Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fieldstone Phase Two WIP rooms

Phase Two of my fieldstone modular dungeon project basically adds more rooms with more options, as well as some shorter hallway pieces and some doorways.  I've finished constructing the four rooms in Phase Two.

Two 20' by 20' rooms, with two exits, one with the exits on opposite walls, the other adjacent.

Two 30' by 30' rooms.  The recesses in the room on the right will have small pedestals in them, to be added later after painting.

I'm almost out of plaster, so I'll need to order more before I can too much farther.  Comments welcome!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Three levels down

So far the D&D mega-dungeon campaign has been running pretty smoothly.  For those who missed the earlier posts, this campaign is a fairly straightforward one featuring a dangerous, multi-level dungeon buried deep between the ruins of a destroyed manse.  The local community has suffered the deprivations of the dungeon's inhabitants for years, and now the heroes are there to clean house.

There's seven players, but I've decided to limit the table to four each gaming session.  With two sessions a month, everybody gets a chance (with one person getting two chances, a privilege I rotate around the group).

We are on the third level of the dungeon, with the group just having hit level three.  The engineer in me (I won't use the hackneyed and callous "OCD" joke) has each level having enough XP in encounters in it to advance the group a single level.  The downside is that sometimes the group has skipped encounters, etc. so the bookkeeping still has to be done.

Which way to go?

The other thing I'm doing is creating certain "themes" to each level, using along two characteristics, factions, etc.  In the first level, a small tribe of goblins had been infected by the zombie virus (yes, I know that there is no zombie virus in D&D--they are just juicy magically animated corpses, but this is my universe and I wanted Night of the Living Dead zombies).  So the party was navigating two groups--goblins and zombie goblins (zomblins, as they were called by the group.  They were led by a zombogre) which were actually fighting each other.  Level two didn't have this dynamic, partially because the XP gap between 2 and 3 is so small.  The third level has gnolls and demons, this time working together as a result of weird romance between a succubus and a divinely-gifted gnoll leader.

The two-theme paradigm allows for some diversity and character to each level without it getting overly complicated for the players.  I may have to mix it up to keep it fresh, but for now it is a nice way to structure things, and the game is, as I said before, moving very smoothly.

And yes, I'm already thinking about the next campaign...

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Fieldstone Phase One Completed

I've finished the highlight coat on the pieces of the first phase of my fieldstone modular dungeon.  The highlight layer changes the appearance pretty significantly.

I used the pieces in level one of my "Down Among the Dead Men" D&D Megadungeon campaign, and they worked pretty well.  You can't do super-elaborate layouts with the pieces, but it's only the first phase.

One possible configuration
So what's next in Phase 2?  Primarily building up the number and variety of rooms available.  Here's the list:
  • Two 20' by 20' rooms, one with two doors on opposite sides and the other with two doors on two adjacent sides
  • Four 15' hallway pieces
  • Four additional corner pieces
  • Six 10' hallway pieces
  • Two 30' by 30' rooms
  • Six modular doors
I've already begun building the Phase 2 pieces, so updates should be forthcoming.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Fieldstone Phase One mid-tone painted

Last night I got the first phase of my fieldstone modular dungeon painted with its mid-tone color, "Gleaming Tan" by Valspar.  The lighter color really makes a difference.  There is just one more layer of paint after this one--a highlight layer of bone white.

I've already begun work building the second phase of the dungeon--mostly larger rooms with more options.

Comments welcome!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Two new campaigns: Unity and D&D

The past couple of weeks saw the gaming group launch two new games--one just in the trial period, the other for a longer haul.

My friend John ran Unity, which is still in Beta from a Kickstarter project.  The game is a techno-fantasy RPG heavily influenced by sources like Final Fantasy and RWBY.  There's a lot of anime/cinematic action with over-the-top powers and a strong reward for colorful descriptions of what your PC is doing.  We played the sample game in the world of RWBY, which is a favorite of mine and the kids.  It's a little reminiscent of 4th Ed D&D with at-will powers, powers that drain a pool of points (e.g. mana or focus) and daily abilities.  I kind of like the popcorn style of 4E and this was a good lighthearted game.  Hopefully I can provide a more in-depth review later.

I also kicked off my D&D campaign "Down Among the Dead Men," a gothic-horror megadungeon.  Looks like I have seven players, which I'll cull down to five at a time per session.  I'll have to see how to juggle that.  The first session introduced the PC's to the blighted town of Woodhaeven, the local monastery, weirdo mage, general store, and tavern.  Oh, and lots of rumors about a cursed mansion that burned to the ground mysteriously five years before.  They checked that out near the end of the session, only to find it inhabited by wolves and stirges.

It was a good first session, and I hope it continues to thrive.  More as it unfolds...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fieldstone Phase One basecoated

I have all the pieces from Phase One of the fieldstone modular dungeon painted with the darkest basecoat.  The pieces will have three layers: a dark layer painted over the entire thing ("Cowboy Boots" from Valspar), a terracotta-colored main layer that shows the dark color in the crevices, and a bone-colored highlight layer.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Fieldstone Modular Dungeon

In the past, I have built a modular dungeon, which for those who don't know is a terrain collection used to depict a stereotypical dungeon layout for a fantasy roleplaying game.  I use pieces cast from Hirst Arts molds.  My previous one was primarily done with the Smooth Floor Tile and Wizard Wall molds, and was composed of small pieces that required a lot of assembling.  That almost took up too much time and stalled gameplay.

I decided that I would build another dungeon, one that was less flexible than the gothic modular one, but easier to set up during the game.  I also decided I would use a different mold series from Hirst Arts.  I went with the "fieldstone" series of molds, which are on oldie but a goodie when it comes to Hirst Arts.  The accessories are not as detailed or numerous as the gothic line, but look good and are easy to cast.

In planning the project, I went with phases of development, with the idea that I could expand the series in steps as I went along.  Throughout the back half of 2017 I slowly made progress on Phase 1.  As it stands currently, I have completed building the Phase 1 pieces.

Phase 1 includes

  • Two 20' by 20' rooms
  • Ten 20' long hallways
  • Six corner pieces
  • Four "T" shaped pieces
These will not be painted with three colors: a dark base layer, a medium main layer, and a light highlight layer.  I'll work on that step while casting the pieces for Phase 2.

Comments welcome!

Fieldstone Phase Two WIP rooms