We’re kicking off the celebration of TaleSpire Early Access with our first featured creator of the month. For May 2021, our creator of choice is Gengus4.
Gengus has been a prolific digital creator with 79 slabs published on this website since November 2020 and growing. At this point he’s created more slabs than any other member, but quality isn’t lost with the sheer quantity of content. His slabs have incredible complexity and are simply beautiful while also quite useful to game runners. In the TaleSpire beta they’ve been used consistently for live games and it’s always an incredible experience.
Gengus, besides being an amazing content creator, is also a dad. He shares his TaleSpire passion with his son which is always fantastic to see. He’s been playing adventure games and designing boards for approximately 25 years with friends and family, and has played Heroquest and Warhammer for 35 years.
We here at Tales Tavern are proud to feature him as our first creator of the month and look forward to his many more creations to come! It’s so hard with so many slabs to pick a favorite, but below is linked a splendid selection so you can get a feel for the impressive quality of work.
If you want to support him further, he has a Patreon Page where you can help sponsor his “hobby” and a Youtube Channel with his growing library of videos.
So here you are, about to create your first build in TaleSpire but you’re staring at a blank board and unsure where to start. Maybe you’ve got a game you’re going to be running in an hour for your players, and there’s no way you can build something that will make you or them happy in time. Well, you’ve found the right place to solve that problem, and with this guide you can put together an amazing adventure in Talespire in minutes!
FYI, this guide is also helpful if you’ve created an amazing creation in TaleSpire and you want to give back to the community by sharing your slab (creation) or board (map).
TaleSpire is a fantastic piece of software for playing online D&D or any other tabletop roleplaying game. Its ability to create fully immersive locations and encounters makes the game an entirely new experience, but what really makes it amazing is the community and their willingness to share wonderful creations with each other.
Well, to get you really well versed if you aren’t sure of all the terminology we highly recommend reading up on our TaleSpire Terminology Guide. Here’s a quick rundown of these first two key terms you need to know for sharing and reusing the community creations.
Slabs are the term you probably haven’t heard before. Slabs are the term that has been accepted in the community for describing the pieces that are constructed from the assets, props and minis in TaleSpire. Just like those building blocks we all grew up with, that were used to build buildings or cars or amusement parks, slabs are built with assets just the same. They can be as small as a simple garden, or as large as a mountainside with a dungeon inside. They can be copied out and shared here and if you browse our TaleSpire Slab Library you can find things for just about any campaign you could run.
Boards are what they sound like, digital bases on which you place the assets and for TaleSpire sharing purposes. They are similar to what you’d expect if you were sharing maps. Boards share the entire build data, compared to slabs that share only what you selected and copied. Boards can contain much more than a slab including minis, but they also aren’t as easy to use if you’re trying to mix and match together pieces to create your own environment.
Luckily, there are not a lot of rules for using and uploading, here are a few to follow.
First of all, the whole reason for this site and all its creations is to share and let them be reused. Mostly everything here is fair game for you to use in your private home games as you want. But if you decide to either turn a profit off these creations, or want to upload something you created that is based on or using pieces from another build, then you’ll need to make sure to follow a couple of simple rules.
If the slab or board creator that you are copying from has added a Creative Commons License selection on their board or slab, it will be listed on the details page of that board or slab (as shown below). Make sure to click the link and understand what you are allowed, and not allowed, to do with their creation.
2. Even if the slab or board creator has not listed a Creative Commons License, you should give them credit in the description of your upload if you share your new creation. A mention, link, or such is not only respectful of their work but gives them proper credit for the work they put in.
There are a number of things you can do when uploading that will both help your creation be found but also make it more usable.
Board or Slab?: First decide if it should be a slab or board you upload. Slabs are more limited in size (30k clipboard limitation) and will not contain minis. On the flip side they have the benefit of being easily duplicated multiple times, or fitting into an existing layout or board. Boards can be much larger and contain minis, so for large complex areas or full campaigns they make a good choice.
