Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oh, My! What a Big Elf You Are!

There are a few threads over at where the issue of the Unhallowed minis being way larger in scale than previous sets is being discussed. This was the first thing I noticed when I started opening boxes, and it really was a major part of the disappointment for me in this set. They are calling it "size creep" over there.

Call it size creep if you want, but at the end of the day, only the measurements and the math count.

The standard miniature scale when all this started in the '70's was 25mm. That was the standard for D&D until WOTC took over from TSR and ended the lisence agreement with Ral Partha, who did the previous line of official figs. Ral Partha had a very consistent 25mm scale.

The Boyz at Citadel had mostly used 28mm scale, and when WOTC started doing their minis, they moved up to 28mm too, and most of the rest of the industry followed to keep up with Warhammer mini size. Reaper now does 28mm too.

At some point, because there is no "size creep" in real human beings*, larger minis become a larger scale. There is a trend in minis toward the larger, and I expect that soon 30mm will be standard, and UH looks like a step in that direction.

And it works like any of the other "get them to buy the same thing several times" schemes. Now that most of my humanoid minis are 28mm, I don't like using the hundreds of 25mm minis that I've been collecting for decades next to the 28mm ones because they look stupid. At some point, if all I can get are 30mm minis, then I won't like how puny my 28mm minis look next to them, so I'll stop using the old and keep buying the new.

At some point, though, you can't really call them minis anymore.

Personally, I wish everything were still 25mm because that was a great size for 1" squares on a battlemat or diarama. You won't convince me you can't get good detail on smaller minis, because I'll ask you to put the Marshmallow Construct against any 25mm mini that Ral Partha ever did and laugh in your face.

Change makes me very grumpy. Especially if the main reason for the change is pulling extra money out of my wallet.

*Yes, yes, I know, take a modern homogenized milk drinking person and try to fit him into an authentic Civil War uniform. Yes, there is size creep over generations in real humans but I don't think the Vampire hunter and Werewolf Lord are examples of genetic improvements due to better nutrition. Stay with the spirit of the argument and don't make me grumpier by focusing on minutae to prove you're clever. We know you're clever, because you play a game that requires cleverness. At some point it just isn't a 10 foot hobbit, you've entered a new scale. Harumph. I'm just a cranky old wizard, after all. Who cares what I want?


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Unhallowed is pretty Uninspired

Well, I was about as disappointed as I expected to be with the minis in this new release, but not just for the reasons I'd anticipated.

Distribution seemed better than previous sets, before I'd finished opening my first case I had a nearly complete set, but by the time I had opened the last box in the third set these were the only minis I was missing:

37 Displacer Beast Manhunter 47 LE 9
46 Tsucora Quori 67 LE 10
47 Ultroloth 62 LE 12

I think part of my disappointment was the number of resculpts. I'd rather have one of the monsters off my wish list than another variant werewolf, shambling mound or dire wolf. Rounding out the dragons was helpful, and good to have some mephits, but there really were not very many minis in this set that I'd consider must haves if I weren't commmitted to collecting.

Highlights include the Ice Elemental, the cleric of Sune, the bat familiars, and the female tiefling. I think the one miniature I was excited about getting was the Ultroloth, but of course, that's one of the three I didn't get.

If there were one miniature in this set that really represents the entire Unhallowed release, it is the Large Astral Construct. Pointless and unexciting.

I think, other than the choice of monsters to represent, the thing that is worst about the set is that more than any other there doesn't seem to have been a consistent scale. Is the Vampire Hunter a half-giant? The same is true of a lot of the humanoid characters, they are just way too big to be in the same scale as previous releases. Only the Cleric of Sune, the flying carpet guy, and the Strahd Zombie seem to be around the right size compared to previous releases that claimed to be 28mm.

Take the Werewolf Lord for is gigantic. Literally, it is more massive in size than the Stone Giant Runecarver. It might be interesting to have a lycantrhopic giant, but normal lycanthropy doesn't increase your body mass by a factor of ten or more. The fire mephits are too big.

I thought Van Richten was a mousey little fellow, not an armor clad half-giant cleric more suited to physical combat than scholarly monstrology. Don't even get me started on how poorly done the Strahd is.

