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More gaming or diorama?
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TOPIC: More gaming or diorama?
#27129
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Hello all,

I just bought five sets of Dwarven Forge... long-time admirer, but only recently became able to afford it, and the sale decided it. I ordered Fantasy Starter, Rooms & Passages, Deluxe Room, and two Caverns sets. I'm very impressed with the photos a lot of you have posted, especially with some of the great lighting effects and creativity involved. But I was wondering -- do most of you use your Dwarven Forge for playing D&D (or similar RPG), or do most of you focus on making dioramas and doing the "creative thing" like making mods, sculpting additions, taking pictures, etc.? I guess what I am really asking is -- is Dwarven Forge more about looks than function?
Wyrdsmyth
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#27130
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
I use mine mostly (95% or more of the time) for settings in my home-brew fantasy RPG. I setup a dungeon ahead of time and then cover it up with black construction paper, room by room, and corridor by corridor. This way I can "reveal" each section as the Players move their Character minis forward into the dungeon.

The pieces are really versatile and you can get a lot of use out of them if you play in "3-D" mode like we do (using actual miniatures, terrain, and other scenery bits). If you're a "grid purist" (must have a gridded floor in order to conduct combat), some of the corridor pieces and cavern pieces aren't well suited for combat (half squares up against corridor walls, for example). However, if you're not anal retentive about having your figures *exactly* in a square, the sets (all of them) can be great for placement of minis during movement and combat.

Even with the Traps sets I've found that my Players really like having the visual component in front of them. The fact that the Traps actually work simply adds another element of coolness to the game, so yes--they are highly functional and not just eye candy.

I also use the pieces for dioramas / photo shoots of minis that I've painted, and I also did an online "graphic novel" of sorts using DF pieces. That only accounts for a small percentage of my use of the pieces however.
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#27131
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Hello Wyrdsmyth,

First off welcome aboard. It is always good to see a new addict, erhh I mean collector. I use mine weekly for games. It is a GREAT prop and most people like it. We have evan gotten into visibility for the dank, dark caverns by cutting a hole in teh construction paper and just at the right height you can "see" what 30, 60, or whatever visibility would give you. This stuff just rocks. I hope you enjoy it.

-Shadox
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We Search our whole life never finding what we were searching for...
Over 143 Sets (Expanding), 300+ Loose Pieces (Expanding), 11,000 plastic figures (Expanding), 1,000 metal figures (350 actually painted)
 
#27132
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
I am solidly in the "gaming accessory" camp, although that does allow for playing around with various set-ups to make the best possible layout for gaming purposes.

I don't mod, but that's because I have zero practical ability along those lines.

I do, however, frequently suggest mods, new pieces, and potential new sets here on the forum.
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#27133
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Definitely gaming... I use this stuff every two weeks with my gaming group.

I plan out ahead of time what I will need and put the boxes/pieces by my chair. In any case I always have a room and passge set and cavernous set next to me for those "unplanned" encounters (i.e. "I dont care if he is the high priest of Holy Goodness... I smell exp chunks and that glowing crown looks sweet..."
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#27134
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Hi Wyrdsmyth,

I use my DF 100% for D&D, I find it to be the most funtional product out there. If you like visual gaming you can't beat it and the players love it too. It brings a whole new dynamic to the 'pen and paper' game. I'm pretty sure that you'll be buying more. That's my 2 cents....
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#27135
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
"I dont care if he is the high priest of Holy Goodness... I smell exp chunks and that glowing crown looks sweet..."
Hey, i didn't know you played with my group ;)

My group once killed and robbed a preist who they had just hired to cast raise dead on a fallen party member... savages, i tell you.
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#27136
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Wyrdsmyth;

