Not asking for suggestions, I just wanted to know what your table uses for minis.
Our group started with and still uses them for baddies/NPCs, the paizo official cardboard figures, mainly because they were cheap and it was an easy way to start.
The group has fractured a bit since then. The DM and one player uses actual figures from reaper minis for plot point characters. Another player uses HeroForge for 3d printed minis. I've recently found myself using a Lego minifgure after realizing how expensive HeroForge can be if you get some unlucky deaths.
When I first started we used graph paper and pencil marks. Then, we got into a mix of minis and spare change. Despite collecting a lot of minis over the years, we have been using mostly the cardboard pawns recently.
Each player has a mini to rep their character. As GM, I use pawns for the enemies and NPCs.
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We don't use a table but sit around in a semi circle of my three couches and over sized armchair so we don't have any way to use minis. But I doubt we would even if we had a place to do so. In our experience it slows things down too much during combat to get up and move minis about the map. We've used theater of the mind for decades and it's worked for us.
Generally, we use minis (Reaper for the most part, but with a few exceptions) for PCs, and pawns or printed paper minis for NPCs.
I'll pull out actual minis for main villains.
For disposable minions that there are plenty of (hordes of goblins or zombies), I've got a bag o' zombies, and a bunch of "sidekick" dice from Dicemasters.
I have lots of metal, Hero Quest, HeroScape, HeroClix, D&D, Star Wars, and Pathfinder minis I have collected over the years, so I use a combination of those depending on what I need to run my campaigns. I have also used action figures for various large and huge monsters. For example: I have used Gimli the dwarf for a fire giant, Darth Maul for Kyuss in Age of Worms, frost giants from Thor, the rancor as a tarrasque, and most recently I have obtained a Scorponok Transformer that I will use for an annihilator robot in my Iron Gods campaign. In my groups, I am the one most concerned with using proper miniatures in our games.
We started using minis ("lead figures" to us oldtimers) way long ago, and still have quite the collection of old, metallic, hand-painted minis. I try not to use them now because I don't want to damage them. These days I have a slew of plastic, pre-painted minis (I never liked painting them, although several friends came to be quite skilled) that I sift through before every game session and pull out the ones needed.
As others have said, if there are a bunch of homogenized enemies then we have numbered pogs that we use (keeping the minis for key NPCs), including a set of giant pogs (huge size for 5e) for hill, frost, and fire giants. They are even graphically styled with different images of giants on them. So, yeah, lots of minis.
|Mark Hoover 330|
In 2000 I went to Gen Con and bought up every last Chronopia fig I could find. That same con I purchased large bags of "goblins," all metal small humanoids molded as one with body and base. Combined with a hodge-podge of figs I've inherited from a lifetime (36 years) of boxed sets, other folks' leave behinds and general good karma I've now got a large craft tote full of very generic minis.
I supplement these with lots of super cheap plastic things. Halloween spiders, eraser toppers, free choking hazards from Skee Ball tickets, and so on. Worst case scenario, I drop either d6's or Saproling/Thalid counters (glass beads) from my old MtG days.
One of my group has a large, ever expanding, collection of minis that we use. He enjoys painting them and is very good at it. Whenever we start a new campaign we describe our characters and he looks for a suitable match in his collection. If necessary he then paints the mini. I believe he's even bought new ones when his collection hasn't included an appropriate mini.
Minis when possible. Pawns when mini's aren't possible. Printed pawns, dice, bottle caps, Skittles, or whatever when pawns aren't possible.
Got a cheapo 3D printer recently, so cheap, low-quality minis should be regularly available for monsters unless I can't find a model and the thing is outside my limited Blender skill set.
HeroForge looks interesting but expensive and limited in range.
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Flat marbles, AA batteries, dice, lego dudes, scrabble tiles, coins, really anything that somebody has lying around that would work for the purpose of indicating where something is on a whiteboard (so we can move it around without redrawing anything).
Nobody I play with likes minis (or other less abstract representations) enough to spend anything for them, so we improvise.
Pathfinder uses WizKids to produce lines of pre-painted plastic miniatures. You'll want to shell out a wad of dough and get a huge set. Even though they are far less satisfying than painting your own, they are fairly acceptable and ready to use out of the box.
Painting lead or plastic figures is a hobby in and of itself. It's a labor of love, and even if you're not that good to start out with, a bit of trial and error will improve your results.
Then you just may get dragged into getting dungeon decors...
|Childeric, The Shatterer|
I've seen mention here of people using Lego minifigures, which is cool. Personally, though, I much prefer the Mega Bloks figures. In recent years they've gotten to be very nice quality. I particularly like to use the Ninja Turtles from the TMNT Classic Series.
They're a great size, they stand nicely on little Lego bases, Lego items fit in their hands, and they look great.
We started using minis ("lead figures" to us oldtimers) way long ago
We just called them "leads" and that's what I still call them, even the plastic/cardboard/etc ones.
Pennies, dimes, nickels, always worked well, when you needed a large creature a half-dollar.
Something huge(tall) or bigger a soda can..
|James F.D. Graham RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8|
In my group as a player, the GM does not use minis at all. He just draws the maps and lets us place our character's position with a pencil.
In my group as a GM, we use mostly Paizo's pawns. They are cheap and very useful: sometimes the presence/absence thereof has oriented my choice on what particular AP to run. I sometimes create new pawns for monsters, NPCs and PCs while we progress.
In my upcoming Dragon's Demand game, however, I am going to give the paper minis a try! I'm curious to see how they look like.
About half my party has painted minis, and half my party has unpainted. But only like two of us have minis that match the character we are actually playing. My husband who plays a human monk in one campaing, and a tengu alchemist in another, uses a mini that is a kobold in a fancy hat and big boobs who looks like she belongs to the red had society. For Starfinder my combat drone is played by a Baymax TsumTsum.