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Pathfinder Chronicles: Council of Thieves Map Folio

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Pathfinder Chronicles: Council of Thieves Map Folio
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Shadowy scoundrels and infernal masterminds scheme to claim the city of Westcrown in the Council of Thieves Adventure Path. Those who dare to face this villainy find challenges taking them from stinking slums to regal villas, through dilapidated museums and diabolical labyrinths, and on perilous paths beneath and beyond the tarnished city. The Council of Thieves Map Folio leads the way through the first Adventure Path created entirely for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

Within lie more than a dozen full-color maps of the metropolis’s most famous and deadly locales! Even if you aren’t running the Council of Thieves Adventure Path, the maps inside can serve as settings for palaces, dungeons, slums, and adventure sites for any RPG campaign. You’ll also find a massive, 8-panel poster map revealing the infamous city of Westcrown, the setting of the entire campaign, presented as you’ve never seen it before! An entire city of adventure awaits!

Cartography by Jared Blando and Robert Lazzaretti

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-218-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO9218



Product Discussion (125)
1 to 50 of 125 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will the poster maps of Westcrown be a different rendering than the style presented in the inside covers of the adventures and the Cheliax companion?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Oh great, another map folio to skip...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Pygon wrote:
Will the poster maps of Westcrown be a different rendering than the style presented in the inside covers of the adventures and the Cheliax companion?

I believe that we'll be doing a poster map of Westcrown that'll be in a different (less experimental, more standard to RPG gaming) style, yes. We'll also be likely to include the more player-friendly version of Westcrown as well. We're still several weeks out from finalizing the contents of this map folio though, so contents are subject to change. I'll post here once I see things in a more final state and let everyone know.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Oh great, another map folio for me to get. YES!!! I like!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Pygon wrote:
Will the poster maps of Westcrown be a different rendering than the style presented in the inside covers of the adventures and the Cheliax companion?
I believe that we'll be doing a poster map of Westcrown that'll be in a different (less experimental, more standard to RPG gaming) style, yes. We'll also be likely to include the more player-friendly version of Westcrown as well. We're still several weeks out from finalizing the contents of this map folio though, so contents are subject to change. I'll post here once I see things in a more final state and let everyone know.

Glad to hear it! Like many GM's I am a sucker for good maps, and while the originals are good, they can certainly be made to look better, and I am glad to hear you guys are going that extra step to do so.

Cheliax

James Jacobs wrote:
We're still several weeks out from finalizing the contents of this map folio though, so contents are subject to change. I'll post here once I see things in a more final state and let everyone know.

Please, don't skip maps such as in the LoF MF.

Even if it's the case of a few locations missing from the pack, I found the incompleteness of the product quite annoying.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

golem101 wrote:

Please, don't skip maps such as in the LoF MF.

Even if it's the case of a few locations missing from the pack, I found the incompleteness of the product quite annoying.

Actually, we've "skipped maps" for all of our map folios. The problem is that the map folios are budgeted for a set number of pages, and in every case, the number of maps we have for an AP outdoes the number of pages available for reprinting. So each time I get to do triage and figure out which maps aren't as necessary for the whole product.

Increasing the page count so I can get all the maps reprinted is possible, but doing so changes things like cost of goods and all that and to this point, it's not a change we've been able to make. Especially since adding pages would quite likely force us to increase the price for the product, and I'm pretty sure increasing the price point on a map folio would be a bad thing...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
golem101 wrote:

Please, don't skip maps such as in the LoF MF.

Even if it's the case of a few locations missing from the pack, I found the incompleteness of the product quite annoying.

Actually, we've "skipped maps" for all of our map folios. The problem is that the map folios are budgeted for a set number of pages, and in every case, the number of maps we have for an AP outdoes the number of pages available for reprinting. So each time I get to do triage and figure out which maps aren't as necessary for the whole product.

Increasing the page count so I can get all the maps reprinted is possible, but doing so changes things like cost of goods and all that and to this point, it's not a change we've been able to make. Especially since adding pages would quite likely force us to increase the price for the product, and I'm pretty sure increasing the price point on a map folio would be a bad thing...

