Friday, January 8, 2016

DM's Note: Building Daern's Instant Fortress

So, last gaming session, the players found the rare and powerful magical item, Daern's Instant Fortress. DM problem... how to make this thing a reality on the gaming table. I just know this thing is going to be used in combat on the grid. So I decided to make a practical Daern's Instant Fortress.

First step, making the descriptive text a reality. I did some quick sketches based on the description of the item and the picture in the DMG. Placement of doors, arrow slits, the ladder, and trap door had to be worked out.

Daern's Instant Fortress
Next, I gathered supplies. I figured I would want the model to be more practical than pretty. I decided that having all four sides open would allow everyone to see exact positions inside the fortress and access their miniatures to move them around. I purchased shishkabob skewers to make the ladder, square dowel rods for the corners, plain cardboard for the levels and crenelations, wood glue, an off-silver metallic spray paint to cover the whole thing, and some extreme sharpie markers to make sure I could write on the paint.
Daern's Instant Fortress

Then, I became carefully measuring and cutting cardboard, skewers, and dowel rods. I glued it together one piece at a time and then gave the entire structure several layers of spray paint. Lastly, I drew the 1' grid with the sharpie marker and indicated where unique features are located.

The end result, while not the prettiest, should be functional in the game.

Ground level - I indicated the original placement of the fortress's shrunken cube from which the structure enlarges. The door is also on this space. The ladder is on the opposite wall.

Second story - 15' up from the first floor, this level has one section missing to allow character to climb the ladder. The arrow slits are indicated with a single line inside two squares on each side.

Roof - Another 15' up from the second story. The crenellations were designed so that each 5' square had the option of total cover or half cover. The T in the corner indicates the trap door.

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