D&D Mini's and Check out John Harper's awesome tokens

edited June 2008 in Story Games
I've always adored D&D mini's from afar and now that the house is starting a 4e campaign, I have all the excuse I need to have my very own infernal T-rex and Githyanki on a red dragon.

How do I get a bucket of 'em without paying an arm and a damned leg without any game store in my town?

Any thoughts on how to do this or sites I should be looking at other than just sifting through ebay?
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Comments

  • If your buying them in singleton's your never going to get below that $1.00 + per mini in my experiance, that makes for the buckets of fun. If you feel like doing this the professional way, You could buy a crate, and then attempt to resell the popular/expensive ones to offset the cost (this works in micro if you have a small store that collects for later profit, buy a box trade out your rare for store cred and go to town buying commons/uncommons results in about 15bux for 15+ mini's which ain't bad in my book.) the downside is your taking a risk, and the really kewl mini's are the one's your probably not gonna want to sell because you might be able to get a 20 for them.

    Ebay can certainly be an aid, but shipping will more than likely eat into your margins.

    their are also a handful of othersites that sell/resell mini's and all of the above options

    such as http://www.coolstuffinc.com/main_miniatures.php?viewType=Dungeons%20and%20Dragons&info1=Miniatures&info2=Dungeons%20and%20Dragons&info4=Packs&gclid=CMq5kJKG2pMCFQuXGgodHXzEZQ

    you might wanna take a look at the "complete common sets" 10 bux american +shipping for ~40 off mini's ain't bad ( your preordering however)

    the 12 case for 110bux works out to about 1.10 a mini + shipping. the newer sets only get worst.

    poke arround on the internet, and/or find someone local who wants to get out of the mini hobbey?

    Logos
  • I'd swear I saw bins of the commons at Origins last year for under a dollar per mini. Like for 25 cents per mini. Am I wrong?

    Deputize someone to pick you up a bunch from Origins.

    Paul
  • Logos, Paul, good stuff.

    Thanks!
  • Hey Judd,

    If you're not uber picky about them being D&D mini's, I scored a buttload of Mage Knight stuff on the cheap in bins at the last couple of cons I went to. They're definitely bigger than D&D mini's, but not unusable, plus they tend to have a lot of steampunk sorts of characters if you're into that. That's probably what I would do if I just needed LOTS of minis. (IMO, they look better too, generally)
  • search ebay for the following search phrase:

    d&d common set

    Then on the left, go to "Buying Options" and change it to "Buy It Now."

    You'll find lots of 12 figure sets for $5 or less. Often a single seller will be selling multiples of these and combined shipping for lots of figures will be quite low.
  • Thanks, Matthew, I couldn't find the correct search terms on ebay, which shamed my librarian student's heart.
  • I'm thinking of forgoing going out for lunch once a week and ordering a 12 figure set of commons that strikes my fancy instead. In a year, I'd have 624 of them. And having packages constantly arriving in the mail? That's just fun.
  • They aren't minis, but I'm making my own 1" tokens by picking cool art, making a sheet of them in InDesign, color-printing it, punching them out with a 1" craft punch, then affixing the tokens to quarters with double-stick tape.

    They have a nice heft in the hand, they look cool, and, most importantly, they are very easy to transport.
  • Posted By: John HarperThey aren't minis, but I'm making my own 1" tokens by picking cool art, making a sheet of them in InDesign, color-printing it, punching them out with a 1" craft punch, then affixing the tokens to quarters with double-stick tape.

    They have a nice heft in the hand, they look cool, and, most importantly, they are very easy to transport.
    In many ways I prefer that approach to full-on minis. I find there's a threshold of prettyness for minis, at which point the map and minis stop being a representation to help my imagining of the scene, and start being the entire scene. My "roleplaying brain" switches off, and my "wargaming brain" comes online. The minis are just minis, and not characters. 2D counters and the like keep me thinking of them as representations, while minis tend to kick me over to seeing them as the whole thing, if you get what I mean.

    A good solid heft is important though, as is a clear representation, so I think you've come up with a cool solution.
  • Posted By: John HarperThey aren't minis, but I'm making my own 1" tokens by picking cool art, making a sheet of them in InDesign, color-printing it, punching them out with a 1" craft punch, then affixing the tokens to quarters with double-stick tape.

