Has anyone done much with Hirst Arts, Dwarven Forge or other fantasy architecture? I bought two HA molds -- fieldstone walls and cracked pavement floor tiles -- and I've cast enough to be useful in building a small dungeon. For utility, I think floors sections with very low walls are best (i.e., good view from every angle). However, I was thinking of getting more ambitious and building something bigger.
The Temple of Elemental Evil!
No, not that ambitious. But every time I look at the gothic molds, I do think ToEE all the way.
Post by geneweigel on Apr 21, 2013 17:38:38 GMT -5
Not me. It sounded cool but I just never got around to it.
On an aside, I still haven't really fucked around with my dremel. I made one idol and tried to make a wall out of wood with mixed results. I think if I had a better medium than wood it would be easier to do like clay (which I'm pretty good at).
I liked wood shop in school, and I always loved the smell of sawdust. I wouldn't mind getting into that again, and using the tools to make some gaming-related items as well. Wood sculpting is a fine old German and Nordic tradition, right? I know I saw some nice wood carvings in Germany -- I think it was in Rothenburg.
Dwarven forge is great but is pricey and not as modular as I would like to be -- although that might be improving with newer sets and Kickstarters. It comes ready to use, but some players don't like it for various reasons, like not being able to see down into the rooms or hallways from all angles.
What I really like about Hirst Arts is that it lets you indulge in Lego-like creativity by building whatever you want with the blocks. The downside is you have to do all the casting, painting, and gluing yourself. I'm trying to focus on building sections that are the equivalent of drawing the dungeon out with a marker on a mat as the players move along -- i.e. modular sections of floor with low walls -- one block high -- and door pieces. And then maybe do a few more detailed set pieces and dioramas "for show."
Tried dwarven forge once, and didn't like it. The scale was slightly off, and you almost have to design your dungeon around the DF sets. For gaming, I like floor plans. Speaking of the ToEE, for one old campaign I ran, I bought giant sheets of 1" graph paper and made full color, scale floor plans for a lot of the rooms where the action would occur.
Yeah, it is true about DF that you almost have to design your dungeon around it. At least historically. But upon visiting their website recently, I did find out that they are doing more dungeon pieces that they never did before, like with modular doors and diagonal hallways. So, they are starting to address some of those criticisms. As far as scale being a problem, I blame that more on the "size-creep" of the miniatures companies -- even though they keep calling the miniatures 25mm, they are often 30mm or higher.
One inch = 25.4mm, and I consider that five feet in game terms. It works fine as long as the bases aren't too big. That makes a standard DF hallway ten feet wide in game terms.
It's kind of sad but the best miniatures set ups we ever had were with "one-pip Legos" in Eric's games. They were about half an inch tall, and so fit in perfectly with the 1" = 10' scale. Eric used to do quite a few hand-drawn maps, some with fold-over pieces, roofs, etc. They were a sight to behold. And with that small scale, it was easy to fit all the action on a normal sized table!
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2013 14:34:20 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Post by geneweigel on Apr 23, 2013 11:53:10 GMT -5
My friend Henry inherited piles of old miniatures from someone recently and many of them are prestine versions of miniatures that I have. Its just amazing how the years have affected the looks of mine.
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2013 11:54:09 GMT -5 by geneweigel
Post by geneweigel on Apr 23, 2013 12:02:40 GMT -5
Heres something that I probably mentioned before that I collect a lot of those knight type figures that are around STAR WARS figure sized. I've been grabbing these for years its a habit that started with that bad module XL1 QUEST FOR THE HEARTSTONE that suggested using the D&D toys. Here is a TSR elf, a SCHLEICH knight, a TSR goblin and a Target $2 ant:
In the background is that modular SCHLEICH castle that I got in clearance. I already used the shit out of that.
Post by geneweigel on Apr 23, 2013 13:02:09 GMT -5
Sorry for the aside I didn't have time to write something relevant.
Back to the thread, I think the most important is tactical over looks though. Thats why I can't get my head wrapped around what to design from scratch. I wanted to do a wall section of KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS years ago but its limiting because the height is specific. Something with walls but not limiting like the problems you guys mentioned above.
I have always wanted to build KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS in miniature, and run a scenario where it is besieged, and really make full use of the description of defenses and guarding forces. Catapults and ballista built out of match-sticks and so on. It would have to be made of detachable pieces, to make it more playable.
An idea I was discussing with Eric was to build towers with only a quarter to half the walls showing -- the others would be 'implied.'
"Sound the alarm! To arms! The KEEP is under attack!"
With 2 real life inches equaling10 feet in game, how big would that sucker be?
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2013 14:38:41 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
You're right, it is just over 350 feet along the longest length of wall along the east.
370 feet to capture the entire length of the keep, since the Inner Fortress extends a bit further north. 280 feet width, to capture all of it. And like you said, that doesn't include any of the plateau or track leading up to it.
So, that is 74 inches by 56 inches, just to capture the keep itself. That's 6'2" long, as tall as me.
The tallest towers are the one furthest NW, and the two small towers flanking the entrance of the inner fortress -- they are all 60' tall, so they would be 12 inches tall IRL. That doesn't take into account the Inner Bailey ground level being higher than the Outer Bailey either.
And the whole thing would be mounted on a sculpted foamcore "rock outcropping" with sheer cliffs, chasm for the Bailiff's tower to lean over and the drawbridge to cross.
It would certainly be impressive, but only in a truly insane kind of way.
On a more realistic scale, it might be worth doing the gatehouse with flanking towers and drawbridge. You could role-play the iconic entry into the keep that way. You could play out a scenario where the player characters have to retake the gatehouse and shut the gate. A gatehouse would probably have a good bit of replayability.
So would a single tower and an inn/tavern area.
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2013 12:05:35 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
Back to the original idea, what is necessary for architecture? I think that I go the pragmatic route always. The blocks that I mentioned above (which I should redo) came in the most use for flying or elevated areas adding a new dimension. Thats another item that I had that went missing a marked off pencil by the inch for "5 feet" with electrical tape. I think that was my first improvised game tool and that disappeared off the table.
What is that 5 mm? I don't have anything that small.
I still have a pile of wood for building medieval ships that I never got around to. Everytime I try to wrap my head around it I get lost in the exactitude of medieval ship sizes. The models are outrageously priced unless you want to go for colonial era pirates and shit which has been priced low for the pirate craze. It would be fine to have a sort of galleon as an exception but thats not what I want. I want galleys and cogs as majority for the feel.
Last Edit: Apr 24, 2013 8:48:57 GMT -5 by geneweigel