Friday, January 02, 2009

Building Dungeons on the Cheap

If you play 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, you will need some kind of tactical grid for your miniatures or counters. Official Dungeon Tiles from Wizards of the Coast are one option, but they can start to get expensive if you buy multiple sets to try and get a variety of terrain. An alternative is to purchase and download tiles in PDF. They are relatively cheap and you can print as many as you need. The set pictured is Dragon Tiles: Dungeon Set 1 that I purchased from DriveThruRPG. It has a nice selection of generic tiles and includes a few extras like pits and doors.

You can use the tiles that you print out as is or you can mount them if you want a more durable tile. I like to use foamcore. It's cheap and easy to cut. The only real tools that you will need are a straight edge of some kind and a razor/x-acto type knife (be careful!) I cut on a special cutting mat, but you can lay down layers of thick cardboard if you don't have a mat. Just make sure not to ruin Mom's dining room table! I am not an expert at the process, but even my tiles look pretty decent:

One other thing that you can do to touch up you tiles is to edge them with a black marker. I think it really makes the tiles look more finished. Finally, if your tiles slide around too much on the tabletop, you can stick toothpicks in the foamcore and push the tiles together. It's easy to remove the toothpicks when you are done playing.

So, consider printing your own tiles if you want a cheap way to build those dungeons in 2009!

3 comments:

John said...

This is a tremendous idea! Despite my knowledge of the sets on Drive-Thru, I had never even really considered this method of use! Must be my lack of arts and crafts skills ... I end up ruining anything I try to make :(.

bilbo said...

What kind of printer do you use? What kind of paper do you print them out on?

AnthonyRoberson said...

I just bought a cheap HP F4280 printer for about $60. It works great. I use regular cardstock. 110 lb. is best if you can find it and your printer can handle. it.