Who around here uses paper-craft or other set elements at the gaming table? I have gradually been getting sucked into this little sub-hobby of D&D, ever since I downloaded the Gamers Help Haiti mega pack earlier this year. I printed out some of the dungeon tiles, mounted them to foam core, printed a few pages of 3D barrels and tables, folded and glued them up... and now I'm hooked.
My papercraft addiction has grown to the point that last night, when I should have been making notes on upcoming encounters for tonight's game session, I instead built a complete layout of the known portions of the dungeon my players are currently exploring. I justified this by telling myself, "They said they are going to backtrack and search the rest of the complex for loot, so rather than drawing it room by room, it's best to just set it up!"... right!? besides, I have a great big table that can fit the whole thing at my new place.
Anyway, I am not a rich man, which is why I go with "folded paper":http://www.fatdragongames.com/ rather than "sculpted plastic":http://www.dwarvenforge.com/ for my dungeon sets. As such, I have also made a couple discoveries that help me keep my cost down when creating mounted dungeon tiles & set pieces.
* empty grocery store pizza & cereal boxes make excellent backing for overlays. I mount most blank floor tiles on foam core, but usually put furniture, rubble, doors and other accessories on the free leavings of my breakfast habits. Unfortunately, while mounting the dungeon images to the obnoxious, printed side of said boxes produces a nice, neutral backing for your finished tiles, the printed surface does not like to hold glue. When it dries, it will often warp, causing your carefully applied binding to crack, popping the dungeon tile off of it's backing and unleashing the horrible eye of Capn' Crunch from its eternal bondage. I am currently experimenting to see if mounting on the unlaminated inside of a box will produce more permanent adhesion.
* 2 inch binder clips make excellent supports for raised platforms! I have a few papercraft columns I built from a Fat Dragon set, but last night I needed more. I have been unsuccessfully scouring art and craft stores for 2" spools or dowels to use for this purpose. Then, last night I realized a bag of large binder clips of dubious origins came with us in the move. I popped the little flippy-doohickeys out of their sockets, stood the clips on end and stuck loops of painters tape to the top... Voila! sturdy supports for that upper level balcony!
So, do any of you utilize nerdly origami in your game sessions? If so, for what purpose? What are your best practices for making dungeon sets on a budget?
...dang this post is long!