I don't know James, if the page count increase is in proportion to the price increase we might be happy with it.

Still, the few times I needed a map that wasn't in the folio I was able to pull it out of my free subscription PDF for the PF in question and work with it well enough.

So it is definitely a tough decision to make a call on.

Andoran

I know I and others have mentioned this many times before. Make the maps something more useful than a simple reprint of what we get in the PDF add some more pages, have player friendly maps as well as GM maps and we would be willing to pay much more. If the map folios continue to be as they have been previously, I and many others just won't bother with them. Just as easy to print from my free PDF. Sorry


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Snow Crash wrote:
I know I and others have mentioned this many times before. Make the maps something more useful than a simple reprint of what we get in the PDF add some more pages, have player friendly maps as well as GM maps and we would be willing to pay much more. If the map folios continue to be as they have been previously, I and many others just won't bother with them. Just as easy to print from my free PDF. Sorry

I agree. The city/ wilderness maps are nice, but the reprints of the dunggeon crawl stuff is something the players aren't going to need to see, so they're fine in the rulebook or PDF.

What I would love (being the prop whore that I am) would be a few maps of major encounter areas done up in 25mm scale for using miniatures during those setpiece comflicts.


James Jacobs wrote:
I believe that we'll be doing a poster map of Westcrown that'll be in a different (less experimental, more standard to RPG gaming) style, yes. We'll also be likely to include the more player-friendly version of Westcrown as well.

Insta-buy for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So this sound like something I'd like to wait for before starting Council of Thieves adventure path? I am right in thinking that?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
voska66 wrote:
So this sound like something I'd like to wait for before starting Council of Thieves adventure path? I am right in thinking that?

I think of it more as an added benefit if you can't start right away. It still is quite useful to get these even after the AP has started, unless you run your games at breakneck speeds and would finish each module almost as they come out.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

voska66 wrote:
So this sound like something I'd like to wait for before starting Council of Thieves adventure path? I am right in thinking that?

The primary advantage that the map folios add is the convenience of having a high-quality printout of the key maps of the campaign in a format separate from the printed adventure, so you can have the map of a location sitting there behind the screen to reference at all times even when you're flipping pages to run specific encounters. In addition, the map folios are where we publish poster map versions of major maps from an AP. The map folio certainly isn't required to run an AP, but depending on your gameplay style, they can absolutely help.

Andoran

gigglestick wrote:
What I would love (being the prop whore that I am) would be a few maps of major encounter areas done up in 25mm scale for using miniatures during those setpiece comflicts.

Instant purchase for me regardless of price.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
voska66 wrote:
So this sound like something I'd like to wait for before starting Council of Thieves adventure path? I am right in thinking that?
The primary advantage that the map folios add is the convenience of having a high-quality printout of the key maps of the campaign in a format separate from the printed adventure, so you can have the map of a location sitting there behind the screen to reference at all times even when you're flipping pages to run specific encounters. In addition, the map folios are where we publish poster map versions of major maps from an AP. The map folio certainly isn't required to run an AP, but depending on your gameplay style, they can absolutely help.

Thanks for the Info. I've got the first part of this AP coming in mail hopefully this week still waiting for the core rule book though. In my current group we are still using the Beta rules and all of us have our books on order. We'll probably finish that game first after converting and with luck I can stretch that out to January and have most of the AP in my hand when we start.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

This would be awesome if the combat maps were large enough for figures. I like having maps to show, but I'd much rather have a map I could lay on the table to use for the Asmodean Knot or Aberian's Folly.

~Joe

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Doctor Mono wrote:

This would be awesome if the combat maps were large enough for figures. I like having maps to show, but I'd much rather have a map I could lay on the table to use for the Asmodean Knot or Aberian's Folly.

~Joe

I did the math. Doing all the maps in an adventure path at combat-scale, one inch = 5 feet, would result in a 500 page product due to the number of maps and the size of the areas. We'd have to charge, I would guess and at minimum, over $100 bucks for such a product.


James Jacobs wrote:
Doctor Mono wrote:

This would be awesome if the combat maps were large enough for figures. I like having maps to show, but I'd much rather have a map I could lay on the table to use for the Asmodean Knot or Aberian's Folly.