Screenshots: Make sure to get good screen shots, the more the better! You can use TaleSpire’s photo options (F6 for Camera Mode, F12 for Steam Screenshots, Windows Key-Shift-S for Windows built-in screen shots, etc.). Istallri has a great TaleSpire screenshot guide on YouTube
Categorize: It takes a bit more work to do, but if you can properly assign any proper types, terrains or locations when uploading your creation this will help users out. It not only improves search results but also lets users filter down for even better targeting. Freeform additional tags also help, so feel free to use these tags for anything you think users may search for.
Credit: As mentioned before, if your creation uses parts from other published works, make sure to give them credit or a mention in your description. This community is all about building together but don’t take credit for things you didn’t create.
If you want to find a slab or board to use from the community, there are a few ways to go about it.
Search: You can use the search box in the top right of the Tales Tavern site. This will automatically search the TaleSpire Slab and Board library for whatever you search for. This can include standard names, locations, or even creator names on the site.
Quick Tip: Once you’ve searched or are browsing, you can use the filtering options to further slim down the results if you’ve found too many matches.
Browse: You can browse the entire TaleSpire Slab/Board Library. If you have no idea what you are looking for you can simply browse through and see what you can find.
Browse by Category: If you are looking for a particular category or type of creation, you can use our browse by category page. This lets you look for particular creations based on the location, type, or terrain.
Quick Tip: Another option, if you find a slab or creation you like, is to see other creations by that creator by clicking on their name, or browse similarly tagged creations by clicking the tag in the info box on the page.
Well I’ve got good news for you, using a community-created TaleSpire slab in your game couldn’t be much easier. If you know how to copy and paste, you can use a slab very easily. Just follow these quick steps: the TL;DR is click the copy code button, and paste (ctrl-V) it into TaleSpire.
Find a slab on Tales Tavern. Make sure it’s a slab as it will be denoted above the thumbnail (make sure it says slab not board), or on the top right of the details page.
Click the button to copy the code for the slab, which can be in one of two locations. If you are viewing the slab thumbnail while browsing/searching it’s under the thumbnail picture and looks like two pieces of paper overlaying each other. If you are viewing the slab details page click the Copy Code button.
Start up TaleSpire and open a campaign, then a board you want to place the slab in.
Now press Ctrl-V and your slab will appear in the board and you can move it and place it with the mouse. Yes, it’s that easy.
You’ve created something in TaleSpire and you’re looking to share with the community your build. Let’s give you props right now, you’re awesome! This is how TaleSpire grows and becomes even better. Okay, props done, lets get down to business, albeit quite easy.
Before uploading your slab, you’ll want to save a few screenshots. We’ve got some tips if you need help on how to take screenshots in TaleSpire.
Go ahead and fill out the name, and then get the slab code.
In order to get the slab code, you’ll need to first select your entire built slab. You can select it all by going into build mode with B, then holding X (or pressing the Slab selection button in the building toolbar) before dragging the height/width of your slab. Then let go and lift the mouse to complete the selection and left-clicking so your slab is highlighted, and press Ctrl-C to copy the slab. When you do this, the selection box will disappear and your mouse will hold a copy of your slab.
You can press escape or right-click to remove that duplicate in your build, the code will still be stored in the Windows clipboard
Now return to the Tales Tavern upload page and in the code box simply press Ctrl-V. This will dump the code in for you easily.
Now go through and fill out the rest, adding locations, types, and terrains that are appropriate. Don’t forget free form tags, descriptions, uploading your images and checking off that you created the slab.
Make sure to give anyone credit who you used pieces from.
Now click Save and you’re done. Congratulations, you’ve shared your slab with the world.
Quick Tip: When selecting slabs, if your creation is too large you can break it into multiple slabs and post them separately. Try to find good breaking points so if users want to put them back together it’s easier to do.
Reusing a board that the community created in TaleSpire is very, very easy. TL;DR is open a TaleSpire campaign, find a board, click the button to view in TaleSpire, answer yes for importing.
