--A moment of static comes through the concealed earpiece, followed by a cold, monotone voice.

"Agent 40732-D, you are being activated. Your target is a ship's captain in the Delta Quadrant. Target is a Class-2 Metaknowledge Anomaly. This person knows things they can't possibly know. The Meta-Corrections Agency has authorized removal by any means necessary. Details are being sent through the normal channels. Correct this anomaly. End of transmission."

Controlling Player's View

This article outlines how to control the player's view to keep tabs on player activity during a game session. 

Table of Contents:

Player's tokens

Understanding the relationship between player's tokens and what they can see is important as a GM. 

Player's tokens are the central point of their vision. This means they will only see the map that their token is on. Dragging their token onto a new map will change their view, and they will not be able to see any other maps available until this happens. 

By default, players will see the first map in the list when joining a session for the first time, until they are assigned a token elsewhere or moved. There's a great resource about handling invited players here; please check it out if you haven't yet! 

Dynamic Lighting (DL)

Dynamic Lighting is critical to obscuring player's vision. DL must be turned on for players to have sight radius, as well as prevent them from seeing through walls and doors. 

Without Dynamic Lighting:

With Standard Dynamic Lighting:

With Natural Dynamic Lighting:

DL will work regardless of if there are walls and doors on the board. If there are no DL walls, the player simply sees a vision radius around their token. For more information, check out this resource for learning Dynamic Lighting!

Making a Staging Area

For the GMs that want absolute confidence that their players will not see anything they aren't supposed to when dropping them into a map, making a staging area is for you!

This is about the equivalent of a play-pen for players. When you drag a player's token into this DL fenced-in area, they'll only be able to move and see in that area. 

In the above example, we created the staging area after the tokens were already on the map. In an actual session, you would want to make the staging area first, then drop the tokens in the staging area, so they never see what's outside of it.

When you are ready to have the party explore on their own, you can remove the staging area and let them have at it!

Settings That Affect Player Vision

There are several GM-controlled settings that affect the party's ability to explore the map. 

  • Allow Players to Move
    • This setting dictates whether or not players are allowed to move their own tokens. If a player is not allowed to move their token, then they won't be able to see more of the map. 
  • Allow Players to Interact
    • Like above, this setting dictates another player action. If disabled, players will not be able to activate triggers that normally would be able to be activated by a player. They also will not be able to open doors to see what's behind them. They will rely on the GM to activate these for the party. 

Here's some use cases:

  • If you have a particularly unruly party, or some players that like to try to sneak a peek at things when you aren't around, simply disable these settings when you are not logged into a session. This will prevent the players from interacting with the map or exploring when you aren't present.
  • During cinematic events, you may want to temporarily disable token movement so the party can focus on the story, and ensure their vision is in the right spot.
  • In a room with a puzzle encounter, it might be beneficial to disable "players can interact" but leave token movement allowed. This way they can explore, but no click-happy players can jump the gun and accidentally ruin the puzzle for everyone else. 

Naturally, these are only a few use cases for these settings. Experiment with settings and their effects on vision to find the perfect mix for every situation.

**Important** Remember to use the Player View GM tool frequently during setup to see how the map will look/interact for players

Reach out to us over Discord or by emailing support@astraltabletop.com with any questions or concerns!

Related Documentation

How do I let my players see the whole map?

Dynamic Lighting (Tips and Tricks)

Player View