Player's Handbook Heroes, Series 1: Preview 1

Well, it's that time again. Peter Lee, the current Lead Designer on the D&D Miniatures line has just posted the first preview of the new Player's Handbook Heroes line. His preview focuses on the miniatures and the power cards, of course, since that's what you'll find in the boxes come April 21st.

Here at the DDM Guild, we get to preview the other side of the story, the official stat cards for use with these miniatures in the D&D Miniatures game. Before we get to any actual stats, let's talk about how we approached designing the set.

While Champions will always remain the true cornerstone of any warband, we want the figures in the D&D Heroes boxes to feel like PCs-these are the figures around which warbands are built, whether they're Champions, Uniques, both, or neither. We'e tried to instill each of these figures with a bit of uniqueness and include powers unlikely to be used on other figures in the future.

We did feel, however, that we'd lose that flavor if we stuck with the pointedly descriptive, but somewhat flavorless names on the bases of the miniatures. Sure, Male Elf Ranger identifies Eddie, Jr.'s 2007 Championship miniature pretty exactingly. Gender, race, class. In the skirmish game, however, we wanted something a bit more; that figure's card reads Farris Nightbringer, Elf Ranger, and includes a note that the card is "...for use with Martial Heroes 1, Male Elf Ranger."

We wanted these figures to be playable as part of a Limited tournament, which presented some interesting challenges. We didn't want any given box to contain all artillery, or all brutes, for example, and we wanted the boxes to be as close to balanced against each other as possible, at least when mixed with a Demonweb, Dangerous Delves, or other randomized booster.

As such, the boxes have figures fitting a variety or roles and point costs, while the total cost of the three figures in each box is roughly 100 points. It isn't exact -boxes with a more generally useful figure tend to have fewer points, while boxes with more specialized figures have a bit more- but it's close enough that Limited play using these boxes is pretty solid. (We recommend randomly distributing one randomized booster and one D&D Heroes box to each player, and doing double-dump, 150-point Draft for the best experience.)

Another challenge that presented itself is what to do with the repaints. Four of the 18 figures in Series 1 are repaints of previously-released figures. After much deliberation and brain-storming, we're going to use the already-released stats for those figures. We explored a number of options, but ultimately decided that issuing different stats based on a figure's skin or cloak color, etc. was more trouble than it could be worth. So, this set includes reissues of Aramil, Adventurer; Bonded Fire Summoner; Cleric of St. Cuthbert; and Drow Infiltrator;hey, early peeks at the re-stats of those figures, right?

Unfortunately, due to the compressed timeline for building this set, the figures are still in development's hands, and we don't have production cards to show yet (tell you what, I'll make sure we have at least one to show in its full glory next week),

So, what do we have in store for you in this set? A figure that damages you if you move, a figure that can get an infinitely high attack bonus (but you'd really rather it didn't), a figure that teleports its enemies across the battlefield like so many ragdolls, and a familiar face that automatically does 15 damage if you approach him (or her; it’s so hard to tell with those half-elves).

Next: Two takes on the Warlock, one Tiefling and one Forgotten Realms; one good and one Evil. And what the heck is a Drow Infiltrator?

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SandyClaire's picture
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19 November 2013
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16 weeks 14 hours

The series is going to be good. They are looking forward to making it a little bit better. - Green Water Technologies