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Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS
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TOPIC: Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS
#23460
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
OK, I'll probably add more to this later, when I've had more chance to think. But for now, here are some brief remarks about the two new DF sets.

Den of Evil Room Set

Now, THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! Stefan has made a deliberate decision in the DoE expansion sets to give us elaborately unique building elements, which some people are gonna like and others aren't. You won't be able to use the pieces in this (or the first DoE expansion, for that matter) to make a regular ol' DoE room, but bigger. The big floor piece has a massive glyph in the middle of it, and the big wall pieces have even more ornate decorations. If you want normal DoE rooms, you'll have to set about gettin' 'em the old fashioned way. The big DoE chambers are gonna have CHARACTER.

The specifics:

The decor on the big piece is just as stunning as we could hope. Really sharp colors, imaginative creepy otherworldly vibe, just striking stuff. IMHO, probably the most impressive "extra" the DoE has yet seen.

The book -- wow, I really thought that it was gonna be the book from the Treasure and Magic Items set, but in red. This is a whole different book. Front cover, different; spine, different. Very nice. Yes, there's a bit of Necronomicon in it. How could there not be? And, hey, turn it upside down and you have a sweet little romance book for your sweetie.

The flaming pots -- whoa! Much bigger than I expected. That is some huge fire! Wonderful little treat.

The only small reservation I have about this set --- the new floor pieces aren't as distinct as they might be. They might grow on me, but they didn't leap out at me the way the rest of the set did. That doesn't make them bad, or diminish the impression made by the set as a whole. It just means that the new "tentacles bursting through" floors are really, for all intents and purposes, pretty much just standard DoE floors. Which, to be fair, are pretty cool in their own right. I'm gonna probably make a starfield on some of my new floor pieces, just because it's fun and I really, really dig that motif.


MBS Expansion set:

This is just an amazingly cool set. Break it down:

The candles are absolutely amazing. This is one of those classic "looks so much better in person than in photos" moments. They just blew me away.

The stairs-in-the-floor piece is great. The cover fits on top, but doesn't attach -- the stairs are very well done.

The free-standing, two-piece staircase is excellent. Extremely detailed, very useful piece.

The fireplace is really great, and it even has a cool decorative tapestry on the back! Very nice.

The columns -- I can understand why people wanted wooden beams, but these really do look great. They'll be great in the regular dungeon setups, too. They really do work well.

Large floor pieces -- basic, useful stuff. Not flashy, but a great way to save time on large setups.

The beds -- neat. A little cooler than I expected them to be, they are more elaborately detailed than I'd thought.

But probably the best, my absolute favorite parts of the set -- the railings, and the shutters. I am not sure why the shutters were exclusive promo items not available to the non-pre-ordering public. They are outrageously neat. More detailed than I expected, they look PERFECT in the windows, fit perfectly, just amazingly neat. I only ordered one set, so I only have four, and I can't quite justify getting a whole other set just for another set of shutters. I'll have to live with just four. But I would love to see something like this added to the regular line -- maybe part of a "City Streets" accessory pack, one that includes things like signposts and so forth.

The railings, meanwhile, are just wonderful. Tiny, and they sure look fragile, they work very well to set off areas within the MBS, and giving us four is just the right amount. Any less, and you'd really be limited in what you can do -- any more, and you'd quickly rack up superfluous railings if you planned on getting this set several times. The ratio of parts in this set is very well thought-out.

Finally, the Most Unexpectedly Cool item, the diagonal walls. I have never been super-crazy about diagonal walls, myself. The SF walls were neat, you could come up with neat, narrow passages with them -- but for the regular dungeon or DoE they just seemed like somewhat less useful corner pieces. Even with the floor fillers, it just seemed like a little extra work for a detail that never really seemed to MATTER. I can't really see a room that NEEDS to have diagonal walls in it, so I never found myself really frustrated without them. However, that said, the way an MBS building looks with a more octagonal shape is pretty cool. It does provide some new possibilities for building -- I only wish I had more diagonal dungeon floors, because I would REALLY want to use more of these in my townships, and I'd really need more dungeon floors to do that.

