Dungeons & Dragons wouldn't be what it is today without miniatures. When the game launched, these pewter figures helped put it on the map.
If you were to ask which came first, the RPG or the murderhobo minis, you wouldn't be caught in the geekiest koan because there is actually an objectively correct answer. And it's that miniatures came first.
In fact, D&D (and all other tabletop RPGs) owe their origins to miniatures companies. It all starts with the rise of miniatures wargaming in America. Which comes down to a man named Jack Scruby.
In 1955, a California man named Jack Scruby began making inexpensive miniature models for miniature wargames out of type metal.
Scruby's major contribution to the miniature wargaming hobby was to network players across America and the UK. At the time, the miniature wargaming community was minuscule, and players struggled to find each other.
In 1956, Scruby organized the first miniature wargaming convention in America, which was attended by just fourteen people. From 1957 to 1962, he self-published the world's first miniature wargaming magazine, titled The War Game Digest.
There, wargamers could publish their rules and share game reports. It had less than two hundred subscribers, but it did establish a community that kept growing.
1968 saw the inaugural Gen Con, and it brought Gary Gygax hurtling headlong into "medieva...