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RPG Superstar 2015

Do the modules come with flip mats?


Pathfinder Modules


Or do I have to make them on my own based on the maps in the books, or does it list the map packs / flip mats I'd need to buy separately?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Moved thread.
The Modules do not come with the Flip-Mats or Map Packs if they use them—you would have to purchase them separately or adapt your own map for use in your game.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

FWIW, I would totally buy way more Pathfinder modules if they came with flip mats.

That's the main thing I bought any 4E modules for!

-The Gneech

Paizo Employee Developer

Thanks for the feedback, John. We're always looking for ways to improve our Pathfinder Modules line. As a point of comparison, though, consider that we charge roughly the same amount for one of our GameMastery Flip Mats as we do for a printed Pathfinder Module due to production costs involved. Would you be willing to pay twice the price for a combo pack of the two?


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Mark: yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes


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I've commented on this issue before and I'd like to again. One of the main weaknesses with games like pathfinder and 4e is the maps. As GMs, we have to do all sorts of somersaults and backflips in order to have usable maps. I GMed 4e for a while, and I would blow up the images from the pdfs and print them out with my color printer. One big problem is that everything was pixilated because of the low resolution of the original graphics. The other problem is the mapping notation/symbols/footnotes were still on the image, such as "firetrap" written over a shaded floor square or a big footnote with a circle around it right behind a door so that PCs would be expecting something there.

I know that a lot of GMs will say "why not just use dry erase maps? It gets the job done!" My response is "no it doesn't." Dry erase maps completely ruin the experience of the game, unless you are an artist and you can draw quickly and on the fly.

I played a few living forgotten realms games at a very large store in my area with (supposedly) one of the best GMs around here (I live in Los Angeles). His mapping style came down to "um lemme see, there's a log here" and he'd draw a box around three of the squares on the map and crosshatch them in. "There's a statue here" and he'd draw a box around another square and write "statue" inside. What the heck is this???? I didn't realize how much of a difference it made, but as a player this completely destroys the experience. Even worse, later on I looked at the module and saw all the beautiful maps that he was looking at, which could not be transmitted to us through the dry erase mat and a few hastily drawn blocks on top of a blank grid.

Let me just say, some of the WotC products got it right. I hate WotC, I hate how they treat their customers, and I think that 4e is absolute crap. But have you seen the gamma world box sets? They come with all the counters you need to play the game AND THE MAPS. No boxes on dry mats with the word "statue" written inside at all.

When I first got into pathfinder I was blown away with the detail and the obvious care that was put into the products. I read through a few of the adventure paths and I can honestly say that 4e modules aren't even in the same league. The stories and encounters in pathfinder adventure paths are worked out with such meticulous detail, and it shows! The maps in the adventure paths are gorgeous, the only problem is... how do I deliver that cartographic quality to my players? I've even been tempted to scribble a few things on a drymat, then hand them the adventure path and say "this is what it was supposed to look like." I just feel that one of the greatest parts of these modules and the adventure paths are completely squandered because they aren't sold in playable form, either bundled together or sold separately.

Maybe this is why the only module I own is crypt of the everflame. I love pathfinder but I'm not planning on buying anymore modules. It's a complete tease. I look at the maps and yearn for my players to gawk at the beautiful cartography like I am, and experience what I am experiencing, but I know that will never be. How many other customers are holding back their dollars with the same thought in mind?

Let me just conclude by saying yes, I would pay twice as much for a bundle. I would pay 3 times more in fact. Package the module with two flip mats. If those flip mats are double sided then you've got 4 maps that come with the module. Some of your maps might only require half or a quarter of the flip mat, so you can have up to 16 maps included! I would easily pay three times the amount for a module with two flip mats included. If your adventure path map folios came with playable maps, I would buy more adventure paths. Paizo is on the right track by releasing the Bestiary Box (of which I plan to purchase 2 or 3) so that we don't have to use pennies or bottle caps anymore. I really do think that the Bestiary Box + modules/paths with all the maps available for purchase will be a GM's dream that I will not be able to resist.


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Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, John. We're always looking for ways to improve our Pathfinder Modules line. As a point of comparison, though, consider that we charge roughly the same amount for one of our GameMastery Flip Mats as we do for a printed Pathfinder Module due to production costs involved. Would you be willing to pay twice the price for a combo pack of the two?

Would making them out of paper instead of having them erasable reduce the cost significantly?

I think the move to tying the gamemastery products closer to your others has been good, but not as good as a module specific battlemat would be. I personally would definitely pay for such a thing (maybe a module "enhancement pack" consisting of battle mats, pawns and a player handout or two might be feasible occasionally for the right module?)


Steve Geddes wrote:
module "enhancement pack"

hire this man now. I would buy. make for adventure paths as well. thanks.

Star Voter 2013

Yes please I would love to get AP's with a paper flip mat some monster pawns (for the monsters that arent already availble from the pawn box) and even a printed coply of the players guide. I would easily pay 10 or 15 more for the time it saves me.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

This is what prompted the thought that paper would be cheaper than flipmats.

