Discussion:
Miniatures
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John Geoffrey
2018-04-17 07:46:26 UTC
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Do you use miniatures in your games? And if so, which, and where did you get them? I was planning to build myself a collection to make my game a bit more impressive and, well, gamey.
Spalls Hurgenson
2018-04-17 13:10:26 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:46:26 -0700 (PDT), John Geoffrey
Post by John Geoffrey
Do you use miniatures in your games? And if so, which, and
where did you get them? I was planning to build myself a
collection to make my game a bit more impressive
and, well, gamey.
Yes, but generally only for the player characters. For monsters and
NPCs, I usually resort to tokens, coins or other markers to indicate
their position and general size.

I just don't think it's worth the time and expense to amass the
necessary figures to correctly represent all the monsters I use.
Unless I chose to invest ridiculous amounts of both, I'll ultimately
be using the wrong minis to represent monsters anyway (e.g., using
goblins to represent a dwarven army, or a wyvern mini to represent a
dragon), and if that's the case there's really no difference in using
tokens (personally, I like using pennies since they are otherwise
worthless and everybody has so many of 'em)

I'd be fine using tokens for the player characters too, but the
players obviously prefer to have a marker that better represents them.
They are welcome to bring their own, or I have a selection of minis
they can use. Most are a battered collection of old ral partha minis -
weapons bent, paint peeling, they've seen a lot of years and use - but
I also bought a pack of pre-painted D&D plastic minis (one of their
"starter kits" a few years back as well.

I have considered using paper minis, since there seem to be a recent
proliferation of those, and the quality has gone up dramatically over
the years. Plus, they're cheap (or free; I've seen some nice sets
available online). But even with their just requiring "cutting and
folding" I still think they are probably more effort than they are
worth. So I stick with pennies ;-)

