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Old 07-13-2019, 08:13 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
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Join Date: May 2010
Default Review: The Floor Plan series

A few months ago, I posted a plea for sources for hex maps of modern locations suitable for use with GURPS. A few people recommended various products on RPGNow, some of which I bought and which turned out to be decent, but many were kind of meh—the scale would be off by a factor of 1.5 or so, or it felt like the author had slapped some geometric shapes together and called it a [location type] without much regard for how real locations of that type are actually laid out. So I was very curious when I saw SJGames had come out with PDF versions of something called the "Floor Plans" series over the past two months.

Short review: the Haunted House and the Underground Lab are both amazing. Both are somewhat misnamed—the "Haunted House" is a huge mansion with lots of well thought-out details like servants' quarters and a servants entrance, and it doesn't have to be haunted if you would rather it be, say, the residence of a super hero or villain. Meanwhile, the underground lab is actually an Atlas F launch facility, and comes in two version: an AFAICT quite accurate "real" version, and a "decommissioned and converted into a mad scientist's base" version. Unlike some other hex maps I've seen for scale, the furniture in both is actually consistent with 3-foot hexes, making them appropriate for a GURPS games.

Unfortunately, I can't quite recommend the other offering, the Mall of the Dead. At a micro-level everything is fine, the problem is that there isn't enough mall. It's only slightly bigger than the Haunted House, when in the real world, it's commonplace for a single department store within a mall to be larger than the largest mansions in the world (excluding actual palaces and odd cases like the skyscraper in India used as the private residence of a single family). Really, rather than trying to give you an entire mall, this book should have been designed as a set of representative segments of mall.

But this shouldn't distract from the Haunted House and Underground Lab both being totally great resources. So glad to have bought both of them.
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