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Chapter 1: Gamemastery Basics / Encounter Design / Encounter Locations

Maps and Terrain

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 46
Features on the map have a substantial impact on the flow of combat. Three considerations to keep in mind when designing a map are maneuverability, line of sight, and attack ranges. Even empty rooms and corridors can provide variety based on their size and shape. Narrow passageways make natural choke points. In particularly small rooms, space is at a premium, favoring melee combatants and making area effects hard to aim without friendly fire. By contrast, huge areas lend themselves to spread-out combat, which gives plenty of room to use all manner of abilities but poses challenges for ones with limited range. To make large rooms more interesting, add furniture, stalagmites, or other features the PCs and their foes can duck behind for cover.