If your group has chosen to play with battle-maps (with either square or hex grid) than there is one last choice to make before you can play. What type of mini’s do you use? The most commonly used option is the DnD branded mini’s of characters, NPC’s and monsters. You will still have to buy and paint them though. If you want something quicker, cheaper or just slightly different than what is available than you can choose between the following alternatives:
No matter which class you play, there is always one dice in your set that remains in your stack throughout the sessions like the d4 or percentile dice. Why not use that one as your “pawn” on the board? You always have them on hand, you can easily recognise your own among your friends and allies and as the DM you can even number the enemies by which number you turn the dice to. Very simplistic, but a great way to start playing quickly.
A quick, cheap and more visual option are paper mini’s. Find an image of your PC, NPC or monster and print them out. You can either use a small portret like a sort of coin on the board or fold and glue them together to set them upright. It helps everyone at the table to get a clearer picture of the scenario and it only takes a little bit of prep work.
Okay, now were getting to the good stuff. Especially for PC’s in a long running campaign this is an very cool and lasting option which is not only fun to use during play, but is a memento for years after the campaign has ended. Especially when you order your mini from services like HeroForge (not sponsored) you can get incredibly customised mini’s in poses and with props to really make your character come to life.
Like I said, the D&D mini’s are the real deal. Made to scale, a lot of detail and very fun to paint. There are also options for every type of monster and creature and whole sets you can buy that include all the mini’s you need for a particular one-shot or campaign.
Of course us D&D players are a creative bunch and we won’t let anything limit our imagination or playtime. I’ve seen DM’s use checkboard pieces, wood-carved mini’s, boardgame figurines and candy which the player who defeats it may eat. Nothing is too crazy, as long as it gets the job done and the group together for an evening of fun. What was the most creative mini you ever used?
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