Paizo Map Packs vs Paizo Flip Maps?


Accessories

Liberty's Edge

I'm thinking about trying out some Paizo Map Packs and/or Paizo Flip Maps, and I'm curious what folks think about one versus the other.

I don't have any Map Packs or Flip Maps currently, but here's what I know so far:

Paizo Map Packs
5" × 8" map tiles that can be combined to make various layouts. It looks like each map pack comes with 18 map tiles.

Are these printed front and back? So, 18 map tiles equaling 36 actual maps? Are map tiles from different sets designed to match up and combine?

Paizo Flip Maps
Double-sided battle-scale map; 24" x 30" unfolded, and 8" x 10" folded.

So, do folks find one better than the other, either from a gaming standpoint, a storage standpoint, or for any other reason really? I'd really like to hear thoughts and opinions from people that have, and have used these Map Packs and/or Flip Maps.

Thanks!

Dark Archive

I personally get more use out of the flip maps then the map packs. I think the map packs have come in handy once or twice and then it was only a tile or 2 that was used, but i end up using 1 or 2 flip maps every session. I pretty much have each one available from flip maps and map packs from pazio.

Storage wise the flip maps are much easier to store and use. The map packs can get mixed up if your not careful about putting them back in there box, and the box can get old or run down from use requiring you to find an alternate method to store them so they do not get mixed up with other map packs.

Flip maps are also dry erase so you can make markings and draw out your own stuff on them as you see fit and then just wipe them clean. the map packs are not.

so over all i put more value on the flip maps then the map packs.

I would suggest getting the flip maps for actual play field, and to look into the map packs for accents on the play field. like the tents one, or the cart one, to add on top of the flip map as a movable tile piece that normally wouldn't stay in one spot.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shadowlords wrote:
Flip maps are also dry erase so you can make markings and draw out your own stuff on them as you see fit and then just wipe them clean. the map packs are not.

Oh, that's unfortunate. I was thinking about buying some, but if you can't mark on them, then what's the use?

Paizo Employee Developer

You can mark on the Map Pack tiles. They have a similar coating (if not the same) that the Flip-Mats have on them.

(I'm not sure if that was always the case. Some older ones might not have the coating.)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Flip Maps all the way. I've bought both map packs and flip maps along the years and I've only used the flip maps.

It comes down to the fact that a GM has to do a lot on the fly during a game, so if you can avoid sketching a whole dungeon and just grab a similar sized room from a flip map, that's the path of least resistance that gets adopted in the long run.

Map packs involve some careful positioning on the table that can, frankly, take more time than just drawing the room with a wet erase marker. The map pack tiles also move around as players shuffle their minis around, so it's annoying.

The only map packs that were worth it in my experience are the pirate ship and the caravan ones (i.e. tiles that you can slap on top of a properly themed flip map, like blue ocean flip map or prairie/grass flip map)


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:

You can mark on the Map Pack tiles. They have a similar coating (if not the same) that the Flip-Mats have on them.

(I'm not sure if that was always the case. Some older ones might not have the coating.)

Thanks. I couldn't imagine a Paizo product that couldn't actually be used that way.

Grand Lodge

I would say flipmats also as I use the all the time. With that said I just seen (Dry Erase 10 inch Dungeon Tiles - Pack of 9) on amazon the other day for and I am thinking of getting them. This way I can predraw the map and yet the players still can not see it.

Project Manager

CrystalSeas wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:

You can mark on the Map Pack tiles. They have a similar coating (if not the same) that the Flip-Mats have on them.

(I'm not sure if that was always the case. Some older ones might not have the coating.)

Thanks. I couldn't imagine a Paizo product that couldn't actually be used that way.

The old ones (from prior to five or six years ago) were just printed cardstock -- I think they changed when the logo on them went from GameMastery to Pathfinder.


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The best way to unlock the potential is to use both flip mats and map packs together. Combine them together and use fog of war to cover the unused areas of the flip mat to come up with some great maps.


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On the whole, I use the map packs more. I love the versatility of their modular nature.


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Flip mats all the way. The only map packs I would consider worth getting are the ones designed to fit together multiple ways (the dungeon stuff, mainly).

I always thought a series of tiles of, say, forest features would go great with plain flip-mat of the same texture. Then you could place features without worrying about lining up tiles. It's probably hard to get the color to match up just so, though, which would be an absolute necessity.