~Joe

I did the math. Doing all the maps in an adventure path at combat-scale, one inch = 5 feet, would result in a 500 page product due to the number of maps and the size of the areas. We'd have to charge, I would guess and at minimum, over $100 bucks for such a product.

I don't get it. What is the problem with that? I am already printing out and pasting the maps at one inch scale, and will soon be using the Worldworks terrainlinx system to make 3d terrain for each map. Considering an adventure path takes about a year to play through, a hundred bucks for all the maps at mini scale seems quite reasonable. It would save me dozens of hours with glue and foamcore. I make enough an hour that paying you people to do the printing would work out saving me money, even with the cost of shipping. All you need is five hundred or so of us to make it a feasible line. Maybe work more closely with Danny Unger of Worldworks to get all the maps converted to terrainlinx, and see what happens...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sock Puppet wrote:
I don't get it. What is the problem with that? I am already printing out and pasting the maps at one inch scale, and will soon be using the Worldworks terrainlinx system to make 3d terrain for each map. Considering an adventure path takes about a year to play through, a hundred bucks for all the maps at mini scale seems quite reasonable. It would save me dozens of hours with glue and foamcore. I make enough an hour that paying you people to do the printing would work out saving me money, even with the cost of shipping. All you need is five hundred or so of us to make it a feasible line. Maybe work more closely with Danny Unger of Worldworks to get all the maps converted to terrainlinx, and see what happens...

The problem with that is that printing and producing a 500+ page product twice a year would cost a LOT of money, and we'd have to price the product at a point where I'm 99% sure we'd lose money on it. Doing this twice a year would really quickly bankrupt us, I fear.

Working with another company to produce such battlemats is an interesting option, but unless said company would be able to match our pace and keep up with the releases and produce products that are high-quality enough for us to want to put the Pathfinder brand on it... I fear it'd be a lot of work for little reward. We've had several companies excited to provide some sort of support for our APs but in every case, they haven't been able to keep up with our pace.

And 500 is not enough to make it a feasable line, btw. The real-world realities of the logistics of printing battlemat sized maps for every Pathfinder AP are simply not something we can handle at this time.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Evenif the maps were set up in scale for a print on demand service or something of the like. That would be enormously helpful. I like the worldworks games stuff (and am using Himmelveil sewers for my sewers in Bastards) but I think most of the maps in the AP are beautiful on their own and would love to print a hi-res poster version. Print on demand could take away the upfront production costs.

On the other hand, incorporating more existing Paizo products like how the theater flip mat is used in the Sixfold Trial is also a good idea.

But if given a choice, I'd pay an extra twenty bucks for a deluxe version of an AP with enclosed double sided maps much like WOTC did with their 4th edition adventures.

~Joe

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't know if I need a mini-scale map for every encounter, but it would be nice for the really unique ones. Places like tavern, forest, canyon, etc. are pretty well covered by the existing flipmats and map packs, but unique places like the Asmodeus Knot, etc., would be awesome in a map folio.

I would also like player versions of maps, because I can print my own GM versions from the pdfs.

Somebody mentioned it before - added value. I've already got these maps. Tweek them a little - player versions w/o secret doors, large scale maps, 1 map that didn't otherwise appear in the regular AP. Then this become an even better, more useful, more desirable product.

Andoran

Player and DM versions of the maps would be ideal. If it's not feasable to print the document as a hard copy. I would gladly pay lots of extra dollars to get the map as a downloadable file that is drawn with enough detail that it can be printed at the right scale myself. I know my local printer will print out a0 copies for about $10 ea. The current ones don't blow up too well and the printers would prefer a file that is set to print without them having to dick around with zoom settings to get it right. I know this would amount to a LARGE download, but I have the bandwith if you do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes please render the next Westcrown map from the birds-eye view rather than the experimental map that was included , it really sucked, the house count was way off for the population size of that city.

You guys are known for doing great things so stop slacking.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shivok wrote:

Yes please render the next Westcrown map from the birds-eye view rather than the experimental map that was included , it really sucked, the house count was way off for the population size of that city.

