Previews Archive | 7/1/2010
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July and Beyond
Bart Carroll

Hi folks,

I'll be honest -- we have a wealth of material to show off. A virtual hoard! With the Demonomicon and Tomb of Horrors both hitting shelves this month, we wanted to showcase just a bit more material from each book (including a wendigo and a clue-filled poem…though, sadly, not a wendigo reading a clue-filled poem).

We also cover plenty of Dark Sun, with a new theme in the magazines, plus a look inside the Campaign Guide and Creature Catalog. (Been listening to the podcasts? Curious how to fight a gaj?)

Plus, let's take a first look at Psionic Power (courtesy of the Grandfather of Flowers). And, if you've ever been itching to try your hand against Elminster -- here comes your chance!

So let's get straight to it…

July: The Ghost King

While we're always one for recommending an R.A. Salvatore novel, this paperback edition comes with an added bonus: the first of a five-part novella by James Wyatt. Part 1 of The Gates of Madness kicks off something truly extraordinary, a worlds-spanning event known as The Abyssal Plague.

We've posted a checklist for where you'll find all five parts of The Gates of Madness in the coming months. Part 2 arrives in August, with Bill Slavicsek's The Mark of Nerath—also standing out as first in the new novel line set in the core world of Dungeons & Dragons! We've also included quick introductions to several of The Mark of Nerath's characters—including the gaunt fellow you may recognize haunting the cover of the Gazetteer of the Nentir Vale: Magroth the Mad!

July: Demonomicon

From the Demonomicon of Iggwilv

Many are they who would gladly have prostrated themselves before me, promising their fortunes, their families, their very souls to possess the tome you now hold in your hands. No matter how powerful you believe yourself to be, no matter how great your claim to knowledge -- on matters of demon lore, you are a rank novice in my sight.

Demons are not a class of creature easily codified, and no amount of vellum and ink can possibly hope to catalog their innumerable attributes and permutations. The research collected in this Demonomicon is accurate and impeccable, I assure you. But entering into battle against a demon requires more than mere knowledge. For demons are creatures of chaos -- mutable and forever adapting to their environment. A tactic employed successfully against an abyssal horde one time might result in your utter destruction the next.

Although you might have gained temporary possession of my precious tome, you still stand to gain only an inkling of the innermost workings of demonkind -- a subject I have lived and breathed over uncounted centuries of life. Was it unwise to set hard-won knowledge to parchment so sneak thieves such as yourself could steal away with it? Perhaps. But unless you are a special kind of fool, you know that I am already hunting you. So find what wisdom you can in these pages, for the time in which it might serve you is short. . . .

Last month, we showed off the piscodemon (reconstituted from the former daemons). July 5th, we'll reveal one of the new demon lords, the Queen of the Barrens: Oublivae. But what of the Barrens themselves? Here's a quick tour through this nightmarish realm.

The Barrens

The Barrens are an endless expanse of desolate wilderness littered with the ruins of every civilization that has ever existed -- or ever will exist. The layer's sheer enormity, eternal wreckage, and constantly fluctuating composition lend credence to Iggwilv's belief that the Barrens, the 100th layer, was once an astral domain that fell into the Abyss. Knowledge seekers across the cosmos hunger for the long-forgotten secrets and treasures entombed inside these ruins, but traveling to the Barrens is most often a one-way trip. The Barrens is a lonely prison that reflects the failures of civilization's grandest dreams. Wendigos, cannibals, and undead fiends haunt its wilds, and the destructive forces that doomed the layer's stolen cities taint their ruins.

Features and Terrain

Amid vast swaths of desolate wilderness, the timeworn ruins of all civilizations come to rest. Whether destroyed by war, natural disaster, the wrath of fiends, or other dark means, the wreckage of these places mysteriously appears in the Barrens. Each city materializes looking as it did when the culture that built it was extinguished.

Most creatures that travel in the Barrens seek either knowledge of or escape from that layer. Some travelers search for secrets buried in a city's wreckage, while others scour the rubble for portals that pulse faintly with life. A select few hope to solve the mysteries of the labyrinthine passages beneath the great pits known as the oubliettes, where the Demon Queen of Desolation dwells.