Let's hope that Night Below returns us to the high standards set by previous releases. I'm not likely to continue feeling good about dropping a couple hundred bucks to get a complete set of disappointing plastics to complete a collection...especially after finding out that WOTC has already done a reprint of Underdark and therefore the collectibility of the sets is questionable anyway.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Well, my three cases of minis arrived today. I have to say this is the first set of minis I've been less than beside myself with anticipation over. I don't know what it is...maybe it was seeing the complete set so much earlier than the release date because of the spoilers from D&D XP.

Or maybe it is the focus on the Undead.

I just wish there were a few more monsters from the old school canon. Well, maybe after I've opened all the little boxes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stargate? Indeed.

Well, Second Edition AD&D isn't my only geek fetish.

I must confess to those who might be like minded that I am also a Stargate SG-1 fan.

My wife thinks this is because I was too weak to do anything but stare at the Sci-Fi Channel SG-1 Marathon last year when I had pneumonia...I think it is because Richard Dean Anderson's protrayal of a gray haired hero is the finest since George Peppard's Banacek, and that is only because I think Banacek was better than Peppard in the role of Hannibal on The A-Team.

At any rate, I've now watched all 9 seasons available on DVD...not quite in one sitting, but close. I am ready for the next stage.

Re-enacting. Or, pretending, as my wife calls it.

Being blessed with more gray hair than I want, I'm drawn to TV characters that can still make me feel vicariously virile, suave, and top of the bill leading manly.

Whatever the reason, my obsessive compulsive nature and love of pretending has led me to also aquire my very own SG-1 uniforms. That's right, plural, because someone like me needs to have the Olive Drab, the 3-color Desert, and the Black off-world jackets. And the pants. And the patches. And the hats. And the utility vest. And the holsters. And the fake guns. And the goggles. And the boots in both black and desert tan. And the smug grin that only an adult who can finally afford the toys he wanted as a kid can sport. Exactly the same grin that Banacek made famous.

You can get them too, with a modicum of eBay searching, and the links above. The company doing the tricked out jackets linked above isn't selling them yet, and if (like me) you can't wait, you can get excellent raw vesions of the G8 WEP flight jackets here and then attach the patches yourself. Be sure to order ONLY the Mountain Cloth version. If they don't have them in stock, they will make them to order in about three weeks. Then get some patches and velcro and you're good to go off world! They don't do the 3-color desert, but for under $300 you can get both the black and olive drab. I did. And for under $100 I got a 3-color desert mock up from a polish guy on eBay. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

More info here

Even more info here.

Ok, so that's a little peek into my non-dice rolling obsessions.


Monday, March 05, 2007

2E Citation Project

I am working on a comprehensive citation list for 2E monsters. I will make this a "sticky" thread, you can find it through the labels in the sidebar under Citation Project.

Dragon Mountain Boxed Set
Drow of the Underdark
MC 8= Monstrous Compendium: The Outer Planes
MCA 1= Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume One
MCA 2= Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume Two
Monstrous Manual
Mystara MC Appendix= Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix
Planescape Campaign Setting
Planes of Chaos

  • Aballin (MCA 1)
  • Aboleth Savant (Night Below, MCA 2)
  • Abyss Ants (MCA 1)
  • Abyssal Lord: Graz'zt (Planes of Chaos)
  • Abyssal Lord: Pazrael aka "Pazzuzu" (Planes of Chaos)
  • Actaeon (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Addazahr (MCA 2)
  • Afnac (MCA 1)
  • Agarat (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Al-Jahar (Dazzle) (MCA 1)
  • Aleax (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Amiq Rasol (MCA 2)
  • Arch Shadow (MCA 2)
  • Ash Crawler (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Asrai (Planes of Chaos)
  • Astral Searcher (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Axebeak (MCA 2)
  • Bacchae (Planes of Chaos)
  • Baelnorn (MCA 1)
  • Baldandar (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Balucitherium (MCA 2)
  • Baneguard (MCA 1)
  • Banelar (MCA 1)
  • Bargda (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Barghest (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Bat, Deep (Drow of the Underdark)

    • Azmyth (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Night Hunter (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Sinister (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Werebat (see Lycanthrope)

