Bring back miniatures!

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I started getting into D&D with 4e after years of sniffing around the perimeter trying to figure the game out. With the help of minis and the awesome podcasts and videos of AI and others, I was finally able to learn how the game is played, for the most part. I believe the minis helped to bring the game to life and better visualize what was going on, which is perfect for someone of my limited IQ. I understand there must of been reasons to stop releasing the miniatures, but for some of us, it's the reason we were able to get into D&D at all. Please reconsider.

I know not everyone will agree, but I wanted to share my opinion on the subject. Thanks.
While I can't bring mini's back, I -can- say that there are a couple stores on E-bay that part out mini's on a per-piece basis by using a 'build a mini pack' method of pricing.  I know it's not necessarily what you're looking for, but perhaps it will help.  Be sure to read the sites carefully, as some include the cards and some don't, so if the card is important to you make sure you get it before ordering!

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Thank you.. this is exactly how I have obtained the minis I have. However it seems like there are fewer and fewer out there.

 Both Paizo Publishing and Reaper Miniatures make prepainted plastic miniatures suitable for use with D&D, and they're non-collectible so they're generally pretty cheap. Both lines are fairly new, though, so you'll only find the more common monsters in production. If you're willing to paint your own minis, which is pretty easy and a fun hobby in and of itself, Reaper also makes unpainted plastic ones.

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I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Paizo's Pathfinder minis are pretty cool, and I think they average around $4 a piece which I think makes them just slightly more expensive than that last D&D minis release, but most of the PF minis are hidden so you don't know what you're going to get until you open the box, just like most of the old D&D Miniatures were.  I have a pretty big collection of D&D minis, but now when I want to get new ones I generally turn to the PF line.  The Pathfinder Battles and Fallen Star lines I thought were great because they had a wide variety of generally "generic" monsters that could be used for lots of different scenarios, not just the PF adventure paths, but Rise of The Runelords or whatever it's called didn't appeal to me because the monsters all seemed to be way too specific to the Runelords story and a lot of them didn't resemble classic generic monsters ... too many clown-demon-nightmare-monster things.

Other than that, the secondary market is pretty much your only choice if you want to get specific minis.  Thank goodness I stocked up on lots of goblins, skeletons, rats, etc. before they got too expensive.

Another alternative is to see if you can find someone on something like Craigslist who wants to dump a collection.  I have a friend who had about 2000 Mage Knight minis to get rid of and I got them off him for a dime a piece!  I generally leave them on the (slightly too large) stands, but occasionally I have detached and rebased them.  There are a lot of hero minis in those sets too, so my players can always find exactly the right one that they're looking for.

I really only like painted minis, so I didn't take advantage of any of the unpainted Reaper mini deals that are going on yet, but as others said, they're good stuff.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

While I can't bring mini's back, I -can- say that there are a couple stores on E-bay that part out mini's on a per-piece basis by using a 'build a mini pack' method of pricing.  I know it's not necessarily what you're looking for, but perhaps it will help.  Be sure to read the sites carefully, as some include the cards and some don't, so if the card is important to you make sure you get it before ordering!

Also, if you order from several different lots or whatever from the same store on EBay, make sure you get them to somehow combine shipping on all your minis, otherwise you could end up paying more for shipping than for the minis!  Sometimes they'll just do this automatically but I was burned a couple of times for not remembering to get them to combine the order into one shipment, even by a store that normally did that without being asked, so definitely communicate with the seller to make sure you don't waste money on unnecessary shipping costs.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

I really miss the D&D minis too.  I haven't even bought any Dungeon Command sets yet because most of the minis there are repaints of ones already released in the D&D minis line.  IIRC there are a few new ones in the latest set but I may be mistaken.  Not enough to justify buying them for a guy like me who already has most of them, often in multiples.

But ... if you don't have any minis or are just getting into it, Dungeon Command might be an option for you.  Plus it has a new game you can learn to play, which I hear is kinda fun though I haven't tried it myself yet.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

While they are not painted, games like Descent and WoW (the Board Game), offer a very good number of minis - and, if they generally conform to what you want, come out pretty cheap ! (plus you get a "free" board game as a side bonus !)

I know I put my wow boardgame minis to good use : gnolls, murlocks, nagas, drakes, demons and "gards" are a very good kind of mini to have in multiples - then again, I did paint most of them. Keep in mind, I am TERRIBLE at painting minies, I used 5 colours total and I took about 3 hours per "creature type". The morale : if I can do it, so can you (if you have the time and about 10$ of paint and pencil brushes). I used obvious differences on the minis to "individualise" them : gnoll with red sword, gnoll with green sword, etc - make it something easy. This makes tracking initiative, hp and such much easier !