First of all, and most important, WELCOME to our shared insanity! We're a weird bunch, but all in all, a friendly one! Most of the crew here will agree that I'M probably the nastiest one of the bunch; most opinionated, one-way, and fractious member still here. So if I welcome you, you can pretty well assume you're warmly accepted.
As far as WHAT we do with the DF goodies, well, you name it, SOMEOME here has done it, if it can be done.
Straight gaming, customizing (that's frequently me - I've been known to chop them to pieces, then glue the pieces back together in STRANGE ways, repaints, dioramas, photo backdrops, etc. We all have fun with the stuff, though, and THAT'S the most important part.
One thing I will stress is this; find the genre that most fits your style and grab as much of it as you can afford, whenever you can afford to grab it! Fantasy Dungeon, Cavern, Medieval Building, Den of Evil, Sci-Fi - they all hit on different bases, although there IS some overlap, of course. Some sets are limited editions, such as the Den of Evil; when they're gone, they are GONE - you either find someone who has left the hobby, or resign yourself to not having that set. There are some sets that occasionally pop up on eBay - at, shall we say, "Different" prices. Supply and demand really holds true on eBay, that's for sure. Also, Caveat Emptor over there. If you see something there you want, come HERE FIRST and ask around; most of us have dealt on eBay aseither buyers or sellers, and will give an honest opinion of sellers there. Otherworld and yansolo are reputable; I actually don't KNOW any of the others there (unless Thod is selling there now - he's cool, too), but other regulars here do, I'm sure. Another one is TDragon (I think!), he sells Sci-Fi accessories for DF; they will include floor and wall pieces that look EXACTLY like the actual DF Sci-Fi pieces. That's because they ARE; he designed the DF parts! He's cool, too. I know but can't divulge without authorization his real name - and can't remember his dealer name!!
Anyway, enjoy the hobby, don't spend all your money the first month, and plan ahead for where you want to focus - or you'll wind up like I did, with more DF than you know what to do with, and almost get out of the hobby in frustration, like I almost did (until I stepped back and caught my breath). I don't use all of my DF now (but I'm NOT letting it go!!), but I still have plans, and I still have fun. I just design smaller dungeons to get killed in - or kill my friends' characters in.
WHEE!

See ya!
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#27137
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
I use mine for Both.

When i was running a Star Wars d20 game i used the Sci-fi, Caverns, DoE and even a few "fantasy" sets in various combinations weekly for the areas the PC's were running through. However when the game ended and our group went back to D&D i took all of the Sci-Fi home and have been using it for "dioramas" at home.

The Cavernous, DoE, and MBS are still at the place we game at and when ever the adventures can use them i do. However for the most part the Adventure i was running (the Savage Tide Adventure Path from the Dungeon) did not always have things that worked every week. But for the most part those sets got used about every other week for the game i was DMing. The other game we played in it got used about every other week as well.

For the end of the STAP arc we were on, i used a combo of Cavernous, lake, and Tony Griffon Studio's (jkratzer was off it's not TDragon it's a TGriffon ;) ) Alien Hive: walls and floors. For good mix and match to get a good feel for a living Abolith City. Tony as jkratzer mentioned is a well known sculptor in the Minis Terrain area, having done a lot of work for Armorcast, and some for DF. He has been recently working on his own lines. some GREAT Sci-fi Accesories, and a whole line of "Alien stuff" i like. Yes it sounds like i am shilling for him, and in a way i am, i like what he makes there aren't alot of people who make Sci-Fi accessories so i support those that do and i like. That's Tony Griffon Studios on ebay, there are a few more out there, but you are mentioning D&D so i won't bore you with Sci-Fi.

However i am not DMing currently so the Thursday game has just been using the classic Chessex mat. In my mind it's kind of boring for combat but then the current Thursday game is now more RP and there is little combat anyway, so it's all good. The Tuesday game with a different DM still uses DF for the most part.

I have been Soooo trying to get a Big Skirmish for either SW or D&D Minis going on DF one of these days, but i'm having problems getting people to play with on the normal maps, let alone finding the time to bring down a good selection of DF to run on....

So I play and use them for diorama's both, I do a bit of customizing, or scratch buidling, though in the customizing area i can't bring myself to jkratzer's level and chop stuff up....

