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Thinking about buying some of this stuff...
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#12243
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
Ok, I have a group that I regularly game with and a couple of us are tired of the crappy to non-existant terrain we currently use and we're all too lazy/busy to make our own.

So what should we buy? We play D&D using their line of miniatures and I've heard rumblings that the Room and Passage set is almost unusable because of the half floors along the walls. Den of Evil and the Cavernous River sets are beautiful, but it looks like you'd need multiples to really do anything, particularly with the Cavernous River set. Almost ALL the pictured layouts use two sets.

Anyway... would love to hear some suggestions. If I had $200, what should I spend it on first?

Thanks.
ferris1971
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#12244
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
Ferris -

Room and Passage OR Deluxe Room to start. Look at a Cavern set or a Cavernous Passages set. I started with a Room & Passage and I was playing WH40K at the time! You think it's crowded with D&D Figs? Yikes!!!

After you have those 3-4 sets (and that is WAY over $200), start branching out to whatever strikes your fancy. Keep in mind that as you accumulate sets, the pieces duplicate within groups, i.e., MM, Cavern, DoE, and Sci-Fi. DON'T get discouraged if your layouts seem small; you can always use a piece DOWN HERE, and when the party moves UP THERE, you can transfer pieces OVER to the OTHER END - if you get my drift. That's the beauty of modular structures. Of course, as you get more and more pieces, you won't have to rip 'em out and move them as often - if at all!

Mi amigo, I have spent well over $2K and I'm STILL buying pieces, because EVERY TIME I think I have all I need, Stefan comes up with something NEW that I've "Just GOTTA Have!"

At least, THIS addiction is legal!

Good luck, happy gaming, and

See YA!

Jim
jkratzer
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#12245
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
Great, thanks for the response. Just a quick clarification, though... You said Room and Passage OR Deluxe Room and then a Cavern set or a Cavernous Passages set. That sort of implies 2 sets. But your next line said "After you have those 3-4 sets (and that is WAY over $200), start branching out to whatever strikes your fancy."

So are you saying I need to build a foundation (Room and Passage, Deluxe Room, and a Cavernous or Cavernous Passages set) and then do whatever? Or after 2 sets, could I start branching out into the other stuff (Cavernous River, for example...

I know there is no hard formula, but like I said... I really am just starting to look at this stuff and any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks again.
ferris1971
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#12246
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
It depends, of course, on how you game.

But I'd make a (slightly hesitant) recommendation either way:

Avoid the sets with passages. Since you're using primarily D&D minis, as you pointed out, the bases won't work well in tight spaces. Plus, you sound like you don't have as much money to work with, maybe space is an issue as well. Passages are simply ineffective use of space/money. They aren't rooms, they can't be the center of attention, they are just a way to get from point A to point B. (I know, I know, this is hardly being fair, but it's still true that rooms are flashier and offer more options most of the time)

Get the Fantasy Starter, a Room set, maybe a deluxe Room Set to start with. You can use those to create any number of possible maps, and you can improvise passages with them anyway. Plus, you can make sure to make areas that your minis can actually USE.

Of course, if you LOVE passages, or you use maps that need them, nevermind. But IMHO, you can more bang for your buck, and more flexibility, if you skip passages.

After that, the sky is the limit.

Incidentally, you are right -- the best setups involve more than 1 or 2 sets most of the time. HOWEVER, this stuff has no expiration date. Get a set now, maybe two, and then in four or five months, pick up another. Almost nobody picked up everything in their collection all at once. Woudl you advise someone just starting with DDM to pick up a complete set of Angelfire, Underdark, Deathknell, and Wardrums to start with? Heck no. You get them over time, eventually you have more than enough. So don't worry about quantity. That will come.

Some related advice: if you like the caverns, pick up the basic Cavern Set now. By the time the River set shows -- in June! -- you'll have hopefully gotten some use out of it and saved up for the river set. You don't have to spend it all at once!

L
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#12247
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
ferris1971 the comment that they are almost "unsable" is exeragted, while it is Very true that the walls do come into the room, they come in by only a 1/4 of an inch, since a D&D 3.5 square is 1 inch it is not 1/2, it is only a 1/4 of the distance, but it is noticable. I won't lie to you on that.

We play D&D using their line of miniatures and I've heard rumblings that the Room and Passage set is almost unusable because of the half floors along the walls.
But it is not a big deal, i use WotC minis (both D&D and Star Wars) with the DF terrain weekly. It can be some what noticable, but only if your characters hug the walls, if the fight does not take place agaisnt the wall there is no problem, there is another 2 inchs worth of squares in the Walled room items, so there is still room to place the minis against a standard wall, admitidly the corners will be tricker (having two walls).
And there is no such overlap in the passages each one is a full two inches wide.

As to what do you buy that is best answered by Where do you game the most, by that i mean are you spelunking in the Underdark, or crawling through the catacombs of an orginized band of Duerguar/kobold/Lizard folk/etc.

