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.
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.
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.
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.
I have wondered why the map folios have been marketed as Campaign Setting material as opposed to a part of the AP they reference. This map set is a clear case for this classification.
I am currently running through the RotRL and these maps have helped greatly. They give the players a great idea of their surroundings and don't really have any spoilers. I have several other folios and this stands out as the best for use detailing the world of Golarion.
You wont find any encounter maps or detailed buildings in this set. This niche has been filled by the interactive map sets available with the APs. I appreciate this as I find a good player friendly map is one of the best ways to keep everyone on the same page.
I look forward to more maps in line with the artistic representation of Varisia. This map can also be found in the Player's Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends.
For an explanation of how I use the five star review method, see my entry on So What's the Riddle Like Anyway?HERE.
I love maps, and I am always glad to have more. I was a little disappointed with the Skull & Shackles Poster Map Folio but I am always hopeful. And the Shattered Star Poster Map Folio is so much superior, my hopes have been fulfilled.
We get three poster maps: one ink-and-parchment style artistic map of Varisia, and two clear and well labelled maps of two of the important cities of the country: Magnimar and Kaer Maga. The artistic map is in the same style as the beautiful one supplied in the Skull & Shackles Folio, but this time with labels! It includes the major trade routes throughout the country and the distances that each route takes. It is probably the most single beautiful and useful campaign map I have ever seen. It's use with any campaign set in Varisia means that it can be used with no less than five of the Pazio Adventure Paths. That is amazing adaptability.
The Poster Map of Magnimar is great. It is beautiful to look at and is labelled in a way that shows all the locations a party could know about by asking a local for directions or information. No secret lairs, encounter locations, or adventure information provided. This is a great player and GM aid.
The Map of Kaer Maga has each separate district colour coded, making it easy to use with the information provided in City of Strangers. Everything that has been labelled on the other general maps of Kaer Maga is labelled here. Again, all the information that a GM would want the players to know about and none of the material they shouldn't know.
Final Thoughts: All three maps are absolutely beautiful to look at (especially the artistic ink-and parchment country map) and of use to anyone running a campaign set in Varisia. As a great appreciator of maps, these are going to be beloved additions to my collection. Five out of Five Stars.