Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The underdark - first bits of terrain

As well as playing the D&D Legend of Drizzt boardgames I thought it might be nice to have some solo games using the old 2nd edition Battle system skirmish rules. Basically the Battle system skirmish rules are the AD&D roleplaying games combat system tailored for miniature use on a tabletop battlefield. Of course I needed a tabletop battlefield that was suitably D&D....

...I'm building up quite a collection of Drow from the D&D plastic miniatures and have just finished re-reading Daughter of the Drow by Elaine Cunningham. There are some very evocative descriptions of the underdark (the underground world where various races live) in that book so I decided to knock up a underdark board for some skirmishes/dungeon bashes.

I had a spare 4x2 foot MDF board so I stuck some embossed slate style sticky backed floor tiles I bought from a DIY shop. Handily these were a foot square so eight tiles covered the board perfectly with no extra work.

I made a few trail walls and rocky outcrops from pink foam carved to look suitably rock like. I then covered the pink foam structures with grey floor tile grout and sand which dries rock hard. I painted everything with a cheap mid grey undercoat emulation paint. When the grey paint was dry I painted streaks of black,red-brown and brown yellow craft paints with plenty of water to try and match the colours of the floor tiles. A final dry brush of cream emulsion and the effect wasn't half bad.

I wanted some crystal outcrops for my underdark. I looked at some commercial sets like Gale Force Nines which where very nice but a little to expensive for me. Instead I found a bag of broken and smoothed green glass (meant as decorative plant pot toppings) in my local garden centre for £2 I stuck a load of these to some old MDF round bases and treated them the same way as the walls for some nice cheap crystal outcrops.

Plenty of extra scenery to make yet stalagmites, underground water features, lava flows, lots of fungi and some chasms are all on the list plus maybe some underdark dwelling in the style of classic dungeons and more walls and outcrops like my trail ones.

Cheers Jon


  1. Nice construction, Sir. The "stepped mound" is an eye catcher. Also, thanks for the heads-up on the "crystals" acquisition.

  2. Nice...I like the floor tiles - very simple but looks really good.