  • Bat: Sporbat (MCA 2)
  • Beetle: Dragon (MCA 2)
  • Bhut (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Bi-Nou (MCA 2)
  • Bird, Talking (MCA 1)
  • Blackball (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Blazing Bones (MCA 1)
  • Boggle (MCA 2)
  • Brain Collector (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Brownie: Dobie (MCA 2)
  • Brownie: Quickling (MCA 2)
  • Campestri (MCA 1)
  • Carrionette (MCA 1)
  • Cat: Crypt (MCA 2)
  • Cat, Greater: Cath Shee (MCA 2)
  • Cat, Winged (MCA 1)
  • Cayman (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Centaur-Kin: Dorvesh (MCA 2)
  • Centaur-kin: Gnoat (MCA 2)
  • Centaur-kin: Ha'Pony (MCA 2)
  • Centaur-kin: Zebranaur (MCA 2)
  • Chameleon Man (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Chaos Beast (Planes of Chaos)
  • Chaos Imp (Planes of Chaos)
  • Chevall (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Chitine (MCA 1)
  • Choker (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Coltpixie (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Chrone of Chaos (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Cranium Rat (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Crypt Servant (MCA 1)
  • Curst (MCA 2)
  • Dabus (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Darkhood (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Darktentacles (MCA 2)
  • Darkwing (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Decapus (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Deep Glaurant (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Deity: Drow

    • Eilistraee (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Ghaunadaur (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Lolth (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Vhaeraun (Drow of the Underdark)

  • Diabolus (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Dinosaur: Allosaurus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Brontosaurus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Ceratosaurus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Compsognathus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Dimetrodon (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Euparkeria (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Gorgosaurus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Iguanadon (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Monoclonius (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Plateosaurus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Struthiomimus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Tanystropheus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Teratosaurus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur: Trachodon(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Archelon (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Dinichthys(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Mosasaurus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Nothosaurus(MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Plesiousaurus (MCA 2)
  • Dinosaur, Aquatic: Tenbidibtisaurus(MCA 2)
  • Dog: Bog Hound (MCA 2)
  • Dog: Moor Hound (MCA 2)
  • Dog: Saluqi (MCA 1)
  • Doppleganger, Greater (MCA 2)
  • Dragon: Brine (MCA 2)
  • Dragon: Crystalline (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Dragon: Deep (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Dragon: Electrum (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Fang (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Gem

    • Jade (Mystara MC Appendix)
    • Onyx (Mystara MC Appendix)
    • Ruby (Mystara MC Appendix)

