March Means More Minis
As soon as I had a healthy heaping of Dragoneye minis, I started looking forward to Archfiends. That didn't stop me from grabbing up more Dragoneye expansion packs to finish off my collection and really start amassing kobolds and troglodytes. And now it's March -- the release month for Archfiends, and I can't wait to get my fix. If you're anything like me, you're more than anxious to see more pictures of the Archfiends minis. Well don't be -- here they are:
- Player's Guide to Faerûn -- 192-page compilation of Forgotten Realms character-building material, updated to D&D v.3.5, including 1st and 2nd Edition favorites (hardcover)
- Archfiends Expansion Packs -- The third D&D Miniatures expansion, featuring 60 new minis
- Homeland -- Forgotten Realms Legend of Drizzt series, Book One (first in a series of deluxe, annotated hardcovers of all of the Drizzt books by R.A. Salvatore)
- Venom's Taste -- Forgotten Realms House of the Serpents trilogy, Book One (paperback)
- A Dawn of Dragons -- Dragonlance Young Readers (Chronicles Volume Three, Part 2) (paperback)
- Time of the Twins -- Dragonlance Legends trilogy, Volume One (first time in hardcover)
- Expanded Psionics Handbook -- 224-page D&D hardcover with completely updated rules and an entirely new psionics system
- D&D Map Folio I -- Pocket folder with 32 one-page, full color maps originally created for the Map-A-Week web feature
- The Rage -- Forgotten Realms The Year of Rogue Dragons trilogy, Book One (paperback)
- Windwalker -- Forgotten Realms Starlight & Shadows trilogy, Book Three (first time in paperback)
- Stormblade -- Dragonlance Heroes series, Volume Two (paperback, new cover)
- Tides of Blood -- Dragonlance Minotaur Wars trilogy, Volume Two (hardcover)
- Dungeons & Dragons Dice -- A full set of polyhedrals (d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, & d20) nestled in a velvet dicebag with the D&D logo
- Complete Divine: A Player's Guide to Divine Magic for All Classes -- A 192-page D&D hardcover for divinely inspired and empowered characters of every class, including material for heroes with an interest in gaining the favor of the gods and other divine powers
- Elminster's Daughter -- Forgotten Realms, the latest book in Ed Greenwood's Elminster series (hardcover)
- Condemnation -- Forgotten Realms R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series, Book Three -- the New York Times bestselling book by Richard Baker (first time in paperback)
- Temple of the Dragonslayer -- Dragonlance House of the Serpents trilogy, Book One (paperback)
- The Search for Power: Dragons from the War of Souls -- Dragonlance, newest anthology of stories focused on the dragons of Krynn in the era following the War of Souls, with introduction by Margaret Weis (paperback)
- Weasel's Luck -- Dragonlance: The New Adventures series, Volume One -- an all-new Young Readers series (paperback)
- Eberron Campaign Setting -- 288-page D&D hardcover; the exciting, new campaign setting that offers an entire world of action-packed, intrigue-laced adventure
- Giants of Legend Huge Packs -- The fourth D&D Miniatures expansion, featuring 72 new minis, including 12 Huge miniatures (Wait 'til you see these things!)
- Exile -- Forgotten Realms Legend of Drizzt series, Book Two (second in a deluxe, annotated hardcover series of all of the Drizzt books by R.A. Salvatore)
- Dawn of Night -- Forgotten Realms Erevis Cale trilogy, Book Two (paperback)
- The Lone Drow -- Forgotten Realms The Hunter's Blades trilogy, Book Two (first time in paperback)
- Prisoner of Haven -- Dragonlance The Age of Mortals series (paperback)
- War of the Twins -- Dragonlance Legends trilogy, Volume Two (first time in hardcover)
March: D&D Miniatures Archfiends Expansion Packs
One last time, for the folks in the back of the room: Archfiends is the much-anticipated third D&D Miniatures expansion. It features 60 new minis,dominated by demons, devils, and other outsiders. You'll also find a pile of heroes, villains, and monsters taken straight from D&D rulebooks such as the Monster Manual, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Miniatures Handbook, Psionics Handbook, and Savage Species.
