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Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice
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TOPIC: Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice
#47049
Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Alright so, for almost two years every few months I would look at the pictures at the dwarven forge site and simply drool and or fantasize. The prices however have always kept me from having any realistic expectation of ever using them.

I am weeks away from beginning a DnD campaign for some friends (most of whom have never played DnD before) And in all honesty I have been doing everything I can in preparation to try and make it the best experience for them so that they want more.

The other day in my local comic store the owner had just purchased a collection of DnD mini's (chests and chests full of them almost all organized) I bought two organized boxes of them for around $150, (in reality it's around a $1000 value) Was a rediculously lucky find, especially considering how close I am to starting this campaign.

I feel like this huge variety of mini;s will add so much more to it, it made me go back to this site again. Now because I really want this to be the best experience ever I am actually sort of contemplating buying some sets.

Last night I had just drawn out a cave dungeon and really a paper drawn map just can't even compare to dwarven forge and I found my self imagining it being the cavern set instead.

I read quite a few posts here on the forums and from my understandng a couple sets only, really don't fill the need, so I am here asking for advice.

Here is my situation, I have a budget of probably $400 (maximum) probably 50% of my campaign will be spent in wilderness settings like caves, forests and the like. So I feel like the cavern sets are probably my best choice at first.

If I wanted to maximize the experience, for cavern esque dungeons, what all should I get (staying inside the budget)

I can imagine it would be difficult to return to paper after words so I plan on (budget withstanding) to buy a new set every second payday or so.
but for now if any colectors could offer the best suggestions (cavern wise) to maximize the experience within budget, that'd be awesome, then maybe some more suggestions for later monthly purchases?

(I do plan on getting into towns and stuff later in the campaign)

Anyways, apologies for the long post, I just really want this first DnD experience to be amazing for them, thanks everyone.
TheEnthusiast
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#47050
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
First, welcome to the forum! We're a big bunch of friendly and resourceful people here!

For most people starting to buy DF products, the "Classic Dungeon Sets" line of products is the most common and possibly versatile. But than, you say your campaign is mostly going to be in caverns and not in dungeons. With a budget of $400, I would say you should go with 2 Cavern Sets and 1 Cavernous Passage Set (for a total slightly higher than your original budget: $437 + shipping). Why? Because the Cavern Set contains the basic building block of a setup and the cavernous passages adds more variety. Another option to save money is to keep lurching on eBay. There is a cavern set for $110 right now with 0 bid on it yet. Be careful though as this is the older set with bow-tie connectors. It matters to me but it might not matter to you!
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#47051
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Welcome, you are almost through the looking glass...

Caverns are great and with your budget I would go with:

2 Cavern sets
1 Cavernous Passage set
And as soon as you can, add:
1 Lake set

Shipping will take a chunk of your $400.00 but it is very well done.

Enjoy!
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#47052
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Thanks for the warm welcome, and the helpful suggestions!

Follow question; for the sets you recomended, none of those come with water tiles, correct?

Would you suggest perhaps waiting till my budget allows another purchase before getting a river or lake set?


edit: ah thebigteacher pretty much answered my question, thanks for the advice :)
TheEnthusiast
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#47053
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Well you don't have to build a huge dungeons right from the start. What I did (and still do) is have a couple of small covered set-ups on the table that are for combat - I typically just describe the rest. Sometimes I even whip out a chessex battlemat.

If most of your events will be in the wilderness you may want to focus on the cavern set (my favorite by far). The most useful set is the classic line (can serve as a dungeon, buildings, crypt, etc...).

For $400 worth of caverns I would go with:

2 Cavern Sets *
1 Cavernous Passage Set***

* This would give you a few big cavernous rooms.

*** This would be optional if you are just setting up rooms for combat encounters and not the entire dungeon (well if you had combat in passages I suppose this would be nice).

Also, since you will be in the wild, you might want to pick up one of these (you can add 1" squares instead of the hexagons):

Hotzmats

I have one and I love it. If you buy some fake trees (or pickup the ones used by railroad hobbyist) and slap a couple of large rocks down it is easy to get a decent forest with interesting terrain for players to hide behind.
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#47056
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Welcome to the addiction.

I agree, if you are going caverns you'll want two Cavern Sets to start.

If you buy a Cavernous Passage Set, you can string your set-ups as the party moves through a cavern system.

IMO, the next sets you want are Cavernous River and Walls, and Cavernous Chasm. These will allow you to expand and detail your cavern set-ups.

