This set has personality. Or personalities. Three, in particular, were culled directly from the popular campaign settings of Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Eberron. This week we'll look at the first inclusion of a Hero of the Lance, examine the wielder of the legendary hammer Aegis-Fang, and figure out just what an undead half-dragon elf might look like.
First up is everyone's favorite red-robed wizard, the golden-skinned twin of Caramon. You'll have to excuse us for not painting hourglass eyes, but I think this mini successfully captures the look of the future Master of Past and Present as depicted on the cover of the first printing of Dragons of Spring Dawning, the third of the excellent Dragonlance Chronicles series. His crimson robes represent the color of the red moon Lunitari, the goddess and source of Neutral magic, and mark his status as a Neutral wizard. He bears the Staff of Magius, given to him at the completion of his wizardly Test by Par Salian.
Though the character of Raistlin might not be considered altogether Good-aligned, we pegged this version of Raistlin as both LG and CG. This allows him to work well with heroes that he'd typically be associated with but keeps a bit of his Neutral flavor. We also created two new abilities for Raistlin that help capture the character from the pages of the Chronicles -- Debilitating Magic and Devoted Companions. Raistlin always seemed to get weak after casting spells, so Debilitating Magic lets us show you how he might be getting more out of his magic at the cost of his physical self. Whenever he casts a spell, he can take 5 damage to gain +5 damage with that spell or increase that spell's DC by 4. It works pretty well with his hold person and magic missile spells (and his magic missiles ignore pesky incorporeal creatures, too). Devoted Companion, emulating the ever-present Caramon, lets Raistlin's player choose any adjacent Unique ally as the target of an attack targeting him, because that's just the kind of team player Raist has always been. Perfect Targeting becomes icing on the red-robed cake. Black-robed Raistlin, on the other hand …
This brawny barbarian first appeared in The Crystal Shard, the first Forgotten Realms novel written by R.A. Salvatore (not the first Forgotten Realms novel -- that honor belongs to Douglas Niles' Darkwalker on Moonshae, which was also the first TSR Inc-published novel I ever read). Wulfgar accompanied Drizzt Do'Urden through many trials, going places no man was meant to go. He wields the mighty hammer Aegis-Fang, the greatest work created by the dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer (King of Mithral Hall and essentially Wulfgar's adoptive father).
Wulfgar is a commander for the CG faction, though he's Willing to Follow Heroes (unique commanders). That allows him to benefit from commander effects of creatures such as Drizzt. He gives a bit of a boost to his allies, giving non-Fearless followers a free attack if they pass a morale save. He's a reasonable melee threat in his own right -- for 54 points, a CG warband gets a couple of solid attacks for 25 magic damage, or he can throw his warhammer up to 12 squares once each round. Remember that scene where Wulfgar throws his hammer through a bunch of ale kegs? Well, that's where Bite of Aegis Fang comes into play, letting him throw his hammer and hit everyone in a line. He's fast and durable, though those furs don't provide much protection.
The progeny of a green dragon and an elf noble of the dragonmarked House of Vol, Erandis d'Vol was a half dragon, and as such was the lightning rod for strife between the House of Vol and the previously warring factions of Aerenal Elves and dragons. Protected by the magic of her House and family, Erandis was protected from death during the scourge of the House, but that protection didn't keep her alive. Instead, she became a lich. For millennia, Lady Vol has plotted and schemed, and now is one of the strongest entities in all of Eberron, as her covert network of agents, spies, and minions rivals any organization in the world.
With no stats yet in the roleplaying game, we were free to come up with our own interpretation of the Lich Queen. This half-dragon lich sorceress could be quite a foe for any near-Epic level party, though as a mini she's more of a threat to about half a 200-point warband. She has a few game mechanics that are interesting to see in play. In addition to the dragon-themed acid breath cone and her Aura of Fear 3, Vol has a couple of spells that will see some use -- forcewave (cone; 10 damage and push creatures 3 squares) and oppressive will (swift; adjacent creatures skip their next turn). She also has a commander effect that gives all followers Death Burst. Plus, she's the first mini with Undead, Dragon, and Elf as types.
In addition to their inclusion in Night Below, you'll see alternate paint versions of two of these rare miniatures later this year, if you are in the right place at the right time.
For next week, I'll give you two options -- you can either see how many legs I can put into a preview, or you can see something suitably draconic. So which is it, legs or dragons?
About the Author
Stephen Schubert is a Developer for RPG R&D and has been involved in many facets of the D&D product line. He's recently been Lead Developer for the upcoming Monster Manual V, Lead Designer on the Eberron adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen, and he's the Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game.
Now we bring the return of the mystery silhouette. Shown below are all the figures that we'll feature in these previews. Can you guess their identities? Feel free to try!