  • Dragon: Linnorm, Corpse Tearer (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Dread (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Flame (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Forest (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Frost (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Gray (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Land (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Midgard (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Rain (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Linnorm, Sea (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Neutral, Jacinth (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Neutral, Jade (MCA 1)
  • Dragon: Neutral, Pearl (MCA 1)
  • Dragon-kin (MCA 1)
  • Dragon-kin: Half-Dragon (MCA 2)
  • Dragon-kin: Sea Wyrm (MCA 2)
  • Dragonfly (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Drake (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Dread (MCA 1)
  • Dusanu (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Dwarf: Undead (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Dwarf: Wild (MCA 2)
  • Ekimmu (MCA 2)
  • Elemental: Earth Weird (MCA 1)
  • Elemental: Nature (MCA 2)
  • Elemental: Sandman (MCA 1)
  • Elemental: Wind Walker (MCA 1)
  • Elemental of Chaos: Eolian (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Chaos: Erdeen (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Chaos: Pyrophor (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Chaos: Undine (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Law: Anemo (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Law: Helion (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Law: Hydrax (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental of Law: Kryst (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Elemental Kin, Earth: Crysmal (MCA 1)
  • Elemental Vermin (MCA 1)
  • Elf: Winged (Avariel) (MCA 2)
  • Familiar: Aryth (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Familiar: Bogan (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Familiar: Fylgar (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Familiar: Gretch (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Familiar: Ulzaq (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Fensir (Planes of Chaos)
  • Feystag (MCA 1)
  • Fish: Floating Eye (MCA 2)
  • Fish: Hetfish (MCA 2)
  • Fish: Masher (MCA 2)
  • Fish: Verme (MCA 2)
  • Fish, Subterranean: Wattley (MCA 2)
  • Fish, Subterranean: Lemon Fish (MCA 2)
  • Fish, Subterranean: Irridescent Plecoe (MCA 2)
  • Flameskull (MCA 1)
  • Flareater (MCA 2)
  • Flumph (MCA 2)
  • Foulwing (MCA 1)
  • Froghemoth (MCA 2)
  • Frost Salamander (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Fundamental Air/Earth/Fire/Water (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Gambado (MCA 1)
  • Garbug (MCA 1)
  • Gargantua (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Gator Man (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Genie, Tasked: Administrator (MCA 1)
  • Genie, Tasked: Deceiver (MCA 1)
  • Genie, Tasked: Harim Servant (MCA 1)
  • Genie, Tasked: Messenger (MCA 1)
  • Genie, Tasked: Miner (MCA 1)
  • Genie, Tasked: Oathbinder (MCA 1)
  • Geonid (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Ghost: Casura (MCA 2)
  • Ghost: Ker (MCA 2)
  • Ghostly Horde (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Ghul, Great (MCA 2)
  • Ghul-kin: Soultaker (MCA 2)
  • Ghul-kin: Witherer (MCA 2)
  • Giant: Athach (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Giant: Hephaeston (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Giant-kin: Half-giant (Athasian) (MCA 2)
  • Gibbering Mouther (MCA 1)
  • Gnasher (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Gnasher, Winged (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Golem: Amber (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Brain (MCA 1)
  • Golem: Burning Man (MCA 2)
  • Golem: Drolem (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Hammer (MCA 1)
  • Golem: Iron Gargoyle (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Metagolem (MCA 1)
  • Golem: Phantom Flyer (MCA 2)
  • Golem: Spiderstone (MCA 1)
  • Golem: Mud (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Rock (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Silver (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Golem: Skeletal (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Gorynych (MCA 1)
  • Gray Philosopher (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Greelox (MCA 1)
  • Guardian Warrior (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Gulguthydra (MCA 2)
  • Gyerian (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Hakeashar (MCA 2)
  • Helmed Horror (MCA 1)
  • Herex (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Hivebrood (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Horde (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Horse: Moon Horse (MCA 2)
  • Howler (Planes of Chaos)
  • Hsiao (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Human: Dragon Slayer (MCA 2)
  • Human: Vistana (MCA 2)
  • Huptzeen (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Hutaakan (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Ice Crab (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Illithid (see Mind Flayer)
  • Imp: Wood (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Imp: Bog (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Imp: Garden (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Irish Deer (MCA 2)
  • Jarbo (MCA 1)
  • Jellyfish: Giant (MCA 2)
  • Jellyfish: Death's Head (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Jellyfish: Galley (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Jellyfish: Marauder (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Kalin (MCA 2)
  • Kna (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Kholiathra (MCA 2)
  • Kopru (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Laerti (MCA 2)
  • Laerti, Stingtail (MCA 2)
  • Lake Monster: Undead (MCA 1)
  • Laraken (MCA 1)
  • Leucrotta, Greater (MCA 2)
  • Lich, Psionic (MCA 1)
  • Lich, Suel (MCA 2)
  • Lillend (Planes of Chaos)
