Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review - The Lightning Train



Fantasy Maps: Lightning Train Map Pack
Publisher: D20 Cartographer
Price: $2.99
Artist: Joshua Bennett


All Aboard! The Lightning Train is about to leave the station. Tracks? Who needs tracks with a train that levitates above the ground on electro-magnetic forces and/or magic? Just don't step in front of the train. Those cow-catchers have a habit of flash frying anything in their way. You might want to steer clear of the engine as well. Lightning bolts fly from the front of the engine arcing backwards in brilliant displays of light.

This is an amazing map set suitable for a Fantasy or SteamPunk settings. It includes maps of the Engine, three different First Class cars, three standard passenger cars, two freight cars, a service car, and caboose. The pack also include four empty cars and object images so you can make cars according to your own personal design. You can mix and match the images anyway you wish to create the train of your choice.

The product includes PDFs for printing, JPGs for importing into your favorite Virtual Tabletop, and PNGs representing objects inside the train. The most interesting file, however, is the MapTool campaign file. It's thing of beauty containing 11 maps representing the outside of the train and the inside of each individual car.


For those who don't know, MapTool is a free VTT you can use in your face-to-face games with a projector, or connect with your friends across the Internet to play online. It is a full-featured program that runs equally well on Mac, Linux, or Windows.


Joshua leveraged several cool features of MapTool to make his map do wonders. It makes full use of lighting and topology meaning your MapTool players will only see what their characters see. The Lightning train also uses Wolph42's teleport pad. With this, players step between cars disappearing from one map and appearing on another.


This product does an equally good job of showing off the artist's talent and MapTool's capabilities. I highly recommend it.


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