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RPG Superstar 2015

Tell Me About My Characters

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I've been told, all right.

A few weeks ago we ran a contest, in which people competed to stat up characters from my Pathfinder Tales fiction. Choosing only three favorites from these entries was incredibly hard. There wasn't a dog among them—no offense, Arni—and of course almost everyone who built an entry (or five) did something unique.

With a little help from "Mean" Russ Taylor, I narrowed the field to five favorites. That made things even harder, because every one of them had something different to recommend it. Some were elegant in their simplicity, others demonstrated exacting (and rather flattering) attention to detail. Others just plain put me to shame, because you folks know the rules so much better than I do.

What won me over in the end was a combination of authenticity to the characters coupled with innovative or surprising design choices. My three favorite entries gave me a new way of looking at how those characters do what they do.

My Favorites (in no particular order)

Xellos (Jeggare)—This one is both highly faithful to the novels and a very innovative build, since the magus didn't exist when I first imagined the count. Excellent explanations. Just outstanding all around.

havoc xiii (Radovan)—While I originally thought of monk levels for Radovan, the cad works out really well. This is another innovative build that challenged my preconceptions even as it was faithful to what we see Radovan doing in the books.

Rosgakori (Kemeili)—Really excellent, a trifle more powerful than I'd imagined her, but in ways that fit. Spell selection a little different from what I'd sketched out for the book, but since I didn't show her casting every spell she knew, that's not a problem.

Very Honorable Mentions (also in no particular order)

Jesse Benner (Jeggare/Radovan)—Extremely faithful to the books, these straight-up builds are pretty close to what I'd jotted down in my notes. Although I hadn't given Radovan any fighter levels, they certainly make sense.

Yumeko (Goblin Who Swallowed the Wind)—A beautifully simple presentation of one of my favorite secondary characters. This one would have my "less is more" prize if I had a bag full of special awards.

Beek383 (Jeggare, Arnisant, Zandros, Mon Choi, Radovan)—Together, these were easily the most comprehensive survey of characters, nice and straightforward. I like to think this is how others are using some of the novel characters in their games.

LoreKeeper (Radovan)—A good basic build for Radovan, a little lower-level than I'd imagined but with all of the essentials. I love the explanation. That makes the entry—and those that followed its example—that much more interesting.

Tangaroa (Azra)—I actually like the "ugly little girl" take on Azra, and this version definitely pays attention to her abilities from the book. Azra's the character whose "build" I've most questioned since her first appearance, since the oracle class came out soon after.

Blue_Hill (Caladrel)—A very good interpretation of the character, and surprisingly close to what I statted up in Hero Lab. Well done!

Kevin Andrew Murphy (Iolanda)—I never gave Iolanda's game stats this much thought, but if I had, I hope I'd have come up with something this good. The skill and spell selection make perfect sense. In this version, she's even deadlier than I'd imagined.

Dave Gross
Pathfinder Tales Author

In the Seattle area this month? Join Dave Gross at University Books in Seattle on January 25 at 7:00 PM! Dave read from Queen of Thorns and preview an upcoming novel. Afterward he'll sign copies of all his Pathfinder Tales novels, including Elaine Cunningham's Winter Witch, for which Elaine has kindly provided book plates, so you can have both authors' signatures at once.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Contests Dave Gross Pathfinder Tales
Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Congratulation! I loved the contest.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

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

Thanks very much, Dave and everyone! I greatly enjoyed participating- revisiting all of their adventures was a great start to my winter vacation, and it gave me the chance to notice many connections and intriguing hints of things to come. Dave, your books, and the rest of the Pathfinder Tales line, have really brought me back to tie-in fiction in a big way. Thanks to all of you for that, too.

Dark Archive Contributor

I want to emphasize how hard it was to pick three favorites. They were all so good!

Marketing Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks to everyone who participated - so much fun! We'll have to do more like these in the future. :)


Fun to see what people built!

Star Voter 2013

O_O

I must say I never actually expected to win, but am thrilled that I did. :)
I had a lot of fun participating it was just funny cause after reading the books I've been wanting to play a character based off Radovan.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

It was good fun browsing the various crunch options to come up with something that works well for characters. Personally I see Jeggare and Radovan not too high-leveled, with Jeggare having a 2-level lead on Radovan as I see him as Jeggare's cohort (Leadership feat) in my head. As such Jeggare levels of 8-to-10 and Radovan levels of 6-to-8 make most sense for me in terms of the relative importance and prominence of Jeggare in Golarion. Given the amount of fame and recognition these characters have from strangers, that feels about right for me.

...sooo Mr Gross... care to reveal your next (hopefully Pathfinder) project?

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

Wow, thank you! I was so suprised by this that I danced wildly around for a while! I didn't honestly believe that I would have a chance. Thank you, it was very fun and hard competition!

