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Pathfinder Battles Preview: The Gross, the Bad, and the Ugly

Friday, May 4, 2012

We're getting close to having revealed all of the miniatures in the upcoming Pathfinder Battles set, Rise of the Runelords! It seems like only a few weeks ago that I started showing of sculpts and paint masters, but in fact it's been months, and as I type this the production run of miniatures is trundling through the factory. All of the paint schemes have been approved, all the decisions have been made, and now all that's left is the waiting for the early August release.

Well, the waiting and a few more previews, that is!

Two weeks ago I promised something ugly, and today I'm fulfilling that dark pledge with three figures from the murkier side of the set. These are nasty dudes you definitely don't want to run into in a dark alley, and all three of them make creepy additions to your game table.

Up first is the Ogrekin, a nasty in-bred half-ogre whose clan is the centerpiece of “The Hook Mountain Massacre,” the third chapter in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path. With rippling muscles and a deformed (really gross) head, this bruiser wanders the wilderness looking... well, let's just say he's “looking for love,” and leave it at that. This common miniature is technically Medium-sized, but he's pushing the top-end of that scale, and makes for a really intimidating figure.

Faceless Stalkers were created in ancient times by the mysterious aboleths as interlocutors with the various air-breathing races of the surface world. Via a painful biological process, the creatures can warp and contort their form to take on the appearance of an enemy. When not pretending to be your wife or best friend, these guys run around in the gross, misshapen form revealed here. The photograph above doesn't quite show off the nasty detail of reddish ink in all of the nooks and fleshy crannies along this guy's skin (especially on his back). The Faceless Stalker is statted up in Bestiary 2, but even if you don't have that resource, this common figure doubles as any kind of hideous humanoid. Ick!

Last up today we have a friendly neighborhood initiate in the local cult of homicidal slasher maniacs, known to the denizens of Varisia as the Skinsaw Cultist! This common figure makes a nice rank-and-file cultist. His skinsaw mask and war razor root him firmly in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, while his robes and general creepiness make him a good troop-builder for a wicked cult in any campaign.

That's it for this week. I've only got a few more sculpts to show off, but I promise that some absolutely amazing stuff is still waiting to be shown! Come back next week for another early look at Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder Battles miniatures!

Erik Mona
Publisher

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Miniatures Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Battles
Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Only 3 more months...


its crowfood!

Andoran

Pretty sweet.

By 'early August' release, do you mean they'll be first available at Gencon, or just sometime around then?

Grand Lodge

Was looking at these with Beastie Boys playing in the headphones, and man, that Faceless Stalker really looks like he's dancing... but they look great! I'm starting RotRL this summer, and I'm glad I don't have to hunt for the right minis!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

We plan to have them at Gen Con, and have them in stores are the same time.

That's the plan, anyway! :)


Great - now all I need is a sponsor for the whole set which unfortunately surpasses my RPG budget :(

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmmmmmmm. Early August eh? I might have to pull this out of my side cart and have it sent to me as soon as its available?

Spoiler:
By chance, is the Shatered Star AP going to be ready by GenCon as well? By that I mean, because I want the minis ASAP, should I have it ship separately, or are they both intended to be released at the same time, barring any unforeseen delays of course.

I want these minis now!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Shattered Star AP will indeed be launching at Gen Con.

Grand Lodge

I really hope the next set is much more like H&M with more general stuff that can be used in every game. With each preview, this set gets more and more specific to RotR, which obviously is the intent, but it doesn't help those of us who run homebrew games.

A few points I hope Paizo considers for future sets:

New Collectors I'm new to collecting plastic miniatures, as I'm sure others are too, so I don't have anything besides what was in H&M. I'd like to expand my collection of all the essential sorts of miniatures without having to go back and buy DDM. Creating obscure miniatures that were never done in DDM means nothing to me, it just means I end up with more obscure and less usable miniatures.

Casual Buyers I didn't get into DDM because the few times I would buy a booster, it would be full of all sorts of very specific, obscure stuff, which was of no use to me since I didn't play DDM or 3.5 at the time. I think this set could produce the same effect in casual buyers who just decide to pick up a booster here and there, and end up with a bunch of very specific NPCs.

The White Dragon Cutting the white dragon was a big disappointment. It is a miniature that is needed for RotR, and useful in other games as well. The same can't be said for some of the other huge miniatures that were kept in.

