D&D Miniatures08/31/2006

Blood War Preview 4
Spellcasters Part 1

In the Blood War expansion to the D&D Miniatures Game, we wanted to take a specific concept -- in this case, arcane spellcasters -- and apply it to each of the four factions so that each faction would have its own expression of that concept. The result is four wizardly types that embody the way we envision each faction's spellcasting to function (or at least one of the ways -- each faction could have multiple flavors of spellcaster). Each of these casters is an Uncommon miniature.

This preview looks at the good-aligned spellcasters -- the Lawful Good Elf Warmage and the Chaotic Gnome Trickster.

Elf WarmageElf Warmage

Not all elves are Chaotic Good, and not all battlefield artillery looks like a siege engine. The Elf Warmage is all about destroying things, and she does so with attitude and style. Where a Chaotic Good artillery spellcaster may be focused on fireballs and other long-range effects that strike from across the battlefield, Lawful Good deals its area-effect damage at close range. As a short-range spellcaster, the Elf Warmage will be near the front lines of battle, so she also boasts an option or two that helps to discourage foes from getting too close.

In your warband, the Elf Warmage focuses on short-range damage spells and needs to be within six squares to contribute. Once she starts contributing, your opponent will take notice. The Elf Warmage casts spells as a sorcerer, which gives her up to a total of six cones -- she has a cone effect as both a 3rd and 4th level spell. Of course, she can't cast all those cones if your opponent manages to move a figure adjacent, but then your opponent has to worry about ring of blades and a maximized shocking grasp. The Warmage has also mastered Sudden Empower, allowing it to add +10 damage on one damage-dealing spell.

One last random tidbit -- the Elf Warmage may be the only miniature that can destroy itself with one of its own spells.

Gnome TricksterGnome Trickster

Many of you correctly guessed last week that this week's preview would include a gnome. The silhouette had the distinctive shape of the gnome hooked hammer, a detail that did not go unnoticed. So here's one of the gnomes from Blood War, a rogue/wizard who is a bit of an arcane trickster (one of two DMG-centric prestige classes represented in this set).

Miniatures such as the venerable Elf (or Mephling) Pyromancer and the Archmage have already filled much of the damage-dealing niche for the Chaotic Good faction, so the Gnome Trickster fills a different role. Unlike the 42-point Elf Warmage, the sub-30 point Trickster doesn't use his spells to deal damage but instead uses them to help himself and his allies get into position to inflict damage. This tricky illusionist starts a skirmish invisible (until he attacks or casts a spell) thanks to his disguise self ability (one of two spells, along with blur, that we assume he's cast before combat). Not only that, but his spells can make his allies invisible with invisibility sphere, distract an opponent (making the target Inhibited), or even slide a creature one square (with no save).

Strawberry-rhubarb or mincemeat?Combat Casting ensures that this Gnome can cast his spells even when adjacent to an enemy, but the trickster isn't at a complete loss for dealing damage directly. Sometimes he'd rather attack twice (at +10 when flanking) to sneak attack for 15 magic damage per hit. Snake's swiftness is almost just gravy.

Next week, we'll look at the dark side, which includes the pie-loving creature shown here.

About the Author

Stephen Schubert is a Developer in RPG/Minis R&D, Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game, and has worked on a variety of D&D game products, including Monster Manual IV, Tome of Battle, and Magic Item Compendium. He is the author of the upcoming Eberron super-adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen.

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