So since I’ve got minis on the brain today, let’s talk a bit about them, and how you use them in your game. I’m the type of DM that doesn’t need to have a mini for every single enemy on the table. I think that’s insane (in a good way), although there certainly are many of you that play your game that way. Nothing wrong with that, I commend your dedication, and I wish I could do the same! 4e design, in particular, makes the number of enemies in any given encounter quite plentiful, with minions alone sometimes numbering in the double digits. I know at least I’ve thrown that many at my players anyway. Plus, the amount of rare (collecting-wise) creatures in the game make it a very expensive way to game.
So what do you do? Are you the type that uses the appropriate mini for every single encounter? Do you re-sell them once you’re done, or trade them? Here’s what I do. I buy minis. I don’t think I buy a crazy amount of minis. For example, if my party is fighting 2 Hook Horrors, I’ll have a mini for one of them, but for the second one I’ll use a bottle cap from the milk gallons at Costco. They are white, they fit the 2×2 area perfectly, and you can write on them with a dry erase and wipe it right off. They are perfect, and I highly recommend them to use as additional large creatures.
For minions, I rarely use minis. I use round alphabet wooden tokens that are available at Michael’s. If you are familiar with my token making tutorial, you know what I’m talking about. These are good because they are cheap, they are light weight, and they are labeled with a letter which helps out at the table. (“Kobold Minion A is down, C is still up though”) Yes, once the players see the tokens, they know they are facing minions, but I think that them knowing so is part of the intent of the minion rules in the game.
So what about the packaging scheme that Wizard’s has implemented for their line of pre-plastic minis… Do you like the random model, or do you like seeing at least one of the minis you are going to get? I’m personally a fan of seeing what’s in the box, even if only one of the minis. I still think that there is enough demand to create and package packs of specific monsters, (orcs, skeletons, kobolds) but it seems doubtful we’d ever see that. I for one would jump all over that, and I suspect many others would. How do you feel about the Player’s Handbook Series? You know what I would have done? I would have packaged a visible Monster, and visible PC type, and random monsters all in one box. But what do I know.
Here’s another interesting question… are you so anal that you refuse to mix mini types? Will you only play with metal minis, and not mix in the plastics, or the other way around? I know some who are like that. They like their table to be consistent.
Well, that’s a lot of mini talk from me, let’s see what you guys think. And don’t forget the packs of minis I’m giving away!