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PC types Vs Monster types


Reaperbryan
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Cavern Crawler, Charnel Grub

 

Bullywug, Hooked Hulk

Yes, yes, yes!

 

 

By my count I get ~70 PC useable things, excluding PF/Chrono/IMEF/NOVA stuff. The rest are by and large beasties.

I agree with all the other stuff typed here about the PC vs NPC/monsters, so I'll just say "me too" instead of typing it all out again. Unidentifiable, OneBoot and co sum it up much better than me.

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Upon further reflection, as a GM, the question that interests me is not whether the model is a PC or NPC, but whether a sculpt is so distinctive that having three on the table at a time would be distracting.

 

As an example, multiples of the disco zombie, while not a PC and without lots of details, would be too obvious unless I had at least dozens of zombies out. OTOH, Deathsleet could quite reasonably be part of a flight of dragons with different paint schemes and wouldn't bother me much (see also Flit and the Giant Worm).

This. I'm less interested in distinguishing between "monsters" and PCs, and more between "cannon fodder" and "unique characters." I think people have been asking for monsters as a shorthand for "not-distinctive mook-types," but Bryan's question is generating answers about what he's actually asking: what are monsters and what aren't.

 

The important distinction to me is whether or not I can use a mini more than once. If it's a very dynamic humanoid, it'll probably end up being a specific NPC (or even a PC). Basically, if it's a figure that my players will remember, it's a "character" mini, and if it's not, then it's a "monster" mini. All the Orcpocalypse minis were safely anonymous. They could be any orcs. Same with the Dungeon Attack goblins and most of the PF goblins. The Warchanter, while still being a "monster," is unique enough that it merits being ranked, at least to my mind, as a "character" mini. Most of the humanoids were fairly unique-looking, and I have a hard time seeing them as representing any generic character.

 

 

 

Well said. That's exactly why the new Ogre Chieftan will only get one slot in my collection but the old Ogre Chieftan gets 20. Old Ogre Champion Chieftan looks more generic, less dynamic. New Ogre Chieftan looks like he leads Clan Whup'Azz of Buttkick Ravine.

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This is a question whose answer depends on the why behind the asking. What I mean is, in the broadest sense, I consider a hoard of orcs to be potential PCs. It's normal in many, if not most, fantasy games I would play for those to be viable PC characters.

 

But I would also count them among what I would mean if I said "we need more monsters".

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I can't speak for others, but I generally think of "monsters" as an abstract term to refer to "whatever the heroes are going to fight." More SPECIFICALLY, I'm thinking of orcs, goblins, gnolls, dire wolves, skeletons, et al., but if I was pressed, I'd likely fall back and admit that it's not just traditional MONSTERS I want, but basically ANYTHING I can use in quantity, in encounters.

 

So, I guess, I hope we get more "mooks," be they monster or otherwise.

 

Theoretically, I could use ANY miniature in the Vampire pack as a PC, and ANY miniature as an adversary. However, for some of those minis I just don't see myself ever going back after the Kickstarter and buying MORE so I'd have enough for an encounter. For instance, of the pirates (as JackMann pointed out), we've got two lady pirates, one pirate captain type, one pirate DWARF, and then one pirate crewman ... who has a big CHEST on his shoulder. None of those figures is going to work well for a "traditional" pirate encounter en masse. If I want 10 "pirate crew" to stick on a ship to attack the heroes, the guy with the chest on his shoulder comes closest ... but I'm going to expect wisecracks from the players when I've got 10 pirates, and every single one of them has a chest on his shoulder. I COULD have an attack by lady pirates, or dwarf pirates, but that's a case of having to make concessions to fit the minis I have. Granted, that's often EXACTLY WHAT I DO in practice, but it'd be nice to have a more "generic" pirate in cheap Bones plastic at the ready, armed with cutlass and/or flintlock, who is NOT a buxom lady pirate, NOT a captain type, NOT a dwarf, and NOT carrying some big obnoxious prop that calls him out as something unusual.

 

If, say, you were to add a centaur to the new Kickstarter as a fantasy monster, I'd want to be sure this is something I could use SEVERAL of for an encounter. Make him look like a traditional "savage" centaur, perhaps armed with a bow and arrow, or maybe a sword, but if he's all decked out in fancy garb (or if SHE is all fancied up and looking like the last thing on her mind would be to assault the heroes), then the figure would probably fall in my mind into the "adventurer" rather than "monster/mook" category.

 

 

 

If the new Kickstarter line includes any more Chronoscope, I think the Chronoscope branch is badly in need of monsters/adversaries more so than the fantasy line. For fantasy, I've got enough orcs, goblins, skellies, zombies, ghouls, et al., to make for quite a number of encounters. For Chronoscope, the closest I've got would be if I took NOVA Corp and made them the bad guys. Most of the Chronoscope figs look like PC types or "major villain" types -- not "minions" that I'd buy several of. For Chronoscope, in the vaguely-defined "monster/adversary" category, it'd be nice to see:

 

* Ninja

* Modern-day street tough

* Wild west bandit/outlaw

* Carnivorous alien (if it can double as a fantasy monster, that's fine!)

