Product Review – Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Dungeon Tiles Master Set: The Dungeon

Yeah, I know, two reviews in a row, right? I don’t have a hell of a lot to say, and frankly, I figure I may as well keep current.

Previously, I had said I had no interest whatsoever in Essentials… But I’d forgotten that they were planning on releasing “Master Sets” of tiles. And one thing I say about this game is, you can never have enough maps. Thus, I have some interest in Essentials: This set and the two after it, and whatever else they make.

This set comes with ten sheets of tiles that possess the “Dungeon” theme. As you might expect from Wizards, the majority of the graphics on the tiles are recycled from earlier sets, though most of these sets are currently out of print. This makes it a good purchase on its own, on top of the fact that, with ten sheets, you can get a lot of mileage out of the set without needing to buy multiple copies.

There are even a number of black tiles that are, I assume, designed to suggest walls (a big problem I always had was my players trying to walk through walls, but that’s probably my own damn fault…).

If I have any complaints about this set, it’s that we get reprints on one side, and very often… Nothing on the other. Just blank tiles. Yes, blank tiles are a GOOD THING, but this set has far too many; roughly half of the tiles are blank.

Still… if I were to come down on this thing for something as petty as that, I’d be a pretty bad reviewer. The set is worthwhile, especially for newer Dungeon Masters, who probably don’t have a large collection of maps yet. Likewise, there are no angular or curved pieces, making this perfect for most dungeons. Other sets ought to follow this pattern.

As something of an added bonus, the box itself has tiles on it, and can be used as a raised platform. Oddly enough, the bottom half of it is exactly as tall as the stairs and raised platforms from Harrowing Halls (and, one assumes, Deserts of Athas). And seeing as how The Dungeon contains no stairs (and thank God for small favors!), this actually gives me a reason to suggest Harrowing Halls and Deserts of Athas, if you want to add some third dimensions to your dungeons.

Overall, this is one of the best sets we’ve seen in the last year. Leave us to hope that the next two, and any others they decide to release for the Essentials Tile Sets, maintain this level of utility and quality.

Until next time, happy gaming.

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