The Thieves Guild Premium Set is a brand new pre-painted scatter terrain set from WizKids’ Pathfinder Battles product line. While it is created with Pathfinder in mind, it is perfectly usable for Dungeons & Dragons, utilizing the same sizings. Made up of 15 pieces, there are a range of object sizes, with the likes of training dummies, tables, a full on altar and much more included. However, is the set specific to a Thieves Guild scenario, or will it get a lot of use in any location? Let’s find out!
(Editor’s Note: The images in this review mostly show the pieces of this set in a scenario constructed in WarLock Tiles. These are not included as part of the Thieves Guild set)
The main and largest piece in the set is a 3“ tall stone Norgorber altar, on a base that’s around 3.5 – 4” in width and depth. Coming with a small staircase at the front, it’ll sit on top of tiles or terrain to dominate an environment. With a gridded floor the altar is 3 by 3 spaces. These spaces are over an inch wide – allowing them to easily accommodate miniatures whilst fitting into a grid system. On top of being a large striking piece, to drop down into a dungeon, the altar has a few tricks and extras.
Firstly, the altar itself comes with a removable back wall. DMs can flip the wall piece around to give it a plainer look or show the side with a robust looking lock and chains, to best match the environment it is used in. This could be used to indicate something has been activated, flipping it around or even removing it to allow adventures to progress onward. The frame is always there. So, when the wall is removed it is like a doorway of sorts – for a party to courageously bundle through.
That isn’t really the flair piece of this item. There are two braziers (fire pits) included in the set. While they can be used on their own, they look a little baseless until used in conjunction with the altar. With two holes in the floor section, flanking the small staircase, these pop in. Taking a look at the base of the altar reveals two switches. These turn on LEDs that shine light up through the red translucent plastic of the braziers. It isn’t necessary, still it adds another level of wow factor to the piece, especially as they have three settings fully on and two pulsing modes. Being battery powered it was nice to find that these come pre-installed, unlike the battery found in the WarLock Tiles Summoning Circles. It’s a small thing but not having to find a small screwdriver and do it yourself is a nicety.
The flair doesn’t finish there, though the glow does. Two corpse piles are included that fit over the sides of the staircase, as if they are flowing down the stairs. It would have been nice to have one of these with a flat base, as they are designed to sit on top of the stairs. This could have allowed the corpse piles to almost extend into and across a room more, rather than just further elevating the stunning focal point that the altar is.
Aside from the main centerpiece, there are a range of smaller scatter terrain pieces that’ll get a lot of use. Regardless of if you are using Dwarven Forge, WarLock Tiles or simple battlemats, these can add ambience to rooms, outside of being used for a full on Thieves Guild style scenario. For example, there is a thieves weapon rack, an archery/throwing dagger target and training dummies, with one listed for pickpocket training. These pieces can comfortably fit into random dungeon rooms to give them flavour, not being limited in scope by being part of a Thieves Guild set.
Two tables are included, one topped with gold and loot, while the other features a card game, tankards and a bunch of candles. Neither would be out of place in a busy tavern, nor would they seem unusual in a side room of a gang’s lair. Neither table topper is removable. Therefore, not being out of place in a variety of locations is important. To accompany the tables are only two chairs, so it can look a little odd having two tables with one chair each. This is something that is easily solvable – utilizing only one of the tables at a time with the two chairs or sourcing additional chairs. It is perhaps just an oversight of the set, not to at least have a bench or stools alongside the two chairs. For those who have seen our recent reviews, the chair model is almost indistinguishable from WarLock Dungeon Dressing set (which included 4 chairs), which is also from WizKids. However, those included in this Thieves Guild set do seem to have more texture to the wooden effect, a minute difference but at least they aren’t 100% identical for variety’s sake.
There are two micro pieces in the set, a single loot sack and a thieves’ tool pack. They can be utilized as key pieces of loot for players to find along the way, though this will probably only see them used a few times in a campaign. From another point of view they can be added on top, adjacent to or even under other pieces such as the tables to add additional flair. Via flair like this players can use pieces more often, swapping these little extras to give visual variety – though chances are adventurers will want to pick them up if DMs leave them about in a dungeon. Being so small in size these pieces can be a little fiddly, but that is worth it for the extra details they bring to a location.
A training door, backed with enough locks to make a goblin in Gringotts proud, is included. Akin to the doors in the WarLock Tile Doors & Archways set, it comes with a transparent base. It is slightly less bunky, with a thinner frame, than those doors, though it is still a similar size. Alas, the clear plastic used for the base isn’t quite as see-through – with a slightly cloudy look. This is a minimal cloudiness though, with terrain more than visible through it. Unfortunately, when used with WarLock Tiles it does suffer in the same way as that Doors & Archways set. As there aren’t any 1 inch WarLock Tile walls it can be a bit awkward to fit it into a location – though this issue won’t be present if using it on battlemats.
As stunning as the pieces included are, there are little extras that could have taken this set to the next level. The training door and the treasure chest could have opened, despite the extensive number of locks on both. The table contents could have been small scatter, like the loot bag and thieves toolset, as then they could be used on and off of the table for more variety. There are however plenty of lovely touches that make the set worthwhile. From the opening trapdoor, which can have a small ladder piece popping out of it giving depth, to the flags and bells that dangle from one of the training dummies, each piece has stunning little details that’ll bring locations to life. That’s all before the altar gets set down in a room, which can be used as “just” flavour for a room or part of some elaborate puzzle to open the door of. The key aspect is that much of the set can be used in a multitude of environments, so it’ll get a lot of use as long as you keep adventuring.
(Editor’s Note: The Pathfinder Battles: Thieves Guild Premium Set was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. The set is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)