make). To make your first game you are able to click Create New Game. A new page is going to load for you to title your game and select what system you are using. For example, you are using Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

Along the side, there are several modules that you are able to purchase in the market place, but we are not worrying about those. If you select a known character sheet, an example can appear under the option. If everything looks right, you are able to go ahead and then click I’m Ready, Create Game at the bottom of the page.

Finally, you have made your first Roll20 tabletop game. Now, you are able to add an image to the top to personalize the home screen for yourself and your players. This is where you are going to add the players and schedule dates. However, you are looking to make a map, so you will need to get into the actual game itself. To do that, you have to click Launch Game.

Step 2: Using the Editor

This is the intimidating section. A big blank grid with tools which you do not know. However, you do not worry, now you are going to make that big blank grid into an easy to look at map. To upload your map, simply you are able to click on the little photo picture in the top right corner. Those are your assets. Your pictures, character tokens, player tokens, maps, basically anything you could add to the map. You are able to find free maps on Google or some map creators. Or you are able to make one on Roll20 with only a background and some assets.

To upload your map, you need to click on My Library, next Upload. After you chose your image and it uploads, it will be hanging out under Recent Uploads. Now, click and drag onto the grid now. To change what layer any image is on right click the image and hit Layer.

Step 3: Using the Layers

For your information, Roll20 has three different Layers for DM’s to play with. Those are the Map Layer, the Token Layer, and the GM Layer. The map layer is static. The players cannot do anything with images placed on the map layer. The token layer is more liquid. This is where player tokens go. The players are able to move tokens if asked by you. The GM layer is the fun one. This is the layer you place everything you do not want your players knowing about.

Step 4: Removing Grid Lines

To remove the grid lines, you have to click the little page icon at the top. Those are pages. Pages are separate maps inside one game. For instance, when the players leave this little dungeon you have made they will likely go to a town. To find the settings for your page, simply click the little gear which appears when you hover over it.

Step 5: Finding Assets

Using the search feature of your image gallery you may be able to find images to suit your needs. Simple things like a door or stairs are easy to discover this way, but more complicated assets may need you to upload your own. The first section is the ones you have. The middle sections are premium assets, that you have to pay for, so you are able to skip that one. The last is only a quick Google search of similar icons. There are many doors there so you are going to find one you like and drag it to where you need doors. You will do the same thing with stairs.

Step 6: Using Tokens

Tokens are a lot less likely to be available in the easy search bar, especially character tokens. While you may discover a generic elf with a sword, the players like custom tokens. This is able to be an image they discover or something they have drawn. Now, all you have to do is to upload the picture and move it on the grid, just like you did for the map.

Step 7: Using the GM Layer

The things you place on this layer players cannot see. If they walk into the trap you have  placed in the GM layer you will have to move it to the token or map layer for them to discover it. Also, this is where you are able to make notes to yourself that your players cannot see.

Step 8: Adding Fog

Fog is how you hide the map as a whole from the players and show them only the parts they should be able to see. Paid versions of Roll20 have fancy dynamic lighting however we are keeping this free. Remember about little Fog of War button? This is what it is for. When you click it, your whole map is going to darken just a bit, showing you the parts which are visible to the players.

The little eye is the fog button. Once you hover over it gives you more options, most are self-explanatory. You are going with the reveal button and you are going to reveal the entrance to your dungeon where your players start their dive. Just click and drag a box around the entrance to reveal the area. You will do this as your players move about the dungeon, showing them new pieces as they explore more.

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