Approximate time to read: 2 minutes.
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!
Very nice idea. Printing these with civilized locations on the fronts and dungeon locations on the backs, and bringing the cost down would be nice. I saw the playmat post as well, not sure which is better but being able to write on the map and erase it awesome. I like the gloss finish as well. I started designing a game a few years ago and was thinking of a cloth world map, which is very nice but not as useful, needing tokens or something to mark things on it.