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darkfluid

The large demand for buildings and dungeon dressings

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I'm really trying to understand the large demand for these things...to the point they are now dominating a few of the core expansions and putting me on the fence about backing them.

 

Just a little background on myself and the way my groups have played for 25 plus years.  We use a battle map for role playing when needed, drawing out the rooms and terrain...furniture etc.  Why?  Because it quick and as things move we need to be able to rapidly adjust.  Plus anytime we've tried to use terrain set pieces, props and such...they really get in the way of moving minis, they fall over, etc...  Mini's don't set on it, gets in the way of awkward minis...like how do you show that the hydra mini is now half on the kitchen table or coffin and half off?  We just ended up removing it the few times we tried. The dwarven forge stuff looks awesome for rooms etc....but I instantly saw we couldn't play with it...too slow to layout compared to drawing and the walls on stuff get in the way of moving minis and line of site for seated players.

 

For wargaming much of this terrain appears to small and or intricate.  So I don't see that appeal of that either.  Some things like the the connexes would be good wargame terrain.  The mystic circle is one piece that would be neat.

 

I just don't see how I would use the crypt in any game for example..especially the fencing...looks to be constantly falling over.  Most dioramas and set pieces I've done in the past...it was easier and looked way better to create my own stuff.  I could see these things being used for that however..but there can't be that many people out there doing these types of static pieces...so it just doesn't explain it to me.

 

This isn't a complaint...I applaud reaper for listening to the people.  I'm just trying to understand, from the point of view of those who want them, the way you are planning on using these things and why you desire them so.  I really have a genuine desire to understand what people are using this for.

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Well aside from those who do use a lot of terrain with their rpg games, terrain is usually necessary for war games and lots of people do dioramas with it as well.

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I should probably point out that no one is MAKING anyone buy these things. They're there if you want them. And apparently, Reaper thinks they can sell crypts. It's certainly a good choice; building got lots of character. Maybe they can.

Reaper's rooted in gaming, and in particular, RPGs and people who WANT MINIATURES. Hell, when I first started, we didn't use minis in RPGs. We just visualized, and said where we were and what we were doing. But I found that I liked minis, and as a GM, I found that it gave everyone something to do, and minimized arguments about who was where when what happened -- "Oh, come ON, Daisy, everyone SAW you move your thief RIGHT UP to that dratted chest, and now you're trying to tell us you were actually across the room when it sprouted fangs and tried to eat you?"

Miniatures are good. I like minis. I also like props, and I like dungeon dressing, and I'm even fairly fond of that Dwarven Forge stuff; it can be impractical, but it sure has style, and it's awesome for setting a mood. If Reaper wants to try and dig into that market, and if they can pull a profit out of it while simultaneously dragging prices down, well... let 'em try. It'll either be a success or a noble experiment that failed. And only one way to find out.

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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I used to be just like you.  Then i tried using D Forge and got hooked on it.  3D dungeons added almost as much to the RPG as minis did in the first place. Instead of ignoring the little circles for trees or the square for the table, the PCs are forced to accept that there really is a physical structure there.  My PCs even got more creative when they could visualize it more, using terrain features more in the role playing (like flipping a table for cover and knowing exactly how many can hide behind it, etc...

 

As for the time to lay out DF, I try to have major encounter areas pre-laid out, using cutting boards and plywood to put them on.  I store these in the next room and when it is time for the room reveal, i just grab the board the room is on and put it on the table.

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I paint for display and fun only.

 

I want that crypt and the whole graveyard set.

One of my favorite races are the Undead.

 

Most of it will get used as part of dioramas or scenic bases.

 

I also want that Shipwreck Titan, I will chop him up and make a shipwreck..

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Wargames.

 

GW seems to have stopped making their Garden of Moor (graveyard) set.  Same with their Arcane Ruins set.

 

Sure, the option to make your own exists, but having the option to buy a not-Stonehenge is attractive.

 

I don't use terrain for my RPGs.  I use a Chessex mat and markers. 

 

The "intricate" pieces are more for the visual appeal of the look on the tabletop.  I mean, you could have a bunch of books and say they're hills, and a few cut-outs to indicate forests, and a row of dice to show a fence line.  Heck, you could say all these blue chits are spearmen, the blue chits with white dots are archers, and that piece of foam over there represents a dragon.

 

But we're visual creatures, and sometimes it's nice to let a fence look like a fence, and a bunch of trees to look like trees.

