In last week's preview, we looked at a dark power from D&D's past. This week we look at dark powers present in today's D&D, specifically in the Eberron campaign setting. Leading off is my favorite miniature of the set, and possibly my favorite of the past few sets -- the Tsucora Quori.
A couple days ago, Andy Collins was sorting through a set of Unhallowed figures, and as he picked up the Tsucora Quori he commented, "I am one million percent more likely to use this in a D&D game now that I have this mini." The art for the Tsucora Quori in the monsters chapter of the Eberron Campaign Setting made me instantly want to put the monster in a fight. It looks alien, otherworldly, and deadly, and fit a really cool niche as the nefarious force behind the Riedran Empire. The only problem with the book as written was that it was hard to actually fight a Quori. In the campaign cosmology, the connection to the quori's home plane of Dal Quor was severed, ending a quori invasion but also eliminating the possibility of an encounter with these creatures on the Material Plane. The Magic of Eberron supplement provides one way around this, through the use of the project quori spirit psionic power, which allows a quori to appear much as a summoned monster might. Another concept is also explored in Eyes of the Lich Queen, an upcoming Eberron super-adventure -- but I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. (Those two books happen to share a certain author, so I might be biased!)
Some may recall a commander from the War Drums set that evoked a certain warband build but didn't have the proper support to make it work. I speak of the Inspired Lieutenant, who granted a boost to creatures with psionics. Finally, after a few sets, that warband is on its way to being built. The Tsucora Quori's body adjustment and recall agony psionic powers allow it to qualify for the Inspired's boosted commander effect, potentially increasing the Tsucora Quori's attack bonuses to a pair of +19s. In addition, this Quori helps the psionic warband through use of its Psionic Channeler ability. This incrases the DCs of psionics cast by allies by +2. Its Psionic Envoy ability lets it bring one non-LE psionic creature into the warband. It's even tied slightly into the living/unliving theme of the set, as its Terrifying Sting destroys creatures that fail morale saves, making this monster not quite as good against undead. Overall, the Tsucora Quori is a fast, high-level, high-hp beast. But that's what you get when you advance one to 12 Hit Dice. He's Large and Rare, though you can only fit two in a 200-point warband.
Inspired Shock Trooper
The Inspired are a group of (mostly) humans in Eberron that are bred for the sole purpose of becoming hosts for a possessing Quori spirit. The inspired are not only leaders and schemers but also have elite shock troops. The Inspired Shock Trooper is one of those. He also works pretty well as any PC that wields a cool, crystal longsword.
This Uncommon mini is a pretty straightforward soldier with a powerful first hit. His Dissolving Weapon ability gives him +15 acid damage on his first successful attack, which could be made at a +11 bonus if he's flanking and has the Inspired Lieutenant around. If you elect to not use burst to get him into position, he could also have two rounds worth of automatic 10 damage thanks to dissipating touch.
Blood of Vol Divinity Seeker
The Blood of Vol is a cult in Eberron which contends that the secret to divine power lies in the blood of the living. At least, that's what they tell the nobles and laymen who want to join their cultish religion. But hidden deep within the organization is its undead mistress, Lady Vol, Queen of the Dead. Lady Vol's reach extends throughout Eberron via minions (both unwitting and sworn) who scour the world for the secrets that might help her reclaim her family's bloodline and power. The most fanatical members of the Blood of Vol do her bidding while taking a more literal interpretation of the concept of blood equating to divinity. They seek understanding of divinity by watching the flow of blood -- typically flowing out of wounds they've created with their wicked chain-and-dagger weapons.
If you play against one of these in a skirmish game, I'd suggest not standing next to it. The Seeker has the Stirge's ability of Blood Syphon, giving it +4 to attack and +10 damage to creatures adjacent to it on the start of its turn. This results in two attacks at +12 and damage potential up to 30 points per round. The Seeker loves working for an undead commander -- it gains an additional +5 to damage when following undead (Strahd must do in Lady Vol's absence). Fast and Fearless, I expect this Uncommon mini to be played in most Limited games where she's an option.
That's probably enough for this week. Next week I'll be off at the D&D Experience in Arlington, Virginia, but we'll get something lined up so you can spend some time with the common folk, such as this guy 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.