Director Chris Pramas
returns to tell us more about the forthcoming D&D
Chainmail game. Wonder
what miniatures battles will be like this fall? Here's a first look at
the factions you'll send into combat.
of the Coast: Last month we talked about skirmish battles in D&D Chainmail.
Now we want to know: Why is everyone fighting?
Pramas: The current war was sparked by a staggering event. A group
of mortal heroes killed the god of war in an attempt to rid the Sundered
Empire of war altogether. Their plan backfired in spectacular fashion.
The dying war god scattered his panoply across the world, and told the
two surviving heroes that there would be nothing but war until a new god
arose in his place. It is now believed that the warrior mighty enough
to reassemble the godly panoply will become the next god of war.
So, who's doing the fighting?
The initial six factions of D&D Chainmail are as
follows. (And yes, we'll be adding more factions as the game progresses.)
of Ravilla: This elven empire used to rule all the lands from the
mountains to the sea. They dominated the region for 500 years or so, but
a series of disastrous wars whittled away their empire. Ravilla is run
by city-dwelling gray elves, but the empire also includes large wood elf
enclaves. The Ravillans are desperately trying to survive, and to revive
the glory of their ancestors.
Legion: About 300 years ago the nomad warlord Ahmut terrorized Ravilla.
His reign of terror was ended by the famed elf assassin Prisca, and his
army fell apart after his death. Ahmut then rotted in an unmarked grave
until the spear of the god of war animated his corpse. Ahmut has since
allied with a mortal death cult and now the forces of death are on the
This human nation was founded by human tribes fleeing ahead of the
advancing elven armies. They settled a large island off the coast and
repulsed the inevitable elven attack. Queen Almira XXI, the current monarch,
has declared a great human crusade to liberate the ancient human homelands.
Now her soldiers and paladins march to war, assisted by gnome engineers
and war machines.
Jangir, a gnoll priest with demonic blood in his veins, has united
the gnolls under the banner of his abyssal patron Yeenoghu. Gnoll and
demon march in step, as Priest-King Jangir spreads chaos and terror for
the glory of his god.
People's State of Mordengard: Just over one hundred years ago, the
dwarves of Mordengard toppled their tyrant king and established a worker's
state. Now the People's Legion has taken to the field to fight for the
freedom of the dwarves. With skill, bravery, and ingenious elemental weapons,
the dwarves safeguard their revolution.
Horde: The elven armies stopped at the borders of the Blasted Desert
in the south. They never dreamed that the savage humanoids that lived
beyond could be a threat, but there they were wrong. The hobgoblin warlord
Drazen has forged an army out of orcs, goblins, ogres, and other bestial
creatures. This horde crossed the Blasted Desert in an epic march and
now poses a grave threat.
Which factions don't get along?
Oh, most of them! The elven empire is perhaps the most hated, because
they used to rule the entire region. The dwarves and the humans are the
most likely to get along, but even so the dwarves disapprove of the way
the church and state in Thalos keep the common man down.
can fight any faction and still stay within the bounds of the setting.
How did the setting's details and flavor affect the models?
We wanted each warband to have its own flavor (both in rules, and
in look and feel). The backstory helped drive that. Thalos, for instance,
is the religious state, so it got a paladin leader whose model is sculpted
with religious iconography. The dwarves got a bunch of funky elemental
weapons, like the leadblaster and the scorch pot. With Ahmut, we wanted
to play up his hatred of all life, so we populated his warbands with atypical
undead creatures. Most skeleton minis, for instance, are human, but our
base skeleton trooper is an orc. They also get fun stuff like zombie troglodytes.
Where will D&D Chainmail players find information about the setting?
In the game box? In subsequent products? On the web?
In many places. The starter set will have an overview of the story
and the factions, and also a booklet of "faction briefs" that
will tell you more about what each faction can do. I'm also writing a
series of articles for Dragon
explore the Sundered Empire. (Those start in July.) In the future, there
will be some web support and more details in upcoming D&D Chainmail
Is each warband limited to models from only one faction?
No, not at all.
How does mixing factions work in the game?
Your warband can mix models from different factions with a couple of restrictions.
First, you can't have evil models in good warbands and vice versa. There
are several neutral models, however, that can fit in any warband. Second,
cross-faction troops are more difficult to command. This doesn't matter
much with troops like the orc berserker, but can make a big difference
when you need precise control to win a scenario.
Roundtable, featuring Creative Director Chris Pramas, game designer
Jonathan Tweet, and painter Jason Soles.
to the D&D Chainmail miniatures home page.