I love 3D terrain for tabletop RPGs, and the Fantasy Facades Kickstarter from Bannerless Builds offers a great solution for all your town adventuring needs!
I always use figures for my RPG gaming, and even though I primarily use Roll20 for my mapping, I use 3D terrain any time I can. Not only does physical terrain add a beautiful visual element, but I’ve noticed that my players are more likely to think three-dimensionally in terms of their actions when presented with a 3D environment. They start seeing walls to climb, roofs to sneak over, and shadows to hide in.
Greg Bowes, Bannerless Builds’ lead designer, had similar experiences with his gaming groups.
“I fell in love with 3D gaming when I owned my own game store and used to play wargames with customers. I tend to think more creatively in 3D. One example was in a recent game when the bad guy was escaping from us, up some stairs while his minions kept us at bay. As the mage I blasted the stairs apart under him, causing him to fall.”
At the same time, however, Greg wanted a system that was not too cumbersome and was easy to set up. Fantasy Facades by Bannerless Builds uses the same idea as old Spaghetti Westerns– entire towns would be fabricated quickly because of the buildings just being false fronts of a building.
“One night I was watching Blazing Saddles and the scene where they recreate the town near the end made a lot of sense to me, in that they had to do it quickly. At that point, it all just clicked in my head.” Bannerless Builds Lead Designer Greg Bowes.
Fantasy Facades utilizes this same movie magic, providing storefronts and other terrain pieces to represent the exterior of a fantasy town. Whether you’re attending the Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint, or fleeing from the City Watch in Waterdeep, Fantasy Facades flexible design allows you to quickly assemble the scene you need.
It would be difficult to have terrain for all situations, and that’s why I use a flat-panel LCD laid flat for most of my battle maps, but one place adventures go to repeatedly is the village or town. They may have received a mission from some hooded quest-giver, or are just returning with hard-earned loot to trade in for different loot, or maybe they’re just looking for a stress-relieving bar brawl, but you’re sure to be spending time in town, and Fantasy Facades offers a versatile solution for encounters that occur in the streets of any town!
The Kickstarter offers a base set for $65 Canadian (about $50 US), and sets go up in content and price from there.
Once you’re in, there are also add-ons available to assemble the pieces you need to complete your vision. Shipping will be added once the total weight of your selections is determined in pledge manager.
Like most premade terrain, Fantasy Facade terrain is designed with 28mm figures in mind. The miniatures here are a mix of 28mm Reaper minis and 28mm Pathfinder Battles miniatures.
The terrain is extremely rugged, and while I did not go to the extremes as they did in the video on their Kickstarter (where they flat-out brutalize a piece– to no avail. It holds up well!) I did throw one of the demo pieces into the air and let it fall onto my concrete porch. True to their claims, the terrain survived unscathed.
Fantasy Facades are easy to set up with the provided attachment clips to help stabilize the walls. It’s easy to make straight and corner set-ups.
Bannerless Builds provided a couple of painted pieces to show how beautiful they can be, but note that Kickstarter rewards will come unpainted. If I get a chance I’ll paint some of the provided unpainted pieces. They look like they’ll be pretty easy to paint with a base, some quick dry-brushing, and some final detail painting.
I’m excited to use my town set when it’s my turn again in the gamemaster throne. My players will be enjoying Sandpoint through the magic of Fantasy Facades!
The Kickstarter is already funded and then some. There are just a few days left though, so hop on over there and get in on this great terrain. Your players will thank you!
Disclosure: Bannerless Builds sent some sample pieces for my review. All opinions remain my own.