While I'm not of the opinion that the rules of Dungeons & Dragons should require the use of miniature figures to play, I do think it'd be a mistake to attempt to sever the game's historical link to their use and the photos throughout this post are a big part of the reason why.
But he loves my Hirst Arts dungeon blocks and miniature figures (yes, many of them are WotC's plastic pre-painted ones -- I know: I'm a bad grognard). Last night, he asked me if I'd mind if he took them out and made (in his words) "a dungeon," which my wife then took photos of.
As I said above, I don't want the rules of D&D -- or any RPG for that matter -- to depend on the use of miniatures, but I think we do our hobby a disservice if we treat miniatures as an atavism rather than what they are: a delightful option that can, in the words of Gygax, "add color and life to the game." For a lot of people, miniatures add visual appeal and a degree of groundedness to roleplaying that might otherwise be lacking and there's nothing wrong with such an approach. If, one day, my son does take a serious interest in tabletop RPGs, I have no doubt that it was miniature figures and dungeon tiles that paved the way for it. That's a good thing however you look at it.
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