* Security/combat robot (if there are any Bones CAV, I might use them for such a role)

* Modern-day soldier

* Guerilla/terrorist

* Wolf or attack dog

 

I don't know that any of those particular figures would be high in demand, but they just strike me as the sort of figures that I could imagine buying in bulk for an encounter. Sure, they could also be used to represent PCs (as could just about anything), or allies, but they're also the sorts of adversaries that appear in groups in various RPG scenarios. I'm just fine with seeing new "player type" models coming out in pewter; when it comes to fixing up figures that are going to represent the PCs, I'm willing to pay the pewter price to get something sturdy and well-defined. But the big advantage for Bones for me is to give me something that's more cost-effective either because I'm buying it in quantity, or because it is a HUGE FIGURE I wouldn't be able to AFFORD in pewter.

Edited by Jordan Peacock
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I would also like to chime in and say that 'PC vs Monster' is the wrong way of looking at the dynamic, despite people asking for 'more monsters'. Personally, I just want miniatures that I can paint in more than one color and have multiple of. A highly unique, PC Wizard will probably only get painted once even though I own three from the KS Vampires. With PCish armored knights I might only paint two or three, because all I can really change is the kind of metal their armor is made out of (gold vs steel, for example).

 

If you released a few generic, hooded cultists, a few generic bandits, generic mercenaries, etc, I'd probably buy dozens of each because I can do cultist robes in blue, in red, in yellow, all depending on what deity they're fanatical about. Bandits can have a wide range of colors depending on their affiliations, and so forth. Even something really unique like the Minotaur works in this sense too. Most games only need one minotaur, but what minotaur will that be? An ice blue minotaur found in some frozen caverns? A fiery demon-style minotaur fought in the depths of hell? Or a regular labyrinth minotaur? I own, and have painted, four minotaurs even though individual campaigns will probably only need one of them.

 

I can safely say that any monster you release, I will buy four of it, and that I will buy between dozens and hundreds of any generic 'mook' like character if the price is right. For PCs, I'll only buy one, and even that's just for completions sake.

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I look at it as humanoid vs non-humanoid, and there seems to be a good selection of humanoid minis now, and a relative dearth of non-humanoid minis (except dragons; there are a plenty of dragons for the time being).

 

Humanoid: the basic human configuration of four limbs and a head. I count lizardman-types, goblinoids, and critters like gnolls, minotaurs, and werewolves and the like. All could double as PC-types, depending on the campaign or world.

 

Non-humanoid: animals, insects, plants, and anything that isn't covered by those categories: catoblepas, chimera, owlbears, displacer beasts, dinosaurs, megafauna mammals, dire animals, anything that might be considered Lovecraftian.

 

I'm especially interested in non-humanoid monsters right now. I'd love to see analogs of catoblepas, displacer beasts, ropers, aboleths, ki-rin, shedu, lammasu, centaur, peryton, dinosaur-type critters, and robots (those Terminator-like minis Reaper has in metal would be very welcome, and yeah, I know they're human-configured, but also including non-human-configured robots would be great, too), to name a few off the top of my head.

 

For humanoids, I'd like to see more mundane (and as others have said, "mook" types or cannon-fodder) townsfolk-types, bandits, city watch, peasant levies, troop types for every race, halflings like from the 1st edition AD&D Monster Manual, and futuristic starship crew types. All of these I would buy in multiples. And humanoid ducks. I'd absolutely buy humanoid ducks, much like Howard the Duck from the early issues of his comic, not the wretched movie.

Edited by jlblack
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If I can just be the voice of dissent here, I'm not a fan of just generic sculpts that are painted in different colours. A paint scheme can only go so far in disguising that you're looking at 3 or more identical sculpts.

 

I really liked the Tre Orcs and the PF Goblins. There's 5 orcs, all unique, yet they are still cohesive enough to be used as a unit. They don't need to be painted differently for you to be able to call out the differences between them. Similarly, the 9 goblins can play as 1 cohesive unit or 2 units (1 with weapons, 1 with torches).

 

If Reaper is to do Town Guards, I would like it to be in the style of those sculpts: Give me one guard with a sword, another with a mace, a bald one, and a well-armored one to use as the sergeant. As bandits, give me a thug with missing teeth, one with a club, another with a dagger, and another with a devilish smirk. Regardless of how they're done, they should still feel like a unit despite being unique.

 

I would far rather that over 4 copies of the same sculpt, since they're easier to distinguish (and more fun to look at) than Mr Blue-Pants vs Mr Red-Pants.

