A great, non-intimidating way to get started in miniature-based Dungeons & Dragons

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/24/a-great-non-intimidating-way.html


Those are nice but also can be a hassle.
I am a fan of the classic Chessex Battle Mat and using minis on there.

Also cardstock/paper minis have gotten quite nice of late as well.

So you can have a nice enough visual representation and not necessarily have to spend time and learning curve on the fancy things.

And I say this as someone who painted Warhammer 40k armies.


If you don’t want to spend money on a dedicated battle mat, I know some rolls of wrapping paper have 1" square grids (for cutting to specific sizes) printed on the back. Roll out enough to draw the location where the combat takes place on the paper, run the combat, and unroll another clean stretch for the next battle.

I suppose if you were wrapping presents for your party members you could even reuse the wrapping paper on which you drew certain memorable battlefields. “I wrapped this in the battle where Matt jumped off the tower trying to land on the dragon sword-first.”

This actually happened in my group. He’d tied a rope around his ankles and to something on the tower. Two natural 1’s (one for the attack roll, one to determine how well he’d tied the rope) and he spent the rest of the combat climbing back up the tower missing a good chunk of hit points.


Yeah, the erasable battle mats are what I’ve always used. I’m not sure who gets enough use out of these sets to make it worthwhile for that. (I’m just imagining spending X hours making that sewer section, only to have the players avoid the sewer altogether… or spend a few minutes there at best.) Modular, generic dungeon wall/floor pieces could be useful for a certain specific type of D&D game, but otherwise it seems like these location pieces are made entirely for the pleasure of building them/displaying them, not for actual gaming.


Whiteboard or erasable grid mat. Even graph paper and a pencil.

Kid’s blocks, foam, etc. for walls.

Random toys, salt shakers, etc. as minis.

Have fun.

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Having painted something like 1000 miniatures over the years, this is a lot of fuss for not much use. I really prefer reusable, modular pieces or plain old paper, saving the modelling efforts for special projects.

Well for warhammer if you play regularly it is fine and I do like doing the modelling and such. But to set up the dungeons and the like for an adventure and you are going to be setting up and breaking down during the game. Just use the mat and some bits and pieces for flavor.


Absolutely, nothing wrong with a mix-and-match battlefield you can build over time, you even get the Legendary Stories of when My Guy stabbed Your Guy on that big rock like in Highlander…

When it is mostly rooms I’d prefer something with a little more utility - and I love building stuff…


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