    They have a nice heft in the hand, they look cool, and, most importantly, they are very easy to transport.
    This is a super-cool idea and is SO much cooler than going onto ebay and dropping money on a metric buttload of common and uncommons.

    Drat.

    Let me know how the tokens work out for ya (and post pics!). There might be a Sons of Kryos interview/segment in that, maybe a GM's Tools.
  • edited June 2008
    I've used the tokens twice now, and I really like them. Players have given rave reviews.

    Some shots from my crappy camera phone:

    image image

    And the token art itself:

    image

    EDIT: Here's the PDF.
  • Before I saw John's tokens in action at GPNW, I was looking to buy some Cardboard Heroes.
  • edited June 2008
    Nice, John! They might look great mounted on wooden discs or even wooden 1" squares (cheaper, too!)

    If you want to rapidly buff out an army of mooks, Caesar has a plastic 1:72 fantasy line that looks pretty cool (bottom of the page), unpainted, 35 for ten bucks.
  • You could use the opposite side of the disc for "bloodied" status, perhaps? I think these are the way to go for me.
  • Look for the e-bay store CHEAPminis or Auggies movies and games. Commons commonly run 3-4 for a $1. Each also offers flat rate shipping rgardless of how many you buy. I think it ends up being around $6 for the s+h.
  • Just a warning about mage knight and other clix - the bases are too big for D&D squares, which is a shame, because otherwise they'd be ideal.

    Though I'm totally looking at some of the remaindered Giant mage knight figures, since they have some really cool looking stuff, sometimes very cheap.

    -Rob D.
  • I'll second the awesomeness of John's tokens. They look cool, are easy to move around, and don't make the battlemat feel too busy.
  • Apparently Lego now makes Battlepacks, like these skeletons.
  • On a side note, some people who are into HeroScape wargame buy up MageKnight pieces and give them HS stats. Several online programs allow you to make up the cards, complete with pics of the minis.

    I've ordered some D&D minis grab bags online, and the shipping costs do eat away any frugal value. I got most of my collection by giving a buddy $20 for a ton of his commons so he could go out and buy more boosters.

    Ah, the curse of collectible minis.

    ME
  • Oh, and on a side note, I've been using MageKnight pieces to represent NPCs and monsters in our Magical Land of Yeld playtest, and some D&D minis (which are a smaller scale) to represent the Friends.

    ME
  • edited June 2008
    I've seen some other folks using tokens. They're creating color-coded tokens for effects, like using red ones to show who a fighter has marked. They stack the tokens, so the red token goes under the figure token. It's really slick. Of course, the token has to be pretty thick and has to be red on the sides, too. Think "1-inch red poker chip."

    I just did some research. Okay, a google search. I found 7/8" mini poker chips for $1 for 20 chips and they come in 10 different colors. There are also transparent 3/4" bingo chips for $1 for 50 chips.
  • Those camera phone shots don't do justice to John's tokens. They looked great, and had a real heft in the hand that a cardboard token just doesn't have.

    Plus, he had a buttload of colored stones to use to show someone as marked, bloody, etc. Or just to spread out to show where the mooks were.
  • edited June 2008
    Posted By: JuddAny thoughts on how to do this or sites I should be looking at...
    Here's another DIY approach: Patrick Crusiau has put out some gorgeous paper figure art. Look at the bottom of these pages:

    http://www.gwindel.eu/MSPE.html
    http://www.gwindel.eu/GT.html

    There's also a how-to PDF linked here:
    http://www.gwindel.eu/Ressources/howto.pdf

    I love his figures because they're simple colored line drawings -- the details on busy art tend to vanish when you print it at 1", so if you have two tokens with similar colors you might be squinting a lot. Also, they're side-on figures rather than front-on figures, and I think those look way more dynamic than front-and-back Cardboard Hero type figs. You can trim away some of the whitespace for extra dynamics. You can size and scale them any way you like, up to the limits of the image resolution, or even flood-fill recolor them if you want an army of guys with different tunics or what-have-you.