  • Living Statue: Crystal (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Iron (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Jade (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Ooze (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Rock (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Silver (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Statue: Steel (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Living Steel (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Lizard: Draco (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Giant Footpad (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Giant Gecko (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Lava (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Rockhome (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Giant Tuatara (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard: Xytar (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lizard-kin (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lock Lurker (MCA 1)
  • Loxo (MCA 1)
  • Lupin (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lurker, Shadow (MCA 2)
  • Lycanthrope: Loup du Noir (MCA 1)
  • Lycanthrope: Werebadger (MCA 1)
  • Lycanthrope: Werejaguar (Mystara MC Appendix, MCA 1)
  • Lycanthrope: Werepanther (MCA 2)
  • Lycanthrope: Wereshark (MCA 2)
  • Lycanthrope: Wereswine (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Lythlyx (MCA 1)
  • Magebane (MCA 1)
  • Magen (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Magman (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Magpie (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Mammal, Giant: Badger (MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Beaver(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Boar(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Hyena (MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Porcupine (MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Otter(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Skunk(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Stag(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Weasle(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Giant: Wolverine(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Bull(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Caribou(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Goat(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Hippopotamus(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Llama(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Ram(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Rhino w/ 1 horn(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Rhino w/2 horns(MCA 2)
  • Mammal, Herd: Stag (MCA 2)
  • Manikin (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Marl (MCA 2)
  • Marrashi (MCA 1)
  • Meenlock (MCA 2)
  • Megatherium (MCA 2)
  • Mek (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Metalmaster (Swordslug) (MCA 1)
  • Mimic, Greater (MCA 2)
  • Mimic: House Hunter (MCA 1)
  • Mind Flayer: Ulitharid (Noble Illithid) (MCA 1)
  • Minion of Set (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Modron (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Mold: Deep (MCA 2)
  • Mold: Gray (MCA 2)
  • Mold: Death (MCA 2)
  • Mujina (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Mummy, Creature: Animal (MCA 2)
  • Mummy, Creature: Monster (MCA 2)
  • Murska (Planes of Chaos)
  • Myrlochar (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Naga: Bone (MCA 1)
  • Nagpa (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Nautilus, Giant (MCA 1)
  • Nic'Epona (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Nightshade (See Wood Woses or Wood Woad)
  • Nightshade: Nightcrawler (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Nightshade: Nihgtwalker (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Nightshade: Nightwing (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Nishruu (MCA 1)
  • Noran (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Nuckalavee (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Nyth (MCA 2)
  • Ooze, Slime, Jelly: Ghaunadan (MCA 2)
  • Ophidian (MCA 1)
  • Opinicus (MCA 1)
  • Oread (Planes of Chaos)
  • Ormyrr (MCA 1)
  • Palimpsest (MCA 2)
  • Parasite: Bloodring (MCA 1)
  • Parasite: Ear Seeker (MCA 1)
  • Parasite: Goldbug (MCA 1)
  • Parasite: Wizard Lice (MCA 1)
  • Parasite: Vilirij (MCA 1)
  • Pasari-Niml (MCA 1)
  • Pedipalp (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Pegataur (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Peltast (MCA 2)
  • Phanaton (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Phororhacos (MCA 2)
  • Piranha Bird (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Plant: Amber Lotus (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Plant: Archer Bush (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Plant: Bloodthorn (MCA 2)
  • Plant: Boring Grass (MCA 2)
  • Plant: Chronolily (MCA 2)
  • Plant: Firethorn (MCA 2)
  • Plant: Grab Grass (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Plant: Twilight Bloom (MCA 2)
  • Plant: Vampire Moss (MCA 1)
  • Plant: Vampire Rose (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Plasm (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Pteraman (MCA 1)
  • Pudding: Dense (MCA 2)
  • Pudding: Gray (MCA 2)
  • Pudding: Stone (MCA 2)
  • Raggamoffyn (MCA 2)
  • Rakasta (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Ratatosk (Planes of Chaos)
  • Rautym (MCA 1)
  • Rhinoceros, Wooly (MCA 2)
  • Rock Man (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Rothe, Deep (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Sabreclaw (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Sacrol (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Scaladar (MCA 2)
  • Scamille (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shadeling (MCA 1)
  • Shapeshifter: Adaptor (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shapeshifter: Metamorph (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shapeshifter: Polymar (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shapeshifter: Randara (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shargugh (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Shark-kin (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Sis'thik (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Skum (MCA 1)
  • Snake: Giant Cobra (MCA 1)
  • Snake: Herald (MCA 2)
  • Snake: Serpent Vine (MCA 2)
  • Snake: Stone (MCA 1)
  • Snake: Teak (MCA 2)
  • Solifugid (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Sollux (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spectral Death (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spectral Hound (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spectral Wizard (MCA 1)
  • Spell Weaver (MCA 1)
  • Sphinx: Draco- (MCA 2)
  • Spider: Brain (Dragon Mountain, MCA 1)
  • Spider: Brain, Giant (Home Brew)
  • Spider, Subterranean (Drow of the Underdark)

