Product Review – Game Mastery Flip Mats

Jeez. What do I say about these? What do I say about my favorite product from Paizo Publishing, nay, my favorite tool as a Dungeon Master?

I own a lot of the current ones: Darklands, Desert, Forest, River Crossing, Bandit Outpost, Fortress, Arena, Pathfinder’s Lodge, and others. It’s because they’re so damn useful.

What are they? They are high-quality, laminated, two-sided maps. For most of the maps, there’s a specific area on one side and a blank area in the same style on the other. Some, like Forest and River Crossing, have two unique maps, while others, like Arena and Cathedral, have the same map in different colors. These mark the few disappointments I’ve seen in this series, really. ANd it’s not like they aren’t useful.

It’s said you can use dry erase markers with them, but I’ve never done that. Having maps I can just drop on the players is good enough for me.

See, that’s how it all began: I needed a filler encounter. I’d recently picked up the Darklands map. So I dropped that on the table and lo and behold, instant encounter. I eventually purchased more, and I stand behind what I said in my Map Packs review: One could likely run a campaign off of those two products.

Also, what I’ve done is use the blank side for a gridded “outdoor” area, and used the Dungeon Tiles for walls and such. It was far simpler than trying to build a whole area out of Dungeon Tiles… And kept my players from walking through walls, as was too often the case when I used to do that.

Really, what can I say? I love Paizo, and I wish to continue supporting them. I honestly wish I were instead running Pathfinder, but what can you do?

Oh, and in contradiction to what I said in my Map Packs review, apparently, Hero System 6th Edition does away with grid sizes and shapes. Now, one meter equals one meter. So, one could use the Paizo maps with Hero, as well as Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. You learn something new every day.

And soon I’ll review more Wizards of the Coast products. I actually like a great number of them. Just that they’ve done less for my game than has Paizo Publishing.

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