by Mike Shea on 22 March 2008
I was really looking forward to ripping open my two sets of Fane of the Forgotten Gods D&D Dungeon Tile sets. The Dire Tomb sets really re-invigorated my love for Dungeon Tiles after the disappointing Underdark set. Every time I built a dungeon using Dire Tombs I was able to use just about every single piece in the set. I built some multi-floor ziggurat-style dungeons that were large and expansive and a lot of fun.
After opening up one of my two sets of Forgotten Gods, throwing them out on a table, and spending about an hour of trying to build a decent dungeon out of them, I have to say I am disappointed with Fane of the Forgotten Gods.
First, there aren't nearly enough big room pieces. A good set, like Dire Tombs, included three double-sided 8x8 pieces. A good dungeon needs some nice big rooms. Instead, with Forgotten Gods, we only get two and two sides of them aren't rooms but overland buildings. One of them is a stable. A stable! What Forgotten God came from a stable?
Because only two of the five sheets included large rooms, there is an abundance of smaller flavor pieces. I always have a hard time with the flavor pieces. I really don't want single square pieces. I much prefer larger 2x4 pieces with alters or 2x2 flaming cauldron pieces. There are a few nice 4x4 pieces in Forgotten Gods including some sort of sphere of soul catching. There's also some good statue pieces. Overall, however, there are way too many small pieces.
Another complaint I have is the abundance of odd-shaped pieces. There are four corner pieces and a whole bunch of 45 degree aligned pieces. These are extremely difficult to place within a room or line up to any of the other hallways.
I know the Dungeon Tile designers want to make these sets flexible but that flexibility comes at a high cost of usability. I'd much rather have a set with six to eight room pieces (four double sided rooms) and a smaller amount of flavor pieces. Dire Tombs really had the perfect mix of large rooms, good hallways, and nice usable smaller flavor pieces.
I really can't get over that stable. I think I have a stable just like it with the overland dungeon tile set from a while back. Why not have a circular room or some other oddly shaped rooms?
I hope future sets take the approach taken with Dire Tombs and less like Forgotten Gods and the Underdark sets. It shouldn't take a mix of multiple sets to make a good six-room dungeon.
I really like the D&D Dungeon Tile sets now that I figured out the best way to use them. However, sets like Forgotten Gods are disappointing. I hope the designers go back to sets like Dire Tombs and avoid the abundance of smaller pieces over larger room pieces.
Though disappointed with Fane of the Forgotten Gods, I look forward to the next release.