Given that there are actually two lake sets -- Cavernous Lake Set and Cavernous Lake Expansion -- I recommend ordering one of each at the same time.

----------

Don't feel (self) pressured to buy too much too quickly so you can assemble huge set-ups. They are photogenic to be sure, but they aren't actually necessary, and the convenience of having the entire set-up done ahead of time is offset by the inconvenience of covering sections the party hasn't seen yet and the lack of space on the table for books and other vital gaming materials.

Besides, changing the set-up for a new chamber is a great chance to call a break for people to stretch their legs, visit the loo, grab a cigarette, or raid the fridge.
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#47057
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Welcome to The Addiction!

I agree with the above but check out the set of small caves in the individual pieces section. Nice addition to a caverns setup. You can stand them up for extra dimension.
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#47058
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Hail and well met TheEnthusiast! Welcome to boards.First my hats off to your planning ahead and really trying to give your D&D group the best possible experience.The people here on the boards are very knowledgable and in fact BioWizard and TheBigTeacher gave you the same answer I was before I could even log in.I would not be nervous at all about purchasing Dwarven Forge Products.Before I bought my first set I used a battle mat,then mapping programs(Dundjinni) after that I built paper dungeons(worldworks games)By the time you spend the money on the Robocutter and all that ink you go through to print it all out not to mention all the time it takes to build a paper city.I found I wasnt saving money,I was spending it anyway for something that is made of paper.Dwarven Forge products will last for generations.From what you said in your post I believe,2 Cavern sets and one Cavernous passage set prevously mentioned is spot on. Just be warned once you buy your first sets you want more!Welcome to the addiction and dont forget to share pictures of your adventure with us.
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#47059
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
First, your game will be great and your players will love it! - just remember the rules are there to guide the game, not to get in the way of having fun :)

Glad you scored some minis! Grab yourself a chessex battle map and some wet-erase markers (I use vis-a-vis) so you can draw out whatever you can't create with your Dwarven Forge.

Just as others have said above, two Cavern sets + one cavernous passage set would be an excellent start. These three sets will allow you to create many different and wonderful encounters for your group! Also, natural quartz crystals and the Mushroom D&D mini (from the Demonweb set) can go a long way to *dressing up* different cavern set-ups.

Next I'd go Rivers and Walls and maybe a Woodlands set would fit with your campaign as well?

Have fun and keep us posted!
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#47060
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
Thanks everyone for the helpful tips.

Looks like I'll be getting the two cavern sets and the cavern passage set, then as soon as I can a rivers and walls, and a lakes set. and as I already know I'll want more I am tempted to get town stuff, then ruins..then everything, I can live on the street and play DnD right?

Anyways I am blown away by how fast and helpful this community is, thanks a lot.

@Harneloot: There were 4 Mushroom dnd mini's in the collection I bought so I'm in luck.

I plan on filming the dnd sessions for youtube as I have previous sessions. One of the main hooks is that timetravel is a big factor. Everything the group does in the beginning (which is essentially untouched land) will reflect the future. another one of the big hooks is I'm DMing two groups, and i'm doing a paralell realities thing, where both groups are essentially doing the same exact campaign, but it'll be fun to see just how different it becomes based on what they do in the past.

I guess you could say it's a chrono trigger meets chrono cross.

Anyways thanks again everyone, I am feeling more confident about getting them.
TheEnthusiast
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#47194
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 8 Months ago  
TheEnthusiast wrote:

I plan on filming the dnd sessions for youtube as I have previous sessions. One of the main hooks is that timetravel is a big factor. Everything the group does in the beginning (which is essentially untouched land) will reflect the future. another one of the big hooks is I'm DMing two groups, and i'm doing a paralell realities thing, where both groups are essentially doing the same exact campaign, but it'll be fun to see just how different it becomes based on what they do in the past.

I guess you could say it's a chrono trigger meets chrono cross.


Let us know how the adventuring goes.
I am keen to see if your dual group sessions works.
Does sound daring and tricky - but so full of potential!
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#47206
Re:Considering buying / Nervous / Need Advice 1 Year, 7 Months ago  
Harneloot wrote:
just remember the rules are there to guide the game, not to get in the way of having fun :)


LOL! Spoken like a true veteran gamer!!

@The Enthusiast: you may also want to eventually get some of the Paizo flipmats. They come in various scenes and take wet, dry, and even permanent markers. It all erases. Using one as the base for select DF pieces can look quite striking.

paizo.com/gameMastery/maps/steelSqwireFlipMats
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