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5E Miniature Collecting/Use and D&D

Scott Christian

Adventurer
Started collecting Ral Partha. We don't use those anymore, but we do love to look at our old paint jobs. Nothing beats a 14 year old's perspective on what is cool - a blue and orange gloss painted bulette? ;)

Now I use the plastic pre-painted minis. I buy them based off whether I like the set or I will buy individuals based on need. If I have a specific adventure that needs harpies, I am going to go buy as many as I need.

Throughout the years I have built a collection. Most common tribe/clan creatures (save giants) I have approximately 25-50 of each group. Rarer or solo style creatures I have approximately 2-5.

My overall collection probably runs around 500 minis. By no means a collector, but have enough to run most adventures or showcase a specific character.

As far as terrain, Dwarven Forge is my go to, but have probably 50-75 of gloss maps by Paizo. I also make (Inkarnate) and print my own.

And I am jealous of all the cool displays I see. I could do that in my gaming room, but can't stand clutter. So they are all packed away nice in neat in plastic bins in a closet.

Note: Just read that to myself. I am not calling your shelves cluttered. They look clean and awesome. I mean, for me, it's just too much. I would be rearranging them, then wanting to dust, then deciding whether to organize by scenes or pragmatic groups to make them easy to find. o_O You get it, your displays are great.
 

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Scott Christian

Adventurer
While the use of such modelling for a dungeon is very impressive, doesn't it take away from the exploration aspect of the game? It would seem like knowing what regions lie ahead could be problematic?
I struggled with this for years, both with maps and Dwarven Forge.

Now, many of the exploration pieces I use are halved or sometimes quartered. It doesn't always look as impressive when displayed as a single dungeon, but it does lend to a certain suspense and shock when characters are crawling through s small tight cave, and then upon reaching the end, I go into the other room and bring out a huge open cavern they have found.

It is much harder to do with printed maps. Most of the time, I just let them see the entire thing. It really doesn't bother me. And for the most part, it doesn't sway their decisions as much as one would think. There have been times I have covered part of it up with cloth, but have found it doesn't really add to the mood or drama of the story.

And a bit off topic, but I have found the VTT's that do dynamic lighting to be more of a hassle than anything else. During play it rarely seems to matter whether one can "see around the corner" or not. Same is true for rooms. The exception is when characters are looking for a specific room or place in a large castle or dungeon. But those situations seem fairly rare.
 

aco175 said:
Now I need to go find all the ninja figures I collected back in the 80s. I hope my mother kept them someplace.

The problem with that, aco175, is they might be right where you left them and you still might not be able to see them! Those ninja can be tricky!

Johnathan
 

Stormonu

Legend
While the use of such modelling for a dungeon is very impressive, doesn't it take away from the exploration aspect of the game? It would seem like knowing what regions lie ahead could be problematic?
Nah, I either used to put it down as it was explored or drape cloth (or paper) over what hadn't been explored.

Wish I'd had a way to take a video of the module Bloody Jack's Gold back when I ran it (it was the climatic adventure for the campaign). I had the whole dungeon set out ahead of time and revealed it as the party traversed the halls. The last encounter is a huge step pyramid, which I had all set up - blew their minds.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I have a lot of miniatures and thousands of dollars worth of Dungeon Forge. Not getting to use it much at the moment.

How about suggestions on how to add to our collection? As an example, I ran Tomb on Annihilation, found it was cheaper to buy the deluxe board game with the pre-painted plastic miniatures than to try and get them individually.

I also play wargames such as 40K, and when a friend wanted to run Tomb, it gave me an excuse to buy Archon's Kazumi temple for this:
 

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While the use of such modelling for a dungeon is very impressive, doesn't it take away from the exploration aspect of the game? It would seem like knowing what regions lie ahead could be problematic?
One can always cover the unexplored areas with a cloth, or even set up modular room inserts by placing "rooms" on a wooden board that can be inserted in.
Some metagame restraint is probably needed by the players, though, as you are correct Master Maze setups have an unavoidable impact on Exploration.

Fog of War is actually much easier to handle on a Virtual Platform.
 


Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Miniatures and terrain are major hobbies for me.
Here is a shot of the set-up for today's game:
View attachment 127306

Some pics of my cabinets and drawers of minis and terrain. Lots of pre-painted master maze, but virtually no pre-painted minis.
View attachment 127307
View attachment 127308
View attachment 127309View attachment 127310
View attachment 127311View attachment 127312
View attachment 127313View attachment 127314
View attachment 127315

I may have a problem....
There are far worse problems to have. That was fun to look through your toys!
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I struggled with this for years, both with maps and Dwarven Forge.

Now, many of the exploration pieces I use are halved or sometimes quartered. It doesn't always look as impressive when displayed as a single dungeon, but it does lend to a certain suspense and shock when characters are crawling through s small tight cave, and then upon reaching the end, I go into the other room and bring out a huge open cavern they have found.

It is much harder to do with printed maps. Most of the time, I just let them see the entire thing. It really doesn't bother me. And for the most part, it doesn't sway their decisions as much as one would think. There have been times I have covered part of it up with cloth, but have found it doesn't really add to the mood or drama of the story.

And a bit off topic, but I have found the VTT's that do dynamic lighting to be more of a hassle than anything else. During play it rarely seems to matter whether one can "see around the corner" or not. Same is true for rooms. The exception is when characters are looking for a specific room or place in a large castle or dungeon. But those situations seem fairly rare.
Agreed. We played with a VTT due to Covid and our regular DM and I were frustrated with it. It was a free one so maybe a different one would be more convenient.

loading maps and doing things on VTT has not come easy for us actually.

we will likely be using it out of necessity though....
 

der_kluge

Adventurer
I have a big fishing tackle box full of miniatures, and a small fishing tackle box full of smaller, more common things that I take to conventions (mostly it has PCs, and a few common, small monsters). I've also started to display some of the larger ones in my china cabinet in the kitchen area, much to my wife's chagrin, I'm sure.

I don't like the boxes of random miniatures. I will sometimes buy those, but I much prefer buying them individually, if I can. There's at least one vendor at the local big convention that sells them individually. That store, however, is like a 25 mile drive for me, so I don't get out to their physical location very often. But I have a collection now that more or less suits me. But lately I've been playing mostly PbP, so I don't really need miniatures anymore.

I've never gotten into terrain stuff. I think alcoholism might be cheaper, and better for a marriage.
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
Agreed. We played with a VTT due to Covid and our regular DM and I were frustrated with it. It was a free one so maybe a different one would be more convenient.

loading maps and doing things on VTT has not come easy for us actually.

we will likely be using it out of necessity though....
Same boat. I feel your pain.
 


Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
As above. There are some nice features to VTT's, but loading maps and setting up counters is a pain.
We played yesterday in an open garage with fans blowing out and wearing masks.

it was hot but still better I think than VTT! We had our minis out including dozens of undead.

fun stuff
 

Ristamar

Explorer
I collected Ral Partha boxed minis right after I got out of college. Still got these laying around in the factory shrink wrap.

minis.jpg
 




Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I don't have pictures of my collection (I'm at work now), but I am largely a mini painter first and collector second. I started with Warhammer 40k, but now have switched to Age of Sigmar as they have dual usage for D&D.

I also backed the Blacklist Miniatures kickstarter, and bought the Zombicide: Green Horde board game, which includes a group of PCs and some zombie goblins, orcs, ogres, abomination and a necromancer.

My Age of Sigmar collection is pretty small so far, but contains some Orruks (orcs), and some Bonereapers (big four-armed skeletons). Also likely going to pick up Morathi for Christmas as a big medusa boss!
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I’ve got a ridiculous amount of minis acquired over @40 years: a fair number of prepainted plastic ones from various games, as well as a great grey army of lead and other metals from Ral Partha, Grenadier, Heritage, Rackham, Reaper, Games Workshop, Dwarven Forge and others. They cover fantasy, horror, Sci-fi and superheroic genres.

I briefly tried my hand at painting them, but didn’t have the patience.

When I started, we used them like playing pieces in a board game. Every movement of your PC was reflected by repositioning your mini. Over time, most groups I’ve been a part of have come to mainly use them for the BIG fights or situations when knowing precise locations truly matters.

But the other way I use my minis is simply as inspiration. A cool mini can inspire a PC...or an adventure idea. And I mean that in a continuous, not static, sense. If I’m running a PC based on a mini, I will contemplate that mini when I’m involved in the character advancement process.
 

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