You guys are known for doing great things so stop slacking.

Sigh.

I don't think of the current map of Westcrown as slacking. And if you want a map with a house count that's way off... look no further than the vast majority of "bird's eye view" maps. Just because it LOOKS more realistic doesn't mean it's accurate.

We'll be providing another version of the map, but snarky posts like this are pretty unhelpful as far as feedback goes.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Shivok wrote:

Yes please render the next Westcrown map from the birds-eye view rather than the experimental map that was included , it really sucked, the house count was way off for the population size of that city.

You guys are known for doing great things so stop slacking.

Sigh.

I don't think of the current map of Westcrown as slacking. And if you want a map with a house count that's way off... look no further than the vast majority of "bird's eye view" maps. Just because it LOOKS more realistic doesn't mean it's accurate.

We'll be providing another version of the map, but snarky posts like this are pretty unhelpful as far as feedback goes.

I've seen far worse maps in actual historical texts - I quite like the style of this one.

A suggestion: how about using the Profantasy stuff to do your maps. It supports a wide range of artistic styles, its cheap, and also, possibly most importantly with respect to some of the comments above, you could give the finished file away to subscribers to print at 1"=5' using the free viewer if they choose.

It also starts the ball rolling towards a Golarion version of the FR Atlas, one of the best map products of all time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

brock wrote:

A suggestion: how about using the Profantasy stuff to do your maps. It supports a wide range of artistic styles, its cheap, and also, possibly most importantly with respect to some of the comments above, you could give the finished file away to subscribers to print at 1"=5' using the free viewer if they choose.

It also starts the ball rolling towards a Golarion version of the FR Atlas, one of the best map products of all time.

It's not a matter of the program used to create the map at all; it's the direction we give the cartographer and the cartographer's styles. We deliberately asked for a more authentic and artistic map of Westcrown because we wanted something that felt more "realistic" and that could be used as much as a "where is everything" map as a player handout.

I've used Campaign Cartographer plenty for my map turnovers—heck... my map turnovers actually got more or less printed as-is in WotC's Frostburn. And Frostburn's a great place to look to see how sub-par that type of map looks in a printed book. They're certainly servicable, but they're not up to the par Wizards (or Paizo, for that matter) holds themselves to, art-wise.

Campaign Cartographer is a great tool for creating maps, but it doesn't magically give the user artistry and talent. And it's not really an issue anyway, since pretty much every cartographer we've used builds their maps either by hand or with Photoshop.

Cheliax

James, you guys are doing an awesome job. Just keep in mind that you can't please the whole crowd all the time...keep up the great work.


What's the thinking behind releasing the map pack 6 months after the first part of the campaign? I just picked up Pathfinder RPG and ran a test game and liked it, so I have ordered the adventure path subscription for the latest campaign since it is designed to run with Pathfinder.

Surely it would be more useful to have the maps out at the start so that you can start using a few locations, and possibly run some side quests if the players get ahead of the campaign release dates? As it stands I imagine I will have completed most of the fights the maps are designed for, before the maps are released?

Is there any chance the map pack could be broken down with the maps sold as PDF downloads to coincide with the release of each chapter of the campaign? Or even releasing the map pack as a PDF in advance of the print release?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

The production of Pathfinder Adventure Paths follows a monthly schedule, so the maps for a given AP are produced over the course of the 6-month period during which the Adventure Path is released. Because the maps are intimately tied to the words in the adventures, one happens at the same time as the other.

Given the costs and time involved, it is impossible to produce an entire 600-page Adventure Path prior to releasing the first installment, so the Map Folios lag behind.

We have started to release the Item Cards at the beginning of the campaign, because many of the really key items are part of the campaign's overall outline, and others can be worked into the campaign easily enough as it develops.

The maps are a much trickier proposition.


Fair enough I can understand that, I guess I will have to play around with Dundjinni.

I still think a monthly map subscription for the current issue would be handy if they are produced designed at the same time as the issue.

