?0one?s Blueprints ? Orc Fortress? is a 20 page map supplement from 0one Games for $1.65. This particular product is centred, obviously, on an Orc Fortress. Unlike many of the products in the blueprints line this one does not seem to target a nostalgic audience aside from the blue maps. Many of the blueprints series have focused on locations that are eerily familiar to people who have played D&D for more than 15 years, but I can?t say that I have ever played an adventure in an Orc Fortress so I didn?t have any expectations going in to this product.
As usual the product begins with an introduction page (including brief background on the Fortress, suggested placement in your campaign world, and four adventure ideas for using with the Orc fortress.) The brief background describes this site as a fortress built over a conquered dwarven nation, which explains the incongruent nature of one of the maps (see below). The adventure ideas are not ground breaking but they are usable and may present you with one or two ideas you haven?t tried before. Personally, I like the option to have the fortress cursed so that on stormy nights it shifts into a demiplane filled with the spirits of those slain in the fortress?s fall.
Next in the product is the default Map Legend page that covers all the potential symbols that 0one Games has used in the 0one Blueprint lines. Checking it out carefully, I notice that a few symbols like catapult and toilet are not on the Legend, but the room descriptions at the end of product and the introduction survey of levels, reveal clues to what these objects are meant to be.
Starting on p.4 we get into the map heart of the product. This product contains 5 levels of the orc fortress (Ground level [basic defenses and barracks], Level +1 [barracks and catapults], Level +2 [warlord?s apartment area], Level ?1 [temple of the eye], and Level ?2 [former dwarven crypt, now co-opted by the orc.]) Each map appears in both a blue version (for us old gamers) and a black version for the younger set.
Each map is constructed using layers so that there are a number of option for the configuration of map for printing, though not as extensive as the ?Rule My Dungeon? feature in the ?Dungeon Under the Mountain? Line it does allow you to toggle on/off four features (fill [coloured in empty non-map parts], grid [whether you want the squares for maps or not], furniture [do you want the dungeon prefilled with stuff or not] and numbers [do you want the rooms numbered]).
The structure of the Orc Fortress is very skull-like in its representation. Looking at the map of Level ?1 (temple) its clear that it?s shaped purposely to be the horizontal cross section of a skull. The ground level and higher have sharp corners making the map above ground to have the appearance of a spiked helmet. The crypt (Level ?2) is nothing like the head shaped levels above with a very rigid, square, some might even say lawful design that one would associate with dwarves in D&D. Which makes sense because dwarves built that level. The lower levels are only accessible through secret doors. The maps are very ?lived in? with quite a bit of furniture that add depth to the maps. The maps also have a ?eye? motif, say if perhaps you where playing a fantasy roleplaying game which had orc worshiping a one-eyed god, though it would be just as easy to say each square = 10 ft. and load the place with Cyclopsi. [What is the plural of Cyclops?] In the temple level there are two passages that lead ?nowhere? or ?somewhere else? as determined by you the GM much like many of the old school TSR maps used to do.
The product ends with 6 sheets of forms to write in the details for the rooms in the map. I say write in because even though they used layers throughout the product they didn?t do up the last pages in forms, which would have made it nice for those using Acrobat instead of just Reader or for those that want to type instead of write. The product does not say they do this so I couldn?t hold it as a negative to the product, but wish to leave it here as a suggestion or wish for future blueprints, so I don?t have to do the forming myself.
Clean maps that are easy to use.
Cheap, cheap, cheap.
<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Some legend items missing, but easy enough to figure out.
<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>