I do still have my fingers crossed that we will see more general use miniatures in the last dozen or so that need to be revealed. Maybe some more giants?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It is good to see these. They are difficult to proxy when running the adventure path.

For new collectors out there, this site, Auggies and EBay are all good sources to find the traditional monsters made by Wizards of the Coast or Reaper, and many at really good prices. What makes the RotR set special is the minis within are unique to the Adventure Path. Finding a mini that looks remotely like a Skinsaw Cultist is very difficult. My recommendation is to find the time, pick up the new RotR book, the minis and have fun running one of the great adventures ever produced in the hobby. Then you will have a real need for exactly the minis produced in this set. Enjoy!

Later,

Mazra

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Narl wrote:


New Collectors I'm new to collecting plastic miniatures, as I'm sure others are too, so I don't have anything besides what was in H&M. I'd like to expand my collection of all the essential sorts of miniatures without having to go back and buy DDM. Creating obscure miniatures that were never done in DDM means nothing to me, it just means I end up with more obscure and less usable miniatures.

Thanks for the feedback, Narl! I definitely understand your perspective. We try to consider all customers when we make these sets, and we're in it for the long haul. We plan to cover just about everything with Pathfinder Battles, but with the sheer number of characters, races, classes, and monsters in the game, it's going to take us a long time to get to everything.

By my count, 52 of the 65 miniatures in this set are either "generic" monsters (such as various goblins, ogres, and the like from the Bestiary) or specific NPCs that can easily stand in for any character of the correct race or class. By this measure, I would count an elf ranger like Shalelu as a "generic" miniature.

A guy like the Mithral Mage or Karzoug, or even quirky Runelords-specific monsters like the Karzoug Statue or Lamia Harridan are among the 13 minis in the set that I feel are truly "specific" to the set.

I don't think that's a bad ratio, though of course your milage may vary.

Narl wrote:


Casual Buyers I didn't get into DDM because the few times I would buy a booster, it would be full of all sorts of very specific, obscure stuff, which was of no use to me since I didn't play DDM or 3.5 at the time. I think this set could produce the same effect in casual buyers who just decide to pick up a booster here and there, and end up with a bunch of very specific NPCs.

These minis are designed for people playing Pathfinder. From today's blog, the Faceless Stalker and Ogrekin are actually _in_ the Pathfinder Bestiary 2, and the Skinsaw Cultist could easily double as any sort of masked cultist or thug in just about any campaign (even so, I didn't count them as "generic" in my above listing, just to be extra-conservative).

The next set has an even larger number of "generic" monsters, so I think you'll be very pleased with that one, even if Rise of the Runelords doesn't quite hit the mark for you.

Narl wrote:


The White Dragon Cutting the white dragon was a big disappointment. It is a miniature that is needed for RotR, and useful in other games as well. The same can't be said for some of the other huge miniatures that were kept in.

I do still have my fingers crossed that we will see more general use miniatures in the last dozen or so that need to be revealed. Maybe some more giants?

WizKids is working on a way to release the White Dragon, perhaps in an upcoming set or as its own stand-alone figure. Once they informed us that three Huges would have to be cut from the set for cost reasons, the White Dragon was an easy choice because it could so easily fit into a future release. The Karzoug Statue, by contrast, only really makes sense within the context of a set based on the Rise of the Runelords.

Had I known the set would only have four Huge figures, I probably would have chosen slightly differently, but I didn't know that, and rather than just scrap cool-looking minis for the Lamia Harridan and Karzoug Statue in the interest of getting more "generic" content out sooner, I decided to push off some of the stuff that could work in future sets into the future, and publish the Runelords-specific Huges in the Runelords set itself.

Nothing will really be "lost," because the cut miniatures can easily fit into future sets and independent releases. That wouldn't be the case with the Harridan or the Statue. Those minis would have just been lost forever.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

And to address your last hope, the remaining figures are a mixture of campaign-specific and "generic" miniatures, probably about half-and-half.

Taldor

I'll be picking up a full case from my FLGS--- how many more days of waiting? *looks at clock* And minutes? lol


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If I'm a poor college student who can't afford to subscribe, am I ever going to have a chance at getting beasties like the Black Dragon or the Rune Giant again without having to risk the dreaded Craig's List?

Shadow Lodge

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

Wow. 3 fantastic minis that I will certainly want multiples of.