I find a combo of both together makes good options for custom maps so you are not just replaying the same terrain--whether that is overlaying map pack pcs on the flip mat or extending the area of the flip mat as needed.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I get considerably more use out of flipmats than map packs, which is counter to what I expected (since the map packs are more customisable).

In terms of usage for each - one of the big pains I found with the map packs is that they slip around the table. Someone moves a miniature from one tile to the next and they both slide or spin or just generally move. We've taken to using tiny blobs of blu tac (one or two per tile is enough) and that's improved things enough for them to be okay when there's a long battle coming up but not worth it for something that only lasts a round or two.

The flipmats suffer from being a little repetitive unless you have many of them (every woodland path looking exactly the same bothers some players). They are quick and easy though - if your table is small they can be a little annoying since people have to lift up character sheets and coffees every time you lay out a new one.

I store the flipmats opened out in artist portfolio folders so they don't lie folded up. (This doesn't work for the "Bigger" line of maps).

I store the map packs in A5 folders - I found the boxes to be unhelpful (as it made it more fiddly to get them in and out). I put a bunch of plastic sleeves in each one and they can take five map packs per folder - flipping through to find the right one takes no time at all and I theme the map packs which get stored together.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In terms of which map packs are able to be written on and erased, there isn't a super-quick and easy way to tell. Anything branded "Pathfinder Map Pack" will be coated appropriately, but there were some with that feature back when they were called "Gamemastery Map Packs".

To check for the older map packs, I think the product description page spells out which will work with dry-erase pens (in a sentence near the end of the product description). If it stays silent on the matter then it doesn't.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
I always thought a series of tiles of, say, forest features would go great with plain flip-mat of the same texture. Then you could place features without worrying about lining up tiles. It's probably hard to get the color to match up just so, though, which would be an absolute necessity.

This is a glorious idea: have the flip map subscription MATCH the map pack subscription. So like you said, have a general terrain flip map and have the same month map pack provide tiles that match that terrain's color exactly. Moreover, don't limit the tiles to their usual size, but provide map pack features that are 5'x5', 10'x10', 5'x10', etc. which you can cut out with scissors, and then just plunk right on the flip map (i.e. tree, cart, rock, gaping hole, traps, etc.)

The possibilities are endless.

ALSO, I think it would be a great idea if the flip map and map packs would follow the APs (I run APs but I hate to draw and get my hands full of marker... it doesn't always wash off right away and thus, explanations and lies are sometimes required at the office the next day... :P)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I buy them all.

Some of the map packs are designed to go directly with some of the flipmats, revealing building interiors and the like. These are awesome.

The solution to shifting tiles of the map packs is sticky tack. Lay down a blank flipmat for a base, then sticky tack the map pack tiles in place. Reusable too!

The only downside is that your players will see the same maps over and over, so mixing them up for variety is a good idea. But using flip mats in the right frequency will enhance your game.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks everyone, this is really a big help! Keep the posts coming (I'll bet the map oriented folks at Paizo are keeping their eyes on this thread :)

Regarding the map tiles shifting and moving on the table ... I saw this on a YouTube video recently and it seemed like a great idea - cut a piece of Shelf or Cupboard Liner and lie that on table first, then put the map tiles on top. Apparently it works like magic ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh yeah, I could totally see that working. I still say this is more cost effective.


Measure your table before buying. I have a dozen or two flip mats and, to my dismay, after buying a new dining room table, found out they don't fit with players' character sheets.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I store my map packs in Index File boxes...works fantastically

Paizo Employee Developer

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Jessica Price wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:

You can mark on the Map Pack tiles. They have a similar coating (if not the same) that the Flip-Mats have on them.

(I'm not sure if that was always the case. Some older ones might not have the coating.)

Thanks. I couldn't imagine a Paizo product that couldn't actually be used that way.
The old ones (from prior to five or six years ago) were just printed cardstock -- I think they changed when the logo on them went from GameMastery to Pathfinder.

Thanks for checking on this and verifying it, Jessica!


A single piece of blue painters tape helps hold down your maps and mat without damaging the table. I get my players to help with it to expidite the process. It also helps to have a single sheet of poster board to lay out complicated arrangements in advance. Just cover it with construction paper fog of war and reveal the map as needed!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
sanwah68 wrote:
I store my map packs in Index File boxes...works fantastically

I use these. Perfect size for 5 boxed map packs.

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