Main Project Aesthetics 2020: D&D Table

For a tabletop gaming room aesthetics are everything. I plan on combining this table with a lighting and sound system in the room around it that will be key to setting the scene during games of collaborative storytelling. The main issues lies in the fact that not every game my friends and I play calls for the same aesthetic. Games like Dungeons and Dragons call for rustic or classic fantasy aesthetics while games like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020 call for a cyberpunk aesthetic filled with retro-futuristic technology, neon, and chrome.

A piece of Cyberpunk art by Tom Hisbergue. Notice all the neon and chrome.

A piece of classic fantasy art provided by Wizards of The Coast. Notice that this is focused much more on nature with elements like wood and stone.


There are two main factors that I want to consider when selecting which aesthetic works best for this table:

  • Cost of materials
  • Difficulty to work with materials
  • Most common theme played

In the end, I more commonly play games like D&D over games like Shadowrun and the cost of wood is significantly lower than the cost of the metals and glasses I would need to construct a cyberpunk themed table. The aesthetic I will pursue will then be more rustic and fantasy focused.

This fantasy aesthetic will make heavy use of dark woods, Celtic knots, and runes.

Celtic knots in wood. These are hand carved while mine would most likely be layer laser cuttings.

Runes in wood. These would do well as laser cut pieces.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • This is such a cool idea, and I’m really impressed with the scale that you are tackling. I agree with Justin that the runes would be an easier way to add the rustic aesthetic, but I think the Celtic knots are really beautiful and would be worth the challenge.

    Do you have a lot of woodworking experience, or will this be a whole new set of skills for you? Do you plan to add any other elements to achieve the aesthetic, such as painting symbols on it, or specific combinations of wood stain?

    If you’d like to see some similar projects for inspiration, I’d highly recommend checking out Lair of Abraxas in Westminster. They’re a board game lounge and have a ton of really interesting and detailed tables setup, and one specifically dedicated to DnD games.

  • Justin Engbrecht
    February 27, 2020 2:46 pm

    Hello Patrick!

    I love the look of the Elder Futhark runes in the final image, and I feel they would be much easier to add to a rustic fantasy aesthetic D&D table than the above Celtic knots. I also feel like Scandinavian elements haven’t been incorporated into modern fantasy works too often lately, but I’m not sure how heavily you want to head in that direction for this table. If you keep the table to a general fantasy aesthetic, while incorporating a couple different specific aesthetics like Futhark runes, the table might serve a wider variety of D&D campaigns better. If you’re looking for a challenge, that may lie in creating a table that serves traditional fantasy campaigns and futuristic campaigns equally well.

    Best of luck moving forward with this project!


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