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Erik Mona

Erik Mona's page

Publisher, Chief Creative Officer. Pathfinder Society Member. 5,740 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist.


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Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Bien sur!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Ah, yes. That's certainly it.

Yep, the ice in Reign of Winter is much more blue than the ice on Lamatar Bayden. I'd totally forgotten about him. Also, we tend to get a little more ambitious than "just make it clear" these days when it comes to clear effects on minis. :)

Not that Lamatar isn't a totally awesome miniature. Because he totally is.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

In this case I think we took the cues from the art, which had a very blue palate for this AP.

I'm not sure which ice figure you're talking about for Rise of the Runelords. I just looked over the whole set and I don't think there are any ice figures in there (or if there are, someone stole them from the case outside my office).

The blue in the ice golem and weapons is pretty analogous to the blue of the Glass Golem in Shattered Star, although the consistency of the plastic is different and there is more white drybrushing on the Reign of Winter ice stuff.

It's less blue than the Water Elemental from Shattered Star, but a little more blue (and with a lot more white drybrushing) than the Air Elemental from that set.

As for the next set, all I can say at the moment is that it is NOT based on an Adventure Path, and that it has lots of really awesome figures. It's a 45-figure set like Reign of Winter. I think the set after _that_ will have some special stuff in it, but things are not locked down yet so I don't want to raise expectations I can't meet due to decisions that have not yet been made.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Most of the commons in Reign of Winter are of amazing quality in both sculpt and paint job. I've seen the final figures and I am really, really impressed by them.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I've got a couple of solutions for the PC issue that I hope to be able to announce in a couple of months.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Yeah, that's fair. I wouldn't have chosen this set to make the reductions, and had I known that there would be fewer figures when I built the set list I would have made some different choices.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

DropBearHunter wrote:
with microprocessing these days, is it really unfeasable to guarantee "one of each" in a case?

Yes, because sometimes there's an error at the factory and the wrong figure gets put into a pack. It isn't common, but it happens enough that we don't want people to consider us liars when we say you should get a full set in each case.

I think if you follow some of the threads where customers post their case allotments, you'll see that incomplete sets in a given case are pretty rare.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
The problem with the Builder Series is that not enough people bought them.

Which seems hilarious to me - in CT that's all that we can sell. The store I work for has gone through 10 goblin builder set boxes and 8 undead, but still hasn't sold through a brick of and of the regular sets unopened (If I open them we can sell 95% of the singles in two weeks though)

I get this feedback from retailers all the time, especially at the just concluded GAMA Trade Show. The problem is that WizKids is not seeing this anecdotal information in their very real sales numbers, so there's a disconnect somewhere.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I forgot to mention that one reason there aren't more fey in this set is that most of them are Tiny or smaller, and I haven't really figured out a satisfactory way to represent such small critters in plastic. We've done a couple of Tinys in the past, but I cannot imagine how to do a good miniature of something that's Fine or Diminutive.

I'm open to ideas, btw.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to get a bit granular with this response. Please bear with me.

Pigraven wrote:


I agree that monsters are almost always preferred.

It's funny. There's a huge disconnect between what people tell me they want, and what people actually buy. Put a different way, I get a lot of feedback on the forums that collectors are tired of NPC and PC figures in sets, to the point that many people quote a preponderance of them as reasons not to buy a case, or to cherry pick three figures from a set of 55, or whatever.

Alternatively, the NPC and PC figures generally sell much better than monster figures* on our own singles sales, and at every convention or trade show I go to, store managers and owners beg me to make more figures that work for player characters.

Serving one side of this issue over the other basically screws me 50% of the time. So far I've been trying to balance things out, and quite honestly I despair that I will never be able to get the balance right for everyone. So, when deciding what figures to do I try to have a mix of both, guided by what I personally think would make cool and useful figures.

Because running this line is a huge amount of work (albeit fun work, but work none the less), I like to give myself one figure per set that I decide to do simply because power isn't power unless it's abused a little bit. There's no way most right-thinking people would do figures of the Wolliped, Gibrileth Demon, or Seaweed Siren, so I decided to make each of those for the simple reason that I think they look neat, and I felt I deserved at least one personal choice per set.