If you are running mostly natural caves Caverns is the set to buy, if you are typcially going into humanoid constructed dungeons go Fantasy.
Then I would say whatever set you like, buy a lot of that to get the feel for using it, and then maybe branch out. DF is expensive no one here will lie to you about that either, but the quality for the price is VERY good, and you shoulf be happy with what you get. While you don't need lots of DF to use it most people who start buying like the idea of having the whole dungeon set up, (or at least parts of it if it is multi level or Big) and then letting the players run through it. This is where you get into thinking and wanting lots to do "anything" with it.

I started my first DF with one of the SciFi passages and 2 Rooms and had enough to do a number of cool little layouts, and when the PC's moved to another area, just shifted the parts, and that works great but after a while, or when the PC's decided to exercise the PC ability to be as annoying as heck to the DM/GM and want to go back to a room, you have to recreate it. This is where most DM's get annoyed and want more, One of the reason so many like to have the whole thing spread out. it is just more impressive and the set up take down time is cut dramaticly, you set it up once and if you have the dedicated space can leave it up for hours, days or even months as they work their way through it.

It is by no means the Only way to do it (big spwarling set ups) , but it seem to be the most common on the boards (and say it seems, so becuase most of the people who post pictures are the ones who do this, the whole looks impressive aspect, i used just 3 sets for about 6 months before i started taking pictures and did a lot of shifting of the pieces when they moved on). The smaller set ups aren't as wow inspiring so don't get posted often, i think it scews the look of DF users. There are i think a large number of people who run with a few sets and shift, i did it in my D&D game for 4 months till other factors made the game fall apart, and i only posted one set of photos from those.
Ghenghis Ska
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More Sci Fi Please, request a DEAD END for Sci Fi Passages
Classes of the Old Republic
Some RPG and mini stats including the Exodus and AAT (along with good source of a Mini scale version of the AAT).
 
#12248
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
When I first discovered Master Maze last summer I started off with a Deluxe Room set. It worked great for a few game sessions, as I would just build the room the PCs were in, and once they left the room I'd disassemble it and build the next room. After a few gaming sessions I noticed how much more the players got into the classic "dungeon crawl" that we had shied away from for so long. Noticing this, I quickly starting adding to my collection until I felt I had enough to build a decent setup. As for the half-squares along the walls, I'd really prefer they were full squares, but since they aren't I ignore them. They're essentially just free finger-space as far as I'm concerned. If you're working with a tight budget, I would definitely recommend starting with the Deluxe Room set, and possibly a Cavern set if you think you'd get a lot of use out of it. You should probably be able to get both for just a little over $200.00 with shipping included.
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#12249
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
i'm gonna chime in and say deluxe room and a cavern set. with the cavernous rivers and lakes releases this year you might as well save up some cash after the first $250 spent and buy one of them when they come out. then again, it all depends where you find your players adventuring...

also, i just sprung this on my players... blairgb and i buy all the DF in our collection. i asked if everybody else in my group wanted to pitch in $20 or $30 to get a third cavernous rivers set (after blairgb and i each buy one). the idea was welcomed by everybody, especially when i dangled a bonus of 10XP/$1 contributed. so i'll be pre ordering those up PDQ.

welcome to these boards.
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#12250
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
frarris, I started with 3 passage/room and 2 deluxe room but I think you would do good to get the a room and a cavern to start. I wish I would have gotten some of the cavern pieces earlier in the game. I'm one of those that dumped a lot at the beggining and now buy as I can here and there. My biggest problem and you might find this out as you gain more pieces, is where to put them. When I run a dungeon crawl, I take all of the pieces out of the boxes and arrange them along the gaming table then build the dungeon as a I go along. This takes time but it doesn't allow the PC's to know whats coming. And on the other hand, I've just gone ahead and given them the map in some cases and build the darn thing so they could just run around in it at thier leisure.

Happy spending......... you can't go wrong only broke.
mdauck
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2nd AD&D Gamer: Room/Passage 5, Delx Rm 2, Wicked I, Ogre, Octogon, Curved wall, short passage 2, dungeon assy 1, narrow passage 2, and many numerous pieces from ebay and from here.
 
#12251
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
the idea was welcomed by everybody, especially when i dangled a bonus of 10XP/$1 contributed.
This is a brilliant idea. If the guys I game with weren't a bunch of broke fools I'd give this a shot.
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#12252
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
frarris, I started with 3 passage/room and 2 deluxe room but I think you would do good to get the a room and a cavern to start. I wish I would have gotten some of the cavern pieces earlier in the game. I'm one of those that dumped a lot at the beggining and now buy as I can here and there. My biggest problem and you might find this out as you gain more pieces, is where to put them. When I run a dungeon crawl, I take all of the pieces out of the boxes and arrange them along the gaming table then build the dungeon as a I go along. This takes time but it doesn't allow the PC's to know whats coming. And on the other hand, I've just gone ahead and given them the map in some cases and build the darn thing so they could just run around in it at thier leisure.

