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58 Dungeons 36 Castles (AoV: Campaign Map Set Value Pack)
Publisher: Stainless Steel Dragon
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2010 17:19:34

A very large and versatile old school map set at a reasonable price. When I say old school, I don’t mean the basic blue & white square grid copier unfriendly maps like TSR once made. Comparing SSD maps to those maps would be like comparing a 1965 Ford Thunderbird with the Ford Model T. They are both old school, but each is in its own league. To give a typical example of the difference. Back in the day, secret doors were often denoted as a line or rectangle with an “S,” going through. SSD takes black & white mapping detail to whole new level where truly every pixel matters. A secret door that is 4” thick is depicted by a 1 pixel thick line, having only one dot on the side of the door that is not secret. The secret side of the door appears only as a flat line. A dot (door knob) on both sides of the door indicated a normal door. Two dots indicate a door that is locked, three dots double/heavily locked. A box around a doorknob indicates door is trapped, and doors that are locked and barred show deadbolts. SSD also includes such small details as secret compartments in walls hiding levers for traps, torches on walls, and everything an exploring party might typically see, such as chairs, beds, chests, stoves, stairs, statues etc… (As well things they might not see such as elaborate traps.) All maps used standardized symbols, so it well worth the time it takes to learn the legend/dungeon key. Most symbols are user intuitive, but minor details (like with locks) are somewhat encoded using pixel level details. The second important aspect I noticed about these maps was the vast diversity and purpose of each map. From simple bear caves to impregnable fortresses to mad wizards mazes and everything in between. I am forced to agree with the previous featured critic that they are “All fairly well thought out.” A few interesting places I noted in passing include a serious old school (Think cover of D&D v1 player manual) orc lair with a giant talking statue. A fortress built upon a volcano with vents to unleash lava upon attackers. (Think Fire & Ice.) A huge underground Dwarven complex. (Think Tolkien’s mines of Moria). A temple/lair tunneled out to look like a giant spider, with a huge spider statue in the center of it. (Perfect for a Drow/Loth adventure.) Also I liked the well of souls, the temple of time, and a mega vault capable of defending itself against even the most powerful/determined thieves/monsters. Beyond these, there is a variety of other interesting places to numerous to mention in the space of this review. Suffice it to say, just about anywhere you can imagine going this map set has a complete dungeon map ready and waiting for you. This brings me to third point I should make about his map set. All the dungeons, all the castles, all the temples have their location denoted on the DM’s regional map. (Player’s map does not show dungeons or small/hidden cities.) Individually these dungeons are nice, but together, by sheer number and scope, they create one of the largest campaign worlds I have ever seen. (Perhaps as big or bigger than the “World of GreyHawk” or “Forgotten Realms.” Remember we are talking dozens of castles, hence dozen of kingdoms, and about 1,000,000 square mile regional map. Not just names or dots on a map, but concrete structures with detailed floor-plans of their own. The final thing I would like to note about this collection of maps is that the PDF file is well book-marked so it is easy to navigate and permission is given to add notes, (Monsters, treasure, and trap notes) directly to the PDF file so it makes running a dungeon from my laptop a breeze. The detailed B&W maps appear to be saved as two color bitmaps allowing the maps to be printed in their original format so every pixel is crisp and easy to see. (I also like the way the PDF is setup so I can place sticky notes for monsters, treasure and traps wherever I like.) The color regional map is a jpeg and somewhat less sharp, but still a nice poster size wall hanging, and useful navigational tool. (It clearly shows features as detailed as roads, bridge crossings, and waterfalls.) I would recommend this product to anyone looking to build a huge campaign world. Or to any DM who wants to have a vast assortment of castles and dungeon maps at their command. This set has “years” worth of dungeons and cities to explore and is well worth its price tag when compared to like quality products

[5 of 5 Stars!]
58 Dungeons 36 Castles (AoV: Campaign Map Set Value Pack)
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