The Alphastream Gaming Blog

Making 4E AoE Templates

(Originally posted in 2009 on my WotC blog)

If you know me, you know I absorb ideas easily. I’m not saying I can’t come up with ideas, but a good deal of what I do well comes from others.

A friend of mine in Portland came up with the very cool idea for making inexpensive AoE templates for D&D.

AoE Templates

Snow bases and area templates


All you need is a quick trip to a craft store to get 18-gauge wire. They sell it for working on floral arrangements. The wire needs to be straight (not curved), but can be in several small sections.

Then, from a hardware store, purchase Spline, which is the rubber black ridged stuff that is pushed into the border of a screen door to hold the screen in. The .125 diameter works well with the 18-gauge wire.

Take your first wire and stick it into a section of spline. Now bend the spline to make a right angle. Measure this on a battlemap (or 1″ grid) and guess where you should cut the metal so you end up with the total distance desired (a total of 3″ for a burst 1 template, including the curves). Once cut, cut the spline. Now repeat for the remaining sides.


Keep in mind that a blast 3 template is the same as a blast 1, so you only need the following:

  • Blast 3 / Burst 1 (3’x3′)
  • Blast 5/ Burst 2 (5″x5″)
  • Blast 7 / Burst 3 (7″x7″)
  • Blast 9 / Burst 4 (9″x9″)
  • Blast 11 / Burst 5 (11″x11″)

I made two of each template except for a single of the largest with one pack of metal rods.

The templates are really useful for zones, for quickly establishing what can be affected, and even for measuring ranges.


This entry was posted on October 1, 2015 by and tagged , , .