This week's preview looks at a pair of Lawful constructs that call the Outer Planes home.
The Kolyarut occupies an interesting place in a D&D campaign. They exist to punish those that break deals or turn traitor. As such, they can be worked into campaigns in many ways. For example, an interesting encounter may involve the PCs interacting with a potential employer only to have a Kolyarut appear and try to eliminate the PCs' new acquaintance along with anyone who stands in its way. Alternatively, the Kolyarut could revisit a campaign's past transgressors, if the PCs left some promise unfulfilled earlier in their adventuring careers. Even better, the Kolyarut may have been convinced by the PCs' enemies that they defaulted on a bargain, and so the PCs must deal with the extraplanar construct or somehow prove their innocence, then seek out those who framed them. In all cases, the Kolyarut is the encounter that comes to the PCs rather than the other way round.
Our Kolyarut miniature is taken straight from the Monster Manual 3.5 illustration, which in turn was found in the 3rd edition Manual of the Planes. He's ready for business but could also serve as a proxy for a warforged rogue (at a toga party) for those in an Eberron-themed game. The detail on the mini is particularly impressive when you note the alternating white and black trim on the robe and the faintly blue-green eyes. This is a solid rare miniature for the Blood War set.
What could be more intimidating than a 45-point, fearless construct with 70 hp? Well, perhaps such a construct that can heal itself. The skirmish stats for the Kolyarut capture the two most significant fighting actions a Kolyarut might take, and one of those moves is its vampiric touch melee attack. We boosted the attack bonus by a couple points to make it more closely emulate the accuracy of a touch attack, and each of its two swings has the potential to simultaneously deal and heal 10 points of damage.
The other significant ability is its Enervation Ray, which it can use at will with a range of sight, giving the unfortunate subject a –2 penalty on both attacks and saves. We really wanted to supplement its hold monster spell with a use of mark of justice but decided the mark would be better as an Epic ability. That ability prevents the target from attacking until it moves into a victory area and makes a saving throw. Look for it sometime later this year or early in 2007 as a downloadable Epic card or in our league kits available to retailers.
The Maug is a favorite of Matt Sernett, who created the creature for the 3rd edition Fiend Folio. It is not to be confused with the Pacific island of the same name, which is technically a trio of islands formed from the rim of an ancient volcano a few hundred miles north of Guam, which also happens to be maug spelled backward -- those clever island-namers. Matt's Maugs are interplanar mercenaries that fight for whoever pays them, so long as it involves sufficient gold and sufficient fighting. In a theoretical sense, Maugs are precursors to the concept that became the warforged in Eberron, but they can work well in any campaign where war is a theme, either directly in an active war campaign or indirectly with the Maug as remnants of an ancient battle (or looking for a battle long since fought).
The art of the mini closely resembles the Wayne Reynolds piece from Fiend Folio. In fact, the sketch for the miniature is very similar. I'm pretty sure that this mini is the largest Uncommon we've done, and there's a very satisfying "thump" when it dumps out of the booster onto the table (even more satisfying when it accompanies a Pit Fiend). The only significant difference is that the final mini's sculpt doesn't have the massive, two-bladed weapon from the illo. The blade was so big that the mini wouldn't fit in the booster box! Some trimming was done, and now the Maug is ready to give the beatdown with a pummeling of its mighty fists.
The Maug is a cross-faction Lawful Neutral, allowing the large construct to be used in either LG or LE warbands. As such, it is a pretty straightforward skirmish mini, essentially a pile of Fearless hit points with Melee Reach 2 and two attacks at +11 for 20 damage each. Spell Resistance makes him a more interesting mini for the skirmish environment than the Spell Resistance All present on golems. His relatively basic abilities keep his cost down to 41.
Next week, we'll revisit the devils of the Blood War, including a look at one you may have already seen, as well as the miniature I think might be the most stunning of the set. Until next week!
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.