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Pathfinder Battles Preview: Burnt Offerings

Friday, March 3, 2012

The Paizo office is abuzz with activity as the schedule shifts into overdrive in advance of the big summer releases. We're shipping the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide today, and final pages of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path Anniversary Edition are spooling off the new color printer and into the hands of eager editors. Most of you will enjoy the fruits of our recent activity later this summer, perhaps at Paizo Con or Gen Con, but in order to get all this great stuff to the printer in time for its release, Paizo central is buzzing NOW.

As I write this sitting on my couch at 2:32 AM, I've just finished looking over the color proofs of the first chapter of the Rise of the Runelords, “Burnt Offerings,” by our own James Jacobs. James really set the tone for the Adventure Path (and Pathfinder Adventure Paths in general) with his devious adventure. When we decided to feature the Rise of the Runelords in the upcoming Pathfinder Battles set with our partners at WizKids, one of the things that excited me most was the opportunity to bring some of James's brilliant NPCs to full-color life in plastic.

This week in the Paizo Blog, we'll take a look at four NPCs from “Burnt Offerings.” I'd call them all villains, but that would mean spoilers, and I wouldn't want to do that to you. Besides, at least one of these folks could be convinced to join your party as you venture through the town of Sandpoint and the nearby goblin enclave of Thistletop.

First up we have Tsuto Kaijitsu, a half-elf about town whose obsessions help to embroil the player characters in the events of the Adventure Path. Tsuto's sister is the already-previewed Ameiko Kaijitsu, and players will have occasion to encounter both of their miniatures on the field of battle. Tsuto also makes for a good player character miniature. Like all of the miniatures in this week's preview, Tsuto is rare.

Tsuto's obsession is Nualia, an aasimar who is not one of Sandpoint's most upstanding citizens, to put it lightly. She's got a demon hand, a belly full of scars, and a nice big sword to carve up player characters. It took us a few tries to get Nualia's pose correct, but I'm very happy with how it came out. I love the way she's beckoning her enemies to approach.

Lyrie Akenja is another interesting adventurer and Varisian wanderer pulled into the schemes of Tsuto and Nualia. This figure gave us a chance to incorporate a familiar into a spellcaster miniature. Lyrie's little cat is super cute. This figure works great as a player character, too.

Lastly today we have Orik Vancaskerkin, a fighter who like Lyrie found himself drawn into the affairs of Nualia and her minions. Whether or not he counts as one of those minions is really up to the player characters, meaning this figure could easily double as a friend or a foe. Like Lyrie, he makes an excellent player character miniature. Orik is only one of many Vancaskerkins in the Varisia area. Others appear in other Adventure Paths (and at least one more will soon appear as a Pathfinder Battles miniature!).

That's it for this extremely busy week! I'll be meeting in person with the folks from WizKids at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas next week, and I hope to reveal specific release details (including cost, case information, and more) shortly thereafter.

Incidentally, that means we'll be taking a break from previews next Friday, as I'll be on the road and scheming wonderful schemes.

See you in two weeks!

Erik Mona
Publisher

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Battles

Good looking figures. I love the cat familiar.

Im glad you arent afraid to make figures like Nualia. Becuase honestly she is very unique and specific to a single adventure. Shes not a very good proxy for anything else.
And I love that. Because when you actually DO play the adventure that figure is just so sweet to have.
It reminds me of when DDM made Twig Blights. So many complained it wasnt a popular monster...but when you played The Sunless Citidel they were so cool to have.

I will truly miss my preview next Friday. :(

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Awesome again Erik! You keep blowing me away with these minis. I would have loved to have them when I recently ran Burnt Offerings. But as it is both Lyrie and Orik survived the Thistletop encounter. So I may get a chance to use the figures later this summer. I have suspended my RotR campaign to await new minis and the revised Adventure Path.

I will miss next Friday for sure. But stretching it out a bit isn't bad either.

Later,

Mazra


These look great I cant wait to get the price breakdown. I will be buying cases no matter what the cost

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Orik is part of the family (almost) in my campaign so I might have to chase this one up, even though I'm going for the tokens for most minis.


The tension mounts, oh what a feeling!


Half the minis for the set displayed and only one huge? What's up with that? But these NPC's are very nice. See you in two weeks!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

There are more huges in the set, but how exactly they fit into the case configuration has been one of the trickiest parts from the WizKids side, so I've been holding off on previewing more of the big guys until I have more genuine information to share on the topic.


