Paizo recently announced a new product which, in keeping with form, I’m a huge fan of. They’re calling it the “Pathfinder Bestiary Box,” pictured to the right. The box will contain more than 300 cardboard stand-ups with full color art of various creatures and monsters. They also mention that there will be “more than 250 unique creature images,” which makes me happy, because it would be ridiculous if a GM only had one goblin token to put on the table. The idea obviously follows on the heels of the Pathfinder Beginner Box, which had similar cardboard standups for both monsters and player characters.
Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of miniatures, which is why I like this idea so much. For years I’ve been using things like pennies and other random items found around my apartment to represent items on the battle mat. It works well enough, but I’ve never been fully satisfied with it. The cardboard standups provide a good middle ground between having nothing to mark your battlemat, or spending tons of time and money on minis.
Still, I’m not completely sold on the idea. Part of the reason I’ve never liked minis is because they steal some of the imagination from the game. If I want to throw my players up against 4 goblins and a poisonous plant creature with the head of a monkey and the legs of a spider, I don’t want to have markers for the first four, and nothing for the last creature.
Still, for those more interested in using miniatures casually, this sounds like a solid product.