Happy spending......... you can't go wrong only broke.

Sometimes I put out one piece at a time-if it's a slower paced adventure like a tomb or something-other times I lay out everything and cover them up with the styrofoam lids. Occasionally, I'll thow some random pieces out there and cover them-the players burn up a ton of time looking a that secret door they missed and groan when they realize they have been 'had', but after that, they never know if's what's covered up is part of the dungeon or the DM messing with their minds <insert evil laugh>.
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#12253
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
Might I suggest another tool for maintaining the element of surprise when using a prepared dungeon layout is misdirection. When used with the other ideas mentioned here (such as concealment, traps and false pieces) it makes deciphering a prepared layout next to impossible. I'll try to explain what I mean as best as possible...

Prepare your dungeon/layout and separate them into a few sections that have distancing features, -such as stairs or a long hallway. Then "connect" them using numbered reference tokens. For example: stairwell #1 (located in the NW corner of your setup) continues halfway down the other side of the table, begining coincidently just after the passage on that side ends up as a dead end. To the players, (who are looking at the setup covered in heavy cloth or felt, all they see is a continuous construction/passage along the one side and perhaps a small break on the other when, in fact quite the opposite is true.

This tactic, used with hidden traps will help disorient players thoroughly.

It will also allow you to "stretch" your dungeon by including very "long" hallways, "deep" stairwells and multiple-level dwellings.
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#12254
Thinking about buying some of this stuff... 8 Years, 7 Months ago  
I usually don't get into this but... given that my point of view is different, let's add it to the points available.

HOW TO BEGIN BUYING DF STUFF (From a "poorly budget" international buyer!)
----------------------------------------

It took almost 2 years for me to be satisfied enough with my collection of DF. At first, the best way to build a dungeon with a little stuff is to take pieces from the explored dungeon to build the part been explored.

I started as a MK Dungeon player. I used plastic MK 3D pieces. Then I bought 1 deluxe room set (it's ok a room set too), and wicked aditions 1 and 2, with the idea of combining with MK3D, even I had read the terranosaur article that said it wasn't quite possible. (With a little effort you can combine them, if you are not very meticulous). I ended seeing that was possible, through some time and patience, getting stuff enough to build entire DF setups. Now my 3D stuff is bored under my bed. :-) (It's been a long and hard road)

Well, what I did buy first:

Room set (Deluxe if you can afford it) + Wicked aditions (1 and 2, or one of them): you can build little setups, but over all you'll be able to really make different one from another. It's a pretty large amount, but it worths the effort. If you can't, take 1 deluxe room set and the wicked additions you like more. You can already start playing.

Think that wicked aditions give you round corners, stairs, porticulis, columns, a couple of passages, and large floor pieces even walls!! Tip: First setups I built weren't sorrounded completely by walls, the borders had no walls most cases. They were "there" because there were no place to go beyond the floor pieces, but I don't bothered with so precise realistic use of walls. (Of course now I have enough pieces I YES am very meticulous :-) )

Dungeon accesories and Dungeon treasures, are cheap and very useful. Take them as soon you can.

Later, I would go Cavern, or better: Floor set. Very very useful to create unique places, combined with only the pieces you had before if you had taken a room set and a wicked adition set(or both)

Overall, I have to say that even today I have very few complete sets, only 1 deluxe room, wicked aditions 1 and 2, floor set, traps II, and until last year that I picked Den of Evil and now Cavernous rivers, it was enough... because I picked every single individual piece I could get my hands on during that year: Traps, advanced builder pieces, more individual accesories and treasures, passages, caverns (a lot of caverns!!! and I don't have a single cavern set) I have tons of individual pieces. Of course, I think in caverns first, before any cavern passages. This way of taking individual pieces lets you take DF pieces more often, and select the balance between basic pieces you need. Even build every setup bigger than the last, with the bunch of pieces you've managed to get.

I agree with most people that Caverns is a must-have. INDEED!. And the passages, well, they are great, but yes, I'll give priority to room pieces. With the "individual pieces policy" you can get several passages you might need. I should say that perhaps the individual pieces way of geting DF Stuff is not the best, but is a good way when you have no much budget. (hey! here are long walls! it must be mine! hey! this web have stairs and mobile walls! take them! hey! some trap pieces! they are mine!)

Of course, today I take every single set they release, my only sorrow is that I've only taken 1 of each.

My two cents.

Greetings and welcome, and have patience! I can assure that when you put your hands for the first time even in the most basic DF stuff you are overwhelmed by his quality and beauty. One step and then one step, and then another step... and then when you can, take every new expansion they come out with... they are amazing!!!
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I want my DF Spiderweb Accesories Set!!! ^O^U
 
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