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Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections?
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TOPIC: Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections?
#50912
Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I'm looking for thoughts on how best to make a portion of the game table multi-level (e.g. stacking a section of dungeon over another).

One thought I have would be to cut 1/4" plywood into 2' x 2' squares, and then use pillars on the lower level(s) to support that plywood. (Then place the 2nd level up on that plywood piece.)

My primary concerns are:
1. Will pillars of standard plaster+cement (or Dwarven Forge's pillars, etc.) be strong enough to support the plywood and a level above it?

2. Are standard pillars tall enough? Many figures, and some terrain pieces stick up above a standard DF wall tile. If the pillars aren't tall enough, it would be asking for damage to figures or accessories that stick up.

3. Is 1/4" plywood good enough? Is there a better base material for creating multiple levels (that are larger than 6" x 6" squares - I could just use some of the 6x6 floor tiles I have for something that small).

Another thought I have is to use layers of 2" thick styrofoam (such as for wall insulation) on top of the table surface. Cut those into 2' x 2' squares, and it would allow a GM to build "down" layers easily by simply removing one of those styrofoam pieces (e.g. the table will be covered with perhaps 2 layers of that stuff, so the "default" layer is 4" above the actual table surface, a level down would be 2" above, and 2 levels down would use the table surface).

Thoughts?
kevinrau
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#50916
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I have limited experience here, but this is what I've done (only ever used the basic Room Set and Room + Passage)

I used plywood sheets to sit the second level on top of the first. Because DF pillars rise to the same height as the walls do, it forms a nice standard height.

While you might be concerned about minis fitting underneath, I've found that it is far too cumbersome to try and play with people walking around underneath a level, so anytime combat flows under a second level, I just remove the second level and set it next to the first, off to the side. That's the other advantage of the plywood sheet, to easily move and entire layer.
Maimonides_vii
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#50932
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
www.dwarvenforge.com/forum?func=view&catid=3&id=12957#12963

(Scroll down a bit to see the relevant pics.)

The best solution I have ever seen for multiple (overlapping) levels is in the thread above -- acrylic bases on risers.

They can be stacked on top of each other for lots of levels, or set side by side for larger areas. Relative position between levels is easy to track of. If an upper level has a gap that opens on a lower level, this actually allows you to see what's below.

The height of the risers pictured allows players to reach miniatures on lower levels. If you prefer, you could make them with lower risers (and move an upper level aside when you need access to a lower level) but remember to account for tall DF pieces, miniatures, or accessories.

Oh, and this doesn't put any weight or stress on any of your DF pieces.
jackattack
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#50946
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Multi-levels have been tried before in many old threads such as those two that I believe are DF forum classics:

www.dwarvenforge.com/forum?func=view&catid=3&id=10832

www.dwarvenforge.com/forum?func=view&id=17879&catid=3#17879
biowizard
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#50969
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
The cardboard trays that soda products come in are the correct height, I use them as they can be gotten free very easily. I tape them together for 2 or 3 levels high, recently I used them to create a pyramid map with decending levels starting at 3 high and they worked their way down.
mikeran
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#50985
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Those are some interesting dungeon designs, although when I saw "multi-level," I'm thinking about a "layer" of dungeon placed directly on top of other terrain (ideally oversized pillars). I wasn't thinking of a special case with a foot between each layer. You wouldn't be able to move or touch much of anything under this layer, as it would only be a few inches taller than the one below.

Nice to see something I hadn't thought of before, however!
kevinrau
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#51010
Re:Thoughts on how to "multi-level" dungeon sections? 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
1. The plywood won't just be resting on the pillars, it will also be resting on the walls of the level beneath it. The more distributed the weight, the better. Without knowing how much weight will be resting on how many points of reference, we can't really give you a good answer -- three pounds on twenty pillars is almost certainly fine, but twenty pounds on three pillars probably isn't. If you are only using pillars, stability may also be an issue. I recommend picking up some styrofoam (or that waxy foam they use for plastic flower arrangements) and cutting it into blocks that you can put under (or fixed to the bottom of) the plywood in open spaces in the level below.

2. Standard pillars are tall enough IFF you are only using standard height DF pieces. Items like the double doors, the swinging log trap, super tall HellScape and Ice Cavern stalagmites, and so on are taller than standard pillars.

3. Quarter-inch plywood should be fine, but you could go 3/8 if you have doubts.
jackattack
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Last Edit: 2013/04/17 15:45 By jackattack.
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