Smoldering Plain

This ruined plain is riddled with smoking craters. Forests of dead scrub trees burn constantly but are never consumed. Soot blackens the sky to a flickering red twilight, parting only periodically when flaming meteors, rains of magma, or dragons strike the plain to pound new craters and pulverize the ruins. The largest craters are twenty feet deep. The ground around a crater is difficult terrain.

Firestorms surge across the plain every hour. Burning vapor or an Avernus cinderstorm (see Manual of the Planes, pages 22-23) can be used as the basis of a firestorm. A creature caught in a firestorm must make a DC 24 Endurance check or lose a healing surge. Adventurers can take short rests on the Smoldering Plain, but they cannot take extended rests.

Charred Wasteland

The Charred Wasteland is home to blackened structures that have the psychic shadows of the buildings' previous inhabitants permanently emblazoned on their walls. Magic of incalculable destructive power was unleashed against these cities, their residents destroyed or transformed into aberrant monsters.

The Charred Wasteland is imbued with a radiation that grants low-light vision to creatures within it. Each creature in the wasteland must make a DC 21 Endurance check each hour or be exposed to wastelands sickness. Areas of blood rock are common in the ruins (see Dungeon Master's Guide, page 67), as are entropic fissures (see Manual of the Planes, page 24).

Land of the Dead

By day, the cities in the Land of the Dead stand whole and tranquil. Their tall spires salute the skies, but not a creature stirs on their empty streets. By night, the cityscapes morph back into ruins, and hordes of undead boil up from their foundations. Characters traveling through the region can safely take an extended rest by day. At night, however, vampires, skull lords, and other undead roam the land. In addition, the Land of the Dead is defiled ground (see Dungeon Master's Guide 2, page 59).

Plague Ruin

Metropolises, cities, and towns strewn with corpses are scattered throughout the Barrens. Thick dust rides the winds through these open graves, reeking of blood and death. This dust acts as a contagious form of mummy rot (see Dungeon Master's Guide, page 49) that attacks creatures within the area every hour at +11 vs. Fortitude. Improve: DC 21; maintain: DC 16; worsen: DC 15 or lower.


The Barrens are a desolate wilderness pocked with broken cityscapes. Infinite wonders can be discovered in the debris of these once-great settlements.

The Fortress of the Forgotten

Fading in and out of existence at the shifting heart of the Barrens, the Fortress of the Forgotten is an ancient ruin said to be Oublivae's center of power. When the fortress appears, it manifests dozens of immense, rectangular pits in the surface of the Barrens beneath it. Each of these pits -- named oubliettes for the Queen of Desolation - is one hundred feet wide by two hundred feet long, and is walled in blackest obsidian. Rectangular corridors pierce the walls of the pits, leading to unknown destinations while the oubliettes descend into bottomless darkness.

Iggwilv has theorized that the oubliettes extend to the bottom of the Blood Rift, and that whatever is cast into them is lost forever. The Witch Queen further states that the shifting of the ruined cities on the surface of the Barrens owes to the layer turning beneath them on the oubliettes' axis.

When Oublivae is angry, she casts her enemies into the black depths, their screams fading into oblivion. Occasionally, brave explorers willingly enter the oubliettes to scale the pits' sheer walls, attempting to reach the dark passages that punch through the obsidian. Some sages believe that the still-living memories of the cities claimed by the Barrens glitter in the deep darkness of the oubliettes like diamonds, providing passage to an infinite number of locations in time and space. Some passages are known to lead to the Plain of a Thousand Portals, to the lairs of fell demons and other creatures, and to other planes. At least one such path leads to Oublivae's secret domain deep below the Barren's surface.


Among the denizens of the Barrens -- as well as a demon more commonly found not just in the Abyss but also the mortal world -- is the wendigo.

