Miniatures and Motivations

The D&D Miniatures line features hundreds of ready-to-play miniatures from the Dungeons & Dragons universe.

You’ll find heroes, villains, and monsters of all types. Each miniature uses the 30mm scale and ranges in size from Tiny to Colossal. Included are stat cards with descriptions and rules for running them in combat.

The best part of D&D miniatures? All are fully assembled and painted. In my mind, not only is that an amazing innovation, but it also lessens the time and money I spend as DM for the group. Now that Will’s getting the DM bug, he’s also adding miniatures to our growing collection. Looking for a great gift? A box or two of the randomized miniatures will do just fine.

Just the other day, Will and I headed down to our friendly local gaming store—Wizard’s Toy Chest—to pick up some miniatures piecemeal for our Endless Dungeon game. Since I’m running the World’s Largest Dungeon as a backbone for the entire campaign, I read through the first 50 or so rooms, jotted down what minis I needed, and the neighborly proprietor of Wizard’s Toy Chest spent the next hour and a half picking them out for me. I even got a discount because I bought so many!

Lastly, Web sites are beginning to crop up all over the Internet with great deals on bulk D&D miniatures. Looking to increase your miniature collection exponentially? Try a “D&D miniatures” eBay search.

In other news, my group handled an in-game situation via e-mail quite maturely and responsibly. Some background information: Will’s character Lidda picked up a crystal skull mask in the shape of a dragon in a past adventure. The mask would not let Lidda remove it (a failed Will save) and so Will roleplayed this by saying that she didn’t want to take it off and desperately wanted to keep it. The other characters were wary of this turn of events and tried to force it off of her, resulting in some PC conflict. Luckily, no one was hurt (other than Lidda’s ego). In the end, Lidda escaped, leaving the characters wondering what to do next.

Out-of-game, the players all knew that the skull was bad news. In-game, Lidda didn’t exactly do anything that warranted the assumptions and accusations that lead to the skull’s attempted forced removal (a great example of how metagaming can be bad for the game). This presented a dilemma because I knew that Will wanted Lidda to keep the skull and not because of the “l33t powers” it would grant him (in fact, it had so far given him none). He wanted to keep it to see where this roleplaying situation would take the group. Since I knew the characters would not allow Lidda back in without disposing of the mask, I started a dialog via e-mail.

I explained that I understood all the in-character motivations for the group to not only mistrust the mask, but additionally block Lidda’s return if she didn’t remove it. However, for the sake of argument, I asked them to toss all that aside and imagine the reasons why the group would let Lidda back in with the mask. Why do this? Everyone wants to have fun and accepting what the mask may or may not do to Will’s character could be an interesting roleplaying challenge. All they had to do was come up with a suitable reason that wouldn’t compromise how they wanted to play their characters. Within a few days, the e-mail had 16 replies, with everyone chiming in.

This kind of cooperation is what keeps our game running smoothly. The next time your characters have a conflict in-game, try to resolve it out of game. You’ll find that players are more amiable than their characters (who are a bunch of people that are used to avoiding dangers and keeping them as far away as possible).

For posterity, here was Will’s e-mail, in-character, to the group:

Hi there, this is Lidda. I just wanna let you guys know I’m coming back. I know we had a bit of a… conflict… last time we adventured together. I just want you all to understand that I have no problem with you. I just want you to understand that you were trying to forcibly remove my treasure from me. I mean, I didn’t fight back—I just climbed onto the ceiling to let you cool down for a second. I must also mention that you were planning to shoot me with a crossbow and crush me to death with a magical tree.

I want you all to know that I went back home to sort things out and I have decided to join you guys in our adventure again. I hold no grudge and hope that you will be open to my return. I do still have the mask. I want to also let you know that I wear it. I realize that this may be a problem for some of you, but I urge you to realize that I am still the same Lidda you all know and care about.

Again, no hard feelings for trying to kill me. I hope to see you all (my friends) soon.

Lidda Tans Smabandan

The reason for letting Lidda back into the group? Beau, the resident paladin, can detect evil. Nothing about (or on) Lidda is registering as evil. Good enough for government work!