So I really dislike the drawing the maps part in In Pale Mountain’s Shadow


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So I was away for 2 weeks due to a trip and on final week of Survey half of the players were unavailable, so our group is gonna skip this part of the adventure(thankfully plotwise they don't miss much that I can't just fill them in), but I still did prep the adventure so even if I don't know how it worked in practice, I can say that I really dislike the "here is what hazards you need to draw, now place them however you want" format. I much prefer the "fewer encounters but all of them have maps" format to "more encounters but less maps", especially since I think my group doesn't want to have only unavoidable combat all the time anyway.

Main thing why I don't like the format of drawing the map according to guide myself is that I don't really feel confident that I have placed the hazards so that they are tactically interesting. I'd assume that encounter designer who places hazards on map themselves at least plans that out professionally <_<


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can play (and report via the survey) parts of the adventure outside of the scheduled window. Hell, my group is due to finish part one tomorrow as we only meet every other week (it will be our second game session). Figuring on two sessions per part I expect it to take a full seven months for my group to finish, more if we roleplay heavily.


Even a professional tactical map designer (and I'm not sure that's what they're emphasizing when they design them anyway) wouldn't be able to account for your party's specific composition.
Trust in yourself. :)
And it's not like a pro can add much oomph to a cliffside mountain trail.

Also if you want to have less unavoidable combat, it seems an impromptu map is less likely to be required than one they paid somebody to create.

Would you prefer a set of different encounters to choose from when it's a monster in a hazardous environment rather than a story-driven foe?

And while I prefer more encounters & simpler maps (because my players just aren't going to see the maps anyway!), the space could also be used elsewhere in the adventure.
So it might remain the same amount of encounters, but that map space might go to having a richer dialogue entry later on. Or a unique creature's stat block. And so on.


I pretty much just scattered the terrain elements randomly, and then had the hyenas walk around it. Ended up with the players creating additional difficult terrain in the form of Grease and everyone fighting desperately to avoid getting dragged through it as the hyenas tried to retreat with at least one prey, while everyone paid attention to hazards and positioning.

It worked very well to show the terrain mechanics and abilities, and I'd have an easier time writing one on a game whiteboard than making one in roll20, so all in all I was happy with it.


I liked the part where you got a list of terrain, and chose where to put it. I didn't like how most of the encounters had very limiting terrain (nearly all difficult terrain with the hyenas, a cliffside at the top of the mountain), but in principle, I like the freedom of choice it gives GMs.


I've been creating my own maps for my own adventures for years, so this didn't bother me. I thought the rough descriptions of what should be present were enough to create an interesting play area.

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Fumarole wrote:
You can play (and report via the survey) parts of the adventure outside of the scheduled window. Hell, my group is due to finish part one tomorrow as we only meet every other week (it will be our second game session). Figuring on two sessions per part I expect it to take a full seven months for my group to finish, more if we roleplay heavily.

Well probably too late at this point since I discussed the adventure with only 2 players in the session so I would need to find new party for adventure anyway :P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I enjoyed the 'make your own map' encounters mainly because were sort of wide-open anyways and simple areas. It seems to work well for outdoor/ in the wild encounters. Probably not so much in a dungeon setting.

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I honestly kinda prefer "GM do whatever you want" if encounter has to have no map <_<

Also, I run games in roll20, so that is another reason why I prefer adventures to have maps ready made: They are prettier to look at.

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