Thursday, September 30, 2010

Using Terrain in RPGs

A lot of the games that we play do not require terrain or battlemats, but sometimes you just want to take out your righteous (or blood-lusting) fury on some minis. Since Paul and I both started out with miniatures games, including MageKnight and the ground floor of War Machine, games like D&D 4e and Savage Worlds provide a great way to incorporate scenery into our roleplaying. Keep Reading to see more of this cool set-up!
The picture above is the basic layout for a recent Ragnarok game Paul is running. I picked up the buildings and trees over a number of years from Miniature Building Authority except for the burned out building in the lower right which is a lasercraft project I built myself. The rocks in the upper left were something we picked up a while ago at GenCon. I have never seen them since the year we bought them. The battlemap is from Paizo.

The next picture (left) is a closeup of the action on one side of the main building. My character is a mountie riding a horse in the top center. Another character is to the right of the trees. The remaining minis represent bodies stuck in ice (they haven't reanimated yet. The minis are from Horrorclix. I picked up a bunch of them for very cheap and they have a ton of uses. In order to fit them on the board, I rebased them. My mini's horse is from the GaleForce9 D&D character token sets. You can barely make out another body in the center of the trees.

This picture is another view of the board. You can see out makeshift gm screen at the top left. We are looking for a short, compact screen to use on a regular basis. The hut on the middle left should be entered very carefully. Unfortunately we are not exactly sure what resides in that hut since one of the player's had a family emergency. (everything appears to be ok for him).

The next two pictures below are our attempt to put "snow" on the field as the creatures reanimate. Paul measured the rough shape of my buildings at some point so he could incorporate them on grid paper when preparing his encounters. This technique is a great way to add some 3d fun once in a while. I also recommend burned buildings. It seems that adventurers should sell fire insurance as a side job since buildings keep burning down around them.

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