Dungeons and Dragons with LEGO: An Introduction To Table Top Role-Playing Games
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a few articles covering a few more of the specific game topics that will hopefully help those out who want to use LEGO for their Dungeons and Dragons experience at home.
LEGO is a very versatile medium, it can be used for architecture, character conceptualising, various art forms and even can be used on clothes and shoes. That is the joy of this colourful medium; you can use it for anything.
Now, as a 26-year-old male, I’ve been collecting LEGO for as long as I can remember. I collected Bionicle and Ninjago sets and got into collecting Castle Sets after the 2007 Castle wave finished. I never hit the ‘dark ages’ of putting the hobby down, and even my wife thought I would grow out of the hobby and mature. Boy, was she wrong, and now we’ve both been on Season 2 of LEGO Masters Australia as semi-finalists.
Even my wife thought I would grow out of the hobby and mature. Boy, was she wrong!
Dannii very much picked up on what we call an “addictive personality”. I pick up a hobby and I usually struggle to put it down. If I enjoy something, I usually don’t want to let it go; this explains why I also haven’t been able to stop playing Skyrim for 50,000th time.
I knew I always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, long before Stranger Things came out. It was on my bucket list of things to try at least once and I didn’t put much effort into pursuing it at a young age.
For those who don’t know, Dungeons and Dragons is a tabletop game where one person takes the role of a Dungeon Master or Game Master, driving a narrative story using dice and creative storytelling that the other players at the table follow and create with IMAGINATION.
Yes, make-believe! These games are traditionally set in a fantasy medieval setting, in the world of elves, dwarves and goblins, but all these factors can be changed by the person in charge.
Anywho, when the opportunity came up with a former co-worker to try out the game, word spread quickly, and I found myself sitting down with literally 8 other players wanting to give Dungeons and Dragons a go. We grabbed some sheets, some dice, and played 5th Edition for a good solid 6-7 hours in one go.
And my god, it was amazing!
After a few months of playing the game with our Dungeon Master (DM) leading the way, I found myself having a different league of interest to the rest of the party and our DM. I yearned for a more serious story at its core, and less ambiguous references and in-jokes that the other party members had with the DM.
I had an interest to try out the game as the Dungeon Master.
But all I had were digital books, some character sheets and one set of dice. My DM had hundreds, I mean HUNDREDS of miniatures to litter the gameboard with. Do you want a dragon? WHAM! Down slams a dragon. Do you want a Rock Elemental? Oh boy, he’s got three! Do you want a group of bandits? So. Many. Bandits.
But what I had was something different. I had a “lifetime’s supply” of LEGO.
I managed to rally up some of the players who were also learning the game and looked to using my LEGO, a giant piece of cardboard as our battle board and scrounged up some cash to buy some D&D books. I found myself calling on my Year 12 drama skills and the most stereotypical accents you could possibly imagine, and we were set.
The first few games were a rough bumpy start whilst we got everything underway, but we soon got into the full swing of a full Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition campaign. That campaign started back in May 2016 and didn’t finish until April 2020, with a fair few month-long breaks in-between [we had two kids in the meantime].
So how did LEGO fare during this whole time? How did it go? Was it worth it?
I’m here to give help and tips to those who wish to try and use LEGO in their own Dungeons and Dragons games at home.
What I found with using LEGO for Dungeons and Dragons was the amount of versatility. I built giant spiders, bone golems, fungal-based creatures, bears, giants and even a giant wolf (which one player insisted was a giant rat, unfortunately).
Being able to make the creatures yourself was such a great sense of achievement and to be able to show off your creation to your players helped draw a visual to the narrative storytelling too. The players also have customised miniatures of their characters not only helped themselves visualise the details of their character but the other players at the table too.
In the traditional format, characters and enemies can be game tokens, carboard cut-outs, thimbles or plastic moulded miniatures that would be painted by the DM or whoever own them, potentially costing sometimes $30-$40 at the end of the day ON AVERAGE. Bigger moulds cost bigger bucks.
I had LEGO. I had Lord of the Rings, Castle, Pirates, Star Wars and Ninjago to fall back on. Why wouldn’t I give it a go?
This is the start of a multi-part series, in which over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a few articles covering a few specific game topics that will hopefully help those out who want to use LEGO for their Dungeons and Dragons experience at home. These will include what sets and figures to buy, game board options and a few of my learned do's and don’ts.
These topics will be:
“Dice Towers and Game Tiles”
“Terrain and Environment”
“Additional information and where to next”
If there is anything people would like covered, please do not hesitate to let us know. We’ll be sure to address them where we can!
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This set was provided by the AFOL Engagement team of the
LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.