To 1" square scale Print Quality Maps?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

Grand Lodge

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Hello,

I'm running the Jade Regent AP (and playing in the KM one) and I'm dyin on the maps! The maps in the books are simply stunning and I have access to a great color printer, so I'd LOVE to be able to just print the maps out into poster size and then use them in the game. So is there any chance/hope that Paizo will (or has and I missed it) start including such a thing? Hell, I'd even pay a couple of shekles for just that as a standalone pdf download.

Just somethin so I can use these beautiful (and now interactive!) pdfs maps w/o having them getting torqued all to hell by photoshop as I blow them up to print.

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

People have asked for these since pretty much the first AP volume 50 months ago. And I've given detailed responses before... but here's the short version:

If this were something we could affordably do, we would, but alas, we can't. A minis scale map of one level of one dungeon in the average volume would end up being the size of a living room, and there's usually 3 or so maps of that scale in each part, and there are six parts. Printing and paying cartographers to create (at minimum) 36 living-room sized maps a year would not be something we'd really be able to afford to do, nor would it be something that most of our customers (ourselves included) would be able to afford to purchase.

The maps at the current resolution are pretty much the highest resolution we can provide without exploding our cartography budget (and thus increasing the cost of things way too high).

Maybe someday in the future when technology catches up to our imagination (iPads are a great fist step!) this will change. But for now... it's a no-go.


Dear Mr. Jacobs,

My friends and I have devised a way to easily print out high-quality 1"-square maps from the pdf versions of various Paizo Adventure Paths. We use them all the time, and everyone loves this addition to our gaming table.

I would be happy to share with you and your staff how we do this. I can be reached at christopher@buckley.net

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Christopher Buckley wrote:

Dear Mr. Jacobs,

My friends and I have devised a way to easily print out high-quality 1"-square maps from the pdf versions of various Paizo Adventure Paths. We use them all the time, and everyone loves this addition to our gaming table.

I would be happy to share with you and your staff how we do this. I can be reached at christopher@buckley.net

I'm not the one asking for that, but I'm sure folks who are will appreciate the advice!

Were we to offer something like this, we would NOT want to do it on the cheap—aka we'd hire our cartographers to put detail into the maps and would print them out on durable paper. But even if we decided to go with super bland maps on low-quality paper... printing and shipping what would amount to (by my calculations) a several-hundred page product every month would still be a waste of our resources.

Liberty's Edge

I, for one, would!

Liberty's Edge

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It may not be something which Paizo can afford -- but it is something that interested gamers can afford to do on their own.

We will be covering the technical ins and outs on how to do exactly this in Episode #016 of Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast.

Scarab Sages

Christopher Buckley,

Please share. I'd like to know. (And I'm sure there are many others who would too.)

Grand Lodge

My method is nothing spectacular, but when I need to print full size maps I'll pull the images in to photoshop, use a step enlarger that enlarges it a small fraction at a time, and then divide it up into pages roughly 7.5x10 and print them, cut them, and glue them together.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steel_Wind wrote:

It may not be something which Paizo can afford -- but it is something that interested gamers can afford to do on their own.

We will be covering the technical ins and outs on how to do exactly this in Episode #016 of Chronicles: Pathfinder Podcast.

The differences between printing something once for home play and printing something a LOT for sale across the planet are pretty significant. In some cases, one option is more affordable than the other.


Well, I withheld the details in my first post, the most important of which is that my friend has a giant map plotter/printer that prints out sheets 44 inches wide. That's why it's been relatively easy to just enlarge the maps in the pdf versions of the APs (we've used Adobe Illustrator) and print them out to 1 sq.-inch scale. Granted, the quality is maybe not exactly what Paizo would want to sell, but it's pretty darned good and would more than satisfy most players and GMs.

Before my friend got this huge printer (which was supposed to be for his business!), I used the method described by Andrew Betts. The primary reason for me responding to this thread was that I was hoping that there might be some possibility of being able to sell the maps my friend and I make without violating Paizo intellectual property. I think the maps we make would sell, and I think such maps should be made available until such time Paizo decides to produce them. There's clearly a market for this. I was hoping there could be some way to do this while paying Paizo royalties or something.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Christopher Buckley wrote:

Well, I withheld the details in my first post, the most important of which is that my friend has a giant map plotter/printer that prints out sheets 44 inches wide. That's why it's been relatively easy to just enlarge the maps in the pdf versions of the APs (we've used Adobe Illustrator) and print them out to 1 sq.-inch scale. Granted, the quality is maybe not exactly what Paizo would want to sell, but it's pretty darned good and would more than satisfy most players and GMs.

Before my friend got this huge printer (which was supposed to be for his business!), I used the method described by Andrew Betts. The primary reason for me responding to this thread was that I was hoping that there might be some possibility of being able to sell the maps my friend and I make without violating Paizo intellectual property. I think the maps we make would sell, and I think such maps should be made available until such time Paizo decides to produce them. There's clearly a market for this. I was hoping there could be some way to do this while paying Paizo royalties or something.

