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WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies
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TOPIC: WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies
#15322
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Portions originally posted in "If there is a Waterous WA set would you consider including?" in the Fantasy Master Maze Products forum.


Most of us have (access to) a computer, and almost all computers have various simple art programs, including Paint and the "draw" tools in Word. Some of us already use these features (or even captured images, although there are copyright issues there) to create counters for private use. But printing images on transparency film (available at your local office supply store) can greatly enhance our Dwarven Forge floor tiles. As long as the background behind the image is white, the printer will leave the background clear and the transparency transparent.

The first thing you can do is create, print, and cut out map icons to indicate features and hazards that are not available in standard DF products. This can be anything from a triangle to indicate a sloping hallway, to randomly placed text characters that tell the GM which tiles trigger the traps in the room (any set of three characters with a "D" in them is a pressure plate, unless there is also an "X" or an "F").

You can also create environments that are not (yet?) available as DF products. Marsh/swamp in green and brown, lava in orange and red, ice in pale blues, jungle vines in green, elvish writing in yellow or gold, and so on. Printing on transparency is also a decent way to create a grid overlay to put down on water tiles, for those who have large setups and/or want to keep track of movement on water.

Alternatively, you could also try painting and flocking on clear transparency, or even on thin plexiglass (available at your FLHS) to create the desired effect. Just remember that you'll be putting miniatures on top of it, so keep the surface as firm and flat as possible.

Does anybody else have ideas (or experience) about using transparencies with DF? Does anyone know of any products that already do this, or might make this easier to do?
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#15323
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
I have used Transparencies with DF, but not in the way you are mentioning.
But there is somehting i was going to try more along those lines you mention... just haven't gotten around to it yet, i bought most of the stuff this weekend, just haven't done it.

goes and hunts up pictures...



I forget who it was, but some one had put some plexiglass in between the walls as a Wall of Force in a set up, i really liked the idea and wanted to do something similar in my game, but instead of Walls of Force, a Force Field.
There is a company (the owner was recently posting here) called World Works Games, that is a card stock terrain company and they do a lot with transperinces, one of the things they do is, have a line of slide in Force Fileds for a hallway secruity check point. I had a bunch of those printed off, since they were about 2.5 inchs they slide nicely between passage sections and instant thin Force Fields. With out a lot of bother.

You could do the same type of thing with Fire, Ice, or Water effects to get Walls of Fire, etc i am thinking.
To make walls of fire etc within a passage.
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#15324
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
GS -

Actually, YOU inspired ME (with your pics above!) to try the plexiglass force-field trick. I used 1/4" plex and airbrushed the vertical and top edges red with Testor's Model Masters Acryl Clear Red, fogging it out toward the center.
It gave a wonderful force-field wall to block off one branch of a Sci-Fi "+" intersection.
Your mylar-based films were what suggested the idea to me; I don't remember if you mentioned the source in the other article or not.

Anyway, jack, GS has some great ideas, and as the pics show, some great results from using the WWG materials. Once I get the Temple DVDs burned (I did the first revised version last night - 9 more to go!), I'll try to remember to get some pics for the Cool Photos forum above.

See ya!

Jim
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#15325
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Ah i found out who should get the first credit, stoat.
It was in the Trident dungeon, www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=936
His was the one that first gave the idea, at least to me. I was going to try some plexi glass i had about, but time constrants made me go with the WWG stuff, and i think it worked great.

They have i think about 3 differnt transperinces the orange grid, the blue lines, and a more wavy blue line effect. And that is just for the "force fields" they have a containment fields and tanks that have 3-4 differnt paterns. and other scenery elements. I have to say they use them for intersting effects like windows as well.

I am sure you could grab a number of designs off the web and try them, and get much the same result, but if you are interested in these specifc ones they are from the FirstLight:Retro fit set. It has some other intersting scenery elements as well.
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#15326
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Oh.. this really boils my kettle! I was all setup to embark on a project of creating some templates printed on transparencies and the printer my father-in-law gave me wouldn't work on my machine! Now I'm a 12+ year veteran techie with certifications and I still spent TWO AND A HALF DAYS on the phone with tech support until even they finally just said, "I'm sorry. We just don't know what else to do."

At any rate, here are some more ideas for clear templates...

1.) "Cone" shaped templates (much similiar to the ones GW uses in Warhammer) for poisonous gas, cloud-type spells (Wall of Fog, etc.), fire templates

These work great for area-of-effect type spells and can be laid down inside of the DF pieces with a little bit of ingenuity and good design.

