See, these map packs are all pretty great. Some I'll admit see very little use, but still they are good to have when the time comes (like the elf village map pack).
MAP PACK LAIRS is 5 stars because the art is still as good as ever, but the designs and versatility fo the sites chosen mean I'll be using these over and over on a regular basis.
But the best part is they don't necessarily have to be lairs for just foes. The cave could be the home of a hermit, the home could even belong to the heroes, the forest clearing could be a detailed campsite, and the circular pool some sort of bizarre ancient site or Pathfinder quest. The dungeon is a good mini dungeon to place a foe that deserves more than a pathetic hastily-scrawled room or two.
Awesome stuff, this one will get worn out around my game table.
When I was prepping for my Saga Edition mini campaign last year I scoured ebay for some of the more obscure mini poster maps WotC had produced. The tiles they made were OK for some things, but the poster maps really helped set a scene and let the players take advantage of the terrain.
Getting this was brilliant, not only because it already matched the colors and styles of the Saga maps (many also my Mr. West) but it had a full sized starship on it! The other side is just as loaded with detail and twists and turns. There's even a landing pad with a docked starship, that too has map squares instead of just being an overlay. A GM could use these deckplans for a hero's ship.
I dove into this and while reading had the same impression of dismal reads in the early 3.0 era. The book strives to raise few bars.
The font is gigantic. The classes are cobbled together from mechanics already in other classes in the PFRPG. 60 pages of the book are for chases and morale; I don't know who would use such overkill for their game. Lots of PFRPG text is simply cut and paste into this book.
There are references to rules that don't exist, very poorly worded powers and abilities and an overall feeling that little true care was used in putting it together.
Character Flaws and Occupations are good, so it's obvious there is some worth, but overall I was very disappointed.
I picked this up a while back from the Paizo store at the recommendation of a friend.
Keep on the Borderlands, Thunder Rift, Night Below, The Vaut of Larin Karr, Shattered Gates of Slaughterstone. Each of these had something in common. Apart from the themed adventures set there, the product itself gave no small attention to the setting where they were located, creating a mini-campaign area to explore and develop.
Well, Point of Light takes that idea and runs with it. It’s inspired by the Point of Light campaign ideal of D&D 4E (no large nations, just small outposts between monster-haunted wilderness). To that end, it maps out four lands, and gives basic, creative description of the geography, civilization, and political skullduggery between the inhabitants and denizens. There are no actual full "adventures" included.
Each section has a one-page overland map, text describing the different hexes where lairs, towns, keeps or ruins might appear with a description of each written to jump-start the imaginative juices. Each area also has a mini encounter table and a rumor table. Some towns and settlements are given mini-maps in the text.
It reads very old-school and has the appearance of the same. Maps are black and white, simply clear and functional line art with a number hex grid imposed over top. Writing obviously shows a D&D 3rd Edition mindset, with mention of specific spells, magic items, and the like that all appear in that edition of the game. Apart from these vague references, there is literally no crunch. A NPC might be described as (Ftr 5) and a great wolf as (2HD) and that’s it. Really it could be used in any fantasy game world with ease.
The first land is a wild land: Different groups of civilized races and humanoids are surviving in their little area following the destruction of a grand empire.
The second area borrows from the idea that characters of sufficiently high level will want to own land: clearing it of monsters, building the keep and holding the land. The place is littered with little details for characters of this mindset to take advantage (and be wary) of.
The third area is a rough, frontier borderland between two warring nations where the soldiers loyal to their sides, and not monsters, are the real threat.
The fourth location is set in the outer planes, the home of an evil god where his faithful go and take tests to rise in rank in his church.
The first three were super to read. The last section, the outer planar entry wasn’t as fulfilling as the first three and didn’t evoke a cool sense of exploration like the others. The writing isn’t heavy, and not so detailed that you feel constrained. Just the opposite, the entries get you thinking about how you’d like to drop the adventures in here, shake it up and watch how they explore and handle themselves.
It’s also a good aid for a GM who hasn’t completely mapped out his homebrew world yet, or has lots of undeveloped space.
The tree effects are a real table-brightener. Player's eyes light up with glee and it looks great with miniatures on it. I would have prefered if they left off specific items like the druid shrine and campsite. because now when I whip this out, they're always there. Otherwise an outstanding product.
I just received this and it's a real beauty. Nice and generic (no camps or specific rock formations). There's a proper wooden bridge on one side and on the other, the river curves and there's an impromptu crashed log and loose rock way to cross. Very nice.