RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Narrow Results
 Publisher Info
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsLog in or create an account and you can choose to get email notices whenever your favorite publishers or topics get new items!









Back
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep $2.95
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
0 1
0 3
0 1
0 0
0 0
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Click to view
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/22/2012 23:16:39
This product offers a nice, small keep in Jonathan Roberts’s signature pen-and-ink style. A black-and-white version is also included for those who don’t want to print in color (presumably to save money on ink). The titular “watchfire” is a prominent feature. I don’t know anything about the Kobold Quarterly adventure this map was drawn for, so I can’t comment on its suitability for that purpose. But this would be a great location for any group of PCs to try to defend … or overrun, depending on its inhabitants. The layout is fairly distinctive, so it might or might not have much replay value, depending on your campaign and your players. But at such a low price, it’s a good deal even if you only use it once.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/02/2012 08:12:32
Originally Published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/03/02/tabletop-review-fantast-
ic-maps-the-watchfire-keep/

The Watchfire Keep is a small keep on a beacon hill that originally appeared in the 18th issue of Kobold Quarterly. This huge map runs 25 inches by 33 inches when printed out, gives the GM roughly a half-acre fortification to play with. One winding path leads up to the hilltop enclosure which consists of two small thatched huts surrounded by seven towers connected by elevated walkways.

The Keep is presented in a couple formats. The main file is a 35 page PDF of the Keep in color and black & white, ready to print and assemble. This PDF is provided in US Letter size and A4 size. There are also “hi-res” .JPG files in color and black & white, with and without gridlines. To top things off the map is also provided for use with MapTools. There are four files that are set up for vision blocking for use with both a D&D 4E campaign and a “generic” RPG MapTools campaign.

There are a couple of interesting features to this map not commonly found in other similar map sets. Most maps are just full-color, because if you want to print the file on a black & white printer it is easy enough to do so. What Rite Publishing did that adds a lot of value to this map was that they offered the black & white version, which was optimized for printing. Simply taking the color file and printing it to black & white gives you a much darker and “muddied” print. Another distinction between the Watchfire Keep and many other maps is that the PDF printing contains some overlapping terrain between pages.

I thought this overlapping feature would be great for coming up with a finished map, but in practice it was much more difficult to piece together than I had expected. Instead of simply lining up the edges of each printed page I had to finesse the placement. In the end the map came out simply “OK”. With the addition of “hi-res” .JPG files, there is the option of having the entire map printed on a large-format printer. Printing the Black & White large map at a local printer is generally cheaper than printing off the PDF full color. The only problem with this route is that the “hi-res” maps are not hi-resolution. What Rite Publishing did was just take a full 8.5” x 11” .JPG and resize it to 100 DPI instead of 300 DPI. One of the files, the Black & White map without a grid, wasn’t even resized, so it was given as a letter-sized 300 DPI file. Changing the files to actual hi-resolution maps for large format printing would have added a little over 26 MB to the zipped file size.

When reviewing the files I also noticed that the US Letter-sized PDF was inserted into the zipped file twice.

Overall the Watchfire Keep is a good looking map that would work out well for use with MapTools or other virtual tabletop program. As far as using it with an actual tabletop RPG, between the low resolution files and having to fiddle with map tile placement, I would not recommend this map set unless you really needed this specific location. With a few easily accommodated tweaks from the publisher this game aid could become a great tool for the tabletop GM.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dawn F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2011 10:19:48
A gorgeous map of an infrequently detailed location, Watchfire Keep provides a useful tool for Game Masters. As is typical of the Fantastic Maps series, this pack contains full size color maps and black and white printer-saver versions of the same maps. Also there are files for maptool use as well as A4 files for folks with European printers. The only thing extra this pack comes with is an additional stack of wood to be place where the GM likes. This map works directly and specifically for a 4th edition D&D adventure in Kobold Quarterly #18, “Who Watches the Watchfires?”

The map artistically shows the keep from a bird’s eye view. The only thing that I can complain about is the lack of detail showing the height of the surface. It would be nice to know how steep the hill is. Either a small cross section view or isolines showing 5 or 10 foot vertical contours would help a great deal in determining the height of the hill on which the keep rests. The adventure in Kobold Quarterly tells how high the walls and towers are. But if a person just purchased this map pack and not KQ #18, he or she would not have access to this information. I know for myself, I would probably print out the whole thing and tape the pages together. Then I would draw out the contours myself using the obvious artistically rendered cliffs and slopes as guides. Mapping and cartography is second nature to me. This isn’t the case with everyone. Most GMs have players who will ask them how high the hill, walls and towers are.

Gorgeous map with handy full size sheets to print for use with miniatures and tools for computer map sharing make this product a good one to have. I am assigning Watchfires a 4 of 5 due to some desired but lacking information of the vertical height of the hill, walls and towers.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/10/2011 05:07:09
This latest installment of Jonathan Robert’s Fantastic Maps-line comes as a pdf with 35 pages, 1page front cover, 1 page how-to-use.

In tradition with the series of excellent and beautiful maps that has continuously received top ratings from yours truly, the pdf begins with a one-page overview of the map before offering 17 pages of the same map, blown up for use with miniatures in both full color and grayscale. All the maps come with grids that facilitate using them as combat terrain.

It is here I’d like to mention that watchfire keeps feature prominently in the borders of my nations and thus this map is very appreciated – just think of LotR or similar fare to recall how iconic these locales can be. It should also be noted that, while the keep does feature a prominent stack of wood piled together, this could also be for a religious rite (Burn the Witch/Wickerman, anyone?) or simply a stacked up pile for the winter that has been arranged so it can easily be set ablaze when the enemy approaches, offering more uses than necessarily intended. The keep features 4 large towers and two smaller ones as well as three buildings, enough room for a small garrison and/or a group adventurers seeking shelter… or trying t take the keep!

In tradition of the series, we also get maptool-files, high-res jpegs of the keep, a bonfire png-file and an alternate version of the maps in A4-format for Europeans like yours truly. There are no maps of the interiors of the keep’s buildings, but if you need some inspiration, just consult your KQ 18, the adventure featuring this map can be found there, albeit not with as much support, miniature-friendly versions etc.

Conclusion:
What can I say, this latest installment of Jonathan Robert’s beautiful cartography once again leaves (almost) nothing to be desired – the map is beautiful, the pdfs are all bookmarked and the map serves an as of yet uncovered niche within my map-array and comes with the plethora of support we know from the series. While I consider the lack of interior maps a bit of a drawback, I do like the idea of presenting a watchfire keep map enough to refrain from detracting a whole star, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Watchfire Keep
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by David B. S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/02/2011 12:02:01
Yet another fantastic map from Rite Publishing! One of my major gripes about battle maps is that many are presented with a grid-only option. This product can be used with or without a grid- perfect for online play as well!

The art style is detailed, with varied terrain types, giving both players and Gms a lot to get excited about.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 5 (of 5 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG