a) Black is for stealth.
b) Black is for blasting.
c) Black is for fur.
The answer is "All of the above, and put 'em in Chaotic Good."
As detailed in Complete Arcane, warlocks tend toward evil. It's tough to be a nice guy when you have the innate ability to channel magic into destructive blasts. We set up this warlock, however, as one of the good guys. Even so, when he's not in use as a PC, he'll make an excellent villain. Given the way Des Hanley used the cape to show the warlock's power of flight, this warlock probably will be the type of villain who always escapes to attack the PCs another day. This is a sweet uncommon figure.
Buh-buh-buh boom (sizzle, fry). Along with five other Chaotic Good miniatures from Deathknell, the Renegade Warlock is a member of the 200-point warband I enjoy playing most these days. He's a splendidly mobile spellcaster with a sight-range spell blast that just doesn't quit. The combination enables him to use hit-and-run tactics that don't work for most other spellcasters, particularly since he's tougher than bookworm spellcasters and can take a hit.
Catfolk first appeared in the Miniatures Handbook. More recently, they're featured in Races of the Wild. While I've seen people (in my own gaming group, even) use the Catfolk mini from Dragoneye as their PC, this rare mini makes much better use of what's cool about cat-people. One of the goals with this rare mini was to deliver a sculpt that could be used for a number of player character types. Dual-wielding ranger? Check. Rogue? Check. Catfolk Bladesinger? Check.
Instead of all those safe options, we opted for the wild path, the free-wheeling mix of powers available to a supercharged wilder. I'm not going to speak of all the tricks this heroine can play on the unsuspecting. I'm just going to offer a peek at her big gun: mind thrust 4 pp (range 6; 35 damage, living creatures only; DC 15 negates).
C'mon -- it's only DC 15. You can make it ... once, maybe. As her opponent, it's best if you don't let her cast that spell twice.
In every new set, we try to come up with a couple of unique images, characters, or monsters that mesh with the D&D universe even though they've never been seen before. In Deathknell, we riffed on a little-known culture of assassins reputed to have operated in medieval Japan. It's a very simple look combined with an esoteric background, and we're hoping that people will dig the role of a stealthy assassin type that can be taken as a base class without being put off by the concept's oddity.
This uncommon mini's suite of abilities is capped off by being able to make itself invisible on its turn, enabling it to key in another ability that inflicts +10 damage on enemies that can't see the Ninja. This damage bonus applies to the Ninja's thrown weapon attacks as well as its melee attack, meaning that the Ninja can make close ranged attacks for 15 damage. Chaotic Good warbands emphasizing maneuver will find that the Dragonblade Ninja's poisoned weapons are excellent for wearing down tough creatures that shouldn't be tackled head-on.
Now you've seen some of what Chaotic Good will be modeling in the spring. Next week, we'll pay a visit to where the evil commons hang, the public house "At the Sign of the Thug, Sneak, and Frog."
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.