Boccob’s Blessed Blog is seven years old. While I dont post as often as I should, B3 is still the number one search result fot D&D quest ideas on Google; and I’m proud of that fact.
If any of you are subscribers or regular readers of this blog, you will have no doubt stumbled upon several posts about Limitless Adventures and their products to help streamline encounter preparations for dungeon masters. I have reviewed their products in a previous article (click here) and supported them in their first kickstarter as well. […]
For some time now I’ve wanted to write about the Castle Molds from Hirst Arts. HA makes high-quality latex molds in the shape of medieval, Gothic, Roman, Egyptian, fantasy, and sci-fi architecture.
You cast the molds using any number of products: plaster of Paris, hydrostone, dental plaster, resin, etc. You then take the pieces and glue them together into buildings, ruins and dungeons which can be used as 3Dterrain for table top minis games or rpgs.
Think of Hirst Arts blocks like fantasy Legos. The only thing limiting you is your imagination.
- Cheap- The molds cost 25- 30 USD and can be used forever. The quality is on par with more expensive terrain like Dwarven Forge.
- Limitless Possibilities – With just a few molds you can create infinite dungeons, ruins and buildings for your game.
- Increased Game Play- Visual players will light up when you reveal your 3D gamescape. Plus having the game in three dimensions makes some aspects easiler, line of sight and area of effect. Mind’s eye theater players may scoff at 3d terrain, but overall player’s in my games seem to really enjoy seeing their fantasy world brought into 3d.
- Several Genres Available- You can get molds for numerous historical and sci-fi setting. Also the genres can be used together to create interesting overlap.
- Ease of Use- I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but even I can cast blocks, assemble them, and paint them into something that looks good.
- Easy to Paint- The blocks paint up very well any even the most novice painter will see results. The blocks are very porous and show dry brushing very nicely.
- Community of Support- Once you start into the Hirst Arts hobby there are several websites, podcasts, and videos out there to give you the support and inspiration to create amazing terrain.
- Time Consuming- While the molds and the materials used are fairly cheap, casting blocks takes time (an hour to cast and a day to dry). And you will need to cast several times to create a building or a dungeon.
- Fragile- If you use plaster of Paris your models will not be very strong, especially if you try to cast thin items like fences and doors.
- Difficult to Transport- If you don’t host your game at your home, finding a way to get your models from point A to point B can be an issue. I use a copy box with sheets of bubble wrap from the post office.
If you can’t afford the majesty that is Dwarven Forge, Hirst Arts is an amazing way of creating 3D terrain for your fantasy roleplaying game. Here is an example of a dungeon that I made for FlatCon. It is a replica of The Tomb of the Sorcerer Thane, a Limitless Adventures Side Quest that I ran last weekend.
Now that you have some sweet 3D terrain, do you need some D&D quest ideas?
Royal Caribbean is hosting a comic-themed cruise. Think Comic Con, but in international waters with the possibility of pirates. According to their website:
The ultimate vacation experience for comic and pop culture fans alike! Set sail on Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas®. This stunning Radiance-class ship is the perfect setting for an ocean-bound con packed with incredible celebrity panels, themed parties, exclusive meet-and-greets, screenings and more! With stops in Key West and Cozumel the excitement is non-stop, on and off the ship, with unique excursions and adventure-filled ports of call.
As if that wasn’t cool enough, they are bring some of the comic industries biggest names, actors from your favorite shows, and several wildly talented cosplayers.
Your cruise comes with access to all of our amazing feature panels, held in a beautiful Broadway-style theater. Come see the creators and talent behind:
- Stranger Things
- Frank Miller, The Dark Knight III
- The Walking Dead
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- DC Comics
See the full line up here.
The Best Part
As if high-fiving the world’s top cosplayers, watching Frank Miller Sparta kick a grown man out of the buffet line, and having a deep philosophical debate about The Upside Down with the cast of Stranger Things, all while wearing a Green Lantern Speedo wasn’t badass enough… The guys at Nerdarchy are holding a contest to win a free cabin on the cruise. And even if you don’t win the free cabin, the Nerdarchy crew are offering a 10% discount on the cost of the cruise if you use the promo NERDARCHY when you book.