    I printed up some of these and laminated them before trimming. They're crazy durable -- the weapons spring right back to true if you bend them -- and they pack flat. For bases, I use pennies and stick-tack. You can put colored yard sale dots on the pennies if you want to add distinguishing marks.

    You can also find good figure images at Clipart.com if you dig a bit. I used this one when my players sacked a monastery.

    Here's some action shots from that monastery. I don't think the paper figs look out of place compared to their plastic counterparts.
  • Posted By: Simon CPosted By: John HarperThey aren't minis, but I'm making my own 1" tokens by picking cool art, making a sheet of them in InDesign, color-printing it, punching them out with a 1" craft punch, then affixing the tokens to quarters with double-stick tape.

    They have a nice heft in the hand, they look cool, and, most importantly, they are very easy to transport.
    In many ways I prefer that approach to full-on minis. I find there's a threshold of prettyness for minis, at which point the map and minis stop being a representation to help my imagining of the scene, and start being the entire scene. My "roleplaying brain" switches off, and my "wargaming brain" comes online. The minis are just minis, and not characters. 2D counters and the like keep me thinking of them as representations, while minis tend to kick me over to seeing them as the whole thing, if you get what I mean.

    A good solid heft is important though, as is a clear representation, so I think you've come up with a cool solution.

    You hit the nail on the head. That's exactly how I feel.

    John -- beautiful tokens and great idea!
  • edited June 2008
    Fierydragon.com just released a free pdf set of counters that go along with Shadowfell. They're not as pretty or fancy as John's but they're pretty cool.
  • Posted By: Marhault[a href="http://www.fierydragon.com"]Fierydragon.com[/a] just released a free pdf set of counters that go along with Shadowfell. They're not as pretty or fancy as John's but they're pretty cool.
    I'm guessing they aren't as pretty or fancy as John, either...
  • John,

    How did you cut them out in such neat, clean circles? I've tried to make pogs for HeroClix before and absolutely butchered some printouts.

    ME
  • Also, I'm wondering if you could do this with a pack of wooden or plastic buttons as well. I tend to spend my quarters, or my son takes them as milk money.

    ME
  • Posted By: John Harperpunching them out with a 1" craft punch
    He's punching them out with a 1" craft punch.
  • Ah, missed that. Thank you.

    ME
  • Actually, that set was cut very carefully with scissors. But now I have the craft punch and life is free and breezy. I need to get a 2" punch for my Large creatures.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarNice, John! They might look great mounted onwooden discsor evenwooden 1" squares(cheaper, too!)

    If you want to rapidly buff out an army of mooks, Caesar has a plastic 1:72 fantasy linethat looks pretty cool(bottom of the page), unpainted, 35 for ten bucks.
    Nice link to the wooden tiles. Thanks! Several years ago when we were still playing 3.5 we used some minis but I made a bunch of monster tokens simply by taking the images from WoTCs online monster gallery, which was at that time all of the monsters in the MM. I just printed them out (after sizing them for Small Medium and Large, pasted them on cardstock sheets and cut them out. We immediately had tons of monsters to use then and it was pretty sweet. Only problem was that laying flat it made them hard to move between other creatures on the mat and they were wily little buggers to pick up off the mat and move. The wooden tiles would have been awesome. Correction, the wooden tiles will be awesome!
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarNice, John! They might look great mounted onwooden discsor evenwooden 1" squares(cheaper, too!)
    I've found Fiery Dragon counters + solid mini bases to be an effective combo. You glue the counters to the bases and get a nice Scrabble-piece-like heft to them. The bases I use are made by some company called George Bases (or similar, Google is of no help finding them) that I buy from the FLGS. They're some sort of wood/particle-board and come in D&D-approved dimensions: 1", 2" 3", etc.

    The nice thing about the Fiery Dragon counters is that they're very well-drawn and are clearly distinguishable from a distance. You can also find the various collected sets for cheap; I bought tons of the metal-tin collections at GenCon for like $5 a pop, so now I have hundreds. Also, you can buy them in PDF format, too, which can be handy.
  • Those Lego sets are neat but expensive, by the way. I already looked at those a couple weeks back at the local Lego store. Not worth it for me.

