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Now, MOST of us have a clue where the monsters came from, at least in a rudimentary sense. Tolkien invented the orc as we know it, and the giant spider in fantasy; Robert E. Howard seemed to have a thing for giant snakes. We know that centaurs came from ancient Greece, dwarves and trolls from Scandinavian myth, goblins from Western Europe, dragons from more or less everywhere, and so on. No, don't correct me; I'm bein' general here, and approaching a point.
I'm kinda curious, though: Where'd some of the weirdier critters come from?
It is legend among the Gamers and the Geekosphere about the bulette, the owlbear, and the rust monster.
The legend has it that Gary Gygax, or perhaps Dave Arneson, back when The Game was just getting off the ground, had difficulty finding miniatures to represent various dungeon denizens. Keep in mind that historical miniatures, at the time, were relatively easy to find, (Knights, Archers, Men At Arms, and characters in general) but fantasy gaming as we know it did not yet exist. No mythological monsters! So Gary or Dave, or whoever... cheated.
And several inhabitants of the first edition (and later) Monster Manual had some rather peculiar origins. In the picture, at center front, you see what became the Bulette, whereas to the left, there's a Rust Monster and to the right, an Owlbear in brilliant yellow.
In the seventies, you could get these critters in bags in the dime store or on a spinrack in the drugstore, anywhere that sold cheap toys from no-name manufacturers. They were usually marked as dinosaurs, but this particular mob resembles no known prehistoric creatures; the majority of them seem to be knockoffs of monsters from Japanese TV shows like Ultraman, Spectreman, and other ancestors of the Power Rangers. Gary himself spoke about using plastic dinos in lieu of dragons, and the AD&D Monster Manual has the majority of dinos known to pop culture as of 1975. So Gary noticed them at the dime store, bought a bag, and pitted them against his players. And these three creatures became the dreaded Rust Monster, Bulette, and Owlbear, as well as becoming obscure but treasured collectors items among the lords of geekdom.
Which means that all the owlbear miniatures being made right now are all because of a cheap Taiwanese knockoff toy based on a man in a suit monster who appeared on a Japanese kidshow back in the sixties. Or seventies. Or whatever.
It could be that this thread will be doomed to obscurity. I rather hope not. I'm hoping that others will add to it with critters that started out as obscure toys that later achieved a sort of immortality as modern gaming mythology. Do add to it. I'm still more'n a little curious.
The world's first hot-swappable gaming miniatures! A line of minis with interchangeable magnetic items to customize your loadout.
About this project
How you think about gaming miniatures is about to change
Hand of Glory is a new type of gaming miniature with a very cool twist: each Hand of Glory figure and accessory is magnetized using tiny rare-earth magnets. This means for the first time, you will be able to change your character on the fly. This will literally change the game!
Since everything in the Hand of Glory line is magnetized, your character can swap out weapons and items to use whatever your adventure calls for. Since all accessories work with all figures, you can easily customize your character’s loadout and pick up new items along your journey. You can level up your character, swap weapons with allies, and steal items from foes. Use Hand of Glory to tell your own story.
This project is inspired by open-world RPG video games, such as Skyrim and The Witcher (which, of course are based on D&D and other classic tabletop RPGs!). In the video game world, we love collecting and trading weapons, customizing loadouts for specific battles, managing inventory, experimenting with powerful dual-wielded weapon combinations, and searching for unique items along the way. We're super excited to bring this open-world video game feel back to tabletop gaming!
Modularity and magnetism
Hand of Glory puts a new spin on traditional gaming miniatures. To achieve maximum modularity, Hand of Glory uses our proprietary rare-earth magnet system. First, Neodymium rare-earth magnets are installed into the figure’s arms. Then, magnetic steel plugs are installed into each accessory. This way, the polarity of the magnet does not matter, and the magnetism is just right: strong yet easy to swap while you play.
High-detailed cast pewter
All of our highly detailed characters and accessories are cast in the US from the finest lead-free pewter and are easily paintable. Since the figures and items are cast separately, we can create unique character poses and highly ornate accessories that are not always possible with traditional miniature castings. The separated items also allow for easier painting.
There are 9 Heroes in this first collection, and 2 add-on figures. They are Heroic scale (32mm) and range in size from 25mm to 40mm. Each figure is made from pewter (unpainted) and includes a 25mm slotted base and rare-earth magnets to install into the arms.
Each highly detailed pewter accessory universally fits on ALL of the figures. In our first line, we are offering 3 different weapon and item series, and a handful of add-on items. There are swords, axes, shields, warhammers, magical items, potions, crossbows, torches, and even a dragon familiar! We have over 100 unique items, and all of them can be used by ANY of the figures.
The Basic Pledge includes Series 1 weapons & items (15 total accessories) The Advanced Pledge includes BOTH Series 1 and Series 2 weapons & items (45 total accessories) The Heroic and Legendary Pledges include ALL THREE Series (over 105 total accessories!) These accessories are included with all pledge tiers
These accessories are included with the Advanced, Heroic, and Legnedary pledge tiers
These accessories are included with the Heroic, and Legendary pledge tiers
*Each figure includes a 25mm base and rare-earth magnets, and each accessory set includes magnetic steel plugs. Figures and accessories come unpainted and unassembled and require just a bit of superglue to install. Each shipment will include a tool to help with installation.
We need your help to spread the word about Hand of Glory, and the more we raise, the more stuff you will get for your pledge! Help unlock all of the free extras and additional add-on options by sharing HoG on social media, your favorite gaming forum, Reddit, etc.
Hand of Glory kits include everything you need to build your arsenal. Each pewter figure includes a plastic 25mm base, and rare-earth magnets to install into the arms. Each pewter accessory includes a steel plug to install into the hand (the direction of the magnet and steel plug does not matter during installation). Each shipment will also include a tool to help with installation.
We worked very hard to ensure that the parts are accurate and very simple and fun to assemble. They require only a small amount of superglue (we recommend using superglue gel!).
Hand of Glory is made to be universally modular, which means that ALL current and future weapons and items will work with ALL current and future figures, and that will ALWAYS be the case! If we’re successful, we have lots of additional figures, weapons, and items in mind for future expansions, and we’d love to explore creating a game that incorporates the unique swappability of the HoG figures. Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see for version 2!
We are live on our Third kickstarter, this one focuses on fantasy cultures and gives them each unique tiles that are 3d printable and you can make those very specific dungeon encounters or city role playing sessions.
We also have some new Beasties that will be 3d print compatible! We hope you will join us, with 2 kickstarters on our belt we are confident that our record will be to your satisfaction if you are a new backer, and if you have already been with us you already know what to expect!
I wasn't sure what the GM was going to run last night, so I just grabbed everything I painted last year. Sorry for the bad phone photos.
In the scenario, 5 of us return from a weekend camping trip to find the base invaded. The pink rectangles represent helicopters. We cleared the table with hand weapons and judicious use of twerking. :D
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