The joy of tabletop gaming is spreading, thanks largely in part to the many popular Dungeons & Dragons podcasts and streams. With this comes new players who are eager to get their hands on the same high-quality tools they see their favorite star Dungeon Masters using. Cardboard castles and monsters made from paper tokens don't cut it anymore. People want to game in style. That's where gaming Kickstarters come in. Today's offering is the tabletop RPG version of LEGOs, only much higher in quality.
The Castle Foundry is the group behind "Castle!" The exclamation point is actually part of the name, because these guys have been working on this idea for almost 20 years and are very excited to see it finally take form. That idea is a set of pieces that Dungeon Masters can use to build their own castles, towers, or labyrinths for their games. The pieces snap together using pegs, but can snap apart once you're done using the building in question. Then you can use them to build a different structure for your next game.
There's definitely a market for high-quality dungeon-making materials. There are other Kickstarters that offer buildable dungeon pieces made to look like actual wood and stone. The difference with Castle! is that it's stackable. That means you can think up a castle or underground maze with multiple levels and actually see it realized. Imagine being able to create a doom labyrinth and quickly reveal it floor-by-floor, watching your players tense up as you suddenly reveal the next set of dangers.
Of course, these kinds of projects are an investment. The Castle Foundry made it a goal to ensure Castle! is built to last as it'll constantly be taken apart and put together again. The peg system is even designed such that your completed castle will stay together as you transport it to and from your game sessions. The materials required to make that happen, and still have it look believably like stone or wood, demand high-quality manufacturing. As such, the entry price might look steep to newer DMs. It's $49 just for the floor, and $109 for the first kit that has walls.
Castle! might just be the future of Dungeons & Dragons environments. Dungeon Masters are constantly looking for ways to improve the immersion and efficiency of their games, and a transforming castle of countless possibilities could do just that. The campaign ends in early November, so check it out now if you're in the market for your own castle.