Legs or dragons? Legs on dragons? It looks like legs is the winner, by my unofficial count comparing one number to a smaller number. Let's get on with it, shall we?
We start out with eight legs, though it's from a different sort of arachnid than the more typical eight-legged creatures. A few weeks back, Paizo's Jason Bulmahn stopped by, and I had to taunt him with a sneak peek at this particular miniature. You see, Jason was one of the authors of Secrets of Xen'drik, the Eberron supplement in which this half-drow, half-scorpion creature appears. He's also the designer of this particular beastie. It's quite a cool-looking figure, even if it does remind me a bit of Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson in that second Mummy movie. I'm looking forward to placing a drow encounter in my Eberron game so that I can place a couple of these on the table. Even if you aren't interested in Eberron, I'm sure you'll be able to find a place for one (or more) of these in your game.
Skirmish players also get an interesting 30-ish point offering for their CE warbands. This speedy, if land-bound, critter is pretty effective if it can use its multiple attacks. It has an ability called Grab and Sting which states that, if it hits with its first two attacks, the third attack is automatically a natural 20. Clever players might realize that our rules allow you to make your attacks in any order, so technically this allows the Clawborn to attack with one claw (at +12) and its sting (at +10) to get an automatic critical on the third attack (another claw). This increases its damage output from 40 points to 50 points, plus the poison inherent in the stinger. (For some reason, a Monty Python quote popped into mind there -- inevitable, I guess.)
Trained Carrion Crawler
Continuing our leg count -- I think this guy has 40 legs. It might have 42, but I can't quite tell whether a couple more are tucked under its tail. I'll stick with 40. The Carrion Crawler first appeared in Harbinger, the initial D&D Miniatures release. As a classic monster, it fits the list of something we want to revisit every now and again (Trolls, Mind Flayers, and Gnomes, for example). This one is Trained, which I think means it knows to not wave its tentacles at the hobgoblin holding the leash attached to its harness. The harness looks a bit like a saddle, too, so I could imagine somebody doing some clever gluing to attach a small guy (like a goblin or deep gnome or a Dark Creeper) to its back, creating the fearsome Carrion Crawler Creeper Cavalry! At any rate, these uncommon Carrion Crawlers are a great way to add that zany, "help, I'm paralyzed," feeling (or lack of feeling) to any encounter.
The skirmish abilities of the Trained Carrion Crawler are similar to the original Carrion Crawler, but we've advanced this one by a few HD to let it live beyond a single hit. This one is also not a wandering monster, and its paralysis has a DC of 15 instead of 13. Not only does its training make it no longer Difficult (an original rule since purged), but the Trained Carrion Crawler increases its Paralysis DC by 2 if it gets into a flanking position against its target. The big question is whether we'll see hordes of Trained Carrion Crawlers led by Dark Nagas, hoping for the resultant DC 19 paralysis save twice per round per crawler (you can fit five Crawlers in with a Dark Naga and still have nearly 20 points left over for a couple of fodder pieces -- and no, I'm not really suggesting that warband).
That's it for this week -- 48 legs in all, which should be the record for a few months. (I'll blow it out of the water in September, though.) Next week's preview will include dragon-like substance.
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.
Now we bring the return of the mystery silhouette. Shown below are all the figures that we'll feature in these previews. Can you guess their identities? Feel free to try!