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I agree that most of the time terrain gets in the way on the table. However there are times when I want to break it out and set up a really fantastic looking dungeon with all the details.  In the same way that mostly I am happy with something simple for dinner, but every now and then I like a fine dining experience. 

 

And if you're a person who puts on games at a convention, terrain is a huge draw, will get people talking, and make them remember your game. 

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1. Try to put some sort of rubbery / non slip bottom of piece, it helps with bumpings. 

2. Build generously sized. 1E AD&D's 10 feet is 3 inches on the table helps a lot, even if you PLAY everything (ranges, spell area, etc) else 10' = 2"

3. Mind your bases. Generously sized basing definitely gets in the way with terrain. I always try base my (long) monster figs on rounded Cavalry (pill) bases when possible. Horses and like critters don't need to be as wide as they are long.

 

 

DSCF0116.JPG

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I could technically be using paper tri-folds for my minis, and wipe-off mats for the layouts, and be done with it.  However, I got into miniatures gaming through war-gaming, and ended up with a bunch of armies of orks and whatnot, and picked up games like "HeroQuest" and "Battle Masters" originally just for the plastic troops ... but then found that it was kind of neat to have the dungeon boards and little bits of "furniture" to spice things up.  Since then, when I can, I try to paint up the "proper" minis for an encounter, set up dungeon chambers for a major encounter, and so on.

 

In actual practice, sometimes I slap down a printed map sheet, or I even use a boring old grid-marked "generic" layout because in a "sandbox" type of game, I can't possibly have mini-dioramas for every place the PCs might possibly visit.  But when I have the time, I go that extra mile, and sometimes the random furniture that I sprinkle a table with ends up impacting the story in unexpected ways.  

 

In one pulpy anachronistic campaign, there was a COUCH that somehow survived multiple grenade blasts due to silly damage/resistance rolls, and when the ship they were on sank, they ended up clinging to it (as it was among the random debris) and using it as a makeshift flotation device.  After a while, one of the PCs decided that it was his LUCKY COUCH, and insisted on bringing it along for the rest of the adventure, despite the various logistical issues this created.  It ended up becoming a thing of legend in the minds of the players -- at least when they're inclined to recount silly RP stories for newcomers to the table.  And none of that would've likely happened if we'd just had bare squares for rooms, with only a fleeting narrative description hinting at any furnishings.

 

Not that every campaign needs a couch of legend (it certainly wouldn't fit the MOOD of many campaigns), but it was memorable.

 

I find that having a few *visible* props on the table can be thought-starters for players who are casting about, trying to come up with some sort of idea of SOMETHING in the environment that can be useful to get that "edge" in a situation that would go badly if we boiled it down to yet another straight-up fight between party A and party B.  I can rattle off all the narrative description I want for a room, but that is something that happens and the players either catch the details, or they don't.  When a miniature is present on the table, or a detail is printed on a map tile, or there's a plastic "debris" marker I salvaged from a broken toy in a thrift store that happens to have a shovel portrayed on it, etc. ... that can add details to the environment that a player can work with, and the visual aid is a persistent reminder even to the player who wandered off to the kitchen to get a Mountain Dew when the GM was detailing the scene.

 

Sometimes it can work against me.  I may grab a few floor tiles from a "Doom: The Board Game" box because they look vaguely like high-tech hallways, but they have the unfortunate feature of having "blood smears" painted on them, and I have to tell the players, "Ignore the blood smears.  Imagine they're just rust spots."  Some players take the time to ask, "Is that [whatever object] REALLY there, or is that just printed decoration?"  But at least it gives me the opportunity to consider that ... yeah, it DOES make sense for something like that to be there, so go for it.  I like to encourage players to come up with their own plans and think outside the box, and make interesting uses of the environment.

 

I remember, with some amusement, when I had a campaign where the PCs faced a hallway with spear-launchers hidden behind plaster, set to go off with pressure plates.  Someone got the grand idea of taking a barrel -- represented on the table as a resin piece as part of the "provisions" in the PCs' camp - down the hallway, setting off all the spear traps in one fell swoop.  BRILLIANT!  ;)  Maybe someone without that visual cue would have thought of "Hey, surely we have a BARREL of something in our provisions, right?" but I think the visual detail helped in the brainstorming process.

