May 4, 2009

Word of Wizards - Previews for May and Beyond

Previews for May and Beyond

While we pretty much know what is coming out in May. June and July is when we get to see the Eberron campaign setting make its debut into 4E.

May is set to be a Monster Madness month. With the Monster Manual 2 and the Dangerous Delves miniatures launching in this month, there's an ongoing Creature Competition where new monsters from the Monster Manual 2 are going head-to-head against each other to find who is the fittest of them all.

So for this month's preview, things could only get better as we preview a couple of giant acidic bugs that will be appearing in the Monster Manual 2 and 5 more miniatures from Dangerous Delves.

The Hive Queen Ant is a Level 5 Elite Controller (Leader) that has a couple of acidic pheromones attacks. From a distance of 10, it can spit an Acidic Blast (standard; recharge 4,5,6) that deals 1d6+2 acid damage (half on a miss) and dazes anyone within the area burst 3 that fails to defend with their Will. Up close, the Queen breaths out an Acidic Cloud (standard; encounter) that creates a close burst 4 zone that moves along with the Queen until the end of the encounter. Any enemy that start its turn in the zone will take 2 acid damage for each Giant Ant that are also in the zone.

For normal attacks, the Queen can Bite (standard; at-will) for 1d10+4 damage and Kick (minor; at-will) for 3 damage and push the target 3 squares.

Any giant ant In the Presence of the Queen (aura 10) will gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. When bloodied, the Queen can raise a Call to Arms (encounter) that will instantly summon 4 giant ant hive workers to appear within 5 squares of the Queen that acts on its initiative. If a giant ant within 10 squares is killed, the Queen goes on a Hive Queen Frenzy (free; at-will) that allows it to shift 2 squares and kick an opponent.

Next, we have one of my favorite Ankheg.

The Ankheg is a Level 3 Elite Lurker with its signature Acidic Spray (standard; recharges when first bloodied) which deals 1d8+5 along with 5 ongoing acid damage and slows the target (save ends both).

Although it has a Claw (standard; at-will) attack which deals 1d8+5 damage, its primary attack are its mandibles. An Ankheg can use its Mandible Grab (standard; at-will) to deal 1d8+5 damage and grab a target. If the target is of medium to small size, it can carry it with Mandible Carry and still travel up to its normal speed. While grabbed, the Ankheg will Gnaw and Scuttle (minor; at-will) the target to deal it 1d8+2 damage and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends) and shift 2 squares while the grabbed target follows the Ankheg to an adjacent square.

Now let's take a look at some miniatures. All of the miniatures previewed here today has their complete stat cards available for download so you can check out their full stats.

This is the troll king from P1: King of Trollhaunt Warrens but it can definitely be used to represent any armed troll. It's an awesome miniature and not much of its looks has changed since it was first previewed, so it will probably stay that way when its released.

Kobold Wyrmpriest
There's something about the headgear that doesn't sit well with me for this but other than that I can generally live with it even if it looks kinda goofy.

Bonechill Chimera
Another hard to find miniature even though it has the head of a White Dragon instead of a red's unless your players are very particular. Statwise, it is very similar with the Chimera found in Monster Manual 1 except they have replaced the fire damage from the breath weapon into cold damage and has an additional slow effect on the target. This would a miniature that I would want to get my hands on.

Minotaur Battle Shaman
A new monster from Monster Manual 2 most likely. From the stat card, the Minotaur Battle Shaman is a Level 12 Artillery with the same Ferocity (make a basic attack when dropped to 0 hp) as other minotaurs and fires a Primal Bolt (standard; at-will) onto enemies within range 20. A hit deals 1d8+5 damage and heals the minotaur by 5 hitpoints. It can also summon a Spirit of Nature's Rage (standard, recharge 5,6) that only affects enemies in an area burst 2 within 20 squares. Any affected enemies take 3d6+5 damage, slides 2 squares and makes an immediate basic attack against the nearest ally which they can reach.

When an enemy is close, the Shaman gives them a Primal Punch (standard; at-will) that not only deals 2d4+5 damage but also allows the shaman to shift 1 square. Allies that start their turn within the minotaur's aura 5 are invigorated by the Spirit of Health which grants them 5 temporary hitpoints.

Kruthik Young
I can't really make out if this miniature really looks like a Kruthik or not based on comparisons with the art in the Monster Manual. I guess this one can also be used to represent other bug type monsters and can certainly be used to represent a Kruthik Hatchling since they have the same size.

For our first glimpse at the Eberron Campaign Guide, we are reintroduced to the Dreaming Dark and a very juicy stats of a Dreaming Dark Assassin.

The Dreaming Dark Assassin is a Level 14 Elite Skirmisher badass with an array of psychic, fear, charm and teleportation abilities at his disposal. Best of all, it has a Dual Mind which forces anyone that attacks the assassin to roll 2 attack rolls and take the lower result. You should definitely check this one out.

There isn't any crunchy bits from E2: Kingdom of Ghouls but here's something that will surely catch the attention of many long time gamers.

The adventure starts in Sigil.

Unfortunately there isn't much being revealed about the Eberron Player's Guide, Seeker of Ashen Crown and Divine Power except for bits and pieces of fluff as an appertizer. For the Eberron Player's Guide, they mentioned about feats tied to your dragonmark. So that would be something to look forward to.

Phew, that's one heck of a preview and most of it is coming from May alone. So, any thoughts on the previews so far?

No comments: