Last post included many pics... so this one will be another only-text boring post. You know, for balancing things out...
I already said in a previous post that the Arcade Ruleset is to be used in conjunction with miniatures on the tabletop. And that is caused mainly by two reasons.
The first one is that Arcade is derived from rules for a boardgame (Heroquest as the grandfather, Netherhells as the father). And those boardgames are to be used with minis; the use of visual aids is inherent to the game system, and that's been inherited by my Arcade ruleset. Which I consider a good thing, as that allows for the creation of fast-to-play boardgames derived from the generic ruleset; such as a dungeoning and looting one, surviving a zombie horde, or plunging a spaceship from a xeno infestation. Three examples that I hope to develop once the three rpg's, Ajsalium, Necronomicon and Galaxtar, are (more or less) finished.
And the second is the more theoretical one: miniatures can help in maintaining focus during a roleplaying session. In my opinion having a visual image of a character is the first step needed to understanding him/her and immerse in the game. With a miniature you have that visual image and in full three dimensions. The more depth you add to the image, the better the identification with the character can be. And it may even help in keeping in-game, as it's rather typical (at least for my own gaming group) to lose "concentration" on the game and let the minds and conversation fly. When that hapens, having a little representation of your character on the table can help regaining the gaming momentum easier and quicker.
And on this psychological front we too have the more profund impact of the miniatures hobby as a whole. With which I mean mainly the painting of the mini. Believe it or not, that act enhances the connection between the player and the character, because during the hours that the painting sessions last, it's unavoidable that the player will begin thinking about his character, and imagine a psychology and a story for him/her. After all, sometimes just deciding on the colour with which to paint the clothes already implies some affiliation or world view for the character.
The backdrop of all this is that's important for the mini to properly represent the character. To get the most out of a mini in a roleplaying game we must consider it more than just a gaming aid, more than a token. I spend long hours browsing the web in search for the perfect miniatures for the characters I have in mind. Sometimes I am lucky and find them; but there are other times when the process gets reverted, with the mini being the source of inspiration for inventing characters. And most commonly there's a compromise in between, when I find a mini that's close to my previous concept, but not quite exact, and I twist this former idea to better fit the mini. Or converting a mini, although to be honest my modelling skills are rather limited and little more than swapping pieces.
So here was my justification for using miniatures in roleplaying games.
Ah! And they are cool, too. ;-)