WorldWorks Offers Gritty Industrial Settings for Modern RPGs

I think a junk yard would make a great HQ for a scrappy young superhero team.

I think a junk yard would make a great HQ for a scrappy young superhero team.

Sword and sorcery themed miniature terrain is pretty easy to come by. Dungeons, castles, tombs…they’re great, but what if you’re playing D20 Modern, or a World of Darkness game? What if your Mutants and Masterminds heroes want to battle Dr. Psychotorg in a 3D representation of downtown during rush hour? WorldWorks Games has that covered.

I posted about WorldWorks 3D dungeon tiles a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve purchased one of their dungeon sets for use in my D&D 4E campaign and spent the better part of this past weekend assembling some of the pieces. I’ll have a more in-depth review later, but for now, let me just say that I have become a fan of their products. When I discovered their “Streets of Mayhem” modern terrain sets, I was pretty much blown away.

Part of what makes these sets so cool is how rare it is to find terrain sets with a modern theme at all. The Mayhem Junkyard set just came out a few weeks ago, adding a dirty, grungy setting complete with crushed cars, piles of used tires and the dingy front office that you find in every junkyard. The only detail missing was a girly poster on the wall.

The Mayhem Junkyard is just the latest Mayhem setting, though. Mayhem Industrial includes a trucking company, industrial equipment and trucks. Streets of Mayhem is a gritty urban street scene perfect for a ton of modern and sci-fi RPGs and miniatures games, including a certain special Robot Viking project (that I promise isn’t dead!). Mayhem Downtown will give your superheroes all the tall buildings they can possibly leap over, brood on the ledges of or swing from via synthetic webbing.

There are some other things about these WorldWorks sets that are really cool. They’re not very expensive – the priciest sets are $16.99. For that, you get a pdf of all the files, plus detailed printing and assembly instructions. You’ll probably double that cost for printing supplies, but it’s still a good deal. Consider that you don’t just get one street tile or one pedestrian bridge. You can print out as many as you need and assemble them in any combination.

Perhaps my favorite thing about these sets (aside from the high quality graphic design, that is), is the fact that you get three different versions of each piece: no grid, 1″ grid and 1.5″ grid. A 1″ grid is perfect for many RPGs, since this fits the 28mm miniatures sold for this purpose. Luckily, there are a lot of good modern minis out there, though superheroes are a little tough to find. The 1.5″ grid is really interesting, as it happens to be HeroClix size. A gridless map would be useful for an RPG where you don’t care that much about detailed movement, or a game like Mechwarrior, where you measure movement with a tape rather than counting squares. Some of the industrial areas would make for some amazing Mechwarrior battles.

WorldWorks has a ton of other interesting stuff, too, like sci-fi starships, graveyards and other outdoor settings, not to mention plenty of dungeons.

4 Responses to WorldWorks Offers Gritty Industrial Settings for Modern RPGs

  1. You use heavier cardstock paper, then the bases are mounted to foamcore. They’re probably not “throw them in a backpack and ride your bike to gaming” sturdy, but they’re definitely “keep them on a shelf/in a box/drawer near the gaming table” sturdy.

  2. Ah, well, my gaming needs currently require something much more portable, at least in the sense that it can be moved quite a bit. Life of a student, no play space anywhere near storage. Which gives me a brilliant idea. I can use Heroscape terrain for pretty much anything. Easily defined elevation, infinite possibilities for variation. If I ever get the chance to finish my miniature of the week plan, expect Heroscape tiles to factor heavily. I will never understand why they never just sold tile packs. I would have bought them.

  3. We went through a phase of using these kinds of paper models a couple of years ago, although we have moved away from them since. At the time we were playing Deadlands and Savage Worlds: 50 Fathoms (pirates!), both of which have a very strong visual element. Savage Worlds insists on the use of correct scale maps for combat, which was pretty unique at the time. I thought it was fantastic for keeping the focus on what was happening where. Much less confusion about where the bad guys were (that’s not always a good things, from the GM’s perspective!), and much more use of whatever environment was present (swinging from ropes, diving under tables)

    We typically held our sessions in one location, so transporting the models wasn’t an issue, but storing them got to be one! We stacked them inside each other and focused on the smaller pieces. We did get and build the Worldworks pirate ship, but never used it. It was too awesome really, and it’s still on semi-display! But the barrels, piles of junk and fences proved to be much more useful in everyday use. Stuff that was small enough that an individual character could interact with it, but usually doesn’t get drawn because it’s boring. Also easy to put in a bag and carry around. If it gets banged up, so much the better!

    It’s all very cool stuff, even if you just use the floor tiles.

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