Sunday, October 30, 2016

Journeys & Maps - A Review

Heya folks,  I'm back with ANOTHER The One Ring product review (I'm a bit obsessed with this game)!  Are you people sick of these yet?!  Today I'll be taking a look at a new product, Journeys & Maps.  This book is a little different from what we have seen so far, the most important part of this product is the maps, and boy are they beautiful!  More after the break!

Maps, maps and more maps!
This product was recently released in physical format, in fact my copy just arrived in the mail yesterday! 

So what do you get with this product?  There are two main components; map, more maps, even more maps and a 32 page softcover booklet much like the one included in the Lake-town Source-book.  Lets start with the maps, they are very nice and are a perfect size, not to big and not to small, manageable I would say!  All four maps clock in at 17"x22" and are printed on a nice heavy paper.  They come folded in quarters and have heavy fold lines that look like they may crack just due to the thickness of the paper, heavy stock papers tend not to stand up well to repeated folding.  If you're going to unfold them and leave them flat you should have no problems. 

There are maps of four different regions, each map is printed double sided giving us a total of eight maps (two versions each of the four regions).  The regions covered are; Rohan/Gondor, Mordor, Wilderland and Eriador.  One side is a players map which looks likes a regular worn map and includes all of the terrain features and locations.  The second side of the map is the Loremasters map, this includes a hex overlay and journey information, these are essentially bigger versions of the maps found in the various source-books.  The only one of these maps which has not yet been released is the Mordor map, I have a feeling this area will be covered with the addition of a Gondor/Mordor region guide in the future.  The maps are beautiful, the only complaint I have is that they cannot be butted up against each other as they have some very beautiful scroll-work around the edges.

The book is 32 pages and is completely focused on Journeys.  In it you will find four chapters with the first being called The Road Goes Ever On.  This includes new journey hazards that are region specific(Free Lands, Border Lands, etc) and there are seven pages of these.  This is followed by five pages of regions tailored to named regions (Dagorland, The Dead Marshes), these are illustrations on how you can tailor hazards to specific regions on your own.

The following chapter is called Boats and Ships and it deals and ships!  Big surprise!   Rules for handling boats, river and sea journeys are all included.  Tables are given for planning boat or ship journeys and a list of nine ships in given, they range from a Reed Boat all the way up to a Dromund.  Nine waterborne hazards round out this chapter.

Next up is the chapter named On The Road To There, which for some reason is mistyped On The Road To To There.  I like this chapter, there are no rules included here just descriptions of various natural wonders that your fellowship might encounter on their journeys.  Just a couple of examples are Hollow Trees, Waterfalls, Mines, Poor Farmsteads and Roadside Inns.  There are also five different Fellow Wanderers described with basic stats included.

The final chapter is called Bones Of The Earth and is a set of rules for creating ruins of past kingdoms.  It helps to determine who built the structure, what it was originally, what it looks like now and what it is currently being used for.  A couple rolls on the charts can help the Loremaster whip up a new set of ruins to insert into his campaign, very handy!

At the back of the book is a five page index that lists every location referred to in all of the previous source-books and core rule book.  Interested in where you can find out more about the Falls of Rauros?  Turn to page 55 of Riders of Rohan.  Want to learn about Golfimbul's Gully?  Turn to Rivendell page 47.  This is a very handy reference and one I feel I will be using frequently.

Overall this is another great product.  Mistyped chapter title aside, the book is nicely laid out, illustrated with beautiful art by Jon Hodgson, Andy Hepworth and Sam Manley.  The maps alone are worth the price of admission, the booklet it the cherry on top.  Highly recommended!

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