In our fourth edition of Designer Diaries, co-designer Nicholas Yu walks us through the power and limitations behind the Many-Arrows faction in Dungeons & Dragons: Onslaught. 

Not all orc chieftains are bent on destruction: King Obould Many-Arrows forged a tenuous alliance with his dwarf neighbors and helped maintain peace in the Silver Marches during his tumultuous reign. King Obould of the Many-Arrows tribe is a legend among the orc war chiefs of the Forgotten Realms, and he is the most famous orc chief in the history of the D&D game. 

The members of the Many-Arrows are tough and hardy. We wanted them to be Onslaught’s premiere melee faction. They find ways to get up close and personal and then hit hard when they’re there; however, their ranged options are pretty limited. They also don’t have a lot of Armor Class, but they make up for it with plenty of Hit Points. 

The iconic Many-Arrows character in their core faction pack is Pa’Maljax. He’s a Totem Warrior Barbarian who venerates the eagle, so he gets some extra movement and a special extra-tanky version of Rage (which he can even extend with the help of a level-up). He’ll lead the charge for his team but has no ranged options. 

Yevolda the Unbroken is an Oath of the Ancients Paladin. Like Pa’Maljax, she doesn’t have a Ranged Basic Attack, but she can inflict the Rooted condition on enemies at range with Nature’s Wrath so that she and her friends can close the gap. She also has Ensnaring Strike to guarantee that enemies stay nearby and Rooted. Oh, and she also has a bonus to hit Rooted enemies! 

Klonk Glowfist is a speedy Sunfire Soul Monk who gives the Many-Arrows some ranged options. He also has the ability to affect multiple enemies with Flurry of Blows and Searing Sunburst, but the real reason to play him is what is possibly the most ride-or-die critical effect in the game. When he gets a critical success, he gets to make a free attack, and the chain can keep going if you keep rolling natural 20s! 

Brinh Two-Axe is the kind of Ranger that’s more about dual-wielding axes than the ranged part of ranging. Her name might be considered a slight misnomer because she has another pair of axes on her belt, but she can only use two at a time, and those belt axes are for throwing at people, so they don’t really count in her mind. She specializes in hitting you with an axe, and then hitting you with another axe. Female bugbears are also pretty rare sculpts, so we’re happy to create one for Onslaught! 

Snuks Treefriend is both a friend to trees and to her Many-Arrows compatriots as the faction’s base Healer. Her Thorn Whip helps pull enemies in closer and her Goodberries help keep nearby allies topped up on HP. And, of course, she can Wild Shape into a Bear to dole out some additional pain in melee because that’s pretty on-brand for the Many-Arrows. 

Finally, we have our hard rock goblin, Pluq the Spirits Bard. He’s got a little bit of everything to help his team as the resident Tactician. His Basic Ranged Attack doesn’t deal any damage, but it does Root. He can protect allies from damage from adjacent enemies and he can also let his friends take a free swing! His reaction also lets an ally re-roll attack dice! And, when all else fails, he’s pretty handy with his spiked club. 

Do you prefer honest, direct confrontation over shady misdirection? Do you enjoy running straight up into your opponent’s grill to bully them up close? Do you play big Green creatures in Magic: The Gathering? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, the Many-Arrows might just be the ideal Onslaught faction for you.