This is predominantly used artwork, but includes some new maps (and hence cartography cost). It seems to me from an armchair analysis that increasing the resolution/detail of some of the module maps as would be required if they were to be blown up to battlemat resolution could be defrayed if a low-cost, paper version were released concurrently with the module.

It appears that Paizo have shied away from the flimsy paper WoTC use for their battlemats, so that might run counter to some corporate production value/quality policy. Nonetheless, if clearly telegraphed as such, there might be a market for a budget line of maps (3 double-sided battlemats for $12 seems like a bargain to me). I, for one, am an avid collector of both the flipmats and the various paper battlemats. If stored appropriately, they dont get damaged too bad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I have posted this before but it can't hurt to say it again:

I use Some PDF Image Extract to get the maps from the pdfs. Because a pdf is a layered format you get "clean" unkeyed images that are perfectly fine for the players to see. In addition I use Photoshop to enlarge the images and the built-in options allow an almost perfect resizing with only very little pixelating.


Modules packed along with the flip-mats? Thanks, but no thank you. The module line is already in "purchase only when I have more money than usual" category for me, and increasing the price by x2 would just push it into the "don't buy" group.

What would be nice to see, though, would be a greater correspondence between flip-mats, map packs, and the Modules line. As in, perhaps Paizo could try to get as many as possible of the maps from the modules be made into flip mats and map packs that could be sold independently of the module.

Paizo Employee Developer

Even printing the maps on paper or releasing them as print-yourself PDF enhancements would drastically increase the cost of the product. When we order a map for an adventure, we're paying the cartographer to make a half-page or full-page map with the appropriate level of detail for a map of that scale. Given the number of maps needed in a 32-page adventure, we'd need to order the equivalent of two to three flip-mats at higher resolution and detail. This, even without printing them or printing them on normal paper, would vastly increase the the cost of the product, and in some cases, rule out certain adventures that would use large dungeon complexes or overland mapping that couldn't fit on a single flip-mat.

Contributor

I tend to use maps far more than modules. What I think might be best is going through existing modules and putting a priority for certain sites that may not yet have a suitable flip map or map pack, or not have one in print.

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, John. We're always looking for ways to improve our Pathfinder Modules line. As a point of comparison, though, consider that we charge roughly the same amount for one of our GameMastery Flip Mats as we do for a printed Pathfinder Module due to production costs involved. Would you be willing to pay twice the price for a combo pack of the two?

Sure, but i'd much rather have them sold as separate products as they currently are. I'll probably buy both, but that way it's my choice.

Also, while I like the idea of tying Map Packs and Flip Mats closely to published modules (and also Adventure Paths), I also like getting generic locations for my homebrew adventures. I'm not sure how to deal with it for the Map Packs, but the Flip Mats could easily include a generic location on one side and something more specific on the other...

Just my 2 cents.

Dark Archive

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Given the wide availability of laptops easily connected to flat screen tv's or tablets at the game table is it not possible for Paizo to implement a web only player map so that the maps don't need to be printed at all.

Sell this digital map at a low $ amount for those that buy at their local store/dealer and those that buy direct it's part of their download section. (I envision $1 - $3) for the digital map.

While this won't work for everyone it should make a big enough impact in the market to effectively solve the issue for many people.

- This system will also give great insight back to the Paizo marketing department as they will be able to see the volume of traffic accessing the digital maps and then can decide which product was best received by the customer. A key point is noticing the longevity of certain maps. This could allow for better internal decisions on new paths and modules and opens up a new digital content revenue stream.

- The maps would not be downloadable/savable as the size on the screen it just wouldn't format or be easy to manipulate the product into a printer.


I would definitely pay extra for flip mats or any kind of map I could use GMing. The game is way better for me and players with a map that draws them in to make them feel that they are really there.


I would like to see an "Optional" Gamemastery map that corresponds with a Module. Separate sale. Almost like a bonus double sided map that you don't NEED to play the Module...but would be really cool to have in addition too.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, John. We're always looking for ways to improve our Pathfinder Modules line. As a point of comparison, though, consider that we charge roughly the same amount for one of our GameMastery Flip Mats as we do for a printed Pathfinder Module due to production costs involved. Would you be willing to pay twice the price for a combo pack of the two?

Hmm... I never saw this, and it's over a year old now, but I'll go ahead and answer: I'm already kinda doing this, in that I subscribed starting with Dragon's Demand partially on reading that it came with such a map. :)

I've bought several 4e modules that I would never have bought otherwise because they came with maps. Not heavy cardstock, not laminated, just flimsy magazine paper. But I've used many of them again and again.

-The Gneech

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I would definitely be willing to pay extra to get all of the maps in these modules pre-printed or even as pdfs that are already on the correct scale. Honestly, I'm considering going to office max today and paying them a godawful amount of money to print them to the right size for me, anyway. I'd rather give my money to paizo than office max!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

While I understand the difficulties involved in tying the flip-mat and/or map pack line to the modules line, it would be really cool if the module line did a better job of leveraging existing material.

Hell, there's something like 45 map packs and 52 flip maps out there now; it can't be *that* hard to use at least one or two of them for encounters.

Yeah, I know it breaks the ability to design things from scratch a little bit, but in terms of GMs actually being able to use the stuff they already own, it's a huge win.

