Wednesday 6 August 2014

July Round-Up, Mummy's Mask Poster Map Folio, and Doctor Who Teaser

Sometimes time goes by way too quickly. At one moment, it's July, and the next, it's suddenly August and you wonder where all the time went and why you haven't completed everything you planned to complete. But at least August means we're edging ever closer to the première of the new season of Doctor Who! Peter Capaldi gets his first outing as the Doctor and I can't wait! I've been critical of the scripts in recent years, but even if they don't improve, I'm confident Capaldi will be a great Doctor.

Of course, as we get closer to August 23rd (the première date), the danger of spoilers becomes more and more a reality. The Doctor Who World Tour starts in just a couple of days and will bring with it special advance screenings of the first episode in various locations around the world. This will mean lots of people will have seen the episode before the 23rd—but then again, some people have seen it already, what with the episodes leaking and all. I talked a bit about this and spoilers just last week. In other Doctor Who news, a new teaser trailer that I haven't mentioned yet came out last week. You can watch it in the player below. There was also a cut-down version of the full-length trailer, but really, if you've seen the full-length one, you don't need to see the cut-down.

In the world of roleplaying games, the big thing in July was the release of the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I took a look at the Basic Rules here. I also took a look at a few of the latest Pathfinder products: Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars, Risen from the Sands, Secrets of the Sphinx, and People of the River. To round up July (and actually catch up with August), here's a quick mini-review.

Mummy's Mask Poster Map Folio

The Mummy's Mask Poster Map Folio comes with three full-colour poster maps suitable for use with the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. However, like other adventure path map folios from the past few years, all the maps are easily usable in any campaign set in Osirion. There are maps of the cities of Wati and Tephu, and one of the country of Osirion. The map of Osirion is designed as a player map in the style of something characters might actually acquire in the game world. However, the two city maps are also safe as player maps as well.

All three maps are beautiful, but accolades really must go to the map of Osirion. I really love these player-oriented, in-world maps. They truly are wonderful to behold, and this one is no different. However, there is a difference with this one and some of the others that have appeared before: This one has no labels, not even of cities. The odd part is, this is exactly the same map from the centre of People of the Sands, except larger and that map had not only the names of cities, but also rivers and mountains, as well as roads and common travel routes complete with the distances from one location to the other. This map completely lacks all labels, except for the name “Osirion” in the top right corner. This severely limits its usefulness during game play. While cities are marked (and are wonderfully illustrated to look like the actual cities rather than just having one common symbol for every city), players will still have to go to other sources to find out which city is which. This is rather surprising, considering that similar maps in other map folios (such as the maps of Varisia in the Shattered Star Poster Map Folio or Irrisen in the Reign of Winter Poster Map Folio) have had labels on them. I'm not sure what the motivation for removing the labels on this map might have been (or indeed if this is due to an error or oversight), but it does mar what is otherwise a gorgeous product. I hope the lack of labels will not be a trend in future map folios.

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