LEGO as RPG Props
Medieval Themed Kit
Beware the LEGO Ninja
During a recent short-lived fantasy RPG campaign that I ran, the players and I were scrambling for props to illustrate our settings and encounters, especially combat. None of the players were equipped with RPG paraphernalia, and I hadn't run a campaign for years. For at least a week I tried to come up with a low-cost solution to our dilemma. One evening, while my boys were playing with my extensive collection of LEGO, including many with a medieval theme, the solution hit me. Use the LEGO mini-figures as RPG props.
After the revelation hit, the rest was easy. I quickly dumped the entire bin on the living room floor and went to work. Within a few hours I had a five-story keep and over a dozen people put together. Since I have variously themed LEGO pieces, finding the right LEGO bodies, legs, heads and helmets was simple. Since then I have built at least 3 other keeps or small castles for games, and I have unearthed about a dozen medieval sets that I bought fifteen years before. Now my selection of bodies, armor, helmets and weapons is near limitless.
I realize that LEGO can be quite pricey, but if you already have a good selection available, why not put them to further use with your gaming? The variety of kits and pieces available makes them useful for almost any style of RPG campaign. Lego produces space, medieval, city, Star Wars and other themed kits. Since the smallest kits run for $5-$12, and often include LEGO mini-figures (which is what we really want for RPG gaming), your initial cost can be kept quite low. And if you're serious about your gaming, $30-$50 is easily within your budget.
When using LEGO mini-figures for your gaming, I recommend placing each one on a 4x4 LEGO plate. Place them with two rows ahead and one behind, and one to each side. This provides support to keep your people standing and is an easy-to-use area-of-control marker, especially for combat situations. When using LEGO horses for mounted units, place them on a 4x8 plate, for the same purpose. Alternately, if you use a battlemat for encounters, the 4x4 plate will be too big to fit the squares. Simply substitute a 2x2 plate for mini-figure stability.
And when your overgrown barbarian warrior goes into battlerage, swings his greatsword and decapitates the Master of the Thieve's Guild, you can remove the LEGO head and have it roll along the floor in a most grotesque and exciting fashion. At least, my players enjoyed the effect.
While they are not hand-painted pewter miniatures of longbow-wielding high elf rangers or double-dagger backstabbing halfling thieves, LEGO mini-figures can give your game that unique feel that will keep your players talking, and coming back, for a long time to come.