Archive | July, 2015

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Starting at the bottom, Dungeon Floors.

31 Jul


PART 3: The Base Board.

As promised, here’s the next part of the dungeon build. This time we are going to be talking about making dungeon floors, more specifically a flagstone floor base board like the one in my own modular dungeon system.


First off your going to need a large board as the base for your floor. I used a piece of hardboard for mine, its cheap and easy to work with. You could use whatever you want, I just used it as I have several big bits laying around, but MDF or thin ply would do just as well. The added bonus for me at least is that large thin pieces are easy to store behind wardrobes and other furniture out of harms way until I need to use it. If storing large pieces is  problem, you could use smaller bits that fit together (even though I have one big main one, I do have a couple of smaller ones for when I run out of room to create bigger dungeons.)

What you will need for this method is textured foam backed bathroom mosaic tiled wallpaper. Using this stuff is fantastic for terrain making in general, its uses go far beyond just dungeon flooring. It saves a ton of time carving and making detail, as its all done for you.


As you can see, it has a raised stone effect pattern. Ideal for simulated flagstones. At 28mm size it has loads of detail that will give you a brilliant effect, check out this close up and you’ll see what I mean.


It comes in a variety of colours, all of which are just as good (since you’ll be painting it anyway) If your willing to fork out for a roll of it, it’ll set you back under £10 (thats in the UK, I’m pretty sure you can track down something similar in the rest of the world) If you don’t want to put your hand in your pocket, a good way of getting it is to visit your local decorating or DIY shops, or where ever sells wallpaper where you are. Most of the time, these shops will be more than willing to give you big sample pieces for you to take home. A good idea if your doing this, is to not reveal what you want the bits for, just tell them your redecorating and not making models with it! Another way to get sample pieces is to go online and ask. This is better for smaller terrain bits since they are usually A4 sized sheets (easy for the companies to send through the post) My advice is to go and buy a roll or two of your preferred textured paper, it’ll serve you well and you’ll have more than you’ll ever need. The online ordering of samples is good too as you’ll be able to go to at least 10+ different places and get loads of free textured sheets for other projects, these below are some decent ones I’ve been using during this build.





Ok, so back to the build. The next bit is quite simple, no big mystery. Get your board and stick your paper to it! You can use PVA or wallpaper paste, although PVA dries quicker.make sure if you have more than one piece to stick to the board, to line it up carefully and accurately of it’ll look wrong.

Once you have done that and its dry, paint it up black with either cheapo spray, or some other cheap paint. You can by all means use acrylic, but I recommend using the cheapest way you can, as you can get through a ton of paint if your making large areas like this. Water based emulsion wall paint is great if you can get it in black or dark grey (I think its called latex paint elsewhere)

As you can see, my dungeon pieces are grey stone, so I advise for the uniformity and look you use the same colour scheme and tones for the whole dungeon. I achieve this by the emulsion method. I use the same mid grey wall paint for everything then it all tones in.

Once you have the undercoat done, gradually start drybrushing the board with dark grey graduating up to your desired tone you prefer (if you use emulsion, you can use cheap white emulsion to lighten it up,what ever you can get your hands on.)

Don’t forget to seal it in with some matt varnish (I used several coats,which is why some thought I’d used linoleum for the flooring, which you could do, although it might make the process more expensive, and your board lots heavier!)


And thats all there is to it. if you follow this process and advice, you’ll have a base board for your dungeon similar to mine! as you can see from the above pic, it looks very cool, and requires minimal effort and is quick to do.

So, I hope you enjoyed this article and got something out of it, so next time I’ll be telling you how to construct your wall pieces, again really quick and simple and a nice end result. Ciao!!

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Kicking it old skool, Fighting Fantasy…

30 Jul


PART 2: The skirmish engine.

