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AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles featuring The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina (Basic)
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AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles featuring The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina (Basic)

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Your party moves stealthily up the dark hallway. Torn cobwebs dangle from the ceiling; to the south, a huge, iron door creaks eerily in the mysterious wind. A massive iron gate crashes down, blocking the corridor ahead!

Wait a minute. The pencil broke.

Mapping dungeons is quick, easy, and exciting with the 3-D Dragon Tiles. Use the Dragon Tiles to bring your Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventures to life.

This package includes 51 3-D figures, featuring characters, creatures, walls, and doors. Two sheets of 84 two-sided feature tiles, showing traps, treasures, furniture, and special surprises, are also included. A Dungeon Mapping Grid is provided to help you lay out dungeons quickly.

The 3-D Dragon Tiles also comes with a special D&D/AD&D adventure, The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina.

Can't find an eraser? Don't worry. Leave the dungeons to us.

Product History

AC3: "3-D Dragon Tiles featuring The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina" (1984), by Garry Spiegle, is the third "AC" Accessory for Basic D&D. It was published in June 1984.

Origins: (AC)cessorizing. TSR continued to switch up the contents of their "AC" Accessory line with AC3: "3-D Dragon Tiles featuring The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina" (1984). The previous releases had been: AC1: "The Shady Dragon Inn" (1983), a book of NPCs; and AC2: "Combat Shield and Mini-Adventure" (1984), a traditional GM's screen and adventure. Though "AC8" contained another mini-adventure here, the core was something more innovative: 3-D terrain.

About the Components. At the time, TSR was experimenting quite a bit with innovative game components for tabletop play. "The Shady Dragon Inn" had included a black-and-white battle map of the inn that could be used for tactical combat. Then, B6: "The Veiled Society" (1984) had included a "paper sculpture": black and white 3-D models for some of the buildings of Specularum that could be cut out and pasted together.

"The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina" combined these ideas, but raised them up to the next level. It includes a full-color "Dungeon Mapping Grid", which is pretty much D&D's second battle map. "Feature Tiles" can be placed on the grid to depict furniture and other obstacles. In addition, there are also full-color stand-up walls, doors, characters, and monsters. Each encounter lists which 3-D figures and which feature tiles to use in the room.

It's notable how far these components were before their time. The so-called "Dragon Tiles" foreshadow the much later D&D Dungeon Tiles (2006-2012), while the idea of laying out individual encounters with these sorts of tiles would be the core of the encounters of D&D 4e (2008-2012).

Adventure Tropes. This rather short house crawl is a simple macguffin quest of the damsel in distress sort.

Exploring Mystara. There is no indication that this adventure is set in Mystara, and in fact AC8: "3-D Dragon Tiles featuring The Revenge of Rusak" (1985) would confirm it isn't. Remarkably none of the major fan magazines seems to have retrofit the adventure into the Basic D&D world.

Future History. "The Revenge of Rusak" is a direct sequel to this adventure.

About the Creators. Garry Spiegle worked at TSR, writing supplements for several different RPGs from 1983-1984. "The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina was one of his last publications from TSR before he jumped over to the short-lived Pacesetter and co-authored the Star Ace (1984) RPG.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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March 13th, 2012
A set of cardboard standups to represent dungeon and building interiors with some minis for adventurers and monsters also includes a D&D B,X,C adventure. [...]
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Product Information
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
16
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9121
File Size:
9.57 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 30, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on July 04, 2017.