You are now the Dungeon master - guest post
So it happened, whether by choice or by a unanimous decision, you are now the dungeon master of your Dungeon and dragons group and you are excitedly planning out your very campaign, or perhaps trying out a pre-written module since, after all, this your first time as a dungeon master and there is a lot to learn.
I was in this spot once after a car ride with my group of friends, so I know how you feel, trust me. The mixture of excitement and perhaps nervousness of whether you can raise to their expectations. But you know you got this, they have placed their trust in you to deliver an exceptional gaming experience and you intend to deliver, and then some.
So you got your homebrew story or module ready, you have your notes, hopefully some dice and you got a date scheduled into the calendar with your group of friends for the day when it all begins, but something is missing, something crucial.
You have no miniatures!
Calm down, slow down your breathing, one breath after another, you will be alright. Having no miniatures is hopefully the reason you found this article or came searching online for advice in where to get some fantastic miniatures for your game. This problem is not just for new Dungeon Masters, but also players looking for their perfect character model, or old veteran Dungeon Masters searching for a very specific figure for their upcoming game. So let us finally get into the meat of this article.
The must have miniatures for any new Dungeon master!
There are hundreds if not thousands of miniature brands out there. With 3d printers becoming a norm in most hobbyists arsenal of gadgets, many people have even started up their own small 3d printing companies which muddies the waters even further. I do not plan to list them all and give pro’s and con’s, there are already many articles on this; I will simply give you what I did when I started as a Dungeon Master looking for new models. There are 10 specific “models” you need for any new adventure.
1. The party
5. Small animals (Rats, bats, small spiders)
10. The big bad
The reason I have chosen these 10, and in that order is that you will need them for any campaign or setting early on, usually the first thing your group encounters is one of the first 5 I listed, though of course do check your story or module for which one is your priority.
The party: Depending on you and your group’s budget, making your first character is exciting and you could go full out on making a unique character for each and every person. My recommendation then is Hero Forge, you can build a character from scratch choosing thousands of options and it is uniquely printed to your specification. But it is very expensive for 1 figure, £15 for their cheapest plastic.
A party member in my game called Pickle, a druid Gnome made in Hero Forge
A Wizard from the Reaper miniatures range
They have been in the business for years and have all kinds of figures for a low budget that would fit whatever odd character your group may wish to field, from an orc wizard to a fairy bard, they will likely have it. Costing on average £3 per miniatures you could field a party of 5 for the same price as one Hero Forge Model, so this is worth considering when choosing where to shop. Though the quality is much hit and misses on some of these, Wizkid tending to be slightly better in quality over reaper, but smaller selection.
You can also get a lot of the models that I listed with a box set that caters to new Dungeon Masters, this is exactly what me and my group did, putting in £10 each to get this DM starter set
Mantic Games Dungeon starter set
This comes with a generic party, orcs, goblins, zombies, skeletons, demons and even 3 large miniatures and 1 huge Dragon plus a ton of terrain and scatter pieces from dungeon doors, tables, bookcases, chests, treasure piles and many many more. You get a lot for your money here and I cant recommend it enough as I have painted every single one of these figures by now myself and I use them constantly in my games.
Examples from the Mantic Dungeon Master starter set that I have painted.
None the less one thing I believe you should not hold back on is your “big bad” – If you are willing to spend a bit more on one figure, make sure it is him or her. An example of a extremely awesome big bad lich or evil necromancer hellbend on taking over the world could be: Reaper of Souls being sold by Figures for Sale.
Reaper of Souls from Zabavka Workshop
I hope this helps you get started when it comes to picking up your first miniatures or expanding an already existing collection, whether you are a Dungeon Master of old or just starting out. I hope your first game goes well or if you are a veteran, your next of many.
May your games be fuelled with fun and fantastic miniatures.