6/13/2014

Frugal GM Review: The Alienage District Map (HârnWorld) from Columbia Games Inc.

Frugal GM Review: The Alienage District Map (HârnWorld) from Columbia Games Inc.
The Alienage District Map is a large (27.56" x 19.68" @ 300DPI) map of the foreign quarter of the City of Cherafir, one of the many (many) locales in HârnWorld.

Now I don't play Hârn, but I have and it is an über-detailed game & game world that pushes the "realistic" RPG pretty much to the point of absurdity.....but the people who play Hârn love it and if you're like me, you at least have to give Columbia Games Inc. credit for going all out on the crunchy bits.

This huge map is so full of detail you could almost use it as a VTT map.....almost. The map is so big and so....locked down, that it is essentially unusable. Instead of giving us a graphic file a GM could use any number of ways, this map is presented on a big-assed PDF. Unless you wanted to take it down to FedEx Kinkos and pay through the nose for a large-format print of the file, the best you could do is look at it through your PDF viewer.

This would be a great map if it were worth using beyond viewing the PDF. Even if the PDF wasn't password protected then maybe you could import it into a graphics editor, but as it is the best most GMs could handle is printing it off at less than 40% to fit on a sheet of paper.

It is really a shame because they did make a helluva PDF. The layers were used to good effect so you could turn off things like the elevation markers, ceiling height (seriously, when was the last time you saw a ceiling height indicator on a RPG map?), etc.

Frugal GM 2 Star Review: The Alienage District Map (HârnWorld) from Columbia Games Inc.
If this map were just a little more user-friendly I would probably have given it 5 stars, but since the most I can do is look at it in my PDF viewer, it gets knocked down severely. I think just changing one setting (page extraction) would have made all the difference.

If I wanted I could always zoom in about 300% or more and take some screen shots then stitch the shots altogether in Photoshop, but that is more work than I'm willing to do. Hell, if the map were available to purchase in a better state I'd consider it......