Posted on February 6, 2009 by Billzilla
The Blasted Canyon set provides a wide variety of terrain features that can be printed and cut out to produce more than four square feet of unique terrain. Box canyons, cul-de-sacs, a large temple, a marketplace, transition pieces, dungeon entrances, and an oasis are all included, each with either a desert background or with canyon walls added around the edges. This is a handsome set, and much thought clearly went into its design.
The Caverns Tiles Base Set 1 is literally everything to outfit the majority of standard underground terrain; corridor sections, a tunnel entrance that meshes perfectly with the Blasted Canyon set, and natural and carved chambers. They also provide numerous thoughtful details like log bridges that can be inserted as a feature in nearly any room; clusters of fungi just to keep the players paranoid; Stalactites and stalagmites, lava fountains, temples, statues, doors, ropes, ledges and a ton more.
These sets do require one to have access to Adobe Acrobat Reader (free downloads can readily be obtained at Adobe.com), and one will need to use the Layers function the to remove layers of unwanted detail — like the many dead bodies lying around the scenery, or the dinosaur skull also frequently found on several of the tiles – to suit the needs of the players and the scenario. The ability to subtract – or even add – details from any of the tiles in the set to any other tile is awesome, putting a tremendous amount of design power into a player’s hands for the cost of the free Acrobat download.
With terrain packages costing as little as $4.99 to download, these tile sets are a tremendous value and are handsome to boot. Besides the Blasted Canyon, and the Caverns Tiles Base Set 1, also available from Empty Room Studios are sewers and five different sets of dungeon tiles, three of which – the Butcher’s Lair, Wizard’s Chambers and Dark Irons Prison — cover more specific lairs and features found in a dungeon setting.
These tiles will work best when mounted on foam core board or heavy cardstock that will resist warping as the glue dries. Mounting them isn’t necessary, but will add durability and a certain aesthetic value to the tile sections.
This is yet another example of an inexpensive product offering high value and flexibility. You can print out as many copies of any given page as you care to, and with the layers options, nearly endless variations of detail are possible. For my money, you can’t do much better for 2-D scenery than Empty Room Studios.
Review by Bill Bodden