7 September 2012

Unboxing the Bestiary Box

I just picked up a parcel at my post office and figured it was blog-worthy.

So yeah, I play a lot of tabletop roleplaying games, as any reader of my blog is likely to know. The majority of the games I play are heavy on narrative and light on rules, meaning we mostly don't mess about too much with stuff like grid maps and miniatures. But we have played some with miniatures too, at times. And, as you may know, last year I got back into more oldschool gaming with Pathfinder, a game whose combat system is very much based on the concept of miniatures and grids.

Miniatures, however, have always been the source of some angst for me. Firstly, they're not free. I've bought a handful of figures for specific needs over the years, but most of the miniatures I've used in my games have actually been 'borrowed' from various boardgames, like good ol' HeroQuest. (For one game I used printed paper miniatures, but the quality obviously didn't quite compare to proper ones.) Secondly, to get the most out miniatures one really should paint them, and I really suck at that.

So, the parcel mentioned above. It contained the brand new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Box. This box contains a collection of cardboard miniatures for use in tabletop gaming. Not just any collection, but basically most of the creatures featured in the first Pathfinder Bestiary volume. (Which, of course, contains much of the same material as the 3rd edition D&D Monster Manual, so tons of classic D&D monsters are covered.) With multiple copies of some of the most common enemies. That's a total of over 300 miniatures, and over 250 different creatures.

So, basically, the moment I heard about this product I knew I would have to buy it. I seemed like the perfect solution for a financially limited, paint-hating GM.

OK, finally hands on, opening the parcel. The box is nice and sturdy, printed with quality artwork (as usual for Paizo products). The pawns (as Paizo calls these cardboard minis) are printed in colour (naturally) on fairly sturdy cardboard (about 1mm thick). The artwork, I believe, is mostly the same as is featured in the Bestiary (though I think some may have been redrawn to better fit the dimensions). Included is a more than adequate number of plastic bases for creatures of all size categories (except gargantuan and colossal – these creatures have been, understandably, omitted).

All in all feels like good value for the 35€ I paid for the box. How good they actually look on the table remains to be seen, of course (I imagine some of the images may be a little hard to make out from a distance, especially if lighting is less than perfect). But I'm pretty sure I'll be stressing less about obtaining and painting decent miniatures for my games in the foreseeable future.

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