Now that we're doing 10 fewer sculpts per set, I've got to be a little more careful with this sort of thing, for reasons several critics have already posted in this thread. And thus a little joy dies from my world, but if it means better sales for the figures, I can deal with it.

* It seems to be that the best-selling figures in general are commons that you want a lot of--wolves, snakes, goblins, skeletons, etc. That's why I figured the Builder Series would be strong sellers, but alas… no.

Pigraven wrote:


That said, I'm glad we got as many animals as we did. Despite my love for monstrous creatures, in just about every campaign I run, animals are far more prevalent. While Falcons and Owls aren't always typical enemies, they often serve as scouts for hunting parties my group might come up against. The raven is a common familiar for my wizards and witches, what with their ability to speak. Still, I get why they wouldn't be for everyone.

I make no apologies for the number of animals in this set. A flock of birds of prey make for a cool encounter, and these things work great as familiars, animal companions, etc. I'm not going to load a ton of animals into future sets (this one is probably the limit), but there will be more of them in the future, I'm sure of it.

Pigraven wrote:
I don't mind when they stray a bit from the Adventure Path. Because this campaign was so vast and weird as far as the spectrum is concerned, it would have been okay either way as far as sticking with adventure path specific encounters. But in most cases, I prefer monstrous creatures to, say, an overabundance of campaign-related humanoids.

So says everyone except retailers and their customers. It's a conundrum.

Pigraven wrote:


I do admit I was a bit disappointed to see we wouldn't be getting another sculpt of the Frost Giant. I know I'm in the minority, but the Heroes & Monsters version does not impress me. For such a ferocious giant, he's way too skinny and frail looking.

The original Frost Giant was not based on Paizo art. WizKids brought that to the table before we even got started. I think it's a cool mini (especially with the neat change-out hand), but it's not really got the same oomph as some of our giant drawings.

Had the Reign of Winter Adventure Path included more good drawings of frost giants, I would have fought harder to get them in the set. As it was this set had more Larges that were helpful to running the campaign that I couldn't put in another set. I've got no room for Triaxian dragonriders in future sets, but I can put a generic Frost Giant in just about anywhere.

Pigraven wrote:


I'm a big troll fan, so a moss troll would have been great. But we did get a nice male and female ice troll, and I'd rather have the both of those over a moss troll.

Moss Troll is a weird monster because it established its "look" before Wayne Reynolds redesigned the general Troll for the first Pathfinder Bestiary. Therefore, it doesn't really look like other trolls and is a bit of a pain in my ass for branding reasons, even if the art we do have of this creature is pretty cool. That probably got in the way of including the Moss Troll in this set. I'll get to him eventually.

Pigraven wrote:
I was a bit surprised at the lack of a dracolisk, though not extremely disappointed. Although I think the artwork is beautiful and it would make a great miniature, it's something I can wait for.

Dracolisk has been sculpted and is currently on the sideboard with nine other figures waiting for their moment to strike. I'm pretty confident I'll get him in two sets from now. The figure is amazing.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:


Larges:
1. Zavackuul
2. General Malesinder
3. Red Dragonkin Rider
4. Polkovnik

That's correct for the Larges.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

The problem with the Builder Series is that not enough people bought them.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Two things I want to make sure to clarify.

1) The Builder Series seems to be on hold for the time being, but please don't read this as suggesting there will be no more Evolutions or other special releases. There are just going to be fewer of this sort of thing than we expected at the beginning. This has been true since the beginning, actually. Read this more as a reaction to how things have been going than a notification of an upcoming change.

2) This set and the next one are 45 figures. The one after that will be quite interesting, and will likely have more sculpts. But it's more complicated than that (in a good way). I realize that is not a lot of information, but bear with me for a couple of sets. I am hatching plans that you will adore.

I also want to say that I understand that a reduced number of sculpts makes each individual sculpt that much more important. I will do everything within my power to make anyone's decision to not support the line as difficult as humanly possible.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

These changes have nothing to do with the D&D sets. My understanding is that those sets will also be 45 figures total, as the costing works out better for WizKids at that overall set size.

