Aubrey the Malformed wrote:Some good points about the usability of maps.I was mentioning something similar in another map-related thread. Namely, the players only get to see what the GM is able to draw on the battlemap. If the map in the adventure is so complex the GM ends up handwaving most of it at the table, the fact that it looks pretty on the page is only relevant to the GM. The other 80% of the gaming group will never see that version of the map.
As Game Masters, of any system, it's our job to render the world to our players. The medium we collective use to do this is unique to each GM. Some GM's are excellent wordsmiths and lay out the backdrop, sights and sounds, and feel of the setting via descriptions. Others are more artistically inclined and give more visual cues. For other GM's and their groups, the hack and slash blood and gore is the thing.
Whatever tools you use and have in your GM bag is distinctly unique though as I said. A canned module must, by definition provide as much useful information packed into as little print space and paper as possible. The flip side to that is a canned module cannot, also by definition, provide everything every GM needs. Well drawn maps allow GM's to add their own little spice based on how they run a game. Take what you need/want and ditch the rest.
Again, my opinion. We welcome yours...