Monday, April 24, 2023

T is for Terrain

Terrain is the area where you play your tabletop game, representing the environment where the characters are located. In a wargame like Warhammer, this could be a large battlefield, in Dungeons & Dragons this could be an elaborate dungeon or castle. Really anything is a possibility.

Some people use simple grid maps with 1-inch squares, providing a quick simple reference for scale. Obstacles and points of interest can just be written in with a pencil or erasable marker. This is certainly the cheapest and easier method.

This is a pretty nice battle map, honestly. I've seen stuff with just graph paper and crayons.

When simple maps are cutting it for you, you can start adding rocks, trees, doors, whatever works. Some people go for realistic, detailed pieces that would fit in a high-quality dollhouse. Currently, I’ve been making terrain out of 2-foot diameter discs, and then using interchangeable scatter terrain to customize the scene as needed. My zombie parking lot was made using this technique:

And here’s a forest I’m working on:

Next will be some dungeons/caves, for classic underground exploring. The nice thing about this option is that it’s customizable, and I can focus on the elements that are most important to the scene. I don’t need to put in every wall or crack, but there’s enough pieces to add interest and interactivity. Plus I can just move them around for the next battle/scene/game. And as an added bonus, I put the disc on a lazy-susan-style turntable so I can rotate it and every person at the table can see every angle.

Of course, some people go ALL IN, and build stuff like this.

Source: Imgur

I have neither the time to build this nor the space to house it, but I absolutely salute and envy the folks who have the skill and patience for this kind of craft.

Hugs & kisses,


PT Dilloway said...

Some of those are pretty elaborate. I like the parking lot. The forest will be better when you add some more happy little trees in there.

For the NES there was a strategy game called Conflict with hexagon squares that you moved tanks, planes, and troops onto and the terrain (mountains, hills, plains, desert, marshes, and bridges) would affect how much damage you could do or take. Mountain was the best defensively while bridges were pretty much the worst.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nice terrain you built. Yeah, some are super elaborate. I follow someone who posts some incredible landscapes.

C. D. Gallant-King said...

I think I played that game, or at least something similar. There's been many varieties over the years.

I actually have many more trees, that was a result of me rushing to get a picture for the post at 10:00pm last night. :-) I'll have to squeeze in a better one later this week.

Kristin said...

So do you play with these like playing with a dollhouse or lead soldiers - have little wars and kidnap other people's characters? Or do you just set them up and move them around yourself?

C. D. Gallant-King said...

😁 I use them to play tabletop roleplaying games, like Dungeons & Dragons. Each player plays a "character" in the game and decides their actions. One player (usually me) is the game master who sets the scene and creates the monsters and other charcaters for the other players to interact with.

Though honestly I don't get to play much anymore, so mostly it's just me setting up the pieces and taking pictures of them . 😅

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