I may have more points to add later, but that's it for my initial thoughts. Watch for pictures starting soon, I am going to have some FUN with this stuff....!

L
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#23461
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, L. Nice write up -- I hope my sets are coming tomorrow!

Thanks for taking the time with this.

~Cheers
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#23462
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
I have to agree that the shutters were awesome, and I'd be happy to see them offered as regular items. I got two MBS-E sets, and wish I could have afforded a third.

Today I'll finally get to OPEN my Den of Evil Room Set. I had to run my game last night, which let me use the Cavernous Passages set again. Let's just say that fiendish dire toads make life interesting for desert halflings - GULP!!!

I love this stuff!

:D
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#23463
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
A few more small points to add:

The two-piece stairs are really well done. The top of the stairs are a different color from the sides -- slightly more red in tone. And there's also, as we've seen before, a distinct fade down the center, suggesting the wear of many pairs of feet walking down these stairs.

The floorpiece stairs, I have a few small reservations about, some fixable, others not. The trap door itself features a very exaggerated woodgrain texture -- the lines are so far apart, it looks extremely different from the rest of the wood. Maybe more lines would have made it look cluttered, but this way, it looks a little less "natural," less like wood, because it doesn't match the rest of the wood pieces. It isn't BAD, really, just different. Also, the hinges on the floor, while they work wonderfully with the door, look a little odd when the door is removed. It's a shame you can't just use this piece without the door, as a straightforward stair piece. You can, of course, but there are those little hinges on the floor. It's not exactly a huge problem, but it's something I wanted to mention. Then, and this one is easily fixed, the woodgrain on the stairs actually fills the whole "pit," and it's all painted. In other words, looking closely, it's clear that these stairs don't go anywhere. In fact, they aren't stairs so much as a very shallow hole in the floor. It isn't obvious -- I didn't notice until I looked closely -- but at the same time, it isn't quite what it could be. The wood fills the whole pit, rather than having a portion of the pit with a smooth texture painted black. But I'll take some black paint to it, which will hopefully mask the woodgrain texture sufficiently, so it looks more like stairs going down into darkness, and less like an oddly shaped wooden box that's been opened in the floor.

The large DoE wall is painted with a metallic paint, which Stefan had mentioned before. But it didn't really show up in the pictures - this stuff really glistens like gold or copper. It's highly reflective, very polished stuff. Cool.

The new MBS doorway -- we need something like this for dungeons. Technically we could use THESE in dungeons, despite the small wooden footprint at the base. Actually, they'd work pretty well in dungeon setups, I may have to snap a pic or five to show that off. Still, I'd want ones officially designed for the dungeons. This really is the most commonly needed doorway, for whenever you want a door at the corner of a room and don't have a floorpiece to spare.

Finally -- for future MBS expansions -- the big floor, columns, and stairs all make it tempting to stack. But we don't have long walls -- that means that any second floor will require a LOT of support for walls and corners, and will eat up those elements in large quantities. I'd love to see long walls in a future set so we can make a second floor in boom, boom, boom, five minutes. Plus, those big pieces make the second floor a lot more stable -- minor inconsistencies in height and texture mean that if you use a lot of smaller elements to make your second floor, you're going to end up with a wobbly, messy looking second floor. If you use just a few very large pieces, it will look a lot better.

L
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#23464
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Oh! And the shutters!

The shutters are very cool, as I said, and I think I prefer them closed to open. When closed, they look about PERFECT. When open, however, you have the very large, out of scale hooks for the locking bar, and they don't convey as neat an impression.

On the plus side, the shutters also provide a very neat sill for the window, so they really do add a great deal to the appearance of the windows on the outside. Very neat. But I'm probably never going to open them. (I also, for the record, never used the "not lit" torches from my deluxe room set...)

L
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#23465
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
They had me at "Free Shutters".

I got my Medieval building & expansion set yesterday which ruled because now I have the whole long weekend to play with it!!