First, start TaleSpire and then open your campaign you want to put the board in.
Find a board on Tales Tavern. Make sure it’s a board as it will be denoted above the thumbnail, or on the top right of the details page.
Click the button to “Open in TaleSpire”. This can be in one of two locations. If you are viewing the board thumbnail while browsing/searching it is under the thumbnail picture and looks like a square with a small arrow. If you are viewing the slab details page click the Open in TaleSpire button.
Quick Tip: When you click the link the browser may ask permission to open TaleSpire. You must click the open button to bring it in. Also, you can click the checkbox to have the browser not ask again for quicker imports in the future.
TaleSpire will pop up and show a message about importing the board. If you click OK the board will import and be put in your board list for that campaign.
Quick Tip: Once the board is imported it will show in your board list, but it will not automatically move to the board, so you won’t see a visible change on your current board.
You’ve created something in TaleSpire and you’re looking to share with the community your build. We said that before with slabs but you still get props. You’re stupendous! Now let;s get down to business.
Before uploading your board, you’ll want to save a few screenshots. We’ve got some tips if you need help on how to take screenshots in TaleSpire.
Go ahead and fill out the name, and then we’ll need to get the board url.
To get the board url, open your board and then go to the board menu. Once there you’ll see a publish copy button that look like a bunch of concentric circles (see below). Simply click that to open the board copy tab.
Now once inside the board simply click the big “Publish Copy of Current Board” button. This will add a new item under the campaign name you are in. If the campaign isn’t in the list, it will add it.
Click on the campaign name and now you’ll see the board copies available. The lower copies are the most recent.
Now simply click the copy icon (looks like two pieces of paper) on the right side of the board copy you want to use. This will copy the board URL into your Windows clipboard.
We hope this guide was helpful whether you’re just starting out with TaleSpire or are about to begin sharing a completely library of creations with the world. We’re glad to have you along.
If you find any problems with this article, think something more needs to be added, or simply have ideas that will help make this a better resource, let us know. We want this guide to be a community resource for every TaleSpire fan.
As we’ve reached Early Access for TaleSpire, we wanted to welcome all the new users to both TaleSpire and Tales Tavern. So come and gather round, we’re glad to have you here as a new member of this fantastic, creative community that grows with every update. TaleSpire, in our opinion, is the best way to play a tabletop game remotely with its ability to create beautiful, immersive experiences and the commitment the developers have to expanding the software for many years to come.
Those who’ve been playing and building throughout the beta proclaim TaleSpire has forever changed how we play D&D with its detailed maps and miniatures and the flexible atmosphere and ambience options which really add to a gaming experience. Of course the rules-agnostic system can be used for Pathfinder, Warhammer and other tabletop RPGs. We’ve even seen some traditional tabletop board games recreated in TaleSpire like chess and monopoly!
So in order to help you get started we wanted to give you a few quick tips on how to use Tales Tavern as well as some other valuable resources as you acquaint yourself with this new way to experience and enjoy virtual creative gaming.
Since this is new to many of you, you’ll have a lot of questions. In order to help out, we’ve created a few guides that can help you understand the TaleSpire software and its versatility as well as limitations better. We’ve got more on the way but here’s the basics you need to get started.
TaleSpire Terminology Guide – There are a lot of terms in TaleSpire that are common to most TTRPGs. Some have slightly different meanings in TaleSpire, so we created this guide to help you get started understanding the lingo.
The Ultimate Player’s Guide to TaleSpire – If you plan on playing a game in TaleSpire, this guide will help you understand a bit more on what you can and can’t do and how it all works, from choosing a mini to rolling spell dice.
The Ultimate GM’s Guide to TaleSpire – Coming soon
The Ultimate Builder’s Guide to TaleSpire – Coming soon
Slab & Board Sharing
Well, in order to experience a game in TaleSpire someone has build out a board for you to play on, or often multiple boards collected in a campaign. You can build your own, one piece at a time, but sometimes you just don’t have time for that. After all, why spend hours learning how to build in Talespire if you can simply copy and paste? Both the software and this website and map repository, help you do just that.
