Previews Archive | 10/23/2009
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Savage Encounters Preview 1
Peter Lee

The newest set of miniatures, Savage Encounters, releases in November! In this set are 40 new miniatures representing creatures pulled from the first two Monster Manuals, Draconomicon, and Manual of the Planes. There are seven new monster stat blocks in Savage Encounters, and one miniature has a stat card useful for either a trap or as an instance of single use terrain.

There's a Norker, too.

The distribution for this set is much like this spring's Dangerous Delves: in a single booster, you get to pick one of eight possible visible miniatures. All of those are large miniatures. Inside the booster are four additional figures -- one of 16 possible rares, one of eight possible uncommons, and two of eight possible common miniatures.

We haven't seen a lot of undead creatures in the last couple of sets; this ends now. Twenty percent of the set is undead, including two in today's preview. Today's visible figure is the Zombie Hulk, a monster from the first Monster Manual. One of my goals for this set was to include a lot of staple creatures that have been hard to collect. Until now, the only large zombies have both been rares: Deathknell's Zombie White Dragon and Aberration's Ogre Zombie. As a level 8 standard Brute, this is a monster you want in numbers, and as a visible figure, you'll be able to get as many as you need.

All adventures need a good adversary, and for setting up encounters with undead, what is better than a necromancer? The rare Tiefling Necromancer is a foe to use in late heroic tier play. This leader has an attack that can funnel the life force out of his target and use it to heal a nearby undead. As an Elite monster, he is designed to lead a force of undead into battle. After you've picked up a few boosters, consider this level 8 encounter:

  • Tiefling Necromancer (level 9 Elite controller, leader)
  • 1 Zombie Brute (level 8 Brute)
  • 2 Skeletal Tieflings (level 8 soldiers)

All three of those monsters are in this set: the Skeletal Tiefling is a common miniature in Savage Encounters. It could be a servant of our Tiefling Necromancer, an ancient evil force spawned from the lost empire of Bael Turath, or just as an alternate representation of the 3rd-level skeleton from the Monster Manual. His art is based on the skeleton attack on page 190 of the Player's Handbook.

While not exactly undead, the soul-harvesting Death Giant fits in well with the major Shadowfell theme for this set. This rare miniature is based on the art from the first Monster Manual, and it obviously works well with last summer's Death Titan miniature. Epic play is definitely not ignored in this set: nine monsters are above level 20, including one level 32 archvillain that will be revealed in the "November and Beyond" article.

Dangerous Delves introduced us to the Foulspawn Grue. Aberrant-lovers hit the motherload with Legendary Evils as that set had three: Mangler, Seer, and Hulk. Savage Encounters completes the Monster Manual entry with the uncommon Foulspawn Berserker. I've had the Foulspawn art pinned up in my cubicle since I arrived at Wizards of the Coast almost two years ago. I'm very happy to see the set finally complete.

That's all for today's preview. Over the next few weeks, you'll see dragons, bullywugs, goblins, githyanki, and a whole lot more. It's a great set!

Tiefling Necromancer

Skeletal Tiefling

Foulspawn Berserker

Zombie Hulk

Death Giant
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