Critical Hits Podcast #29: Randall Walker and Mike Shea on Terrain

Mike Shea of Sly Flourish interviewed Randall Walker of Initiative or What? (Deadorcs on Twitter) about the use of terrain in your 4e D&D game. Learn how to effectively use terrain to mix up your encounters and hear plenty of ideas on how to take an ordinary monster fight and give it a whole new dimension by shaping the battlefield. Also learn tips about using and making physical terrain in order to give your encounters another dimension.

Additional Reading:

Terrain in 4e (70 minutes, 66 MB)

[Download MP3 versionPodcast FeediTunes Link]



  1. Great podcast! As a regular user of both Dwarven Forge and World Works I am all too familiar with the pros and cons of having 3D Terrain (and the pros far outweigh the cons) 🙂

    Just to touch on how to manage 3D setups, you can also use foamboard with 3D terrain to set up stuff in advance (similar to Mike’s tile/posterboard solution). I personally use black 3×4 foam boards.

    If you have the space you can just set them aside until needed, or in my case when space is limited, just stack them on top of each other and remove each layer when needed. Granted its a little tricky to move and occassionaly little pieces may shift (so use sticky tacky)… but on the whole, its quick to fix and makes for super quick transitions between locations.

    Randall I feel your pain with the folding tables and that blasted divet!

    Mike your blog continues to inspire my games! Thanks!

  2. Guys, I listened to the podcast and due to some random surfing I was doing during the podcast found this:

    It’s the Terraclix system for the Malifaux game, 1″ compatible, out August 5, 2011 and affordably priced. The video in that link looks amazing, and seems to be the closest thing I’ve seen to the Lego-bricks type stuff Mike was talking about.

    I’d be interested in hearing your impressions. My only real terrain exposure is the WotC tiles, of which I have almost every set.

  3. @Tom: My largest complaint regarding Worldworks Games and similar PDF terrain folks, is the cost in printer ink. The art is beautiful, but printing detailed full-color terrain is pricey (even on a color laser printer). That said, this pre-printed card stock offering is interesting and they seem to have come up with an innovative system to keep the material together. Card stock comes with its own set of issues (vulnerability to liquid, crushing, bending, etc), so I don’t use it for what I consider “hard working” terrain (frequently used and modified). I think, though, that I might acquire the set for use as town or village terrain. I would love to create a few “stock” towns, mount them on board, and then just drop the town on the table. The kind of product that you’ve mentioned would work ideally for that.

    My two cents. Glad you enjoyed the interview.