I'll take a flip mat or a few sheets from a map pack over my own chicken scratch any day of the week.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

gbonehead wrote:
Hell, there's something like 45 map packs and 52 flip maps out there now; it can't be *that* hard to use at least one or two of them for encounters.

We have. And it actually CAN be pretty hard to synchronize a module to a flip mat, since the two products aren't on the same schedule and utilize different company assets, combining the two complicates the most complex part of the entire adventure design process—the map.


Yes I will pay extra to have the maps with the modules. I already basically bought or preordered the lastest 3 modules coming out.

The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Quote:
I played a few living forgotten realms games at a very large store in my area with (supposedly) one of the best GMs around here (I live in Los Angeles). His mapping style came down to "um lemme see, there's a log here" and he'd draw a box around three of the squares on the map and crosshatch them in. "There's a statue here" and he'd draw a box around another square and write "statue" inside. What the heck is this???? I didn't realize how much of a difference it made, but as a player this completely destroys the experience. Even worse, later on I looked at the module and saw all the beautiful maps that he was looking at, which could not be transmitted to us through the dry erase mat and a few hastily drawn blocks on top of a blank grid.

Sorry that bursts your bubble, but that's how a solid majority of us have been gaming for decades. Maps aren't a big deal for me. I rarely use minatures. So long as I have a piece of graph paper with some marks on it showing positioning, we usually get through combat just fine. Everything else is just bells and whistles. Good GMs usually aren't rated by the quality of their accessories, but by how well they run the game.

As for maps with the modules, doubling the cost would definitely decrease the chance of me buying any premade adventures.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Hell, there's something like 45 map packs and 52 flip maps out there now; it can't be *that* hard to use at least one or two of them for encounters.
We have. And it actually CAN be pretty hard to synchronize a module to a flip mat, since the two products aren't on the same schedule and utilize different company assets, combining the two complicates the most complex part of the entire adventure design process—the map.

I understand what you're saying, but I'm not talking about making new material that matches the module. I'm talking about using some of the nearly 100 published flip mats and/or map packs for an encounter in a module.

Case in point: Broken Chains:
Broken Chains relies very heavily on travel through the sewers in the middle of the module. While it gives lip service to the excellent Map Pack: Sewers product, it really doesn't use it in any useful way; most of the sewer map can't actually be represented by that map pack

Case in point: Murder's Mark:
Though an excellent introductory module, Murder's Mark could have used one of the existing warehouse flip mats for area D, but instead created its own map instead. There's little reason for a level 1 module not to use an existing flip mat especially for something as standard as a warehouse.

My point is, all these adventures are being written, yet none of them leverage the wealth of GM material in the form of flip mats and map packs, and it would be wonderful if they did :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Shadowborn wrote:
Quote:
[...]His mapping style came down to "um lemme see, there's a log here" and he'd draw a box around three of the squares on the map and crosshatch them in. "There's a statue here" and he'd draw a box around another square and write "statue" inside. What the heck is this???? I didn't realize how much of a difference it made, but as a player this completely destroys the experience. Even worse, later on I looked at the module and saw all the beautiful maps that he was looking at, which could not be transmitted to us through the dry erase mat and a few hastily drawn blocks on top of a blank grid.

Sorry that bursts your bubble, but that's how a solid majority of us have been gaming for decades. Maps aren't a big deal for me. I rarely use minatures. So long as I have a piece of graph paper with some marks on it showing positioning, we usually get through combat just fine. Everything else is just bells and whistles. Good GMs usually aren't rated by the quality of their accessories, but by how well they run the game.

[...]

You are right of course about everything you say, Shadowborn. But in my experience pre-made maps (flip-mats, print-outs on office paper, poster maps, projected maps...) have one major advantage: Speed. I GM two tables, at one we use a projector to project the maps on the table at the other one I draw the maps manually. We get (subjectively) twice as much done at the projector table with much less downtime.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Interesting. What do you project it onto? White board? Paper? White table cloth?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The table we use has a white finish. It's a simple kitchen table and the setup works perfectly. I sincerely miss it in my second group.

By the way, it was inspired by this sensational gaming table.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, John. We're always looking for ways to improve our Pathfinder Modules line. As a point of comparison, though, consider that we charge roughly the same amount for one of our GameMastery Flip Mats as we do for a printed Pathfinder Module due to production costs involved. Would you be willing to pay twice the price for a combo pack of the two?

Yep

Grand Lodge

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Thread Necromancy go!

Here's my two cents. When you pay an artist to make a detailed map for an encounter in a published adventure, and there is no way to actually use that detailed map in the game (too small/ marked with details the players shouldn't know, ect), Paizo is wasting the money they spent on the detail, because the only person who can see it is the GM.

If you are going to spend money on fancy, detailed maps, please please please print them in a format that is actually usable in the game. Otherwise their only purpose is being the basis for time consuming and poorly drawn representations on the gaming mat actually used for game.

Crypt of the Everflame is a great example of this. The reason why I bought the module, and then the flip mat, is because they worked together. I happily paid for both, and I would not have paid for either otherwise.

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