As an RPG accessory, a D&D Miniatures expansion needs to provide a variety of monsters that a DM can put down on a table in front of his PCs. As a result, a majority of each set tends to be creatures from the Evil factions. That doesn't mean there isn't cool stuff for Good. This week, we look at a couple of Rare miniatures -- one Lawful, one Chaotic, both Good.
Through the development of Blood War (and continuing into Unhallowed and beyond), we looked for ways to flesh out roles that some of the factions had been lacking. Lawful Good, for instance, needed a solid melee fighter in the low-40s point range, and Chaotic Good needed more non-caster options in the low 30s. We also reexamined our costing philosophy. While we aren't moving our power curve's top end, we are putting renewed effort into providing more skirmish-viable pieces in each set by increasing the efficiency of some minis.
At the same time, we don't want to exceed the bar set by previous, 'efficient' minis such as the now-venerable Orc Champion. I think we've succeeded, and the next few sets should provide significant variety for all four factions.
Enough rhetoric -- on with the preview!
A few people figured out last week's hint that the second PMCA was actually the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II. This first mini was presented, along with many other eladrin, in that 2nd edition AD&D sourcebook. It was one of two eladrin (along with the ghaele) to graduate into the 3rd edition D&D Monster Manual. The Bralani looks very close to its MM illustration, and it's a perfect mini for those PCs who commonly cast summon monster VI or lesser planar ally. The Bralani Eladrin also looks great as a white-haired elf or half-elf fighter for those players who want a tough-looking warrior wielding sword and bow.
For skirmishers, the Bralani Eladrin may be just the 35-point mini that fans of Chaotic Good have been looking for. He's a ranged threat, shooting up to twice per round with his magic composite longbow, and just as dangerous in melee. We could have simplified his attack by just stating "Ranged or Melee Attack +11/+6 (10 magic)". Evil Foe increases his damage to 15 per swing/shot in many matchups, while his flying speed of 8 squares lets him line up his shots more easily. Defensively, the Bralani boasts high AC (20), immunity to electricity, fire and cold resistance, spell resistance, and DR. Most exciting of all is his Whirlwind Blast, a one-use ability that deals up to 20 damage in a line and pushes creatures that fail their saves 1 square away from the Bralani.
Speaking of pushing things around, the Thundertusk Cavalry brings some Pushback action into Lawful Good and dwarf-themed warbands. What better way for a dwarf to get around than on a Thundertusk (you might call it a dire boar)? If you were looking for a great miniature to use for your mounted dwarven knight, look no further.
Mounted Melee Attack with Pushback makes the Thundertusk Cavalry more of a finesse piece than initially expected, especially when playing on a map with a lot of pit terrain such as the Drow Outpost or Frostfell Rift. This Cavalry can spend the first round or two of engagement in hit-and-run attacks using pushback to keep opponents at bay (or to get them out from behind cover). But with 22 AC, he's just as willing to stand in the middle of a melee, swinging twice per round for 20 damage per hit. He doesn't go away quietly, either, because of his Death Strike ability. The Thundertusk is a solid LG mini, either in a Limited game, a dwarf-themed warband, or a 200-point constructed warband.
Next week, we'll look closer at Law before getting back to some devils the following week. This guy here will be part of the preview. Need a hint? Let's just say he's his own best friend.
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.