What are the three most useful DF themes?

Which sets have the most utility?

Dungeons
58
33%
Caverns
48
27%
Burrows
1
1%
Medieval
4
2%
City
33
19%
Castle
7
4%
Woodlands
4
2%
Realm of the Ancients
4
2%
Den of Evil
2
1%
Mountains
17
10%
 
Total votes: 178

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Arcarius2001
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by Arcarius2001 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:33 pm

For me it’s Dungeons, Caverns and Castles. I almost said City instead of Castle but I find that I can incorporate Castle bits into dungeon builds so it’s a bit more flexible for me than City.

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Mobius
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by Mobius » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:47 pm

Dungeons by far #1. I love the City Builder stuff, but I typically build the interiors of buildings or castles with dungeon tiles: it's way faster, easier, and allows more versatile builds. I end up using buildings more for outdoor city/village encounters which are rarer.

I use Outdoor terrain most often after dungeons. I use the standard range of free-standing (and fallen) trees on a battle-mat. I've grown to love using the DF Mountain terrain to spice up these outdoor battles with some modular elevation terrain.

Caverns #3 by default. They also integrate nicely with the mountain terrain.

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LordDust
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by LordDust » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:04 pm

The wilderness set does have a pretty nice "Myth Drannor" vibe to it. I think the way it works best is interspersed with other sets to create a managed wilderness theme like one might expect to see in a major Elven center (like ancient Myth Drannor). For interior play I am currently favoring large laser cut wood buildings, but I think that city builder can do a passable interior. A better advanced builder type set of pieces can probably remedy a lot of the limitations city builder has, but that will likely have to wait until next KS at the earliest.

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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by Law » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:55 am

Wow, I can see why you'd want the wilderness set! Excellent match.

Sadly, with MBS out of print, it may cost more to pick up. But it's worth it. I absolutely love it - aside from being useful for taverns, inns, guild halls, archives, town halls, courts, meeting rooms, etc., it combines with dungeon pieces for phenomenal effect. I'll try to find some of my old pics.

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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by Grumm the Sureblade » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:39 am

Law wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:39 am
My sense - and I could be wrong - is that the expense, size and design of the castles make them less useful for gaming purposes. It's really your call, I think if you wanted a castle siege it's tough to beat. But if you just need a castle to explore or for an HQ, use dungeon pieces and imagine the castle they're in rather than actually building it.
That's the sense I get too... the castle would be terrific for a wargame! Unfortunately I think it's probably a bad choice for a beginner like me, especially when I want to focus on interior layouts. Sigh... maybe one day!
Law wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:39 am
Catacombs is somewhat similar - it's all one big catacomb, no real differentiation between rooms. But it does blend better with other sets, a natural adjunct to dungeons or caverns. And the fountain in Catacombs 2 is a good item to transition a purely utilitarian catacomb into a Necropolis of some kind.
The catacombs is one of those sets that I'd love to see remastered in Dwarvenite. I picked up Dais of the Dead and I am excited to see the little skull inserts, but now I want more for the necropolis theme.
Law wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:39 am
The one set that I find least useful - pretty but flawed, is the wilderness set. It doesn't quite work the way I'd want a pastoral theme to work, the sharp angles and grid design are at odds with the sylvan theme. I am glad I have the set and I use some of it occasionally. But it's just not on the same level as the rest.
I am actually really excited about the Woodlands reprint. I've scoured the internet for photos so I realize all the problems with bad fit, and I realize it has a very specific use... it's not really any wilderness, just forests. But I play AD&D 2e in the Forgotten Realms and the set looks PERFECT for the ruins of Myth Drannor. My campaign style is very much modelled on the old DOS games like Eye of the Beholder. Some examples from that game:

Image
Image
geekjeff wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:53 pm
Grumm the Sureblade wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:55 pm
Also, how do you see the relative utility with the Medieval Builder set vs the City set? Do you use one for indoor layouts and the other for outdoor setups? Do you use them together? Does it make sense to get both?
Medieval Builder (MBS) is definitely better for building interiors, City Builder Tudor is definitely better for exterior setups (especially when combined with Alleys or Streets.) You can definitely do interiors in a less ideal way with City pieces, but doing exteriors with MBS is tough - much harder to stack, and if you want any sort of roofs you’ll need to get crafty.
Ah that makes sense. So City Builder can do both but is best at outside layouts and Medieval Builder can only really do indoor layouts but does them very well. I actually think Medieval Builder is a better fit for what I want to do, although I admit the eBay prices are pretty daunting. I am just super impressed by all the Medieval Builder designs I am seeing online and ultimately, "indoors" is where most of the adventuring is going to happen at my gaming table. I am thinking of picking up a few streets and alleys from the City set to frame Medieval Builder setups though (although I'm a little disappointed to see the prepainted Alley Intersections is out of stock with no plans to restock...)

I am also a little curious if people just use Dwarven Forge for single encounter layouts, rather than complete dungeons. That is what I am planning for now, since it is more economical and the new magnets and trays make it (literally) a snap to fly in prebuilt encounters on the spot!
Last edited by Grumm the Sureblade on Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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geekjeff
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by geekjeff » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:53 pm

Grumm the Sureblade wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:55 pm
Also, how do you see the relative utility with the Medieval Builder set vs the City set? Do you use one for indoor layouts and the other for outdoor setups? Do you use them together? Does it make sense to get both?
Medieval Builder (MBS) is definitely better for building interiors, City Builder Tudor is definitely better for exterior setups (especially when combined with Alleys or Streets.) You can definitely do interiors in a less ideal way with City pieces, but doing exteriors with MBS is tough - much harder to stack, and if you want any sort of roofs you’ll need to get crafty.

But, since the 2x2 Medieval Builder sets have not been restocked in quite a while and they are not included in the current resin restock, your decision is kind of made for you unless you are prepared to pay eBay prices. Stefan has mentioned before wanting to do some 2x2 Dwarvenite tile additions to the City set, but that’s not guaranteed to happen and even if it did, it would likely be 2 years away at a mimimum.

My take since you’re a new Dwarven Forge collector - get ready for the Caverns Kickstarter this month (it’s a wild ride!) to get a solid base for that part of your collection. Pickup a few City Builder sets through the webstore after that, Tudor Starter sets and the 4 Roof Pack are good starting points, or the Village pledges if they come back in stock give you a mix of both Stone and Tudor.

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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:54 pm

I use the Dwarvenite City Builder Sets more for multi-level and/or buildings. I use the resin Medieval Building Sets for areas that require smaller rooms. The footprint of the resin pieces is roughly 2x2", while with CBS it's 4x4".
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Grumm the Sureblade
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by Grumm the Sureblade » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:55 pm

Very interesting, especially city catching third place (I kind of assumed Dungeons and Caverns would be first and second). I'd love to see what you guys have been doing with your city sets! Also, how do you see the relative utility with the Medieval Builder set vs the City set? Do you use one for indoor layouts and the other for outdoor setups? Do you use them together? Does it make sense to get both?

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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:26 am

You can do almost any theme with dungeons, caverns, and city pieces. Those are the bread and butter of the DF universe. Dungeons can be any building you need, whether it be a castle, a lair of a evil sorcerer, a tomb, or a house. Caverns can be any natural rock area like a cave or mountains. Cities can be an inn, a house or manor, a chapel, etc. Everything else past these 3 basic themes are just refined versions of what these 3 themes can do.
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Re: What are the three most useful DF themes?

Post by geekjeff » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:11 am

Dungeons > all, Caverns and Tudor city are not far behind.

Beyond that Mountains are super versatile and play well with other sets. Mountains are Best Supporting Actor. I think Burrows will end up great in a supporting role too, a Tunnels set and a Chambers set give you all sorts of potential for wild monster lairs, secret city tunnels, etc without going in for the whole ant farm.

The other sets are highly specialized, pimped out environments. You can make a catacomb by filling a Dungeon or Cavern with skulls, coffins, and spooky decor, but it’s not a Catacomb. Similar for ROTA, Den of Evil, etc. Woodlands is a little bit of a special case.

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