For those of you who are Über Geeks (TM) like me, or if you're just plain lazy, check out the Gale Force 9 website http://www.gf9.com for some really cool templates. If you go--be SURE to check out those fire templates they just released recently. Someone else here bought them and posted some pics of them in use in their DF setup. I had them on my radar to purchase but that sealed the deal for me. They look really, really cool in a DF dungeon setting.
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#15327
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
Dante -

Nice thing about the overhead transparencies would be that if you are casting Wall of Fog or some similar spell in a narrow space, the overheads will curl up to fit the space.
Let's see a GW fire template do THAT!
One thing I've often wondered about with area-effect spells like that; if you cast a spell that gives a 45-degree cone-of-fire type effect in a narrow space such as a cavernous passage, would the walls focus the effect, giving it a longer range, or would they retard it, reducing the range?
How about a little discussion here on that one? Hmm?

See ya!

Jim
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#15328
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
In my sage opinion... ::chuckle:: I think that the range would still be limited to the spell caster's level and ability (5' or 10' per level, etc.). I think you'd lose the rest of the area because of the natural barriers. Although... if you were clever about the way you ran the game, you could always use "DM's discretion" (I LOVE that "rule"!) to say that the spell (since it is magical) could penetrate the barriers, thereby affecting any other creatures on the other sides of the barriers--or, alternatively, the area immediately between the barriers could be declared to be twice as potent because of the concentration of the spell there... dat's my .02 cents.
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#15329
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
I've used transparencies for years for a number of things.

If you have a template you really like to use made by someone else just use permanent markers as opposed to putting it on computer. I have some older GW blast templates that I just traced the outline too, colored them in and cut them out.

Now that I have a scanner and laser printer I would scan/print. But for those without the capability a $15 pack of transprancies and a $15 set of 12 permanent colored markers works just fine also.
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#15330
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
One of the things i think would be cool is something like what WWG does in the Retrofit, and kind of like those wire templates. WWG has a Box out of transcprinces to give a 3D effect, that makes a Tactical battle grid type table, that could work cool for a cloud effect, leave it open on the bottom, and it can drop over the area it effects like the wire grids, but in 3D :)
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#15331
WORKBENCH: Printed Transparencies 8 Years, 5 Months ago  
One thing I've often wondered about with area-effect spells like that; if you cast a spell that gives a 45-degree cone-of-fire type effect in a narrow space such as a cavernous passage, would the walls focus the effect, giving it a longer range, or would they retard it, reducing the range?
Important Note: I am neither a physicist nor a firefighter.

But: The effect of an enclosed space depends on the nature of the fire. Is it magical, liquid-fed, or gas-fed?

Magical fire is, well, magical. It might ignore barriers altogether, springing up on the opposite side of an intervening stone wall in the area specified by the spell effect. Or, if the barrier does prevent fire from appearing in a portion of the area of effect, the fire is simply lost and does not "reinforce" areas where the fire does appear.

Liquid-fed fire (as from a flamethrower set on "stream"), would be constrained by an enclosed area; without an outlet for the liquid, it would pool -- this can lead either to a more intense flame effect, or it could increase the duration of the fire effect (since only the surface of a volume of liquid can burn).

Gas-fed (gas the non-solid non-liquid state of matter, not gasoline) fire will expand to fill the area in which it is released and/or constrained, following the supply of oxygen and yielding to increased pressure created by heat expansion. An excess of gas in a constrained space might also "pool", but it would pool at the ceiling instead of the floor. Because the entire volume of gas exposed burns at once, "stacking" gas might make for a more intense flame effect, but it is unlikely that it would increase the duration.

The key to the second two types of fire ("real" fire, for lack of a better term) is the rate of expansion available to the liquid or gas. The tighter the passageway, the less fuel can move through it. The equation I just deleted got WAY too complicated to be worthwhile, so try this instead:

* Count the number of hexes or grids that the effect COULDN'T reach, due to obstacles or solid objects already occupying the area intended (like columns or big statues or even large monsters).
* Allow the effect to expand into the areas it would be channeled by the space available (down passageways, through doors, up chimneys, down pits, etc.). DON'T allow any expansion of the effect to go more than a predetermined number of hexes/grids beyond the intended area -- you might decide that a fireball can only expand (Caster Level divided by five) squares, or (damage dice divided by three) hexes, or you might just settle on the number 3 for every instance.
* If you have any hexes or grids "left over", add that number to the amount of damage the spell does to the original area of effect. (If the spell does 10d6 to everything in the area of effect, and after your expansion you have six "points" left over, then the spell does 10d6+6 to everything in the INTENDED area, and 10d6 to everything in the EXPANDED area.) If you decide that you are dealing with a liquid-fed fire, then you might decide that the left-over hexes/grids will still be a portion of the original/intended area that will continue burning into the next action/round/phase/turn/increment.

Directed fire, like a line or cone area, should expand toward the caster LAST -- a GM might also decide that the effect can only expand half as far in the direction from which it was originally directed (giving your wizard or flamethrower operator a small break). A fireball should expand in all directions equally.

This is, of course, just a quick-and-dirty mechanic off the top of my head.
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