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Pathfinder Battles Preview: Spooky Salutations!

Friday, October 28, 2011

All-Hallow’s Eve is almost upon us, so I’ve decided to shake up the regular preview regime and show off a few spooooooooky Pathfinder Battles miniatures from the forthcoming Heroes & Monsters set, regardless of their distribution rarity within the set.

First up is the Zombie, one of the most iconic horror creatures of all time. We figured that most GMs would appreciate a horde of these undead critters, so we’ve placed him in the common rarity—the better to overrun your player characters, of course!

This guy was a real struggle to get right. The first digital sculpts we received had his hands in the air like he was some kind of dancing fool, but after a bit of tweaking I think he’s finally in a correct “grasp/lunge” sort of stance. The photo doesn’t quite do justice to the details on this figure. Parts of his skull and ribcage are peeking through holes in his rotted skin. Yuck!

Next up we have the Werewolf, a fearsome foe from myth and legend. This lupine horror lunges straight at your player characters with one set of claws up in the air for a killing strike! I especially like the way that the Werewolf still has remnants of his human outfit, such as the torn bits of his pants around the waist and the single leather bracer on his left hand. WizKids has also added a nice drybrushing effect to highlight the contours of the rare Werewolf’s fur. And though I don’t have a photo to show this week, gamers will be happy to know that the regular Wolf in this set has exactly the same color fur, meaning that you could use both miniatures to represent different stages of the Werewolf’s lycanthropy.

Lastly we have a creepy rare critter that you definitely don’t want showing up outside your door whispering “trick or treat.” Keeping the door shut won’t keep him out, because he is incorporeal and can walk right though! Beware, the Spectre!

Super-dedicated Pathfinder fans might notice that this Spectre miniature is not based on the Spectre illustration in the Pathfinder Bestiary. That’s probably OK, I reasoned, since the illustration of that creature in the Bestiary wasn’t originally a Spectre either, and its wispy bottom half and dwarf upper half didn’t strike the right pose for a miniature, anyway. Knowing that we needed a Spectre in our set, we looked through our entire art archive and pulled the best-looking “spectral dead” image we could find. Thus was born this nasty critter, who can double for just about any type of incorporeal undead in the game.

Yes, it would be an even cooler miniature if we’d figured out some way to incorporate transparent plastic into the figure, but for this first set we didn’t have the time to do that kind of trickery.

I’m happy to report that that isn’t the case for future sets, however, and plenty of creepy and cool minis with see-through bits are just over the horizon

So there you have it. Three of the creepiest minis from Heroes & Monsters, soon to be appearing on your gaming table. They won’t make it in time to share Halloween with you, but since they’re scheduled for a December release, I suggest making room for them at Christmas dinner.

I hear they’re ravenous.

Next Week: I reveal photos of some of the set’s amazing common creatures!

Erik Mona
Publisher

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Miniatures Pathfinder Battles Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Undead

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps Subscriber

Sweet job on the specter. I like how it's not a transparent full bodied baddie. You can tell it's humanoid, but no longer entirely so. It looks spectral and ghostly, instead of like a walking on two legs, transparent humanoid.

I'd love the transparent treatment though for future spectral baddies. :)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So just out of curiosity, from a truly ignorant perspective, are the bases on the figures necessary from a manufacturing standpoint or added after-the-fact as a convenience for users (to ensure they stand up etc.)?

Just asking because personally I like these better without bases.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
jreyst wrote:

So just out of curiosity, from a truly ignorant perspective, are the bases on the figures necessary from a manufacturing standpoint or added after-the-fact as a convenience for users (to ensure they stand up etc.)?

Just asking because personally I like these better without bases.

Good luck with that werewolf without a base. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Some of the figures can stand on their own (the Werewolf is actually fine in this regard), while others are too top-heavy or have a lifted foot or something that would make things trickier.

The "pads" on the bottom of the feet are generally there to keep the minis stable on their base, but with a hot exacto knife you should be able to cut them free if you wish. Since the figures are not attached directly to the base as part of the same sculpt, it's also true that they are less likely to snap at the ankles if they get jostled in your minis bag.

I am "between cases" for my bi-weekly Pathfinder game, so I've been carrying around my minis in plastic ziplock bags. I recently added a bunch of beautiful Rackham Confrontation plastic minis to the mix, and after the first session, and bunch of them broke while in transit due to their too-fragile plastic. We're trying to avoid that kind of thing, and the footpads are part of that process.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the info Erik. Yeah some of them would truly be a pain if they kept falling over but some, like that spectre, look like they'd have no issues minus a base. I'll probably trim whichever ones I think won't have issues staying upright then.


