D&D chronicles: rise of the miniatures

Session four, and I’m starting to get the hang of D&D now. More often than not I roll the correct die at the correct time and am gradually coming to terms with the fact I’m supposed to be acting my character, not just creating her. (The acting part is far far far the hardest, most traumatic part of it as far as I’m concerned.)

Even better, we now have miniature figures to represent our characters for the action scenes. In fact, I have several. I went a little crazy after our last session and did some online shopping. Having no idea what I was looking for, it took a little time… and I hedged my bets, ordering multiple miniatures from three different stores. Only the first two packages have arrived so far, and I’m eagerly awaiting the third.

Of those that had arrived, I selected a red-headed human avenger, sword outstretched, to represent my ranger in this game. She kicks some monster butt!

Also new for Saturday night’s game were the plastic rocks and trees that formed the treacherous landscape across which we traversed… The toad monsters came from a game of Talisman.

battle in the hills

Rhi kicks some monster butt.

I’ve discovered I rather like killing things… and there’s plenty of opportunity to do so in this game. I rolled pretty well on Saturday night (including a critical hit with maximum damage of 22), which meant my ranger slew several beasts and gained much admiration from the rest of her party. Moreover, luck was on my side and I barely got scratched. By the end of the session, I was feeling somewhat invincible. (I daresay it won’t last and next session I’ll be threatening my dice with the microwave.)

Once again we picked up where we left off the last adventure, which saw us trying to liberate the copper mine. After a battle with the undead, we retrieved a ‘treasure’ map from an urn of sacred oil (the booby-trapped one that almost killed us last session), and then high-tailed back to town to collect our bounty and re-supply. Now we’re off on the trail of the treasure, trying not to aggravate the local plainsmen, fend off the toad monsters trying to kill us, while enlisting the aid of one of the plainsmen as guide.

Methinks the next session in around two weeks will be rather interesting. I have no idea what’s going to happen!

Meanwhile, I can see there’s a danger I may become addicted to fantasy miniatures… I’d love to hear whether anyone has stories about fantasy miniatures and how hard they are to, er, paint… Any tips for where to purchase them?

6 comments

  1. I’ve actually painted quite a few miniatures back in the day. It’s extremely rewarding to find miniature that looks like how you envision your character, paint her yourself, and use her in a game, regardless of the quality of the paint job.

    When you’re first starting out, you can just go with simple paint jobs that focus mainly on covering all the surfaces with base colors, without worrying about shading, washes, dry-brushing, and stuff. The trick here is learning how to prop your hands so they’re steady while holding the paintbrush and the miniature, and being patient. It’s okay if your hand slips while applying some paint, because you can always fix it.

    Most of the miniatures I own are made by Games Workshop, but they’re mostly intended for table-top battle games involving armies, so it’s sometimes tricky to find a cool single miniature to represent a character. Reaper makes some pretty cool miniatures too.

    I’ve always used Citadel brand paints and thought they worked well enough. The metal colors actually have glitter in them to make them look more metallic when painted on armor and weapons and stuff, so if that’s true of the paints you choose, you will want to cups of water for rinsing your brushes–one cup for metal colors, and one cup for all the other colors. Otherwise you’ll start to get bits of glitter in your non-metallic colors as you work.

    I’m not sure of the best place to buy them in Australia. Maybe you have a hobby shop in your area that sells them?

    This website looks like it has a lot of good information:

    http://www.how-to-paint-miniatures.com/

    If you ever want to talk more about painting miniatures or gaming or whatever, shoot me a message on Facebook or something.

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  2. There is a Games Workshop in Chaddy I think, but you would have to fight your way through the teenage boys that seem to be there all the time…maybe with your sword.

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  3. I always loved playing rangers – t’ only character for whom I still retain their character sheet (15 years after leaving the demesne of my last DM for good) was a female elf ranger, whom I had leveled up to 14 and retired to her keep because I could not bear to see her killed off (my DM was that way inclined…)

    Two things: firstly, get into miniature painting only if you have a spare shelf that is not covered in books; it need only be shallow, but part of the shelf will be for display, the other part will need to be to store your ever growing pots of miniature paints!

    Secondly, when you head into Games Workshop, you may need to also check out a D&D-style card game called Munchkin – it is comedic genius, games can be as short as a hobbit with it’s legs cut off or as long as Risk, and was created by the man who invented Choose Your Own Adventure (’nuff said!)

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    1. Gosh, Level 14! I’ve only just made it to level 2… I can’t even imagine getting to level 14 without dying!

      Methinks I may dabble in miniature painting, but I can’t see me getting into it too much. I suspect it’s a bit too finicky for me – and I don’t really have the time to get into something else. (And you’ve made me quake a bit!)

      I think I might have played Munchkin before – it rings a bell. Thanks for commenting, James.

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