GameMaster’s Forge — Let’s do this.

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Anyone who knows me (or follows me online) knows I have a passion for GMing. I love everything about it, the prepping, setting out snacks and firing up tunes while waiting for the players, rubbing elbows with other gamers as they try to crack the adventure I’ve laid out before them. The great thing about the job of Gamemastering is that it comes with so many creative tasks and endeavors that can be tackled. Everything from drawing maps, painting figs, sculpting terrain, making buildings, assembling music and sound effects for ambience… In fact for someone like me (who is a jack of all creative trades but a master of none), being a Gamemaster is just a glorous excuse to scratch all those nagging itches that demand scratching. I never know where the role is going to take me next or what I’ll discover.

A few years ago I developed an keen interest in building terrain for tabletop. I should point out I’ve dabbled in terrain building for years, but it was exactly that — dabbling. I remember back in 1981 or so I used the plastic protective grid off an old box fan as mold, to produce bricks to build a miniature castle with. Only I didn’t use plaster. I used actual mortar, and then laid each brick. Hey, I didn’t know any better. In the end the thing weighed almost thirty pounds. Unfortunately, my wife and I were military at the time and for years afterwards we were sort of transient, bumping between two countries and a handful of states. We didn’t have the room or the workspace for me to delve too deeply into tabletop terrain and related projects. So I lived vicariously through those who did.

Fast forward to a few years ago. Long story short, the wife and I settled and grew roots. We bought a house and with that house came a backyard barn/workshop. about the same time  Youtube videos, facebook groups and other venues where creative/talented types shared their work began popping up in my browser and getting bookmarked as I prepared to take the plunge. I dipped my toe by doing a few projects here and there and those ended up leading to other, more ambitous projects.

Again, if you’ve followed me online at all, you know I love to share work-in-progress (WIP) photos and updates of such projects. Not only does it feel like giving back (to all those who have inspired me) but it’s a great ways to get feedback, tips and suggestions to improve. Below are a few examples.

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One thing I didn’t expect were the number of emails and quieries asking for tutorials and how-to’s.  Apparently there are a LOT of people out there who are were like me. Dabblers who are intersted in learning more.

So, this is my response. I will be posting step by step work in progress updates here on various projects (both projects I’ve already completed and those I hope to start soon). Right up front I have to point out I work on terrain pieces because I find it relaxing. Especially when I have writer’s block and need to shift focus for a few minutes. Nothing gets ideas flowing for me more than picking up a piece of clay, an xacto knife or a brush. If I get bored with a project, I’m prone to put it on the back shelf and work on something else for a few days (or begin something entirely new). So consider that fair warning. You might come here one day to find I’m working on a Pringles tower and come back a week later and I’m working on a fire pit, a ship or just rambling about the last movie I’ve watched.

If you have questions feel free to post them or email them to me. If you have requests on something you’ve seen me build in the past and want to know more about — let me know.

Lastly, I’m no expert. There are plenty of master builders/crafters out there who put me to shame. I marvel at their work, borrow ideas, pick their brains and try to emulate what they are doing. In fact one thing you’ll be find here in the future are lots of links to other builders and resources.

I’m also something of a different-drummer sort of guy when it comes to Terrain building. Sometimes I do things a bit — differently. Doesn’t mean it’s a better way, just another way. I try to make each piece I work on a learning experience and that usually involves pushing myself to the point I feel like I’m in over my head and often surprising myself.

Speaking of the Pringles Tower…

I’ve recieved a LOT of questions about the pringles can tower, I’ve  been working on the past few months. So many fact, that I thought it would be a good place to start with my next installment.

Using pringle cans to make towers is fairly common and I was actually inspired to do my own when I stumbled across THIS photo…


Now this tower was actually made from a 3D printed kit — and actually looks pretty decent.

The tower I ended up building is quite different. Next entry I’ll discuss the materials needed and getting started.


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