Nearly all the cultures of the world feature prohibitions against cannibalism -- a crime against the laws of nature and the gods. A mortal that commits cannibalism creates a spiritual gateway to the Abyss, through which the dreaded demon known as the wendigo can travel. Once it reaches the world, a wendigo warps the cannibal's soul and body, turning into a flesh-eating monster that reflects the madness of the Abyss.

Wendigo Soulcatcher
Level 14 Controller
Medium elemental humanoid (demon)
XP 1,000
HP 142; Bloodied 71 Initiative +14
AC 28, Fortitude 26, Reflex 28, Will 24 Perception +19
Speed 8 Low-light vision
Aura Scent of Fear (fear)Aura 10
Enemies within the aura take a –2 penalty to Will.
Beyond Sight
Whenever the soulcatcher ends its turn 5 or more squares from an enemy, it is invisible to that enemy until the end of the soulcatcher's next turn.
Standard Actions
Melee Claw At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +19 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 + 7 damage.
Melee Cannibal's Bite (healing)At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature dominated by the soulcatcher); +19 vs. AC
Hit: 4d8 + 8 damage, and the soulcatcher regains hit points equal to half the damage dealt.
Ranged Inflame the Hungry Soul (charm, psychic)Recharge when no creature is affected by this power
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +17 vs. Will
Hit: 3d8 + 4 psychic damage, and the target is dominated (save ends).
Triggered Actions
Variable Resistance 2/Encounter
Trigger: The soulcatcher takes acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage.
Effect (Free Action): The soulcatcher gains resist 10 to the triggering damage type until the end of the encounter or until it uses variable resistance again.
Skills Endurance +18, Stealth +19
Str 24 (+14)
Dex 25 (+14)
Wis 24 (+14)
Con 22 (+13)
Int 18 (+11)
Cha 16 (+10)
Alignment chaotic evil
Languages Common, Abyssal, telepathy 15

July: Tomb of Horrors

Go back to the tormentor or through the arch,
and the second great hall you'll discover.
Shun green if you can. But night's good color
is for those of great valor.
If shades of red stand for blood the wise
will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of
magical metal -- you're well along your march.

If that sounds familiar, then you've played through the original Tomb of Horrors and discovered these poetic runes written across the floor of the tomb's entrance hall. Today, we're here to discuss a different poem.

A History of Horror

Acererak was born of the union between a balor named Tarnhem and a human named Kecethri. Kecethri raised Acererak at the fringes of society, afraid of what might occur if the people of her town learned of her son's half-demon heritage. But they did find out, and in his tenth year, Acererak could only watch as a mob lynched his mother and burned their home to the ground. Only Acererak's inhuman nature allowed him to survive long enough to flee.

The events of his life between his childhood escape and his reemergence as a potent wielder of arcane powers are vague. Some claim that he began searching at a young age for a means of becoming undead, to escape the life he found so wretched.

Other tales maintain that Acererak apprenticed with none other than Vecna himself, while the latter was still a lich and had not ascended to divinity. Whatever the truth, Acererak resurfaced as a worshiper of Orcus, using the cult's resources to construct a number of lairs and tombs -- the most infamous of which would become known as the Tomb of Horrors. Some sources claim that Acererak was using Orcus's worshipers to complete his own schemes, and that he felt no true loyalty to the demon prince.

During this time, Acererak relocated to Bael Turath, finding some acceptance from the tieflings, who, though connected to devils rather than demons, were more accepting of those who had mixed and otherworldly parentage. He, in turn, related to them better than he did to any other race, due to their ability to appreciate his heritage. He dwelt among them, feeling at least partly at home, but he knew that this relative peace could not last. It was during that time that he first began studying the methods and means of becoming a lich. (If they played through the Revenge of the Giants adventure, your players -- albeit probably not their current characters -- might have helped Acererak take a vital step along that path.)

Once he attained lichdom, Acererak ceased paying homage to Orcus, lending credence to the notion that his worship had never been more than a means to an end. He confined himself to his tomb, spending years in study and honing his powers to prepare for his ultimate triumph. Eventually, his undead body wasted away, leaving him as a demilich -- an animated skull -- and still he prepared.