How many 44-inch-wide sheets can that plotter print in an hour? That'd be the first (even before the quality of zoomed in pixellated maps comes up) question I'd ask were I to honestly investigate this route for us to provide such printouts for purchase.

That said... one thing we REALLY pride ourselves on here at Paizo is the quality of our products. Even if they'd work for home play, putting the official stamp of approval on a map that's all pixellated because it's been enlarged 1000% beyond its intended print size would never happen.

If you happen to have access to a printer that can do it and you don't mind pixellated maps, this is a great solution for the situation... if expensive, when you factor in the cost of that paper and ink and the cost of the printer in the first place..

Selling the maps you print out from art/maps owned by Paizo, in any event, isn't an option for you. You could create new versions of the maps and give them away for free if you operate under the Community Use policy... but actually printing and selling actual maps we've published would require a specific license to do so from us.


If the plotter printed a run of several copies of the same map, it could probably do 8-10 copies in one hour.

I totally understand your concern with quality. That's why we all love Paizo so much! What I'm trying to say, however, is that the maps we've made (with very little effort) are far less pixellated than you might imagine. I don't know that I have the technical know-how to explain why this is the case, but it seems to me that the original map artwork is of a sufficiently high quality that not so much detail is lost when it gets enlarged to 1-sq-inch grid size.

This might be a good way to compare quality:
Paizo has a Game Mastery flip mat of Oleg's Trading Post from Kingmaker (which I purchased). What if I printed out an enlarged copy of Oleg's from the pdf of The Stolen Lands (i.e. an attempted copy of the official Paizo product) and sent it to you for you to compare quality?

Also, I fully understand that I don't have the right to sell Paizo intellectual property. I would be interested in the possibility of obtaining a license to do so if Paizo has no plans to make these sorts of maps.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Christopher Buckley wrote:

If the plotter printed a run of several copies of the same map, it could probably do 8-10 copies in one hour.

I totally understand your concern with quality. That's why we all love Paizo so much! What I'm trying to say, however, is that the maps we've made (with very little effort) are far less pixellated than you might imagine. I don't know that I have the technical know-how to explain why this is the case, but it seems to me that the original map artwork is of a sufficiently high quality that not so much detail is lost when it gets enlarged to 1-sq-inch grid size.

This might be a good way to compare quality:
Paizo has a Game Mastery flip mat of Oleg's Trading Post from Kingmaker (which I purchased). What if I printed out an enlarged copy of Oleg's from the pdf of The Stolen Lands (i.e. an attempted copy of the official Paizo product) and sent it to you for you to compare quality?

Also, I fully understand that I don't have the right to sell Paizo intellectual property. I would be interested in the possibility of obtaining a license to do so if Paizo has no plans to make these sorts of maps.

The thing with that particular example is that we actually ordered Oleg's Trading Post at a 1 inch scale in the first place, because it's also a flip mat. So naturally it'll look fine when printed out at that scale.

I'd be a lot more interested in, say, hearing about how a minis-scale map of one of the full-page maps came out than one that was built from a map that we only ordered as a half page map or a full page map in the first place (such as pretty much any other map in Kingmaker).

As for securing a license to print battlemap type maps of our products... you'd want to talk to Jeff Alvarez, our VP.


I think it would be a great selling point to your adventure paths if you could include 1 double sided miniature map for each series in the map pack. I have played a few of them and they usually have one area that is reused a few times. One that pops in my head is in the second darkness the theater/bar/casino would have been a great map to include.


Christopher Buckley wrote:

If the plotter printed a run of several copies of the same map, it could probably do 8-10 copies in one hour.

I totally understand your concern with quality. That's why we all love Paizo so much! What I'm trying to say, however, is that the maps we've made (with very little effort) are far less pixellated than you might imagine. I don't know that I have the technical know-how to explain why this is the case, but it seems to me that the original map artwork is of a sufficiently high quality that not so much detail is lost when it gets enlarged to 1-sq-inch grid size.

This might be a good way to compare quality:
Paizo has a Game Mastery flip mat of Oleg's Trading Post from Kingmaker (which I purchased). What if I printed out an enlarged copy of Oleg's from the pdf of The Stolen Lands (i.e. an attempted copy of the official Paizo product) and sent it to you for you to compare quality?

Also, I fully understand that I don't have the right to sell Paizo intellectual property. I would be interested in the possibility of obtaining a license to do so if Paizo has no plans to make these sorts of maps.

I know I would be interested in such a product. I would rather be playing then drawing maps or waiting for a dm to draw them.


I see what you mean about Oleg's. One can clearly see the detail of the "small size" version when compared to the others.