    • Hairy (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Hunting (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Sword (Drow of the Underdark)
    • Watch(Drow of the Underdark)

  • Spider: Wraith (MCA 2)
  • Spider-kin: Aranea (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spider-kin: Planar Spider (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spider-kin: Plopped (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spider-kin: Rhagodessa (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spirit: Druj (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spirit: Odic (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Spirit of the Air (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Spitting Crawler (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Sprackle (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Sprite: Seelie Faerie (MCA 2)
  • Sprite: Unseelie Faerie (MCA 2)
  • Squealer (MCA 2)
  • Squeaker (MCA 1)
  • Stwinger (MCA 1)
  • Surtaki (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Suwtze (MCA 1)
  • Tabi (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Tanar'ri, Greater: Goristro (Planes of Chaos)
  • Tanar'ri, Lesser: Armanite (Planes of Chaos)
  • Tatalla (MCA 1)
  • Thoul (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Thunderhead (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Tick, Heart (MCA 1)
  • Tiger, Ebon (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Titanothere (MCA 2)
  • Topi (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Tortle, Snapper (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Tree: Dark (MCA 1)
  • Tree: Death's Head (MCA 1)
  • Tree: Singing (MCA 1)
  • Tressym (MCA 1)
  • Trioband's Automaton: Ferragam (MCA 2)
  • Trioband's Automaton: Silversann (MCA 2)
  • Trioband's Automaton: Thanatar (MCA 2)
  • Troll: Snow (MCA 1)
  • Turtle, Giant: Sea (MCA 2)
  • Turtle, Giant: Snapping (MCA 2)
  • Tuyewera (MCA 1)
  • Umpleby (MCA 2)
  • Varrangoin (Planes of Chaos)
  • Velya (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Viper Tree (Planes of Chaos)
  • Vizier's Turban (MCA 2)
  • Vortex (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Wall-Walker (MCA 2)
  • Webbird (MCA 2)
  • Whipsting (MCA 1)
  • White Fang (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Windghost (MCA 1)
  • Wolf: Dread (MCA 1)
  • Wolf: Stone (MCA 1)
  • Wolf: Vampiric (MCA 1)
  • Wolf: Zombie (MCA 1)
  • Wood Woad (Wood Woses) (MCA 1)
  • Worm: Annelid, Great (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Worm: Caecillia (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Worm: Fyrsnaca (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Worm: Red (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Worm: Slime (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Wraith: Shimmering (MCA 1)
  • Wyrd: (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Xantravar (Stinging Horror) (MCA 1)
  • Xaver (MCA 1)
  • Yak-Man (Yikaria) (MCA 2)
  • Yellow Musk Creeper & Zombie (MC1)
  • Yeti (MC1)
  • Yochlol (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Yowler (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Yuanti (MC 1)

    • Yuanti Pureblood (MC 1)
    • Yuanti Half-breed (MC 1)
    • Yuanti Abomination (MC 1)
    • Histachi (Monstrous Manual p. 370)

  • Yugoloth, General (MC8)
  • Yugoloth, Greater: Ultroloth (MC8)
  • Yugoloth, Lesser: Canoloth (3E MM3 p. 200)
  • Yugoloth, Lesser: Marraenoloth (Planescape Campaign Setting)
  • Yugoloth, Lesser: Mezzoloth (MC8)

  • Zombie: Lightning (Mystara MC Appendix)
  • Zorbo (MCA 2)

In the comments, please give accurate citations for where monster stats can be found in 2E products (or other products for conversion, such as 1E and 3E). As comments and citations are added, I will up date this post accordingly. Bold indicates a monster I have a figure for. Red indicates a monster only found in 3E, italics indicate monsters found in 1E, which have been converted into stats for my comprhensive 2E Monstrous Manual. Emphasis on monsters for which I have miniatures.

Corrections and additions gratefully received, with citations.)


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reaper to launch new pre-painted plastics

My friend Matt Clark, who works at Reaper, has been a little frustrated by my obessive desire to collect the pre-painted plastic minis from WOTC. We've had lots of conversations about why I collect them, especially if the paint jobs are not always that great and the minis frequently are bent, out of scale, and disappointing.

Here are some of the main justifications I've given him--ranked roughly in order.

1) I am obsessive compulsive. Nobody can really do anything about that.

2) As a DM who runs a figure based role playing campaign world, I need lots and lots of monsters in order to keep it interesting. It takes only as long as the line at the counter or the wait for delivery to get a metal mini, but it can take hours to paint it even well enough to use as a game piece, let alone a display mini. The plastic ones can be used right out of the box and minor painted details make repaints distinguishable from the factory version.

3) If you buy them first run, in bulk, and sell the duplicates on eBay, getting large numbers of usable monsters is very inexpensive, averaging around a dollar a mini or less where as metal minis are closer to $3 a piece.

4) Because WOTC agressively protects its trademarks and copyrights (if you don't believe me, as someone who worked at Ral Partha when they took TSR over), only the WOTC figures are going to be similar to the official artwork and game materials I'm using. This isn't a plus, it is just a reason to choose WOTC when I need a specific monster. In fact, it is closer to a minus.

Now, all that being said, I have some major complaints about WOTC as well.

