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Pop-up D&D kits lower the epic cost of epic tabletop terrain

The team behind Skinny Minis is back with a high-concept crowdfunding campaign

Two miniatures stand atop an octagonal platform above a pool of molten lava. The terrain is made of paper, like a children’s pop-up book. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Dungeon in a Box turned heads a few years back, raising more than $1 million in crowdfunding for Skinny Minis, thin plastic miniature character standees with two-sided, full color illustrations. They’re just the thing for Dungeon Masters on a budget. Now the publisher is going back to the well with something even more high-concept, borrowing the same techniques used to make children’s pop-up books for a rugged, dynamic line of tabletop terrain called Stonefold Kingdoms. The campaign launches on Kickstarter today.

A set of paper bits lying on a table next to the Player’s Handbook. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
The dwarven dungeon, with liquid magma and other bits of dangerous terrain, unfolded and ready for play. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Stonefold Kingdoms terrain lays flat for shipping and storage, meaning it’s cheaper to send out to customers than the heavy, chunky bits from an organization like Dwarven Forge. While the layouts aren’t nearly as detailed or dynamic as the Brooklyn-based manufacturer’s, they’re a lot less expensive and take up less room in your apartment. Dungeon in a Box’s kits are also extremely well made, with thick card stock and a smattering of magnets embedded inside. I’ve been able to run a few games with them at home and so far we’ve had very little damage beyond a bit of wear and tear from setting up and tearing down.

The marquee offering in this campaign is called a Foldable Set Piece, one of which is shown above. It’s comprised of a one-foot-square panel that folds up to create the main playspace, with hefty cardboard endcaps that help keep it open and stable during play. There’s also a little topper that comes with that can add another level, or be magnetized to the rear of the diorama for 360-degree accessibility at the table. According to a news release shared with Polygon, each Set Piece comes with its own scatter terrain and decor items as well. The Rocky Mountain Peak, for instance, includes ladders, a rope bridge, and large ice crystals for cover. The Dungeon Forge, shown above, includes carved stone designs that convert the dwarven runes and carvings into dragon-themed, demon-themed, or even “underdark”-themed locations. Note that all of the terrain also features subtle one-inch grids.

Dungeon in a Box’s campaign features a line of magnetic dungeon walls too, as well as a handful of other scenic sets. Pledges start at $129, which includes four “credits” that backers can use to grab the items that they want. A single Foldable Set Piece and accessories are one credit. Physical rewards are expected by November 2024, with a retail release to follow in 2025. Retail pricing has not yet been finalized.

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