A Gallery of WotC Poster Tile Maps
The excellent Sly Flourish came upon the kind of organizational idea we often have but seldom execute. He took pictures of each of the poster tile maps in a 3E or 4E product he owns and uploaded them so he had a handy reference. He can look at the gallery and see all the maps he has when planning for a gaming session. Need a desert map? How about that poster map that came with the Blue Dragon? Need a river running through underground caves? Several RPGA/organized play posters can fill that need.
I loved the idea, but I wanted to make two changes. First, I downloaded them and renamed them so each file has the name of the map. That way I easily know the product on my shelf that has the map. I can also work with the thumbnail viewer mode in Windows to easily see the pictures very quickly without having to connect on the Internet.
Secondly, I have several adventures that weren't included. I took pictures of them in similar fashion and added them to the collection. Now I can easily have my collection represented (Mike owns a few things I don't, such as the Fantastic Locations series, so I put those in a "Don't Own" subfolder to encourage future shopping).
I'm offering the files as two downloads, since one really came from Mike and I don't wan't to misrepresent that. It was his genius that started it! You can thank him by visiting his site (and if you don't have an FLGS you can support then consider using his click-throughs to buy stuff so you support his site). I've also added a gallery of Dungeon Tiles based on an EN World thread and a gallery of Lair Assault based on images captured by Ameron of Dungeon's Master.
How to Use the Maps
Download the files and create a folder on your computer. Set the folder to display thumbnails, and make them as large as possible. Now you will see the maps without having to open each image file.
You may want to create a sub-folder for products/maps you don't own and move those images into there (or delete them if you won't have a use for them).
When preparing for a gaming session, head to the folder and take a quick look to see if any poster tile maps fit the session you are planning. Maps like this can often provide good inspiration and often can fit your needs.
Consider adding tiles from tile sets onto the map so it fits your needs better, or just for a change of pace (especially if you have used the map before). Keep an open mind, such as adding a tile for a staircase and adding a separate second level. If you own any 3-D set pieces, such as the Mage Knight terrain mentioned and shown here, or Hirst or Dwarven Forge bits, or even things from a craft store, those can really make a map excellent. Consider doing things like raising up some of the terrain. Craft stores sell 1" wooden blocks that can fit the bill easily (just use enough so it is still stable). In fact, mirroring the poster map but showing elevation is a pretty fun trick:
Here is another example from my Community gallery.
Add Your Own!
Do you have a product Mike and I don't? Snap a picture and add it to your folder. Please send me a message to let me know so I can add it to my collection (and if you share the picture then I can udate the download files)!
Edit: Last update Dec 10, 2011, adding HS2 Orcs of Stonefang Pass to the Additional Maps file. Then again to correct two maps in the Sly Flourish file - they should have been labeled as Seekers of the Ashen Crown.
Edit: Last update Feb 27, 2012. Added the Haunted Map Pack from Sly's latest update to the Sly Flourish zip file. Added Gates of Firestorm Peak, HS2 Orcs of Stonefang Pass, amd Scepter Tower of Spellguard to the "Additional" zip file.
Edit: Last edit on leap day, Feb 29, 2012. Added Book of Vile Darkness maps I had left out from the Sly Flourish zip file.
Edit: Added a new zip file above containing galleries of Dungeon Tiles, based on the work by Thanee on EN World.
Edit: Revised Additional file to have Halls of Undermountain. (Pictures by Icosahedrophilia).
Edit: Revised Sly Flourish file to contain the new Vaults of the Underdark map pack. My thanks to Sly for adding these gorgeous maps to his gallery. I highly recommend this map pack - really fun maps! I also moved the Halls of Undermountain pictures to this file, though I kept the ones by Icosahedrophilia because they are a bit sharper.
Edit: Sep23, 2012. Changed to Dropbox, updated Additional and Tiles files to have Encounters Council of Spiders and DN6 - Castle Grimstead.
Edit: Oct 1, 2012. Added new zip file for Lair Assault maps, using images provided by the awesome Dungeon's Master! Also, added thumbnails from the Gen Con 2012 Open championship - a good way to get a feel for what is used in the competition.