Review copy of Modular Inn – Map-Tile Set courtesy of Black Scroll Games.
- Made for the 1 inch is 5 feet standard scale.
- Beautifully done inn tiles. The lighting from candles and windows is very well done.
- There are 55 different tile images here (not including doors, walls and corners), 30 of which are populated with items (the other 25 are empty in order to allow you to allow to populate them yourself using printed items though quite a few of these are variations with different lighting)
- Door pieces, wall pieces and corner pieces allow for open walls and not filled in corners to be filled in and result in a better looking final result.
- The set, as the name “Modular Inn” suggests, is modular and allows for many different combinations.
- VTT use is considered and files for that specific purpose are provided in .jpg form.
- Draft tiles are provided in order to plan out an inn before printing a large number of tiles.
Could Go Either Way
- I personally really like the 3D style that Black Scroll Games uses for their terrain but it might not be your thing if you prefer a 2D art style.
- Your campaign might not include combat in an inn, which isn't as common as a classic dungeon, and as a result you may prefer to role-play through the situation and not use a combat map. You could still use it to map out your inn, but it wouldn't be as useful. If you are planning some combat encounters indoors, this set will look a lot more tempting.
- The great lighting, which gives the set a great daytime appearance, doesn't work for night.
- There isn't a staircase going down tile (you can get around this by using the staircase tile that's present and overlapping it with another, but for more complete workaround see below).
On December 6th 2016, Black Scroll Games released a set of tiles to help Game Masters easily create inns for their tabletop games called Modular Inn – Map-Tile Set. These new inn tiles are in the same 3D style as The Keeper of the Realms, which I reviewed earlier and liked. It was perfect timing too, since I got them in time for a D&D game that involved an inn combat encounter.
There is quite a large variety of tiles included in the set. From bathroom to kitchen, the common rooms you can think of are here. The more exhaustive list is kitchen, bar, cellar, bathroom, fireplace, stable, bath, table and chair in the open, and fireplace. Some of these also have different variations, resulting in 30 different tiles populated with items. There are also staircase tiles that show stairs going up a floor. There isn't one for staircases going down, which makes it a little difficult to make a second floor that mirrors the first. However, I was able to get around this by covering everything but the staircase on the staircase tile with the other tile I wanted to use and then covering one row with the next tile (this is to keep the same number of squares). You could also leave one of the walls open, representing where the staircase would be, and overlap one row of squares afterwards so that they match. As long as the overlap doesn't produce odd results, you can get away with this. Just like with The Keeper of the Realms, empty versions of the tiles are provided as well. This allows you to decorate the room yourself if you'd like.
The tiles are detailed nicely and there is some serious attention to detail. Extra doors are provided in order to provide easy entrance to other rooms you might attach. There are also corner pieces added, which are a really great idea. Since the set is 3D, the outer edges of the map are the walls in perspective. This means that when you combine tiles, there will be a gap between the beams in some cases and the corner pieces fill this part in. Similarly, there are also wall pieces that allow walls to be added to any of the tiles present.
In the files there is also an option to use a less vibrant colour overlay. It gives the tiles a different look when used and in the case of tiles with windows, gives it a cloudy day look. Light still comes through the windows in this setting though. I like having the option between the two though.
There are smaller draft tiles with references to the pages where the full sized tiles can be found. If you don't want to print everything in one go and only want to grab what you need to save colour ink or something, this is very handy.
The tiles themselves look very good. Just look at the sample images here. The 3D style adds a perspective that really gives the tiles a sense of depth even though they were on paper. The lighting also adds to this while also looking very nice. Some tiles have windows that let sunlight in. This sunlight is rendered and further helps to give the tiles a sense of depth. The stables in particular have strands of light coming from outside through the wood and they really add something to the appearance as well.
The grids aren't obvious on this tile even though they are meant to be used with the standard 1 inch is 5 feet miniatures. This means that the stone floor components are visibly rough as you'd expect from stonework, even though they do conform to a grid. The result is that the grids fade into the artwork. The wooden floor components use the same style where one of the 5 feet section may be made of multiple smaller planks.
Inns aren't as common a site for combat as an underground dungeon is from my experience. However, if you are planning to run a few inn or indoor encounters, this set will look very tempting. The tiles can be quite easily used for the interiors of houses, particularly bigger ones. Instead of an inn, you can use it for a rich person's big house or for a feasting hall. For smaller sized houses, you can quite easily combine the kitchen tile with another tile and form a small house (for space reasons the owner might roll out their bed on the ground at night). This doesn't work in all cases though because some tiles have too many tables. The bedroom tiles also have 2 beds, but if you need to you can always cut these out yourself from a full tile and place them in the room if you bought the PDF version. The down side is that it wastes some ink.
What I felt Was Missing
Often when players finally reach an inn, it's night time. A fair number of the tiles have windows and show sunlight coming through. You can use the reduced saturation option to try to make it look more like night time and rationalize that the light is moonlight, but I don't think it's a perfect solution since it seems a bit too bright still. It would have been nice if the rooms had windowless versions as well and windows could be placed the same way the doors can. These windows could then be made dark and these windowless tiles could be used for both windowless rooms and dark times of day. This may be unreasonable for the printed sets but would have made for a welcome addition to the PDF document.
As mentioned earlier, there isn't a staircase going down tile or cut-out. This makes it harder to mirror the first floor in the second floor. This means you either need to get clever with covering up parts of one tile with another to have things match, just remember that the first row of a particular tile would be the stairs, or design your inn in a way to account for this (have the main area have a high ceiling and have the rooms be over the kitchen and behind the bar). I also thought it would be nice to have a ladder alternative for the cellar since it would be helpful to make the interiors of smaller houses.
The empty tiles are a nice option. However, the tiles have some very nice items that would have been very nice and useful to be able to place myself. The ones off the top of my head that come to mind would be tables, chairs, chests, boxes, and beds. Having these would allow for basically any interior area to be made. This probably would have also been unreasonable for the printed set. This isn't that big of a deal because I can still cut these features out myself though it would be a bit inefficient from an ink perspective. It also doesn't matter if you have these things from another source, such as 3D printed items or a different set.
The price is posted here. At the time of writing, it's $7.95 for the PDF, 19.99 for a physical printed copy and 19.99 for both a PDF version and physically printed copy. Black Scroll Games occasionally have some deals as well, which may be worth keeping an eye out for if you feel the price is too high.
This is a really good inn set despite a couple of things that hold it back from being my ideal set. Having a going down staircase piece, some options for night time, and including some of the items used on the tiles to help populate the blank tiles would have left me with no complaints. It doesn't stop the set from being a very good set for making inns, especially if you like the Black Scroll Games 3D art style. The number of tiles (55 in total, 30 of which are populated with items), the details, the art, the .jpeg files for VTT use, and the lighting effects all help make this a good set in my eyes. I'll be using it going forward when I need an inn encounter. I recommend a look at the images provided on the product page to help decide.