Dark Archive Contributor

LoreKeeper wrote:


...sooo Mr Gross... care to reveal your next (hopefully Pathfinder) project?

I can tell you that Radovan, the count, and another established character are the lead characters. I can tell you that three other Pathfinder Tales characters make appearances (with their authors' approval), two of them substantial roles. I can tell you it's strongly connected to the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path--so much so that I'm hoping GMs will want their players to read it before running the AP.

And, if nobody stops me, I'll read a little from it on January 25th at the University Book Store in Seattle.

Other this info, much of which came out when I was doing promotional interviews for Queen of Thorns, I can't tell you much more until the title and cover are announced, which I would guess happens within the next couple of months.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

Thanks for both the competition and then the nice feedback Dave. It was really great to contribute. Can't wait to see what "Holmes and Marlowe" get into in the next installment.


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

Congratz to the chosen and excellent contest idea!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
I can tell you that Radovan, the count, and another established character are the lead characters. I can tell you that three other Pathfinder Tales characters make appearances (with their authors' approval), two of them substantial roles. I can tell you it's strongly connected to the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path--so much so that I'm hoping GMs will want their players to read it before running the AP.

Does this mean that we will see Gad and his fellows in the book? I assume so as he is already up there. In any case, it would be nice to see how Gad interacts with the two. :-)

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:


...sooo Mr Gross... care to reveal your next (hopefully Pathfinder) project?
I can tell you that Radovan, the count, and another established character are the lead characters. I can tell you that three other Pathfinder Tales characters make appearances (with their authors' approval), two of them substantial roles. I can tell you it's strongly connected to the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path--so much so that I'm hoping GMs will want their players to read it before running the AP.

Ah! That is excellent to hear.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
I can tell you that Radovan, the count, and another established character are the lead characters. I can tell you that three other Pathfinder Tales characters make appearances (with their authors' approval), two of them substantial roles. I can tell you it's strongly connected to the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path--so much so that I'm hoping GMs will want their players to read it before running the AP.

This makes me think that I will be sure to get the Wrath of the Rightous AP. I'm thinking that I will make ]Prince of Wolves required reading before I start running Carrion Crown (after I finish Red Hand of Doom). If this novel ties in THAT tightly to Wrath of the Rightous, I think that's enough (didn't have to be much) to tip me over the edge to stay on for that AP.

Speculation:

Ever since I heard that some characters from other novels are making an appearance in this story, I have been intrigued. I know Dave Gross can't/won't answer, but, "Who?" There is a high likelihood that ANY of the characters from The Worldwound Gambit appears (with the exception of Hendregan, we know he's not there anymore). I could see Dave Gross enjoying the use of Tiberio or Vitta. Maybe Calliard? He would be fun to see again! Hmmm... Elyana and Drelm could have traveled that far north.

Also, I'm guessing that Oparal at least makes an appearance, since she was headed that way at the end of Queen of Thorns. By the way, how do you pronounce Oparal?
Is is Oh-par-all?
Oh-par-all?
Op-are-all?
Op-are-all?
Op-are-all?
Or is it something completly different?

Dark Archive Contributor

Itchy wrote:

By the way, how do you pronounce Oparal?

I pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable: oh-PAR-al.

The really hard one is Jeggare. There are at least three "correct" pronunciations. :)

Marketing Director

Xellos, havoc xiii and Rosgakori - If you could send me your email addresses I'll get you hooked up with your copies of Hero Lab! My email addy is jenny.bendel@paizo.com.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:

I pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable: oh-PAR-al.

The really hard one is Jeggare. There are at least three "correct" pronunciations. :)

Thanks! That was about how I was reading her name.

Jeggare, I read it in two syllables with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Je-gair

I considered, but discarded Je-gair-ay and Je-gar-ay. I also tried and rejected Je-gar.

I'll have to ask my wife how she read/pronounced it...

-Aaron

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

I always thought it was Je-gar-ey. But that was because of the whole Cheliax - vaguely Mediterranean, hence a vaguely Italian reading.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I know who at least one of those "other characters" is. ;)

(and now, o savvy Pathfinder readers, you might too!)


Liane, what's your next project?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Liane Merciel wrote:

I know who at least one of those "other characters" is. ;)

(and now, o savvy Pathfinder readers, you might too!)

I should have thought of Edderas and/ or Jelani!

*facepalm*

-Aaron

Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Thanael wrote:
Liane, what's your next project?

I'm working on the further adventures of one Isiem from Nidal.

I'm a pretty slow writer though so it might be a while before you see any official announcements about that.

Star Voter 2013

Just curious has anyone else received their prizes yet?

Dark Archive Contributor

I signed them last weekend, and I have it on good authority that they're going out from Paizo tomorrow.

Star Voter 2013

OK, I was worried I messed up with my stress stuff or something.

Star Voter 2013

Errr sorry that was supposed to be street stuff...

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