Affordable tabletop roleplaying peripherals are too few and far between, so an opportunity to take a look at some of the offerings from 1985 Games and their abundance of affordable D&D/TTRPG accessories was an opportunity we had to see for ourselves. The team offer a wide variety of products, but today we’ll be covering their ‘Dungeon Craft’ series, their ‘Deck of Stories’ and their player handbooks to determine if they’re worth your hard-earned bucks.
Dungeon Craft is is 1985 Games’ most popular offering, with its first volume giving players access to 1000 reversible terrain pieces, monsters, buildings, treasures, critters, trees and NPCS that work with any standard sized battle map. Each tile has amazing full-colour art, and are made of surprisingly high high quality card stock with laminate coating, making them water resistant and compatible with dry/wet-erase markers.
Every tiles offer for some RPG interactivity as well due to their reversible nature. One moment, your party’s tent may be perfectly fine, then throughout the chaos of what makes D&D so enjoyable – your wizard gets a big trigger happy with fireball and BOOM, flip the tent tile, and now now it’s a burning inferno. It’s the little well thought out aspects like this, that just make the entire kit a Game Master’s dream come true.
Miniatures and scenery are always intimidatingly pricey, and I think Dungeon Craft is the perfect introductory affordable option to tale-top gamers to effectively visually role-play sessions, without needing to break the bank. 1985 Games also offer a number of additional Dungeon Craft volumes with more tile varieties, to continue expanding your TTRP tool-kit.
Deck of Stories
The Decks of Stories series offered by 1985 games are a really interesting and unique story-telling tool. Each volume comes with a 50 card deck of various RPG scenarios for you to incorporate into your TTRPG for any type of setting, which a custom built story-telling system to help players fit the prompt into their story structures. There’s a lot of story decks to buy as well, so if you ever manage to burn through all 50 of the stories available in each deck, you can always pick up the next one for even more prompts.
I’ll be way too up-front (I’m sincerely hoping none of my play-group reads this) – but I now heavily rely on my deck of stories to for campaign preparation since I got my first volume. It’s amazing that a simple card can help in mapping-out such well-thought ideas that can last multiple sessions of a campaign.
The aspect I enjoy the most about the deck is that you can pick and chose your cards based on the specific scenario your group is in, if you need to introduce an area, raise some conflict or add a climactic twist to your sessions – there’s options for all of this, and you don’t necessarily have to implement the scenario where it’s suggested. Maybe an introductory scene depicted on the card makes sense half-way through your own home-brew setting – just implement the card and let the chaos unfold. Nothing on the cards are a definitive, hand-holding mechanism, their simple suggestions for you to incorporate however you like.
At the bottom of each card is a hook that allows you to spark an idea for potential conflict, and some suggested next steps to help round out your story. Flexible storytelling and creative problem-solving are earmarks of any great tabletop game this is by far something I’d recommend to any Game Master who sometimes struggles to think on the fly, or someone who simply wants some unique scenarios to play-out with their groups.
1985 Games player journals aren’t necessarily anything brand new or innovative to the genre, but they do offer a cost effective option for new or returning players that skips the need of having to messily layout your player stats and spell slots. Each journal includes everything you would find on a standard character sheet, as well as plenty of room for notes in a range of colours.
I always love providing newer D&D/TTRPG players with player-handbooks that have all of the nitty-gritty laid out for them, just so it’s one less thing for them to worry about, and with a really affordable price of $24.00 for a pack of 3, it’s absolutely something I’d recommend. There’s also manuals available for DM’s, but coming from someone who has so many notes I’ve had to create my own wiki, this was never going to work for me.
Of course, everything I have covered is a small segment at what the team at 1985 Games have to offer, so if you’re like to check out the full range of their products, I suggest you to visit their website.