D&D Miniatures09/15/2005

Underdark Preview 4
Tunnel Dwellers

This week we go spelunking with three critters whose ancestors opted for life down underdark instead of braving the pelorian sun. The Kobold Miner digs our route, the Dire Bat echo-locates the quickest path, and when we make it to the final cavern, the Hunched Giant unfurls and does the clobbering.

Kobold Miner

Mat Smith already showed off this little beauty, seeing as he can’t resist drafting all our kobolds into his earliest previews.

That same Mat Smith recently wrote up the Ecology of the Kobold in Dragon magazine #332. So here ya go, Mat, the Ecology of the Kobold Miner:

Birth) 3 small points of labor for the Lawful Evil warband.

Setup) Wandering Monster style, on a random feature tile or random victory area, so that the poor li’l Miner sometimes sets up precisely where your opponent does not wish to see him.

Survival Strategy) With AC of 14 and 5 hp, the Kobold Miner isn’t likely to stick around and take multiple hits, especially since he has the special ability Jittery (Must make a morale save after being attacked).

Death) When the enemy sends someone quick over to their tile to find out who is making all that racket with a pick, they’re going to be disappointed to find a Kobold Miner, because the little guy’s last ability might even make him worth playing: Beneath Contempt (Opponents do not score victory points for eliminating this creature)!

Dire Bat

Don’t expect anything unusual from the Dire Bat. We played him straight outa the manual -- the Monster Manual, that is. Nothing fancy, probably a good animal companion for the Orc Wolf Shaman from Angelfire, especially since the Dire Bat fights a lot better when under command by a Beastmaster.

Hunched Giant

The Hunched Giant is originally from the Underdark book, page 95. I wanted to do another giant with distinctive, Underdark flavor, so this warped survivor of dozens of cramped, underground generations seemed like a natural. We weren’t satisfied using the look from the book, so we asked the concept artist to make him less shaggy and more threatening, with excellent results. If you stood the Hunched Giant up on two legs, he’d pretty much be a huge, but that doesn’t happen often, so he’s squashed onto a Large base.

In the skirmish system, the Hunched Giant is a straight-ahead Chaotic Evil beater with around 115 hp and a nasty power-attack swing. His one trick comes from the times he stands up straight to fight creatures that are truly his own size: Unfurl (Attack +2 and damage +5 against Huge enemies). Not something that does him any good fighting in limited play, but odds are that the ability will get more useful in the future. Yup.

Next week: Artemis Entreri and the bones of one of his victims.

About the Author

Rob Heinsoo is the lead designer of D&D Miniatures. He's also the designer of Three-Dragon Ante, the card game played by D&D characters in taverns everywhere. WotC will publish Three-Dragon Ante in November as a noncollectible, 72-card deck.

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