I mostly use the minis to give the players some positional information
during combat, since the fights tend to be very fluid and energetic. I
/hate/ combat the essentially devolves into two opposing lines whaling
at one another until one side runs out of men, so my monsters tend to
rush, retreat, strike from all directions, burst in from the windows,
swing about on the ceiling fixtures, that sort of thing. It makes for
more exciting combat, but can sometimes be difficult for the players
to keep track of (which is sort of the whole purpose - brawls are
supposed to be chaotic - but it can get a bit too overwhelming). So
the minis give everybody a clearer idea as to where they (more or
less) stand in relation to everyone else. This has the dual benefit of
also encouraging the players to try whacky hijinx of their own too.
John Geoffrey
2018-04-18 09:19:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:46:26 -0700 (PDT), John Geoffrey
Post by John Geoffrey
Do you use miniatures in your games? And if so, which, and
where did you get them? I was planning to build myself a
collection to make my game a bit more impressive
and, well, gamey.
Yes, but generally only for the player characters. For monsters and
NPCs, I usually resort to tokens, coins or other markers to indicate
their position and general size.
I just don't think it's worth the time and expense to amass the
necessary figures to correctly represent all the monsters I use.
Unless I chose to invest ridiculous amounts of both, I'll ultimately
be using the wrong minis to represent monsters anyway (e.g., using
goblins to represent a dwarven army, or a wyvern mini to represent a
dragon), and if that's the case there's really no difference in using
tokens (personally, I like using pennies since they are otherwise
worthless and everybody has so many of 'em)
I'd be fine using tokens for the player characters too, but the
players obviously prefer to have a marker that better represents them.
They are welcome to bring their own, or I have a selection of minis
they can use. Most are a battered collection of old ral partha minis -
weapons bent, paint peeling, they've seen a lot of years and use - but
I also bought a pack of pre-painted D&D plastic minis (one of their
"starter kits" a few years back as well.
I have considered using paper minis, since there seem to be a recent
proliferation of those, and the quality has gone up dramatically over
the years. Plus, they're cheap (or free; I've seen some nice sets
available online). But even with their just requiring "cutting and
folding" I still think they are probably more effort than they are
worth. So I stick with pennies ;-)
I mostly use the minis to give the players some positional information
during combat, since the fights tend to be very fluid and energetic. I
/hate/ combat the essentially devolves into two opposing lines whaling
at one another until one side runs out of men, so my monsters tend to
rush, retreat, strike from all directions, burst in from the windows,
swing about on the ceiling fixtures, that sort of thing. It makes for
more exciting combat, but can sometimes be difficult for the players
to keep track of (which is sort of the whole purpose - brawls are
supposed to be chaotic - but it can get a bit too overwhelming). So
the minis give everybody a clearer idea as to where they (more or
less) stand in relation to everyone else. This has the dual benefit of
also encouraging the players to try whacky hijinx of their own too.
well... so far I was planning to mostly just get some common figures for use. Stuff like orcs, dwarves, bandits, wolves, devil chickens, etc. you know, the stuff that comes up all the time.
Ralph Glatt
2018-04-17 18:51:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Geoffrey
Do you use miniatures in your games? And if so, which, and where did you get them? I was planning to build myself a collection to make my game a bit more impressive and, well, gamey.
I tested using cardboard minis with my group not too long ago, but they didn't seem impressed. One thing they didn't like was that the minis I used didn't look like their characters. (The paladin used a barbarian, the scout used a young woman using a staff, etc.) Last time we played, they asked not to use them. I'm sure they'd change their tune if I used the Cardboard Heroes minis from Steve Jackson, but the book I have I consider too valuable to cut up. I still like the Sparks fonts, but I'm unable to find a font that would work for the group.
JimP
2018-04-17 18:55:42 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:51:25 -0700 (PDT), Ralph Glatt
Post by Ralph Glatt
Post by John Geoffrey
Do you use miniatures in your games? And if so, which, and where did you get them? I was planning to build myself a collection to make my game a bit more impressive and, well, gamey.
I tested using cardboard minis with my group not too long ago, but they didn't seem impressed. One thing they didn't like was that the minis I used didn't look like their characters. (The paladin used a barbarian, the scout used a young woman using a staff, etc.) Last time we played, they asked not to use them. I'm sure they'd change their tune if I used the Cardboard Heroes minis from Steve Jackson, but the book I have I consider too valuable to cut up. I still like the Sparks fonts, but I'm unable to find a font that would work for the group.
Hmmm... have you looked on mapping forums for character overhead views
? Some call them pogs.
Spalls Hurgenson
2018-04-18 13:22:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimP
On Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:51:25 -0700 (PDT), Ralph Glatt
Post by Ralph Glatt
I tested using cardboard minis with my group not too long ago,
but they didn't seem impressed. One thing they didn't like was
that the minis I used didn't look like their characters. (The
paladin used a barbarian, the scout used a young woman using
a staff, etc.) Last time we played, they asked not to use them.
I'm sure they'd change their tune if I used the Cardboard
Heroes minis from Steve Jackson, but the book I have I
consider too valuable to cut up. I still like the Sparks fonts,
but I'm unable to find a font that would work for the group.
But that's always a problem with miniatures too; unless you have a
huge selection to offer or the players buy their own, its unlikely
that the minis will match the image the players have of their own
characters.
Post by JimP
Hmmm... have you looked on mapping forums for character
overhead views? Some call them pogs.
On an related note, did you know there were official Dungeons &
Dragons pogs (milkcaps) released in the mid '90s? They were plastic
caps with artwork from D&D books pasted onto one side. It was only a
short run (something like 30 pogs total) and totally unsuitable for
anything related to the role-playing game; the pogs themselves were
too large to use with other miniatures and the images weren't suitable
representations for characters or monsters. But it shows how TSR was
quick to jump on any popular band-wagon at the time. Or rather, they
were quick to license their brand out to any manufacturer who wanted
to jump on the bandwagon.
Justisaur
2018-04-23 18:32:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by JimP
On Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:51:25 -0700 (PDT), Ralph Glatt
Post by Ralph Glatt
I tested using cardboard minis with my group not too long ago,
but they didn't seem impressed. One thing they didn't like was
that the minis I used didn't look like their characters. (The
paladin used a barbarian, the scout used a young woman using
a staff, etc.) Last time we played, they asked not to use them.
I'm sure they'd change their tune if I used the Cardboard
Heroes minis from Steve Jackson, but the book I have I
consider too valuable to cut up. I still like the Sparks fonts,
but I'm unable to find a font that would work for the group.
But that's always a problem with miniatures too; unless you have a
huge selection to offer or the players buy their own, its unlikely
that the minis will match the image the players have of their own
characters.
Post by JimP
Hmmm... have you looked on mapping forums for character
overhead views? Some call them pogs.
On an related note, did you know there were official Dungeons &
Dragons pogs (milkcaps) released in the mid '90s? They were plastic
caps with artwork from D&D books pasted onto one side. It was only a
short run (something like 30 pogs total) and totally unsuitable for
anything related to the role-playing game; the pogs themselves were
too large to use with other miniatures and the images weren't suitable
representations for characters or monsters. But it shows how TSR was
quick to jump on any popular band-wagon at the time. Or rather, they
were quick to license their brand out to any manufacturer who wanted
to jump on the bandwagon.
Oof. I hated pogs, they're too hard to pick up/move around.

I used to have some grenadier and random lead figures that I'd spent
hours making lovely with paints I used for ages, but those were all
stolen around 2000. I haven't had the heart to paint buy/paint any more
since, except one I did up for my Kenku bard.

In my last move in around 2013 I lost all my paints & brushes too,
those'd cost a small fortune to replace. At least I could replace
those, unlike the minis, some of which my mom painted.

I have some SJG paper foldup minis which I like to use for
NPCs/monsters. I put pennies in the bottom and scotch taped them so
they have some protection and weight. I did that back when they were new.

I also made some up for one campaign I ran where the players were
playing themselves, I took pictures, printed them out and treated the
same as the SJG ones.

I bought a lot of WotC minis when they were making them random, and I
bought a ton of cheap/common SW ones off ebay, I think I got like 40 for
$20. My main problem with those is that since they're made of black
rubber/plastic they tend to be very dark and difficult to discern
details/colors. I repainted one duplicate elf spearman I have which I
used as a priest, I rather like him. Pretty easy to paint/improve them,
they seem to take paint really well.

I've also in the distant past where the game was held wasn't conducive
to putting up a battle mat used a piece of graph paper, and used letters
for character placement, like nethack does. I think that actually may
have worked better as it's a lot easier to take in the tactical
situation on a smaller piece of paper.

If I don't have a mini that's just right for a player, that's their job
to find or bring one, not mine!

- Justisaur

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