 

War games do this really well. The front-line mooks usually come in 5-6 different poses and styles so that when you field 10 of them, they still feel like individuals.

Here's a shot of one of Privateer Press' Mercenary units (would be great as bandits in a campaign). 6 unique sculpts that are all cohesive: http://privateerpress.com/files/products/41026_CroesCutthroats_WEB.jpg

Edited by unidentifiable
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If I can just be the voice of dissent here, I'm not a fan of just generic sculpts that are painted in different colours. A paint scheme can only go so far in disguising that you're looking at 3 or more identical sculpts.

 

I really liked the Tre Orcs and the PF Goblins. There's 5 orcs, all unique, yet they are still cohesive enough to be used as a unit. They don't need to be painted differently for you to be able to call out the differences between them. Similarly, the 9 goblins can play as 1 cohesive unit or 2 units (1 with weapons, 1 with torches).

 

If Reaper is to do Town Guards, I would like it to be in the style of those sculpts: Give me one guard with a sword, another with a mace, a bald one, and a well-armored one to use as the sergeant. As bandits, give me a thug with missing teeth, one with a club, another with a dagger, and another with a devilish smirk. Regardless of how they're done, they should still feel like a unit despite being unique.

 

I would far rather that over 4 copies of the same sculpt, since they're easier to distinguish (and more fun to look at) than Mr Blue-Pants vs Mr Red-Pants.

 

War games do this really well. The front-line mooks usually come in 5-6 different poses and styles so that when you field 10 of them, they still feel like individuals.

Here's a shot of one of Privateer Press' Mercenary units (would be great as bandits in a campaign). 6 unique sculpts that are all cohesive: http://privateerpress.com/files/products/41026_CroesCutthroats_WEB.jpg

Yeah, that's more or less the point I was making.

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I agree with you, unidentifiable. The ideal scenario would be a number of different sculpts for every possible character type. However, that isn't necessarily an option. A half-dozen different town guards would make a really great force. However, it would be a half-dozen sculpts, when you could have one town guardsman, one half-orc paladin, one mindflayer, one ninja, and so on. I would rather have one figure for each type of potential foe than four different minis for one and none for another thing. If Reaper has limited resources, I'd rather they invest them in breadth rather than beefing up individual forces. The orcs and goblins were an exception, to my mind, because they are such common RPG foes.

 

That said, I'm not sure you understood what people were saying. My point was that I want fewer minis that feel like characters, rather than necessarily just having one generic sculpt for each type. Your examples were actually perfect for this. I can use "guardsman with sword" over and over. "Jon Halfhelm, Town Guard," who has a very distinctive crest on his shield, an unusually-shaped helmet, and winged boots, not so much. Each of the goblins and orcs is very anonymous, even though they're distinct from each other. I can use the same handful of them again and again. They don't look like characters; they look like mooks. That is what we want to see more of, rather than just necessarily one generic sculpt. I think that we don't actually disagree on this point.

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I'd rather get an orc and a hobgoblin than two different orcs. With the line in early expansion, compared to DHL, breadth of many types is presently more valuable than depth of one type.

 

20 different monsters is 20 different monsters.

 

20 different orcs is still just 20 orcs.

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I'd rather get an orc and a hobgoblin than two different orcs. With the line in early expansion, compared to DHL, breadth of many types is presently more valuable than depth of one type.

 

20 different monsters is 20 different monsters.

 

20 different orcs is still just 20 orcs.

 

Yeah, and I understand that viewpoint too.

 

The problem is, a shallow ocean sucks just as much as a deep puddle. If you need 20 orcs, would you rather have 20 identical ventuplets or 5 sets of quadruplets? I mean, I can make do with ventuplets, but if this is a matter of preference then I would prefer the latter. Call me spoiled :)

 

My view is that there's a selection of monsters that really benefit from having variety, and those are the common ones you see enmasse and usually aren't broken up by the addition of other monsters. Towns Guards, Bandits, Goblins, Orcs, Kobolds, Rats, Cultists...maybe Wolves. Really that's about it. Everything else only needs 1 sculpt, since you rarely see more than 2 or 3 of them together at once.

 

 

Well put, unidentifiable. This is a lot harder to put into words than I'd anticipated, and you once again articulated what I was trying to say much better than I did. :)

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

 

hooray-Im-helping-zoidberg.jpeg

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Honestly, I'd happily trade the three orcpocalypse outside one melee and one ranged if it got me a mountain troll, jalinrix, and a carrion crawler. I'd take that deal so fast nobody would know it even happened.

 

ETA - That's in reply to which I would rather have if I needed 20 orcs. I have near on 60 now. Most of them Olley spear orcs because sword orcs were sold out. I'll buy variant troops if Reaper has them, but I consider 60 identical orcs just as good.

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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