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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Shattered Star Poster Map Folio

****½ (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Shattered Star Poster Map Folio

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Return to Varisia

Venture into the Pathfinder campaign setting’s most notorious frontier with the Shattered Star Map Folio! Plan new missions or map your adventuring group’s exploits in both treacherous cities and the monster-haunted wilds with these three enormous poster maps designed for use with the Shattered Star Adventure Path, Pathfinder’s dungeon-crawling quest for magical relics from a fallen empire!

Within this map folio, you’ll find three huge 8-panel poster maps. Tantalize your PCs with an enormous player handout designed to look like an ink-and-parchment map of the region, complete with sketches of local threats and legendary creatures! Then introduce them to the incredibly detailed map of Magnimar, Varisia’s merchant paradise, where the aristocratic traditions of devil-worshiping Cheliax are shunned in favor of independence, commerce, and opportunity. From there, it’s a long riverboat ride to the cliffside monument-city of Kaer Maga, the City of Strangers, where the only law comes from rival gangs and guilds, and civilized monsters rub shoulders with fugitives and religious zealots. Whether you need densely packed cityscapes for your urban adventures or a mysterious regional map to inspire you and your players, these beautiful maps of some of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s most detailed locations are the perfect resource for the Shattered Star Adventure Path or any fantasy campaign.

Cartography by Rob Lazzaretti

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-505-1

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

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Product Reviews (8)
1 to 5 of 8 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 8 ratings)

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Two Great Maps, One Average One

****( )

The Shattered Star Poster Map Folio contains three large 8-panel maps of the cities of Kaer Maga and Magnimar, and of the region of Varisia. The maps are full-colour and quite attractive. They're printed on regular poster paper, so they won't hold up to regular use without some wear and tear (I've had to fix one with tape after just a couple of uses) and, unless the marks are going to be permanent, they can't be drawn on without laminating them. The three maps fold nicely between the thin cardboard covers of the folio, and the whole package can stand on a bookshelf even after the shrinkwrap is off.

The map of Varisia is my favorite. It's done in a pen-and-ink style as if it were a real map used in the fictional campaign setting of Golarion. I love how each settlement receives a custom illustration and how the placement of various monsters and intriguing, unlabelled structures hint at danger and the thrill of exploring the unknown. Some might quibble that showing some of the monsters of particular regions, or mysterious structures, verges on spoiler territory for players--I haven't had any problems and I think the flavour of the drawings outweighs the risk, but I can understand the need for GMs running certain adventures to be careful. The map is of real practical use as well because it denotes roads and trails, labels the distance in miles between settlements, and comes with a distance scale. I had originally planned to just give this one to the players and privately use a more traditional map of the region, but I don't think that will be necessary. GMs should note that, since the map is "zoomed out" to show the entire region of Varisia, detailed local maps will still be important. For example, the area around Sandpoint looks like barren plains on this map, but anyone who has the map of the Sandpoint hinterlands from various products knows there's a *lot* more going on in the area. It should also be noted that this map is exactly the same (although much larger, of course) as the map in the middle of the "Varisia, Birthplace of Legends" Player Companion.

The map of Magnimar is impressive in its detail. 94 different structures are listed in the legend, and if you look closely at the map, you can see that the cartographer spent time to make sure each structure has a shape and size that makes sense. For example, Serpent's Run (the huge hippodrome) is indeed a huge oval with attached facilities, while the Lord Mayor's Menagerie does indeed look like an enclosed zoo. The cartographer has even marked each separate piling of the Irespan and provided an inset map of what the Underbridge district looks like. GMs running Rise of the Runelords should note that some key locations are noted in the legend that might otherwise require PCs to do a little investigation to find, but it's not problematic enough to keep me from wanting to use it. Overall, the map really helps to clarify the layout of the city, and it would definitely be something worth using to track PCs' movement throughout the city.

I have not used the map of Kaer Maga in actual gameplay. My first impression is that I'm not a fan of the colour scheme or the weird border running along the bottom of the map. It is well-detailed (57 locations in the legend). I've read the "City of Strangers" sourcebook and would imagine that Kaer Maga is a *very* difficult city to represent pictorially, but I'm afraid this map hasn't met the challenge. It's less interesting and more bland than the Magnimar map, and overall the least impressive of the three. Of course, some map is (usually!) better than no map at all.

I've only used the Varisia and Magnimar maps in the context of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, and I would rate both as highly useful. I haven't run Shattered Star, so I of course can't comment on how well the maps fit the need of that AP. Overall, two excellent maps and a third average one make this a set worth buying if the price is right.


Three Beautiful Maps of Varisia from Cartographer Rob Lazzaretti!

*****

If you're running your PC's through Varisia, Kaer Maga and Magnimar, then this is the map set for you. Three large foldout maps of the named areas above. Makes navigation a snap. Buy it today, before you climb into the City of Strangers.


'Player View' maps a disappointment

***( )( )

I just started a campaign set in Magnimar, so the idea of getting three large related maps was a big draw. The detailed map from Shattered Star is great, and combines all the locations on the small interior maps in the legend. The Kaer Magna map is somewhat less useful but still good; some additional details from other sources would have been good.

The major disappointment is the Varisia map, which is a reproduction of the pen-and-ink players map from the Varisia book. It was a terrible idea to include this thing - it might look pretty, but both the players and I want something /useful/, like the very detailed Ustalav overland map like in Rule of Fear or the Carrion Crown folio. Call-outs with area illustrations around the border would be OK. As bad as it was getting this in the map folio, it was a lot worse getting it in the Varisia book. Those were two pages you could have just thrown away for all the utility they had. Save the pretty for a separate decorative poster project or something similar.


Mostly satisfied

****( )

The map of Varisia is really awesome! Nice textures and an appropriate level of detail. Really something the PCs would have access to and I'm sure my players are gonna love it.
texture
The map of Magnimar is still nice, although it seems that not much effort has been put in adjusting the map to the size of the print: While the vector graphics scale nicely I would have expected some additional textures compared to the map available in the Magnimar Campaign Setting or the adventure path itself. The map also gives away at least one location the PCs may know nothing about (the Shrine of Sarenrae from Dawn of the Scarlet Sun).

The map of Kaer Maga was somewhat a disappointment: reading the foreword of James Sutter in The Asylum Stone as well as the City of Strangers Campaign Setting my expectations were quiet high. But the map is really just a big print of Kaer Maga as given in The Asylum Stone. I would have considered the map from City of Strangers to be much more appropriate on one side, on the other side I expect some additional textures on such a print.


The Birthplace of Legends map comes in poster size!

*****

One of my players bought this for me at Origins (we'll be starting Shattered Star as soon as we wrap up Rise of the Runelords). I'd mentioned on several occasions wishing I had a poster version of the Birthplace of Legends map. If you haven't seen it, that book has an artistic player-friendly map of Varisia that's just amazing.

Well, this totally has that. It also has a great map of Magnimar (individually labeling Irespan pilings is a nice touch) and Kaer Maga (which looks surprisingly usable for as weird as Kaer Maga is).

Although Shattered Star visits all these places, it'd be almost as useful with Rise of the Runelords.

Short Version: If you're running a game that involves two of the three maps (Varisia, Magnimar, Kaer Maga), I'd suggest picking this up.


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