Product Review: Ancient Temple 01

Ancient Temple 01
Artist: Tim Hartin
Publisher: Paratime Design
Page Count: 17
Available Formats: PDF
Cost: $3.99
Publisher: Paratime Design

PREMISE
The premise of this collection of maps is to layout a generic ancient temple and subterranean complex that a GM can then take and populate with trap, monsters and all those vile things we love about dungeon delving or temple crawling.

WHAT DO YOUR GET?
After purchasing this map collection, you’ll be sure to note immediately that the temple and dungeon levels are unstocked in any way. Ok, with that out of the way, you get what Tim has advertised, seven distinct maps. Each map comes in two versions. The first is the keyed version with room numbers and the second, is the unkeyed versions without room numbers.

QUALITY
Each map is varied and well laid out. Each also has some prominent features included in the design layout like statues, pillars and pits. There are two aspects of the artwork itself that I don’t personally like, but that is not to say the maps are bad. These are more like my personal biases when it comes to maps. First, the “fill” around the corridors and rooms is a black and white mottled “stone-ish” looking texture and it plays hell on my eyes.  The second issue is also related to the “fill”; there are little dots that protrude into the rooms are the very edges. This may be an artifact from the filling processes.

PROS
The layout of the maps is very nice and ripe for populating with your favorite baddies and devilish traps. The diversity in the layouts also lends itself to the maps being used singularly as possible one shot dungeon crawls or to augment a DM’s existing dungeon. The temple itself is generic enough that it can be used in any campaign or setting as a standalone building or with the subterranean complex intact.

CONS
I have already said I don’t personally like the “fill” color or texture and the artifacts that break up what might otherwise be clean lines. The only other one thing, I wish Tim had done was to make the secret door symbols more discrete on the unkeyed map for virtual table top (VTT) use. Maybe placing gaps between the secret area and the existing area and in this gap place the symbol or omitting the symbol completely on the unkeyed map; thereby making it more VTT friendly.

PARTING SHOTS
The Ancient Temple is a rock solid product for the creative Dungeon Master. The design is varied enough that a creative DM should be able to take one look and get his/her creative juices flowing. Don’t let my personal bias’ regarding the “fill” dissuade you from purchasing this map pack. All-in-all, I think you will be very pleased with what you get. Just getting unkeyed maps is a nice touch; not many cartographers include unkeyed versions!

~ Modoc

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