April 2, 2012 (Renton, Wash.) Thanks for being good sports. Wizards of the Coast loves being able to joke around with our fans and we hope you enjoyed it.
hen it launched in 2003, the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game was a resounding hit. And over the next eight years it remained one of the top selling and most popular minis games on the market. But all good things must come to an end, and in 2010, Lords of Madness became the final release in the D&D Minis line.
Or was it?
Over the past two years, the fan base has rallied around the game. Tournaments continue to draw big crowds at conventions and game days, and the individual figures remain strong sellers on the secondary market.
"When the fans speak, we listen!" said Associate Brand Manager Shelly Mazzanoble, "But with the rise in manufacturing prices, we couldn't pull the budget together—until Rodney Thompson came up with a brilliant solution."
That solution: Papercraft miniatures!
"The idea came to me when I was running my D&D group through T1 Village of Homlet," said Thompson, Advanced Designer in RPG R&D. "We got to the moat house and I realized I was short one mini. But my girlfriend had just organized an origami activity for her scouts, so I grabbed one of their folded frogs and kept going. In the end, the paper figure was the only one left standing."
Over the next three weeks, the R&D staff set aside their regular assignments and spent eight hours a day attempting to create appropriate folding patterns for all the common D&D creatures, character classes, and races. While origami worked well for creatures of size Large and smaller, it was less successful when it came to creating larger creatures.
"The figures just wouldn't hold together," said Thompson. "Every time we tried to move a Huge creature across the grid, an arm or leg would fall off. And we couldn't even get the Colossal ones to stand up!"
Several solutions were discussed.
"I really wanted to go the stuffed animal route," said Mazzanoble. "The plushy Tarrasque was so adorable! But they were even more expensive than pre-painted plastic!"
In the end, it was again Rodney Thompson who solved the problem.
"My party was going through a cavern that had impalers," Thompson said, "so I just rolled up a piece of paper, taped it into a cone shape, and cut it down to the right size. It looked kinda dorky so I drew on a couple of eyes and a mouth with fangs. That really sold the idea."
Now Wizards of the Coast is preparing to release Paper Dragons, a 128-page collection of folding patterns, cut-and-tape templates, and tongue depressor and glue craft projects, each with an associated stat card.
"This is the biggest D&D Minis set ever," said Mike Mearls, Senior Group Manager for D&D. "There are 115 unique minis in the set—more if you print them out in black and white and color them yourself."
To celebrate the return of this venerable line, we're offering all our fans a free huge red dragon figure. To get yours, just click the link below. (Some assembly required.)