The game of Symbaroum takes place in a savage landscape of wilderness, ancient ruins, barbarians, creeping darkness and hardy survivors. Fertile lands sandwiched between mountains and dark, dark forests – this is Ambria, home to the people true to Queen Korinthia, survivors of the destruction of Alberetor to the south.
I have found that while maps can – like any hand-out – distract players for a moment – they also have a powerful effect in centring and focusing. You can draw attention to key features or offering sweeping support of weighty exposition. Pictures and maps serve as an exciting medium for solidifying a setting.
The team at Jarnringen made a Symbaroum Map Set available through RPGNow – which includes two premium quality A2 maps, one of Davokar and Ambria, the other of Thistle Hold – home to treasure seekers, villains and worse. I jumped at the chance to get a copy – it’s $2.99 for both maps in PDF – and I couldn’t help but take it a step further.
I checked the files out, but they’re print-ready and needn’t have worried. It took a quick Google check and a leap of faith to throw £20 at a local firm – bigartandbanners.com in my case, as they’re based out of Manchester – for two A2 matt prints with dry wipe laminate. I can’t fault the outcome – which arrived within 24-hours in a sturdy cardboard tube.
The maps both came printed on 180gsm matt paper with a dry wipe laminate on the front. I might consider putting something on the back as well in case of spills – but for the moment I’ll be careful!
As you can see from the pictures the detail is rather good. It isn’t a map packed with roads and cities – this is a map of disparate and distant sites. You have room to discover and develop. I like it. I took the pictures with my phone in the artificial light of my living room – but you can see the close-ups come out well. I use Staedtler Lumograph Correctable dry wipe pens – available from All Rolled Up and other supplies – which don’t wipe off with rough handling or stray swipes. I’m using a medium nib, which worked just fine.
I’m also looking into the possibility of using the design on a play mat – similar to the ones released by Monte Cook Games for their Numenera and The Strange Kickstarters – but, for the moment, the dry wipe maps are perfect. I look forward to getting use of this both at the table and in my planning at home.
Note: Pictures are quite big, so give them time to load!