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Troy’s Crock Pot: The Moldy Dungeon

Posted By Troy E. Taylor On July 9, 2008 @ 1:01 am In Crock Pot,Tools for GMs | 12 Comments

What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em

Card stock buildings, erasable battlemaps, D&D brand Dungeon Tiles, homemade encounter areas drawn with crayon. Those have been my tools in trade ever since I landed on the other side of the DM screen. For me, I think those aids and accompanying miniatures help D&D players jump into tactical combat and really utilize the abilities and feats on their character sheets.

Know when to walk away

Each has their advantages, whether it be 3-D representation, quick’n’easy utility, top-notch graphics or made-to-order designs. Their drawbacks are well-known, too, whether it’s burning through printer ink cartridges, the same color beige, organization of tiles, or prep time.

Know when to stir the (craft) pot

So I’ve taken the plunge. I’ve ordered some CastleMolds from HirstArts out of Sedalia, Mo. (Gotta talk up Missouri, the homestate of my beloved Mrs. Taylor). I’ve not much experience with plaster casts and silicon molds, but the aforementioned Mrs. Taylor has done such things for years, namely for Sunday School craft projects and the like. 

So the plan is to use these molds to creature a modular dungeon I can take to my gaming sessions. I won’t have to rely on cardstock or tiles or even the battlemap, anymore. With a set of these, I’ll have all the benefits of a 3-D dungeon, with the durability and adaptability to convert it into most nearly anything a Dungeon Tile can create.

Of course I have to build the thing, first. Oh, look, it’s time to cast another mold.

I’ll provide updates on the project as we go, and I’ll share what little I learn.

About  Troy E. Taylor

Troy's happiest when up to his elbows in plaster molds and craft paint, creating terrain and detailing minis for his home game. A career journalist and Werecabbages freelancer, he also claims mastery of his kettle grill, from which he serves up pizza to his wife and three children.




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12 Comments To "Troy’s Crock Pot: The Moldy Dungeon"

#1 Comment By rhev On July 9, 2008 @ 5:21 am

Interesting. I always liked painting minis, this could be the next step in combining two hobbies. Pseudo artwork and D&D. :)

#2 Comment By tman On July 9, 2008 @ 7:38 am

Holy !@$%!!!

I love that site! I’ve never heard of anybody making kits for scenery like that and it looks pretty easy. Please post some follow-ups to describe your results. Pictures too please!

I have some Dwarven Forge pieces (http://www.dwarvenforge.com/store/home.php), but it’s expensive and heavy. I usually only use it for big final battle fight scenes since laying it out gives away the whole map at once.

I’d be very interested to hear how much the resulting pieces weigh and what it ends up costing you to put stuff together.

#3 Comment By Patrick Benson On July 9, 2008 @ 10:32 am

Great stuff! I’m not a big terrain guy due to time, but I have to say that I am tempted to take a crack at this now.

#4 Comment By Thammorn On August 27, 2008 @ 9:24 am

For those he hasn’t told, this stuff ROCKS!!!!! Troy’s pieces are every bit as nice as my too-darn-expensive-for-words Dwarven Forge pieces. Very nice stuff.

#5 Comment By tman On August 27, 2008 @ 9:42 am

Pictures please!!! :-)

#6 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On August 27, 2008 @ 10:34 am

Funny you should ask, Tman. I have three pics queued up for Thursday’s Crock Pot.

#7 Comment By tman On August 27, 2008 @ 10:39 am

Sweet!

#8 Comment By penguin133 On August 31, 2008 @ 4:18 am

Zo, ve haf another devotee of the cardstock building, I am currently exploring it. Amazing what you can do with it; I have done a castle/dungeon “kit” from uniform sized boxes covered with stone pattern paper, currently in the throes of a town which is rapidly becoming a City! I am only doing it for my own amusement so I don’t need it to “travel”. I would love to get into those plaster moulds though, they are fantastic, they put even Worldworks’ amazing stuff in the shade. If I had a couple of players I’d likely get into them myself! I have experimented with Lego, and once had a Spanish kit called “Castillos” with stonecoloured “bricks” which made great Dungeons, as it was designed to build 54mm castles, the “windows” actually made great doorways/arches! The one advantage THAT had was it was very adaptable and fitted flush to the “ground”, I used Floorplan pieces as traps and resin pieces for Furniture and so on. I’ve also experimented with plaster casting, for Furniture bits, but it is hard to get the detail fiine enough when building your own moulds. Your castings look really great, mate!
Ian

#9 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On August 31, 2008 @ 6:43 am

Thanks Ian. The Worldworks’ stuff is good.

Strange as it may sound, I think the plaster may actually be more economical. I can build more with the plaster than I ever could with the cardstock — if you figure in the cost of printer ink and quality paper.

#10 Comment By penguin133 On August 31, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

Hi Troy, I would have sworn I had already commented here once but I can’t find it! You are right about the patience; I find that you don’t NEED patience personally, when doing something as “fun” as modelling or painting; I have had quite a few people look at my minis, never mind buildings etc., and say “I don’t know where you find the patience”. A hobby however, I tell them, is something you love doing, do for fun! With this sort of stuff you then get the secondary thrill of playing games with the stuff, and seeing your tiny troops hurl themselves into battle! When they are doing it in your own mini-world of terrain it is even better! As for the fun of building your own dungeon so your characters have somewhere to adventure in, WOW! You have inspired me however, I just may get a couple of those moulds. What would be a good “multipurpose” one to start with?
Ian
Ian

#11 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On August 31, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

Penguin: If you like Gothic style, No. 60, Prison Tower Mold has basic blocks and arches, so you can build any type of wall/structure you’d like.

If you prefer Fieldstone style, No. 60, Fieldstone Wall also has long and short blocks, as well as arches. Again, just about any wall or structure can be made from this set.

If you just want floor tiles, then either Cracked Floor Tiles No. 203 or Cavern Floor Mold No. 281 should serve.

Of course, if you just want to get your feet wet and make the minimum investment, then Basic Blocks Small Mold No. 100 for $21 can get you started.

#12 Comment By penguin133 On September 2, 2008 @ 5:48 am

Troy, Cheers bud. I shall try the Minimum route first I think, as I say have no players so not going crazy. Like D&D itself, the great thing for me is the adaptability. Although that Gothic Prison tower sounds great. I am sighing for my lost Castillos already!
Ian


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