Let’s start off by applauding the theme – we seemed overdue for a classic dungeon expansion from the talented crew over at the Forge. As you know, reusability is always key when deciding on what terrain to buy (or create) and the Ruins are universal in their setting. That valuable layout flexibility means they can be used by DM’s in countless scenarios. The window sills even let you transform the Ruins from a damaged indoor dungeon room to a battered outdoor building (think 80s reversible jacket).
Ben was once again awe-struck in the set’s detail. Everybody knows personal touches ultimately define one’s RPG landscape. In the case of the Ruins set, we’ve got scattered leaves, finite floor cracks, and tiny rocks strewn throughout the individual pieces. The joyous kicker is the added depth brought out by the layered dirt and stone. You even have pull away stones for those pesky traps or treasure-filled hiding places.
The Ruins also has some slick solo bits including a ladder, thin stone pieces, and stand-alone wall barriers. Ben just drools over these babies as they can be used with any other DF set with ease. You do own at least one set of each Dwarven Forge theme, don’t you? (wink, wink)
Hirst Arts creators should be pleased as well as the set provides the usual pallets of inspiration and makes it easy to integrate into Bruce’s Fieldstone series. Ben tends to favor Dwarven Forge over Hirst when taking his game on the road because of the added durability of the pieces (and their mysteriously light-weight).
There are even smaller, thinner floor pieces that give you lots of 3-D opportunities – a technique Ben and the gang have used in the past with Wizard’s dungeon tiles’ series. Try and get creative here.
At $89, the Ruins set is reasonably priced and you can certainly get by with two sets. Ben nabbed three because he had to snag that bonus, killer Dragon’s nest.
There’s no denying the pride of ownership when building your own terrain but there’s always a right time, perfect place and strong case for buying the best – and that my friends, is Dwarven Forge.
Questions to Ponder: How many Dwarven Forge sets do you own? What is your favorite set? Would you use the Ruins in an indoor or outdoor setting first? What D&D modules might require a Ruins layout?