I will reconfirm rarities tomorrow when I'm back in the office. I know the Catoblepas is uncommon, and I suspect that the Centaur Archer is also uncommon.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Yeah, sorry. It's the fourth adventure. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Curmudgeonly wrote:
Does the Wolliped actually make an appearance in the AP? I can't think of an encounter with one, which would make it an odd choice to include.

Unless, of course, it was the "Erik's Choice" figure of the set…

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Isil-zha wrote:
I think they planned on including a female Cloud Giant sculpt in RR. But in the end they decided to cut the Cloud Giant and the Huge White Dragon from the set. The Huge White made it into the first Dragon Evolution boxed set. So there, potentially, already is a sculpt out there somewhere that we may see cast in plastic in the future.

This is true. There is a Huge Cloud Giant (female) on the sideboard, waiting for her chance to strike.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

The actor portraying Harsk does a fantastic job. My second favorite after Ezren!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats, Thursty! You are truly a giant among men (even when most of them seem much taller than you…)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

The web team is aware of this bug and hopes to have it quashed soon.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

danielc wrote:

Any chance of a different angle on the Giant Weasel?

They do look interesting, bu tth eface looks flat to me and I wonder if it is the angle of the shot.

Probably not until we get actual production samples in the office, in about a month's time.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

One difference is that this one is riding a nightmare...

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Subscriptions are coming, by the way. The tech team needed to roll the site with a lot of other features first, and setting up the subscription is high on their to-do list.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I appreciate that folks are mixing in some "cautious" with their optimism regarding the audio dramas, but as I have heard the whole episode and have been working with Big Finish on the first five scripts (so far), I wanted to pop in and encourage you to keep an open mind about this product line.

For starters, these are NOT audiobooks. Big Finish has produced full-cast audio adventures, with music, sound effects, and a large cast including four regular characters and numerous supporting roles and bit players. While of course everyone will need to decide if the asking price makes sense to them, comparing Pathfinder Legends to an audiobook isn't really a fair comparison. These are not audiobooks.

The cast has been reduced from six to four due primarily to Big Finish's experience with more than 200 Doctor Who audio dramas that it's difficult for listeners to follow the storyline when there are so many characters fighting for screen time. Even making sure that six characters each have "character moments" means that much of the plot could get crowded out. Don't worry too much if your favorite character is not featured in this series. The plan is to produce additional adventures that will feature some different characters, too.

I don't think there's much rhyme or reason to the gender balance of the party. It certainly doesn't have anything to do with Big Finish having more male actors available than female actors. They have access to hundreds of top-talent voice actors, and all of the folks working on the Burnt Offerings audios are great.

The actors portraying Harsk and Ezren, for example, are _wonderful_. Those voices "are' the voices of those characters in my mind, now, so when I'm reading a line from a Pathfinder Comics script or an upcoming Big Finish drama, their voices are the ones I hear in my head. They really do a good job to add to the iconic characters.

As you might imagine, given the running time a lot of the minor elements of the story of the Adventure Path have been condensed or cut out entirely. Big Finish has used the modules as a basis, and then produced an _adaptation_ of the material. Everything in the audios will be familiar to folks who really know Rise of the Runelords, but folks expecting the equivalent of a "shot-for-shot" remake of the Adventure Path are likely to be disappointed.

But folks who keep and open mind, who are interested in the characterizations of the iconic characters, and who are eager to hear the Pathfinder world come alive are going to find A LOT to like about the audio dramas.

Big Finish has done a terrific job.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I just approved all of the staff RPG games today, and they are on the way down the system. It'll be a while yet before we go public with them, but I can say I think I'd be more than happy to play in any of them.

They all sound fantastic!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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The next Gargantuan is NOT A DRAGON.

I haven't decided what the one after that will be, yet.

