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Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple $2.95
Average Rating:4.2 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
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Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Nathanael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2011 04:01:13
Beautyfull huge map, perfect for an epic battle in a VTT.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by selcuk g. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2009 03:21:17
" Unlike the previous reviewers, I will approch from the practical side. I must admit that the quality of the maps are high, although for me they are practically useless. First of all, the product is formatted for letter size papers. It is ok if you are an American, but on the Europe continent it is hardly the standart. If the artist would just put borders to each page and had kept the width of art to 7 inch the problem could be avoided. Unfortunatly many companies simply do not bother. If you still go and decide to paint the maps, you will end up having the most expensive map set. Even acrobat 6 is coming with multi layer option. So why can't I simply decide not to spent ink for the dark brown filler, and have that part white. Yes there is B/W option but that makes most of the details and art get lost.

At its presnt condition, the product is good for VT applications, or if you are willing to spend a fortune printing. On the other hand the art is really good, and the price is affordable. "
-------------------
Now the above was my previous comment on the product. Just one day later a mail from Rite publishing poped up. They are stating that a light color and an A4 competiable version was added. That means they are closely fallowing user feedback, and quick to react. I must thank them for the excellent public relations.

On the fnal product I did not saw the maptool packs they were referring on the mail. Although the modified map corrects all my objections, and is good enough for me. The pages are now 6,5 x 9 inch/square. So y can use with any sized paper you like. Although for some reason the lay out is 1/8 sq + 6 sq + 1/5 sq in width. The length is similiarly oddly formatted. But this does not effect the usefulness of the whole. The art is great. As it is I highly recommend it to those who look unique locations. As soon as other members of the set are similiarly corrected, I will buy them :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I wanted to give an extra special thank you to Secuk Gozubuyuk an extra special thank you for taking the time to do an updated revieew, Steve Russell; Rite Publishing.
Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by selcuk g. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2009 08:04:11
Unlike the previous reviewers, I will approch from the practical side. I must admit that the quality of the maps are high, although for me they are practically useless. First of all, the product is formatted for letter size papers. It is ok if you are an American, but on the Europe continent it is hardly the standart. If the artist would just put borders to each page and had kept the width of art to 7 inch the problem could be avoided. Unfortunatly many companies simply do not bother. If you still go and decide to paint the maps, you will end up having the most expensive map set. Even acrobat 6 is coming with multi layer option. So why can't I simply decide not to spent ink for the dark brown filler, and have that part white. Yes there is B/W option but that makes most of the details and art get lost.

At its presnt condition, the product is good for VT applications, or if you are willing to spend a fortune printing. On the other hand the art is really good, and the price is affordable.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I would like to thank Selcuk Gozbuyuk, for taking the time to do a review of this product, I would also state that based on his review it now comes with an A4 version, a light colour version and greyscale version. The pack also includes the maptool packs (OGL and 4E) with light and shade as well as a couple of different runic circles as separate pngs.<br><br> We have attached the new cover too. <br><br> If you think of any other way we can improve this product don't hesitate to contact us. <br><br> Steve Russell<br> www.ritepublishing.com
Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/28/2009 12:51:11
To be honest, I rarely think about the cartographer of the maps I use in my games. Partially because the publishers rarely promote the individual cartographer, instead relying more so on branding their name.

However, Jonathan Roberts, is one of those artists that should get billing above the publisher’s name. Roberts is the artist of the Fantastic Maps series, a series of maps that have rejuvenated the 2-d map PDF market.

Ever since 0ones stopped publishing realistic battlemaps, the market has been skim on quality detail maps. Roberts Fantastic Maps were introduced in early 2009, and despite the inexpensive price, are some of the most intricately detailed maps to be released in some time.

Because of the similar high quality of each of the map products, this review will cover the entire series released so far.

The Fantastic Maps series is reminiscent of well made fantasy anime. With thick layers of color displayed in a somewhat whimsical quality. The pixels jump off the page, looking sometimes like hills and layers are actually there. Each PDF contains a color and black and white version of the map, and the map broken down into separate pieces that can be reassembled later on. The full scale of each map is roughly 20’ by 30’. As of this review, there have been six maps released so far, each as diverse as the previous:

The Glass Balcony is a map of a shear balcony overlooking a body of water with islands dancing around it. The refreshing blues used to create the water make this an ideal map for an interesting aqua encounter.

