Three weeks after the first of the D&D Miniatures hit store shelves, they'll be followed by the Miniatures Handbook-- 192 pages of crunchy D&D mini-goodness. Lest you think, however, that this will be no more than expanded rules for tabletop skirmishes, check out everything the MHB has to offer. (Really, check it out.)
Chapter 1: Characters describes four new character classes and seven new prestige classes. Their emphasis, of course, is on soldiering and being useful on a battlefield but they can find a home in any role-playing campaign. Character extras round out with 22 new general feats and 10 new metamagic feats. Length: 24 pages.
Chapter 2: Magic introduces two new types of spells, swift action and legion spells. It then goes on to add 67 new spells and 42 new magic items with which to tantalize and torment players. Length: 16 pages.
Chapter 3: Monsters offers 35 (or more, depending on how you count them) new monsters. Some of these are clearly bad customers with CRs ranging as high as 12 (for some of the aspects, which are physical manifestations of the will of a deity or archfiend). Most, however, have CRs in the low to mid single digits, making them eminently suitable for use as battlefield foes. Length: 28 pages.
Chapter 4: Stat Cards defines and describes the information on the figures' stat cards in great detail. That discussion lays the foundation for deriving your own ratings for monsters and characters so they can be used in tabletop skirmishes or fast role-playing combats. Length: 10 pages
Chapter 5: Skirmish Rules presents an in-depth discussion of the tabletop skirmish rules as the groundwork for a greater understanding and appreciation of strategy and tactics. This section is lavishly illustrated with examples of play that clarify fine points in the rules and emphasize some of the subtleties of tabletop tactics. Many new types of terrain are discussed along with alternative and random scenarios. Skirmish campaigns get detailed treatment as well, along with magic item effects and a useful glossary of skirmish game terms. Length: 44 pages.
Chapter 6: Mass Battle Rules are just what they sound like -- rules for fighting major battles involving what could be hundreds of figures. To keep things manageable, figures are organized for movement and combat into units of up to 36 small, 25 medium, or 9 large figures. These rules are a natural outgrowth of the skirmish rules but the two types of battles play out very differently. As soon as you and your friends amass enough figures, be sure to try a mass battle. Length: 36 pages.
Chapter 7: Random Dungeons -- That's right, random dungeons! What better use could be found for a band of stalwart fortune-hunters than venturing into a dark hole in the ground to kill whatever lurks there? MHB's random dungeons can be played with or without a DM and with only a small amount of preparation. Looking for something different? Did only half the party show up tonight? Try a random dungeon as a change of pace. Length: 11 pages.
The Appendices include a variety of useful templates and terrain cards. Length: 19 pages.
Hungry for more? You can read online excerpts from the MHB right now. With so much to choose from, it doesn't matter whether you're a die-hard miniatures lover or just someone looking for ways to spice up your D&D campaign. You're sure to find plenty of useful material in the Miniatures Handbook.
See photos of the upcoming miniatures in our special preview gallery!
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