Before I get into the tutorial mode for the basic dungeon construction, I want to go into a bit about what system I’ll be using to run the games with (which will factor greatly on how the build goes and which monsters to use etc)

Deathtrap Dungeon

Deathtrap Dungeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I intend to run most of the games with my kids in mind, I wanted something not as detailed as a traditional RPG (Such like D&D and others) the emphasis is not on the roleplaying aspect, but more of a skirmish fought in a dungeon environment. Sure there will be all sorts of RPG-esque flavors to it, but I want it to be as simple as possible for them to pick up.

If you can remember, back in the day when there was a craze for all things Fighting Fantasy related, we were promised a miniature battle game to use with their line of masssive plastic figures GW/citadel. I waited for this to be made available in my local games shop, but it never came. Why? I dunno,but it always made me wonder.

So, I’ve had the books for too long to remember, but it always struck me how easy it was as a system to create a mini game around it. Resolution was easy, just three stats, all based on D6’s (Well 2D6 for the most part, but all you need is a few good old six siders) So the idea has been mashing around my brain to create a decent homebrew version.

The 3 main sources of info I’ll be using to base my 100% unofficial Fighting Fantasy Dungeon skirmish miniature rules on.

So, the entire thing will be played out as faithful to the old school system as possible, using these three very same books. I know that I’ll have to introduce more definitions, movement, plus many other bits (making magic work in the limitations of a miniature skirmish game rather than an RPG, missile weapon ranges, converting traditional monsters found in miniature ranges to FF versions, Dealing with traps, and so on…) but I’m sure there will be a quick fix somehow.

The original fighting Fantasy Miniature line from last century!

I’ll be putting out some PDF versions of my homebrew rules as I collate them, so that everyone who’s interested can have a go, they will of course be free and a labor of love, so please no C&D letters please, although if I thought they were decent enough I’d be tempted to approach the rights holders to see if they’d want me to write it into a proper book to release (I know, but I can dream!!)

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be honest so far, there are very few things needing doing to the system I’d  need to address. Skill, Stamina, and Luck need no changes for a characters  transition to a skirmish game, a tweak of the character sheet will do too. The  damage system will be changed to accomodate faster play (I’m thinking that  maybe a critical on a six that allows another damage roll on top, without a  ceiling that is, providing you keep rolling 6’s!)

Advanced FF is handy, since while not being as basic as normal, we have  more options for game definitions that I can pick and choose and I’m sure  that adding movement wont be too hard either. Ranges will be shortened for  playability, and magic will be streamlined to fit the environment of the game,  some bits will be chopped completely as they are not needed at all.

No doubt I’ll be able to mine the gamebooks too, for traps, monsters and all sorts of ideas, and I’m sure there will be lots of you sending me suggestions and ideas too. Please do, any little helps!

Don’t forget, Pure Evil miniatures has got some lovely licensed fighting fantasy minis out, so I’m going to have to get me some of them (especially the blood beast from Deathtrap Dungeon!!)

Like the dungeon construction, I’ll address each bit in an article to define  them as I go along. I already have a book of notes ready, I just wanted to give  you the thematic flavor before I go into all the core rules, additional stuff and  optional rules I have in mind, that way if you read all the articles in order,  it’ll build up a cohesive overview of my project, and maybe inspire you to try  it too!

Ok, so that’s out of the way, next time I’ll be starting the build run through with how to make the baseboard and the process and materials I used to do it.

Remember guys, YOU are the hero(s)!!

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: Errata??!!

29 Jul


Just checking the last post, only to find the post lost back on the 20th of the month!! (For what reason, I really don’t know, since I wrote this today!) So if you’d like to read the first and latest installment of Dungeons of Doom, click the link and take a look!

Grim’s Dungeons of Doom: The Beginning…

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Grinning Skull Miniatures, Set 2 avilable from Alternative Armies!

29 Jul

Just a quick post (or shameless plug if you prefer!) to also tell you that the latest releases are also available as a set, currently at £31.05 (usual price £34.50) so if you’d like to take advantage of this great offer from Alternative Armies and grab yourself the latest collection, get over to their website and order!

