Building Your Own Dungeons for Role-Playing Gaming

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Building Your Own Dungeons for Role-Playing Gaming


Anyone who’s involved in role-playing gaming is likely already familiar with Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture. They make silicone rubber molds for architectural building blocks and details for castles, Gothic churches, dungeons, fortresses, and the like. You buy the appropriate molds for the buildings you want to make and then you cast the number of components you need using plaster of Paris (or other casting materials).


Over on Geek Dad, Ryan Hiller has been running a series of how-to articles on using Hirst Arts molds to cast fantasy building blocks, how to create your own custom molds, and how to put it all together to create a modular dungeon terrain system. The results are quite spectacular and will make any dungeon delving gamer’s dice hand itch.

dungeonCasting_3Casting pieces is so easy, even the little ones can get in on the action. They will then have the satisfaction of knowing that they made the dungeon that they’re adventuring in. In the above picture, Ryan’s then seven year old son casts some dungeon bricks.

dungeonCasting_4The process of casting is as simple as mixing the plaster, filling the mold, leveling the mold, and removing the bricks when they’re dry.

dungeonCasting_7Once all of the components have been cast, they can be glued together using carpenter’s glue, mounted (Ryan used cork board), and then painted. Here are Ryan’s finished components.

dungeonCasting_6Hirst Arts also sells molds for tavern furniture and the sorts of items you might encounter in a dungeon. Above is some of Ryan’s collection.

DSC_0051_2In part 2 of the series, Ryan shows you how to create your own custom molds, and in the process, makes this awesome sarcophagus using an embedded mini for the lid.


The molds sell for around $30 each, so it can quickly get a little pricey casting all of the parts you need for a respectable dungeon, but the molds can be used over and over again. And if you’re part of a gaming group and everyone chips in, you can have a mold collection to cast and construct some pretty impressive fantasy architecture.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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