I’m what you might call an old gamer. I played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my friends as the first books came out. I haven’t been gaming much in recent years, but my son is finally of an age to take up the dice. Why not combine two of my favorite things?
I’ve been working on the idea of using LEGO to build D&D maps for a few years. My first couple attempts really didn’t work that well and so they just collected dust.
A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a breakthrough and came to a style that I liked. I started roughing out some concepts in Studio 2. After a few tweaks, I built my first map sections and they looked just as good as I hoped, so it was time to get busy.
My son and I spent a couple of sessions making a character and reading some rules. I’m as new as he is to 5e, so I had homework to do as well. Then last weekend, we started his first adventure.
He started out by tracking some goblinoids through the woods, where he stumbled upon their camp.
This was my first stab at an outdoor map and it turned out okay. I am particularly happy with the trees. They not only have a place for a minifig to perch among the branches, but they are modular, so that the foliage doesn’t get in the way of moving figs around underneath.
I also built the map in sections, so that I could reveal it a piece at a time as he explored. For now, these sections are held together be a well-placed tile, but I might change that to something more structural for multi-level maps.
I placed the cave interior once he’d defeated the goblinoids and gone inside to look for their treasure. Here, I’m glad that I’ve horded minifig accessories, as it gave me the elements I needed for set dressing.
When he searched the cave, he found a secret door.
This elicited some excited shouts. He couldn’t believe that I’d built the door, but for me it was the perfect prop.
He opened the door to find a tiny room of cut stone, which lead to…
A bigger room, replete with creepy skeleton and a big spider.
Once he’d killed the spider and swept the web away he found a couple of doors.
He looked behind the unlocked door to find a long unused bedroom.
Not much to find here, but a key. Which of course unlocked the other door.
This last room had a bit of cool loot. Of course, entering it caused that skeleton to get ornery and a final fight to ensue.
For a first try, this map worked out great. I was able to make the tiny adventure fun and approachable for a first-timer, and I had a lot of fun myself. I’ll definitely have to tailor my combat locations to things that I can reasonably build out, but that shouldn’t be a problem for a young, solo adventurer.
In the mean time, I am expanding and refining the map tiles that I’m using. Check me out on Instagram (@brick_root), where I’ll be posting a different map concept every day this month as part of #mapvember.
Here’s this map fully assembled.
I’ll definitely be doing more with this LEGO and D&D idea. Let me know in comments if there is something you’d like to see.
Keep building and enjoy!