Don’t forget, you can also get the previous wave, both as a collection or singles (or doubles, triples etc etc…) The range is indeed growing, with more to come. There will be a new green preview soon, with new sides and factions, races and beasties. You’ll see the forces of the B.E.A.R.S (Bio Engineered Advanced Ranger Squadron) and their nemesis, eX-T.E.D (Think mutant teddies with guns and powers…!!) More Zarglian invasion forces led by the High Prefect and aided by the smaller zargling attendents, and for those who need mutant marauding plants, keep an eye out for the Klorzids (Feed me seymore!)…More about them later!!

Grinning Skull Miniatures release: The Zarglian Invaders!

29 Jul

Ok, so I’m a little late on the mark, since these were released last week, just been busy! Let me introduce you to the Zarglian invaders, the carnage continuum’s very own alien genocidal race, out to spread terror and domination throughout the outer fringes… These figures are cast in fine quality resin and would make a worthy addition to any slimy tentacled alien army, let me tell you a bit about them….

From the depths of space, the Zarglian invaders come with planetary dominion in mind. These tentacled marauders have arrived to dominate all other lesser lifeforms with their superior prowess and intellect, till all falls to the zarglian race. The Zarglian Stellar sovereignty spans countless worlds and systems, over centuries they have taken planet after planet and subdued many alien civilisations. Usually backwater worlds that offer little resistance to an invasion. Ruled by a ruthless royal line, much of their dominance can be seen as little more than a statement about how great and terrible they are (as can be seen by their huge heads!) It is the Zarglian way to assume that they are the highest form of life in the known galaxy, so humble is not a word they know how to use, and neither is subtle, favouring large displays of power just to show the enemy just how great they are and everything else is insignificant compared to their great empire.

Zarglians are identified by their two main striking features. First is their huge heads and massive pulsating fleshy brains. Often they choose to adorn themselves in elaborate head dress, to further extenuate just how big their brains can be. This is due to their custom of those who have the biggest brain, are usually more intelligent. Contrary to the fact, an average Zarglian is no more smarter than any other star faring race, they just imagine themselves to be. Even though the brain appears to be soft and squishy, it is quite tough and is not easily damaged as you’d think, this comes from millennia of evolution and adaptation , which without it, they would have died out a long time ago.

The other feature that distinguishes them from other creatures is the sea of writhing tentacles they possess as appendages. This makes them surprisingly fast and agile, able to do many things at once. It is unknown how many tentacles zarglians have exactly, experts would say that the number varies per being. With their like of racial superiority, it could be said that this might figure in a similar manner to the brain size. You’d imagine that due to their appearance they require a large amount of water to survive and that is why they seek new worlds to conquer. This is not the case, long have they evolved the ability to operate in many a locale and their tech aboard the saucer shaped crafts is more than adequate to provide them with all to survive. indeed their technology is advanced, lasers, sonic weapons, disintergrators and rayguns, as well as hyperspace capabilities and teleportation. They are ahead in terms of psionic ability, using mind bending telepathic devices to communicate to other races, probably just to taunt their foes and tell them of their impending conquest! So, prepare to serve your new intergalactic masters, and hail the great Zarglian Emperor and prepare for world wide invasion!

Available in single or squads of 5, in fact any number you’d like. Also keep a lookout for more zarglian forces coming soon (Every zarglian army needs a grand high prefect to lead them, don’t they?) A green preview also coming soon of the new wave (I’ll tell you more in the next few posts)

Incidentally, if your wondering why I haven’t been around to post these releases here, well I’ve been busy with life stuff, so haven’t had too much chance to update here (or anywhere for that matter) Soz guys, (note to self: must try harder!!)

Anyway, get over to our good friends at Alternative armies for the Zarglians, clukkatrix and all the other releases, past and present to grab some for your own games!!


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