Darn, I had seen this image of a Pathfinder werewolf,

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Fwjw80hPmio/S3AWUacyMyI/AAAAAAAABIs/vhKqQlG18Jk/s 1600-h/Female-Werewolf.jpg

and as a Rare I was hoping that the mini would be based off of that picture.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The very first thing I'm doing is sculpting a basketball and putting it in that Zombies right hand.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To continue my tradition of feeling the impulsive need to comment on each mini as it is unveiled, here we go:

Zombie:
There are so many zombie figures out (metal and plastic) that to come up with a unique pose is certainly challenging, but I think they succeeded. Of course with the greenish skin and ripped torn shorts, it does look to me like Bruce Banner is transforming into the Incredible Hulk.

Werewolf:
To me, this mini looks a little less on the fierce side and a little more on the cartoonish side. Maybe its just me, or just the angle of the picture. His face looks familiar though, and I wonder if I were to paint him brown and stick a roadrunner in front of him, if he would look like ole' Wile E. ? Despite that, I do find it to be a unique sculpt, and cleary he is one werewolf not to be messed with.

Spectre:
Sadly I have no silly comments to make on this guy. It is a very unique spectre sculpt and I agree with Wrik's statement "who can double for just about any type of incorporeal undead ". Erik mentioned that they would have liked to add in transparent plastic and I find this somewhat concerning. I did like the idea of transparent plastic when Wizards introduced it, but after seeing many of the products I realized that the over all appearance of the mini quality went down. Rather than having a fire elemental with red orange and yellow colors - sometimes in a combination of washes and highlighting, instead we got just a transparent orange mini. Even the transparent weapons looked out of place. In fact, I feel very few minis benefited from the transparent plastic (such as the gelatinous cube).

Transparent plastic is a neat idea, but I believe its best when used with restraint. I do understand the economics of figure production though and if you can just plunk out one figure in transparency as opposed to using several paint steps, it means that the time saved can be used on a mini of greater significance. Where Wizards went wrong, is they did produce some "minis of greater significance" that were also just a big lump of transparency. Know where to draw the line! :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

So far the transparent stuff I've seen on the digital sculpts for Rise of the Runelords has been spectacular.... and subtle.

And the Spectre stands perfectly well without a base. One bonus to the base is that it tells you the name of the monster at the bottom. That's bound to be helpful for people who cannot identify a monster just by looking at it.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I think it's the angle of the picture, but I didn't realize it was a werewolf until I read the blog, the fur looked to be very dark green and the shading made it look wet, I thought we had the alligator monster that doesn't have a name from the early webfiction


Gosh, I just want a zillion of all of them.

Cheliax

Erik Mona wrote:
One bonus to the base is that it tells you the name of the monster at the bottom. That's bound to be helpful for people who cannot identify a monster just by looking at it.

I guessed all three minis right off the gate, then again I have been putting skill points (and have as a nerd class skill) Knowledge: Plastic Crack.

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Zombie: "Catch it!"
Werewolf: "Throw it to me, I'm open!"
Spectre: "Penalty!"


So far I count 34 minis that have been identified. That leaves six slots: I wonder what they will be? Perhaps we should start guessing?

I am also not seeing a lot of large figs. So far there is frost giant, ogre, ettin, and troll. I think that is it (unless giant spider is really big). I would think there would need to be some more big figs for the Large Booster Packs.

I think almost all of the minis look great. Can't wait for my case -- I do hope that they do a few more non-humanoid creatures.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zenwar wrote:

So far I count 34 minis that have been identified. That leaves six slots: I wonder what they will be? Perhaps we should start guessing?

I am also not seeing a lot of large figs. So far there is frost giant, ogre, ettin, and troll. I think that is it (unless giant spider is really big). I would think there would need to be some more big figs for the Large Booster Packs.

Don't forget the Chimera. I would guess the Giant Spider would be a Large. That would leave two unidentified large minis.

BTW- The Zombie has a great pose. It looks relatively recently deceased.

The Werewolf is great. It looks to be in complete "I am going to rip your throat apart" mode.

The Specter is cool. It has a bit of a Simian face, maybe a little Planet of the Wraiths. ;)

Later,

Mazra

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Would it be likely to see an undead encounter pack in the future with a dark necromancer? I love these articles and am also waiting patiently for news of the encounter pack sets. Also, will we see a firm shipping/ release date closer to the middle of november?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
zenwar wrote:
So far I count 34 minis that have been identified. That leaves six slots: I wonder what they will be? Perhaps we should start guessing?

Actally 37 have been identified.

(38) if you include the Black Dragon

See: www.pathfinderminis.com


Thank you for your site on the minis, Kor. It is really a great site. You really made a great job and useful for all. I am going to speak about it to the French community.

As regards the mini absentees, I wonder what will be 3 who are not revealed yet too.


