A few days ago, I built a quick survey about how Dungeon Masters currently find battle maps. For the most part I’m interested in ways to improve Lost Atlas, but of course data is also just fun. The survey is now closed with 229 responses, so here are some unscientific results below.
The survey used some screening questions to restrict respondents to DMs who play at least once a month, using VTTs for some or all of those games. I excluded players because they typically don’t look for battle maps, and I excluded less-regular DMs because I wanted to focus on those who do it enough that they’ve put a little thought into how they plan sessions.
Q1. Which virtual tabletops do you use? If you use more than one, choose the one you use most.
|Other (Owlbear Rodeo)||7||3%|
|Other (Tabletop Simulator)||3||1%|
For “Other” answers, I did some manual grouping of free text entry.
Q2. When it comes to the maps in your virtual tabletop games, where do they come from? Choose all that apply.
|I don’t use maps in my games||5||2%|
|I make my own maps||150||66%|
|I use maps included in adventures, campaign books, etc that I have purchased||121||53%|
|I use maps that I find online||211||92%|
“Respondents %” is the number of unique respondents who chose that option. Since respondents can choose more than one option, both “Count” and “Respondents %” add up to more than 229 (respondents) or 100%.
The 18 respondents who don’t use maps they find online finished the survey at Q2. The 211 remaining went on:
Q3. When you look for maps online, where do you typically look first?
|The marketplace affiliated with my virtual tabletop||3||1%|
|Other (My own collection)||2||1%|
The last three questions ask respondents to strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with a statement.
Q4. When I am planning an RPG session, it is easy for me to find the maps I need.
Q5. When I find a map I like, I follow or bookmark the map artist for the next time I’m looking for maps.
Q6. When I find a map I like, it is easy for me to set it up in my virtual tabletop.
Some general thoughts:
- It’s interesting to see Roll20 only has 51% of users now—I would’ve expected it to be higher. (Personally, I’m a Roll20 user for now but could imagine switching for the right set of lightweight features, though it’ll be tough to leave all my token purchases behind.)
- A lot of people make their own maps! Personally I don’t have the time, though I do occasionally open a map in Photoshop and make some tweaks to close off a room, etc. I wouldn’t consider that making my own map, though.
- I’m honestly surprised that many people look in Patreon first. I’m a backer of a few mapmaking Patreons, but as far as I can tell there’s no way to search across all your memberships? Or maybe the feature is there and I’m just missing it 🤷🏼♂️
- There are three users who look in their VTT marketplace first. Cross-referencing responses in Pollfish, I was able to see that two of them use Roll20 and one uses Foundry. It’s a pretty small number overall, though.
- Since I only publicized this survey on Reddit, it’s possible that the results of Q3 are affected by that? I’m not sure how much it matters.
How about you? If there’s anything else you find interesting about this data, let me know in the comments!