:)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

And I think that map folios should really be taken out of the Chronicles subscriptions. Either make them a Companion item or take them out of the subs entirely. Sorry, but as much as I love Paizo I honestly think that the map folios are of very limited use and value.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
And I think that map folios should really be taken out of the Chronicles subscriptions. Either make them a Companion item or take them out of the subs entirely. Sorry, but as much as I love Paizo I honestly think that the map folios are of very limited use and value.

Agreed. They were the reason I didn't subscribe.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm not keen on map-folios, but I've not had the pleasure of running the APs yet.

Poster map is good.

Personally, I like the trend of using the flip mats for some set locations. It means that those of us who 'freeform' maps are still good, but for others buying the flip map is even more multipurpose.


brock wrote:
A suggestion: how about using the Profantasy stuff to do your maps.

GACK! Please no. Those are among the most fugly maps I have ever seen. They might be great for DMs and their home games... but it's certainly not acceptable in any way, shape, or form for a published product.

Again - all I need to do is point at Christopher West's city/town maps and say: "There. That."

(I agree that the map products don't have much utility, but I still purchased the Second Darkness and LoF map folios for one simple reason: the poster maps. I got SD Map Folio for the poster map of Zirnakaynin, as the map in the AP was unusable as published, and I got LoF Map Folio for the poster city map of Katapesh [and Kakishon]. The other maps? Meh. I just care about the poster maps.)

I will certainly buy CoT Map Folio if there is a 'proper' (IMO) map of Westcrown!

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
brock wrote:
A suggestion: how about using the Profantasy stuff to do your maps.

GACK! Please no. Those are among the most fugly maps I have ever seen. They might be great for DMs and their home games... but it's certainly not acceptable in any way, shape, or form for a published product.

Have you seen some of the recent v3 maps and the map styles in the Cartographers Annual subscription? Take a look.

To my eye, some of these exceed the quality of maps in any number of 3ed published products that I own. One or two do indeed suck!

Paizo artists could design their own symbol sets and then work in whatever style they choose. The look is down to the artist, not the software tool.

The main benefit is that we could then print the maps at whatever scale we wanted - something that people upstream requested.


brock wrote:
Have you seen some of the recent v3 maps and the map styles in the Cartographers Annual subscription? Take a look.

Hmmm... admittedly, some of those do look pretty good, especially the top row. Wow - Campaign Cartographer sure has come a long way...

Yay, technology!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Of course, it's not just that Campaign Cartographer's come a long way, but also that those who use it are better at it and have grown more skilled at it. NO computer program is a magic pixie that can turn a person overnight into a talented cartographer, after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Arnwyn wrote:
Again - all I need to do is point at Christopher West's city/town maps and say: "There. That."

Of course... a lot of Chris West's maps use the same basic shapes and images as Campaign Cartographer. I know, because all the maps he's created from my turnovers for adventures over the years were given to him as Campaign Cartographer maps, and the end results, while looking a BILLION times nicer, are fundamentally similar to those generated by Campaign Cartographer as far as shapes and layout and all that is concerned. This is a great example of how artistic talent and skill comes in and makes an author map turnover beautiful and not just serviceable.

Arnwyn wrote:
I will certainly buy CoT Map Folio if there is a 'proper' (IMO) map of Westcrown!

There'll be a different style map for the city of Westcrown in the Council of Thieves map folio. Whether or not it will satisfy the need for those who didn't understand the purpose of the one we're printing in the AP itself... we'll see. The problem is that a city the size of Westcrown simply cannot show specific individual buildings without being the size of a few dozen bedsheets...

The new map in the Council of Thieves folio will be similar in usability and style to the map of Absalom (in that it will LOOK like a bird's eye view but those individual buildings won't necessarily represent actual buildings in game)... it'll be interesting to see how that goes over with folks. I still vastly prefer the version in the AP since it's obviously not meant to be something that's accurate down to every rain barrel and pier.