First, if you simply want to browse the latest slabs and boards you can find them in our Slab & Board Repository where you can simply browse all you want, or you can also use the search feature as well. You can then filter it down further to really find what you’re looking for. And if you have a particular search you like you can bookmark it and save that URL for later. For example if you want to see all Wildemount or Curse of Strahd slabs, it’s easy to find.
Now that you’ve found a board or slab, you have a couple of options on how to bring these in. You can do this either from the search listing itself or by clicking on the single page view. So let’s go over quickly how to bring them into TaleSpire.
First is the thumbnail view and what the buttons do.
Right off the bat we can tell the one on the left is a board, while the one on the right is a slab. Boards contain an entire board to be used in TaleSpire where slabs are just portions of a board (structures, hills, areas, etc.).
You can like a board or slab by clicking the heart on the left, or use the plus icon to save it/bookmark it to a collection. But for now, bring the board into TaleSpire. Just open TaleSpire, then a campaign that you have GM privileges to and click the view in TaleSpire button (shown below). Your browser will ask to confirm that you want to open the link, and once you do TaleSpire will ask if you want to import the board, and voila! You’ve got a brand new board in your TS campaign that you can edit, duplicate or just use as is.
If you want to use that another time you can click the copy button, which will copy to the windows clipboard the URL (which can be used in TaleSpire in the add board feature shown below), in the bottom of the boards menu. Or you can use the plus icon to save a bookmark to this in your collections. All your collections can be seen in your profile page once you log in via Steam.
Now if you’ve found a slab, the process is a bit different. Slabs are copied and pasted as big blocks of code. They do have an upper limit in size but still can be quite sizeable depending on how they’re built. Simply click the copy code button (seen below) and then as you go into TaleSpire, you go into a board where you want to paste the slab and simply press Ctrl-V. You can then place your slab wherever you want. It’s that easy.
There’s a ton more you can do in TaleSpire and much more on the Tales Tavern website through collections, resources, browsing assets and more to come. Before we wrap up, here’s a couple of other really useful resources.
Congratulations on joining the TaleSpire Community! You’ve got the software, you’re excited to start building, playing or maybe GMing a few games.
Well, as with any community, there’s a bit of lingo that you need to learn. You can get by without it, but if you know the terminology then you can communicate more clearly when talking about TaleSpire, D&D, or any tabletop role playing game. So let’s get started.
Now before I go into specifics of each term, TaleSpire is software to build, and play, tabletop role playing games, and therefore it has a lot of terms that coincide, often on purpose, with terms in those games. So if you play D&D, Pathfinder, or one of many others, many of these terms may seem familiar to you. This guide will help clarify what parts are the same and what’s different.
TaleSpire Building Terminology
Let’s talk building! In order to help make it a bit more concrete, many of these terms we’ll also explain in similarity to a very common building block system we all know and love. We’ll start with the smallest piece and work our way up to help explain all the TaleSpire terminology a bit at a time.
Assets are in essence the pieces used to build your creations. You find the blocks, place them on the board and start building. You can move, copy and rotate them in order to build. These assets can include tiles, props or minis. New assets are currently provided by the software through updates. So in terms of our favorite building blocks, these are the individual blocks and pieces.
Tiles are the general building blocks. These assets can include walls, doors, bushes, floors or any other piece you’d use to build your layout. Tiles will snap to the grid as compared to props (listed below) which are smaller and can be placed more freeform. Once again, in simpler terms, these are the actual building block pieces, 2×2, 4×2 or whatever shape and size.
Props are the term for individual objects in the TaleSpire software. These are what they sound like, they are distinct items that you drop in. This could be a table, or a plate, lamps or crystals. They also can be rotated and moved but generally are considered distinct items. These, in building block terms, are the unique individual pieces that aren’t used to build out the structure but add a bit of pizzazz and style to your creations.
