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Underwater 3D Gameboard

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After a while and a bunch of talk, here is the 3D gameboard my dad and I designed and created for my wife's underwater Dungeons and Dragons campaign. (3D combat gets pretty crazy)

The bottom is a larger wooden board followed by 3 levels of clear lexan above it. Each level is seperated by wooden dowels with enough room to fit hands in and move models around.
All the wood is stained blue. Each level was completely masked with tape, then I cut all the lines out of the mask leaving just the 1" squares left. I used a lighter blue spray paint (enamel, which sticks to surfaces better than normal spray paint) and gave it 4 light layers. To protect the paint, I used a satin clear varnish, but apparently the container lied and it ended up transluscent. The side with the lines painted on faces down and the lexan is thin enough that things still line up fine - this gives us a flat playing surface. (which means later it can be covered with overhead paper and drawn on with eraseable markers)
On one side of the dowels we used metal nuts with threaded outsides so they could be screwed into the wood. On the other side of each dowel is a metal bar that's a bolt on one side and a screw on the other. (no head) One end is screwed into the dowel, leaving the bolt end sticking out of the dowel, allowing everything to be bolted together. The very top is capped with small bolts to hold the final layer on.

Oh yeah, and the clear levels are bullet proof.
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K3lit0's avatar
That's so cool. What if people swim up within a level? Do you just measure or do you have something for them to stand on? We had a few 1" blocks for our warlock who would fly, so we could tell exactly how high up she was etc. Do you just keep track on paper or what? :D

Oh and what races/classes did you all play? Were you all aquatic races or did you just have underwater breathing items?

(sorry for all the questions, I'm intrigued.)
NPlusPlus's avatar
No problem, I love feedback! We've been using dice to number the increments up from their current level. Currently we're using each level as 10', so it's not too hard to remember if someone's up 5'. But when we need it taller, dice work just fine. (D6 * 5' increments)

Since this game is completely underwater, we're all aquatic subtypes from the 3.5 Stormwrack sourcebook. (which basically means you can live underwater but not above - it's a subtype that can be applied to any race)
K3lit0's avatar
Ok that is awesome, I never heard about the aquatic subtypes before. I always wanted to try that book (though I was thinking more 'pirates at sea' type thing, it never occurred to me to go underwater!) I love variants and templates, so as you can imagine 3.5 is much preferred to 4.0 ;)

I'm so jealous now. :P
NPlusPlus's avatar
*nod* Stormwrack gets into rules for both below and above water, and isn't very good at declaring when it's focusing on which. Also gets into things like strong currents and such... but the Golden Rule always applies, which is DM can make whatever they want up - so there's nothing wrong with just saying anything is an aquatic version, and can breathe underwater, but not air.
flickwit's avatar
Nice work! Reminds me of Penny Arcade freefall combat setup.
NPlusPlus's avatar
That was the first 3D gameboard I'd seen, though my wife's been planning her underwater campaign for much longer and my gears were already turning as far as 3D DnD combat goes.
ZombiiFissh's avatar
I showed this to my dad--he DMs--and he thought it was freakin' sweet. :D
annoyinglizardvoice's avatar
JandorGr's avatar
Brilliant idea and perfect construction!
Calawyn's avatar
What a cool idea! That's really clever!
grinningjester's avatar
keeper40k's avatar
Simply Brilliant :D
I'm really curious as to who shot the clear levels with bullets for you to know that lol. Very Nicely done man.
NPlusPlus's avatar
It's an industrial plexiglass used in machines to protect operators incase parts explode.
I-am-ato's avatar
Lol ow, this is kinda cool~
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