Our Journey

The Shorter Story


Hi! I'm Annabelle!

I'm the person who designs the terrain / runs Modular RealmsTM.

Modular RealmsTM is my small UK-based business creating magnetic, modular, double-sided dungeon tiles. My Dungeon Tiles are perfect for tabletop Role Playing Games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder and Warhammer. 

The magnetic system was designed by me to have hidden magnets that rotate in sockets.

This means each piece snaps to every other regardless of polarity :D

My dungeon tiles are also double-sided, modular, and have a strong magnetic snap that let's you build 3D structures easily and without needing clips.

My dream is to get my business to a point where I spend half my time designing badass new terrain and scatter to use in my games, and the other half travelling to conventions to show people! Now that would be a cool life! <3

My aim is to make versatile and innovative gaming pieces that make me excited as a Dungeon Master! The whole selling them bit is really just so I can afford new fancy tools ;)



My Journey from student to business owner


I got into Dungeons and Dragons when I was an Auckland student in 2018, and it was love at first dice.

After about six months, I started to DM games. Then I started making 3D maps and terrain out of old polystyrene packaging. I decided to make myself a really nice dungeon tile set. I kept making new versions and he more I got into it, the further I wanted to push my terrain designs!


Image of awesome modular realms magnetic terrain with a box disguised as a book - I'm very proud

I wanted pieces that could flatpack, so I could easily put them in my bag when going to friends houses on the bus.

Oh, and a cool fake book hidden on my bookshelf that I could store them in! 

I needed dungeon tile pieces that could be set up quickly. In fact, considering how often my players go off the in random directions, I needed to be able to build instantly at the table!

There weren't any options that ticked all my boxes so I decided to make my own.


About that time I was in a car accident and suffered a brain injury and had to take time off from my PhD to recover (yes, I know, apparently every character needs a "tragic backstory" xD ).

During the months of rehab I was unable to work or read or watch TV. 

Ye Gods, it was boring!

So, I poured my heart and soul into my DnD terrain crafting projects.


One of the first terrain pieces I ever made. I used a 3D printer in my universities Unleash Space Maker Space.

I went into my Universities Maker Space and teach myself CAD, so that I could start 3D printing my terrain.

Then I began experimenting with using magnets of different shapes, sizes, strengths, position etc.

I got pretty good at it and people in the workshop started asking me if I would sell my terrain to them. I was still on medical leave from my PhD at this point but I found I was really enjoying making terrain. 

So I decided I'd launch a Kickstarter to see if it might be feasible for me to become a full time artificer.

I spent several months planning the Kickstarter, and finally I had everything ready to go.

I decided I'd launch my Kickstarter next Tuesday....


That Saturday, New Zealand went into level 4 lockdown.


I paused my Kickstarter plans and instead I'm proud to say Modular Realms helped provide emergency PPE to healthcare workers during the early weeks of the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic.

If you're curious, I wrote about it in more detail here.

Or if you prefer, the New Zealand newspaper Stuff covered it in an article here.


COVID aside, in June 2020 I offered my magnetic dungeon tiles to the world with my first Kickstarter.

I asked for $2000. I got over $40,000! 

My first Kickstarter where (fun fact) I did all my photo editing in Microsoft Powerpoint

Suddenly everything felt a lot more real. I had customers from all over the world!

I wasn't just designing myself terrain as a hobby project any more, I was delivering a product to market! 


I was neither expecting nor fully prepared for that level of response! xD 


I couldn't have delivered all those hundreds of hand made terrain sets without the help of my parents.

The Overworked Apprentice and Overgrown Dwarf were absolute troopers and donated so much of their time to gluing magnets into 3D printed tiles (and so much more) for me.

The Overworked Apprentice, went from never using a 3D printer in her life to becoming a pretty skilled 3D printer mechanic!

(I was pushing those machines to the limit and they broke down a lot, so she got a lot of practice! ;) )


All in all, I'd definitely made a few mistakes with the first Kickstarter but I'd learned a whole bunch too! It was stressful and hard work, but it was also really fun!

I knew I wanted to continue.

With the first Kickstarter complete, I gathered feedback from my backers and started designing my next generation of dungeon tiles.


I was frustrated with how the disk magnets would sometimes repel when you had a North-North situation, so I decided to fix that first.

My "Gen 1" design of auto-snapping magnets featured semi-concealed ball magnets.

To be honest, I wasn't all that happy with them because of painting problems and weak connections. So I iterated a bit more until I got to "Gen 6" which had concealed magnets and a nice and strong snap ^ ^


Also during this time, I started to make dungeon tiles for the epic Robert HartleyGM. It was such an incredibly proud moment to see my terrain be used as battle maps for Viva La Dirt League's NPC DnD.

It only made me feel more excited about sharing my dungeon tiles with the world!


After hand making all those rewards the first time, I also decided my next lot of D&D dungeon tiles had to be injection moulded! 

I met a bunch of manufacturers and got quotes for the steel tools I'd need to make. Then I sat down with my calculator and note pad and planned another Kickstarter. 



The 2nd Kickstarter raised funds for the tools and suddenly my hobby project was being made in the thousands! Not only that, it was now packaged in a beautiful book box (designed by my friend and one of my regular players, the talented Artelocat).


Despite a manufacturing delay of a few months, I began delivering my new injection moulded dungeon tiles to customers all over the world!

The modular dungeon tiles I make now with flock and sand in the cracks. Realistic dnd terrain (or so I hope!) which you can buy in my dnd store
And example of the terrain I make now!   ^


COVID restrictions lifted and I moved back to my parents house in the UK. We built an office / studio / workshop at the end of their garden. I call it the tavern!


I started selling my dungeon tilesets through my online store in November 2022.

My Overworked Apprentice now volunteers part-time for me processing and sending orders. Thank you mum!


And suddenly it was 2023!

In February I started my weekly blog of D&D tips and terrain painting guides and really began to spend time improving my website.  

In June 2023 Modular Realms went to its first big expo, the UK Games Expo!

It was some of the best fun I've had in a long time! The Overworked Apprentice and Overgrown Dwarf helped me man the stall, sharing the experience with me. Having a stall at a convention and meeting so many nerds was every bit as incredible as I'd dreamed it would be!

My (Chief Artificer Annabelle) parents, the Overworked Apprentice Elf and the Overgrown Dwarf who help me out from time to time when I inevitably need an extra pair of hands!


Over this summer I've had the chance to be sponsored by The Army Painter, work with ThatMrShy, partner up with The Eldritch Foundry and even more!


My next convention will be London Comic Con in October 2023! 


I am also excited to announce that after a year of worldbuilding on stream we are finally kicking off the weekly live-streamed Legends of the Modular Realms D&D game in October!

My players will be three of my best friends and it is shaping up to be an incredibly fun game.


Oh, and between all that I'm also beginning to plan my next generation of magnetic dungeon tiles! >:D


2024 is looking like it's going to be an incredibly exciting year!!



Want to hang out?

I stream on Twitch and am pretty active in my Discord - please feel invited to swing by and say hi!



Other than that, thanks for hearing my story. I hope you like my dungeon tiles. Thank you for supporting me on this awesome journey!






Some of the articles people have written about us!


1st article ever written about us, thanks to the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. I have a lot of really great friends there so you should check them out!




Ingenio (pg 24)