Paper Terrain and Maps at Gen Con 2012

Empty playing tables stretch into the distance at Gen Con on Wednesday night

Row After Row of Streets of Malifaux at Gen Con

Multiple paper terrain vendors were exhibiting at Gen Con. Fat Dragon Games had its line of 3D buildings out for gamers to examine and purchase and though I did not see a World Works Games booth, Wyrd Miniatures had table after table filled with their Streets of Malifaux and Buildings of Malifaux line of paper products developed together with World Works Games. In the realm of the two dimensional though, there was Scrying Eye Games.

Scrying Eye Games

Scrying Eye Games’ products are almost entirely square-inch gridded maps of places that any self-respecting adventurer is likely to explore and encounter. Modularity and reusability are key for James Miller, the head wizard at Scrying Eye, who also designs many of the maps himself. As he puts it, “If you bought a map set and you’ve only used it once, either we’ve failed somewhere or you need to game more.” Miller already has outlined plans for 120 different Topo-Tile map packs. Each of the Topo-Tile packs has a two inch strip at the top that the end user should cut off, creating what Miller refers to as the fiddly bits, areas with extra details that can be used to add visual interest or for playability reasons like wreckage, cargo containers, or dungeon entrances.

As Miller explains in the video we recorded above, he tries to “fill in all the gaps for all the games,” which helps to explain their newest line of steampunk flying airships, as well as fantasy/medieval/pirate sailing vessels. Scrying Eye Games is also not restricted to fantasy; Miller offers a line of modern and zombie horror map sets, including a future highway release. 1.5 inch grids though, which would be useful for Heroclix, are only available as downloadable PDFs via RPGNow.

Traveller Ships

Package cover art for starship map for Traveller spaceship Possibly the coolest Scrying Eye Games designs though are their line of Traveller ship interiors, licensed by Mongoose Publishing. Just as the Millennium Falcon was the setting for much of the action in the original Star Wars films, much of the action in a game of Traveller can revolve around the PCs’ ship. If I were playing Traveller, I would certainly chip in or buy one of Scrying Eye’s maps to represent my party’s ship. Of course, the designs should also be usable in any other futuristic setting, though it would be great to see Scrying Eye Games develop more licensed ship designs.

Traveller package art copyright Scrying Eye Games, used with permission.