Feel free to provide suggestions. Assume that the theme of the set is pretty straightforward dungeon adventuring, as a thought experiment.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Same painter, so it'll be quite similar.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I'm usually aware of it, but unfortunately my day-to-day meeting schedule is so tight that if some emergency happens I'm basically writing these blogs over lunch or while waiting for other people to show up to meetings.

Oh, well. There are worse problems to have than being busy!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Skeld,

Probably.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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This is a really, really weird Adventure Path filled with cat people and Russian soldiers. While figures of those characters are cool and enhance the Adventure Path, they are WAY off the beaten path, and most gamers no playing Reign of Winter are not going to want tons and tons of them.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Quote:

By smaller releases do you mean the evolutions and builder series, perhaps huge sets (although this I assume will depend on the RoW one just released). I'd love to see more in these lines.

It's probably safer to say "that sort of thing," as I'm not ready to confirm specifics yet.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Some time in the future. ;)

We're in paint masters on Reign of Winter set right now, have approved all the sculpts on the following set, and are through all sculpt approvals on the set after that.

I'm still building the set list for the one after that. It's about half done.

I have a vague idea what the set after that is.

There are a few other smaller releases in the works as well, but I've got nothing concrete to report on that front.

Remember that releases are slowing down a little now, so the frequency will not be so fast.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

There have been some changes with the vendor that have pushed this back significantly, and possibly off the schedule entirely. We'll let you know if and when that changes, but for now I have to say it is unlikely to make it for this year's anniversary, even if that anniversary is a year from yesterday.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

We had two decent illustrations of the creature. The older one is more of the 'classic" look, but we thought this one would be better reference for a miniature.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Isil-zha wrote:


In the spirit of the post a few weeks back I have a couple of questions.

1) Why are some miniatures cast in clear plastic even though the paint jobs do not make any use of this fact whatsoever (e.g., Kamadan, Medium Black Dragon)? I assume some, like the Shadow Demon, may have been planned with some translucent effects but you later decided to go a different direction (I remember something like this happened with the Earth Elementals).

It's a combination of things.

Sometimes we assume a clear plastic figure will work great, but once we see it, we decide to add paint highlights to make it more interesting. Ideally, you can still appreciate some of the clear effect by holding it up to light or something, but these are generally mid-process changes to create what we think will be better-looking miniatures.

Understanding why something like a black dragon or a Kamadan might be cast in clear plastic requires a bit of understanding of how miniatures are made. Generally speaking, a mini is composed of between 1 and as many as 8 different pieces, each with its own "slot" in the mold. Molds tend to be about the size of a dirt bike wheel in circumference, so many more than one figure fits on the same mold. All of the pieces on a single mold are filled with the same plastic, so if even one figure in that mold must be cast in clear plastic, they all will be cast in clear plastic. If there is not enough clear figures to fill a mold, WizKids will put non-clear figures on the same mold and simply paint over the clear plastic.

Isil-zha wrote:


2) What sort of paint/sealer is used? I noticed that most of the (less aggressive) suggestions to strip paint off of miniatures that are out there don't work on this product. Luckily most of the time it's unnecessary to do this even if you plan on repainting the multiples (unless you want to utilise the clear plastic somehow or get rid of the "blob-face syndrome").

Unfortunately, I do not know enough about the sealer or paint specifics to answer this question. Sorry!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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Well, there are no leucrotta in _this_ set…

Dum dee doo de dum de doo.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I have no current plans to include repainted figures in big sets.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am hoping to do a tavern-themed set some time in the future, which would be a great place to include some of these figures.

We've already done town guards in Heroes & Monsters (and there's another one coming shortly), and a fifth of the Skull & Shackles set probably qualifies for your sailor mini.

If you can stomach a monkey on his shoulder and a spell effect on his hand, S&S's Gilbrok the Tongue is our best "old man" so far. He seems to fit your other criteria.

Legends of Golarion has a king and a queen already. I can see maybe doing a less martial-looking (and better executed, frankly) king in a future set, but I think Queen Ileosa is pitch perfect and fits your description perfectly.

At least three other suggestions of yours are coming within the next two sets.

