Wow, it's nearly May already. Pretty soon it'll be summer, which means it's not very long until we release the next expansion to the D&D Miniatures game: Night Below. July's Night Below release brings more dungeon into your D&D game and also brings more dragons while it's at it. The name of the set evokes the big boxed-set dungeons of the 1990's, like Dragon Mountain, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, The Rod of Seven Parts, and of course Night Below. I spent many weekends harrowing groups of PCs through those massive adventures.
I'm sure someone will create an exhaustive list of all the creatures from those 2nd Edition D&D adventures in the hope of divining which of them might be in the Night Below set. They may even figure out a few of them. But speculation should also look to other sources, including our campaign settings and monster manuals. A handful of creatures will also simultaneously debut in Monster Manual V, which also releases this summer.
In the coming weeks, we'll unveil more and more of the contents of Night Below. Mr. Smith has already given you a look at the Kobold Trapmaker and Frost Giant Jarl in his April and Beyond article. Fans at the D&D Experience this past February also got a look at a couple of minis such as the Uncommon Babau Demon and others. You'll soon get a peek or two (or three, or maybe three and three halves) at the dragons of the set. You'll learn which Realms, Eberron, and Dragonlance personalities will be immortalized in plastic. I'll give a glimpse into the design of monsters for MMV. And you'll see just how many legs I can fit into one preview.
Skirmish players will also want to pay attention, as I'll continue highlighting each mini's capabilities in the skirmish game. The new options in this set are sure to be considered for play in this year's D&D Miniatures Championship held this August at Gen Con in Indianapolis.
For example, lets look at some stone cold classics from the Glacial Rift --
You might recognize that frost giant as the Jarl from Mat Smith's preview. He stands at the same height as the Frost Giant from Giants of Legend, though his shoulders are broader. His minis game stats are more comparable to the Fire Giant Forgepriest from the recent Blood War set, though the Chaotic Evil Jarl spends an extra 18 points on his Commander Effect (+5 damage vs enemies immune or resistant to fire), his Stunning Rend ability, and his Icequake Hammer area-effect power (cold damage and stun to nearby creatures). He's a little easier to hit, and his attack bonus is slightly lower, compared to the Forgepriest, but he dishes out slightly more (non-magic) damage with each swing.
What frost giant could be a Jarl without a Large White Dragon as a pet? White dragons have historically been on the low end of the dragon scale but still very close to black dragons in terms of overall power. The minis game continues this trend by shaving a bit of power off the black dragon's stats. AC and level are 2 lower, damage is 5 lower (even on the breath weapon), and instead of a morale-boosting Enforcer ability, this creature is much more likely to run when out of command thanks to its Flighty ability (-4 to morale saves when out of command). It remains to be seen if the triple and quad black dragon warbands will evolve into black-and-whites, but downgrading one of those blacks might allow a warband more options for carnage.
Check back here for your weekly dose of minis-related info. In the meantime, I'm sure this photo of the entire set will get you speculating.
About the Author
Stephen Schubert is a Developer for RPG R&D and has been involved in many facets of the D&D product line. He's recently been Lead Developer for the upcoming Monster Manual V, Lead Designer on the Eberron adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen, and he's the Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game.