Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons - My Entry into Gaming

I thought I'd start off this blog with my first foray into the world of gaming and perhaps one of the greatest influences on modern miniature gaming in general, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). I think I was about 10 years old when I first played D&D, which started with my friend having some made-up rules inspired by his experience playing. Out on the school playground, we had a basic dungeon crawl where ogres were slain and gold was collected, much to the chagrin of our grade 5 teachers, who thought that inspired devil worship (this was the 80's at the time).

Now I'm sure some of you are thinking "D&D, that a roleplaying game!?!?" Yes it is, but in it's original form,
Chainmail, Gary Gygax created a ruleset to play with the fantasy miniatures he had created himself. D&D has come a long way since then, using miniatures to a small (think 2nd edition) and large (3rd and 4th edition) degree. While a lot more than just the use of minis has changed in the evolution of D&D, I think that it's latest format is it's greatest. Gaming has changed a lot over the years, and many new formats have managed to knock D&D off it's throne of gaming supremacy. D&D 4th edition has realized this, and has incorporated certain elements of these gaming formats into the game, make a game that is easy pick up and streamlined.

Currently I run an on-again, off-again campaign in the Forgotten Realms. There are many companies that produce generic fantasy miniatures, but my favourite producer is Reaper Miniatures. I like Reaper for its dynamic poses, and that it's models pay homage to classic fantasy archetypes while giving them a modern spin. Below are some of the minis that I have used to represent the heroes and villains in my game.

Above is 02514 Kang, Half-Orc. I've painted him as a traditional orc in the Forgoteen Realms, giving them grey skin as opposed to the traditional green. I've yet to use this miniature in the game, but I think I'll drop him in as some sort of sub-boss, or a major villain's right hand croney.

This is 03053 Ibycus, Satyr. I used him as an NPC in our first adventure, where the PC's had to win a skill challenge to have him join the party. He was a bit too overpowered at this stage in the campaign for fighting enemies, but hey, that's what you learn on the job of being the DM!

Next we have 03285 Dynis, female elf thief. I haven't used her either, but I figure she'd make a gut advisary or ally for the PC's in a place like Westgate or Waterdeep.

This is 03040 Hobgoblin. I used his as the final encounter villain in our first adventure. I've done a minor conversion on him, replacing his sword with a triple-headed flail from another Reaper weapon pack. The best part was I had done this conversion before picking up Adventurer's Vault, which stats out the triple-headed flail as an exotic weapon!

Lastly, we have 03304 Zarion Bloodnail. I've used him as a mini for a PC miniature, who is the fighter of the group. Our campaign is set in Cormyr, so what better to represent a future Purple Dragon then giving said miniature with the dragon wing's shield purple highlights!


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