by Mike Shea on 24 June 2013
Note: This article has been updated from the original published on 3 October 2011.
The published poster map is one of the greatest tools of the lazy dungeon master. It gives lazy DMs a large, high quality map full of great details for environmental effects and terrain powers. Figuring out which map you might want to use can be daunting if you have a large collection of them.
With that in mind, the visual scientists at Sly Flourish give you the Poster Map Visual Index. Using Google Plus photos, you can download your own copy of the visual map index by clicking the small down arrow on the right side of the screen and click "Download album".
The maps in this index are only the maps from one collection. They represent a mixture of D&D poster maps and Gamemastery Flip Maps. Your own collection is likely different. Use the images in this album to build your own collection of the maps you have on hand. Use your own index to make it easy for you to select the right map at the right time.
A lot of DMs build their adventure from the story outward but sometimes you need some inspiration to fuel your encounters. Browsing through your own poster map index can give you those ideas. Maybe it's time your group went into a lava-filled chasm, headed into the desert, or got into an old-fashioned street brawl. When you find yourself stuck for ideas, browse through your own poster map visual index and come up with some interesting encounters.
For the truly lazy DM, you might keep a pile of maps on hand during your game. As your group explores your small world, choose the right map for the encounter into which they stumble. With a good set of maps, some good minis, and a solid monster book, you can let your PCs head where they want without having to force them down the path you've already built up. This can save you a lot of time in preparation and give them a lot more freedom in their choices and actions.