Minis / Creatures
Minis are just what they sound like . They are the creatures, the characters, the miniatures that you place on the board. They can be player minis, monsters, NPCs, or any other place you’d want a dragon, a half-orc, a minstrel, or other creature. These can be controlled by the GM but also assigned to players to control, assigned names, made unique or even be set to fly. And yes, these in building block terms are the mini figs we all love.
Slabs are the term you probably haven’t heard before. Slabs are the term that has been accepted in the community for describing the pieces that are constructed from the assets, props and minis. Just like those building blocks that can be used to build buildings or cars or amusement parks, slabs are built with assets just the same. They can be as small as a simple garden, or as large as a mountainside with a dungeon inside. They can be copied out and shared here and if you browse our repository of community created slabs you can find things for just about any campaign you would run. There is a limit to the size you can copy in and out due to some technical requirements. This is the heart of the TaleSpire sharing community because as players build and share more, it makes the software easier for new GMs to set up new campaigns by mixing and matching slabs they create with creation from others.
Slabs can be shared between players by posting up to a talespire sharing site. Tales Tavern’s TaleSpire Slab Library can be browsed and searched and used to easily copy out a slab to reuse in your campaign. And it’s literally as easy as clicking copy on the site, and then pasting with Ctrl-V in TaleSpire.
Boards are what they sound like. They are the board on which you place the assets. They are just like those flat green boards you’d get for building with that you’d put down and build on top of. The main difference, and it’s a huge one, is that in TaleSpire you don’t have to click everything down on the ground. In video game terms you can think of a board as a level. It contains a collection of slabs, assets, props, minis, to make up that place in your world for the players to explore.
Boards may now also be shared via a url. This is created in TaleSpire using the Publish Copy button on the Campaign Boards menu. These can then be shared in the TaleSpire Board and Slab Repository for others to use. If you want to use a board from another creator simply find the board on Tales Tavern, and then click the View in TaleSpire button. This will open pull the board into your open campaign. Or if you don’t want to instantly import you can use the copy code button and then in the boards screen you can paste in the board url to bring in manually whenever you want.
Players can navigate to different boards by being pulled by a GM, or may choose to change to a different board in game on their own with the board menu.
Quick Tip: If a player moves to a board and a GM is not present, they will not be able to move around or browse the board.
Campaigns are often very similar to D&D or other TTRPG campaigns. They are the largest collection in TaleSpire as they are a collection of boards. In building block terms it’s the full set that you purchased but in reality it’s simply a collection of boards put together in one place. So the campaign may be in a published D&D module and each board could be a separate location in that module.
So basically in order of size from largest to smallest.
A TaleSpire campaign contains one or more boards, each board contains slabs and those slabs are made up of assets. The assets can be tiles, props or minis. And yes, boards can have free form tiles/props/minis that aren’t part of a larger creation.
TaleSpire specific terms
These are just a few terms that have specific meaning in TaleSpire that we figured we’d quickly mention.
This is a GM initiated mode that locks the players into a specific view. This way the GM can freeze the players and introduce something how they want with specific views, interactions, or atmosphere.
Initiative mode aka Turnbased Mode
Yes, combat is the heart of many tabletop role playing games and TaleSpire has an initiative mode. This mode lets the combat loop through the order of turns and allows the GM to add/remove creatures in that order at any time. This is also initiated by the GM in their interface.
This is where you’ll live if you enjoy building, or even as a GM you’ll be here a little as you set up and build out your boards in your campaign. If you are a designated GM on the board you can simply hit B to enter build mode and start building. This will automatically be initiated if you paste in a slab that you’ve copied.
In order to get your best screen shots, TaleSpire has a free form camera mode activated using F6. There are a lot of settings to get the right shot and once you take the shot it is automatically stored on your computer for you.
We hope this helps you understand the various terminology in TaleSpire. For more detailed uses we’re creating distinct guides. So check out our Ultimate TaleSpire Players guide and other guides coming soon.
