During the weekend tour of Metro Halifax FLGSs, I wasn’t the only one buying. Both of my friends picked up copies of a new Dungeons & Dragons product, Dungeon Tiles. I have to say that I was surprised and impressed.
The premise of Dungeon Tiles is not new. A package provides enough modular cardboard pieces to build a small dungeon, with the theme in this case being that old (and characteristically implausible 🙂 ) D&D classic, the dungeon in the basement of the local tavern. There are six “RPG size,” double-sided sheets of pieces, including an essentially full-sheet tavern layout, each overlayed in a 1-inch grid. The cardstock folder they come in shows three possible layouts, presented as the three levels of the sub-pub catacombs.
The art on the sheets is top notch for an RPG product, conveying the features in pleasing but not distracting detail. The cardboard is of adequate, but not noteworthy, thickness, being a fraction thinner than Carcassonne tiles. The finish is extremely high-gloss, to the point where I wonder if a thin layer of some sort of veneer is used.
The real eye-catcher, though, was a highly textured linen finish! That’s right, the German revolution has come to role-playing products. The aesthetic pleasures of this are subjective, I suppose (personally, I love the feel of a good finish), but the increase in durability compared to more traditional finishes is huge. These tiles should stand up to considerable use. If I actually DMed D&D, this would have convinced me to buy a couple of packages by itself.
One package will only allow you to set up a small layout. With the exception of the tavern itself, though, the parts are generic enough that you could buy 2-3 copies and use them together to lay out a larger dungeon. Also, this is just the first product in a series, so future releases should combine with this one to offer more flexibility.
I would highly recommend Dungeon Tiles to any DM who uses miniatures a lot, and even to DMs that do not use miniatures. High quality visual props are golden for any RPG, and Dungeon Tiles certainly qualify as high quality. While no generic modular dungeon tiles can meet all of your needs, they are useful in many situations, and these are among the best that I have seen.