I want that Nualia so bad.

Andoran

Shut up and take my money! I am getting genuinely excited about owning and withholding these minis from my players until they meet them in the ROTRL Anniversary campaign.


I do have to ask, but are we looking at the same images here?

I am as excited as the next guy that their are now a relatively full range of minitures being released for pathfinder, and I certainly think the quality seems to be on the whole a bit better than the awful Dnd minis.

But despite that this latest set of previews are not really dripping with the awesome. The detailing on the models looks distinctly shallow and isn't great, the paint jobs are on the sloppy side and the pictures of the models arn't exactly well lit.

It really pains me to say this, but these previews have put me off the set, which really is a pity.


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

I love adding in the cat familiar. I really want more familiars attached to mage-y types. It's nice to see that they are there.

I'm sure you can snap a few photos at GAMA and send them to the minions back at the office with a few words to post for next Friday. ;)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Zombieneighbours wrote:

But despite that this latest set of previews are not really dripping with the awesome. The detailing on the models looks distinctly shallow and isn't great, the paint jobs are on the sloppy side and the pictures of the models arn't exactly well lit.

I think most of your comments are due to the fact that we're presenting them at roughly double the normal size, so you're seeing things that you just don't see at full scale. In real life, these all look as good as—if not better than—the other minis in the set.

Maybe the larger images are a bad idea, and we should go back to smaller previews.


how bout a small preview and a large (even larger than these, I still can't make out that cat well) linky?

Shadow Lodge

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

I second that - smaller image and large linky - if you need a change. persoanlly the larger images are A'OK. It's good to see the detail. From my viewpoint these continue the awesome. Tsuto - interesting pose, nice detail and colour. Nualia - FANTASTIC, with the previously spioled major NPC from part two this is just the icingon the cake - awesome NPC minis for the game - I'm sure I will find a way to use them again, otherwise I'll just appreciate the fact that they exist. Lyri and Orik are also great but two questions:
1) Lyri is magnificent, pose is interesting, familiar, wand and scrolls are all nice additons, but all that WHITE. Will there be shading on the final mini? Or is the whiteness (?) just an artifact of the large sized image?
2) Oriks shield - based artwork I assume (I'll go check the original in a minute)? Don't get me wrong it grows on me, it just looks quite unique.
Also you provide Tsutos rarity, what about the others?
I will miss the preview next weekend (a sad sigh escapes) but you go and enjoy that Trade show. I grow more excited abouth this set each time there is a preview - it appear wizkizs and paizo is a great combination, who'd have thunk it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Im just curious, since im pretty sure its not due out for a while.

When you say you're "shipping the pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide today" do you mean sending it to the printers or that they are sending it back to you? (or something else?)

Andoran

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

Now that you dres extrea attention to Orik's shield, I find it reminiscent of the knockers in Labyrinth.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

They were such pretty, pert knockers.

Wait, what?


Cat-thulhu wrote:
Also you provide Tsutos rarity, what about the others?
Tsuto's description wrote:
Like all of the miniatures in this week's preview, Tsuto is rare.

Emphasis mine.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

Maybe the larger images are a bad idea, and we should go back to smaller previews.

I like them enlarged. However, before I could click on the image and it would open a new tab that allowed me to easily enlarge the image. I don't seem to be able to do this with this preview.

I find the detail to be great. There are a lot of paint steps in these miniatures. Lyrie is simply beautiful. She may be one of the best Mage type figurines made in PPM to date. I really look forward to having her in hand.

Is she as awesome in hand as she appears in this preview?

Later,

Mazra

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice to see "evil" party fully made into mini-form.

Great previews!


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

I love having lot of options for PC's and NPC's so these characters are a welcome addition. There is only one that slightly concerns me, and although I think I have a very viable suggestion, I suspect its too late to act on it.

Nualia is a pretty cool looking mini, but very specific to the AP. Once used, she will likely never be used again, due to the mishapen arm.

Now, what would have been really unqiue, would have been to make the mutated arm detachable. Have a regular arm so the mini could be used again and again in various campaigns, plus havea a mutated arm for using the mini for the pursposes of the AP.

Any chance this change could be made?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

But despite that this latest set of previews are not really dripping with the awesome. The detailing on the models looks distinctly shallow and isn't great, the paint jobs are on the sloppy side and the pictures of the models arn't exactly well lit.