If you find any problems with this article, think something more needs to be added, or simply have ideas that will help make this a better resource, let us know. We want this to be a community resource for every TaleSpire fan.
The croaking of frogs accompanied by the buzzing of mosquitoes and other various bugs was enough to drive any sane person to madness. One would hope that the swamp would’ve quieted down once the sun had set and the moon had shown itself, yet it didn’t. Your boots were damp, along with your socks, and to add to it all, it was humid and foggy, truly a miserable experience. Your adventuring party had slain all sorts of various beasts by now, traveled through all sorts of lands, even a layer of hell, yet this. This was terrible. You grumble to yourself in the back as your party leader shambles along in the mud. It couldn’t get any worse, could it? Yet it does, when a sudden cracking of logs and branches emits from your right to your absolute horror you see a mound of rock, vines, and logs begin to animate into a hulking monstrosity. You. Hate. The. Swamp.
BouncyRock brings your adventuring party to the swamp in Talespire’s latest update; the “Shamblin Bog”! Within this expansion, the set includes seven brand new miniatures and twenty-three new building assets spanning from tiles to plants and tree logs. Show your players what it’s like to hate everything about the area they’re in with sluggish movements through bogs and surprise attacks from lurking predators.
The Shambling Bog update unboxes seven new amazing miniatures to use within Talespire and at your digital tabletop, those miniatures include A croaker warrior, crocodile, Fenfolk Caster (Firbolg), Ratfolk Warrior, Shambler(Shambling Mound), Snapper Turtle, and a Stirge! With all of these enemy and monster miniatures, BouncyRock yet again brings more pain and suffering for players to conquer at their tabletop games!
Of course, what creatures you use are just as important as the places they fight in, and the Shambling Bog expansion didn’t leave game masters thirsting for swamp assets, they’ve included it all in the same expansion set. Every game master and inspiring Talespire slab builder has access to twenty-three props and tiles. Immerse your players in a swampy bog with various puddles and flora fit for the setting, from tree stumps to blossoming lily pads, the Shambling Bog has it all.
Bring on the catfolk (Tabaxi), Ravenfolk (Kenku) and a bunch of soldiers. A small, but very useful update with new minis for TaleSpire. When is more minis ever bad? NEVER!! Now lets get back to playing!
Bring on the sand. We had the snow and ice, lets see how those deserts fare in this latest expansion for TaleSpire. Bring on the desert walls, floors, roofs and even pottery to decorate your latest slabs to create the best environments you can. This is one of the largest asset releases and possibly the second largest ever. Check them all out at https://talestavern.com/asset-date/2020-12-13/
Join me ( MadWizard78 ) and Istallri ( IstallriAstra ) on Saturday, November 21st for our live stream review of the top entries for the LDC Contest as we go over them, and announce the winner. We’ll also be announcing the next upcoming TaleSpire contest.
Alex from the TaleSpire Discord has recently released new Chrome and Firefox plugins to allow you to roll dice in TaleSpire from D&D Beyond pages. Very cool. Check out then links below, or the full tweet announcement at the bottom:
Today we’re excited to announce a new TaleSpire contest. Tales Tavern is proud to help and partner with Istallri Astra on a new contest around his new Low Detail City collection of slabs. Join in, have fun, build something exciting AND win a Steam Gift Card!
Your goal is to build a new city exclusively using pieces found in Istallri’s Low Detail City collection for the TaleSpire community to enjoy. You have until November 8th to enter and you can find all the details and upload your slab entry at https://talestavern.com/ldccontest/ .
The judges will be looking for creativity, playability and overall aesthetics in the new slab. Other than that, have fun. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
BouncyRock has just released an update to TaleSpire. You can now roll dice from a browser url which will open TaleSpire and take the action requested. There is more planned down the road but this gets a start at allowing external interactions with TaleSpire.
Will this help or hurt your dice rolling addiction? Let’s find out.
Note: for those just getting the update, you must update TaleSpire AND start it once for the urls to start working.
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