Last month, I showed you the Aspect of Orcus, the Bone Devil, the Dalelands Militia, the Halfling Ranger, and the Red Wizard. This month, I offer up five more of the 60 new minis in the Archfiends expansion. Check 'em out:
Large Silver Dragon -- First thing you'll notice: metallic paint. This silver dragon's definitely of the argentine persuasion. The gray and grayish-blue shading and accents (particularly the webbing part of the wings' undersides) really set off the gleaming silver paint that makes this 122 points of lawful good dragon stand out. The sculpt, with its swept-back wings and deliberate pause in its motion, gives the Large Silver Dragon a majestic pose. It stands 2-1/2 inches tall at its wingtips, with its crest falling just shy of that (about the same size as Dragoneye's Brass Dragon). With a half-opened mouth and a front claw that could be reaching or stepping forward, the dragon might be carrying on a conversation or letting loose with a cone of cold (or paralyzing gas) followed by a couple swipes of melee damage.
Drizzt, Drow Ranger -- I got a peek at one of these a couple months ago when R.A. Salvatore was given a super-early sample while he was here in Renton to sign copies of his New York Times best-selling book The Lone Drow. It wasn't a good look, just enough to know that Bob (Mr. Salvatore) was going home with a mini that could be no other character than his stoic twin scimitar-wielding dark elf ranger. (And here I thought that the Human Wanderer from Harbinger was going to have to suffice.) Drizzt has been pulled right out of one of Todd Lockwood's cover paintings and made all 3D-ish for you. He's suited up in black and brown studded leather armor, and his well-worn fur-collared green cloak is blowing gently in the wind behind him, along with his flowing white hair (which has been nicely toned down with a touch of gray). Of course, he's got Twinkle and Icingdeath unsheathed and ready for action. And the pose seems as if he's preparing to launch himself, along with the blades, into a grim fandango of whirling death against yet another thousand orcs.
Nothic -- This cyclopean aberration leapt straight off page 65 of the Miniatures Handbook. Hunched over and crouched down, it's definitely ready to take another springing leap toward the nearest edible thing it sees with its one, big, red, eyeball. It's got a mouth full of teeth and some nasty-looking claws ready to pull something into easy-to-swallow gobbets. The black spines protruding from its back are one of the best features on the mini, as they really seem to emerge from within the body of the monster. The paint job on this guy is quite nice, gaining a lot of benefit from the sickly green base coat and a pair of accent colors (a light tan and a subtle dark sienna).
Ragnara, Psychic Warrior -- Open your Psionics Handbook to page 14, and you'll see Ragnara (she's the one standing next to the fork). I also noticed an illustration of her working with a couple other psionic characters on page 116 of the Expanded Psionic Handbook. The mini puts her in a wide stance with her ornate shield (sporting what must be a psicrystal of some sort) held away from her body -- she's taunting someone to work up the guts to bring the fight to her and the blue crystalline sword she's ready to swing. She wears some sort of lightweight burgundy leather underneath her silvery scale mail, which drapes over the left side of her body. Silver pauldrons protect her shoulders and anchor the dark purple cape flaring out behind her. My favorite touches are her gold-beaded braids and the cool black and silver sheath she has slung over her back.
Vrock -- Lurching off his large base to get a pair of very nasty (and very bird-like) talons on your favorite PC, the vrock has been summoned from page 48 of your Monster Manual to do the Dance of Ruin on your adventuring party's heads. The two-toned paint job features a couple shades each of a dark lavender/purple and a medium gray to create an extraplanar nightmare. Its black eyes, with slitted, blood-red pupils, and a white pinpoint of light seem to glare menacingly at you over its sharp beak and clenched teeth (which seemed fixed in a grimace that just comes across as being truly ticked off.) Well-defined feathers comprise the vrock's wings, which seem ready to unfurl into flight while managing to look somewhat hunched at the same time.
Since the Archfiends set releases this month, you'll certainly discover another nice feature: The rarity symbol of each mini is marked on its base right along with the mini's name, number, alignment, point cost, and set logo/bug.
April: Expanded Psionics Handbook
The Expanded Psionics Handbook is a 224-page D&D hardcover with completely updated rules, an entirely new psionics power system, and a whole lot more. (The book's got 66 more pages than its 158-page predecessor -- so you know there's a lot of good stuff that's been added.)
Last month, you got the back cover copy, the half-giant racial entry, and the wilder class.
