Classic Creative Supplement

Recently I decided to see what terrain I could make using only the Classic Creative Supplement, a box of basic bricks that lists for $20 but is usually available for $14 online.
I chose this set because it looked like the best way to buy new bricks suitable for fantasy terrain. Many of the other basic brick sets have a lot of unwanted wheels or glass doors.

Here are the sorted bricks. There are a lot, about twice as many as a typical $15 set with minifigs, and they are mostly bigger bricks suitable for making good-sized terrain features:

The terrain building went really well. I quickly ended up with many good terrain segments, capable of setting up a wide variety of scenes. I wouldn't want to try to run a whole campaign with just this box, but it gives a solid foundation to add to. Here are some example setups, with a grid cloth and minifig from my collection:




Here is everything I built all together:


I made the outdoor terrain first, a grassy hill and a rocky cliff face. There are enough slopes in the set to make a very nice natural effect.



Next came a giant stone skull, surrounded by magical flames:


Then the creatures. This set contains mainly bricks, with no plates or advanced elements aside from a few headlight bricks, so they are not up to modern standards of brick-built creatures, but they would work as animated statues.


Then I made brick walls and fountains:



Marble-and-gold temple wall and columns:



A torii gate:


And then the leftovers got mashed into a decorated facade:


Not pictured individually are a set of tables and chairs, a decorated gray pillar, two more animated statues, and the other red-brick water fountain.

I ended up with a lot of terrain for $14 and a couple hours of enjoyable building. My initial guess was correct, this box of bricks is a great way to build good Lego RPG terrain.

History of Lego D&D

After surveying the Facebook group, I found that people have been using Lego to play D&D since 1980. It is possible that someone else started even earlier. Let's take a trip through the past, to see what real and/or plausible games of D&D would have looked like using the Lego available at the time. Here are the best Lego sets available for running a D&D game, when various editions of D&D were first released:


Original D&D

When the very first version of the game was released in 1974, there were no Lego minifigs. The first proto-minifigs were released in 1975, the year that Greyhawk was released and the game became independent of Chainmail rules:

That is basically the entire catalog of minifigs, and of sets other than basic bricks that might be useful in a D&D game, in 1975. There was nothing medieval, and no fantasy elements, but you could have made it work. All you need for castles and dungeon walls is basic bricks, and cowboy hats are always a good way to represent adventurers. All of the monsters would have been brick-built, with no advanced building techniques, because they did not have any pieces other than wheels and fences to make studs go sideways. Here is a humanoid enemy build that one of the people used:
There was, however, a ready supply of giants with articulated arms:

Depending on the desired tone of the game, you could leave those faces or replace them with something brick-built. You could also use them to make four-limbed things.


Advanced D&D

In 1978, the year that the AD&D PHB was released, Lego started selling its first actual minifigs, and a Castle set with medieval weapons and armor:

There were a few other options for equipping minifigs for dungeon-delving. Here are some guys with pick, shovel, handaxe, and a different helmet style:

And that is basically it. Any game would have to use those minis and tools, plus brick-built things. But people were already running games with Lego. Creative children will use whatever they can get their hands on.


2nd Edition

When AD&D 2nd edition was released in 1989, Lego Classic Castle had been going for several years. There were more realistic castle/dungeon walls, a better variety of equipment, elements like barrels and treasure chests, and even minifigs suitable for elves:



Also in 1989, Lego introduced Pirates, giving more elements and clothing options, and minifigs with faces:



Also, by this time, most of the elements for modern building techniques, like clips, bars, hinges, and headlight bricks, had been introduced, as well as tubes and other elements needed to make things like a Beholder (although it would have used a colored radar dish for the central eye). You could easily make most of what you needed for a D&D game, and it would have looked right. By this time, Lego was already better for running games than pewter figurines, even though there were no obvious fantasy elements.


3rd Edition

By the time 3rd Edition was released on 2000, Lego had been producing fantasy-themed Castle sets for years:



There were skeletons, ghosts, dragons, witch and wizard minifigs, and a huge variety of specialized weapons and armor. There were also oriental-themed sets:


and the Adventurers sets:



At this point, Lego sets are practically begging to be used in a D&D game.

Everything produced since then is just icing on the cake. All of the new minifigs and accessories are nice, but not essential. The only things that I would really miss if I was limited to 20th century Lego are the click hinges, technic friction pegs, and mixel ball joints that let you make much better customized brick-built monsters.

Build Guide: Modrons

I like Modrons, and I am glad they came back for 5th edition:
 These goofy clownlike relentless alien creatures of law and clockwork make for interesting encounters:


These builds are all based on their appearance in the 5th edition Monster Manual, but with one change. I do not have any appropriate Lego face tiles (Nixels do not have the right tone, but some of the new kryptomite faces might work), so I emphasized their goofiness by using ski pieces to give them clown feet.

Monodrone


This is a simple build focusing on the circular body and wings. With my emphasis on the feet, I made it a monopod to match the theme.

Duodrone


 Another simple build, start with a 2x3 plate and add the limbs and eyes:



Tridrone


These are very similar to my Xorn build. Make three segments with clips, and roll them up:

 


 



Quadrone


Returning to a cube shape makes for another easy build:


Pentadrone


This is another clip-and-roll build, but with the addition of a dome on top.



 


The dome is not connected to the rest of the build, but the axle just fits in the hole in the middle, and a gear on the bottom holds it in place: