I realize the emphasis here is fantasy... but even there not all settings are carved out of stone. The last few games I've run have been in Rackham's old Aarklash setting (for their Confrontation and Hybrid games) and centered on the evil Dirz who are kindasorta like dark fantasy versions of Dr. Frankenstein... underground laboratories with tiled floors and vats of artificially created monsters... creepy surgical rooms. The dwarves in that setting have a lot of steam-tech... so it would be useful to have rooms that felt a bit more industrial/manufactured (as opposed to carved/dug out of dirt/stone). I'm sure D&D must have these sorts of areas as well. Ravenloft certainly would.
I'm guessing it might be as simple as taking a basic tile and running some dowels or straws along the walls as pipes/conduits... having fewer random/organic shapes... doing something to make the floors appear tiled or metal plated. Anyway, that's where my interests lie at the moment...
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2012 15:06:34 GMT -5 by simlasa
I'm sure D&D must have these sorts of areas as well. Ravenloft certainly would.
Only in a very few places. Lamordia is the only "Core" accessable area that would really have some of this. Nosos is obviously the best example of an isle (And of Steampunk feel in general, Paridon arguably being a second)...but other than those two notable exceptions, most of the setting has a very dark medieval feel to it. The only places that may rise above what would be considered fantasy-esque generally are the Mordentish speaking realms and a few of the islands in the Sea of Sorrows. Even then, the feel is colonial or renaissance fantasy, so not much in the way of change in tile construction. I suppose RavenLoft has a mutable thematic quality though, so it is concievable to give it a more steampunk feel. Sci-fi is a bit of a stretch though, except when it comes to mad science that (once again) is popular in Lamordia. Otherwise Sci-fi lends itself more to SpellJammer.
But that aside, a couple of very easy tricks could be used to give any given tile a sci-fi or steampunk feel. straws, as you said, can be used to represent pipes (and a bit of cardstock glued around can be used to represent the joiners of the pipes that you always see). Getting a piece of wire mesh from a hardware store and using it to create painting effects will certainly work. But really, the most simple solution of all is to use metallic paints, and perhaps paint on irregular square panels on the floor, then run along the edge of the squares with dots of paint to make it appear riveted. I'm certain other very simple solutions can be found for this type of tile base.
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2012 17:03:23 GMT -5 by onethatwas
Making Rails for the lightning rails in ebberon would make a great short tip, as well as various other things. Another short tips episode would be on making dessert, forest and plains based tiles. Even a dirt or cobblestone road!
I imagine that many of the tiles would also be able to be used for both. I mean a cave is a cave regardless of if it is a Dragon Lair or an Elder God Cult lair. ;-)
One of th eideas a friend is using for his SciFi stuff is get a fine netting, spray paint one color (Black in his case) then move the netting slightly and respray paint in a secodn color (silver or grey for example) and it gives an interesting grill like pattern.
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules. " -- Gary Gygax
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