Maps with Layers / Floors in gameplay

Wild Idea…
Being able to set up a map that has multiple vertical levels (a boat for one example, or a building with an atrium). Maybe the GM has options that can move players between levels, maybe using the trigger system to show/hide layers of the map, keeping tokens above or below their corresponding layers. This would be an awesome expansion beyond what most VTTs are capable of, simply because of the limits of flat, top-down maps. I’m planning some airship encounters for my players, and thinking of how to allow players to be on multiple parts of the ship seems incredibly complicated already.

I guess this could be done with multiple maps now, but for a GM, seeing it all in one place with a trigger to show/hide layers of the map in game play, would be great to consistency and Ease of Use. Also the ability to see through to a floor below would make for some more dynamic decisions for players. As I expand on this, it’s possible I’ve seen this on the forum before, so my apologies for a duplicate.

I think the big issue with this would be that things get hidden from the GM.

I normally put the separate levels on the same map, but wrapped with DL so that players on one section can’t see the other sections.

Teleport triggers would solve the issue of easily moving player characters around the map.

What are your thoughts?

Yeah I see that issue. I guess I should be proposing that the GM can see Xray through all layers, but that adds so many more complexities. I’ll have to try to mock up something to get my own idea straight.

I like your solution, but the only issue would be allowing characters to see through opening in the floor/ceiling, since they’re on a different part of the map. But that’s probably a rare case that doesn’t really deserve a feature.

Unfortunately, @Mjpindara something like that has been suggested before, but as you mentioned, then you are building massive complexity in. Astral would be required to become a full 3D engine to handle layers in that way.

Still, lets continue the discussion. Maybe Astral switches to Unreal Engine 4 one of these days. :wink:

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Now we’re talking! Lol

I guess my suggestion would combine the Layer system in the map editor, with the live table top. But again, performance and complexity can easily get out of hand there.

Rather than go full 3d, could you do it as multiple 2d slices, with higher slices occluding lower ones? You could then add a slider to the side that shows the number of slices and turns all slices above the current one completely transparent.

If you want to get really fancy (or are really worried about the GM not being able to always see every slice), you could also add some additional options that let you change the opacity of the slices, potentially on a per layer basis, or change how the transparency and blending of higher layers is handled.

it’s possible to group layers, but dynamic lighting is only available on a single layer.

If we could define a dynamic lighting layer for each group of layers, it would be easy to stack them and use the triggers to switch between them.

I tried on a single map, I can see how to use dynamic lighting to separate the three floors, but I couldn’t find anything about teleport trigger.

Teleport Triggers haven’t been implemented yet.

You will need to manually drag characters from the Characters menu, or use the “Move Character Here” context menu.

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Well, except for the transparency part, if you put maps on top of each other, you can hide them all, then make triggers that unhide one and hide the rest.

The problem with that approach, @SaharaZod is that you cannot create individual layers of Dynamic Lighting. You always only have one DL layer.