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Pathfinder Battles Preview: The Living Dead

Friday, September 28, 2012

Last night we finished up session 35 of James Jacobs's office campaign, which has morphed into an adaptation of Gary Gygax's classic fantasy Egyptian superdungeon, Necropolis. James has done a lot to make the adventure his own, including transporting it to the nation of Osirion in the Pathfinder world, and adding several devious traps and monsters not in the original adventure.

But we're still in ancient tombs and pyramids and stuff, though, so if one thing has changed, it's that we're running into a LOT more undead these days.

Which brings me to today's preview of upcoming figures from the Shattered Star set of Pathfinder Battles prepainted plastic miniatures! The set supports the brand-new Shattered Star Adventure Path, which sets the players on a quest around Varisia to reunite an ancient artifact created by the progenitor of the Runelords. It's a sort of sequel to other Varisia-based Adventure Paths, including Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness, but the campaign also stands alone as a self-contained Adventure Path.

And, truth be told, it's got a fair number of undead.

Here are two of them, both ready to menace your player characters and both slated at the uncommon rarity.

Up first is the Skeletal Champion, a figure I've wanted to create since I first saw his illustration in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. We later used the same illustration in the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box, where the Skeletal Champion is one of the major antagonists provided in the set. I've long had a goal to create miniatures of every monster in that set, so when it came time to plan the Shattered Star miniatures set (and the Shattered Star Adventure Path itself), I asked James Jacobs to make sure to include a skeletal champion somewhere in the campaign. He obliged, and I finally got my miniature.

The Mummy Cleric is a similar story. Back when we were doing the Rise of the Runelords set, we almost slipped in a "Thassilonian Mummy" figure, partly because a few appeared in the Adventure Path, and partly because the Mummy in Heroes & Monsters, our first Pathfinder Battles set, looked a lot more like a rank-and-file bruiser from a Scooby Doo episode than a chilling, memorable villain.

The Thassilonian Mummy didn't make the final cut for Runelords, so when it came time to create the Shattered Star outline, I asked James if he might include more Thassilonian Mummies in the new campaign (which was, after all, set in the ruins of Thassilon). We then asked artist Tyler Walpole to draw what one of these guys might look like, and he came up with a skull-faced menace that blew our socks off.

Accordingly, this figure is now one of the tougher opponents PCs will face in the campaign. He's still Thassilonian, but he's his own villain, a nasty undead cleric of Groetus, God of the End Times. We call him (appropriately enough) the Mummy Cleric.

Good luck with this one, player characters!

That's it for this week. I have other undead I could show you, but we have a few more weeks to go before things get really spoooooky for Halloween.

I have tricks, and I have treats.

Erik Mona
Publisher

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Miniatures Pathfinder Adventure Path Pathfinder Battles Shattered Star
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Nice, will we also see non humanoid monsters soon?


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

Those are very nice. And if it helps you guys feel any better, the H&M mummy is a little generic but that gives you some wiggle room if you want to re-task it as something other than a mummy. For instance, I've used mine for Adherers and Rope Golems (from the Tome of Horrors Complete).

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

It depends on what you mean by soon and what sort of mood I'm in when I decide to write future blogs, I guess! :)

There are definitely plenty of non-humanoids coming, though!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sweet!

I am beginning to see what you mean about this set being even better than RotR. These look more like rares. Throwing three or more of these at a party may be a bit sadistic. I like it!

I appreciate these Friday treats. I don't EVEN want to think what your tricks may be like. ;)

Cheers,

Mazra


Well it just that my favorite mini are the non humanoid end I only got the gug as an appetiser so far. But dont get me wrong i still LOVE some of those human monster and cant wait to see that headless knight and the gray maiden from the adventure path cover in miniature form. Come on mr. Mona, feed me more. ;)


This has nothing to do with the minis, which as always are awesome, I just wanted to say how jealous I am that you are playing Gygax's Necropolis. I couldn't pay my gaming group to run it for them....sigh, and I have pretty much given up any hope to ever actually play in it.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Gygax's adventure is absurdly deadly. We're treating it like the Tomb of Horrors, basically, and it's really forcing us to up our game. We're headed back to Sothis at the moment to stock up on death wards and lesser restoration rods. Pretty fun so far.

Hey, Big Jay, if you liked the Gug, you'll probably be pleased to hear that there are at least two more "Lovecraftian" monsters in the set, and neither is strictly speaking humanoid.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Nice additions to the "ranks of undead" minis for Wizkids & Paizo's "Pathfinder Battles" miniatures.

I had asked this in the previous week's thread, but I'll ask again here (as it is the newer thread and may be seen sooner) ...

Is the gargantuan case incentive "miniature" (big-a-ture) possibly a shemhazian demon? (If memory serves those bear-faced, insect-eyed, scaly-skinned demons are gargantuan in size). :)

~Dean


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Getting Wizkids to make mini's for your own campaign? doesn't that seem a bit indulgent?

It's almost as bad as having Wayne Reynolds draw your PC. Oh wait... never mind.


These two are great. I need suitable candidates to lead my hordes of mummies and skeletons, and both of these guys fit bill.


Those look great!


I can't wait for the new line to come out. Has there been a release date announced yet?


A shemhazian demon would break my sanity with Joy. Just absolute joy. If I may humbly add....bring on some non-humanoid horrors. Something tentacley and horrible would be great.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The Skeletal Champion looks great. I look forward to adding him to my monsters. Thanks for showing these to us.

Cheliax

So any truth that it's a gargantuan blue dragon as a case incentive? ;p

"The friends, fiends, and foes of the Pathfinder Adventure Path: Shattered Star invade the tabletop with Pathfinder Battles: Shattered Star, featuring 55 all-new, pre-painted miniatures drawn from the gorgeous art in Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Path: Shattered Star.

There are 4 bricks in a case (32 packs) and 4 figures in each pack. Also this combo case will contain 1 Gargantuan Blue Dragon."

Make it a green though sirs...I've already a white, blue, black and red dragon O...M...G ><


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I hope it's a green. I'm sure a paizo blue would be nicer, but a duplicate of an existing gargantuan dragon in PPM would be what would talk me *out* of doing a case bundle.

The market has an opening for a green, doing a blue would be a total miss.

Cheliax

Yeah I mean fair enough if the adventure has a blue one n all but c'mon the shelf looks a little less colorful without green. Y'all are in the pacific NW give in to the green side :)


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

Yeah, I'll get to save a lot of money if it's a gargantuan blue. :)


Yes, we need a gargantuan green and a gargantuan red. Just keep those in mind for later if the Blue comes now...

Taldor

Both Miniatures Market and Popular Collections are reporting a Gar. Blue, which may be in the AP but is kinda disappointing, since one already exists. Oh well, I'm sure I can always use a new one.


Can't wait


A site I have ordered cases previously from sent me an email saying they started accepting pre-orders for Shattered Star. Their email says the gargantuan is a blue dragon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Temeraire wrote:
A site I have ordered cases previously from sent me an email saying they started accepting pre-orders for Shattered Star. Their email says the gargantuan is a blue dragon.

Same here. In fact if its the shattered star AP and you went to paizocon you would have seen a picture of the dragon.

Not sure if someone has a copy of it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Wow ... all this talk about the case incentive being a gargantuan blue ... and here I was thinking the blue dragon "boss" in part 5 of Shattered Star would have been a Huge-sized dragon ... but if it's a gargantuan-sized dragon AND appears in the AP itself then I'm excited about this set all over again. (And yes, we have a gargantuan blue from WotC's "icons" series of dragons) ... but as others have said, we don't have Pathfinder/Golarion style gargantuan blue dragons. :)

Hmm ... I guess part 5 of Shattered Star must have them at a fairly high level if they are gonna be battling a blue dragon of that size/power.

Curiouser and curiouser.

~Dean

Shadow Lodge

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

Kind of makes me sad - I was hoping Erik Mona would get to break the news on the garg incentive. Much better to open up this blog and get the surprise with Eriks comments.

