"Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them." - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Last summer, I came across a fantastic deal at Target: they were selling Star Wars miniatures for about 75% off. These were the same miniatures made by Wizards of the Coast, and had the same quality and size as their Dungeons and Dragons miniatures. Needless to say, I started off by purchasing about $20 worth (all the one Target had), and spent the next week raiding all the Targets in my area. I ended up with a huge hoard of miniatures for quite the low price.
The biggest issue was that I play Dungeons and Dragons, not Star Wars. Does this become an issue?
The short answer: nope. If anything, this became a win-win situation. I love Star Wars the point that anything cool like miniatures belong in my collection, and, if anything, these miniatures force me (pardon the pun) to use my imagination (and forces my players to use theirs).
I'd like to go into some examples of the miniatures/creatures I'm turning them into. Hopefully this can inspire you to either use some of your Star Wars miniatures, or just other things you have lying around that you never thought could stand in for Dungeons and Dragons.
The Shadow Yeti - One of the coolest monsters in Monster Manual 3 was, in my opinion, the yeti. It was the classic snow and ice monster, and part of me always wondered how to use it without the proper representation. I could always place a mini/monster token and say "ok pretend", but as the Dungeon Master, I think it's better for me to find/craft something more appropriate. You always get a good response from the players.
After going through my miniatures, I had collected two Whiphid Trackers. In my mind, these were perfect for Yetis. They had long hair, tusks, and could just survive in snow (for more information, check out their Wookieepedia page: Whiphid). Though the miniature had bows and tools and gear pouches, I thought that would make for a more savage version of the yeti, something that had a sharp, wicked intelligence that allowed it to take gear off of its prey and made crude tools. I originally planned to use them in a dark, snowy mountain in the Shadowfell, but they really work anywhere. Add some monster template powers, and you have a totally new yeti that your players will soon fear.
Aberrant Transfigured - Some aliens in Star Wars look like something straight out of the Far Realm, and so using them as humanoids corrupted by its influence work extremely well. The Aqualish, for example is perfect for representing something corrupted, either on its way to becoming a foulspawn, or even something worse. I plan on building an encounter around the use of the Mon Calamari warrior miniature in my adventure in the The Kraken's Skull that I'm writing. It fits the underwater feel of the adventure while explaining what happened to a prisoner/pirate stored in the fortress.
Homunculi/Constructs - In my campaign world, I've created a guild that creates and builds constructs, using them for guards, soldiers, etc. However, I wanted a wider range of some of these constructs, not just the few monster tokens that came with the Monster Vaults. The miniatures of astromech droids, Separatist combat droids, and assassin droids all serve this purpose. Changing your descriptions of the creatures gives a whole new feel to them. For example, the astromech droids could simple be two legged homunculi that crawl around with their two legs, using various other small arms or telekinetic powers to manipulate objects/deal with intruders. Same with the Bacta Tank. It can be a large construct with tons of "arms" that can extend and thrash out. Is this a little far fetched? Yes. However, if you believe it, your players will want to as well. If you're ever afraid, make the miniature a particular dangerous encounter. Your players will always remember it, and they will definitely fear it, whenever it comes back again.
|The Bacta Tank|
|Imagine fighting this construct|
I use a Commerce Guild Homing Spider Droid to represent the Thallud Constructor, a large construct from the Neverwinter Campaign guide. It gives quite the effect when you place a giant miniature on the battlefield.
|How neat is that? That's pretty neat.|
Guns ---> Other Weapons - Many of the Star Wars miniatures have guns and pistols, holding them extended. I simple change them to hand crossbows, and imagination takes over. In some cases, the blasters are so small that they can even be considered knives. My campaign world tends to have more steam punk elements, so some of this stuff isn't too far fetched. My favorite would have to be the Death Watch Raider, who turns into quite a cool character to introduce with his helmet, armor and cape when you pretend he has a hand crossbow. I wouldn't even mind using him as my own PC miniature. I just have to make sure he gets a sweet Head Slot Magic Item!
|Death Watch Raider. How awesome is this mini?|
Re-Skin to Fit Races - Some of the races in Star Wars can easily fit into the look of some of these miniatures. Take the Bothan Commando, Twi'Lek Black Sun Vigo and Utaupaun. Compare these miniatures to a Shifter, Tiefling and Goliath. Are they slightly different? Yes, but it adds great diversity, and gives you some awesome miniatures to throw into any battle you need. NPC-wise, it helps diversify the characters your players will interact with.
|Shifters (Left to right: Crimson Nova Bounty Hunter, Shifter Ranger, Bothan Commando)|
|Tieflings (Twi'lek Black Sun Vigo and Tiefling Paladin)|
|Goliaths (Utapaun Warrior and Goliath Barbarian)|
Search Out PC Miniature Possibilities - Players are always supposed to be, well heroic. To me, it doesn't matter what the DM is using for the enemies and objects and maps, as long as I have a miniature for my PC. It makes me feel that much cooler and ready to be more imaginative when I can look down and see a sweet figure sitting there. Maybe it's just me. Regardless, I try and take a look at the opportunities I have, and the stories I can craft with these miniatures. I've taken the Mistryl Shadow Guard and used her for a friend's Witch. I've also taken the Exceptional Jedi Apprentice and have used him for my Alchemist Artificer. It makes for a sweet character, and you get a chance to diversify the weapons and how they use their powers/magic.
|The Witch and her Bound Demon Familiar|
|Galvan, my Alchemist Artificer|
|This guy just looks like he would fit in any setting, but Dark Sun immediately sprang to mind as well.|
|This was Chainer, a friend's spiked chain wielding wizard.|
Think About What You're Trying to Convey - This is the most important part. Jedi Lightsabers are a great example. Simply make them magic swords, or swords that create light (since some do exist). It's all about how you want to express yourself. I opened up about 4 of these Jensaarai Defenders, and they're used as knights. In the Madness at Gardmore Abbey adventure, I used one to represent a knight that was summoned when the Knight card's power was used. It created exactly the effect that was I wanted to create for a being summoned by the magical artifact. Below are more pictures of other miniatures I pulled, and their placement in locations I think would work well.
|Jensaarai Defender, the Knight from the Deck of Many Things|
|This has to be something straight out of the Feywild.|
The only issue I'm still having is trying to think about what storm troopers/clone troopers could be. My only thoughts are an army of some sort.
If you have any questions about the miniatures you see here, please let me know, as I would be happy to give you the names of them if you're looking for some of them for your own collection. Feel free to check out my other posts and let me know what you think!