Pathfinder Battles Preview: Big Bads (Vol. 1)
Friday, April 27, 2012
I'm pleased to report that all but one of the miniatures in the Rise of the Runelords set have been approved (we're still tinkering with a final paint scheme on that last one to get it right), and we stand on the precipice of an important deadline. WizKids is about to order all of the paint for this set, so that the production run can begin in earnest. That means Rise of the Runelords miniatures will soon be spooling their way down the factory line, which means the set's August release is now visible on the horizon.
Last week, we posted images of the set's packaging to paizo.com, and it took an astute reader all of 11 minutes to realize that the packaging constituted a stealth preview of a previously unseen miniature, and revealed one of the big secrets of the Rise of the Runelords set.
As many of you know, we had to remove three Huge miniatures from the original set mix in order to keep production costs under control. Since I'd revealed the set included a Huge White Dragon in the very first raft of spoilers I leaked about the set here in this blog, and since we'd already revealed three Huge miniatures (the Treachery Demon, Lamia Harridan, and Storm Giant), many folks reasonably concluded that the fourth unrevealed Huge must be the aforementioned White Dragon.
Alas, as the packaging preview revealed, the Huge White Dragon will NOT be in the Rise of the Runelords set after all, as it was one of the three Huge miniatures we had to cut for cost reasons. The decision had nothing to do with the quality of the sculpt (which is EXCELLENT), but more to do with its versatility outside the Rise of the Runelords set. For we have every intention of releasing the White Dragon in an upcoming release, possibly sooner rather than later.
Yes, there is an important White Dragon encounter in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path Anniversary Edition, but the monster is ubiquitous enough that it'll fit in just about anywhere.
But some minis in this set are designed specifically for use with the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path to the degree that moving them to another set simply isn't an option. The actual fourth Huge figure in the set is one such miniature. I give you, the Karzoug Statue:
Here we have the treacherous Karzoug, Runelord of Greed, the biggest of the big bads of the Rise of the Runelords campaign, come to life as a giant animated statue. When I say “giant,” I'm not kidding. The Karzoug Statue is the tallest and largest of the four Huge miniatures in the set, cutting an imposing figure appropriate for its role in one of the key climactic encounters of the entire Adventure Path. He's so big we actually had to change the Huge Booster packaging after we'd finished it just so he could actually fit in the box.
WizKids's sculptors and painters have done a fantastic job with this miniature, making it look like it is actually made of stone, with little cracks and weathering that add realism to this imposing figure. It looks a bit simple in the tiny photograph, but the detail on this giant miniature is amazing. Karzoug Statues generally come one per Huge case, making it a rare figure.
Next up we have Lamatar Bayden, a one-time commander of [SPOILER!] who saw better days as a hopeless romantic. Now, his command is lost, his romance is shattered, and he's trapped in the form of a hideous ice wight. Accordingly, WizKids sculpted this miniature in clear plastic. Lamatar's sharp icicle fingers and crown are completely clear, granting the rare miniature a (wait for it) chilling effect.
Lastly today we have one of the coolest miniatures in the set, The Mithral Mage! This remnant from the ancient empire of the Runelords has shiny mithral skin, which makes killing him a real pain late in the Rise of the Runelords campaign. The detailed paint steps on The Mithral Mage's costume really steal the show, here, and his dynamic pose perfectly suits his arrogant and imposing personality. He's a rare miniature, and one of the major villains of the last third of the campaign.
Looking over this blog, I'm reminded what a deadly and awesome campaign the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path really is. I'm thrilled to get a chance to create a set of miniatures specifically to support the campaign, and I'm pleased that the 65-figure size of the set allows us the chance to include a few cool campaign-specific miniatures like the ones previewed in this blog.
Next week I think I'll jump back to monsters, and show off a few minis no one has even guessed are in the set, yet!
See you then!