1) It is frustrating that their collectibility means that if you don't buy in bulk when they are released, you are screwed in terms of that inexpenive plus. I didn't start buying until Abberrations, and I've seen a Harbinger umberhulk go for $125 on eBay.

2) It is maddening that WOTC reserves the right to reprint their collectible minis, as they recently did with Underdark, so you don't know if paying huge dollars for a "retired" mini is going to be wasted because at any time they could reprint that series. Once a set is retired and until they decide to secretly reprint, those monsters are unavailable to you except at high secondary market costs.

3) The paint jobs are not always very good or consistent, and you don't want to reprint for fear of ruining the collectibility of that mini--but then they might reprint anyway, so who cares? Unless they don't. See what I mean?

4) The 3E artwork on which they are based is not as close to my heart as the 2E and 1E artwork I prefer. Which is even more frustrating because WOTC also owns those copyrights and isn't going to release minis that look like them.

5) The WOTC minis are made in China, and I am morally opposed to sending so much manufacturing to China where labor conditions are almost uniformly terrible, wages are awful, and the only reason to send manufacturing jobs out of the USA is because you think that Americans won't do the job for the wage you think you have to offer to make the price low enough for people to buy the product, thereby passing blame (as well as the savings) on to the consumer. For myself, I'm willing to pay a little more to employ Americans and not support wage slavery in other nations. I don't know what the working conditions are in the Chinese factory WOTC uses, but it is in China, and that bothers me.

So, these complaints and arguments for were duly noted by my friend. I don't know if they trickled up, but he recently wrote me to check out the Reaper website for news that would gladden my heart.

Reaper is releasing a series of Prepainted Plastic Miniatures!

This new product line will be released under the brand name Legendary Encounters™.

Offered in an open, non-blind, non-random format, Legendary Encounters™ prepainted plastic miniatures will be packaged using Reaper's standard blister card. Both single and multiple piece packs will be offered.

Unlike the several existing blind-sale prepainted plastic miniature lines currently available, Legendary Encounters™ will not be produced on a limited edition basis and will be available at any time.

I don't know for sure if they are correct that their minis will quickly become the most popular prepainted plastic miniatures on the market, but if the paint jobs are consistently better than WOTC, and Reaper really cares about paint, they stand a chance. They won't be "tournament legal" for WOTC D&D mini gaming, but not everyone plays in official tournaments. If they came up with some sort of easily convertable system of stat cards, it could really be a nice way to expand the D&D gaming kids are already doing with their WOTC minis.

I hope they concentrate on monsters, rather than PCs, that way they will be catering to the underserved DM crowd who need large numbers of monsters...all a player needs to buy is one metal mini. (Don't you wish players would occaisionally donate to the monster fund? But I guess that isn't in their best interest...)

Personally, I would love it if the Legendary Encounters™ would have a lot of minis (close enough to avoid infringement) based on the artwork from the old TSR MM, MMII, and Fiend Folio, as well as the art from the 2E compediums. Much of that artwork WOTC is never going to use. (Click on the Wish List link in the sidebar if you want some specific suggestions)

The initial release in June will include: Undead and Orc warriors of various types, an Ogre, Troll and Minotaur. Not the kind of list that will immediately scream "I need that monster in plastic!" but they are the kinds of monsters that DMs need a lot of.

There is an old maxim in minis, called Merric's Law of Miniatures. "Non-Random Packaging, Cheap Prices, and a Large Range of Figures: Choose two."

Hopefully Reaper will prove this maxim false, but it doesn't sound like they will be doing 60-80 figs at a time. I'm fine with that so long as the ones they do release are useful. It might be interesting if they were to do something that would make the figures customizable as they do with many of their metal figs--multiple head choices or something. That way a limited range becomes a larger one.

Perhaps the best idea for them would be to check out which of the "retired" WOTC minis are selling for the most on eBay and to make a similar miniautre for which the free downloadable stat cards from the WOTC website could be used. This would be true of especially the rares and Epics. I'd love to have balors and pit fiends that were inexpensive to buy and anyone who plays the DDM game could just use the free stat cards from WOTC to play them instead of dropping $30 a mini to get the "official" figure.

I hope that this venture by Reaper is successful, and that it creates more interplay rather than rivalry between the two companies.

I also hope that, like their metal minis, Reaper makes their plastic line in the USA.