Slowly, Acererak allowed rumors of his tomb, and the great treasure supposedly buried there, to spread. Utilizing his tomb, the dying city of Moil in the Shadowfell, and his Fortress of Conclusion in its own pocket dimension, Acererak planned to use the souls of the world's greatest heroes to empower a ritual that would allow him to take possession of all undead throughout the planes, granting him true immortality and sufficient power to ensure that all the living would suffer as he himself had suffered.

As it happened, Acererak underestimated the skill of the final group of adventurers to brave his tomb, and they were able to thwart his efforts. The demilich's ritual was disrupted, the device he used to store the soul energy was destroyed, and Acererak was all but obliterated -- his essence left to float in the void between planes, powerless and helpless for all time.

Or so everyone believed. Though it took him decades, Acererak has resumed his physical form through sheer force of will, plotting a new scheme during that period that could potentially gain him even more power than he had before.

We've been revealing an encounter from each chapter of the adventure -- starting with Chapter 1, the Garden of Graves. Players who stumble upon this area of the world (or is it in the world at all?) might soon come across the following poem. We'll present it here for an early study:

The path winds through thick woods and waving grasses, seemingly without a definite direction. Finally, as the trees thin somewhat, you spot an enormous ridge of dark stone looming ahead. You hear the rush of running water in the distance, but the trees in that direction are still too thick for you to see more than a few yards.

Count you the shadows, watch the sun,
The wise know where they stand;
While knowing not the time to shun,
The fools must find themselves undone.

Like lustful swain or panicked child
Who beg another's gentle hand,
The fool delves heedless through the wild.
The wise are not so soon beguiled.

When darkness falls and dreams portend
The rising of a fearsome foe,
The fool, swift-striking, meets his end,
The wise know foe from friend.

Let art and image point the way,
Abandon all you think you know,
For common sense leads fool astray.
The key is simply this: Obey.

The wise must ever strategize;
They never play, unless to win.
They see the harm in comfort's lies,
And seek to open weary eyes.

You've fought your way, you've risked demise,
To view the ivy heart within.
Now as the soul within you dies,
This knowledge is your only prize:
You'd never have come, were you truly wise.

Of course, without giving too much away, we'll reveal something of the third stanza. It seems to warn of darkness and of danger, which you'll find in the following encounter.

Warning: The following material introduces a new section of the Tomb of Horrors, and is meant for the eyes of the Dungeon Master. If you are planning to play through this adventure in the role of a hero, you are strongly advised to stop reading now! After all, you wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, would you?

(1.6 Mbs PDF)

August: Dragon and Dungeon Magazines

Next month in Dragon magazine, R&D's Matthew Sernett brings us new Dark Sun themes: the escaped slave. While the Dark Sun Campaign Setting more fully explains how themes work, here's a quick primer. You can have only one theme. To select a theme, all you have to do is choose one at the time you create your character. You don't have to select a theme if you don't want to. Once you select a theme, it grants you the following benefits:

  • You automatically gain the theme's granted power.
  • You can choose to take additional theme powers when you reach the appropriate level.
  • You unlock feats or paragon paths that use the theme as a prerequisite.

An escaped slave's only hope is to see freedom as a rebirth. Old haunts, one-time friends, and even family all need to be avoided for fear of being recognized and turned in. Hide the brand, disguise the tattoo, cover up the scars, explain the calluses away -- successful escaped slaves do all these things and more. Escaped slaves must take up a new name, a new history, and if one can manage it, a new appearance. Some escaped slaves do all this, but the strong will and sharp mind such a life requires often drives successful escaped slaves back toward their former owners, exchanging one master for another: revenge.

Over at Dungeon, you've had your chance in the recent past to face Drizzt in a theoretical, or even actual, encounter. This month we venture to Shadowdale. Within Shadowdale dwells a living legend: a man who has seen much of what Toril and its connected worlds offer. From humble origins, he has been a warrior, a brigand, a thief, a wizard, a devotee of the gods, and even, at one time, a woman. He has walked among the heavens, and he has been through hell. The love of a goddess raised him up, and the treachery of another deity laid him low again. In countless ways, Faerûn followed him.

