Since the original "Dwarf Kings Hold" was released, Mantic games has worked to have multiple games that can use their products. On the fantasy side alone, there is Dungeon Saga, League of Infamy, Vanguard and Kings of War that are all the same scale and the same miniatures.
With Dungeon Saga it became apparent that there was market for inexpensive terrain pieces, and thus the Terrain Crate product line was created. ( I find it funny that I remember Ronnie talking about it at Adepticon - he firmly believed there was a market, but did not expect there to be enough to justify stores carrying them. Sure there would be one of two DM's out of a give store that would pick it up, so it was originally intended to be a direct market product. If anyone has looked, Terrain Crate is carried ALL over - I have yet to go into a store lately that does not have some Terrain Crate product, even if they don't carry Mantic games or miniatures. ) They weren't the first to market with inexpensive plastic terrain, but that is because they kickstarted it - basically announcing their product line a year before it came out - allowing for larger companies to bring out their own versions.
A couple of years ago Mantic had the brilliant idea of repackaging the miniatures from Dungeon Saga and one of it's expansions to create the Game Master's Starter Set - terrain, 4 heroes, undead, orcs & goblins, and a Dragon! A great way for new Game Master's to get started on their miniature and terrain collection for their games.
They then did a modern horror version, but this time they repackaged the miniatures they had created for the Hellboy board game and their second Terrain Crate kickstarter.
These must have sold well enough, and now they have a sub-line of Terrain Crate - The Dungeon Adventures. Beyond the terrain pieces, it is now monster and hero miniatures for use in RPGs. And this has led to not just repackaging of existing products, but entirely new content created for this line - even to the point of a new hard plastic sprue for the Critters set.
So now comes the next step - full adventures for the RPG market.
The first of these is "Into the Necromancer's Lair", a short 5E compatible adventure.
This is a booklet detailing the adventure, a 2 sided map laid out in a square grid, and the terrain required to play the adventure.
The booklet essentially gives the DM all the information to run this adventure - what us old timers used to call a module back in the day. This includes adventure hooks ( back when I used to DM with my friends, and the later with my kids - it was "Ok, you are in a tavern, and someone approaches you asking for your help". None of this going off the rails and players doing whatever they wanted. I guess now a lot of gaming groups are a bit more "challenging" for the DM - more about individual character "motivation" and actually having to give them a reason to do something beyond "this is what I have prepared". So it has a couple of hooks to
trick motivate your players into playing the adventure.
(By the way, is it really railroading the party if they feel like they have a choice? "You travel down the road and come to a fork - do you go North or South?" I doesn't matter because they are going to run into the bandit camp regardless of which fork they take. But they had a choice!)
The map is 2 sided with the grid clearly laid out. Ever since 3rd edition came out with "Attacks of Opportunity" it has been critical to know EXACTLY where everyone is in relation to each other - and no easier way to do this and lay out miniatures on a map of the area, and knowing the exact measurements are often key for ranges etc.
Back in the day we were lucky to have any miniatures, let alone actually terrain pieces. We basically had the marching order (to see who got attacked first in the front, or the back), and then everything was run in our heads. Eventually we had a few minis, but terrain was drawn on a dry-erase mat.
Now it is in 3D in front of you! Sometimes it feels like combat then becomes more of a tactical skirmish game than role-playing ( move 2 squares to the left, then cast Fireball 6 squares ahead, instead of describing how your mage is running from the archers and blasting a fireball at them).
It was fun, but we never did get to the back end of the huge map he had.
- 4 grasping zombie
- 4 biting zombie
- 2 deceased merchants
- departed noble
- crypt guardian
- 2 skeletal torturer
- 2 skeletal punisher
- ghoul warden
- Kurna Tombspine - from sarcophagus
- Luni the Weaver - necromancer
- 4 grasping zombie
- 4 biting zombie
- 2 deceased merchants - skeletons with hand weapons
- departed noble - skeleton with hand weapons NOT used for merchants
- crypt guardian - dwarf revenant
- 2 skeletal torturer - skeletons w/ spear
- 2 skeletal punisher - skeletons w/ sword & shield
- ghoul warden - ghoul
- Kurna Tombspine - mummy from sarcophagus
- Luni the Weaver - this is a necromancer - the wraith or any unused mini
I would have liked to see these modules have corresponding miniature sets. They don't have to be listed on the box, but could be listed (and linked) on the web site.. Maybe that would limit the authors too much, I'm not sure. I just wonder if that is a slightly missed opportunity. Maybe they could set up a web bundle for this - some discount for the two sets and two sprues (which by themselves cost more than the module). Or maybe throw in the Legendary Mortibris points figure to use for Luni the Weaver.
If you are interested if trying a Dungeon Adventure module - Mantic has a free digital one available on their site - Chamber of the Crimson Drake. Now this is basically just the book - and it turns out it perfectly fits the miniatures and terrain in the Game Master's Starter Set
While the Kings of War RPG kickstarter died (unfortunately), at least these are a start towards that. I'm not sure what it would take to make a Kings of War Campaign setting for 5E and use these as some of the starting points. These are generic enough to be able to be dropped into any campaign setting however. I think this would be fun to run (and makes me want to play D&D again a bit) - maybe these are even something Pathfinders could run at conventions (to show off both the adventures and Mantic miniatures for them).
Because it is all fun and games . . .
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