Thursday 22 February 2024

Phandelver Monsters

The latest lucky dip D&D miniatures set from Wizkids is the Phandelver set, based on the new, updated Phandelver campaign. The campaign book is mediocre, and this miniature set kind of matches it. There's a whole bunch of standard models like goblins and zombies with pretty shoddy paint jobs, but going through the store I go to for individual minis, I picked out a handful of the better sculpts and paint jobs.

First up is a Roper. A classic D&D dungeon encounter, this is a nice fun sculpt I thought was worth picking up. It's a good low to medium level encounter for D&D characters. Interestingly, I've noticed that while it's CR5 in D&D, its a hefty Level 10 in Pathfinder, making it a much tougher encounter for medium level PCs in that system.

This Young Amethyst Dragon is a CR 4 creature who hates Far Realm creatures. It works as a nice potential ally to PCs in the right type of campaign. It doesn't feel like it's the right level for acting as an opponent to a party whose Warlock has done a deal with a Far Realm entity or similar - that feels like a challenge that should come in later in their arcs.

I already have some excellent Reaper Wolves that I've painted up, but thought I'd pick up another. This one just isn't as nice looking and is a little glossy. The difference really highlights to me the benefit of painting things yourself if you have the time.

The Nothic has a slightly better paint job. He's a nice little weird aberration that could either be a low level encounter, or be a weird minion for some higher powered thing that should not be.

In the Phandelver game I ran, Stirges absolutely wrecked the party in large numbers, so I felt it would be worthwhile to pick up five for a nice little flock of bloodsucking horrors. They're a staple low level weird animal encounter that I enjoyed running online before, so will now be able to do in person as well...

I also got a Flameskull, which is another classic in the original Phandelver adventure. My party did not have a good time with it, as they failed some stealth rolls trying to spy on it while they were incredibly low on health and healing, so it lobbed a fireball right into the middle of them. It was sad times.

The Flameskull is, accurately, really quite teeny. Here it is next to a hero with a sword planning to put an end to its fire based reign of terror. It's a fun little critter that works well as part of a larger encounter, able to put out a lot of damage while remaining relatively fragile once hit...

So, all in all, I did OK at skimming through the Phandelver set, but I wouldn't be taking a risk on any of the blind boxes. People who split the boxes and sell the individuals are the only reason I've ended up investing in the models from this set, as the hit to miss ratio is particularly low in this range.

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