Today's preview covers blink dogs, deep dogs, taarak hounds, winter wolves, yeth hounds, shadow mastiffs, and the abyssal ravager.
OK, that was a fib.
We're actually discussing not mongrels, but mongrelfolk. These are four common minis you'll soon be pulling out of cardboard boxes..
Stats-wise, you can sneeze at these misshapen puppies and the most they're going to do in return is shake a club at you and imitate your voice. The write-up on page 125 of Fiend Folio paints them as history's losers. In large numbers, however, even Mongrelfolk can be intimidating. I have to admit that our final sculpt makes this Mongrelfolk look a bit tougher than its puny stats from MMII, so I'm guessing that more than one PC group will find itself embarrassed at being besieged by creatures that imitate the PCs' voices as they batter at the wedges in the doors.
We gifted the Mongrelfolk with an ability that will require some experimentation to master: Cave Setup. Mongrelfolk can set up on any Cave terrain tile on the battlegrid instead of setting up on their assembly tile. Could this possibly be useful? You'll find out.
In the north of Faerun, in the Forgotten Realms, mountain orcs thrive on sun-blasted slopes where lesser orcs don't dare to walk, much less conquer. You'll find up-to-date information on mountain orcs on page 68 of Races of Faerun. For a lyrical writeup of this brutish mini, see Mat Smith's "In the Works" column for August.
As a 2nd-level barbarian, the Mountain Orc sits in the sweet spot at 12 points, offering melee power and a chunk of hit points at the expense of AC.
Gnoll & Gnoll Skeleton
Let's take this as a double-shot. It appears that fewer uncommon gnolls from Harbinger entered circulation than we had expected. We've made a few other gnoll miniatures, including the Gnoll Archer and the Gnoll Sergeant, but we wanted to put out a common, ax-wielding gnoll so that it wouldn't be hard to track them down in large numbers. Presto: a new gnoll mini with the same stats as the Gnoll in Harbinger.
Alongside the new Gnoll, we've put out the Gnoll Skeleton. It's a fair bit of gnollishness in the common pool of one set but we decided to make up for lost time. It's perfect for fiendish armies that aren't shy about showing their troops exactly what happens to them when they die.
Historically, gnolls have taken a back seat to the Orcs in Chaotic Evil. That may change some day but it won't be this rerelease of the Gnoll that changes it.
The Gnoll Skeleton, on the other hand, is a 5-point Undead creature. That will come in very handy in certain warbands.
No commons in next week's preview. Instead we'll look at four great minis that are "Straight Outa Eberron."
About the Author
Rob Heinsoo started playing D&D with the original brown box in 1975. He's now the lead designer of D&D Miniatures.