How about a map of the Stag Lord's Fort or the Varnhold Stockade? If you'd like to see one of a more "natural variety," we could send you a map of the Thorn River Camp or Sootscale Caverns.

And thanks for pointing me in the right direction in terms of licensing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mahrdol wrote:

I think it would be a great selling point to your adventure paths if you could include 1 double sided miniature map for each series in the map pack. I have played a few of them and they usually have one area that is reused a few times. One that pops in my head is in the second darkness the theater/bar/casino would have been a great map to include.

That'd be 6 double-sided miniature maps. That's approximately 9 more maps than we currently have the budget to produce for a map folio.


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With Jade Regent. I've been using the new improved map pdf's that are included to actually print out full sized maps myself. So far it hasn't been terribly difficult to do and my players are really liking it so far.

The quality degrades a little bit when you blow up any image, but none of us have had any trouble telling anything that is going on, even when blown up to full size. Snag a free image tool (GIMP) count out your squares, crop your image and re-size it to the proper inch x inch scale depending on the number of squares on the map. Then take what you get and divide it into printable 8'1/2 x 11 sheets. Print them, cut them out, mount them to poster board/foam board.

If you are willing to do the legwork(About 4 hours for the first book in total) and spend a bit of cash on glue sticks and poster board. You will have maps for all the major encounters at the very least.

It's not exactly 'take and play', but I despise using the erase boards with grids. It keeps things flowing so well just to slap the mat down and say 'go'.

James Jacobs wrote:


I'd be a lot more interested in, say, hearing about how a minis-scale map of one of the full-page maps came out than one that was built from a map that we only ordered as a half page map or a full page map in the first place (such as pretty much any other map in Kingmaker).

I haven't looked at Kingmaker maps, but I was able to do all of Brinewall without any issue at full 1-inch square scale.

That said, it is no Scarwall(Lots of walls in castle names apparently), but from what I worked with, I believe I could honestly do any map to correct scale at this point. Quality is not something I would sell, but it is doable. I could take pictures of my results and show them, but I'm not sure where a 'picture of a map' qualifies in you guys licensing thingy.

Liberty's Edge

I also print to a 42" plotter. The problem I run into is I'm extracting the maps from my RotR and KM pdfs and up-sizing them so the resolution is a bit grainy at times. If there were fuller-resolution (i.e. like what is in the source document, not the pdf) for download, I would use those.

The worst example of that was taking the Sandpoint town map from the PDF to make a battle map. There, the pixels ended up being something like 1/4", when if I scanned it, the pixels would have been a tenth that size or so. I also pull the artwork and re-purpose them for battle mat tokens and NPC appearance handouts for the PCs.

I'd consider paying a modest surcharge for my AP subscription to get full-res downloadable maps and images.

Liberty's Edge

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One more option. When you add up all the costs of printing these maps out in collie etc on large sheets it comes out to quite a tidy sum after a while.

For under $400 you can buy a fullhd LCD tv between 32" and 40" lay it flat on the table put a sheet of protective plastic over the top and connect your computer to it. You have all the maps in the world now. At the touch of a mouse pointer. Works out cheaper in the long run and looks mega cool.

Liberty's Edge

I've had similar thoughts.

I just need to convince Mrs. 'Cloak to allow me to edit the dining room table...

The Exchange

This is how we do it. I take the maps from the Adventure paths, and copy them into Paintshop Pro. Then, I scale them, Yes it pixelates them. But for home play it works fine.

Here is a link to what it looks like. I don't have access to a Plotter, so I have to print them out in the Laser Printer, and I Print in Black and White, so it saves on money. Then I spend about an hour prep time to piece them together, and tape them. You can buy a cardboard trifold thingy from Walmart for like 2 dollars and then attach it to it, for easy folding.

http://thruxus.shadows-angels.com/IMAG0157.jpg

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Greycloak of Bowness wrote:

I've had similar thoughts.

I just need to convince Mrs. 'Cloak to allow me to edit the dining room table...

build something to put on the table with felt on the bottom so it won't scratch? then you could use the TV for everyday use too


Snow Crash wrote:

One more option. When you add up all the costs of printing these maps out in collie etc on large sheets it comes out to quite a tidy sum after a while.

For under $400 you can buy a fullhd LCD tv between 32" and 40" lay it flat on the table put a sheet of protective plastic over the top and connect your computer to it. You have all the maps in the world now. At the touch of a mouse pointer. Works out cheaper in the long run and looks mega cool.

If done wrong this can cause a distortion effect that can ruin any chance of using regular miniatures....( Looking above is ok but at an angle while seated and looking causes a distortion effect.

Youtube example of Distoration

Edit... Just realized this is an Old thread... oh well


I'd love to at least be able to purchase a pdf where the computer nonsense is done for me! For example, I buy interactive maps and in the pdf there are maps included at 1" scale so I can print them, that'd be wonderful. Although, I guess it doesn't hurt for me to try to learn some photoshop skills :)

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