Wednesday 20 September 2023

D&D Minis - Monsters of Wildemount Set 2

Recently Wayland Games held a flash sale of pre-painted Wizkids miniatures, so I grabbed a couple of boxes of Critical Role miniatures. First up is the "Monsters of Wildemount Set 2" box. This is populated with models from their second campaign, set on the continent of Wildemount in Exandria.

The Gearkeeper Construct is probably based on an encounter in Season 2 where the players were asked to deal with an out of control construct. There's a stat block for it in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, which places it as a pretty hefty mid level threat for players. It's a pretty horrid stabby monster with a whole bunch of nasty abilities that characters will really dislike when they find out about them.

It might be a bit glossy for my liking, but I'll live, I guess.

The Gloomstalker and Moorbounder are monsters from the area known as Xhorhas. The Moorbounders are used as mounts at times in Xhorhas but both are dangerous predators that are pretty well known to fans of Critical Role, so good signifiers for "you're in the world of Critical Role now". The Moorbounders are suitable at pretty low level, while the Gloomstalkers would need a party to have gained a few levels before facing them.

And now, a whole bunch of aquatic villains and monsters, as there was a significant oceanic theme to a good section of the campaign... The yellow critter is a Swavain Basilisk, a big mid level aquatic monster with a few risks for an appropriately levelled party. This sort of monster makes absolute sense in the world as most "low level" commoners and sailors would be absolutely wrecked by it, making it a believable threat.

The other larger monster at the back is a Merrow Shallowpriest, a powerful spellcaster who can either be an end boss for a lower level party, or an excellent addition to a group of aquatic attackers against higher level characters.

At the front on the right is a Sea Fury, a powerful hag that provides a good higher level threat when a "normal" sea hag isn't a sufficient threat. It's got a bunch of spells and abilities that make it a moderate threat, but doesn't just feel like a skilled combatant, as that wouldn't really fit the "feel" of a hag.

Finally, the front left monsters is a Sahuagin, specifically one intended to be used as a Warlock of Uk'otoa, one of the setting's "big bad" monsters that had a chunk of influence on the story of the second Critical Role campaign. It's pretty comparable in many ways to a PC Warlock at the mid levels, but with quite a few more spells available and a couple of neat tricks easily explained as boons of its patron. I also suspect that as a relatively low hit point caster, it's rarely going to end up using all its spells before PCs take it down, but the "use each of these six spells once each" build is much easier to track than a PC with fewer hard choices for a DM to make when they're trying to focus on delivering a narrative.

This isn't a bad set, but it feels like you'd probably want a whole bunch of Moorbounders, and several Gloomstalkers, while both the Merrow and the Suhuagin Warlock are part of a bigger encounter that needs different models. It's definitely not a good "first box of monsters", but a good expansion of odd stuff that will still see some use and provide some interesting challenges to players.

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