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How to Import Custom Maps into Fantasy Grounds Unity

With the release of Fantasy Grounds Unity, the systems surrounding the maps and images was significantly updated. While there are more options for maps, Importing them is still an easy process.

  1. Find and format any maps you would like to import.
  2. Using the image menu, import the files into FGU.
  3. Add a grid and mask overlay.
  4. Make the map shareable with your players.

Video guide to importing maps.

Looking to skip the text and get right to the goods? We have uploaded a video guide of this walkthrough in case you are looking for more information!

Collecting and Formatting

Download and Format the Map Images

The first thing you will need to do is collect, download, or create the images that you plan on using inside of Fantasy Grounds. While most images will work, there are a few things to consider when planning to use them as maps in Fantasy Grounds Unity.

Determine the PPI (pixels per inch) and file size. 

Two aspects of the image files that may be easy to overlook but can make a big difference when playing is the PPI and the overall file size. While the PPI will affect the final image file size, it also determines how the tokens, icons, and character markers lay on the maps. The best PPI value for using maps inside of Fantasy Grounds is from my experience between 150-200 PPI. When determining which maps and images to use that the higher the PPI the better the image will look. Larger images will take longer to stream to your players however. The last big consideration when finding graphics is whether or not you will use maps with an already set grid.

There is not much difference when using maps that already have a grid versus those that do not because the way that FGU combat system works. When using both styles of maps, you will need to use the FG internal gridding layer to create a grid size that the system will recognize. We will go over this step later in the guide, but the impact it has on image selection is in regards to the image grid size. If the maps you are using do not already have a grid, you don’t have to worry about this issue.

Preparing the Maps

The FGU desktop.

Opening the FGU Image Location

Once you have the program opened. access the images tab from the side menu. If the images button does not appear on the sidebar, you can activate it from the settings menu.

Click on the settings button (gear) in the top right corner of the program. Under the sidebar section you can choose which buttons appear or don’t on the desktop.

With the image menu opened, click on the import images button and select the file you would like to bring into the campaign. After the file is in the system, you can change the name or set an ID to find them later.

Images menu.

Setting up the grid and masks

Once you have the images loaded into FGU, open the file you need to prepare from the Image tab. With the image open, choose the grid option at the top right. Using the manual setting by clicking on the mouse icon, click and drag over a section of the map to set the grid.

Grid menu.

For maps that already have a grid that you are happy with, take the tool and outline one of the already drawn squares from corner to corner. This will generate a grid that matches the one already drawn on the map that is functional in the software. The system should automatically set a distance value for each square based on the game rules that you are using.

If your map doesn’t already have a grid, take the tool and find a hallway, room, or object on the map that you will use as a sizing reference. If there is a hallway that you want to be ten feet wide, or a room you want to be four meters wide, use the tool to draw a grid square to take up the appropriate space. Corners work best for this step as the grid will generate along both axes from the original square that you placed down. 

The grid can be removed and reset if you are unhappy with the initial layout. 

Once you have a grid on the map, the mask tool at the top of the image window can be used to set your fog of war across the map to hide the unseen portions from your players. After clicking on the mask menu, click on the add global mask to cover the entire map.

To reveal sections to your part, select the reveal tool and highlight the sections you would like to remove the mask.

Using the map and combat.

Now that the map has been set up inside of Fantasy Grounds Unity, it is easy to use the system for combat. From the combat tracker icon in the upper right corner of the fantasy grounds main desktop, you can click and drag the portraits of any players or combat participants to the map. FG will automatically resize any of the icons you pull from the combat tracker or tokens you add to the map to fit into one of the grid squares. 

Using the Fantasy Grounds grid layer will also help the tokens snap into place along the grid, and use the targeting features available in the combat tracker. The distance tracker will be based on the grid that you created and the base rules of the system you are running.

Congratulations! You are all set to start using your maps during your next session!

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