The rest will have to wait, but a lot of them are enticing.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

According to a conversation between our sales team and Esdevium from earlier this week, they're saying early March but claim it could be as early as late February. So I was able to get a little bit of visibility on the UK specifically. They apologize about the weather delays (mostly stateside) that contributed to a late UK release for this product, and assure us that they are taking steps to improve this gap in the future.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Hobbun wrote:


Or could that be an additional cost WotC would be implementing?

I don't have any idea, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that WotC gets a higher royalty percentage on their licenses than we do. That could account for some of the difference in retail price, I suppose.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Our assumption is that it's a heavy mace. You can wield a heavy mace with two hands to do one and a half times the character's Strength bonus to damage rolls per page 141 of the Core Rulebook (right column, under "One-Handed").

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:


I am curious though do you have new plans for the future so this does not happen again? Because truthfully scheduling work time for PFS has been an issue since day 1. How is the future going to be different?

That's a good question. I do have plans for providing more adventure content for PFS, but those plans interlock with many other plans at Paizo. Sometimes resources that I would prefer go to one thing end up getting cannibalized by a more pressing and immediate need. We're currently focusing a ton of attention and effort to getting a stronger hold on our production schedule. I have hope and expectation that mastering that issue will provide the opportunity we need to commit more resources to PFS adventures.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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pathar wrote:


If my attempts to deliberately be non-offensive in my analysis of announcements is to be interpreted as an overreaction requiring the intercession of the CCO, then I have clearly jumped the shark. So, screw it. Thanks for your time.

Oh, it's nothing so dramatic as all of that. I read and comment on these boards just like everybody. I'm not trying to shut down discussion of this, just letting Patrick Harris specifically know that his concerns have been noted and will be considered in future decisions of this nature, but that there is not really anything to be done in this case, and that continuing to gripe about it (however constructively) is not likely to have any additional effect above and beyond the several similar posts already in this thread.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Patrick Harris @ MU wrote:


Honest to God, Thea, I don't think I am. I have not in any way condemned this move, I have simply expressed concerns about it. Everything I have said has been pointing out that there are both ups and downs, and explaining why I feel that way. The only thing that's gotten me at all irate is the assertion that I shouldn't be voicing my opinion at all.

Patrick,

Your concerns have been well noted by the PFS team, by the other participants in this thread, and by Paizo's publisher. The latter is working very hard to devote more resources to Pathfinder Society as soon as possible, so that we have more capacity to do things like this. This year, internal scheduling concerns make it so that drafting a brand new scenario for the Exclusive slot was not in the cards.

I respectfully ask you to roll with this particular blow. The deed is done. We understand that it is not universally popular, and the best we can do is take that into consideration when we are planning out our offerings for 2015 and beyond.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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More townsfolk figures are on the way. Not necessarily in this set, but the one after this one has a couple.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I hear the comments on the goat rarity. In the case of a basic sculpt like this, I'll often err on the side of common in favor of reserving the uncommon slot for a more complex sculpt or paint job. I figure a GM could use a herd of goats or something if need be. I also have to think of the guy who buys three or four boosters instead of the guy who buys a whole case. Still, this is one of the hardest parts about building these set lists (especially in the case of "Adventure Path" sets with lots of NPCs), and I'm constantly tinkering with my methodology based on feedback from customers.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Mammy Graul and (to a somewhat lesser degree) have the problem that their illustrations do not lend themselves well to miniatures reference. I'd need to have them redrawn for sure.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else thinks that's a good idea. I have rather a lot of Large monsters I'd prefer to do sooner, personally.

Honestly, no. That's an extremely niche product that would only see play under extraordinarily specific circumstances.

What I do think is a good idea, however, is some kind of special token or marker that allows you to slide a Medium base into a Large base to represent a size increase. Something like the old Torch Markers or Flight Markers, for example.

Huh. That is a very interesting idea.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else thinks that's a good idea. I have rather a lot of Large monsters I'd prefer to do sooner, personally.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Jimi: The Heroes & Monsters Troll came out way too small, and is probably best used as a troll whelp or something. We have yet to do a "staight" troll at what we believe to be the correct size, though this will be remedied soon enough.

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