As to your "question", the look is in my mind the function of the items.
You can play D&D or any other game on a plane grid, or even with out it, (we did for close to 15 years with no minis) but then 3.X came in and minis and grids became really use full. I was a bit lucky in that the place i started playing 3.0 in had this old magnetic system with 2x2 walls, that stuck to a metal grid base. It got me really into the 3D aspect and i looked at DF for a long time but just couldn't sink any real money into it untill they made the Sci-Fi sets. While i have played D&D since 1980, Star Wars and Sci-Fi have always been a favorite over pure fantasy (i like my Fantasy with a bit of Sci-Fi in it or maybe it's the other way around). But anyway Sci-Fi made me take the big plunge. I had over time gotten a few of the tables, chairs etc for use on the Chessex mat of old for things like cover and charge blocking etc, even bought a bunch of the MK 3D dungeons, but none of them were as NEATO COOL as DF, and when they announced Sci-Fi i started saving and haven't looked back since....
To me if you are going to have the minis, have things that effect movement etc in the rules set, why not represent them some how? Sure you can do it on a mat with Vis-a-Vis markers, but so often there is just an empty room with no detail with the Chessex mats, why i got the DF tables and beds, etc. I could put a table, chair, bed etc in there and the room became alive, instead of an empty 10x10 room. The bed or table told you something about the room, it gave not only a visual clue. It made encounters on the Chessex mat so much more interesting. PC's took cover behind objects, or pushed them out of the way, etc. For me it was just the next logical step to go for the walls floors etc to increase the look.
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).
 
#27138
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Wyrdsmyth

In regard to gaming vs diorama, sratch work and novel uses - I do both. Actually for the first 3 years I only used DF for gaming. But if you look at my postings, you will primarily see the latter uses. There is a very good reason for that - you either game or you make photographs. Personally I find it very difficult to do photographs while playing. I enter the board with good intentions, have my camera ready, leave the table after 4 exiting hours - quickly pack up the stuff to make space for the breakfast next morning - only to realise next day that in 4 hours I managed to do some paltry 3 photos.

On the other hand - whenever I build something new to show here be sure I will generate several pictures to get comments.

Not sure how other people are doing it - but this is my personal reason why you find primarily dioramas and scratchbuild.

Thod
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#27139
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
I'll agree to Thods Comments about it being hard to take photos in game. I have on many occasions brought my camera to take pictures with and by the end of the night have taken nones.

I had to make an effort of it in the SW games, and even then what genrally happened was at the end of the night i would just move some of the PC's minis back to positions they were in during interesting encounters or at specific moments in the adventure i wanted to capture or what not. To get the whole night covered. But it was done in 15 minutes after the 4 hour session.
It is as the GM much to distracting and time consuming to take pictures during the actual game.
while i have three pretty long threads from the whole Campiang up, most all of the pictures were taken either at the end of the night, or the end of the encounter (if it was a quick set up for a room or small area that was getting taken down for another section). Breaks up the flow to much, espically if you are taking up to 3 pictures of the same scence to try different lighting or depth of field etc. It's much easier do do it afterward.

And the Diorama's since they are typical set up for a longer time and it's purpose is to look good, you can spend a lot of time getting good lighting, angles etc to capture what you want.

We used the DF in the STAP for more than 1/2 if it but u have only a few pictures becuase as the DM my mind is esle where. now that i am not the DM i might try to grab some pics of the other guys set ups.
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).
 
#27140
More gaming or diorama? 7 Years ago  
Good question...Sounds like I'm in a similar situation, I Just discovered DF in Sept. I was initially interested in DF for their use in Dioramas; as I have a china cabinet full of different scenes.

Now I have recently started a new D&D campaign after almost a decade off(1st & 2nd edition rules). I plan on incorporating DF pieces into my D&D gaming, but I'm waiting on the ideal dungeon adventure to pull this off... it will be a new approach for my group, So I want to make sure it's a smooth and comfortable transition...Suggestions?
Djtherapy
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