Ogrekin. Fantastic. Pose looks good. Shading ont he skin, and creepy. What more could you want? Well more of them I suppose - but a family of identical octuplets still fits the ogrekin lifestyle I suppose.

Faceless stalker: Yay. Wanted one for a while now. This one looks really creepy with that hunch. Nice pose and shading.

Skinsaw cultist: Another one right on the mark in my eyes. looks great, nice colour scheme, nice pose. Captures the look of the art and the feel beautifully.

Also bearing in mind the pics are often less impressive than the mini in hand - these should be a real pleasure to draw from a booster. This is a solid preview and they are all COMMON!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Golden-Esque wrote:
If I'm a poor college student who can't afford to subscribe, am I ever going to have a chance at getting beasties like the Black Dragon or the Rune Giant again without having to risk the dreaded Craig's List?

The incentives are usually avaialable from a number of reliable sellers. I live in Australia and have hapilly bought from trollandtoad.com, miniaturemarket.com and auggiesgamesonline.com without any problems. You can get them for a reasonable price - recommended or lower quite often.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice to have a Faceless Stalker mini now.


Hey Narl:
I can understand all of your points and in truth cannot argue them as they are your perspective and feelings. All of them make sense as a new collector.

However, as someone on the flip-side who has been collecting from Harbinger these minis make a nice change to the common. I actually cringe a bit when I see another ogre or orc as I have hundreds of them. When I see something like the faceless stalker, skinsaw cultist and the Karzoug Statue I am very satisfied.

Keep in mind that I am not playing Rise of the Runelords and probably never will as all my gaming adventures are homebrew including my world. However, variety is the spice of life and I am very, very and let me add another very, happy to see the different minis.

There are many companies out there that sell the more common creatures (skeletons, zombies, orcs, etc). If you want take a look around and I am sure you can get everything you want.

Good luck and enjoy! I am sure Paizo will give you what you want!


Thank you Mr. Mona for this fantastic preview! You are doing a good job in raising the hype on this set, and I'm certainly buying into it.
Ogrekin: Its nice to have a deformed looking, medium sized humanoid. A great choice. Awesome detail on the face.
Faceless Stalker: A good looking minature, and I can honestly see other uses of this mini as a proxy (like for Totenmaskes). Weird.. I don't actually remember them in the AP except as a possible wandering monster. Might this mean that they're featured in an encounter??
Skinsaw Cultist Again good looking, whether in its role in the AP or as a cultist for Gyronna, The Whispering Way, or any number or other debased organizations.
The choice of these three as commons is exciting to me, since it'll be a lot easier to collect multiples and then mod them...


I'm still holding out for an Annis Hag. :)

Paizo Employee CEO

Rakshaka wrote:
Faceless Stalker: A good looking minature, and I can honestly see other uses of this mini as a proxy (like for Totenmaskes). Weird.. I don't actually remember them in the AP except as a possible wandering monster. Might this mean that they're featured in an encounter??

Spoiler:
They were the featured encounter in the 2nd volume of the AP in Aldern Foxgloves townhouse in Magnimar.
Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nip Gwyllion wrote:
I'm still holding out for an Annis Hag. :)

Yeah it would be awesome to get one in the set

:
especially since their was a covey of three central to the plot of part three (I think)
Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Rakshaka wrote:
Faceless Stalker: A good looking minature, and I can honestly see other uses of this mini as a proxy (like for Totenmaskes). Weird.. I don't actually remember them in the AP except as a possible wandering monster. Might this mean that they're featured in an encounter??
** spoiler omitted **

Also

Spoiler:
They were in the clocktower, up in the rafters with Xanesha.

:
Ah, Right after the Scarecrow! The Bells! Right before She Who Must Not Be Named! Now I remember!It's been a while since I've ran it.. and now I'm definitely looking forward to running it again.

Like Age of Worms, I feel like this AP is cool enough for me to run in its entirety more than once, especially now that the Anniversary addition and these awesome minis are coming out.

Grand Lodge

Erik Mona wrote:

And to address your last hope, the remaining figures are a mixture of campaign-specific and "generic" miniatures, probably about half-and-half.

Erik, thanks for the detailed response to my concerns. I'm looking forward to the rest of the previews and to the set!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Desperately juggling between this and Rappan Athuk to try to make budget meet.

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