I like to use miniatures with my roleplaying games, and sometimes I find it nice to put them on something more than just a plain table. A nice gaming map and/or terrain pieces can do wonders. Sometimes I do this for tactical reasons, but more often I bring all these things into play for aesthetic reasons. Miniatures and lushly illustrated maps ought to compliment a roleplaying experience and evoke one's imagination, not offer a substitute for it.
I am a big fan of Paizo's Gamemastery Flip-Mats. These fantastic-looking double-sided maps of iconic locales measure 24" x 30". Who couldn't use a good tavern, cavern, or forest path in their game over and over again? I couldn't resist the Woodlands release (see right) when it came out a couple years ago. A path, a stream, and a stone altar/monoliths decorate one side, and a plain old wide path running through the midst of thick woods decorates the other. It just makes me want to start rolling on the wandering monster table whenever the PC miniatures set foot on it.
I have been to ... the La Spezia Naval Museum: The early ship models - In the centre of the main hall of the museum is a long case containing a large number of models that show the development of early ships.
12 hours ago