Our march towards building the first dungeon room inside D&D’s Pyramid of Shadows presses on with great anticipation and merriment. This week Ben is going to show you the how-to on some morbid, home-brewed pieces. As the party approaches level 8, the monster violence level has definitely increased. Ben wanted build game accessories that made this increased danger levels abundantly clear. Follow carefully.
We’ll be focusing on two different room components: some thrown, mangled corpses and an entrance pit lined with a big ol’ pile of fresh bodies. Ben did a customary RPG Pile check and as expected, these accessories weren’t abundant. Once again, it was time to get creative.
Remember those staked heads Ben built a few weeks back? Well, they most certainly had bodies attached to them at some point before that cranky Ettin got a hold of ‘em. It’s a perfect opportunity to add some room scattering decor.
First things first, we need some expendable miniatures. Ben keeps a box handy from his random lot auction wins on eBay. He fishes through and finds a handful of suitable Frankenstein pieces. Then he grabs a heavy duty snipper and carefully severs the heads and some of the limbs (man, this is gross to write).
With modularity always on his mind, Ben creates simple, three-tile bases to mount the corpses. The trick is to try and glue the bodies onto the tiles so that they look like natural pieces on the 3-D game board. He decides to intersperse some pre-made rubble to convey more natural poses. You keep a container of broken rock at the ready, don’t you? After some careful tucking, sliding and a little super glue, the victims now appear to be resting uncomfortably on the rubble.
To convey a bit of chaos, Ben sprinkles in a little rock flock…certainly all the room’s violence has produced a fare amount of tiny stone shrapnel. Finally, he dabbles on some standing pools of blood and supporting spatter over the stones using Chaos Red.
And just like that our severed heads now have logical points of origin.
The Pyramid of Shadows entrance room for this encounter also contains a pit piled high with the bodies of fallen soldiers, innocent victims, and even friends and advisors of the evil Karavakos. This corpse stack is clearly another focal point of the area and will see plenty of action in combat.
Ben went back to the bit box and surplus minis stash. Cutting and clipping with great ferocity, he gathered all his body parts. Naturally, he tried to glue them down with some sensible stacking but realized late that he had to layer it a little so it looked more like a heap of victims.
Everything had to be glued down to a make-shift base so he grabbed a piece of handy model board and primed it black. The party gets an early perception check to try and spot the Carrion Crawlers below so he had to leave some subtle lines of darkness between the corpses. At first glance, there was too much black showing so Ben grabbed a little more rock flock mix and spread it about so that everything blended better. The flock also helped cover up some of the pesky super glue spots.
The final product definitely grossed Ben out a bit so he knew his piece was complete.
Next week we’ll go big and show you how all the home-brewed pieces came together in our first Pyramid of Shadows room reveal!
Questions to Ponder: How would you have posed the bodies? Any special tricks Ben missed? Did you like the flock effects? Got any spinoffs or suggestions on the body stack piece? Has the appropriate amount of fear and danger been conveyed?