Hey all, Sam and David here.
First, let’s just say that we are so very glad to be home, and glad to have our baby girl home too. She seems mostly okay, a little skittish, which is to be expected. And she has been spending a lot of time curled up on the couch with us, so I think it’s clear that she is glad to be home where she is safe and warm and spoiled.
I am more than happy to spoil her even more for right now, to help reassure her that she is home and she was missed and she is very loved.
Now that the stress and panic of a lost fur-child is behind us, we can jump back into blogging as normal, and that means it is time to finally get up the Tabletop Tuesday post that was supposed to go up last week.
We have been big TTRPG fans for a number of years. We actually met playing D&D at the beginning of 2017. And while we started with simply drawing maps out on the wet-erase gaming mats, we have been looking for easier and more immersive methods to level up our gaming. This is especially a focus for us when we’re at Gen Con every year. We love looking for gaming accessories to level up our gaming experience and make a better time for the people around the table with us.
And that is why we’re talking about a really cool TTRPG product today, so let’s get started.
Dungeon Craft tiles by 1985 Games have been very useful to us while setting up TTRPGs. They are 2D tiles, so flat double-sided pieces that you can set down on a game mat.
I have been backing the Kickstarters for 1985 games for years, and honestly, I love all of their products. We’ll talk about more of them in future posts, but today we are specifically discussing their Dungeon Craft series. There have been 3 Kickstarters for various tile themes, although we are still waiting to receive the third set…which is jungle themed, and I’m very excited about it.
Probably the biggest cons of these tiles are storage and organization of them AND the initial time it takes to cut apart all of the pieces. The tiles come laid out on sheets that are the size of a standard sheet of computer paper, and each Dungeon Craft box has something like 50 sheets inside…so you can see how that could lead to a lot of time to cut out each individual terrain piece. Some are two grid squares, so a 5×10 in D&D or Pathfinder spacing terms, while others might be larger…some as big as 40×50.
When we get a new set in, we’ll sit by the TV and watch something while we both cut out each sheet into the various pieces. Thankfully as soon as everything is cut out, it doesn’t need to be done again, so it’s a one-time time suck.
Then, when it comes to storage…we basically keep the smaller pieces in small Ziploc baggies, although I’m sure there are more effective methods, and the larger pieces we store in an expanding file/accordion file. It works for us, but it does sometimes mean that we have a little more time added into our session prep, because we need to find the pieces we need.
That’s it for the cons.
For the pros, these pieces can make it easy to set up a quick map for a random encounter or something…though that is only possible if you have your pieces well organized. And, what’s really cool is that the tiles are double-sided, so it gives you even more options. With many of them you’ll have something like a small home on one side and on the other side is that same home but in flames. Or you’ll have a castle hallway on one side and that same hallway messy with rubble on the other side.
It gives you so many options, whether you want a functional building or village, or if you want the ruins of a building. It’s always really cool to see how we mix and match the pieces to make new encounter maps. 1985 games even has a set of double-sided mats that can be used as a base for the rest of these tiles. These mats include grassland, city, turned earth, ocean, and hell–so grass/grass with stream, light gray and dark gray stone, dark brown and green/brown, light blue and dark blue, and a bright orange/dark orange lava.
And when we don’t want to take the time to use a 3D terrain option, this is a quick and effective method to create a cool encounter setup for our TTRPG sessions. Sometimes theater of the mind is effective, but sometimes you just really want to have a nice visual of what is going on…and honestly these tiles definitely help with that. Actually some of the tiles have creatures instead of terrain features, which gives you even more options for use.
Oh! And they can be written/drawn on. That’s right. The battle mats and the terrain pieces are all wet erase and dry erase compatible, which is honestly epic.
These tiles are rugged and able to take a decent amount of wear and tear, and the art is pleasing to the eye. And they are reasonably priced, so if you can’t afford 3D terrain options like Warlock Tiles or Dwarven Forge, this may be a nice substitute over drawing on a standard battle mat.
With their Cursed Lands set, it makes it easy to run eerie, spooky, or gothic type sessions or campaigns, such as D&D’s “Curse of Strahd.” The third set, which we are waiting to receive, will have all sorts of jungle options, like ones you would need for the “Tomb of Annihilation” campaign.
So we have options for the Hells, for shipboard and underwater, for castles and keeps, for spooky gothic undead…and soon for jungles.
Honestly, we really love these tiles for everything they offer us for our encounter design and adding to the world-building of our campaigns. Being able to properly visualize what’s going on for the characters heightens the experience and makes it feel more real…or at least it does for us.
Based on updates to the Kickstarter project, they should finally be midway through production on Fallen Kingdom and Jungles of Dread, which means in just a few more weeks, they should be shipping the product to the fulfillment centers they have. So I think in the next few months we should finally have these new terrain pieces.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and our Instagram profiles, because we will be sharing our thoughts on the newest set of Dungeon Craft tiles as soon as we have them in our hands.
Well, that is all from us for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and we’ll be back soon with more geeky content.