I'll get one becaue I know it will be good but like others I am a bit sad its a dragon. I am lucky enough to have a garg blue formt he icons range but my reason really is that paizo have so many of there own gargantuan monsters they could have used.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't mind another dragon, as this is the first minis series I've purchased. The only other dragon I have is the black dragon from the first set.

That being said, I do have more coming from the Bones kickstarter.


Dragons are cool, but I already have 3 gargantuan dragons, and one is already a blue.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With only five other existing gargantuan plastic prepainted minis (the 3 Dragons, Orcus, and the Rune Giant), getting a repeat would be pretty disappointing.

Still if it looks awesome enough I probably could be persuaded to pick it up since I adore dragons anyway.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I suspect Paizo would only do such a thing if:

A) The "repeat" dragon looked super-awesome
B) It was an important character/NPC/Villain in the Adventure Path the set was meant to support

Either way, I'll bet Paizo wouldn't want to make an official comment on this until it had a chance to show off amazing pictures of the miniature in question, because it would stink to have everyone worrying about something before they've seen it.

And if they had amazing pictures, I'll bet they'd show them off on the first Friday blog they could once the paint masters had been delivered to their offices.

That's how Paizo would do it, anyway.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

A couple more comments.

We plan to include Gargantuan incentives for every set we do. The Rune Giant gave us the fever for the flavor, and I can't see us going back to cute little Huges. That simply won't do.

There are going to be repeats now and again. This is not the Dungeons & Dragons miniatures line. I sympathize that a lot of you have "Orc Warriors" and player character figures from previous sets from other publishers, but while it's important to keep in mind what's available in the marketplace from other companies, a lot of the decisions we make about what to include in sets are based on supporting specific Pathfinder RPG content. If that means there are too many Runelords in a Rise of the Runelords set, or too many Shattered Stars in the Shattered Star set (or what have you), that's just going to be the way it is.

You might consider it one of the drawbacks to tying these sets to specific editorial content.

Alternatively, if you are playing that specific editorial content, I suppose you might consider it as a feature rather than a bug.

I have every intention of doing all of the core dragons (especially the evil ones) at every size in the game.

Since many of you have a lot of those dragons at those sizes from releases over the last decade, I humbly offer the following advice: There are going to be some repeats in the future.

All that said, I've been keeping careful track of what even the most fiendish of miniatures fiends want, what hasn't been done before, etc. This is the first set that I've been able to really implement those suggestions in, and they're all over the place in the 54 figures that aren't the case incentive.

I know people want a Gargantuan Green Dragon. Heck, I know people want a Froghemoth, and a Dragon Turtle, and all kinds of other stuff. We will get to as much of that as possible, but it isn't going to happen with every figure, and there are going to be some repeats along the way.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I suspect Paizo would only do such a thing if:

A) The "repeat" dragon looked super-awesome
B) It was an important character/NPC/Villain in the Adventure Path the set was meant to support

and then a follow up post with more.

I suspect you may be right Mr Mona and hit the nail on the head. Don't get me wrong, as for worrying about it - Nah. It will be awesome (if such a dragon were to exist). The battles line of minis has to date been exceptional, and a "dragon" makes perfect sense from a starter point of view as Curmudgeonly states above. I am a long, long time collector but ave no issue with "reprints"of minis - variety is the spice of life, and seeing what paizo/wizkids does differently is often just like getting a new, never before seen before mini; goblins, ogres, giants and the treachery demon being prime examples from the last set. No one complained but I bet many long time collectors like myself have plently of those in their collections.
As I stated before I really just wanted it to be surprise with pictures, partly because it does avoid such speculation (good or bad). Now of course I also want a Tarrasque (well all the spawn of Rovagug - good name for an encounter set dont you think!).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

We plan to include Gargantuan incentives for every set we do.

So no huge incentives? Will huge become a regular part of sets rather than incentives (please say yes)? Just saying, cos that Frogemoth won't make himself...


