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WorldWorksGames :: View topic - Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs
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Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs
https://www.worldworksgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=11612
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Author:  Pjack [ 09-03-2012, 11:59 AM ]
Post subject:  Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

I'm a tabletop RPGer, and not generally a minis gamer. I bought my first set of Terraclips a couple of months back (Buildings of Malifaux), and a box of clips. I'm very pleased with the set, and I think I'll get some good use out of it in the future. But it got me to thinking: As a tabletop RPG gamer, what's the best way to purchase and utilize Terraclips terrain?

For me, the answer boils down to "buy lots of sets, but few clips". As a GM, I don't need 3D terrain for every session. Most encounters can be played "theater of the mind" style, or on a battlemap. I only really want 3D terrain when there's important 3D elements to the environment - stairs, balconies, multi-level treehouses, what-have-you - that would make an encounter more exciting. I won't have a lot of time to prepare for each session, so when I do build 3D terrain, it's generally going to be a small or medium-sized set piece. With rare exceptions, I won't be reusing builds, but rather tearing them down so I can build something new next time I need it. Since I'm not building large pieces, I don't need a lot of clips.

What I do need, however, is lots and lots of sets. That's because I need to be prepared to build any 3D terrain that the story calls for. No build is going to match the fiction perfectly, of course, but the build does need to be approximately the right size and shape. More importantly, doors, archways, and windows need to be as accurately placed as possible. Telling players "there's actually a door there" (or "there's actually no door there") because you didn't have the right wall piece for the build is just going to confuse everybody. So even though I'm not creating large builds, I need a big toolbox of pieces with lots of variety.

With all this in mind, I have a better idea of what sets I want to pick up next. I think I can get a lot of variety in my builds with the diagonal passageways in the Dungeon Essentials set, and I'm hoping that I can use the support columns in the Vaults of Ruin set for a multi-level treehouse build. I've also realized that there are some things that don't need to be built. I was thinking of building a six-story lighthouse for one adventure, but since there isn't actually any interaction between the different levels of the lighthouse, there's really no need to build it as 3D terrain. Each level can simply be its own section on a battlemap. Of course, I might still build it, just for fun. :)

I hope all this rambling helps the other tabletop RPGers out there. Does anyone else have recommendations for set buys or build tips specifically for tabletop roleplaying games?

Author:  Talae [ 09-03-2012, 12:38 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

I personally have tons of TLX (and older) terrain that I have built over the years. Also, I have one of each of the first three TCPs sets plus three boxes of clips. I have one of each of the new sets preordered and will have them soon but am not planning on picking up more clips at this point. I have such a variety due to what you say. I love to have it look different every time I put a new scene on the table.

Author:  Cracky [ 09-03-2012, 01:41 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

You should definitely build the lighthouse! B-)

Author:  Zenguy [ 09-03-2012, 02:36 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

It sounds like your idea of focussing on getting lots of different tile sets as possible and just a few boxes of clips is about right. I'm like you in that I like to build scenes that are as close to what I envisage as I can get and having a wide range of pieces to draw on really helps me do that.

Be warned though, the more you use 3D modular terrain the more ambitious your builds are likely to get. :)

Plus, don't underestimate the value of putting a full construction (e.g the lighthouse) on the table on gaming night. Sure the party may work through it level by level, but the difference in the players' minds is enormous - not only does it look impressive, you and they really are looking at the same scene in play. On top of the huge increase in appeal and engagement, you'll also find the players will start to make use of the 3D terrain in ways that were simply not practical when your gaming was 2D map based. You'll find the action will start to span multiple levels because now you have the terrain to manage that accurately - give the players options for 3D movement and tactics and they'll make the most of it and have hell of a lot of fun in the process B-)

Author:  Cracky [ 09-03-2012, 05:09 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

Pjack, So far i have one of each of the Malifaux sets, DR Essentials and a box of clips for each set.

I actually bought the first three all at once and then put them away and just now am getting around to messing around with them. (crazy huh?)

If i had to do it again, i would take a pass on the Sewers and would have grabbed two of the building sets. The Streets set is the most generous and versatile imo and works well as dungeons or streets.

But......... you need clips. Now that i'm a little better i've learned how to conserve the I's and L's and use T clips wherever they won't show in place of the other two. I could probably get away with two boxes of clips, but one box would be pushing it for me.

Nice rappin with ya, happy building.

Author:  robby [ 09-03-2012, 06:08 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

When I started putting terrain on the table, I started with just set pieces. That was wild, and pretty cool. I tried to have at least one really awesome scene I could do in 3D each session.

As we progressed, I worked on more and more scenes in any given session being full 3D. It was only okay - I think that over team, it may have diminished the full "holy crap wow!" effect, though.

So now I'm done to 2D for most stuff, and 3D for the bad-ass scenes/sets (sometimes a set crosses multiple scenes - a town, a series of dungeon chambers, etc).


As for clips ... I bought lots (4 or 5 boxes, I think). That way I simply won't run out, and I don't have to worry about it. :)

Author:  Petershergalis [ 09-04-2012, 09:14 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs


Author:  JDKenada [ 09-07-2012, 05:56 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Terraclips and Tabletop RPGs

I'm of the same mindset. I just picked up the three DungeonRise sets yesterday. I have the original three and four boxes of clips if I recall (I ended up sorting them by size...so can't remember if I bought three or four). I'll very rarely build anything large scale, so the amount of clips will likely be more than enough.

I definitely can't wait to DM some stuff with these. Terraclips worked great for HeroClix, so no reason they won't with WoWminis or Pathfinder. B-)

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