Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Strange Aeons Poster Map Folio

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Strange Aeons Poster Map Folio

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Navigate the Unfathomable!

See the eerie and eldritch sights of the Strange Aeons Adventure Path with the Strange Aeons Poster Map Folio! Gaze upon alien and otherworldly vistas, explore creepy countrysides, and plot the course of your unsettling adventures.

These three huge, lavishly illustrated poster maps display locations found in the Strange Aeons Adventure Path. Thrushmoor, the town where one of the adventures is set, comes to life in the first map, while the second map depicts an ancient alien city in a remote, blasted desert. The final map is a pictorial and informative map of horror-filled Ustalav, complete with sketches of some of the denizens and dangers of that haunted land.

Whether you need a fog-shrouded town, foreboding ruins, or a gorgeous player handout, these beautiful maps are the perfect resources for the Strange Aeons Adventure Path or any fantasy campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-918-9

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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I'm with Feros on this one

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1. The map of Thrushmoor is very useful, it has all the most important locations marked (although I'm not sure if I prefer the names on the map or numbers to reference). The only problem is ... that it's the low-res map of Thrushmoor from Rule of Fear, enlarged. The buildings suffer from pixelitis as a result, and the whole map feels a bit iffy. Still, serviceable and valid, if every map in the folio was like it that would be a solid 4/5 but ...

2. Neruzhavin. OK, it's a pretty map but ... there's next to nothing you need it for. Neruzhavin is a big ruin with 3 landmarks, there's really no point in mapping it out.

3. All right Paizo, it's time to let it go. Pictorial country maps which feature no names BUT do feature doodles of monsters and buildings are useless. I'm sorry, they are cute and obviously somebody in Seattle fell in love with them, but you gotta take this idea out and apply chainsaw to its brain. Yes, plain Jane old school topography is boring, but useful. The Inner Sea Map Folio style should be applied to every individual map folio. The Ustalav map from Carrion Crown map folio is exactly what you should be doing and I wouldn't bat an eyelash if it got reprinted here.

And the double sucker punch of these being inevitable parts of Campaign Setting subscription for some reason, meaning you need to go through the hassle of temporarily cancelling your subscription if you want to skip one...


Very disappointed

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I bought this map folio last night and today I am taking it back to the store. It is sadly disappointing. It is not very useful at all. Practically nothing is labeled except for the second map which just has Ustalav and that is it. I had to go to the Inner Sea World book to find out where the adventure is supposed to be at. I am loving the Adventure Path so far, just finished the 1st book and got the map since it has the map of Thrushmoor, but that is barely usable.

Overall, I am disappointed with the extras for this series. Is bad enough I have to wait until May to get the pawns.


A Sadly Disapointing Entry in the Map Folio Line.

**( )( )( )

For an explanation of how I use the five star review method, see my entry on So What's the Riddle Like Anyway? HERE.

The Strange Aeons Adventure Path is a Pathfinder campaign of Lovecraftian Horror. Some may wonder what that actually means. To me it indicates it should have the atmosphere of the pulp cosmic horror of the twenties and thirties, with the protagonists (PCs) sometimes feeling like they are out of their depths and in danger of all manner of horrific endings. Any game aid designed for use with this campaign should help build that atmosphere while easing the job of the GM to maintain the pacing and running of the Adventure Path. So let’s take a look at this Map Folio and see how it pans out from that perspective.

Most Map Folios come with three poster sized maps and this one is no different. The first map is of the town of Thrushmoor in Ustalav, a place that has a very significant role in the campaign. This map is well drawn and very serviceable, but I think I would have preferred numbered locations with a side key. This would have allowed a larger number of locations to be marked on the map and not just the ones significant to the adventure. By increasing the number of marked locations without cluttering up the map, it would have hidden the significant locations in a forest of unimportant places. When building atmosphere is an important consideration to a campaign, having only places that could have significance to the campaign marked removes some of the mystery necessary in a Lovecraftian style adventure.

The second map is of the alien city of Neruzavin and is beautifully drawn…and all but useless. It has only three locations marked on it, looks more like a terrain map than a city map, and doesn’t help create the alien vibe a strange eldritch location should evoke. This sort of thing might have been better served by an isometric map, showing the city as a three dimensional place rather than just a top down view. I really can’t see how this map is better than just showing the players the map from the volume itself; they would get just as much information for helping their vision of the city.

The third map is a gloriously painted rendition of Ustalav, with the many legendary threats of various locations painted by the communities in a striking and lovely style. But this map has no labels save one, the big shield with the banner reading “Ustalav.” Why? Without labels, this becomes nothing but wall art. If I wanted wall art, I would buy it; these maps are supposed to be game aids. How is this useful in a campaign? It has the atmosphere of Ustalav which is generic horror; Strange Aeons is a particular sub-genre of horror, and this map doesn’t contribute to it. Indeed, mystery is a large part of Lovecraftian horror and having accurate depictions of threats throughout the country actually undermines some of that mystery. It can’t be used as a generic fantasy map, as it has “Ustalav” printed large on the page. Ultimately it is very pretty but almost useless as a game aid. The map of Ustalav from the Carrion Crown Map Folio is far more useful as a Ustalav campaign map—in fact that product would be all but indispensable for a homemade campaign set in that haunted country.

Final Thoughts: Colour me disappointed. This really isn’t a very good game aid for such a complex and deep campaign as Strange Aeons. Only one map is of any real use and it could be said to reveal a touch too much in a campaign in which mystery is such a key component. The most beautiful map is actually wall art, not in my opinion a game aid. I’m very sorry to say that this is the first purchase I have made of a Paizo product that left me flat. Two out of Five Stars.