Pygon wrote:

Zombie: "Catch it!"

Werewolf: "Throw it to me, I'm open!"
Spectre: "Penalty!"

Pygon, this had me literally laughing out loud.

The zombie looks like he's stretching for his morning workout but overall they're great. The spectre is especially awesome. Transparent minis are cool and all but this guy looks downright scary.

While I like the werewolf, I agree with Kor that there's something slightly off about it. I think it's the eyes. Maybe painting them all red or black/red or something along those lines will make him look more sinister. Overall, though, this set has some great stuff!!


The werewolf looks exactly like the werewolves in Neverwinter Nights 1

Andoran

Erik Mona wrote:

Some of the figures can stand on their own (the Werewolf is actually fine in this regard), while others are too top-heavy or have a lifted foot or something that would make things trickier.

The "pads" on the bottom of the feet are generally there to keep the minis stable on their base, but with a hot exacto knife you should be able to cut them free if you wish. Since the figures are not attached directly to the base as part of the same sculpt, it's also true that they are less likely to snap at the ankles if they get jostled in your minis bag.

I am "between cases" for my bi-weekly Pathfinder game, so I've been carrying around my minis in plastic ziplock bags. I recently added a bunch of beautiful Rackham Confrontation plastic minis to the mix, and after the first session, and bunch of them broke while in transit due to their too-fragile plastic. We're trying to avoid that kind of thing, and the footpads are part of that process.

Wait ... what? I'm sure I'm just misunderstanding but ... these minis are still going on the standard round 1" bases right???


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
Wait ... what? I'm sure I'm just misunderstanding but ... these minis are still going on the standard round 1" bases right???

Yes, they will be on the round bases. The round base will also be containing the name of the mini on the bottom. Wizkids uses far different plastic than WotC though, which causes part of the problem.

WotC's "plastic" is more of a vinal and is much more pliable -- it can be bent without affecting the integrity of the plastic. This is good and bad. Its good because minis don't get broken. Its bad because fine details... especially long strands like swords and staves are much more difficult to keep "realistic" looking and in a set position. (Most of us have found ways around that -- usually involving heating and then sudden cooling of the part).

Wizkid's plastic is much firmer but also more brittle. It is not brittle like the plastic used for Confrontation minis, but if you do push on it too hard it will either fracture or shatter. (I was trying to gently remove a mini once from the base and it broke apart in 4 peices.) In most cases these should not break with regular play use or if transported in a solid container.

The problem with casting the figure and base all as one piece is that any kind of stress at a weak point (such as where the ankles/feet meet the base) there is a greater tendancy for the mini to break at that point.

Unfortunately unlike WotC, Wizkid's glues their minis to a base rather than casting the base as part of the mini. On the plus side, this makes it easier to de-mold the mini and allows for more detail or undercuts in areas that you probably normally would not be able to do if the mini also had a base as part of the casting/sculpt.

I believe, their belief is that by affixing figures with smaller contact points to a small pad, then that pad will help provide support for the mini and reduce fracture concerns due to the more fragile plastic they use.

In reality though, the chance of fracturing is the same, the only difference is, that its far easier for them to glue the mini to the base when they have a pad to glue, rather than just 2 little feet.

In a perfect world, Wizkids would use the same plastic that WotC used and incorporate the base as part of the sculpt... but they are not going to change their production process for these minis... so for now we have to live with some minis being stuck to little black pads that are glued to the base. I really don't like the appearance of the pads, but there really is not a better option given their current manufacturing process.

I have modified many figures (Mageknight, Confrontation and Heroscape) by cutting them off their bases and mounting them to a round plastic base. I have used expensive epoxy glues and other "super strength" glues like crazy glue. Even with trying all the tricks (scaring the contact surfaces and even boring holes) the minis still break off the bases fairly easily when handling normally. I have not yet tried pinning any of my plastic minis but I plan to start soon on some Confrontation ones as they are the ones that break off the most.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
cannon fodder wrote:
While I like the werewolf, I agree with Kor that there's something slightly off about it. I think it's the eyes. Maybe painting them all red or black/red or something along those lines will make him look more sinister. Overall, though, this set has some great stuff!!

Agreed! The eyes need to be all red or all yellow or something to that effect so the werewolf looks less surprised.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
I believe, their belief is that by affixing figures with smaller contact points to a small pad, then that pad will help provide support for the mini and reduce fracture concerns due to the more fragile plastic they use.

Keep in mind that, historically, WizKids' Clix minis were designed with the knowledge that people would often hold the figures while rotating the clicky bases. (WizKids recommends against holding them that way, but they know people do it anyway.) In that respect, their usual figure-base connection may be a bit over-engineered for Pathfinder Battles... but hey, making them less breakable isn't a *bad* thing....

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