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"Optimum Height for Dungeon Walls?" Topic

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04 May 2018 11:54 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Oct 2017 12:25 p.m. PST

In a 3D dungeon, you might want walls that run all the way to the theoretical ceiling, as that is the most realistic and may give you the option of stacking a second floor above the first.

On the other hand, taller walls get in the way of handling your figures on the tabletop, particularly in narrow corridors.

What do you consider to be the optimum height for dungeon walls, in inches?

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Depends on scale of the miniatures

Generally I them about the same height as my human figures

but 15mm and 25-32mm will have different heights

JimDuncanUK20 Oct 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

My scratch built 3D dungeon had corridors with only one side modelled so that there was always room to get your hand in to move figures. It helped with line of sight too.



Normal sized rooms were always 5x5 or 5x10 with all four walls modelled.



boy wundyr x Inactive Member20 Oct 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

I haven't thought about it much (I use flat paper terrain at the moment) but I like Jim's approach.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

Wall height and movement space size go together.

For 28mm figures, I prefer 2" tall walls so I can put in working actually hidden secret doors! With that height, I prefer 30mm movement spaces, and slightly bigger along the wall edges if there's room, so that there is space for figures in energetic poses.

With smaller movement spaces, like the cursed commercial 25mm ones, walls need to be short and stubby to allow room for the figures!

Kropotkin303 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 3:25 p.m. PST

I made 3D modular dungeons but I found that the walls got in the way. So I went to 2D with stand up doors.



3D is what I would want to do, but the rooms and corridors would have to be over-scale.

Gone Fishing20 Oct 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

This isn't a project I'm doing currently, but my vote would definitely be for 2D as seen above. Much, much more practical and the eye quickly adjusts.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

1.5" for 28mm miniatures


Some of the stuff in the dungeon is lying down to get the next floor on top of it. That's fine. It really doesn't need to stand up until that section is revealed.

Gone Fishing20 Oct 2017 5:03 p.m. PST

Etotheipi, that is inspirational. What a clever, home-brewed solution to a tricky problem. Have you actually run the game or are you only in the planning stages? Either way, it's really got me thinking!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 6:02 p.m. PST

It depends: for RPG's, I like 2.5D; for miniatures battles, I prefer full 3D, with 2" heights on the walls, and my figures are based on 25mm = 5 feet. Cheers!

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

I'm solidly in the 2 inch range for 25mm figures.

Way back is the d&d days it only seemed right.

I would set up the entire dungeon with all encounters and furniture and then use index cards to cover everything. As the players advanced thru the dungeon the cards were removed.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 6:33 p.m. PST

@Gone Fishing – I've run this set up a couple of times now. I'm thinking of an "inverted tower" with the higher levels under the lower ones. Ground floor on top.

CeruLucifus22 Oct 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

2" when I use walls.

For dungeons with 28mm figures and 1" grid = 5 feet, I now use "2.5D" or "isometric", similar to Kropotkin303's picture, where we lay out tiles for the floor plan with void space for walls.

An important element of having this work is elevation, and I started with stone blocks and stairs similar to Matakishi's ( see ) I also added some large elevation blocks that look like cliffsides, and some scale wooden armatures that can be used to make scaffolds, bridges, wooden structures, etc. All of these use a 2" thickness per story.

In this environment, sometimes stone blocks go onto the tiles for wall elements, or we need to visualize a wall better, so we plop down a block or elevation piece next to the tiles. These are all 2" in height.

I did at one time use the beautiful DwarvenForge tiles which are also about 2" in height, and made my floor tiles to integrate with them. We quickly discovered though that the walls on the DwarvenForge pieces got in the way and inhibited flexibility, so I never use them any more.

I did create cavern walls to go on my tiles, and I used 1.125" height for this (1/8" hardboard template + 1" EPS foam). Picked this height so players could reach over walls easily and so I could double stack in my storage system. They do look odd sometimes because the walls all look like a ledge figures could step up to. I may replace these mostly with cavern floor tiles and 2" high irregular stone blocks.

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