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Miniatures Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons Supplement) Hardcover – October 1, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Tweet is best known for his work on the most recent edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, including co-authoring the Player's Handbook. He also helped develop the new D&D miniatures product line.

Bruce R. Cordell, an Origins award-winning author, has written over a dozen products, including Return to the Tomb of Horrors, The Sunless Citadel, and the Epic Level Handbook.

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Product Details

  • Series: D&D Miniatures Product
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786932813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786932818
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter T. Lee on October 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of the recently released D&D Miniatures, and I've had high hopes for this book. In the end, I'm a bit disappointed. A first impression is that only half the book is really any good, and a lot of areas have potential but need to be more developed.
There are four new base classes introduced to the game. Two of them I think are excellent, a combat support class called the Marshal and a Cleric with a sorcerer style called a Favored Soul. Another class, called the Healer, doesn't seem to add much to the game, while the final class is a combat oriented spellcaster that makes me think "Munchkin Class". The prestige classes are no different. I think the War Chief prestige class is perfect for Orc or Bugbear horde leaders and a great addition to D&D. On the other hand, the War Hulk prestige class seems monodimentional and a bit overpowered.
There are new spells and magic items. New spells such as several "Legion" spells which cast familiar effects to large numbers are a nice addition, but there are two lower level teleport spells which seems very easy to abuse in a roleplaying setting. (The caster has the ability to switch positions with another person.) None of the magic items jump out as being extraordinary but may be a pleasant addition to a campaign.
Lots of new monsters are introduced, such as Aspects of Gods which give lower CR combats for those wanting an epic feeling battle. This is probably the strongest section of the Miniature Handbook.
The rest of the book is a bit of a disappointment. They reprint much of the rules that you can pick up in a D&D Miniature game Entry Pack. There are some additions, like a bunch of extra scenerios, but in the end I think it's a bit of a waste of space.
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Format: Hardcover
....I bought this book because I have recently become a great fan (and player) of the D&D Skirmish miniatures game, and I knew the guide had some great explanations of the combat rules for the game, to include diagrams. I was right about that - the diagrams are excellent, but the book falls short in a few areas. For one, the book's organization is terrible. It doesn't even have an index - a HUGE oversight for a book that is supposed to be a quick reference for questions that come up during a Skirmish battle. Second, some of the combat explanations are a bit vague. For attacks of opportunity (which are a LOT different in Skirmish than they are in D&D, and hence sometimes confusing) and for cover/line of sight rules particularly, I've found I had to look in up to three different places to find resolution of a particular tactical situation. And I wonder, for a book titled "Miniature Handbook", why are the miniatures rules buried in the middle, instead of right up front?? That makes no sense to me. The content of this section gets about a B+, but organization is definitely an D-.
....The other two sections of the book are for mass combat and miscellaneous prestige classes, etc. The mass combat section is nice but organized as poorly as the miniatures section. It might be useful to someone who injects mass battles into his D&D campaign, something that many of us don't. The front section with the prestige classes I found to be particularly bland. I would have liked to see some classes and items related to tactical and strategic commanders, magic items that give leadership bonuses, etc. This section definitely fell short.
....All in all, if you would like a fairly good reference to supplement the little pamphlet that came with your D&D Miniatures Starter Set, this book might be for you. Otherwise, it's really just a minor supplement to your D&D campaign and in most cases should be skipped.
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Format: Hardcover
I like this book far too much for my own good, and I don't even play the miniatures game.

Why do I have it, then? Outside of a desire for completeness?

Well, about one quarter of the book is filled with useful goodies for D&D itself. There are four new core classes, all but one of which are spontaneous casters. There's the Favored Soul (a spontaneous divine caster with ALL GOOD SAVES), the Healer (which, predictably, specializes in healing...it's been referred to as the "girlfriend class", and even gets a unicorn companion!), and the Warmage (who throws damage spells like they're going out of style). There's also the Marshal, which helps the other party members do their jobs better.

The prestige classes are very good, too. In fact, the real reason I'm so in love with this book is the Skullclan Hunter, which is a rogue prestige class that can sneak attack undead. This is wonderful, as normally undead are immune to sneak attacks. The SkH is still useful, too, outside of that specialty. Other notable classes are the unfortunately-named Tactical Soldier (great for people who thrive on teamwork, and wonderful for your cohort to go in), Havoc Mage (a short PrC that lets you cast in armor and at the same time you make an attack), the Warchief (leading tribes of humanoids, making them tougher and getting more charismatic), and the Warhulk. The latter is also quite fun; it's for Large and bigger creatures, has NO Base Attack accumulation, but gets +2 Strength/level and nifty special attacks that're modeled after Sauron's attacks from the Fellowship of the Ring prologue. Sadly, it's easily abused, but I like that sort of stuff anyway.
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