I looked up the Blue Dragon in the Bestiary, and a Gargantuan Blue that looks like him would be awesome. Both the Black and the Red are pretty faithful to the Bestiary artwork. A gargantuan dragon with the same level of detail that the Rune Giant had? Definitely count me in! And, please keep the bigger promos coming in future sets. We have so many more gargantuan and colossal holes.


I am interested in picking up the rune giant, but it's pretty pricey. I bought my gargantuan dragons for around $30-40. My orcus mini was $50ish and now the rune giant's sitting around $80. That's a pretty big price increase.


My mistake it's not near so much on the paizo site. However on miniature market (where I usually buy my minis for cheaper than paizo's pricing) it is more expensive.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I suspect Paizo would only do such a thing if:

A) The "repeat" dragon looked super-awesome
B) It was an important character/NPC/Villain in the Adventure Path the set was meant to support

I get that. I'm just being whiny because there is a general lack of gargantuan minis to proxy with and more variety would be great.

Personally I prefer the sleek look of the Pathfinder blue anyhow, and if the rest of the minis look as good as the ones currently revealed this probably will be the first set I will buy as a subscription.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I suspect Paizo would only do such a thing if:

A) The "repeat" dragon looked super-awesome
B) It was an important character/NPC/Villain in the Adventure Path the set was meant to support

Either way, I'll bet Paizo wouldn't want to make an official comment on this until it had a chance to show off amazing pictures of the miniature in question, because it would stink to have everyone worrying about something before they've seen it.

And if they had amazing pictures, I'll bet they'd show them off on the first Friday blog they could once the paint masters had been delivered to their offices.

That's how Paizo would do it, anyway.

Music to my ears :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Cat-thulhu wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

We plan to include Gargantuan incentives for every set we do.

So no huge incentives? Will huge become a regular part of sets rather than incentives (please say yes)? Just saying, cos that Frogemoth won't make himself...

Huges are honestly kind of in limbo at the moment.

I'm really not very satisfied by the way they went down in Rise of the Runelords. Don't get me wrong, the minis themselves are great, but with only four in the set, the whole randomness element was kind of pointless. If there's little purpose to the random element, why not just tell everyone what they are?

They're also super expensive, and drive the cost of the Huge boosters through the roof. One option is to include them in the standard boosters as was done in the old Giants of Legend set for DDM, but that would drive the price of the booster out of a lot of people's range. $30 or thereabouts is a lot to ask someone for what is often an impulse purchase.

For their HeroClix line, WizKids sometimes sells individual figures in visible single-figure blister packs. I saw a frost giant from the X-Men comic in the store the other day, packaged almost like an action figure. I sometimes/often wonder if maybe something like this isn't the best option for Huge figures. Unfortunately, this approach would heavily favor "popular" stuff like giants and dragons, making some of the quirkier figures long-time collectors want even less likely.

Like I said, limbo.

We'll definitely do more (we've got about a half-dozen sculpts floating around already), but the perfect option has not yet made itself apparent.

Shadow Lodge

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

The weight differences in the RotRL huges were also so easilly distinguished as to render random a moot point. Huge minis are so great on the table, and so many higher CR creatures are huge, it would be sad to see them left out. Could you not try a four pack of visibles - this means more "popluar" figs with 1-2 "quirky" ones, or even a two pack with a popular and a quirky. I think a good mini will sell itself - it doesn't need to be "popular", it needs to catch the eye in what is essentially still a niche (if larger niche) market.
The other alternative could be a two pack huge incentive - two key huge minis in a single pack rather than the one gargantuan, sort of a clash of the titans.


Love your idea of 3 or 4 huge visible pack Cat-thulhu, they could make 2 to 3 different set of 3 huge mini per release and im sure it would sell. Seriously there aint lot of huge that you need more than one so random is just frustrating for the price, and we know that dragon are the hot sellers so make some pack contain atleast one dragon or demon/devil and 2 other huge moster or giant.


About the garg blue dragon rumor, I don't think people don't want repeat, they just want to have a garg green and everything that has not been already done first,, then they will gladly take the new sculpt. We will only get around 2 to 3 gargantuan per year and can understand getting frustrated from waiting for what we want. I know for myself im not getting any youger, I'l be 30 in lest than 2 years, and I'l be collecting least and least so I want to get my all my dream mini (colosal Tarasque please) before I feel to old for the hobby.