As for WHY we didn't attempt to do a map like that for Westcrown... I'm afraid that boils down simply to the truth that we didn't have time to generate a map of that level of detail and haven't mastered a way of presenting a map like that on a full page... very few fantasy RPG city maps do so, in fact. One of these days I hope to get a big city map like that done "right," and we're getting there. We're not there yet.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

James Jacobs wrote:

As for WHY we didn't attempt to do a map like that for Westcrown... I'm afraid that boils down simply to the truth that we didn't have time to generate a map of that level of detail and haven't mastered a way of presenting a map like that on a full page... very few fantasy RPG city maps do so, in fact. One of these days I hope to get a big city map like that done "right," and we're getting there. We're not there yet.

City System Waterdeep style map?

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

As for WHY we didn't attempt to do a map like that for Westcrown... I'm afraid that boils down simply to the truth that we didn't have time to generate a map of that level of detail and haven't mastered a way of presenting a map like that on a full page... very few fantasy RPG city maps do so, in fact. One of these days I hope to get a big city map like that done "right," and we're getting there. We're not there yet.

City System Waterdeep style map?

Oh please, yes! Favourite 'map' ever!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The map from "City System" is certainly nice. It's also a VERY similar style to the look of the new map of Westcrown we'll be publishing in the map folio.

But note that the City System map is 8 panels. We have to fit Westcrown into 4 panels (due to various real-world requirements and limitations of the product), which causes some problems to pop up right away.

Waterdeep's actually a really good city to compare Westcrown to, in fact. According to "City System," Waterdeep's got a population of 122,000 or so (upped to 132,661 in 3rd edition), which is pretty close to Westcrown's population. So it stands to reason that the two cities should probably be pretty close in size.

Now, that's where I fear the problem comes in. What's the actual size of Waterdeep? Like so many 2nd edition city maps, the map of Waterdeep in "City System" neglects to give us a map scale. Having run into simliar problems designing cities, the cynical part of me says that they left a scale off that map because in order to actually be large enough to hold 122,000 people, the scale on the map would have had to be huge... and would have resulted in streets a hundred yards wide or shacks as big as city blocks.

Since a city's population has a direct impact on how big a map of that city has to be... and since I suspect that in the history of RPGS (Golarion included, alas) designers picked population numbers without bothering to consider how those numbers impact city maps and designers who actually create the maps often seem not to take those numbers into account... you have a very frustration RPG tradition indeed. One that I'd like to break. One that I think we got pretty close to breaking with cities like Sandpoint or Magnimar or Korvosa... but when we get to cities with 10 to 30 times the population of Korvosa (such as the case is with Westcrown and Absalom), fitting maps of those cities on a single page or even on a four-panel poster map in a format and style that gamers are used to and love becomes an impossibility.

NOW: All that said... does anyone happen to know what size Waterdeep is? How wide and long? How much area the city itself covers? If we find that out, we can of course calculate the city's population density, and at that point I fear the numbers break down.

Of course... if folks only want a city map in the City System style and don't really care that if you get out your ruler and measure things that they end up having mile-wide city walls or hovels the size of battleships, I guess all my fretting and worrying and stress is for nothing...


The Waterdeep City System box set maps do include a scale, and the city is fully detailed on 10 adjoining poster-size maps. (Sadly, this does in a way back up what James is saying about Westcrown taking up a bedsheet...) When I get home from the office, I'll have a look and give it a measure.

However, an adequate smaller map is found in the 3e City of Splendors hardcover, which is something that might be worth looking at before writing off smaller maps of large cities.

It has been noted in the past that Ed did do a significant amount of research when detailing his cities, so I suspect that the numbers have worked out to be 'somewhat reasonable' (in fact, I'm pretty sure I have it calculated out at least once sometime ago, probably around the time when I bought it new). I'll see if my suspicions are completely unfounded or not!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Arnwyn wrote:

The Waterdeep City System box set maps do include a scale, and the city is fully detailed on 10 adjoining poster-size maps. (Sadly, this does in a way back up what James is saying about Westcrown taking up a bedsheet...) When I get home from the office, I'll have a look and give it a measure.

However, an adequate smaller map is found in the 3e City of Splendors hardcover, which is something that might be worth looking at before writing off smaller maps of large cities.

It has been noted in the past that Ed did do a significant amount of research when detailing his cities, so I suspect that the numbers have worked out to be 'somewhat reasonable' (in fact, I'm pretty sure I have it calculated out at least once sometime ago, probably around the time when I bought it new). I'll see if my suspicions are completely unfounded or not!

