Of maps and miniatures

I am waiting anxiously for the Player’s Handbook 2 I ordered to come in the mail.  It should be here by Tuesday.  Can’t wait!

In this post I am going to talk about some of the tools I use for running a game.  For those of you who are not familiar with D&D this may go over your head a bit.  Please feel free to post comments or questions.

The first thing you need when playing is a large grid.  You use this grid to determine positioning and range in combat.  In 4th edition, everything is about squares.  A square is basically supposed to represent about 5 feet.  So for example a character’s speed is 6, that character can move 6 squares during his turn.  Most grids use 1 inch squares.  To create my grid I found some semi-ridged poster board from Wal-Mart.  It had very faint 1/2inch squares on it.  I penciled in lines every other square to make a grid of one inch squares.  I did this front and back and then had them laminated.  Now I can draw the layout or map of a room using overhead pens (remember overhead projectors!) and then just wipe it off when we are done.  You can go out and buy expensive grid mats but this is working just fine for my group.

The other thing you need is some kind of tokens or miniatures to represent the players and the enemies.  Wizards of the Coast does make miniatures that you can buy.  They look really good but can get expensive.  What I have done is I take a paper template, find a picture on the Internet of what I want the token to represent, cut it out, fold it into a triangle, and tape a penny to the bottom for weight.  These have been working great and they cost a whole lot less than buying minis.  I may in the future look at buying some minis to represent the players but out-fitting myself with an army would have been very cost prohibitive.

Dice are at the core of D&D.  You cannot play without them.  You are always rolling to determine outcomes of attacks and skills.  They are also useful as counters or any additional tokens you may need.  Your players will also each want a set of dice.  What I did was purchase a pound of dice.  This bag of dice is huge!  It has enough dice for 8 to 10 people to use and it costs about as much as the dice for two.  The company who sells this bag just put in all the dice that don’t pass esthetic quality control.  So many of them have odd paint jobs but they all roll just fine.  You could even use the extra dice as monster tokens instead of buying them or making your own.  This was a great purchase.  You can find them on the Chessex website along with all of their premium dice products.

That goes over some of the basic tools I use.  I will try to include some pictures soon to give you a better visual of what I am talking about.  Please post your comments about what tools you use in your games.  Also if you have questions please feel free to ask.



Here are some of my homemade mini’s.  Penny bedside for size reference.


Here they are on edge.  They are just simple paper triangles.  You can see the pennies I use to weight them down.