Still Elminster's name falls from lips in the recounting of mighty deeds -- his own and those he has aided or encouraged. Watch for an encounter with Elminster; paragon or epic heroes might handle it -- and they might not.

August: Psionic Power

A psionic character wields the power of the mind, whether honed by rigorous training or inspired by wild and uncontrollable impulse. Disciplined monk and psion, unhindered ardent and battlemind -- psionic characters defend the world against dark threats with the most potent of all arms: the weapon within each of them.

Psionic characters unlock the unexpected power of their consciousness, bringing it to bear in the fighting techniques they master or the magical effects they create. Characters who study psionic traditions passed down through generations can transcend the body's limits, eventually apprehending the whole of creation with a single thought.

The history of psionic power in the Dungeons & Dragons game dates back to 1976, when the Eldritch Wizardry supplement to the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set introduced a psionic magic system that promised to "enliven games grown stagnant." The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game codified and expanded psionic power as a distinct and optional subsystem of the rules, but it wasn't until 2nd Edition's Complete Psionics Handbook that a psionic system became an integrated part of the game. Psionic power came into its own in 2nd Edition's popular Dark Sun campaign setting, which left a lasting influence on this unique and powerful magic. In 3rd Edition D&D, that foundation was rebuilt and expanded into a complete system of psionic power and classes.

4th Edition introduced the psionic power source and four psionic classes in Player's Handbook 3. That book introduced you to what your psionic character can do. Psionic Power is your key to unlocking the mind's secrets in the game. Of course, it offers quite a few such secrets for the ardent, monk, battlemind, and psion classes -- not to mention, feats, backgrounds, bloodlines, and even magic items for your psionic character.

You might, for example, choose such new powers as the psion's ravenous singularity.

Ravenous Singularity
Psion Attack 29
A dark vortex appears on the battlefield at your command, hindering movement as it draws all creatures toward it.
DailyConjuration, Implement, Psionic
Standard Action Area burst 5 within 10 squares
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude
Hit: The target is immobilized (save ends).
Miss: The target is slowed (save ends).
Effect: You conjure a ravenous singularity in the burst's origin square. The singularity lasts until the end of your next turn. Any creature that ends its turn within 5 squares of the singularity is pulled 2 squares toward the singularity. Until the singularity ends, when a creature fails a saving throw against the immobilized or slowed condition imposed by this power, that creature is pulled into the singularity, takes 20 damage, and is removed from play (save ends). When the target saves, it reappears in any unoccupied space of its choice within 3 squares of the singularity.
Sustain Minor: The singularity persists, and it pulls you 1 square.

Or you might walk such paragon paths as that of the alienist.

Some describe you as reckless. Others call you corrupted, claiming that your work puts all the world at risk. The Far Realm is a dangerous place, to be sure, filled with horrors beyond imagining. But the power to be found there is too tempting to ignore.

Far Realm's Gift
Alienist Attack 11
You bestow the horror of the Far Realm on your foe, transforming it into a creature of nightmare.
EncounterAugmentable, Implement, Polymorph, Psionic, Psychic
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: 1d12 + Intelligence modifier psychic damage, and the target assumes the form of a Far Realm horror until the end of your next turn. While in this form, the target is slowed, takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls, and cannot make opportunity attacks. Any enemy that enters a square adjacent to the horror or ends its turn there takes 5 psychic damage.
Augment 2
Area burst 1 within 10 squares
Target: Each creature in burst

Or you might welcome the return of the monk's Grandmaster of Flowers!

Balanced Mind (21st level): Whenever you make a saving throw to end a charm, fear, or psychic effect, you can take the better of 10 or your die roll. In addition, when an enemy misses you with an attack against Will, that enemy takes 10 psychic damage.

Luminous Consciousness (30th level): You transcend mortal limitations. Your movement never provokes opportunity attacks, and when an effect allows you to shift, you can instead move your speed. You ignore difficult terrain. You can move across and end your movement on any vertical or liquid surface. Finally, whenever you walk, run, or charge, you can spend any or all of that movement flying. If you are still flying when you end this movement, you land safely in the nearest unoccupied space.

