More on 3D terrain and gaming

caves

No, the above photo isn’t my own cavern/dungeon, but I have something similar and can add to it pretty easily.

But I’ve been wondering more and more lately about the use of terrain in my games. I love the terrain myself, but using 3D terrain makes the game play differently than using battle maps or my old digital desk. The terrain looks incredible and the ability to take tactics visually and intuitively into the third dimension is very nice, but the logistical activities that are involved in transporting, setting up, moving around, reconfiguring and otherwise messing with the terrain is something that impacts game time.

If you just put down the terrain the PCs can interact with as they move around then you are constantly adding, removing and shuffling heavy blocks of terrain around, knocking over minis, replacing them where they need to be, etc. If you put down a huge area of terrain (like above) then the players can see the whole area at once and that gives them knowledge the PCs don’t have, which can impact how they decide to explore an area.

One possibility is setting up a large area but covering it with something and removing the cover as the PCs explore, but that requires having the time to set up a large area in advance, which I will have to wait until I have my own gaming room to do.

What are your thoughts on using 3D terrain?

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5 thoughts on “More on 3D terrain and gaming

  1. Could you make a carrying case or something portable, where you can pre-arrange the terrain in its proper configuration, and then bring it to wherever the game will be? It would reduce how much rummaging you need to do, so would reduce the setup time in-game, and doesn’t require a dedicated location.

    Of course, I’m not sure how to create such a carrying case. Some sort of wood or plastic base, with walls and then a lid of some kind. That sounds heavy, not very ‘portable’.

  2. i think a case for it sounds good, but yes heavy.

    i am very very CURIOUS OF HOW YOU MAKE MOLDS OF MINIS, PLEASE TELL ME HOW AND WHAT TO BUY.

  3. Do a search on Youtube for “making molds for miniatures” and you’ll find a whole series of videos on how to make molds.

    Basically making molds requires using silicon mold-making materials. I buy mine from “Smooth-On”. Luckily we have a Smooth-On distributor in Denver so it’s easy for me to buy the materials.

    Miniatures can require complex molds. At the very best, if you are lucky, you can make a single two-piece mold and then use two part resin to make copies of the miniatures. Making a two part mold requires some skill and experience, but it is doable if you are patient and can follow instructions well. Look up “two part miniature mold” on Youtube and you’ll see what I mean.

  4. thankyou, though i doubt i will be able too, i wil try. i dont have the meterials but will definetly try it out.

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