 

There's such a thing as going overboard.  I think I've done that a long time ago, and periodically I have to concede that some of my gaming stuff just HAS TO GO because there's only so much room for it all.  Also, I can't possibly have a miniature for *everything* when we keep hopping genres, and often I have to use proxies...

 

...but it's still awfully fun to paint up and kit-bash little dungeon rooms and set pieces and special miniatures anyway.  :)

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For me its the visual appeal. I like immersing my group that have got to listen to me ramble on for a couple hours something to look at. I will agree that things can get in the way & allot of times its best to just draw em out on a map. 

 

Yes I grew up playing 1st ed & basic D&D & back then you didn't need all the stuff we have today & you still don't but why not take advantage of it espically with how well the items we have today are.

 

One reason why trying to flesh out my We Be Goblins games for Rcon for next year + pretty neat to see what I can round up for them in the process.

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Well, you can use them for more than just terrain. They could be used for dioramas or, scenic basing or, something else entirely.

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I'm not interested in the big ole mausoleum, but the fencing I do in fact like a lot (added $12 to my pledge just to get some). Reason being: I like to paint up dioramas and vignettes, these will work very nicely in those situations. I won't use any of that stuff for actual table top gaming, my group uses the old wet erase map and we've never really wanted to do anything aside from minis on the table to worry about moving around or setting up.

 

Going to get real here, please don't take offense:

 

As others have stated, this stuff is mostly part of expansions and you don't have to buy it, you can wait until retail and pay 50% more for individual items. You don't have to back the kickstarter at all, nobody is telling you to do so or forcing you to do it. If you are on the fence, that's totally your prerogative to decide where to spend your money. If you don't like the buildings/fences OR certain figures, don't buy them. I don't really see a reason to complain at all about stuff that you don't need/want to buy, it's a kickstarter for a reason, it has items in it that people have been clamoring and begging for - so Reaper is putting them out there for people to purchase. They are popular despite your own personal feelings about them. 

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 I think probably the biggest part of the demand for terrain and buildings...

 

 

 ...is simple economics.

 

Look at the prices for resin or plastic buildings (GW and others) and you can see price tags of $60 or $80 dollars for a medium-sized building or $20 for a couple sections of ruined wall.

 

Now look at the Bones mausoleum and the fencing. Who else in the industry is putting out affordable terrain in a material that lends itself to being modified?

A Reaper Bones kickstarter is one of the few opportunities to get this sort of stuff out there, and people are jumping on it. (In fact, Reaper's actually stated that part of the purpose of the Bones line was to be able to do things that would be impossible to do in metal due to the size and cost.)

 

 A lot of people who'd never bother using terrain for a game due to cost are going, "Hey, I can afford to buy that..." and deciding to throw it into their game, even of they have to make something up for it.

 

A lot of people who'd never consider dropping the kind of money they'd need to buy a building or wall for a diorama are thinking, "Hey, that's almost what I was looking for, and I can modify it to be be perfect..."

 

And then there are a lot of people who just have a lot of available cash to spend and think to themselves, "Man, that's just too freakin' cool" and decide to buy it so they can paint it up all bad-arse and put it on a shelf to show it off.

 

I personally am mostly a painter since I don't have a steady rpg group and don't wargame.

I'd never shell out general industry prices for a building or piece of scenery just to paint it or make a diorama since I have the skills to make my own.

But if I had the cash right now, I'd definitely be backing all the expansions just for the terrain, because it's relatively inexpensive, it looks cool, and looking at it I get all sorts of ideas for things I could do with it.

 

Also, going back to the economics of it, quite a few people are interested in the buildings just for the resale value - if they want things from the expansions but don't need the buildings or terrain, they know they can sell off the parts they don't want and make back most of the money they spent on the expansion. It may be useless to them, but they know there are other people out there who are going crazy over it and may not be able to get in on the KS for whatever reason. And those people will be willing to pay near-retail for it.

 

 On a side note, if you look up posts by forum members Catdancer and Malefactus (and several others), you can see there's a fairly active subset of forumites who really do favor those large static pieces and will use things like furniture and terrain bits as part of their pieces alongside things like Hirst Arts molds and their own fabrications.

Edited by Mad Jack
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I'd go so far as to say that if they try to MAKE me buy anything, that's another story. There's an infamous game company that flat tells dealers "if you want this popular stuff that will sell, you have to buy this other stuff that we're pushing and can't seem to move."

Has Reaper any plans to say, "no, dealers, you can't have our Bones unless you take our Crypt?"  ^_^

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