August: Dark Sun

The Dark Sun materials are about to release in full in August: The Campaign Setting, Creature Catalog, and adventure Marauders of the Dune Sea.

The original Dark Sun campaign setting by Troy Denning and Tim Brown was published in 1991 for 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Strikingly illustrated by renowned fantasy artist Gerald Brom, Dark Sun offered a compelling new vision for Dungeons & Dragons -- one that broke free of the traditional medieval trappings of fantasy roleplaying. Troy Denning went on to write a five-part novel series, the Prism Pentad, telling the story of the revolution in Tyr and the downfall of the sorcerer-kings. More than thirty game supplements, adventures, and boxed sets supported the setting, along with novels, short stories, and articles in Dragon magazine.

This new version of the Dark Sun campaign setting returns to the days immediately after King Kalak's overthrow, when freedom glimmers weakly in a single city-state and ancient evils begin to stir once again -- a reimagining of the campaign world as its story begins.

Dark Sun Campaign Setting

A savage world waits to challenge you. Can you survive the fury of the crimson sun? For the Dungeon Master: The Dark Sun Campaign Setting provides details on creating characters suitable for the deadly sands of Athas and introduces you to this savage and splendid world. Chapter 6 of this book addresses the Dungeon Master and provides specific tools for running a Dark Sun game. The companion book, the Dark Sun Creature Catalog, contains monsters, monster themes, hazards, and statistics for the sorcerer-kings.

For players: The Dark Sun setting isn't a place for the typical dwarf cleric, halfling rogue, or eladrin wizard. In this setting, the dwarf cleric might be a desert shaman or an empathic ardent. The halfling is likely a feral, stealthy killer, and the human wizard probably disguises her spellcasting to avoid being murdered by a mob the first time she reveals her arcane powers. This book expands the character-building options, helping you create Athasian builds, combinations, themes, and "feel" for your characters.

The Creature Catalog

Life in Athas is a harrowing experience. The land abounds with perilous hazards and deadly monsters. In spartan gladiatorial arenas, contenders battle armored braxats and hardened muls that are intent on eviscerating them for the crowd's pleasure. In the merciless wastes, belgoi draw adventurers to their doom with the alluring jingle of bells, or savage humanoid tribes of gith or halflings hunt travelers for pleasure, loot, and even food. And, in the Sea of Silt, giants guard their borders against any trespassers who survive the constricting tentacles of the silt horrors.

The Dark Sun Creature Catalog contains nearly 200 monsters and hazards. It is your guide to building adventures and encounters in the Dark Sun setting. With this book, you can alter existing monsters using themes, add fantastic terrain to spice up an encounter area, or introduce nonplayer characters that can be either allies or enemies of the player characters. This book is meant to be used in conjunction with the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, which describes Athas in greater detail and discusses how to create characters and how to run a game in the setting.

If you've been playing in D&D Encounters, you might recognize these feral little fellows from our Dark Sun season.

Silt Runners

The diminutive silt runner proves that even the smallest of Athas's creatures are disproportionately deadly. Distantly related to ssurrans (Athas's lizardfolk), silt runners combine greed with cold-blooded ruthlessness. Their xenophobic hatred of other races is renowned. Survivors of attacks by silt runners describe how their companions were swarmed over and gradually lacerated to death by numerous tiny, razor-edged blades -- a particularly unpleasant way to perish.


History or Nature DC 15: Silt runners live in tribal warrens, temporary camps spread between dunes and connected by tunnels. They use these bases as staging areas for raiding small communities or slow-moving caravans. As their name implies, silt runners move easily across loose sand and silt, preferring to hunt where the terrain works to their advantage.

Silt runners wear the clothes, treasures, and body parts of their victims as trophies. The rest of their prey is consumed.

For reasons lost to history -- perhaps nothing more than a quirk of biology -- these humanoids harbor a particular hatred for fey. They have been known to break off attacks against far more numerous or vulnerable foes to attack a lone elf or eladrin.