Love the whole thing! I wasn't originally crazy about the diagonal walls but they add visual interest. The set is HUGE and awesome! Only thing I worry about is that I can see myself losing the latch that holds the shutters shut.

I made myself a bar for my minis, finally my minis will have a place to hit on swarthy adventurers! LOL.

Can't wait until the tavern set we all saw a sneak preview of for Summer!!!

PS - For those of you whom want a sign for your bar Confrontation makes a nice set of signs including a tavern sign... (I'm sure you all prolly knew that though...)
The Sue
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#23466
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Hi Sue! Welcome!

Yes, those signs are super great -- thanks for pointing them out, though we did recently have a chat about them in some other thread. I put some of them in various pics in the Cool Photos thread with "Rackham signs" in the heading -- check it out here: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1987

I'm going back to my cool DF stuff now....

L
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#23467
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
I do think that the flames for the Den of Evil Room Set should have had the colors reversed. The flames are cast with clear plastic (like WotC is doing lately), orange at the bottom, ranging through yellow to white at the tips. The only problem is that flame is hottest at the base (white), and gets less bright (orange) near the end.

Honestly, it's not a huge thing, but I'd suggest for any future castings to reverse that.

The flames, being a separate piece from the bowl, can also be used for a flaming sphere spell. That's handy if you haven't already sculpted one like I did a few years back.

I do like how some of the walls and corners in the DoE Room Set have the starry sky effect instead of bricks. Cult of Starry Wisdom, eh?
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#23468
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Hi Sue! Welcome!

Yes, those signs are super great -- thanks for pointing them out, though we did recently have a chat about them in some other thread. I put some of them in various pics in the Cool Photos thread with "Rackham signs" in the heading -- check it out here: www.dwarvenforge.com/dwarvenforums/viewtopic.php?id=1987

I'm going back to my cool DF stuff now....

L

Wow those pix are awesome! I'm definately going to have to paint up those signs now... And I would just like to say the rat is adorable on the barrel, which I had previously not thought of getting b/c I have so many accessories already! I am jealous of your collection!

And thanks for the welcome! ^.^
The Sue
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#23469
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Hee hee -- thanks for the kind words! That rat is from, oddly enough, a completely different thing. 1:32 scale metal pirate figures from a place called Conte Collectibles. Conte makes a pirate gun crew that comes with several pirates, a cannon, some barrels, etc. This is one of those accessories. PERFECT for MBS.

Anyhoo, I'm coming to love these railing pieces -- they are just so freaking USEFUL. I was experimenting around and came up with a great two-level guildhall, with a balcony for performances and a living quarter space upstairs as well. It looks VERY cool. As soon as I can, I'll post some pics. It's one of my favorite MBS layouts (of the ones I've done, that is).

Sometimes, the best feature of DF is what it does when you just improvise. You just slap some stuff down as a basic setup, then you tinker and you move and you put something over here, and you switch a corner for a wall and then hey presto! You have just something really amazing.

L
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#23470
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
I got my new Den of Evil sets and love the fire cauldrons. I'm thrilled about the new MBS addition. I got three of that set and am very happy I did because it got the window shutters. I like the stairs, fireplace and trapdoor, but my most favorite pieces are the beds. I am excited to have six beds from the three sets, but I still look forward to getting more beds from the Tavern/Inn set that is supposed to come out later this year. The beds have nice quality with the bedsheets made with great texture well painted. The floor bed mats from the Dungeon Accessories were great to use for monsters sleeping in the dungeon, but I'm a very glad to now have actual beds to use for rooms occupied by more civilized folks, whether good or villanous.
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#23471
Quick thoughts on MBSE and DoE RS 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
I agree -- I almost never use the straw beds. They do make sense, and they are far more appropriate for what was available from DF at the time (i.e. basic dungeon sets). But proper beds a welcome addition.

I really expected them to be like the Grendel beds, which is to say, solid pieces. The fact that they are actual bedframes, with the blankets hanging off the edges, is a really nice touch. It means you can hide things under the beds, for one thing! Chests, gems, weapons... fun!

L
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