Happy Holidays! Even though we're taking a break up here in the great Northwest, enjoying the clouds, rain, and darkness associated with this time of year, we're still able to keep providing your minis fix for the week.
For those still wondering about last week's clue, Clara Peller was an actress who became famous for a fast-food commercial series where she would incredulously exclaim, "Where's the beef?" This time around, I'm giving you a glimpse of two of what I consider to be the most exciting miniatures of the Unhallowed expansion to the D&D Miniatures game -- the Displacer Beast Manhunter and the Gorgon. These two monsters have been with the D&D game since its inception in its first edition "way back when" and now appear again in pre-painted plastic.
Displacer Beast Manhunter
The Displacer Beast remains one of the most highly sought after and hard-to-get miniatures from the Harbinger set, the first D&D Miniatures set released back in 2003. We want to keep popular monsters in circulation, so we'll periodically revisit creatures that were done in the past. The Displacer Beast Manhunter not only revisits but revises the original 'D-beast', strapping the two extra legs and tentacles onto a much more muscular panther body. This Displacer Beast is ready to tear things apart.
When revisiting a creature, we have two options in the skirmish game. We call these options 'resculpt' and 'redesign'. When we resculpt a mini, we provide a new physical model or pose but use existing stats. For example, the 3-point Man-at-Arms was released in both Harbinger and Aberrations without changing his stats. In general, we prefer to redesign a mini instead, providing both a new figure and a brand new set of stats. When we do this, we rename the mini to keep it distinct from previous iterations. The Troll from Harbinger, for example, was slightly redesigned to remove outdated rules (such as Difficult) and released as the Troll Slasher in the Angelfire release.
This time around, we created a brand new sculpt, appended 'Manhunter' to the new Displacer Beast's name, and added abilities to make the Displacer Beast a more fearsome force for Lawful Evil warbands. This rare miniature retains the iconic Conceal 11 but gains Hunter 5 and Humanoid Foe, as well as Sidestep, allowing it to potentially deal 20 damage with each of its two tentacles.
Here's the beef! Unlike the medusa-like creatures of Greek myth, the Gorgon in the D&D game is more like an armored bull. Like those Greek Gorgons, the D&D Gorgon still turns things to stone but using a cone of gas instead of a gaze attack. This bit of D&D lore was set into motion in the first Monster Manual back in 1977, and has persisted since. Our mini captures the Gorgon in mid-gore -- or perhaps it's bracing itself to unleash its petrifying breath weapon. Either way, it's cool.
The skirmish statistics of the Gorgon are pretty straightforward. It has a cone that turns living creatures to stone, and when it's done with that, it can Trample over creatures before it wallops them for 25 damage with its main attack. An interesting aside, the petrifying gaze is one of many abilities in Unhallowed that play on the living/non-living distinction of creatures, a theme that I hope provides an interesting dichotomy when playing sealed games with the set.
That's it for this week. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season, and I hope that next year brings you even more excitement, adventure, and joy. I'll do my part to help, starting with a preview next Thursday that'll look at three minis that share something in common. Can you guess what this one might be?
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.