Also whant to Thank you mr. Mona for all the interaction you give to us, think its realy something special and its why i like paizo so much. Can not wait to see those other lovercraft monstrosity you got i store for us. By the way my favorite mini are devil and demon so if there is somme in this set, so if you feel like showing some (or just say if the set contains somes) for next preview, I will stop being anoying until the final preview.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Thanks for the input, Erik. I appreciate the tact you're using with this delicate topic.

For the record, I'm glad this is hypothetically happening, as I can abandon my low-priority hunt for a reasonably-priced WotC GargBlue (for my RotRL game).

The Huge situation is awkward. Mediums are used way more often than Larges at the table, and Larges are used way more often than Huges, which are in turn far more common than Gargantuan. So... I'd personally rather see more H than G in the future, but two G per year is really quite reasonable.

I don't have much to add to the Huge situation except that yeah, I'd pay more for a visible non-random pack than the random-pack pricing works out to. Just don't expect me to buy Storm Giants. Glab^H^H^H^HTreachery Demons, yeah, absolutely. Here's $25, no questions asked. So if Huges got relegated to single boxes here and there, I'm in, despite that I WILL be picky over what I order.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

The visible pack of 3-4 Huges is a good idea. Would you pay $65 for it? Would you do so even if you hated/didn't need one of the figures?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

The visible pack of 3-4 Huges is a good idea. Would you pay $65 for it? Would you do so even if you hated/didn't need one of the figures?

I would. How would that be any worse then paying $25 for a single huge booster and after buying 4 ($100) I end up with three of the same thing and not getting the one I really wanted to boot?

If I could have paid $65 and insured I received one of each of the four of the huge figures from RotRL I woudl have done so in a heart beat.


Yes, if the are similar to what was offered in RotR, I would by them. Essentially that's what any of us that got a huge case this time did. We knew exactly what was coming. And we still bought. Yes, I'd do it again.

BTW, Speaking of "oddball" huges, don't underestimate how the context of the set made the statue and lamia more valuable. For The RotR AP, absolutely. But the fact that I now have a nice Army of lamias crowned by the Harridan, and that I have a"wizard" with a supporting Stone Golem and Huge Statue is something I can work into just about any campaign. If the statue wasn't somehow tied to Karzoug it would have been much less of a want for me, even though it is a really decent representation of a statue. And a Harridan without the Matriarchs and regular Lamias would be a harder sell as well.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

The visible pack of 3-4 Huges is a good idea. Would you pay $65 for it? Would you do so even if you hated/didn't need one of the figures?

I would definitely buy this provided they are figures I am interested in, and you can pretty much guarantee my interest if they are creatures that appear in one of the APs.


I would really like to see non random mini sets based on themes.

A pack of orcs or a pack of giants etc...

Huge minis packaged individually would be cool as well. I don't really get why they would have to be so expensive though. I mean there are lot of really detailed action figures out there and those are around $15 a piece. Why does a huge mini need to cost more than an action figure? Is it because they have more limited print runs and are therefore more expensive per figure?


What about a pathfinder equivalent to reaper bones? I'd happily buy bags of unpainted plastic kobolds or goblins (pretty much any humanoid really). For instance, I often find myself using my zombies from my Last Night on Earth board game as rpg minis. There's a couple of dozen minis in that game, as well as the game itself and its price point isn't through the roof. Sure they aren't painted, but they serve me just fine when I need a zombie horde. Likewise, I've been tempted to purchase the Wrath of Ashadalon board game just for the huge red dragon mini, which I'd probably end painting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Message received loud and clear. I will look forward to a Garg. Green in some future Wizkids/Paizo set. I will also look forward to throwing a Pathfinder Garg. Blue at the party sometime in the future. :-)

I would totally buy in to a $30 booster with a Huge, a Large and three smaller minis in it.

Anyone else game for that?

Cheers,

Mazra

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