  • Init 21 : gnoll RS (red sword)

  • Init 14 : guard GS (green shield)

  • Init 8 : gnoll GS (green sword)

  • etc.


 Both Paizo Publishing and Reaper Miniatures make prepainted plastic miniatures suitable for use with D&D, and they're non-collectible so they're generally pretty cheap. Both lines are fairly new, though, so you'll only find the more common monsters in production. If you're willing to paint your own minis, which is pretty easy and a fun hobby in and of itself, Reaper also makes unpainted plastic ones.




Thanks for the suggestions.

I really miss the D&D minis too.  I haven't even bought any Dungeon Command sets yet because most of the minis there are repaints of ones already released in the D&D minis line.  IIRC there are a few new ones in the latest set but I may be mistaken.  Not enough to justify buying them for a guy like me who already has most of them, often in multiples.

But ... if you don't have any minis or are just getting into it, Dungeon Command might be an option for you.  Plus it has a new game you can learn to play, which I hear is kinda fun though I haven't tried it myself yet.



I just found the Dungeon Command games with minis right before I came back to check the progress of this post. The Blood of Gruumsh minis look really good in my opinion. Does anyone know if they conform to the standard sizes for the monsters they represent? For example, a goblin would take up a 1" square on a battle map and a say a dragon might take up 4. Just want to make sure that size-wise they will be equivilent to the minis released previously.
They're the same set of moulds, mostly, there are very few new minis in Dungeon Command.  They should match in sizes.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
You can generally buy singles from the Dungeon Command sets at online retailers. I use Auggie's Games, Cool Stuff Inc., Troll and Toad, and Minature Market regularly (in about that order) for miniatures purchases these days. Well, until the new Pathfinder set comes out. I can pick boosters of those up at my FLGS at a bit of a discount. After getting a few though, I find it's always best to go back to singles. Mostly because you aren't always going to be lucky enough to pull that special one you want, and because you are going to get a lot of dupes you may not want. 

I just found the Dungeon Command games with minis right before I came back to check the progress of this post. The Blood of Gruumsh minis look really good in my opinion. Does anyone know if they conform to the standard sizes for the monsters they represent?



Having seen first hand the Sting of Lolth set, I can say they are indistinguishable. the tiles used for the Dungeon Command are the same size as standard battlemats/module maps.
You can generally buy singles from the Dungeon Command sets at online retailers. I use Auggie's Games, Cool Stuff Inc., Troll and Toad, and Minature Market regularly (in about that order) for miniatures purchases these days. Well, until the new Pathfinder set comes out. I can pick boosters of those up at my FLGS at a bit of a discount. After getting a few though, I find it's always best to go back to singles. Mostly because you aren't always going to be lucky enough to pull that special one you want, and because you are going to get a lot of dupes you may not want. 


I have used Cool Stuff Inc., Troll and Toad, and Minature Market but haven't found Auggie's... thanks for the tip.

They're the same set of moulds, mostly, there are very few new minis in Dungeon Command.  They should match in sizes.



Having seen first hand the Sting of Lolth set, I can say they are indistinguishable. the tiles used for the Dungeon Command are the same size as standard battlemats/module maps.


That's great. I will look into getting some to add to my minis collection.

You can also find the occasional pre-painted metal miniatures set, e.g.: frpgames.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=1...

I wish Wizards would bring back the miniatures as well, but I think Pathfinder and Reaper are starting to fill the void. Might want to consider learning to paint your own miniatures as well (but I'll warn you that it can be time-consuming).

I have used Cool Stuff Inc., Troll and Toad, and Minature Market but haven't found Auggie's... thanks for the tip.



Since you didn't mention them, you might also want to consider Beholder the Bargains: www.beholderthebargains.com/servlet/Stor...

Probably more similar to Auggies than anything else -- they have limited offerings but the price is usually pretty competitive.

The Dungeon Command sets are mostly terrible IMO - generally poor paint schemes and a lot of bad sculpts.  Given how many different sculpts they had to pick from it's hard to understand how they got it so badly wrong.

Pathfinder prepainted minis are almost certainly your best bet going forward.  The overall quality is high and the price is probably not going to get any lower for prepainted minis any time soon.  They've started to release builder sets (goblins, undead etc.) and generally seem to be committed to releasing new sets every few months. 

