For some, the adventure doesn’t end when the book closes or the credits roll. Fan Creators take inspiration from their favorite movies, games, comics, and cartoons and make incredible things. To see what that passion can produce, we gave some hardcore fans the latest 3Doodler Create for two weeks.
Finding a 6-foot tall panther with alligator scales and an 8-foot tale that ends in a stinger is tough.
Jon Giordano should know, he’s looked pretty hard. Fortunately, he isn’t searching the wilds for a nightmarish cryptid, he’s looking for a miniature for his roleplaying game.
At work, Giordano is a “numbers guy.” He teaches math and is working on a PhD in the subject. But while roleplaying games are known for their dice rolls and probability tables, what attracts him to the hobby is the ability to tell stories. Creating and exploring fantastic worlds with friends is the heart of the hobby, and as he has ventured into more obscure role playing games, Giordano has run into a minor hurdle that has nothing to do with storytelling or imagination: a lack of miniatures.
Miniatures are an important part of many role-playing games. Conflict and combat are common themes in these games. “Players will often get into situations and have to fight their way out of it, and make use of markers to keep track of the complexities of positioning in combat. That way you can look at the board and immediately tell that those two people are fighting against the giant robot in the corner, and those two are ducking behind trees.”
“If I were playing a standard medieval fantasy game,” Giordano says, “I’d be able to find tons of useful figurines. Ditto for sci-fi.”
That’s why Giordano was excited to get his hands on a 3Doodler. He wanted to be able to create custom figurines that heighten the experience for players in his role-playing games, like one campaign based on Native American mythology. The 3Doodler struck him as particularly useful for games that feature obscure monsters and creatures that may not be sold in stores. With the original 3D printing pen in his arsenal, Giordano believes that he can create fantastical beings that are even more obscure than the dragons found in your typical dungeons.
One of the major advantages of table top roleplaying games is that players can encounter anything that the game master can imagine. Personalized galactic warrior? Magical talking flowers? Mystic double-headed swan? All things that could appear as adversaries, or allies, in a tabletop game. Unfortunately, finding figurines for the more outlandish creatures can be just as hard as defeating them in combat.
"You’ll get that wow moment that a description just can’t give, the 3Doodler will really let me show players what I’m imagining for them without relying on theater of the mind."
Giordano was able to produce three figures with his 3Doodler. The first was a corrupted bird god, shaped like an egret but with plumage darkened by negative energies. As a sort of a counterpart, he also fashioned a Buffalo minotaur who watches over a herd. The Buffalo spirit was attached to a spare base from a standard miniature to provide more stability, but the bird could stand on its own. Lastly, Giordano created a mercurial river spirit by letting the “flow” of plastic from his 3Doodler define the initial shape.
Giordano was really happy with how the figurines came out, and is looking forward to incorporating them into a future campaign.
“You’ll get that wow moment that a description just can’t give, the 3Doodler will really let me show players what I’m imagining for them without relying on theater of the mind.”
The 3Doodler is a great solution for anybody who wants to add a bespoke character to an encounter, or even modify an existing figurine. With imagination and a steady hand, almost any small-scale figurine can be crafted. The potential for crossovers, custom variations on existing figures, or anything else a game master dreams up are almost endless.
A 3Doodled figurine also has a few unique advantages over other miniature options. Imagine the personal connection you can form with a figurine you or a friend crafted by hand compared to a store-bought one. While paper cutouts are another way to create one of a kind representations of fantastic creatures, they aren’t very durable compared to solid plastic. Combining pieces from multiple figurines in a kit-bash is another fun alternative, but if that’s your preference, being able to extrude extra plastic from a 3D printing pen may come in handy as well.
Even mainstream tabletop game masters might want to consider using a 3Doodler. Dungeons and Dragons has over 40 years of published materials describing various monsters and enemies for players to encounter. Even without getting into many of the supplemental bestiaries published by other companies, there are hundreds of different creatures and monsters described in official materials. Some of the more obscure variations have figurines that are almost impossible to find, if they were ever made at all.
So next time you are planning an adventure and want to show off an obscure monster you found in a forgotten bestiary, the 3Doodler might be the perfect way to wow your players by conjuring one by hand. Or better yet, create something entirely new and give it a physical presence to match your own description.