The Contest Details
All entries received or postmarked by 11:59 P.M., ET, November 30th, 2016 from mail-in and online will be counted. Regardless of when the mail-in entry is postmarked, if it is not received by 11:59 P.M.,ET, December 8th, 2016 it will not be counted as an entry in the drawing. By completing and submitting the sweepstakes entry form in a timely manner, your name will be entered into our 100% chance drawing.
Full contest details can be found here
I cannot stress how amazing this cruise will be! While I can’t guarantee you’ll wake up in some stranger’s cabin wearing half an ewok costume; I also can’t guarantee that you won’t. What do you have to lose by visiting Nerdarchy and entering to win the contest? While you’re there, check out their store and grab a sweet tee for that walk of shame back to your cabin(at least until you find the top half of your Wicket costume).
October 21 – 23, 2016
Every year, hundreds of gamers from near and far gather at FlatCon for, as we say, “Three Days of Dice-Rollin’, Mini-Bashin’, Nacho-Eatin’, Friend-Fraggin’, Gaming Fun!” We play a multitude of games including board games, RPGs including Pathfinder organized play, miniature games like Warhammer, Star Wars minis, and historical minis, “homebrew” games, and many more.
Probably the coolest part about FlatCon is that all proceeds of the con are donated to Gamers For Life – a Relay for Life team.
Limitless Adventures will be present in the vendor area, as well as running the following games:
- Fane of Madness, Sat 10/22 9am – 1pm
- Tomb of the Sorcerer Thane, Sat 10/22 2pm – 6pm
- Murder at the Dour Dryad, Sun 10/23 9am – 1pm
- Curse of the Ice mage, Sun 10/23 2pm – 6pm
Other Flatcon vendors include, but aren’t limited to:
It should be a great con. If you’re looking for a game this weekend, don’t hesitate to join us.
I’ve been playing D&D for about 25 years. When we were still playing second edition, I would look at the TSR address on the back of my game books and think that Lake Geneva wasn’t that far away from my home in Illinois. I dreamed of visiting TSR, maybe pitching a few ideas and rolling some dice with the designers. This summer I was lucky enough to finally make the pilgrimage to the birth place of Dungeons and Dragons.
As I drove to the, I noticed that we were on county road DD, and that made me smile. I wanted to pull over and slap an ampersand sticker on every sign we passed. The area around Lake Geneva is beautiful, rolling hills, green fields, trees and lakes. It honestly reminded me of Tolkien’s descriptions of the Shire. It is an area that would spark anyone’s imagination.
Downtown Lake Geneva is an extremely cool town, beautiful lake front mansions, interesting shops, and dozens of great restaurants. Prior to my visit I inquired about what TSR era landmarks still existed on the GP Adventures Old School Roleplaying Group on Facebook and got several helpful responses immediately. Among other community members, Gary’s son’s, Luke and Ernie were especially helpful feeding me addresses and advice by FB message during my stay.
First Stop – Angel of the Waters Fountain
This fountain is a replica of one found in Central Park, New York. On the bricks around the fountain are messages from family and friends honoring those that have passed away. Gary has a stone here placed by his loved ones (pictured above).
Next Stop – Popeyes
Luke Gygax told me that if you visit Lake Geneva, you have to eat at Popeye’s (no, not the fast food place). The food is amazing, try the roasted chicken. Popeye’s has a small BBQ shed next to the restaurant where they rotisserie several chickens at the same time over charcoal.
The Horticultural Hall was the site of the first official Gen Con in 1968 (many gamers cite Gygax’s home as the site of Gen Con 0 in 1967).
Dungeon Hobby Shop
Now an ice cream parlor, the Dungeon Hobby Shop was a store owned by Gygax, served as the headquarters for TSR in the early days, and was managed by Ernie Gygax.
I was also able to see the Gygax family home, and Gary’s home at the time he passed away. Out of respect for the Gygax family and the current occupants I won’t post any images.
Lake Geneva is a great town, and I highly recommend it as a travel destination to gamers and non-gamers alike. One thing that did bother me though, there are no markers (with the exception of the stone pictured above), no plaques, no D&D shirts in the souvenir shops. Lake Geneva is the birthplace of role-playing games – an amazing, life-changing, innovative, and infinitely creative subculture, and it should be made more apparent to visitors. Luckily for me, the gamers in that community reached out with addresses, history, and even offers to personally escort me around town.