The Lone Island in the Sky has a massive tree holding up a patch of grassing land. However, it seems to work better as an open tree trunk that descends into a pit of unknown. The smoky texture that surrounds the tree is distracting, however, the crisp lines in the bark add to the character of the map.

The Leafless Wood is one of those maps that should be a staple in your map collection. Used for wilderness encounters, it’s a lot darker than the Glass Balcony and has a more serious tone. It is a very versatile map. You can use it for a track through a forest, or use it for river encounters.

The Mire of Lost souls is another possible staple for parties that travel through swamp lands a lot. Roberts tends to do water very well, as yet another version of water shows a series of murky greens and thick oil like blues. This map can feel quite dull when compared to the others.

Getting away from the generic maps, Black Sky Butte presents a massive alter that raises 100s of feat into the air. The surface of the alter is nicely done with cryptic writing and stars about, though it is uneven in places. The most permissive thing about this map is the impression of height.
The latest Map is the Ice temple and my favorite. A dragon frozen in ice over a large chasm embanked by snow. The layers of whites and blues to distinguish snow and ice bring out all the detail in this map.

For the Digital DM
Each map contains a black and white and a color version, which makes it slightly more difficult than other products when mass extracting the images. The large image included in the PDF is not scale, so you will have to place each individual piece. It would be nice if a high resolution single map was included.

For the Standard DM
Rich colors don’t come cheap and if you want to catch the detail you’re going to be pouring some extra funds into ink.

The Iron Word
For less than a buck, you can not beat adding one of these maps to any order you make. I am not going to tell Mr. Roberts that we are in a recession nor that his maps are of equal quality to high end-map products at only a fraction of the cost. Instead, I recommend purchasing these great steals and giving your player an engrossing game play experience.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Jonathan Roberts and Myself just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to do an indepth review of each and every map pack. Steve Russell Rite Publishing.
Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/22/2009 07:01:59
Fantastic Maps: The Ice Temple is a 33 page pdf file from cartographer Jonathan Roberts and Rite Publishing. This product is one of several products in the Fantastic Maps series, each product featuring a 1-inch scale battlemap of a unique and interesting location to use for your roleplaying gaming needs. Ice Temple features a frozen cavern within an icy overhang or waterfall, that holds the long trapped body of a dragon, and an altar of sacrifice. The product is suitable for any fantasy RPG, and contains both a colour and a light grayscale version of the battlemap tiles.

The product comes as a single page pdf file that contains both the versions of the battlemaps. The cover features a larger scale overview of entire cavern, allowing you to get an initial impression of the map that the product contains. No backstory is provided within the product itself for the features and details of the icy temple, although the advertising blurb for the product features a plot hook or story idea that you can use. The product, barring the front cover, consists entirely of the tiles - 16 tiles in each version to form the entire cavern. The tiles are a rather unusual size, being something like 9 x 6.5, meaning that if you were hoping to combine this product with other tilesets, that may not be possible. Other tiles appear about half-size, although I suspect that it got more to do with the fact that the cavern is suspended in the air, and hence all the whitespace is just that - air. Overall, a satisfactory presentation, although I would normally expect more than just a cover and a whole set of tiles put together in a pdf. A tile overview or summary page would've been useful, for example, as well as some explanatory text.

The Ice Temple is a single room cavern or temple buried within an icy overhang or frozen waterfall. The main feature of the room is a trapped dragon, caught within the ice, presumably by some sort of magical ritual. The other noticeable feature of the cavern is a sacrificial altar. Based on these two main features of the cavern, one can imagine quite a number of possible plot hooks or backgrounds, and on that score I was pleased with the uniqueness of the location of the map and its features. The artwork and cartography is well done, particularly as I would imagine it's quite hard to get the look of ice right for a product. The cartographer has done well to capture the look and feel of the scene well in the art, although I have to admit that the dragon looks a bit short and stumpy to me - more akin to a buffalo than a dragon, but that's neither here nor there.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with this product. While there's some scope for improving presentation, I think this product offers good value. Naturally since it's only a single cavern, and due to the awkward tile size, this product is going to have fairly limited versatility. However, given the location of the map, it's unlikely to be a cavern or map that's used frequently in any case. This is more of a one-shot kind of product. I'm pleased with how the product captured a location and map that's quite unique despite the lack of versatility. Unique locations are often hard to come for good value when most gamers prefer utility and scope above uniqueness on the gaming table. Good art, good presentation, good product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I just wanted to thank Peter for taking the time to do a very through review of "The Ice Temple" Steve Russell Rite Publishing
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