Ah; the office copy is missing those 10 adjoining poster maps; it only has the 2-poster-map version. But yeah; that should give an idea as to the scaling of a project like this for sure.

I'd love to find out what the population density of Waterdeep is, and to find out if it's even close to something that feels realistic.

(((And remember that no matter how much research one person (be they Ed or anyone else) puts into a project... RPG supplements are built by more than one person. I know for a fact that I've had words I write changed during development or editing (sometimes for the best, certainly, but also sometimes for the worst, such as the case of the stat blocks in Fiendish Codex I).)))


James Jacobs wrote:

Of course... if folks only want a city map in the City System style and don't really care that if you get out your ruler and measure things that they end up having mile-wide city walls or hovels the size of battleships, I guess all my fretting and worrying and stress is for nothing...

I really, really liked the maps of Westcrown in 'Bastards', personally. I thought they had real style and even sort of set a mood on it's own.

*shrug*

I guess it comes down to how you want to run a city. I like encounter maps to be as detailed as I can get them, with a clear grid, etc., but gigantic areas like a cityscape?

I'd rather have a somewhat broader view that didn't require me going over it with a magnifying glass looking for 'L25'. Just show me the part of town it's in, what general part of that part , and if more detail becomes necessary for that little bit then I can do it myself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sothmektri wrote:
I'd rather have a somewhat broader view that didn't require me going over it with a magnifying glass looking for 'L25'. Just show me the part of town it's in, what general part of that part , and if more detail becomes necessary for that little bit then I can do it myself.

That's very much the goal and purpose of the current map of Westcrown. And it should probably be the goal of MOST large city maps, especially in cases where you can't actually do a proper bird's eye view on a full page map and have any hope of retaining legibility.

We don't show every tree in an overland map of a 20-square-mile area, after all... why should we do the same for every building in a 20-square mile area of a city?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wish I had a perfect memory, but one thing I do distinctly remember while studying Europe in my history courses was being shocked at the population size (HUGE) being in such small areas. Many of them were in England, I think. Paris was definitely another where the density was intense, similar to New York in 1990, I think.

So my point is, if my memory is not totally deceiving me, a city of 120,000 people would not even have to be 20 square miles, if that is your meaning behind mentioning that "scale size". In fact I would bet a population of 120,000 could fit into 1 square mile. I remember one city (wish I could remember the name) to not only did you have street level, and several stories up into the air, buildings tightly packed, but also had housing going under ground, where thousands of people lived, worked, and died.

So you can seriously tighten up the population density to some seriously high numbers, and still be realistic. Apparently many cities throughout histories had population densities that could almost make a can of sardines look roomy.


Bedsheet maps ... yay! ... Sign me up for a subscription!!!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I was referring to the 10 page map.

I wish I had another copy of City System. My home has a brilliant blue wall in what used to be the kid's room for the previous owner. I'd love to 'wallpaper' that Waterdeep map up over it.

Cheliax

Shivok wrote:

Yes please render the next Westcrown map from the birds-eye view rather than the experimental map that was included , it really sucked, the house count was way off for the population size of that city.

I think it makes for a great player hand-out; now that I have the module I have to say I was actually positively surprised by the map!I can understand why some of the people were so upset (i.e. it's not as "accurate" as the other city maps), but the house count is not so much "off" if you consider that some of those houses might be "tallhouses" with several businesses and several large families residing on many floors in each big (and tall) building. In addition to this, the map is more accurate than I expected and the most notable places are there (such as Aroden's statue). Besides, I think none of the city maps published by Paizo (except for Korvosa) are 100% "accurate" in the sense that every individual building is detailed there.

Naturally, if I only *could*, I'd like to have it "all", i.e. a detailed artistic rendering of each building in the city (from a "hilltop" perspective; think "Waterdeep by Valerie Valusek") plus a painstakingly detailed GM's map from bird's eyeview and finally a "sketchy" player hand-out map. I just don't think it can be possible due to issues with space and extra costs.

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