Sunday, 1 May 2016

Fantasy Map Review VI: Nentir Vale

For links to all instalments in this series, go here.

For the sixth instalment, we visit Nentir Vale, the default setting of 4e. I must admit, I steered well clear of 4e for a long time. But the fluff of it possibly the strongest OSR credentials of any editions. It is eminent and at times simply brilliant.

First Impressions: I like it. As a starting DM I feel like this map is much more relate-able than the other maps. This evokes feelings more like the Domain of Greyhawk, where the local campaign asserts its relevance evocatively on the map.

Further Thoughts: In scale, it is more reminiscent of Middle Earth, but, unlike ME, it has a sense of locations that give PCs a sense of the area they are exploring. Although not as flavorful as  ME, it does give a sense of being enough for a local campaign for ant adventurers who aren't too afflicted with wanderlust.

For the far thinking explorer it falls short quickly. But it knows what it wants to be. And, unlike 4e forgotten realms, the artistic requirements are a homerun here. Lovely blend of colours, flavour and contrast. That the red dotted lines are clear yet unobtrusive is a testament to the artistic detail in this map. Lots to explore and delve into for such a small and unambitious setting map.

Style: 5/5
Substance: 2.5/5


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