Also note that, depending on how much you care about scale, minis from boardgames might not be close enough in scale to D&D/Pathfinder pre-painted minis.  Descent is a good example - amazing sculpts, but noticeably smaller.

Thank you.. this is exactly how I have obtained the minis I have. However it seems like there are fewer and fewer out there.

Hey man, I just wanted to share my experiences as a mini-collector for the past few years. First of all, the statement that the Dungeon Command packs are junk is just plain subjective. I bought all of the sets except for Cormyr and Gruumsh (I already have a huge orc collection), and thought they were just fine. Someone else suggested Descent. Good one. They scale perfectly. Legend of Drizzt and Castle Ravenloft are two other good bets. Each are around $60, but you get a good amount of unpainted minis. I've spent thousands (literally) collecting minis on eBay, since 2011. I found the easiest way to do it was when I'd plan out my adventures. I'd usually start a few weeks in advance, then go on to eBay to search for exactly what I needed. Along the way, I bought a few others that I thought might come in handy (ogres, minotaurs, goblins) at some point in the not-so-distant future. Collecting the minis, alone, was a pasttime on it's own! I also bought a few metal Reapers along the way. The good news about the metal minis is that they often go for cheaper than the pre-painted plastic ones on the secondary market.

Now, I have been painting minis for about a year. I love this hobby. Before I tried it, I used to think that I would never be any good and that it took intrinsic artistic talent, but that's not the case. Talk online or in RL with people who've done it-they can steer you right. There are plenty of online tutorials (these are tough to sit all the way through, though) and, most importantly, go out and get a Starter Set at your local hobby store. I got the Games Workshop set that comes with some basic colors and a few brushes. Then, I aquire more stuff, or different paints, as needed.

Trust me, you can do this. I'm a shakey diabetic and I can get it done with a small amount of effort. Besides all this, it's a great hobby to get into and it'll save you some money in the long run as the minis get more and more rare or, disappear altogether (aside from the DC packs, the others were discontinued in 2011).


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

 

Wrath of Ashardalon is the other good WotC minis set.  Worth noting that the three board games (WoA, Drizzr and Ravenloft) are sold unpainted.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Trust me, you can do this. I'm a shakey diabetic and I can get it done with a small amount of effort. Besides all this, it's a great hobby to get into and it'll save you some money in the long run

I don't paint. But I somehow managed to get over 300 miniatures painted within one week after Reaper-bones kickstarters arrived. And I think they look wonderful. Dip did 60% of the work for me (colored primer did 25%, while a black sharpie, paint pens, and a dollar store paint set each did 5%).

Not 'cuz I enjoy it... I just really hate unpainted miniatures.
Lord, mine are going to take me years, when they evetually arrive.  I'm way too perfectionist to dip them.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

 I have literally seen with my own eyes a mini painted pretty close to the DDM standards using a couple of Q-tips and thinned-out latex house paint... With a bit of practice and an assembly-line system set up, you can paint half a dozen minis to a pretty damn good tabletop level in about half an hour without dipping them.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Mm, I'm getting in practice on my Wrath of Ashardalon set right now.  Well, not right now, but in the evenings.  Well, not this evening because it's game night.  But... you get my drift ;)
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I'm way too perfectionist to dip them.

Well, some of the best miniatures I've ever seen (painted by a friend) were dipped. The exaggerated shading makes features much more recognizable to me on the table. I actually dislike undipped miniatures now (even the very well painted ones)

Curious: have you ever dipped? It's scary dunking a beautiful miniature into a vat of black, clingy goo. But somehow it comes out awesome after it dries. I think magic is involved.
The problem with diping is that I still have to paint the mini first. And I can''t/don't want to do this step already.
I'm way too perfectionist to dip them.

Well, some of the best miniatures I've ever seen (painted by a friend) were dipped. The exaggerated shading makes features much more recognizable to me on the table. I actually dislike undipped miniatures now (even the very well painted ones)

Curious: have you ever dipped? It's scary dunking a beautiful miniature into a vat of black, clingy goo. But somehow it comes out awesome after it dries. I think magic is involved.


No.  I use washes heavily though, and that's basically the same thing.  Washes are magic.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
The problem with diping is that I still have to paint the mini first. And I can''t/don't want to do this step already.

Exactly! I'm in the same boat. However, events conspired against me (Reaper, Zombicide and Cthulhuwars Kickstarters)... so I had to find a way to "get 'er done" satisfactorily with minimal effort.
(fwiw: you can dip without painting)