And if you've been listening to the Dark Sun podcasts, you'll remember they battle with the gaj. Here are stats for this vicious creature.


The magic-torn wastelands spawn monsters so terrible that not even the merciful can permit them to live. Gaj exemplify such horrors, combining a hideous aspect with a malign intelligence. They crave the flesh of sentient beings, both for sustenance and for the delicious taste of fear.

Gaj Mindhunter
Level 8 Elite Controller
Medium aberrant magical beast
XP 1,750
HP 172; Bloodied 86 Initiative +5
AC 22, Fortitude 20, Reflex 18, Will 22 Perception +6
Speed 6, burrow 3 Darkvision, tremorsense 5
Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1
Warding Shell
The mindhunter gains a +2 bonus to all defenses against any creature marking it.
Standard Actions
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +13 vs. AC. While the mindhunter has a creature grabbed, it can use mandibles against the grabbed creature only.
Hit: 4d6 + 3 damage, and the mindhunter grabs the target.
RangedInvasive Presence (psychic)At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one or two creatures); +12 vs. Will
Hit: 4d6 + 5 psychic damage, and the mindhunter pushes the target 1 square.
Close BurstMind Wrench (charm, psychic)Recharge56
Attack: Close burst 3 (one creature in burst); +12 vs. Will
Hit: The target is dominated (save ends). Each time the target fails a saving throw against this effect, one creature grabbed by the mindhunter takes 2d6 psychic damage.
Minor Actions
MeleeFeathery Probe (psychic)At-Will (1/round)
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature grabbed by the mindhunter); +12 vs. Will
Hit: 1d10 + 5 psychic damage, and the target is dazed and takes ongoing 5 psychic damage (save ends both). If the target is already taking ongoing psychic damage, the ongoing damage increases by 5.
Triggered Actions
Close BurstForce Wave (force)Recharge when the mindhunter hits with feathery probe
Trigger: The mindhunter is hit by a melee attack.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Close burst 2 (enemies in burst); +12 vs. Fortitude
Hit: The mindhunter pushes the target 3 squares, and the target takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of the mindhunter's next turn.
Skills Bluff +14, Insight +11, Stealth +10
Str 17 (+7)
Dex 13 (+5)
Wis 15 (+6)
Con 14 (+6)
Int 11 (+4)
Cha 20 (+9)
Alignment chaotic evil
Languages telepathy 10

Marauders of the Dune Sea

Nightmares of desert horrors trouble the dreams of the innocent while raiders grow ever bolder beyond the walls of the great city-state of Tyr. Children cry of midnight portents, and mercantile houses fear the disruption of their trade. Bandits and merchants chase rumors of a temple hidden in the desert, an ancient shrine to the primordial Ul-Athra said to safeguard a fragment of the artifact known as the Crown of Dust. Can the heroes recover a caravan lost in the wastes, repel the threat of vicious raiders, and win the relic from the perilous temple?

September: D&D Minis: Lords of Madness

And what would a preview column be without taking the chance to show off some minis? Peter Lee has graciously offered the following tableau of minis (click for a larger view) for this early preview of September's forthcoming set. Starting from left to right, we have:

  • Elder Blue Dragon (Very Rare)
  • Orc Archer (Common)
  • Kobold Slinger (Common)
  • Human Marauder (Uncommon)
  • Minotaur Mangler (Uncommon)
  • Elder Copper Dragon (Very Rare)

And that's this month's sneak peek! As always, be sure to check our excerpts for individual previews from our books, and Bill Slavicsek's Ampersand for the earliest insights and announcements about the game!

About the Author

Bart Carroll was thought to be extinct until recently when this horror reappeared. He is the result of a mad wizard's experimental cross-breeding of a snapping turtle and armadillo with infusions of demons' ichor. Bart wanders temperate climates feeding on horses, men, and most other flesh—although he dislikes dwarf and shuns elf of any sort. He loves halfling and will hungrily dig them from their burrows. Bart is irascible and always hungry, and fears nothing, so he will attack a large, powerful party just to eat a horse or two.

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