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Two Great Encounter Maps


While my preference is for the river side, both sides are solid representations for wandering encounters or whatever other wilderness adventure your evil little GM heart desires.

So why not FIVE stars? Aside from the already mentioned diagonal squares on the bridge (does Paizo have something against hexes? I've always found them very useful in outdoor terrain), there's a lot of war debris (weapons, armor scrap, etc.) scattered around the map. Granted, these are supposed to be "battlefields" but IMO it limits the generic potential of the maps.

In conclusion, a solid outing this time around. More like this, please. But have the Goblins tidy up the areas first.

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A Bit Simplistic, But Useful In Certain Circumstances


These maps aren't going to win any cartography awards, but they're adequate for those DM's in a hurry for a quick encounter. Good for random muggings and the like, anyway.
Paizo has raised the bar quite a bit since this set, so I'd check out their more recent urban offerings.

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Awesome Interior Map, Exterior . . . No So Much


I made excellent use of this map for a hordes of undead siege scenario (what can I say, I loved Night of the Living Dead). Solid set up and plenty of rooms for intrigue and "where's the monster/killer hiding" type plots. Need a place for the party to rest between destinations? Problem solved. I especially liked the bathtubs. Nothing quite like bloody water hiding a ghoul or similar undead.
The downside? The exterior map is underwhelming. I just don't see much use for it as players are going to be spending most of the time in the building or courtyard, not on the roofs (and there are simple ways to represent that, anyway).
Besides, it's unlikely you'd flip the map over in the middle of combat!
Unless this is an evil plot by Paizo to force us to buy two of these to place side by side.

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The Ark of the Covenant is around here somewhere


I have yet to use both sides, but the scenario I ran with the large warehouse went very well with lots of jumping from crate to crate requiring balance and tumble checks, all while fighting off various foes not so happy to have the PC's crash their smuggling ring.
You will definitely have to sketch some surrounding buildings, however, as the structure takes up almost the entire area.
You will also have to devise some way of determine height as any battles are likely to go vertical into the stacks of crates.
The waterfront side may prove to be even more useful with multiple buildings and alleys.
A must have for urban campaigns.

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Solid building map, if only . . .


. . . it had another cool waterfront tavern on the other side.
Interesting layout with lots of cool details a clever (or mean) DM could exploit for his own purposes.
The opening to the water in the middle was a particularly nice touch. My players used it to great effect to inflitrate the structure with some levitation spells. They had a great time throwing various patrons and enemies into the drink.
More like this, Paizo.
Just make sure they're two-sided.

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NPC CODEX: A 3.5 perspective


I have yet to make the switch to Pathfinder, but as a busy 3.5 DM, I'm always looking for ways to make campaign design easier.
As I'm currently running an urban campaign, I'm in constant need of NPC's, especially those with Aristocratic and Expert levels. My players are always asking questions like "Who's the commander of the North gate?" or "Who heads the Jeweler's Guild?" and so on. I don't have the time to flesh all this stuff out, so this book will come in handy for that purpose.
Not to mention the next time the Assassin's Guild decides to send some agents to take out those meddling players.
However, being unfamiliar with Pathfinder, there is a bit of learning curve. I'd say some classes are 90% compatible, while others are around 80%. Not nearly as bad as converting 2nd edition material into 3.5, but stat sticklers might be annoyed. If you are good at improvising (and what decent DM isn't?), this book is VERY useful.
In general, Pathfinder characters are a bit overpowered for 3.5, so I'd drop them a level or two for a "fair fight" with your players.
So four stars. DM's will find it very useful . . . players, not so much.