Cool Mini Links, And Preserving Our Heritage (Pun semi-intended)

‘Cause Heritage was a producer of Dungeons & Dragons minis back in the day, and… oh, never mind.

Anyway, one reason I went through the Hell Of Converting Hosting Programs (located just between the Great Screaming Hell and the Hell of Stringlike Worms) was to make it easier to post quick little posts like this, about whatever happened to intrude on my consciousness and was vaguely gaming related. So this post is about some cool miniature sites that I’m sure any (purely hypothetical) readers of mine would be interested in.

First, we have the Lost Minis Wiki, which is an amazing collection of old miniatures from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, with many having pictures (though, sadly, not as many as there could be). A few of my favorites are the multitude of ducks, being one of the classic gaming memes of the first decade or so of roleplaying (owing in the large part to Runequest deciding to use ducks as their “short race” instead of “halflyngs”, “hibbits”, “hoblings” or any other such attempt to avoid the deadly gaze of the Eye of Sauron’s Lawyers). One such example:

Duck Adventurer

Duck Adventurer, From Archive

And many, many, more. Fans of my Star Rovers articles are encouraged to check out this collection of Star Rovers miniatures.

But in the course of putting together links for this article, I had an interesting experience that leads to the second part of what I’d like to talk about, so, read on!

The Hell Of Dead Links

One site I found that I wanted to include was/is dndlead.com, a massive archive of official and unofficial D&D miniatures. for reasons unknown, over the weekend, it disappeared, replaced by a placeholder page. This cost us, for a time, the image of the “11 Eyed Floater”.

Eleven Eyed Floater

Eleven Eyed Floater. Not a Beholder. Really.

It’s back now, but who knows for how long? I am constantly finding sites with very prominent Google placement that have not been updated since 2004, 2002, 1999… many filled with links to URLs that contains such indicators of great age and great transience as “.edu” and the dreaded “/users/~yournamehere”. (Or even “geocities”.) Great swathes of content, mostly free and shareable legally, is being lost.)

For example, if you have any interest in pre-3.0 AD&D, you can find literally thousands of pages of fan created material at sites such as gnba.netdemons.com, which has not been updated since April 1999 and may disappear tomorrow (or may be around another ten years, who knows?). Despite the fact it’s legal to do so, files such as those presented here are rarely found on bittorrent networks. (I searched several of the largest torrent finders for “Great Net Spellbook” and got either nothing or links to collections of copyrighted TSR material. I guess it’s not much fun to “share” content which the creators intended to be shared.) Thus, I’m in the process of running some web mirrors on the archive sites I find, and I strongly urge that if you have a favorite site that records some part of gaming history, whether it’s a collection of USENET-era text files or a well-stocked database of fan-made material for a game or setting, that you do the same (I use WinHTTrack, for what that’s worth).

2 thoughts on “Cool Mini Links, And Preserving Our Heritage (Pun semi-intended)

  1. VictorVonDave

    That D&D lead site is really useful for researching old minis, I’ve been using it for a while. I hope it stays up. I’ve even bought a bunch of figures off the guy who runs the site on ebay (there he goes by kalaparusha), but apparently he isn’t going to be doing that anymore, which is too bad – he was a great source of reasonably priced WOTC metal miniatures (the kind they produced before the plastic ones).

    Reply

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