I think most of your comments are due to the fact that we're presenting them at roughly double the normal size, so you're seeing things that you just don't see at full scale. In real life, these all look as good as—if not better than—the other minis in the set.

Maybe the larger images are a bad idea, and we should go back to smaller previews.

I honestly don't think that is the issue Vic. I am pretty used to seeing close up shots of minis, and I took that into account.

I do think you might consider a different photographer, that would help deal with some of the issues. If your doing it house that isn't meant to be an insult, miniture photography is a specialist skill.

The physicial detailing is not nearly as good as I would want it to be, it is all very shallow, especially on the faces.

As I said, they are certainly better than many of the old DnD minies ever saw, but that wasn't a very high bar.

I think the big problem is in my expectations

I am a many year veteran of Warhammer fantasy battle, 40k, and warmachine here in the UK. My expectations of models are not the same as those of my american compatriots, as far as I can see. Those expectations may not be compatible with realities of producing Plastic prepainted minitures, but they still a barrier to purchase for me. Sorry.

That said, I am probably going to get the pawn set :D

Cheliax

I've been getting in after 6 am on Saturday mornings now and so I don't get to see the blog until half a day later because I refuse yo look at such sexy miniatures on my small phone.

It's well worth the wait.

That's some sexy plasticcrack.

Sczarni

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

@ zombieneihbors - Knowing wizkids paintsand how they photograph, my guess is that the Males are about as dull as they look (usually a quick wash fixes them). The way Wizkids does female hair, the extra detail they put into the hair normally pops in photos, causing facial detail to seem muted until you get the mini in hand. Thats my personal experience at least.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tsuto's description wrote:
Like all of the miniatures in this week's preview, Tsuto is rare.

Well I misse that completely, funny I read the tsuto is rare part but missed the other part. Failed that perception check...


Tsuto looks MUCH better than his original illustration (with his tiny head and weird little soul patch).

I thought Lyrie was Garundi or something, not Varisian.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Steve Geddes wrote:

Im just curious, since im pretty sure its not due out for a while.

When you say you're "shipping the pathfinder RPG Advanced Race Guide today" do you mean sending it to the printers or that they are sending it back to you? (or something else?)

So sorry to confuse!

I meant shipping the digital files to the printer. It will still be more than a month before this book ships to subscribers. Sometimes we tend to slip into publishing lingo around here, and it's easy to accidentally confuse people!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Mazra wrote:

Is she as awesome in hand as she appears in this preview?

The paint master is absolutely stunning, with really vibrant, interesting colors. I should mention that it is based very closely on a brand new Eric Beslisle illustration for the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition hardcover book, so he deserves a lot of credit for Lyrie's look.

We'll see how closely the final miniatures match the paint masters, but my experience with Heroes & Monsters suggests that we ought to see pretty high fidelity to this image in the final production run.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:

I love having lot of options for PC's and NPC's so these characters are a welcome addition. There is only one that slightly concerns me, and although I think I have a very viable suggestion, I suspect its too late to act on it.

Nualia is a pretty cool looking mini, but very specific to the AP. Once used, she will likely never be used again, due to the mishapen arm.

Now, what would have been really unqiue, would have been to make the mutated arm detachable. Have a regular arm so the mini could be used again and again in various campaigns, plus havea a mutated arm for using the mini for the pursposes of the AP.

Any chance this change could be made?

No.

We're way past the point where we can make changes to the sculpts at this point. I'm also unsure if arm swap-outs like what we did with the Frost Giant will work at the Medium-sized level. We're going to need to run some tests to make sure something like that is feasible, and there isn't time in this set.

Even if there were, though, I probably wouldn't do so in this instance. Nualia is one of the most important and memorable villains of the Adventure Path. She's appeared on book covers of ours, in interior art in several products, and as the villain of the first adventure in our first Adventure Path, she's probably been encountered by more Pathfinder players than almost any other villain in our catalogue.

We really like her, and consider her look to be inherent to her character. Swapping out her arm to something else would dilute the Nualia-ness of Nualia, which isn't really something we're terribly interested in doing.

I do understand and sympathize with the request, but as a word of fair warning, there are plenty more figures specific to the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path to come. Part of the purpose to this set is to add depth and value to the experience of GMs and players running the Rise of the Runelords campaign, so we're including a few miniatures that would only really fit in a Rise of the Runelords set, and probably wouldn't fit in a more generic set. Because I realize no one needs an army of Nualias, however, I've generally assigned most of these type of miniatures to the rare category.

