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Out of the Maze, into the Mine
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TOPIC: Out of the Maze, into the Mine
#62151
Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
So, I pulled myself away from Kickstarter-watching this weekend long enough to run another adventure session with my group. This was a follow-up to the puzzle maze they went through a few weeks back. Having found their way out the far side, they found themselves in a small vegetated cavern-rift, former home of the (long dead) wizard who originally oversaw the maze. Beyond this was another section of the long-lost underground empire they're exploring; in this case, the flooded approaches to an ancient mine currently inhabited by a malevolent elemental earth creature. We wound up our session before they actually got to confront the elemental, but they encountered a bunch of other beasties along the way, most notably two warring factions of underground tribes akin to kobolds and gnolls.

I'll put a caveat here that I know the exterior of my setup isn't all it should be; I ran out of time and pieces (pretty much full use of 5 sets of Game Tiles, plus a few more (still unpainted) sets I borrowed from my brother. So, theater-set-style, I focused on the interior of the layout, what the characters can actually see. I wanted to play around a bit with a multi-level design, and also to integrate a few of the jungle foliage elements I've been working on lately. I think it made for a pretty fun setup.

A couple notes: The little rooms off to the side represent the interiors of some of the multi-level buildings; and the big long corridor that traverses the flooded area rotates around a central pivot (that is, if a character figures out how to interact with the command statue in the chamber below) to connect different sections of the layout. Finally, the open rift area, where the game mat is, should rightfully be built with DF caverns; something the current Kickstarter campaign will eventually fix!








GriffinTamer
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#62152
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
I love the doors and entrance. Will be backing your kickstarter when you run it. How did you do the water effect?
thomast22
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Is life so dear,or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it,Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death
 
#62155
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Thanks Thomast22!

For the water, I used a texture I downloaded from a Google image search for "marsh texture," which I printed up multiple times and placed under sheets of plexiglass marked out in 1" squares with a sharpie on the underside. The plexiglass protects the paper and gives it a nice sense of depth and a bit of a shine. The texture I used initially looked to me like a green, weedy pool, but in the game setting it looks great for any sort of dark and dubious underwater area.
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#62193
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Sehr fantastische!

I love the water effect, very clever and really looks amazing. I have to admit, as much as I LOVE the DF water pieces, and as much detail as Stefan was able to pack into them, it IS always nice to see something new come alone like this. The change is refreshing. And I really like the colors and general "depth of field" you get with this technique. It just looks very different and very cool. Plus, with these great long shots, you get such a colorful image and such a great contrast with the stone walkway and stone walls against this luminescent turquoise. It's stunning.

In some ways I think it could be neat if Stefan made -- either for KS or the resin sets -- a series of floors, kinda like the ruins floors, that ended just broken away. As much as I normally avoid "mixed media" layouts (i.e. putting printed cardstock accessories in with resin, using cardstock walls or floors with DF), I do think that a printed "floor" mat placed under the DF could work really well. You could always use the regular floor pieces if you wanted a sudden "drop," for doing, say, a sewer (with a water mat) or a sudden chasm (with a black mat). But you could also use broken or uneven/"organic" cavern floors to suggest a natural segue into water, or lava, or whatever. People have done it before and posted pics, and it does work really well. Hmm....
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#62196
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Going to get some plexiglass sheets. Great idea. can do water, lava, and grass.
thomast22
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#62198
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Thanks Law!

At the start of the current Kickstarter Stefan & Jeff actually leaked a picture with what looked like irregular pool / chasm edge pieces (among other things), so I'm really hoping we'll get some of those before it's finished. As you say, those would be terrific for this sort of thing. To date I've mostly used this technique for flooded corridors, etc. where the edges are regular.

I got the idea for the plexiglass + printed textures elsewhere on this forum, courtesy of biowizard. He apparently made a bunch of large sheets of matte board type stuff covered with seamlessly matched up textures to allow him to create water, lava, etc. areas, which I think is a great idea. The way I did it, with small sheets under the plexiglass, you have a lot of flexibility but frankly it's fairly time consuming to get it all laid out right because the sheets tend to move around on you as you lay 'em out.

There are definitely some nice lava textures available on the web, as well as stone, waves, grass, etc.
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#62199
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Btw, Law, I saw some of your lizard man / jungle realm set ups from a while back in pics on the forum here... fantastic! That was part of the inspiration that got me going on creating jungle elements. I'm hoping to run an adventure set in a full-out jungle area relatively soon...
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#62217
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Seems like cutting plexiglass for each shaped area would get annoying to me over time, but plexi tiles with various texture squares to adhere to the bottom seems about my speed.

Time to try the simplified tile version for myself, I think.

I'll probably start just by getting some sheet clear acrylic cut down into 2" squares at Home Depot if I can find some of good thickness, but eventually something like hammered iridized glass might be a (more fragile but) cooler looking option for some effects.
Lork
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#62218
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Just occurred to me that I can do triangles and potentially even curves as well using the curved and wedge floor pieces from the original dungeons KS, although the curve may take more precise cutting that I can expect from the "Home Despot"...
Lork
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#62229
Re:Out of the Maze, into the Mine 5 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Lork, what I'd suggest is just using one or more larger pieces of plexiglass, placing your printed water / lava / whatever image underneath, and then put your game tiles on top of it all. That way you can leave whatever size opening you want between the tiles and the water, etc. will show through; no need to cut the plexiglass to fit.

At least, that's what I do and what others I've seen have done. It's easier and it doesn't limit what you can do in the future with your plexi pieces by making them too specific. 1/8" plexiglass is thin enough you can transition from areas where it's under the tiles and areas where it isn't without really noticing.
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