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Wereravens and Owl Bears, Oh My!

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Jan. 3, 2022

I wandered into one of those gaming shops that specialized in acrylic hobby paint, paintbrushes, and miniature figurine kits while locally window shopping for the holiday. The interaction went like this:

Me: “Hello, do you know of any fantasy table-top role playing games happening in the area?”

Clerk: I am hired by this other company, which is a main competitor to other stores, so that question is like walking into a sandwich shop and ordering a hamburger.”

Me: “Okay, then. I am looking for a figurine.” (Stares at the wall of figurines)

Clerk: “Are you more interested in future or medieval worlds?”

Me: “Definitely medieval. Do you have any she-orcs.”

Clerk: “The orcs in this game are actually genderless. They are closely related to a fungus. There is a figurine that you could technically paint the skin green, I suppose. But this character is more of a cheerleader.”

(The clerk pulls up an image on the computer of what appears to be a female figurine.)

Clerk (continued): “Yeah, see, you could easily paint the skin green and it would look like that.”

By this time, I was no longer interested in the figurine. The thirty-five dollar price point plus the five dollars per pot of paint shot the desire to create a single character out of my system. (Besides, what is the point if the figurine’s only job was a cheerleader?)

The return home was justified with the feel-good notion that walking away from the impulse purchase was the best decision.

Later that night, I opened the D&D Forgotten Realms book and learned all about the Wereraven: “careful and secretive, always abided by local laws and tried to do good whenever possible. Lived in family groups called ‘kindnesses’.”

I liked the description of the Wereraven, it seemed more preferential than the cheerleader she-orc figurine that was technically a fungus. It reminded me of my favorite animal composite: The Owl Bear, which just as the name suggests, is a creature with an owl’s head and the body of a bear.

At the end of the day, table top games that do not require a massive monetary investment before starting the game are more preferable than the ones that do. It is also neat how a pen and piece of paper are all that is required to dream up dozens of composite creatures straight out of my imagination.

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theRedDeath at 1:48PM, Jan. 3, 2022

Before the plague me and my friends were playing D&D 5e and I just drew our characters, printed them out and stuck them on plastic bases. It worked well enough, but now we all just play digitally.

Gunwallace at 12:58PM, Jan. 3, 2022

Drivethrurpg is a good resource for those on a budget, and who are happy with pdfs rather than physical books. I'm running a Star Trek Adventures game with my family right now, most of the books for which I got in a bundle sale on that site. I admit to also then buying physical copies of the main books, but that's just because I'm old and prefer the printed page. It's a fun story & character based system if a little short on detail in some areas of the rules, but fortunately there are forums full of helpful people that explain the more confusing omissions.

sleeping_gorilla at 11:02AM, Jan. 3, 2022

I've been turned off of 5e because it's so slow and board game heavy. I think it broke me when my players, also known as the level 13 Avengers, smacked around a God-Dragon like it was nothing. It wasn't fun for me, and I can't imagine it being much fun for them. When I run games now I give the players a bonus to their class skills, so that a druid is actually good at animal handling and herbology. Also, I severely limit hit points so that a God-Dragon can actually kill something. I would recommend Call of Cthulhu or Fiasco, for games heavier in role-playing.

fallopiancrusader at 10:38AM, Jan. 3, 2022

Another option available these days is 2D game pieces. Some companies sell plastic bases with a slot on top. Players can then draw their character on a piece of card stock, stick it in the slot, and it becomes a tabletop RPG game piece of whatever you want. Players who can’t draw (or don’t want to) can also go to websites that sell pre-made drawings which can be printed out on your inkjet at home. A newer trend that’s becoming more popular these days is that you can buy .STL files of digital characters, download them, and then print them out on your 3D printer at home. That might seem very specialized right now, but the price of high-resolution 3D printers is dropping so fast that this method will become more and more commonplace as time goes on. From my experience working in the tabletop RPG industry over the years, it seems that most miniature companies only produce female characters about 20 percent of the time, and some only produce male figurines.

Luccia at 6:42AM, Jan. 3, 2022

I've recently gotten into hobby painting (still total noob) for fun, and it really is an expensive venture.

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