Castles have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. As an American, I grew up having no real castles anywhere near that I could visit. At least, nothing even close to what I pictured the word castle to mean. So I spent my time reading any book I could get my hands on and watching any show that talked about castles.
The Castle Guide
And then I laid my eyes on a plain greyish blue book with a TSR logo on the front and the simple words: “The Castle Guide”. Here were more than a hundred pages of how to build and run castles in D&D. I was completely enthralled. I spent hours and hours and hours reading and re-reading this book. It forever cemented my love for castles and how they should really be.
The Castle Guide was a AD&D 2nd Edition product that covered in great detail creating and running medieval style castles within your adventure world. It included every detail from the types of rooms it would have, to the people you would find there, to the day to day operations and costs, to sieges and warfare. It was an amazing guide.
For years after I got that book, I would design castles on graph paper, imagining being and adventurer that would operate out of it. I would design, and redesign every last little detail. Each and every gates and drawbridge and building and room was given excruciating details. Every castle was different. This one was on a cliff side, that one surrounded by a moat, another was a built around an enormous cave.
Sadly, all those drawings of my youth are long gone now. I’m pretty sure I still have the book somewhere amongst my game gear. Maybe it’s time I fish it out and start designing castles again. After all, I’m building a new world. And that world is gonna need some castles.