This week we're taking a ride on the drow side. It's Chaotic Evil, baby, all the way down.
Drow Arcane Guard
Who has played through City of the Spider Queen? You sir, in the back, with the withered arm, seared flesh, and shattered bones … yes, you. You've vacationed in Maerimyda, haven't you? Well, we can't give you the full Doomsphere flashback, but we've recruited the fellow who left those nasty chain-welts on your cheek when you tried to sneak into the Inverted Tower.
The Drow Arcane Guard is a great blend of classic Drow abilities (Conceal 11 and Spell Resistance) with a magic spiked chain that provides Melee Reach 2. I'm fond of the pose of this uncommon mini, leaning forward to counterbalance his poised chain, and simultaneously ready to fire a spell from his raised hand. I'm also fond of his blend of spells. Do you take double damage from cold? You'll eat a couple of cold orbs. Double damage from fire? Get ready for empowered burning hands.
If you're the type who likes to play heavily-themed warbands, your Drow warband just acquired its non-Unique heavy hitter. For 56 points, you've got a Large rare mini who attacks twice for 20 damage a hit. The Furious Spirit ability (it takes 5 damage a turn until it makes a melee attack) forces you to throw the Draegloth into combat quickly, but its high Speed means that's not a problem to arrange. Add Conceal 6 thanks to Drow-style darkness effects and a LOT of hit points and the Draegloth usually lives long enough to set you up for the endgame.
Spider of Lolth
We made the Large Monstrous Spider in Dragoneye as a rare mini. I knew too many people who tried to track down multiple copies to use in their D&D campaigns. This time we made a nasty looking spider as a common mini.
This isn't an ordinary giant spider. It's Lolth-touched. In D&D Minis terms, that translates into a higher DC for its poison, Fearlessness, a veil of shadow style ability that gives it Conceal 6, and a Murderous nature that prevents it from moving or attacking anyone else if it has a wounded enemy adjacent.
The Lolth-touched template also provides a hit dice upgrade, so the Spider of Lolth ends up as a low-cost Wandering Monster with enough hp to force your opponent to make a serious commitment to eliminating it. Which gets harder when the next commander is on the table….
That's a small spider in her upraised hand, testifying to her core competency, which is to give attack bonuses to Spiders, summon Spiders of Lolth, and make every poison effect on the battle grid twice as nasty. The ability is named Venomous, and it reads as follows: (Poison that deals damage when a creature activates deals an additional 5 damage). That's all poison, for both warbands, so the Drow Arachnomancer teams up best with other creatures who are Immune Poison.
The Arachnomancer's other spells make her something of a rival of the Drow Cleric of Lolth from Harbinger. Her commander rating isn't as high as the Drow Cleric, but the Arachnomancer has a trick that lets her control initiative: Favor of Lolth (Whenever an enemy is destroyed by a Spider of Lolth or poison damage, this creature gains 1 extra use of summon spider of Lolth). For more on why this summoning trick works so well for this rare figure, you'll have to see the card.
Next week -- Law.
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.