EZG reviews Fantastic Maps: Iconic Towns
This latest installment of the Fantastic Maps-series is Jonathan Robert‘s second entry in the “Iconic”-subseries, i.e. maps that don’t feature the usual grid of the close-up Fantastic Maps-series and instead takes a look at a larger geographic region, this time around a town – and what a town it is! Coming as a 35-page-pdf in letterpack standard, the town takes up 1 page, as does cover and how-to-use, leaving a total of 16 pages devoted to blown-up versions of the map in full color and grayscale respectively to be printed out and e.g. laminated or made into one massive hand-out of epic proportions.
Now taking a look at the overview-map (which btw. includes map-keys), you’ll realize that this town is rather intriguing – a coastal town with a relatively sheltered river harbor lies nestled behind massive, fortified walls, the harbor’s entrance being guarded by a massive keep. The southern part of the town, with its boat yard and lumber yard (the latter on an adjacent cliff-side) thus evoke a sense of industriousness that is underlined by the quarry featured in the Northeast of town and the massive stone elevators and water wheel also featured on the map – in fact, there is so much to discover on this map, it makes you realize where other town-maps are lacking. Beyond the superb quality of the map per se, Jonathan Robert’s Fantastic Maps-line has improved and reacted to the criticism I voiced about this map’s direct predecessor – it also includes an archive, wherein one can find high-res jpegs of the town in color and b/w as well as with labels as well as 33 .png-files you could easily use to massively customize towns of your own making, adding massive value to this specific offering. Finally, we get the pdf also alternatively in a4-format so that Europeans like yours truly can also properly enjoy the maps when printing them out.
The pdfs are bookmarked, the hand-drawn maps of Jonathan Roberts are nothing short of mind-bogglingly beautiful and this town in particular has inspired me to actually craft a story around the map. Yes. Those nice, little details like stone circles, the elevator etc. add a touch of the special while the town still remains easily inserted into just about any setting and locale. Add to that the amount of support via .pngs, high-res jpegs and the option to get the map sans keys and we have an stellar, superbly beautiful offering that will make many DMs looking for a town-map quite happy I’m hoping I’ll get to see many, many more of these awesome settlement-maps and remain with a well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval for this installment of Fantastic Maps.