On Dungeons, Lasers, and 3-D Terrain for RPGs

Maps, miniatures, and dungeon tiles are a major part of many D&D games these days. I’ve used them extensively in most of my past games and nothing beats a well-painted, easy-to-use miniature or piece of terrain. Terrain itself figures prominently into most miniature-based wargames, but in my experience, there’s always been a lack of high-quality terrain for D&D. Luckily, Poland-based Archon Studios—a company already involved in creating high-quality miniatures—is aiming to change all of that with their new product line, Dungeons & Lasers.

Dungeons & Lasers seeks to take the idea of high-quality terrain and translate it to games like D&D in a way that is easy and affordable gamers, whether they DM or not. We had the opportunity to sit down with one of the folks behind the project, Michal Hartlinski, who gave us a rundown on the project and a bit of insight into how the products are being made.

David J. Buck (DJB): What was your main inspiration for Dungeons & Lasers?

Michael Hartlinski (MH): Concept in general comes from our experience with our previous project, Rampart. Lot of people asked us about something for RPG. Rampart is designed for wargaming, works fine there. But it doesn't feature any floors, doorways and such. So, we started working on this with our concept artists and engineers and Dungeon & Lasers emerged. Main inspiration was all-time classic fantasy dungeons from various video games - yes Diablo included. When it comes to sci-fi design, we just went crazy with Aliens, Unreal and such. We are all big fans of those concepts.

DJB: How will D & L integrate best with D&D games?

MH: Proper scale and visible grid on the floors. Grid is 25mm/1-inch sized, perfect for bases. Also, [the] grid is very subtle, it won't ruin "organic" feel of terrain. Everything is designed to "blend" properly. Not to mention we got stackable architecture as well, you can build stories and such.


DJB: Are the terrain pieces fully painted or do players have the option of painting/detailing them? Are they fully assembled?
MH: No, terrain comes unpainted. The actual sets will consist of push-fit bits. Push-fit means "no glue is needed". You just push one bit into another and it stays there. Like Lego bricks. Detailing - yes, we have plenty of customization bits in the pipeline, that are designed to fit the themes. So, they blend perfectly. Some of them can be attached to walls - again - using push-fit tech. Push-fit is also used to connect floors with walls/other floors. Preview is coming very soon.

DJB: Tell us a bit about the creation process for the terrain.
MH: This terrain is not 3d printed anymore. It's a hard plastic, all is done in metal moulds using CNC machinery. This is our CNC machine, it's located one floor below me [which you can see on Youtube]. Plastic is injected into it, cooled-down, and bang, you got sprue. This is how miniatures in plastic are made in general. Majority of this is done in China, only company doing this in EU is Games Workshop. And us.


DJB: Do you have an idea of what pricing will be like at this time?
MH: Not yet, but since we manufacture this, we are going to shake Kickstarter a little with budget-friendly prices. We do not have to spend money in China to manufacture this. So - get a bigger table :)

DJB: Where can you be found online?
MH: The most important place to visit now is our official website. It allows you to subscribe to our newsletter - we will send you e-mail once Kickstarter campaign goes live. It's important, because during campaign itself we are going to add tons of stuff unavailable later in retail version of the product. Also, bang for the buck is always better during Kickstarter campaigns. Second place to visit is our Facebook Fanpage, we post there regular updates. Last but not least, our Instagram.

Stay tuned for more updates and watch for the Dungeons & Lasers Kickstarter coming soon!

Contributed by David J. Buck (Nostalgia Ward) as part of the EN World Columnist program. When he isn’t learning to play or writing about RPGs, he can be found at Tedium: the Dull Side of the Internet, Nerdvana Media, Patreon and Twitter. If you like what we do here at EN World (the Forums, Columns, News, ENnies, etc) and would like to help support us to bring you MORE please consider supporting our Patreon. Even a single dollar helps!
 
David J. Buck

Comments

dalisprime

Explorer
Not that long ago there was a KS that did similar style dungeons in cardboard so will be definitely interesting to see how this compares both price and production value wise to that product. This is obviously targeting a different demographic to dwarvenite stuff which costs an arm a leg and a kidney but having affordable options is always good.
 

Banesfinger

Explorer
Good looking stuff. But through years of trial with Dwarven-Forge stuff, we've found that 'tall walls' is not very playable at the table. People have to stand-up to see over the walls, or fumble with moving figures around them. We've switched to "2.5D" do-it-yourself stuff found on gaming crafter sites. I'd love to see a Kickstarter for something like that...
 
I second a 2.5d option. Cheaper, takes up less room and if you have a multi layer structure, like a two story building, you can have action on multiple levels.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
Signed up for the newsletter and Kickstarter launch. Maybe I’m still half a sleep but I see the notches on certain tiles, but I don’t see how the walls fit into the floor bases to make it sturdy. It’s not like dragon lock system, any ideas as I don’t think it’s magnetized like the rampart line.

Ill be backing it im sure so I don’t have to buy more mage knight 3D dungeon walls and floors :)
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
The Dungeons & Lasers terrains are beautiful.

I prefer theater of mind style, and like to punctuate it with climactic battles using minis. These terrains are spectacular for that.
 

arbados

Explorer
I have tons of Dwarven Forge stuff. I like all these new, less expensive options however, it's tough to go another route after you've been collecting one product line for what seems like forever. DF is VERY expensive now and I am somewhat deterred from continuing with the product due to the cost, and seeing so many other MUCH less expensive options but it's tough. Who knows down the line. Options are great.
 

Aebir-Toril

Creator of the Elfgrinder Mech
Definitely backing this. What type of hard plastic will they be made of, and do they come primed for painting?
 

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