    I'd go with DIY as well, I think.
  • Posted By: Dave YounceJudd - you can get singles over athttp://www.miniaturemarket.com/d_d_painted_minis
    If I hadn't already hit ebay for some buckets of commons, it would be tempting to run through their inventory for everything under a dollar.

    -Rob D.
  • Posted By: Rob DonoghuePosted By: Dave YounceJudd - you can get singles over athttp://www.miniaturemarket.com/d_d_painted_minis
    If I hadn't already hit ebay for some buckets of commons, it would be tempting to run through their inventory for everything under a dollar.

    -Rob D.

    You have read my mind.
  • 4e is bringing out the DIY noob in me. 22"x22" MDF board painted white and gridded in 1" squares. 20"x20" perspex screen bolted onto it for whiteboard marker application. 1" dowel sliced in quarter inch slices, sanded and mounted with colour pictures... what a great weekend I have planned. Battleboard Xtreme!

    Neil
  • I really love the counter ideas, and it's getting my mini-buying adverse brain going. I still have a hexagon battlemap, will that do, or does 4E really require that you have squares?
  • Posted By: Alvin FrewerI really love the counter ideas, and it's getting my mini-buying adverse brain going. I still have a hexagon battlemap, will that do, or does 4E really require that you have squares?
    Well, all the combat statistics are in squares... but I can't see anything too wrong with using a hexmap (you'll have to decide what to do about "blast" spells and effects, which basically form a 2x2;5x5 etc box stretching away from the caster (or spell target). That might be harder to simulate on a hexmap.

    -Andy
  • I'd bet there's standups (maybe even tokens) for sale at rpgnow.com. PI Games has a load of options available too in their disposable heroes line (http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=27). They list 22 items in their store for that category.

    Being an apartment dweller myself, should I ever toy with 4e or the like, I'm going to try and use paper. Not the same aesthetic, but a decent compromise I think.

    Copyright issues aside, what about a color scanner + the book?
  • Posted By: AndyWell, all the combat statistics are in squares... but I can't see anything too wrong with using a hexmap (you'll have to decide what to do about "blast" spells and effects, which basically form a 2x2;5x5 etc box stretching away from the caster (or spell target). That might be harder to simulate on a hexmap.
    That would depend on how they center even numbered blasts, I guess. If the target is in a square, what's the center for a 2x2 (or 4x4, etc - even numbers) blast?

    For a hex map, a good way seems like: divide by two, round down, and that's how many hexes from the ground zero the blast affects. So if that's the biggest hurdle (and I'm right with a workable answer), I actually like the idea of dealing with AoE in hexes better.
  • There are no even spell effects. The distance given is the distance from the origin square. So the spell effect Burst 2 means Origin square plus 2 squares up, back, and side to side...so its actually 5x5 in total area.

    This initially seemed confusing, until I realized they have a whole range of standard spell effects that when you use this nomenclature you can describe the area without needing a template...There's Blast 3 which is just a straight line of 3 squares from the origin square, and some others.
  • Here's how I'd do ranged effects on a hex map. I show two possible blast 3 effects.

    image



    image
  • image

    - ceramic mosaic tiles, glazed on one side
    - square medium-sized squeeze punch

    Result: tokens that slide when the glazed surface is placed on the table. Oh yeah.
  • Pray tell, where does one acquire such things?
  • Michaels or any other craft store.
  • edited June 2008
    I went out today and bought 1" wooden tokens for 99cents per 8. I also got six 1.5" for 99 cents. I've painted the edges of the smaller tokens black and the large tokens red. My plan is to buy a 1" punch (found one locally for about $4) and print Jake Richmond's Magical Land of Yeld characters off on sticker paper. Punch them out and put them on the tokens. The larger tokens will be for boss fights once I find suitable artwork.

    Oh, and in Yeld if your guy gets killed, they become a ghost, so I'm putting a b&w version of the character on the back of each token. Get taken out in a fight, flip the token.

    I will post pics as I get through the process, if anyone is interested.

    ME

    EDIT: screwed up the size of the second tokens, now been corrected.
  • Posted By: Adam DrayHere's how I'd do ranged effects on a hex map. I show two possible blast 3 effects.
    Your blast 3 is shorting the player of two spaces, and your burst shorting them by five, unfortunately.
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