D&D 5E Untold Encounters & Wilderness Battlemaps Expand Your Exploration Pillar

Those who have been reading this site for a while will know that I'm an unabashed fan of Loke's battlemaps. I have a bunch of them, including their giant fold-out books, and the cyberpunk versions. Pre-pandemic, they were a go-to accessory; post-pandemic (fingers crossed on that...) I hope they will be again.

So I was delighted last week when this package arrived at my door. Loke have kindly sent me their latest sets of fantasy battlemaps, along with a hardcover book which took me by surprise; if you're familiar with the design of the exploration pillar in Level Up you'll know already that I'm going to like this book.

To be clear, I haven't written reviews in years. I write about stuff I like, and I like this. I write recommendations.


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So, the book! I wasn't previously aware of this book, so it was a pleasant surprise. I mentioned Level Up above, because those familiar with it will see some similarity in approach -- region-based tables with social, exploration, and combat encounters. There's an example below showing the table for Plains, but there's a ton of these.

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The book is divided into Town, Wilderness, and Dungeon encounters. Town includes Cemetery, High Street, and so on. Wilderness has Arctic, Desert (not to be confused with an arctic dessert which sounds delicious) and more. And Dungeon brings you a lightly different approach, with doors, environments, and other facets.

Each of these encounters is detailed later in A-Z format, with a paragraph or two of description. For example, sticking to the Plains up there, if I look up "A Dog Called Sassy", I get a little encounter with a farmer trapped down a well and a dog trying to get the PCs' help.

It's very similar to the approach in Level Up. I like it in Level Up, and I like it here. I feel like this book can supplement the Level Up exploration pillar, or introduce one to O5E.

The book also includes 6 little D&D 5E adventures, each on a 2-page spread, and a few pages of random tables for towns, dungeons, wizards, mountains, and so on.

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Moving on to the battlemaps themselves -- if you know Loke's books of battlemaps, you're in familiar territory here. Spiral-bound fold-out books which can be laid flat on a table, each spread depicting a different scene. They've released a bunch of these over the years, at different sizes (the Giant books are my favourite) and have even ventured into sci-fi and cyberpunk.

Their bread-and-butter is fantasy, though, and these two books add to their already impressive collection. They're super easy to use. I can't wait for face-to-face gaming again!

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Toriel

Explorer
I have some of the battlemaps and I love them. They are easy to use and very practical. I will have to look into that encounters book.
 

ART!

Legend
I almost bought one or more of their battlemap books at GenCon. The seemed like a very good deal for the price.
 

aco175

Legend
I have the books on dungeons and I have not used one of them. I got them for Christmas a year ago and though I would use them, but have not. A few of the maps are too busy and it is hard to tell where the 5ft grid is and some are too busy in general with the other scenery. I would say that more than half are perfectly fine and should be used, but just have not gotten to the table.
 

For those that have used them, on a 2 page map with the spiral in the middle of the combined map, does it detract or get in the way visually, mentally? I liken it to my newer Honda Accord, at first I didn’t think I’d like the screen sticking up on the dash as I was used to the screens being in the dash…i quickly got used to it and now I don’t even think about it being an issue.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
For those that have used them, on a 2 page map with the spiral in the middle of the combined map, does it detract or get in the way visually, mentally? I liken it to my newer Honda Accord, at first I didn’t think I’d like the screen sticking up on the dash as I was used to the screens being in the dash…i quickly got used to it and now I don’t even think about it being an issue.
I don’t notice it.
 

jgsugden

Legend
These books of maps are excellent for a "Go bag". I have such a box that I can grab and bring to a game night. It contains the minis, dice, pencils, Pregens, and other tools I need to run about 100 worth of games for new players. Very useful.
 

ced1106

Explorer
For those that have used them, on a 2 page map with the spiral in the middle of the combined map, does it detract or get in the way visually, mentally? I liken it to my newer Honda Accord, at first I didn’t think I’d like the screen sticking up on the dash as I was used to the screens being in the dash…i quickly got used to it and now I don’t even think about it being an issue.

Very late reply, but Loke now has non-spiral foldout maps (as well as digital maps) with their "Box of Adventure: Valley of Peril" (retail) and "RPG Toolbox" sets (KS starts tomorrow). The foldouts are also good in that, if you need a really big map, you can just put one foldout next to each other. I do like the convenience of thumbing-through the spirals, so pick whatever Loke map set you like best, spiral, foldout, or digital.

I should mention that UE is also available as a PDF from DriveThruRPG, so you can print out only what you need (eg. the dungeon encounters if the party is only dungeoncrawling today), as well as mark up the printout with notes. Who needs to write stuff when you can circle all over your printouts, right? :D

And the spiral-bound "Big Book of Battlemats, Volume III" is now available retail. Good starter set variety of RPG maps, as well as smaller sized supplement to the spiral-bound Book trilogy of maps.

RPG Toolkit KS: Coming soon: RPG Encounter Toolboxes - The Veiled Dungeon & The Long Road
Big Book III : Big Book of Battle Mats Volume 3
DriveThruRPG : DriveThruRPG.com - Loke BattleMats - The Largest RPG Download Store!
 


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