View Full Version : The Watchfire Keep - Map Pack and 3D Model

08-15-2011, 09:48 AM
This month sees the release of a map from the back pages of this month's Kobold Quarterly (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/kqstore/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=kobold+issue+18): The Watchfire Keep


This accompanies an adventure in the magazine "Who Watches the Watchfires" set in Open Design's world of Midgard, and written by myself.

My plan was to create a simple, well defended Keep that could be used for a castle assault, or for adventurers to hold against the dark forces. The double gate on the entrance, crenellated walls and single wall over the steep cliff offer a selection of approaches and challenges to an invading force. As well as it's appearance in Kobold Quarterly, the Keep has spawned two products:

Watchfire Keep Map Pack


The map pack of the keep (available here on RPGNow (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=93547) and on Paizo (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/r/ritePublishing/fantasticMaps/v5748btpy8mq0)) contains versions that allow you to use this in any type of game:

Multipage pdf for printing at home for tabletop use, in both international A4 and US letter format, in colour and printer friendly greyscale
High resolution jpgs with and without grid for use in VTTs or for poster printing
Maptool campaign file with vision and light implemented for quick use in OGL, Pathfinder or 4E games.

This could be a watchfire that provides a critical warning for an unsuspecting city or the starting keep for your players when they get their first castle. At $2.99 it'll be the cheapest first home purchase they'll ever consider.

Fold-n-Go Castle Kit #1

Inspired by the Watchfire Keep, I teemed up with Brian Bartlow of Lone Tree Games (http://lonetreegames.com/) and I challenged him to create a glueless modular castle kit that would be able to recreate the Watchfire Keep in glorious 3D. I'd say he succeeded!

37814 37815

The kit is a pdf pack of textured parts that can be cut out and folded together to create modular sections of a castle. With walls, towers, staircases, gate, houses and a working portcullis you have everything you could possibly want for your inaugural fort. You can even build published keeps for your players to explore!

The kit is available on RPGNow (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=93852) and Paizo (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/l/loneTreeGames/v5748btpy8mtt).

You can read more about this on my blog (http://fantasticmaps.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/castles-kobolds-and-3d-terrain/).

08-15-2011, 11:01 AM
That is just brilliant!

EDIT: Small type on the Paizo page: "High resolution jpgs of the ships for home printing and for use in virtual tabletops (vtts) - with and without grids." I'm thinking is from a different set ;)

-Rob A>

08-15-2011, 11:17 AM
that looks GREAT ... really cool 3D map :)

08-15-2011, 11:39 AM
That 3d castle is amazing! I want to play with the portcullis!!!! Hmm I wonder if I should get this for my (cough) 3 yr old daughter as a present.

08-15-2011, 12:00 PM
whoa, that is incredible cool. It must be really neat to see your creation take on the 3d form. How do you build that? It looks like it's just paper, right? I've never done one of those type things so my thought is that you'd have to stick it on cardboard and paint it or something?

08-15-2011, 12:02 PM
hehe.. my 3 year old would have it in all its seperate pieces (and some extra) in 5 minutes :)

08-15-2011, 01:36 PM
It's paper - and also (almost) glueless. Brian Bartlow of Lone Tree Games is an engineer by day, and did all the construction of these sets. I do the textures. It's just a matter of folding and tucking in the tabs. If you're really keen you can get a robo-cutter and it does all the cutting for you, as Brian created the files to work with them. It's pretty amazing.

Just got a 5* review for this on RPGNow and Paizo that said that it's so easy kids could make it - so I'm saying it's not crazy to give it a go. If all else fails, you can just print out another wall to replace the one that got stood on/torn/eaten.

Edit - Thanks RobA, I've sent a quick correction to the guys at Paizo. Much appreciated.

08-15-2011, 03:50 PM
I love those little paper 3d things, awesome.

08-15-2011, 05:19 PM
Paper..as in some kind of card stock? In the image it looks like it's a 16th of an inch thick. Like I said, I have never built one of these things but I know Architects use a thin foam board to make models - I'm just thinking if I printed this on my color printer on regular paper it would never hold up a lead miniature....would it? I am stunned. This is so cool I'm thinking about buying one myself.

08-15-2011, 06:29 PM
Love it, loooove it!


08-15-2011, 07:00 PM
I checked, and these were done with 120 or 200 gsm cardstock for the photos. I've used 210gsm in my home printer without any problems so you can definitely go that heavy.

08-15-2011, 11:01 PM
Keep making them Torstan, and i'll keep buying them, i love good well made cardboard models

08-16-2011, 04:42 PM
Yeah thats awesome. You get a double prong of RPGers and the Mini men buying into these. Great stuff.

08-16-2011, 11:49 PM
Jax, these were all made with regular 200 gsm cardstock. $6 for 150 sheets. I printed them on my HP color laser printer. The thicker parapets you see which look to be 1/16" thick are actually 5 thicknesses of cardstock. The outer two layers are printed, the inner three are actually one piece that is folded over on itself. It goes together really easily with just a few dabs of glue. (The thinner parts that glue back-to-back are the only parts that require glue.)

You might be able to get something usable by printing on normal 75 gsm paper, but it wouldn't last very long. I definitely recommend cardstock paper.

One of these days I'm going to film myself assembling this keep to show just how easy it is. Maybe I'll post a link here.

Steel General
08-17-2011, 12:15 PM
Cool stuff!!

08-17-2011, 04:14 PM
Here's a video showing how the whole thing goes together.


08-18-2011, 07:08 AM
Wow, that's amazing! I think I'm going to have to get me some of your stuff, Rooster (although as I don't game anymore, I don't know what I'll do with it!).

08-28-2011, 01:53 AM
Ok, wow, that is just blooming awesome! Makes me want a whole town to build and some sort of Steam punk train set to run around it....DOH!! What a great idea!

08-28-2011, 10:40 AM
really cool - and it looks really solid as well. Got an urge to pull out those old miniatures again :)

09-02-2011, 08:02 AM
I love the 3D kit, I wish I was 7 years old again.

09-02-2011, 08:04 AM
just remember, if you were 7 - you probably couldn't afford to buy it :)