Forging Dungeons With Dwarven Forge

Some seven or so years ago I bought a variety of Dwarven Forge sets. Despite the fact that all told they ran me about $750, they barely saw any use up until last year, when I started playtesting Dungeons & Delvers with our kids.

Unsurprisingly our kids loved playing with them (it's very rare that they're all put away at any given time), and when I looked into getting more I was pleased to see that I guess a few years ago the company switched from resin to something called dwarvenite, which isn't brittle like resin (great since we mostly have hardwood floors) and also about half the price (great because, well, half price).

For those considering picking up one or more sets, a "starter" set of 32 dungeon tiles (34 counting the doors) now only runs $85 for a painted set, or $55 for the unpainted "dungeon grey", and you can save yourself $15-20 in either case by getting a set of three.

I'd recommend getting at least a set of three if at all possible, because you can't do much with just one (or even two): for a kind of benchmark, here's the floor space you get with a single set (which comes with 14 straight walls, 6 corner walls, 12 floors, and two doors; all tiles are 2" x 2"):

Here's what we've been able to make with several dungeon sets, most of a set of a water cavern supplemented with the normal cavern, bits from the furnishing and dungeon dressing packs (the latter of which gets you some extra doors), and some tavern accessories:

 Monsters added by our daughter, who comes up with stranger results than any random encounter table I've ever seen.
Note that these were all dungeon grey sets we painted ourselves, because even if you suck at painting you can still tackle Dwarven Forge tiles (plus you save about $30 per set).

For the cavern and dungeon tiles, we start out base coating them (ie, painting the whole damned thing) in a dark grey, then go over it quickly with a lighter grey, and then finally dry brushing on a tan color (like Karak Stone).

Using about $30 in painting supplies (depends on what kinds of paint and the brush you use: we prefer Citadel paints and a large drybrush), you can quickly and easily go from this:

To this:

For some added flair, Melissa likes to add some brown to random bricks, the results of which you can see in the first image.

Finally, it's easy storing them even if painted: we just throw them into some plastic drawers we picked up at Walmart, sorting them by type (dungeon, cavern, city, etc).

DriveThru is currently running a GM's Day sale, so for the next 8 or so days you can snag any PDF in our store for 30% off.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Ghost has manifested!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print.

Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World<


  1. I could see this siphoning money from my GenCon fund. Thanks for nothing ;)

    1. @Derek: HA. I'd DEFINITELY save up to spring on the dungeon three pack for starters. From there you can gradually feed the addiction, while still having plenty to play with!


Powered by Blogger.