jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox
I used to love the old D&D miniatures game. The one with the randomized, prepainted minis, plus the stat cards and things for playing a "skirmish" game with them. But I sold them all off along with my other D&D stuff, and when D&D moved on to 4e I stayed behind.

Well, Paizo took up the 3.5 D&D mantle with Pathfinder, and just recently partnered with WizKids to make randomized, prepainted "Pathfinder Battles" minis. Despite the name, they don't have rules for a "skirmish" game (they're just for use with the RPG); and unlike the older and cheaper D&D minis, which came in "booster pack" style boxes, they're sold one at a time, with a ton of wasteful packaging.

That's the downside. On the upside? They're spectacularly well-made. The paint jobs are exquisite and detailed, the bases are rigid and don't bend, even the way that their names are written in white paint underneath the base (so they're easier to read) is better than with D&D. They're amazing.

Pathfinder Battles: Heroes and Monsters

That's the name of the first set of Pathfinder minis. It's limited to 41 figures, one of which is the huge black dragon that's sold separately to people who preordered a case (we just recently bought one on the secondary market for not too much).

Over the few months that the minis have been out, I've been slowly collecting a small set of them. I really like this set because I can buy a few at a time at the store, there's a small and limited number of figures to collect, and they're all kind of generic fantasy concepts that work well in any game.

None of these are the case for the upcoming set, Rise of the Runelords.

There are a few minis in this set that I want. Some of the "main characters" would work great as Player Characters, and I'd love to have more goblins and ogres (the Pathfinderverse has an interesting take on both species). Plus, dragons!

On the whole, however, this set and its associated announcements have shown that it'll reverse a lot of the things that appealed to me about Heroes and Monsters. It'll be bigger and more expensive, and therefore harder to collect, and a lot more of the minis are Pathfinder-specific creatures that are less Troperrific and don't fit as well into other game worlds.

([personal profile] rev_yurodivy and I dislike Pathfinder's worldbuilding, so I haven't bought anything specific to Golarion. Fortunately they separate out "generic Pathfinder" from "Golarion-specific" in their line of rulebooks.)

Take a look at the announcement above. The exclusive preorder figure is the gargantuan Rune Giant. It's big, it's expensive, it's tied strongly to the Rise of the Runelords storyline in Golarion, and it's not really usable for anything outside of it. That's how I feel about this set, the launch of which coincides with a rerelease of the titular adventure path.

My approach to future sets

I may buy a few singles from this set on the secondary market, so that I have more things to use in my games, but I'm probably not even going to try to collect it the way I have been for Heroes and Monsters. Which is probably how I'll approach any future sets, if they go this route.

Instead, what entertainment money I have over the next few months might go to getting started in Hordes and Malifaux. They're both paint-it-yourself minis games that can be played using very small collections, and the figures from both would probably work as RPG characters also.

These considerations are important to me, because I don't have a lot of money and I feel strongly about uncluttering and creative freedom besides. I don't want to collect a ton of things that are specific to one game or one game world, that can't be used anywhere else or to tell my own stories with. I have learned that I really like using minis for RPGs, though, and my dream is to someday have a good-sized collection of them plus some kind of 3d terrain.

I'd love it if there were Creative Commons-licensed furry characters that non-humans could use, both as illustrations and minis, to represent themselves in RPGs. That would be awesome. And it would fill a gaping void in today's gaming market.

Date: 2012-03-24 01:04 am (UTC)
drgnhlr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drgnhlr
Hm...when I collect minis, I go to Reaper, http://www.reapermini.com/

However, the idea of Creative Commons characters would be interesting. Or "diy" type sets, so one could build their own cat or dog, or bird...Now I wish I could sculpt. I know some of the talented folks can take the minis apart and rebuild them into new characters, but I have not been brave enough - not with metal ones anyway.

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We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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