Part 001: Interview with Levi Griffis
Miniatures bring life to the game you are playing. The game may be fun without miniatures, keeping the game extreme old school by sticking to pencil and paper, but miniatures bring a whole new level of quality to the game play. To be able to see your character as a figure interacting with the board and other miniatures is very rewarding. In this series of articles you will see how this life is brought out in the game play through the eyes of Utah locals.
Our first miniature user is Levi Griffis. Levi is a single father of two who loves to play games to unwind from the day. Levi’s game play ranges from PC to consoles all the way to role playing; Dungeons & Dragons role playing that is. He was gracious enough to share his view as to why playing with miniatures are so much better than playing in other gaming formats.
Levi’s main character stats:
Name: Treben Battlebeard
Gaming spoof moment: Treben – “That was his Hercules Heel.”
MT: How do miniatures affect your game play?
LG: A lot. It gives you visualization of who you are trying to play, who your character is. You form a personality for your by how your miniature looks.
MT: Do you have an emotional bond to the miniatures that you work on?
LG: A slight emotional bond. I develop a sense of awareness for them, of a personality that is mine yet not.
MT: In your opinion, why is game play with miniatures better than traditional RPG console or PC game play?
LG: You actually spend time developing a character, it comes from your own mind and not somebody else.
MT: Do you portray your own personality into the miniatures that you work on?
LG: No, I portray the characters personality into myself.
MT: How do other peoples miniatures affect your game play?
LG: They affect game play extremely, each one of them has their own personality. Each person playing portrays the character’s personality on their miniature, giving the world a life of its own.
MT: How does your miniatures affect your surroundings, in game play or out?
LG: Outside the world of fantasy they are kick-ass art. In game play they help portray a life of their own, as if the world that we are playing in is alive.
MT: Do you have a favorite brand of miniatures that you like to use?
LG: Anything as long as it is pewter.
LG: If you use plastic miniatures everything has been set for you. With pewter you have to fix all of the imperfections and you can manipulate the miniature to a certain degree, and then you still have to paint it. In the end this gets you the unique features that are just not possible with plastic miniatures.
MT: Why are miniatures the life of the party to you?
LG: In my opinion, everyone brings their own miniatures and focuses on them but doesn’t exclude others. Everybody is certain of their miniature in a way that another person cannot be. Playing games with miniatures is a good excuse to bring everyone together to have fun. You just don’t have that with PC or console games.
MT: Do you sleep with your miniatures?
LG: (Laughter) Only on game night, but generally no. (Laughter)
MT: What is one of your favorite things to do with miniatures?
LG: Introducing new people to the miniature world, helping others making their miniatures their own, and yet not let my personality affect their choices, helping people develop the history of their character through how their miniature looks.
MT: What is your favorite gaming experience?
LG: When our party was fighting a hydra. We just barely encountered the hydra and we knew that we were in trouble. My friend’s character, Cirelondiel Valainistima, paralysed the hydra with her rod of monster paralyzation but we knew this wouldn’t hold for ever and it would be after us. Treben decided that the best thing to do would be to fly his gryphon above the hydra and do a drop attack in his earth elemental form (four characters from our party had elemental rings that allowed them to change shape). We had no idea how this was going to turn out but as far as we could tell there was nothing else that we could do. So there Treben was, flying high above the hydra, then all of the sudden he leaps off, putting his elemental ring on in mid-air. By the time Treben changed form into an earth elemental, weighing in at 3 tons, he was right at the hydra. He squashed that hydra into a big pile of nothing. There was basically only heads left. Needless to say nobody in the party was harmed in this encounter except for Treben, who took some damage in his elemental. When he transformed back into his regular form there was no damage to his HP. It was so awesome.
Miniature game play can be a very personal experience. From person to person this experience can vary quite a bit. The time and effort into making a miniature your own can be a spiritual experience for a person and it can be a thing to get a person to socialize with other people.