When I have the ambition, I use Campaign Cartographer 3 to make maps for my tabletop roleplaying games. The README for the current version makes mention of printing maps to miniature scale, so you can use them as battle maps. The README is accurate as far as it goes, but a little sparse on the details. This post goes into a little more depth.

Campaign Cartographer Version

In case my blog lasts a while and actually gets visitors some time in the future, I tested this procedure on Campaign Cartographer version 3.42. You can find your version by clicking “Help” in the main window and then selecting “About CC3.” The version number will be on the second line, labeled “CC version” or similar.

I’m not planning to update these instructions, but if you feel they no longer work, feel free to post a comment explaining how they need to be changed.

Map Size

First, you don’t need to print the whole dungeon at miniature scale: just the rooms where you expect the fighting to take place. At a scale of 1 inch = 5 feet, a US Letter 8.5″ x 11″ sheet will show an area of approximately 40′ x 50′. For a single building like a tavern or watch tower, I’ll use a map size of 40′ by 50′ so they’ll print on one page. A larger size of 80′ x 100′ will print on four sheets tiled 2×2 and is usually large enough for a single manor house or tomb. For maps larger than that, I usually prefer to zoom in to 40’x50′ or 80’x100′ sections and print the active window (just go to File -> Print as normal and select the “Active Window” radio button, near the middle of the dialog).

Print Options

The key to printing a battle map is to select the proper scaling. To get a standard 1-inch battle map, the proper ratio is 1″ of “paper distance” to 5′ of “map distance.” CC3 understands the quotation marks for inches and feet, so you can literally type 1″ into the print dialog. CC3 will automatically convert this to the equivalent distance in feet, 0.8333.

If you’re just printing the current view, that’s all you need to do. Otherwise, to print most or all of the map to miniature scale, you’ll need to manually specify the “tiling,” or how many pages to print. It would be easier for the user if the program calculated this for you, but it doesn’t. A battle map larger than 40′ by 50′ requires multiple pages. The tiling options are pretty self-explanatory. The key thing to realize is that you can possibly save ink by printing smaller views of a large map.

If you do tile the map, I recommend you overlap the tiles by 3% to 5% to avoid gaps or seams.

CC3's print dialog

CC3’s Print dialog, showing the options to print an 80′ x 100′ battle map

Preview and Printing Time

The “Preview” button in the upper right of the print dialog is your friend. Use it early and often to make sure your print settings are sane.

If you are printing a CC3 map in full color and using the bitmap fill styles, your battle maps will look great but might take a long time to print. My HP color LaserJet takes several minutes per page. If you only get one page, check your print queue to see if the job is still pending!