NewbieDM Review: Harrowing Halls 3d Dungeon Tiles

Posted on March 11, 2010 by


The Harrowing Halls set in the Dungeon Tiles line fill a different niche from that of previous sets.  The included 3d tiles aside, the 2d stuff is unlike any seen in previous Dungeon Tiles sets.  If you’ve ever wanted to design the inside of an inn, or perhaps a mansion, then this is the set for you, as the 2d tiles are mostly made up of wooden floor with tables, beds, and other similar stuff.  In fact, the only “stone” elements in the tiles come in the flip side of both 3d sheets, and one of the big tiles which includes an outdoor structure connected to the inn.

The set is made up of 6 sheets with 2 of those containing the 3d elements.  The 3d elements have slits on them, meant to interlock with each other,  and some have tabs that fit in the slits, creating the 3d structures.  Be warned, you are left to your own devices when creating the 3d elements in this pack, as they did not include any sort of guidelines as to what you could build, or how to do it.  While it isn’t rocket science, it did take up a bit of my time to figure it all out.

Here I’m creating a platform composed of 5 pieces:

So lets go back to the 2d elements before we touch on the 3d stuff.  It’s very much made to serve as an inn, as you can see here… There are enough tiles included that you can pretty much make up any type of inn you’d like, or a house or mansion.  There really is nothing spectacular about the tiles, fairly generic stuff save for an anvil or a forge (not sure what it is really) and a teleportation circle.  There is also a suspension bridge that you can use to place between some of the 3d elements.

One side of the tiles...

...and the other side, the top 2 are the 3d elements.

I did find that there were a little too many generic pieces of wood floor for my tastes, but I guess they can come in handy if you are designing the interior of a residence.  A minor gripe, because I don’t think it takes away from the set at all.

It's like the Pergo flooring isle at Home Depot.

So on to the 3d, which is really the selling point of this set, and the reason for the elevated price tag.  The 3d pieces are included in 2 of the 6 sheets that make up this set.  When I opened it, I searched for a guideline or a piece of paper or something to tell me how to build the structures, but you get nothing of the sort.  All you get is the familiar picture of a sample dungeon on the inside cover of the set.

The inside cover with the sample map

On the pieces themselves there are tons of little strips of cardboard  that you have to remove from the individual piece, and if you aren’t careful, some minor peeling of the tile may occur.  As you remove the little strips, you are creating the slits that make the pieces interlock with each other.

The little strips of cardboard that you have to remove from the pieces.

You have to guess how these things go together to create the structures.  There are five 3d structures, a door, and two tables.  It’s worth noting that these structures also have a reverse side made of the wooden textures.  The finished built elements are sturdy, although sometimes getting the tabs to sit in the slit can be a bit of a pain.

The 3d structures.

Here’s a video showing all the tiles in action, sorry if it’s a bit dark…

Kind of an old-school vibe there...

So do I like the set? I do.  The 3d can add interesting situations to an encounter, but I do wish that they would have chosen to include a list of what 3d elements are in the pack, and how to build them.  For all I know, you can build different things with the tiles, yet I’d never know because there’s no documentation included.  That’s the biggest fault I find with the set.  And again, it’s not rocket science to put together, but it would have been a nice thing to include.  I would also love to see a Dungeon article accompanying the set, where they introduce some 3d combat rules or suggestions into the game.

So yeah, I recommend it, simply because it continues the tradition of the high quality tiles that have been released so far for D&D, while adding a new twist to the line.  I hope that they will release additional 3d only packs with more stairs and structures in the future.

I guess I  would hate to have to buy more wooden floor just to get an additional 3d set of stairs and a few platforms for my game.

Posted in: 4e D&D, DM Tools, Gaming