Over the Rooftops is a battlemap for The Breaking of Forstor Nagar adventure for Pathfinder. While it is designed for the adventure, it can be used outside of the adventure as it is designed generic enough for universal use. The city of Forstor Nagar is an ice-laden city carved into a glacier. With that in mind, the battlemap follows the frozen theme, almost to an overwhelming point.
The battlemap is a top-down view of part of the city with lots of tightly-packed buildings and little else in the way (which helps because you can then populate it as you see fit). The map is accompanied by add-on pieces to help add a little flavor to the map. The battlemap is drawn in color using a combination of white, grey shadows, and lots of shades of ice blue. LOTS of shades of ice blue. In addition, there is a black-and-white version of the map in the second half of the pack.
Before moving on, I’d like to say that I’m a really big fan of Jonathan Roberts’ cartography. I have seen many of his maps and they all look beautiful. This map, however, is my least favorite. While the quality of the product and its potential uses are high, I’m not a fan of the coloring and I’m especially not a fan of some of the details. My biggest complaint is what appears to be broken sections of some of the buildings. You can tell they are essentially ruins, but everything that was used to build these buildings is the same color as the frozen ground and the nearby glacier walls. Even if the materials are “frozen”, they should still exhibit some type of color other than just ice blue, appearing like building material. I also find the buildings to be too close and excessively blend together. Sometimes it’s tricky to find where one begins and another ends. I actually find the black-and-white version to be appealing.
Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Regardless of my feelings for the coloring, Over the Rooftops is a wonderfully published product following the same high-standards in all Fantastic Maps products. The grid is perfectly laid over the battlemap and properly divided between the pages. In addition, it’s a real bonus to have an ink-saving black-and-white version.
Visual Appeal: 5 out of 10
My biggest complaint of Over the Rooftops is the coloring, primarily with the collapsed areas. I understand the purpose of the white, grey, and ice blue shades, but there should be some other coloring for the building materials. No that they should be turned into wood and made brown, but they could really use a different color to better define what they are and to make them stand out from the rest of the white, grey, and ice blue. I also think there should be better shading to define where one building ends and another begins as they all look a bit jumbled.
Desire to Use: 8 out of 10
Obviously Over the Rooftops has a defined use within The Breaking of Forstor Nagar. However, using the black-and-white version, you can use it for any fantasy city, especially if it’s carved into a mountain or glacier. It’s also a great feature that the battlemap is generic enough to be used in a number of ways.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Over the Rooftops is a good battlemap, although the color version is somewhat limited in its use. The black-and-white version has definite uses outside of the adventure. It is a great depiction of a tightly-packed fantasy or historical city and obviously ideal for those running the adventure. I also really like how some of the buildings are actually carved into the glacier as it gives the battlemap some interesting flavor.
[4 of 5 Stars!]