Map Folio II is the second in a series of attractive map products. It features 32 full-color maps you can use as reference or inspiration at a moment's notice. When you use all of the maps together you'll have an ancient walled city that you can use for a night's adventure, story arc, or even mini-campaign. The question you need to ask is: What awaits you (or your players) inside this ancient walled city?
The motif of the maps evokes an Aztec- or Mayan-influenced city, complete with glyphs and reliefs on the walls depicting strange gods and vengeful monsters that might not be dead. What's in the city now? Is it packed tightly with throngs of natives distrustful of outsiders, or deserted, the people run off by an ancient evil or lurking menace that rose up within the city? What if it's both a city filled with undead that is deserted by the living but packed tightly with unspeakable horrors? That would be an unforgettable adventure.
Whatever adventures you create, you and your players need a map to see where everything is. The Dungeon Master needs to know where to put all the ambushes, monsters, treasure, and special items. The players need to know where they can hole up for the night and try to recover from everything that's happened during the day.
Every map with a floor plan is labeled and has an illustration showing the depicted building's exterior (where applicable -- there are a few outdoor maps).
One of the maps is titled "Temple of Healing Arts (Level Seven)" -- and yes, the other levels are included in Map Folio II. What's curious about this map is that there are two features in roughly the center of the floor: a "sacrificial altar" and an "altar of burnt offerings." What does this bode for the PCs? If it's teeming with undead or monsters -- has anything been lured to this building by the smell of the blood from the sacrifices? What was sacrificed and by who? Are either of them still around -- perhaps hiding in one of the rooms illustrated as being closed off by drapery?
Or what if the sacrifices are of treasure or knowledge, and the burnt offerings of incense, rather than anything sinister?
And that's only one map.
Each map is full of tantalizing visual hints about what could happen to next. Not only that, each map makes a gorgeous a handout. In fact, they're so pretty you'll want to come up with a reason to have them in-game no matter how you're using them.
If you're a player, you could provide your group with a map supporting your character's background that shows the city where your character grew up -- or perhaps the map that could be the result of research showing where your character needs to go. Your Dungeon Master won't be able to resist setting an adventure or two in a map from Map Folio II.
Other Map Folios
Don't just try the one Map Folio when there are others just as attractive, useful, and adventure-inspiring. If you haven't already, pick up Map Folio I. It has oodles of maps for your adventures. Map Folio 3-D, coming out in December 2004, features buildings you can put together for stand-up representations of important locales.