Strategic Redesigns: Bestiary Box Preview

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When planning for the Bestiary Box, we knew there were a few monsters that needed new art. They either didn’t fit in the pawn format, they were monster variants, or they were just missing art. There were also a handful of monsters that just deserved new art.

Sure, the old art was suitable for the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, but we knew that sometimes it’s good to shake things up and do them over. There are many reasons to do this: It adds value to the box. We knew that you would want new art because... well... new art is flipping cool. Sometimes our ideas about the monster in question have evolved, and we wanted to express that evolution graphically. Other times we just thought we could do better.

For our last Bestiary Box preview, we thought we would share these somewhat random shots of new pawn art. This isn’t all of the new art in the box, but it gives you a good idea of some of the cool new renderings you’ll find when you get your paws on this exciting product.



Illustrations by Dmitry Burmak and Eric Belisle

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

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Tags: Dmitry Burmak Eric Belisle Monsters Pathfinder Pawns Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

No offense to the original artist but the pawn version of the ankheg is a huge improvement over the Bestiary rendering.

I feel a little lukewarm about the ice devil, though...nyuk nyuk. ;p

Contributor

Totally biased, especially toward the ice devil, but I love, love, love, love all of these!


+100 to the new Gelugon. Now a little less bug and a little more Devil.

I am still wondering, though, why don't Salamanders ever look heated or burning, roughly like this (and why do they have nipples).

Also, my greatest hopes are for new art of Solar and Pit Fiend (the old ones were great, but I crave for more).

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

The new Wraith is very cool. Much more wraith-y than the original, in my opinion. :-)

Dark Archive

shadow!


The Salamander and ice devil look great.

Wrath looks ok.

I really dislike the ankheg's art.

I have mixed feelings for the giant frog's art.


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Gururamalamaswami wrote:

No offense to the original artist but the pawn version of the ankheg is a huge improvement over the Bestiary rendering.

I feel a little lukewarm about the ice devil, though...nyuk nyuk. ;p

Oh chill out.

*rimshot*


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Love the new ankheg, ice devil, and wraith. Kinda prefer the old salamander, though. The giant frog is cool, but perhaps a bit too monstery for what's basically just a really big toad.


I'm guessing the answer is no, but any chance the new art might find its way into the next printing of the Bestiary?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I liked the old ice devil... but the new wraith/shadow rocks!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason Nelson looks like he lost some weight.

Silver Crusade

Wow. In love with this box already.


Jam412 wrote:
Jason Nelson looks like he lost some weight.

No kidding! I almost dinnae recognize him :)

Though I really like to have/paint minis, the art here is worth the portable version.


I feel the dragons were far more improved over the bestiary art than what we are seeing here. That ankheg and Ice devil look all kinds of wrong for my tastes.

I hope we see some new art for hobgobbies and bugbears.


I actually prefer this Ankheg a lot.

I like both Wraiths

The old Salamander looks way cooler. Like something out of Mortal Kombat.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

bugleyman wrote:
I'm guessing the answer is no, but any chance the new art might find its way into the next printing of the Bestiary?

We've contemplated it, and determined that we might *try* to replace some of them, but if that causes *any* text flow issues, we won't do it.


Vic Wertz wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
I'm guessing the answer is no, but any chance the new art might find its way into the next printing of the Bestiary?
We've contemplated it, and determined that we might *try* to replace some of them, but if that causes *any* text flow issues, we won't do it.

Well, here's hoping. Thank you for replying.


I really like the giant frog. I feel like it would be good for Druid characters with a frog companion. It could also double as a slurk with some imagination.


I love the ankheg. That's what a burrowing insectoid monstrosity should look like: More tank than flatworm.

Shadow Lodge

The new ankheg looks fantastic. I've never seen an incarnation of it that I've liked before, but this one nails it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any chance we (ok, me) could get the art as a gallery somewhere. I love printing out pictures and showing them to my players, since many of the monsters they meet are unknown to them. Also, the pictures are kinda awesome :)


Oh, gallery with pictures from various blogs would be great - It would save the time seeking through all the blogs when one does not exactly remembers its name...

EDIT: It would be useful as a source of images for Paizo Game Space as well! :D

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Paizo keeps cranking out quality products, The Beginners Box and now this? The pawns are perfect for gaming and represent the friends and foes quite well. It reminds of the days when I used Paper Heroes at my gaming table; it made being the GM very affordable and fun. Good job, Paizo and keep up the good work!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

So any possibility of seeing a pawn and comic book subscription before GenCon?


Looks good! Gamers definitely like new art.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Drejk wrote:

Oh, gallery with pictures from various blogs would be great - It would save the time seeking through all the blogs when one does not exactly remembers its name...

EDIT: It would be useful as a source of images for Paizo Game Space as well! :D

The wiki has you covered with the gallery portal it lets you serach by book, year, or subject, and includes all of the art released under the community use policy.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So pretty...


Of all creatures the WRAITH got new art? I hoped it was the shadow as the shadows art is strange... the wraith is one of the best art in Bestiary 1...

Unlike Ettin, Chimera, Barghest and some others, I like the Ankheg but need to get used to the new look of the Gelugon... the salamander is awesome and the giant frog too, but also didn't really needed new art over some others.

Of all the monsters the Ettin and Barghest are my hopes up for new art.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
the Haunted Jester wrote:
So any possibility of seeing a pawn and comic book subscription before GenCon?

Yeah, I'm waiting for those, too …


Sincubus wrote:
Of all creatures the WRAITH got new art? I hoped it was the shadow as the shadows art is strange... the wraith is one of the best art in Bestiary 1...

