Last weekend at my regular D&D game, one of my players asked me “where I get this stuff” while unrolling a copy of the Magma Keep battlemap. For the past few years- actually, ever since the first D&D Miniatures set came out- I’ve been collecting minis and maps to use with D&D. For some reason, the square maps appeal to me quite a bit, and Wizards has done a great job of supplementing maps and tiles beyond a simple battle map. I’ve started collecting other pieces that can be used for D&D and incorporating them into my game. They help give me ideas about interesting encounters, and add an extra dimension to the game for me as a DM. (I’m not sure if my players agree and just think I’ve spent too much money…)
Inspired by the Chatty DM’s recent post about his setup, here’s a list of everything I use for D&D, and where I get it from.
I have at least a few from every set that Wizards has released. I probably have the most of the first two sets, since I was there at the beginning, and played the skirmish game often with a friend of mine. As I moved away from that friend, I only picked up a few boxes of many of the sets in between (coming back for some major Giants of Legend action.) When I started the current campaign, I went back and bought a few boxes from each of the recent sets, as well as picking up some cheap commons from sites like Battleworks.
I keep the PC’s minis in a separate wooden box (which I picked up from my friends at Looney Labs- it says Fluxx on the inside cover, but was supposed to say it on the OUTSIDE.)
Monsters and Terrain Pieces
I keep all the Large and Huge monsters in the Art Box, along with a number of terrain pieces. It unfolds to reveal a wealth of space:
The top parts contain:
- Monsters from the D&D Board Game and two expansions (which I bought two Origins ago, and then ended up hating the game, but it came with so many great pieces it didn’t matter)
- Monsters and terrain pieces from the Heroquest board game. I use the tables and chairs quite a bit. And more doors is always handy.
- Terrain pieces from Mage Knight Dungeons. These were apparently way over-produced, and I see them for sale all the time at game shops for dirt cheap. I picked up one of each, and they have some nice doors, columns, and statues. And also a castle wall I haven’t been able to use yet.
- Figures from Heroscape. Again, hate the game, love the pieces. While only some of it is fantasy, I keep them all in here for storage sake. I’ll probably look a more of the expansions soon to see if there’s any other must-have figures.
Close up of some of the top parts:
The bottom contains, as I said, big’uns:
I have a converted miniatures case (that may have started as a gun case? I forget.) that stores all my tiles:
Thanks to a suggestion from the Chatty DM, I (usually) keep them in plastic baggies according to size. I keep in here all the following tiles:
- One set of each of the Dungeon Tiles that Wizards has released. I love these things, but am always wanting more different ones.
- All the board pieces from the D&D Board Game.
- A set of the Dungeon Chambers map pack from Paizo. Eventually I plan to pick up more of these.
- The Tavern/Wilderness flip mat, also from Paizo. Again, I will probably pick up more of these later.
- Various other tiles that I’ve copied or laminated from old issues of Dragon. These don’t get much use, since I think those were more trial runs, and they’ve really perfected them with other products.
Here’s some of the different tiles spread out:
I previously used notecards, but last week I designed and printed some custom combat cards for tracking initiative:
I have my D&D mini stat cards separated by challenge rating (perfect for pulling out a new foe that’s not in the Monster Manual) and put into an old INWO box:
The stat cards, combat cards, wet-erase markers, and dice (in a Crown Royal bag, of course) are all stored in an old Palm display box:
Anything else that I need for the game, like the aforementioned Magma Keep map (or just a plain battlemap) goes into a plastic bin, along with any books that I need to bring, DM screen, the tile box, the art box, the palm box, and the small wooden box:
This box can get very heavy, and I have to carry it up three flights of stairs to get to Bartoneus and Sucilaria’s apartment. Almost always I recruit players to help carry stuff up and down. That may be a sign I have too much stuff.
Finally, two digital accessories that I off and on bring:
I haven’t been using my laptop lately, preferring to plan in notebooks and then try to avoid any of the wonderful online tools during gameplay (since they slow things down.) The iPod has three playlists: a Campaign playlist, a Dungeon playlist, and a Fight playlist that I move between. It’s connected to iPod speakers- the one I had previously also charged the iPod, but the one I have now is just battery powered and more portable.
Phew, I think that’s everything. What do you think? Am I a crazy man who spends way too much time and money for D&D?