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You Need: sets E-tail You really ought to be able to find Paizo products darned near anywhere. Well, in a FLGS darned near anywhere. Which may be a challenge since they are going belly-up left and right, which, given the girth of many game store owners, is a frightening image. So if you end up ordering online, use the very large and obtrusive button to the right, if you please. Thank you. The Future With map packs being cranked out on a regular basis, Paizo looks like they plan to keep this line going for a long time.
Products Here are summaries of each individual map pack, given in the order the packs were printed. And, as an added feature, Gamer Bling will even give you a gratuitous mispeling. Very useful for city encounters, although when you dig out a map of the store your characters go to, they may get suspicious… The tavern, bazaar, and shrine maps will all serve good use, as these seem the most likely areas to have combat. In addition, the bazaar and tavern are the roomiest.
Well, some of those barrels could hold popcorn. After all, those rats have to be after something other than liquor. You can easily create a whole graveyard as Gamer Bling did just a moment ago. There was a large mausoleum in the center, with a row of graves on the left side.
It looked cool, it was a good 25 squares wide and 16 squares deep, and it took Gamer Bling maybe three minutes to get it the way he wanted see illo above. There are a few anachronistic jokes in the map set. These are not a terribly big deal, though, as they are restricted to the writing on the headstones.
Yes, if you peer closely you can read them, but they do not stand out in the midst of play, reminding you annoyingly of their presence. This pack is clearly the best value. The campsite has a cooking fire, which is more than can be said for the inn. And the toll booth appears to have two guards—there are two chairs for them—so Gamer Bling assumes they sleep in bunk beds, because only one bed is visible, and the idea of hot-bunking in the middle ages is just to horrid to consider.
The ambush site is a small, cramped affair. It has ruined walls for cover and hiding, yes, but the short distances are liable to make short work of archers… which is what Gamer Bling would be, were he the type to try an ambush.
Still, even though the maps are not geomorphic, you can use them in either the A-B or B-A arrangement for the sake of variety.
And the rickety rope bridge? Its graphic presentation lends all the nervous energy you could want to any combat on this structure. The shrine, ambush, and toll bridge maps all have roads. It would have been really nice if the road on the ambush site could have meshed with the road on the shrine, toll booth, or especially the rope bridge which has no road. It provides everything you want, from the drawbridge itself to a crenellated wall for archers to the guard rooms just beyond.
Frontal assault has never looked this good. Although the moat waters are moving, not stagnant, so the castle is either built on a stream, or it has really big moat monsters, or the wizard has a thing for large Jacuzzis outside the castle walls. A good map for innovative role-playing. Most of the other maps are generically useful and well done.
The kitchen is low on counter space and the master bedroom has no wardrobe hmm… , but these are minor quibbles. Oh, and the treasure room has a pile of coins that, on close inspection, look curiously American.
The metals look like copper and nickel, not silver or gold. The worst tile is the arrow-slit corridor. Plus the arrow slits lead to off-map areas.
As you might expect from the House of No Escape, the maps—other than the hedge maze, of course—are purely indoors; any windows are at the edge of the map. Way beyond Al Gore territory here. The beast lair is reasonable; the cage walls restrict movement while allowing ranged combat. The treasure room and barracks offer little beyond another square room. The ruined temple and lava bridge are pretty cool, if you have need of such things. It has cells and chains and stocks, but as far as interrogation goes, it has a whip and a couple iron maidens.
No thumb screws, no branding irons, no boots, not even a tongue depressor. Probably for the better, anyway. The best pieces here are the alley and the blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop just begs for a big fight, what with the fire and the anvil and the weapons and… where is his dining table, anyway? Poor blacksmith must be starving. And the alley smacks of poverty and neglect, and just begs for an ambush.
Lots of papers strewn around on the ground, though; there must be a very literate underclass in this city. The other maps are fairly standard urban templates. Oh my! That said, this map pack does an excellent job of creating dark and moody places to fight.
In fact, this batch of little outdoor maps is so good that the only thing that Gamer Bling can find to mock is the fact that in the briar maze, all of the skulls are face up and unbroken. Aside from that, this is really an excellent set without odd oddments. Or else they panicked and ran when the sahuagin showed up. There are some very nice touches in this set; a sunken boat, schools of fish, hungry seagulls, bird poop on the docks.
And, as usual, some oddities, though less than normal. Well, okay, the flotsam is also a little odd. Altogether this is another awesome map pack. This pack provides enough for a sizeable farm, including a square foot house. A set of stairs leads through a warding semicircle into a reception hall with banquet table, kitchen, pantry, and sitting room. The next levels are a summoning level with magic circle and a library full of books but no scrolls , and level with very nice living quarters including a room for the apprentice.
The top level is a scrying room complete with comfy throne and a nice crenellated archer terrace, but lacking exterior doors to protect the interior from inclement weather or ballistic fireballs. As one might expect from a short, square, wide building called a tower, there are a few oddities. The ritual book is inside the summoning circle, not outside. And there are ground-level windows, which is only a real problem if the tower sits in the isolated countryside.
Contents: Four levels covering everything but the roof. If you want Gamer Bling to mock review some others, let Paizo know.
GameMastery Map Pack - Palace
Gamemastery - Map Pack - Village.pdf
GAMEMASTERY MAP PACK PDF