Looking over the purty Maps
thread and it got me thinking of the role maps have played in my gaming of the last five years or so. I wanted to start a thread not so much about posting purty maps (though that is cool too if it illustrates your point) but about how you use them?
Lately, they have become part of the starting the game ritual, laying the maps on the table means that it is time to start gaming. In our Waterdeep BW game, we lay out the map of the Sword Coast from the original boxed set and the map of Waterdeep from Waterdeep and the North. In the Jaws of the Six Serpents campaign, Storn lays out his home-made map of the world and his internet-nabbed map of the shit-hole city we are dealing with.
In one BW game very much inspired by George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, they were so pretty and vital that I would find myself staring at the map as we played, thinking about the consequences of actions, or the politics of a region and how the geography effected that.
In our 4e games, the maps have a much more board-gamey aspect to them during fights.
In all of the games we circle things, write in the names of little villages and make the map our own.
How do maps effect your games?