New Map Pack – The Ice Bridge

It’s the first of the month – and that means a new map pack! This month we’re starting off with the opening scene from the Breaking of Forstor Nagar. This is a chasm of icy water leading to the front gate of a city carved from a glacier. A great arching bridge spans the channel and a longship full of cold eyed killers and explosives hoves into view, heading for the frozen defences.

Here’s the map from the opening encounter as it appears in the adventure:

Ice Ships and Ice Bridges map for fantasy map pack

Of course the map pack does not assume you’re playing Breaking of Forstor Nagar. This could be the entrance to a Frost Giant stronghold, a white dragon lair or a viking clanhold. The pack is separated into pieces that allow you to use it in as many different ways as possible (lots more after the jump).

The pack contains pdfs packs with the map sliced into pages for printing at home at 1 square = 1″ scale, both in full colour and printer friendly greyscale, in A4 and letter formats. Here’s a preview of the map and the fireship that appear in the pdf packs:

Web preview of fantasy glacier ice battle map

Longship map for fantasy map packWith the size of the base map this gives you over 17 square feet of playing area. Now that’s the kind of location that can provide a truly epic naval battle.

As well as the pdfs, the pack contains jpgs of the map and the fireship with and without grid, as well as map with no fireship, bridge or objects for use in virtual tabletops. In addition the pack contains individual pngs of the objects on the map so that you can assemble your own encounter from scratch. The png objects are:

  • semi-transparent bridge
  • 75′ long fireship
  • debris of a shattered catapult
  • ballistae
  • 35′ twin masted pinnace

Pinnace sample ship map for fantasy map pack

Finally, the pack includes a maptool map file with all the elements compiled and full vision blocking implemented for quick import into any campaign file. This requires maptool 1.3b86 or newer to run. You can find the full pack, with more previews, on RPGNow and Paizo. All this for only $2.99.

I’ve had a few request recently for the process behind a map’s creation so, for fun, here are the original map turnovers from Ben McFarland:

Entrance sketch for ice bridge encounter mapand the overview map for the encounter:

Overall map sketch for ice bridge map

These are a good example of a good map turnover. The different features are clearly labelled and I could see at a glance what the important details were. The text defined the distances, and he also sent over this lovely piece of style inspiration (from Guild Wars):

Iceberg city from guild wars as style inspiration for Breaking of Forstor Nagar Maps

From this I put together the sketch for the early design:

Initial working sketch of the ice bridge map

The most important consideration was the timing of the encounter using standard longship speed to give the players enough time to have a shot at stopping the ship without giving them too much of a fighting chance.

The height of the ice bridge provides an interesting problem for low level characters, opening up options like leaping onto the ship’s sails or swinging down on a rope. Nothing gets the blood racing like some proper swashbuckling action at the start of the adventure. If you’d like to read what Ben McFarland came up with for this location, check out the Breaking of Forstor Nagar for this encounter and the rest of the adventure in the Frozen City.

And the end result? Here’s a greyscale version of this map in use (by Ben) at Gen Con (note – toy ships not included in your download):

The Ice Bridge map in use at Gen Con

4 thoughts on “New Map Pack – The Ice Bridge”

    1. No need for it to be a 3.5/4e game – icy deaths are system independent! Though I agree that 3e/4e are some of the most tactical combat heavy games around.

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