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Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum $2.95
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum
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Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2012 15:08:50
Arboretum is another battlemap for The Breaking of Forstor Nagar adventure for Pathfinder set in a city carved into a glacier. The arboretum is exactly that, although slightly damaged, containing a small arboretum with trees, bushes, and stone paths. It sounds like a very simple setup, which it is. The battlemap itself is far from extraordinary considering what the location is. However, it has an immense amount of detail often ignored in more extravagant battlemaps. While you may laugh at the thought of an encounter in an arboretum, don’t overlook this battlemap until you really dig into it.

OVERALL

I’m very impressed with this seemingly simple battlemap. It has an immense amount of detail in such a small location covering such a simple thing: trees, stones, and dirt. The coloring is a great change of pace and it does an excellent job of embracing the idea that encounters outdoors don’t need to be boring. While it’s use may be limited, it is the visual appeal of the battlemap that really stands out.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
As with all other Fantastic Maps battlemaps, Arboretum utilizes the same standard formatting. It is broken up very well between the pages, avoiding that odd break between map sections from page to page. Additionally, there is a full color and black-and-white version along with all the .jpg files that lack the grid. These series of battlemaps never cease to amaze me with how well their put together.

Visual Appeal: 10 out of 10
When you think of an arboretum, you may find the concept plain. How do you enhance the visual aspects? By making the details really detailed and beautifully rendered. If you zoom in on the arboretum, you will find an amazing amount of attention paid to the details of the stone, water, and trees. The stones are not plain but rather have good shadowing and a non-uniform texture (which you would expect from a stone). The tree stumps, at least that’s what they look like, look really good from a top-down perspective and the shadowing really makes them pop out of the battlemap. Plus, if you look at the toppled trees, you will even find broken branches laying next to them. The detailing is superb!

Desire to Use: 8 out of 10
Keeping in mind that Arboretum was designed for use with The Breaking of Forstor Nagar adventure for Pathfinder, it can carry an interesting number of possibilities outside of the adventure. The basics of the arboretum are simple and universal enough to be used anywhere. The glacial ground is also simple enough to pass as stoney ground or other types of textures. The actual arboretum, on the other hand, will have to be a main focus for the encounter. However, it’s not an uncommon thing to find in large cities. After all, it is a beautifully rendered battlemap.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Arboretum is a great looking map when you dig down into the details. From a long distance view, it seems plain and all too simple, but when you zoom in and look at all the bits and pieces that have been put together, you will be amazed at the attention to detail. While it obviously has a very purposeful use, it looks great and can be a great addition to any encounter. Why stick to the standard encounter locations? Go find something new and treat your players to a great looking battlemap.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/13/2012 22:54:39
Although this map was apparently designed for a specific commercial Pathfinder adventure, you really don’t need that adventure to use it. At the same time, the setting is fairly narrow: a ruined arboretum in a snowy clime. Roberts’s artistic style isn’t my favorite, but he’s very good. I gave the product four stars instead of five only because of the rather low replay value on this map.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2011 18:58:44
Arboretum Map by Rite Publishing

This product is 51 pages long. It starts with a credits and how to use this product. (2 pages)

Maps (49 pages)
It starts with a single page color overview map of the location. Then it moves onto pages of the map blown up to be printed out to be used with miniatures. There is both a color and black and white version of the maps.

In addition to that there is the same set of maps in A4 format as well. As well as a file for maptool.

Closing thoughts. It is a well drawn map from one of their recent adventures The Breaking of Forstor. It is the location of one of the main encounters in that adventure. The pack offers everything you need and if you are looking for a location map for this or like using mini's and have that adventure then this is worth picking up. So what's my rating? Well it gives exactly what it promises in a well done format. So I am going to give it a 5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: The Arboretum
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2011 07:53:53
The latest installment of Jonathan Robert's Fantastic Maps-line is 51 pages long, 1 page front cover and 1 page how to use, leaving 49 pages for the maps.

As is wont with the Fantastic Maps series, we get a grided one-page overview-map of the Arboteum and its adjacent buildings and something seems to be wrong there indeed - after all, there's a gaping hole in the ground and several trees have been uprooted. The map also comes in both full color and b/w blown-up versions for use with miniatures, an alternate A4-version for Europeans like yours truly, high resolution jpegs with and without grids and a maptool version of the map.

Conclusion:
Jonathan Roberts delivers a beautiful map that some of you might already know from the stellar "Breaking of Forstor Nagar" adventure. As its direct predecessor, that means that some of the rooftops that have been largely cut off are slightly blue-tinged. However, due to the rock-buildings and colorful nature in the arboteum, this blue-tinge is not nearly as dominant as in the predecessor, making this map probably much more useful to DM who want to use it for other adventures/locations than BoFN. Thus, my final verdict will be 4 stars, as the blue-tinge still is there and could limit usability for rather nitpicky persons.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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