This week's look at the upcoming Unhallowed expansion focuses on a pair of wizards and their familiars. In a way, it also highlights a bit of Forgotten Realms lore, even though these spellcasters could find use in nearly any campaign setting.
Cormyrean War Wizard
We'll start with the easy one. This guy is obviously inspired by the wizards that serve in the armies of Cormyr. A collector will finally have a chance to put together a display of Cormyrean battle prowess, using a couple of these uncommon wizards, a few Soldiers of Cormyr, and with a Purple Dragon Knight leading the way (the last two from the early Archfiends and Dragoneye sets).
This guy is a pretty straightforward battle wizard focusing primarily on energy damage. He has the ability to use a pair of lightning bolt spells and a couple short-range ray spells that deal 15 cold or fire damage. With attacks at three different energy types, he has less chance of being neutralized by a warband that utilizes energy resistance or immunity. If he can't get through those defenses, though, he can instead slide an enemy away twice per battle (which also provides a good escape plan). Ultimately, this guy was built to work well with other spellcasters, which is where his Phalanx Spellcasting ability came from. It gives him +10 to a spell's damage whenever he casts adjacent to an allied spellcaster.
Wizard of Turmish
When miniatures designer Matt Sernett saw the cover art for Complete Arcane, he knew he wanted to make it into a mini. The bespectacled man with immaculately trimmed beard and obvious magical power simply looks cool. So cool, that at one point the cover art was offered in limited edition prints. His matching cat was a masterful touch. The miniature goes one step further, putting the wizard on a flying carpet, with his cat perched upon his shoulder (probably with claws dug in tightly).
Despite his powerful look, the Wizard of Turmish is one of the more fragile rare miniatures in the set. He definitely doesn't want to be caught in a melee. What he does want is a lot of allied spellcasters. He has three uses of anyspell which, somewhat contrary to its name, allows him to cast spells of 2nd level or lower known by adjacent casters. He also boasts Cooperative Spellcasting, which increases the DCs of his spells by +1 for each adjacent allied spellcaster. Alone, his spells might not be much of a threat because of their relatively low save DCs, but with a few allies around, he might be able to turn his first level backbiter spell into a DC 16 or 17. He also doesn't mind seeing undead on the opposing side, because he has unlimited uses of disrupt undead. In addition, that cat isn't just for show -- it just may save his life. Devoted Familiar can be used once per game as an immediate action, preventing damage that might otherwise destroy the Wizard.
But wait, there's more! One of the two Tiny-sized miniatures in this set is the Bat Familiar. What sort of vampire-themed set would be complete without bats to put in your belfries?
Aside from the obvious appeal of having a handful of bats to add atmosphere to your dungeon, you might also include them in a skirmish warband. Why, you ask? Well, first, they have the Attendant ability, which means they don't count toward the 8-figure limit of your warband, but they still give you an extra activation. Each Bat Familiar requires a spellcaster in your warband and, once per battle, can deliver a touch range spell for that spellcaster. The Bat Familiar can slide into any warband, as well. It's not willing to sacrifice itself like the Turmish kitten, and with only 5 hit points, it might be an easy target anyway. Still, Evade Damage lets it ignore damage if it successfully saves against an effect. For 6 points, you can certainly do worse!
Next week is for the dogs.
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.