It's a delightful conceit - a 'virtual boxed set' - harking back to the cardboard boxes that used to contain much of one's gaming treasures... and this too is full of treasure, namely all eight parts of 0one's Dungeon of Terror mapset with a few bonus goodies as well: a big DM's map, random encounter tables and template pages on which you can record your notes about the various rooms. If you want to use the dungeon entire, this is well worth acquiring.
The eight parts of the mapset, which are also available separately if you have already decided that you only require a part of this vast complex, are presented as separate PDF files in your download, as are the three bonus items... and a JPEG image which is the one that appears in product advertising (I'd have liked a larger one of just the 'box lid' art to use as cover to a folder or even in on a hand-made box to make it a REAL boxed set!).
The Referee's Map shows 0one's technical genius with PDFs, with the "Rule the Dungeon" feature enabling you to select precisely what you want displayed. There is a HUGE poster map which, if you have access to a commercial printer, you could print out thus, or select 'fit to page' on an ordinary printer to get it scaled to suit. Being vector graphics, it scales perfectly whatever you do with it. You also get the same map as four pages which can be printed out on a normal printer and then stuck together to give you a poster map.
The Random Encounters Tables provide a basic table for each of the eight sections of the dungeon complex. It's just the bare names of creatures, etc., encountered, you will have to provide the detail from the 'bestiary' of whatever ruleset you are using; it also includes named characters and monsters from each section. Quite handy if you use random encounters, or if you are planning in advance who is going to be where when the adventures arrive.
Finally, the Room Templates file provides you with a page for each of the 164 chambers in the complex, each with a sketch of the layout and plenty of space to record your description and notes - although you will have to print them out and write your descriptions by hand, provision has not been made for you to type in what you want to say.
Overall, if 'dungeon crawls' have a place in your game, this product certainly merits consideration. Its scope is vast, there's an outline of what might be going on there which is not so tied in to the actual complex that you are forced into using it if you prefer to create a plot from scratch, and there is a lot of variety to explore. Each individual 'tile' can be customised, even to the level of having a square or hex grid as you please, and is suited to miniatures use or just to show your players what they see as they explore. Enjoy!
Return to Dungeon of Terror Virtual Boxed Set page.
Reviewed: 17 June 2010