With the release of D&D 4th Edition I’m finding myself asking any roleplayer I come across from outwith my gaming group the same question. Do you actually ever use minitures during a game?
I’ve never understood it to be honest as I’ve always took the pastime to be about the storytelling rather than attack arcs traced out on hex paper or line of sight being blocked by an out of scale plastic barrel. Having only ever used miniatures in a gaming session once around 17 years ago I still struggle to this day to work out just what it brings to the game. When we did try it I was running a game on Griffon Island for my Runequest campaign and in all honesty it was more hassle than it was worth. Aside from having to draw out maps and room plans to scale for every encounter I had to contend with players being grumpy because their figure didn’t exactly match that of their character. The very next session we ditched the figures and went back to using a notepad to scribble down maps and help explain locations. When it came to the actual combat we found the encounter to be clearer in our heads without the use of props as I was describing the locations as well as the enemy in a completely different manner. With the figures I placed them on the map and it turned into a small scale wargaming skirmish and that was it. No roleplaying involved at all.
I can see that if done in a way that takes the best of both worlds it could work but for something as simple as a fight with a band of kobolds in a cave its an awful lot of work for something that in my eyes does not add very much to the game.
As you can probably tell I’m not really feeling the new edition just yet. Is it just me or are WotC trying to push every single angle they can to get you to part with every spare bit of cash you have?
“Oh look we sell miniatures now…I know lets make the combat rules work for figures and get everyone to buy them as well as the rulebooks. Oh and while we’re at it lets split up the character classes and thing slike that so we can release the players handbook over several volumes. They’ll have to buy everything just to play the game they way they want to.”
It’s getting all very White Wolfish. They’ve ran out of ideas so lets rewrite the rules again and get a new cash boost when folk buy the new books. They got rid of Thac0! *shakes head*