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Modern Day Maps 4
Publisher: LPJ Design
by McRey M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2004 00:00:00

If you're considering Modern Day Maps 4, you should be aware that the 19-map set consists entirely of military sites, mostly those that would occur around a military base. There's an operations room, mess hall, obstacle course, and so on. There are only a few field sites -- a MASH unit, a road ambush and a field camp.

Unless you're running a game centered on a military base, you probably won't benefit from this item. I'm not, and I don't think I'll use it at all. Too bad about the no-refund policy on downloaded material. I don't want to hold it against the product that it has a very specific scope, but I do feel that the publisher failed to provide an accurate item description. When I ordered the product, nothing in the description indicated that all the maps were military in nature. I hope the publisher will take measures to change the description.

That said, the Modern Day Maps sets are, in my opinion, perfect for downloadable roleplaying product fare. These are sets that you probably wouldn't buy in a book at a game store, but as a download product they're great. You can write on them, cut 'em up, and then toss 'em and reprint.

They're useful for those moments when a player goes somewhere you didn't quite expect... with Modern Day Maps you have a lot of good, reasonably detailed, black-and-white maps to help you improvise an encounter. And there's enough variety in most of the sets to have a range of settings at your fingertips.

I also like to just peruse the maps, and think about how the settings could be used in a game. I really think varied locations are what make combat interesting, so if you like to throw some tactical combat at your players once in a while this set will help you out a lot.

At least, in the above two paragraphs, that's how I feel about the previous three Modern Day Maps sets. Unless your PCs are wandering around a military base, none of that will apply.

Now the down sides. The production values in the Modern Day Maps sets aren't stellar. There's a lot of obvious cut-and-paste work, the shading is sometimes a little confusing (Is that a wall or a sidewalk? Or a road?), and the scales can be downright wrong. And the level of detail is not architectural by any means. You're not going to see the location of a water heater or air ducts on any of these maps.

But, to me, that's really an advantage. If I want to pay for high production value and architectural blueprints, I can do that. I don't. Modern Day Maps represent value. The level of detail is all I need in most encounters. Sometimes I'm going to need more, but I can improvise it when I need it. In the meantime, Modern Day Maps doesn't make you pay for the detail you don't use.

Another con, the set included four pages of mostly full color ads at the back. When I printed the set, these pages took an unreasonable share of the printing time, and probably a big portion of my printer ink, too. I understand that the publisher wants to sell products, but it wound up costing me time and money, and some good will toward the company. A warning about not printing those pages would have been appreciated, or perhaps putting all those ads at half size on a single page at the end.

Summary: Pros: Inexpensive, good for away-from-the-table inspiration, great for at-the-table improvisation of interesting encounters. Cons: Low production value, very narrow scope (military maps).

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Modern Day Maps 4
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