D&D Miniatures09/01/2005


Underdark Preview 2
Burrows & Strands



This week we're looking at two uncommons and a very special rare, all of which should have some place on the skirmish table and in RPG dungeons.

Ankheg

We're leading off this week with another of the set's eight large uncommons: the somewhat beloved Ankheg, the magical beast notorious for scooting out of its burrow to grab a party member and scuttle away for dinner.

Well, that's how DMs in my sadistic play-groups like to use 'em. Maybe you've had better luck.

In D&D Miniatures, the Ankheg will sign up with CG or CE as a wandering monster. Instead of having Difficult or Wild or some other control-limiting disadvantage, the Ankheg has an ability that makes it play better when it's in a warband with a commander who knows how to keep it on track: Natural Soul (Melee attack +2 and melee damage +5 when under command by a commander with Beastmaster).

Xorn

Here's a second uncommon with the Burrow 4 ability. Unlike the Ankheg, the Xorn only fights for the lawful factions, both LG and LE. This popular old D&D monster comes to the skirmish game as a tough little bugger with the ability to put out a fair amount of damage for a relatively low cost; its three melee attacks do 20, 5, and 5 points of damage, respectively.

As you'd expect for a rocky earth-creature, the Xorn has high AC and decent hit points. Its other earth-related ability, or disability in this case, is Earthbound (Attack -4 against creatures with Flight). Sending a Justice Archon to tackle a Xorn is a great idea. Sending a Chraal is not so wise.

Roper

Some of you will have seen Mat Smith's introduction of the Roper. What Mat didn't tell you is that the Roper is the game's most powerful wandering monster to date. Given the Roper's ability to interfere with the movement of creatures that start their turns in its immediate vicinity, I shudder to think of some of the nasty things that will happen when the wandering monster roll goes your way. But when the roll goes wrong, the Stalagmite that Scuttles Like a Very Slow, Animated Rock is going to have a difficult time joining the battle. That's chaotic evil, baby.

I'm not going to detail the Roper's nasty abilities. I'll just tell you that they add up to us costing him at 74 points. Now you can start worrying.

That's all for this week. Swing by next week to meet a couple of Epic creatures.

About the Author

Rob Heinsoo is the lead designer of D&D Miniatures. He's also the designer of Three-Dragon Ante, the card game played by D&D characters in taverns everywhere. WotC will publish Three-Dragon Ante in November as a noncollectible, 72-card deck.

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