This month, just for those of you who are pondering whether or not you'll find a place in your heart and your campaign for psionics, I thought I'd give you a look at the section of the book that deals with how to introduce psionics into your game:
April: D&D Map Folio I
If you've ever spent any time looking around the Map-A-Week web feature, you've probably seen (and possibly downloaded and played with) the stuff you'll find inside
D&D Map Folio I. The idea behind this game-enhancing accessory was to gather the best, most useful maps created by Rob Lazzaretti, Todd Gamble, and Dennis Kauth and reproduce them in full color on a sturdy paper stock that will stand up to game play. What you end up with are 32 one-page, full color maps you can use as inspiration for adventures, as the settings for encounters you've already concocted, and as high-quality hand-outs to engage and intrigue your players.
May: Dungeons & Dragons Dice
This is pretty straightforward. It's a box. Inside the box are a dicebag and a set of dice. So, what you've got here is a great gift to help get a pal started using the Player's Handbook. It's also an easy way to freshen up your dice collection, to give your battle-weary dice a break, or to have some replacement dice ready to go when the dice you've been using keep rolling 1s and they need to be exiled or destroyed. And, since the dicebag is embroidered with the D&D 30th Anniversary Logo, you've also got a great limited-edition collector's item. Here's what's going on the back of the box, just in case you want a quick run-down of exactly what you're getting:
Your Fate Is in Your Hands
Pick up your dice, grab your Player's Handbook, and embark on daring adventures. This accessory for the D&D game will help you decide your fate as you battle fearsome monsters, explore ancient ruins, and discover magnificent treasure.
Contains a complete set of dice for use in the Dungeons & Dragons game:
- One 4-sided die
- Four 6-sided dice
- One 8-sided die
- One 10-sided die
- One percentile die
- One 12-sided die
- One 20-sided die
Also includes a cloth dice bag embroidered with the D&D 30th Anniversary logo.
May: Complete Divine: A Player's Guide to Divine Magic for All Classes
If you picked up Complete Warrior, you've got a good idea of what kind of book Complete Divine is going to be: a 160-page hardcover filled with all kinds of divinely focused stuff for divinely focused characters of any class.Check out the back cover copy:
Wield Power Granted by the Gods
Legends tell of brave champions whose unwavering faith earned them the favor of the gods. Empowered by the might and magic of their deity, these devoted characters transcend the realm of mere heroes.
This supplement for the D&D game provides everything you need to create divinely inspired characters of any class. Along with new base classes, prestige classes, feats, spells, magic items, and relics, Complete Divine also provides guidelines for incorporating religion -- from mysterious cults to powerful theocracies -- into your campaign.
That's all I've got to show off right now. I'll try to grab all kinds of stuff from Complete Divine to share next month.
June: Eberron Campaign Setting
You've still got three months to go before you get the chance to take a look at the Eberron Campaign Setting. But while you're waiting for the chance to find out if Eberron is going to be the setting for your next campaign or a source of inspiration and material for your ongoing campaign, you can check out a couple different sources of information that will give some insight into the setting and a look at some of the stuff that's in the book.
Dragon Magazine -- Countdown to the Eberron Campaign Setting
If you want to get the sense that you've already got a chunk of the book in your hands, just pick up Dragon Magazine (issues #315-320) and check out the Countdown to the Eberron Campaign Setting article series. It's a six-part series of articles that will introduce you to various aspects of the new D&D campaign setting.
If you flip through Dragon Magazine #318, you can check out this month's article in which you'll get a good hard look at the fourth unique race created for Eberron: the warforged, a race of sentient constructs built to fight in the Last War, now seeking to find their place in the uneasy peace that has settled upon the magically charged world of Eberron.
Gearing Up for Eberron web feature
Just click over to the Eberron page to take a look at the fourth article in a seven-part web feature series that's a counterpart to the "Countdown" magazine series. This month's Gearing Up for Eberron gives you a quick history lesson on what's been taking place in Eberron, along with a look at the unique cosmology of the EberronCampaign Setting -- a virtual orerry.
Between the "Gearing Up" and the "Countdown" articles, you should have enough information and insight to keep you sated for at least another month.
There it is.
About the Author
Mat Smith is a copywriter who's been playing roleplaying games for a disturbing number of years, and now gets to spend an astonishing amount of time thinking about clever ways to get more people to do the same.