Free GM Resource: One Monk Miniatures
With maps I've seen everything from a colorful descriptive to a full-on 3-D terrain. Both extremes have their place but I think most players really need some sort of map to help them get into the game.
Miniatures go hand in hand with map usage and can range from some pocket change to a highly detailed, beautifully painted white-metal figurine. As a player I always want a nice mini, but as a GM I'll take what I can get. Putting together an army of miniatures for a game or campaign can be a real chore. As a general rule, the nicer the mini is, the more expensive it will be in resources: time investment, weight, and cost.
I have several options that I use for minis and they will be discussed at length in some future articles, but for now I wanted to share a decent option for some GMs: paper miniatures. There are several types of paper minis but for now I'll put up one of the best types....the free kind!
One Monk Miniatures is a website hosted by a papercraft enthusiast who does make and sell some fine miniatures. They offer some great tutorials and even have their own forum boards. Every month they try to have a submission contest where forum members put together new miniatures which get bundled together as a free "Forum Hoard" download. You'll get a wide array of quality and subject matter with these Hoards, but it is a great way to build up your collection.
Honestly though, if you really need an actual army of miniatures, I would check out the minis for sale. The sets are about $4 a pop, but once you download them you could print off as many as you need. If you end up downloading many Forum Hoards, I'd recommend helping offset the cost of your freebies with some purchases....which you won't regret.