I like the Bestiary Wraith as well (originally from an AP volume, I believe), but it's probably one of those that did not fit the pawn format. The original art is much more... square... than the pawns are.

Shadow Lodge

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Totally biased, especially toward the ice devil, but I love, love, love, love all of these!

I completely agree. That's the best version of an ice devil that I've ever seen.

- Rebis Ouroboros


The more I see the Gelugon, the more I like it! In my own made game it shines like a jewel after I switched the artworks! I really hope to see much more improved art with the box!!

LOL It seems like the Gelugon has some workout hours behind him, from extreme fat to extreme thin.

Paizo Employee CEO

Sincubus wrote:

Of all creatures the WRAITH got new art? I hoped it was the shadow as the shadows art is strange... the wraith is one of the best art in Bestiary 1...

Unlike Ettin, Chimera, Barghest and some others, I like the Ankheg but need to get used to the new look of the Gelugon... the salamander is awesome and the giant frog too, but also didn't really needed new art over some others.

Of all the monsters the Ettin and Barghest are my hopes up for new art.

One thing to think about when thinking about new art for this pawn set is that one of the main criteria for whether something got new art was not whether we thought the art was good, but rather, could the artwork fit on the pawn. In our Bestiaries, lots of times artists would draw a piece that used a lot of the three dimensions, with pieces flowing into the text and such. While that looks really cool on the page, when you have a finite area on the pawn, that artwork just doesn't work. You get images with weapons cut-off on the haft, or lower sections cut off. Also, sometimes the artwork made a little scene that just wouldn't make sense on a pawn. So for those pieces, we made new art. Not because the old was bad, but because it didn't work for the pawn shape.

-Lisa

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I really do like the look of these pawns (not so hot on the name though :) as I am a fan of paper minis (I have printed out loads of paper minis from PIG's Disposable Heroes range). If I can justify the shell space I may just have to buy some.

I much prefer these stand up minis to the Pog type counters that came with my 4e Monster Vault (I bought it for the book not the counters) as these show the full monster rather than just the face, and are also easier to pick up and move!


It's interesting to me how many people seem to like this new Gelugon. Although I was able to immediately recognize it for what it was, I did (and do) feel disappointment toward it, and when I then showed it to a friend his first response was "oh, so that's what that was supposed to be." He couldn't tell what creature it was meant to be.

However, redesigns of D&D creatures is a strange sort of subject. Many monsters, and especially fiends, go through redesigns between editions and books. The most vivid example (to me) being the Glabrezu, whose appearance changes dramatically every time we see him. I enjoy this about the Glab; he's a demon, and there's no reason to believe all Glabrezu look the same.

However, the Gelugon is a bit different, because -- oddly -- the Gelugon's appearance had been extremely consistent until now. I'd noticed and enjoyed the Gelugons consistency in the past, an attribute that, to me, contrasted him and his devilishness with the other constantly changing monsters.

I really loved the Planescape Gelugon art, and I'll always prefer that design, so it becomes difficult to talk about a redesign of this creature in an unbiased fashion. However, I believe that even if I could put that love aside, I would still find this new Gelugon a bit odd. His antennae have become giant tendrils, reminiscent of the head tails on a Twi'lek, and his entire appearance looks less insect than it does .. just .. alien.

He looks like a weird, innocent little alien that doesn't understand whatever it is that it's looking at.

It's beautiful artwork, and it's excellently rendered, but it's just so weird to look at it and think "Gelugon."


Astral Wanderer wrote:

+100 to the new Gelugon. Now a little less bug and a little more Devil.

I am still wondering, though, why don't Salamanders ever look heated or burning, roughly like this (and why do they have nipples).

Also, my greatest hopes are for new art of Solar and Pit Fiend (the old ones were great, but I crave for more).

I was wondering that about the nipples too. I also saw a drawing of a tengu the other day that had nipples. WHAT'S WITH ALL THE NIPPLES?!?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Male nipples = good!
Female nipples = blatant attack on public morality!

Sovereign Court

Gorbacz wrote:

Male nipples = good!

Female nipples = blatant attack on public morality!

fnar fnar


Well, although I surely don't love it, I could accept male nipples. As long as they're on mammalian chests.

You know, various types of art often also feature reptilian (or other non-mammalian kind) female humanoids with breasts, which makes me wonder a little.


I take it as a sign of how invasive furry art has become; the presence of nipples and other mammalian features in depictions of non-mammals is typical of furry fan art, and has slowly worked its way into general anthropomorphic works over the years.


Well the marilith in the original MM was fairly nipple-tastic 30 years plus ago


Astral Wanderer wrote:

Well, although I surely don't love it, I could accept male nipples. As long as they're on mammalian chests.

You know, various types of art often also feature reptilian (or other non-mammalian kind) female humanoids with breasts, which makes me wonder a little.

Exactly. Let's not turn it into a gender thing. It's a species thing. Actually, I was really happy to see some artwork (I don't remember in what book) of the sahuagin priestess who didn't have any nipples, breasts, or other typically feminine qualities you often see in fantasy art.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
William Thomas wrote:
Well the marilith in the original MM was fairly nipple-tastic 30 years plus ago

Not really. (That's a Type V demon, for those of you wanting to check). I'd say the preceding entry (the Type IV demon) has more pronounced nipples, and getting on for as much supporting tissue. But it's definitely got other strikes against it :-) For sexuality, it's not really surprising that the Succubus on the facing page has them both beat, even though there's not a bit of nipple in sight.

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