Let's start our long winter of Deathknell previews with a pair of miniatures that carry glints of spring.
Given its focus on defeating evil monsters, D&D doesn't feature many powerful, good creatures. The Couatl is the most colorful exception. As you can see by comparing our mini to the illo on page 38 of the Monster Manual, we wanted to bring the Couatl's rainbow wings fully to life instead of only hinting at their magnificence.
According to the Eberron Campaign Setting (page 303), Couatls played a major part in Eberron's history. Odds are that this mini will be more and more useful in Eberron campaigns. And for any campaigns in which the PCs stray from the path of light, a Couatl or two make great recurring antagonists.
This rare Lawful Good mini should enable a few new warband combinations. It's a Commander 0 with the warband building ability to bring in Chaotic Good Outsiders, an ability that will grow more interesting over the next few sets.
I'm going to keep its equally engaging commander effect as a surprise, but I will say that the Couatl is a powerful sorcerer. It has no long-range spells -- unless you count the one that can strip all creatures in a chosen warband of their Flight ability. Once you account for its powered-up sonic orb and snake's swiftness, the Couatl shouldn't suffer from a lack of sight spells.
I like our Griffon sculpt a lot more than the picture in the Monster Manual. This is one of the frequently encountered D&D creatures that we've looked forward to doing but couldn't find the space for in earlier sets. It turns out to be for the best. Now that we've perfected the sculpting and painting processes, this rare Griffon figure can hold its own quality-wise against anything I've seen produced in metal.
The Choatic Good Griffon is heaps of fun to play. It's pretty fast, it's a decent fighter, and it has a cool new ability: Bloodlust (If this creature reduces a living enemy's hp to 0 with a melee attack, it gains Fearless). Makes your opponent think twice about letting 3-point grunts lead the charge.
About the Author
Rob Heinsoo started playing D&D with the original brown box in 1975. He's now the lead designer of D&D Miniatures.