4/18/2014

Frugal GM Review: Dungeons in Blue- Small Dungeons #8

Frugal GM Review: Dungeons in Blue- Small Dungeons #8
I was browsing DriveThruRPG this week and the Dungeons in Blue line caught my eye, specifically Small Dungeons #8. At $1.29 I figured it was worth a purchase to check out what looked like a cool old-school dungeon map.

My download consisted of what appeared to be four maps, a map legend, a lower-res preview map, and a PDF. All the maps, and the legend, are 100 DPI files, which makes them suitable for use with various online displays.

After poking through my download it occurred to me that this was essentially one map that has simply been dressed up in a couple different fashions. One map has some extra rooms in it and there are basically GM versions with listed traps and hazards and the player versions. While the maps were appropriately size for online use, I don't think you'll get a lot of mileage out of trying to print them out full-size (1" = 5') for table top use.

For a $1.29 I'm generally ok with this.

What I'm not particularly thrilled about is the expectation from the product page site and the included PDF that these maps are "geomorph ready", because they simply aren't. Being able to slap one map up against the other along a single entrance/exit does not a geomorph make. I went ahead and downloaded the recommended "Dungeons in Blue Master List" and looked at the assorted tiles from this line....they aren't geomorphs. Some could be, but as a whole....no. Again, being able to line up some map tiles does not make a set of geomorphs. From the "Master List" Product Page:

Every geomorph tile seamlessly connects to every other tile in the series, providing the megadungeon builder tremendous freedom and flexibility.

...and from the Small Dungeons #8 product page:

All Small Dungeons also include geomorph-ready versions of the GM and player maps, with the added doors, rooms, and corridors required to connect to otherDungeons in Blue tiles.

Frugal GM 2 Star Review: Dungeons in Blue- Small Dungeons #8
While I'm at it, the "Master List" is supposed to be a full listing of all the Dungeons in Blue product line, but of course this product isn't in it. I find that a bit irritating, but probably just more so because I had certain expectations based off of the product text(s).

I'm certain that the Dungeons in Blue product line will prove useful for online GMs who want to use some old-school-blue dungeon maps. For anyone wishing to use this on a table-top or as part of a geomorph set.....not so much.