Not so great...

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3 maps:

1) A nice map of Thrushmoor. Useful, good scale, pretty. My only complaint here is that it includes labels marking the adventure locales, so if I use it with players, they're going to know where everything is, no searching required. I would have preferred either no labels, or more generic labels so their are some decoys.

2) Art map of Ustalav. One of those pretty ones with the lush pictures of monsters and points of interest. I can't really use this with players because it gives away too much. More like something I'd hang on my wall (if I had a game room).

3) A big map of... nothing. Okay, it's a map of Neruzavin, which seems to be a big pile of rocks. It's a blow up of the map on p.14 of What Grows Within, and there really isn't anything to it - a pile of rocks, a lake, and 3 labeled encounter areas. But how am I supposed to use this? Lay it on the table and as players where they want to explore? "Here, here, and there." How is that made better by having it really big? Not enough to interact with players around, and what there is spoilers away any need for a map.

All in all, I've been increasingly disappointed with the Map Folios lately. They're pretty, but just not that useful to me. Town maps are great. Those really enhance the gaming experience. But they can't show exactly where all the encounters are. Regional and national maps are good, but I don't really like the art maps. Give em something on faux parchment that I can use with players in-game, without spoilers, player-safe. Or just a higher detail close-up of part of the Golarion map. I'd love some new hexploration maps. I'd love one nice, 1" grid battlemap per Folio. Something that show an encounter location with exciting twists, unique to the AP. That would have some real utility, some real value for me. A big picture of a pile of rocks... not so much. :(


Community Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced! Cover image and description are not necessarily final.

Dark Archive

"the lost city of Neruzavin, the adventurers must mount an expedition into the vast and deadly desert region called the Parchlands"

from book 5 of the AP.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please tell me we're not getting another perfectly fine parchment map ruined by random doodles of monsters all over it. I'm not sure who is so madly in love with getting it done so, but for the love of all that is holy, stahp.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

MOAR MONSTERS!

;)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Please tell me we're not getting another perfectly fine parchment map ruined by random doodles of monsters all over it.

I think you should brace yourself for disappointment:

The Product Description wrote:
The final poster is designed to look like an ink-and-parchment map of horror-filled Ustalav complete with sketches of some of the denizens and dangers of that haunted land

Dark Archive

I'm torn about the "here be monsters" icons.
I am ok with them, if they show a widely known thing (Knowledge local DC 10 max), like a Hellknight order HQ on the Cheliax map.
But i am against it, if they show a secret/are a spoiler, like the portal to Hell on the Cheliax map.

Less of these on future maps would be good.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Agree. I like the idea of a parchment map for players, but I'd rather it look a little more practical, in-game "realistic," and a little less like a work of art. Blank space is okay. Let the player fill in the blanks.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Please tell me we're not getting another perfectly fine parchment map ruined by random doodles of monsters all over it.

I think you should brace yourself for disappointment:

The Product Description wrote:
The final poster is designed to look like an ink-and-parchment map of horror-filled Ustalav complete with sketches of some of the denizens and dangers of that haunted land

*/tableflip*

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Please include street names on the map for Thrushmoor (or future city maps if it´s too late now).
They don´t spoil anything and make city maps a lot more athmospheric.
Also the "locations key" box should only include public known buildings like Iris Hill, Fort Hailcourse, Fish Market and such, but NOT spoiler locations like Pier 19.

Thanks.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
but NOT spoiler locations like Pier 19.

Totally agree... unless they also include some other red-herring locations like Pier 17, 15, 12, maybe 20, etc.

Maps should be useful, but not a) full of spoilers, or b) so artistic that they lose value as play aides. At some point, giant map-like art posters don't have much utility for me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Please tell me we're not getting another perfectly fine parchment map ruined by random doodles of monsters all over it.

I think you should brace yourself for disappointment:

The Product Description wrote:
The final poster is designed to look like an ink-and-parchment map of horror-filled Ustalav complete with sketches of some of the denizens and dangers of that haunted land
*/tableflip*

*catches table, sets it back down*

I'm okay with the "here be monsters" vibe, as long as they don't overwhelm the map.


Are the maps from Carrion Crown applicable to this campaign?

Paizo Employee Developer

Kethoth wrote:
Are the maps from Carrion Crown applicable to this campaign?

Not really. The campaign spends the first two adventures in Ustalav, and both of them are in or near Thrushmoor. After that the PCs are on the move heading out of Ustalav down the Sellen River.

Spoiler:
And later, beyond the Inner Sea Region map.
Dark Archive

I really don´t think the Ustalav map in this folio will be better than this big "in-world" one from the "Carrion Crown Map Folio" (still available from Paizo):

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fuHkqgDu20g/VLQViRi66mI/AAAAAAAAMzQ/cYVpNWZ_c3c/s 1600/Ustalav.jpg

The Trushmoor map will probably be the same one as the one depicted on page 64 of AP#110 "The Thrushmoor Terror" or page 11 of the "Strange Aeons Players Guide" (free from Paizo), only larger.

The map showing "a ruined alien city in a remote, blasted desert" will probably be the map of Neruzavin from AP#113 "What grows within", only larger.

If this is true, this will be the third map folio in a row that is mediocre.

1.) The "sketches of some of the denizens and dangers" need to go or at least toned down.

2.) The city maps need to include street names (at least for the biggest ones) and stay spoiler free.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The Thrushmoor and Ustalav maps definitely need to be things I can put on the table for my players.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Updated with final product image and description!

Dark Archive

I'm torn about the cover map.
It is nice too look at for a while, but the "real world"/geographic map from the "Carrion Crown map folio" is much more beautiful and useful.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The Giant Deep One is adorable.

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