We've done one generic set, and we'll do more in the future. But this one is keyed to Rise of the Runelords, and one of the cool elements of Rise of the Runelords is that it contains a lot of really interesting, unique villains.

We'll look into swap-outs on Medium figures, but it's not something we're going to be able to do with this set.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Filby Pott wrote:

Tsuto looks MUCH better than his original illustration (with his tiny head and weird little soul patch).

I thought Lyrie was Garundi or something, not Varisian.

I meant Varisian as in someone who lives in Varisia, not as in the human subrace. Sorry about the confusion!


I'm starting to get concerned about the ratio of human NPC minis to monsters. I'm hoping for more monsters and less everything else. I can get most of these NPCs from Reaper already, so I don't want them in Battles. I'm in it for the monsters.


Erik Mona wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:

Tsuto looks MUCH better than his original illustration (with his tiny head and weird little soul patch).

I thought Lyrie was Garundi or something, not Varisian.

I meant Varisian as in someone who lives in Varisia, not as in the human subrace. Sorry about the confusion!

And I'm sorry for nitpicking. ;)


Not only did this update confirm that I'm ordering at least two cases, it also convinced me I needed to try out my first Adventure path (We're homebrewers here ;) ). When I realised that the main villain was a follower of <SPOILERS> I was instantly enthralled :D


She can always work for a tiefling at some point.


So...um...Advanced Races is only a little over a MONTH AWAY! Any chance for some previews in the next few blogs?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Mazra wrote:

Is she as awesome in hand as she appears in this preview?

The paint master is absolutely stunning, with really vibrant, interesting colors.

Thanks for this Erik. Is it summer yet!

Later,

Mazra

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

April Bowen wrote:
I'm starting to get concerned about the ratio of human NPC minis to monsters. I'm hoping for more monsters and less everything else. I can get most of these NPCs from Reaper already, so I don't want them in Battles. I'm in it for the monsters.

There are plenty of monsters in the set. Don't take the ratio you see in blog to date as the ratio you'll necessarily see in the set—Erik is grouping previews by theme, and two of themes he has chosen have just happened to be NPC-focused.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Yeah, there are lots more monsters (and plenty of NPCs) still to come!

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
So...um...Advanced Races is only a little over a MONTH AWAY! Any chance for some previews in the next few blogs?

Actually, it's not due until June according to it's page, which would be pretty accurate given printing time scales- it will be a couple of weeks until the printer can get through these and all the other June books, then there's the wait for the ship in China, 4-6 weeks transpacific, waiting for customs and getting it through the distribution chain.

Cheliax

Mordicai wrote:
I want that Nualia so bad.

I want all of them... all of the previews have been just amazing! It looks like Paizo and WizKids are improving the quality and these are much better than anything WotC ever did!

I love that there are more than a few NPCs in this set; not only will it add to the atmosphere when I'll be running RotRL, they also work as great PC minis, too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Do you take the pictures of the minis yourself or are they supplied from WizKids?
Like Zombieneighbours above, I think you could be able to get some better, crisper photos of the minis. When it comes down to it, it's really not that difficult to get decent pictures of minis.
Unfortunately my favourite description of how to take proper minis pictures isn't available anymore, but I've found a decent substitute:
Photographing Warmachine Miniatures
Here's another link to how you can build a very cheap light-box to get great lighting on the minis (or you can just go out and buy one ;-) ):
Build a cheap light-box, by yours truly.
(some of the macro-photos are a bit grainy because I took them with a cr@p camera)


Vic Wertz wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

But despite that this latest set of previews are not really dripping with the awesome. The detailing on the models looks distinctly shallow and isn't great, the paint jobs are on the sloppy side and the pictures of the models arn't exactly well lit.

I think most of your comments are due to the fact that we're presenting them at roughly double the normal size, so you're seeing things that you just don't see at full scale. In real life, these all look as good as—if not better than—the other minis in the set.

Maybe the larger images are a bad idea, and we should go back to smaller previews.

Please keep the larger size; You might want to try different lighting setups so that shadows create dimensionality.


Yes, the mini's in hand have generally out-performed my expectations based on the pictures. But by no means stop giving us great previews because of the few perfectionists in the crowd. I've started looking forward to Friday's now for reasons other than the fact that the weekend is about to start! In fact, I had serious withdrawals last week. Is it Friday yet?

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