News Archive | 11/30/2012
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Roving Band of Misfits
Curse of Undeath Tiles

B enoit of Roving Band of Misfits showcases his work bringing the most recent Dungeon Command tiles to 3D brilliance. Take a look at his versions of Curse of Undeath's tiles.

The newest Dungeon Command faction pack dropped recently, and I couldn't be more excited. Dungeon Command has quickly become one of my favorite two-person games, and I'm just waiting for a tournament to come to a game store near me.

I was given a sneak preview of the Curse of Undeath tiles with enough time to construct them in 3D using Hirst Arts Castlemolds and Merlin's Magic casting stone. Most of the molds I use for these projects come from the Gothic line, which has lots of great pieces for tombs and crypts. Even though I don't own all the Gothic molds, I was excited to show some of the decorative crypt bits that can really make a 3D tomb come to life. One feature that appears frequently is a bricked-in arch. These arches are burial crypts; the smaller ones house a single body laid to rest, while the larger arches are entrances to full burial chambers—for those important (or rich) enough to warrant such extravagant treatment, even in death.

The start tile is probably one of my favorites in this set because it tells a story. The large crypt has been broken into, and the exhumed coffin sits amid the rubble. But the coffin is empty. This raises all sorts of chilling questions. Why was the crypt broken into? And was the body stolen, reanimated, or already occupied by an undead monster when the raiders opened it? Is this a grave robbery gone bad, or a grave robbery gone perfectly? And most importantly, what might remain in the opened crypt?

The large crypt on this tile remains closed, but the torches have been lit. Perhaps they're simply everburning torches, or perhaps someone has come this way recently... I have to think that a large crypt that dead-ends like this holds someone fairly important.

The bone piles as difficult terrain are a really nice touch in this set. It's very thematic. Luckily, I had a box of skeleton warrior miniatures sitting on my shelf that I bought about a year ago but never assembled. Because the minis came unassembled on sprues, I was able to simply pop out skeleton parts and turn them into bone piles lying on the floor of the dungeon.

I wanted the altar on this tile to look different than the one in the Tyranny of Goblins set. Aside from the basic style, I also decided to paint this one gloss black. I imagined it was made of highly polished obsidian mined from the depths of an evil, primal-sentient volcano. Because of its sentience, the obsidian mined from this volcano lends extra focus and power to evil rituals.

Once I came up with this little bit of back story, it was easy to incorporate the gloss black "obsidian" into other parts of the tiles.

The chains on the altar I got from the jewelry making section of the craft store. I could have used a duller metal color, but opted for silver because I figured an altar would need chains of a special material—mithril or silver colored chain fit the concept nicely. The mithril color also matches the detail work on the altar.

The statues in relief and the obsidian braziers add to the dark atmosphere of the tile. The "back hallway" on this tile also has a row of small crypts.

I really struggled with the doors on this tile. I didn't want to use the same door that I used on the other sets. Unfortunately, all the other doors I have are only 1-inch wide. In the end, I settled on a worn iron door, with blocks on either side to fill in the gap. When you're summoning things from beyond life, it's always good to have a nice heavy door between you and it, in case you need to make a quick getaway. The doors can be removed so a mini can occupy those spaces, though I didn't use the elaborate slot system that I used for the Tyranny of Goblins tiles. These simply fit in the gap.

The floor of the summoning room itself is made of the same obsidian as the altar. The summoning circle was made using the same technique as the other magic circles I've done (Sharpie paint pens), except this time I flipped the color scheme—I used the color (red) as the base, and white on top to highlight it. I think it turned out much better this way, and will most likely be doing it that way in the future.

Outside the room, two obsidian gargoyles guard the entrance. Are they merely ornamental, or will they animate to intercept intruders?

And here's a sample layout using the tiles. Looks like the heroes of Cormyr have invaded the crypts!

Finally, the Dracolich and Copper Dragon go head to head in an epic battle.

About the Author

Benoit is the guy behind Roving Band of Misfits, and you can find him most often blogging about easy terrain projects, Gamma World, and general DM advice.
You can find his Sting of Lolth and Heart of Cormyr sets here. You can find his Tyranny of Goblins set here.

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