Apr 5, 2010

LEGO Inspiration for a Dungeon Master

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of LEGO, and on more than one occasion used LEGO elements in my game, from scenery pieces, to my LEGO centaur, as needed.

A few months ago, I attended Brickfair, spending a lot of time in the "castle" area and taking plenty of pictures. While many of them did not turn out as I hoped (I'm a better DM than I am a photographer, at least I hope so), I did pull a few out that I think I'll be looking at again as inspiration.

This person's layout was huge! I could have shot several dozen photos trying to capture all the elements, for example, the forest leads into an agricultural area, leading into a city, castle, port, ocean... you get the picture.

I took pictures of the trees because that's one Lego element I like to incorporate in my games. As much as I like dungeon tiles and terrain maps, for trees and rocks, and other obstacles, they don't convey the full scope of the battlefield the way 3-d elements do, and LEGO trees, like the ones seen here, should be easy to make, and can be made various sizes and foliage depending on the type of forest needed.

This photo I include for a different type of inspiration. Instead of just looking for common 3-D elements I want for my game; this scene, with a huge battle wagon and undead minions fighting a group of knights is a great inspiration for the finale battle of a module or whole campaign.

Just looking at this scene, I can start to see key elements of battle, such as the small, riderless flying creatures around the battle wagon--are they air support for the undead, or allies of the forces of good? and the fire behind the death head symbol, is that a mass projectile or just the rallying symbol for the troops... and what's inside, powering this vehicle, a team of ogres? a giant? a dragon? It's all up to the DM to decide...

... and it's good to be the DM!