It's a TRAP! A tiny, perfectly-modelled TRAP!

Here's my collection of painted, human-sized undead (plus three or four skeletal pooches... awwww!). I have a bunch more, still unpainted. And I have various giant-sized undead mummy lords or cyclops skeletons or huge horse-headed skeletal things. Plus the non-humanoid undead things, like skeletal snakes or zombie dragons or what-not.

And that's just the undead. Then there's all the other monsters and characters I've collected and painted over the years. And I have boxes and boxes full of unpainted figures as well.

And yet, I never have enough of the particular type of figure I want for the particular encounter at hand, or if I do, they're buried somewhere in amongst the giant figure pile and thus something of a hassle to lay my hands on at a moment's notice.

Sure, I could substitute one figure to stand in for another kind of critter, but that seems to me to kind of defeat the purpose of having a whole bunch of different figures at all.

That's why I'm beginning to think that it would be better to just use cheap plastic chess pieces of various sizes as markers, whenever we feel the need to use figures on a map layout. If I needed anything more as a visual aid, I could just show the players a picture of what the chess pieces represent, but for the most part I think a description would be sufficient.

Contrary to what people might think, considering my abiding habit and hobby of painting up these little bastards, I'm actually not all that interested in creating little dioramas on the tabletop to play with my little dollies in. Not that I'm morally averse to such things; in fact, if somebody else is doing it, I find them quite appealing. I just can't be faffed putting in the time or effort to do it myself.

At game time, the figures, to me, are purely functional... but I find the wrong figures distracting, somehow.

Next day...

OK, so I bought a couple of cheapish chess sets of different sizes because it seems nobody just sell chess pieces on their own any more. It used to be that you couldn't move for boxes of plastic chessmen for a couple of bucks, and now I can't find them anywhere.

I hate change. Unless I like it, then I like change.


It occurred to me that Scrabble tiles would make ideal markers for situations involving lots of monsters of the same type. Assuming you don't need more than 26 of them, you have individually marked tokens that the DM can use to keep track of exactly which monster is where, without the risk of note-taking confusion that can so often arise when using non-unique markers.

I think it's possible to get Bingo tokens too, which would be labelled 1—99, for those REALLY big fights. Where you'd get them from though, I do not know.

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