Hive Mind: Miniature Figure Mayhem!

If you’re looking to start a tabletop game collection, you probably have questions. GameRT is here to help!

In this blog series, once a month we’ll take a commonly asked “nut-and-bolts” question and share our different perspectives on it!

Tabletop Roleplaying games can make for a programming goldmine! They’re immersive, they can work well for a variety of ages, and there are so many different options for which games you can play! If you settle on a system that uses miniatures to represent characters on the table, you may have questions. Where do you get miniature figures? How do you keep the cost down? Do they really need to be painted? How do you store them? The GameRT Hive Mind is here to help! This month’s focus question is:

How do you incorporate TTRPG miniature figures into your library?

Dustan Archer, League of Librarian Gamers Facebook Page

Our weekly D&D program has been the most well attended program we’ve run for years at my public library, and as I do a lot of 3D printing at home, we started incorporating minis (at least for the Player Characters) a long time ago. The teens love having them, and some have enjoyed painting them at our Artist’s Alley Workshop programs. I always have other crafts too, though, because mini painting usually only brings in 1-2 teens.

David Dennis, League of Librarian Gamers Facebook Page

We have some “Pawns” that we circulate. We laser cut out a box and bases for the pawns. We also created gingerbread houses that included minis we laser cut. We’ve used them for an RPG scenario, but that wasn’t what they were designed for.

Photos by David Dennis

Jennifer Burdoo, League of Librarian Gamers Facebook Page

 We have a selection of card figures from old starter sets that I sometimes use. They go straight back in the box. I feel paper and card are the best bet, since they’re easily customizable.

I use plastic (including 3d printed) minis for wargaming instead. I find the printing works better so far for things like ships and terrain, though, and I prefer paper (Peter Dennis Paperboys) or Black Powder/Warhammer starter sets for the figures.

Emma, GameRT Outreach Committee, Rural Public Library

If you’re looking for 3D miniatures that you can buy in bulk for a beginner program, there are lots of options available on Amazon. These aren’t as high quality or as detailed as the ones that you can get individually packaged through brands like Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures, but they will get the job done! You can get them both pre-painted and blank, whichever works for your needs. Painting miniature figures can make for a great program for teens and adults but has a larger cost outlay if you don’t already have paint supplies. In my experience they don’t really need to be painted for a TTRPG club program to still enjoy using them. I have a large box of bits and bobs that club members can pick through and use from session to session. House of Bodian Mythical Heroes Mini Figure Set for RPGs – 93 Pcs in 16 Designs – Heroes and Monsters – Suitable Size for DND : Toys & Games 28 Fantasy Mini Figures- All Unique Designs- 1″ Hex-Sized Compatible with DND, D&D Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and RPG Tabletop Games- Features Goblins, Orcs, Gnolls, Skeletons & More : Toys & Games

If you have a circulating board game collection, comment with your answer below! If you have a question you’d like to ask, comment and let us know, or send us a message at

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