6/18/2016

Frugal GM Review: A Collection of Presentations Cartographical in Nature

Frugal GM Review: A Collection of Presentations Cartographical in Nature
Special Note: This week's review is on something that isn't quite available yet on DriveThruRPG, but through Patreon. For some reason I am unable to actually buy anything out of my One Bookshelf (OBS) wishlist, so I'm having to review this a bit prematurely.

Anybody who has been reading the Frugal GM blog for a while knows that I'm a big fan of Matt Jackson's work, so odds are anything from Chubby Monster Games is bound to be seen in a positive light.

A Collection of Presentations Cartographical in Nature is the first in an upcoming series of an annotated map collection from +Matt Jackson of Chubby Monster Games. This 14 page PDF consists of five maps from 2015. The copy I have isn't bookmarked and it isn't watermarked/protected. Normally I'd harp on not taking advantage of what I consider essential PDF features like bookmarking and document properties, but with only five maps in the set and the fact that this is an early release.....what could easily be a one-star ding isn't too big of a deal because it is fairly obvious that this PDF is intended for printing, not flipping through on a computer.

Now Matt could have easily already laid out the document for booklet printing, something I often do with my PDFs, but instead he created a full Letter-sized page layout so end-users could print the maps out onto a full pages if desired. Each map is presented on the odd-number pages and is preceded by a page containing a mini-map and some background notes about the map in one column and a full column of lines so the GM can jot down their own notes. I really like this layout as it puts everything for one map on facing pages.



The whole document is in black & white, which is easy on the eyes and the toner. Since the maps were originally created at different times, the fonts used on the maps themselves (usually just the name of the map) vary, but the font used everywhere else is consistent, which is expected...well, at least expected by me. You'be be surprised how many small documents try to introduce a bunch of fancy fonts. Matt literally went with a "funky map" font which he attributed on his title page, but I think the font works as it isn't too much. Matt also created an alternate cover for this file, but I prefer the original.

Overall I really like this map collection and I'm looking forward to collecting them as a series. If you don't want to wait for them to pop up on DriveThruRPG you should really check out Matt's Patreon campaign. Well worth the price of admission, so to speak. You'll get