D&D Miniatures06/19/2008

Against the Giants Preview 7
Double Dose of Shadow

It's only a few more weeks before the Against the Giants prerelease, but if you make it to the Delve at Origins in Columbus next weekend, you could walk away with one or more alternate painted miniatures from the set.

Those who can't make it to Origins will have to settle for the penultimate preview!

Shadow Hulk

Click to display stat card

This week's huge miniature is the shadow hulk, a huge version of the Dungeons & Dragons staple. One of the many goals of 4th Edition was to extend the life of iconic monsters such as the umber hulk and the carrion crawler. Many of these creatures have multiple versions at different levels so they can be used throughout the span of a campaign.

The Shadow Hulk is a solo monster usable in a mid to late paragon tier encounter. It can maneuver quite well for a huge creature, thanks to burrowing through walls, and it causes additional damage whenever a confused creature activates within the Shadow Hulk's ample reach. In sealed games with this set, if you manage to pull both this and the Tomebound Arcanist, you'll get even more use out of the Shadow Hulk's Prey on the Weak-Minded ability.

Lurking Wraith

Click to display stat card

When most people think of a creature that best represents a lurker, they may think of a rogue who jumps out from the shadows and backstabs an unsuspecting opponent for massive amounts of damage. While this does represent the feeling of a creature leaving "lurk mode" to strike a crippling blow, Sneak Attack does not encourage the creature to go back into lurk mode. (It is too easy to sustain the damage bonus with flanking.) This week's lurker does encourage the creature to move in and out of battle.

The Lurking Wraith's damage-boosting ability is called "Strike from the Shadows." It grants an additional 15 points of damage when the target of the attack can't see the Wraith at the start of the turn. With Phasing, it's pretty easy to ensure that a target won't be able to see the Wraith -- just walk through a nearby wall. The Wraith is also good at fighting high-AC soldiers, because its basic attack targets the creature's Reflex Defense. A creature hit by this basic attack deals half damage until the end of its next turn. If the Wraith activates again before the target does, it can disengage and take only a fraction of the damage normally dished out by an opportunity attack -- Insubstantial stacks with Enervated, meaning the Wraith takes only 5 points of damage from an attack that would normally cause 20 damage. Use that move to Phase back through the wall, and start the cycle over again on the Wraith's next turn.

That's it for this week. Next week: the final preview for Against the Giants!

About the Author

Peter Lee is the newest member of the RPG R&D Design team and the new Lead Designer for theD&D Miniatures game.

For the insatiably curious among you, here are the silhouettes of the 16 creatures that will be previewed here. Go ahead and try to figure out what they are. We dare you. (Clicking on any revealed image takes you to its preview.)

Dwarf Warsword
Earth Titan
Angel of Retribution
Gnaw Demon
Dragonborn Defender
Elder White Dragon
Dragonborn Myrmidon
Feybound Halfling
Yuan-Ti Anathema
Chain Golem
Eladrin Pyromancer
Blazing Skeleton
Shadow Hulk
Lurking Wraith
Fire Bat
Efreeti Flamestrider
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