Product Review – Game Mastery Map Packs

I said I’d get to it, didn’t I?

Did a brief overview of Game Mastery last time, but again, it’s by Paizo. I love Paizo. And this is one of the main reasons why.

Oh yes the Map Packs. They come in themed sets, and I’m not going to list the ones I own. I own like better than half of them, it’s sick. Most of them haven’t been used yet, but one can never have too many maps.

And maps they are, as each themed set (Jungle, Sewers, Caverns, Extradimensional Spaces and so on) has a number of cards with grid maps on them. Square grids, of course. Perfect for… Well… D&D and Pathfinder, really…

Anyway, the main fact here is, they’re awesome. Every set contains high-quality art, and maps that either are one section, two sections, or four sections. Some newer sets introduced six sections as well. They’re easy to use, and they’re perfect on those rare occasions when a Flip Mat just won’t help.

Now you might be thinking, wait… Doesn’t Wizards of the Coast make a similar product? And yes, yes they do. The Dungeon Tiles are available, and they’re… All right, I guess. Truth is they tend to slide about too much, so even if you get some more flexibility from them, I enjoy the Map Packs more, if only for ease of use. The recent Dungeon Tiles sets do seem to be taking after the Map Packs, though, in that the tiles in recent sets suggest maps by how they look (there’s a set that makes round tower floors, complete with stairs, the more recent set has forest ruins that make rather perfect fort walls…), and this is an improvement over older sets.

Also, an upcoming Map Pack set is called Swallowed Whole, and involves the insides of huge creatures. No lie. It’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot in this game…

Overall, I can in fact recommend both, but really, you could run the game off of Map Packs and Flip Mats. My review of Flip Mats will no doubt surface in the next few days… But probably not before I give you an idea of what “off beat” really means to me. We’ll see what mood I’m in tomorrow…

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