Meet the Iconics: Jirelle

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Introducing the first of the Advanced Class Guide's new iconic characters, Jirelle the swashbuckler. While the complete rules for making your own swashbuckler characters debut in the Advanced Class Guide this August, Jirelle herself features in the our upcoming Free RPG Day adventure, Pathfinder Module: Risen from the Sands, available at participating game stores Saturday June 21st. Jirelle is also a playable character in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Skull & Shackles Base Set due in August.

Jirelle may have been born and raised on a ship, and she might call the Shackles her homeland, but she never considered herself a pirate, even if only to distance herself from the darkest part of her childhood: her mother.

Today, Jirelle is a friendly sort with a biting wit and a charming personality. She makes new friends as swiftly as she strikes with her rapier, and while she has a flair for the dramatic (why merely attack a foe when you can make a show of it with a twirl of the cape or a somersault or two?), she never favors ostentation or glory over the opportunity to help a friend in need. Jirelle understands that the strength of one's relationships with friends, allies, lovers, and family make one strong. It was her mother's failure to forge such bonds that allowed a young Jirelle to escape from a life that would have likely seen offered as sacrifice to the shark demon Ovonovo before the close of her thirteenth birthday.

On the subject of her mother or her ship, the Bloodcrow, the typically light-hearted half-elf grows serious. Jirelle does not share the secrets of her childhood with just anyone. As such, few know how she engineered the sinking of the Bloodcrow and the death of her wretched elven mother off the coast of Tempest Cay. Jirelle often jokes that she befriends for life, with the playful, only slightly malicious glint in her eyes implying what might happen to those who would betray such friendship.

After escaping the Bloodcrow, Jirelle spent some time surviving as a street rat in the alleys of Drenchport. Armed with a fine rapier and clad in her her mother's magical cloak (the only two things she managed to escape the Bloodcrow's wreckage with), Jirelle kept every coin and bauble she earned in a thrice-locked chest she keeps well hidden and protected. At first, she'd hoped to save enough money to afford a move from the Shackles to distant Taldor, drawn by tales of a land where duels and extravagance and civility promised a better life. But when rumors of a strange, ghostly ship plying the sea-ways of the Shackles reached her—fearful stories of a vessel commanded by an imperious banshee and bound by undeath—Jirelle realized that in sinking the Bloodcrow she'd done the exact opposite of what she'd intended. Rather than spare the Shackles of a brutal pirate queen, she'd unleashed an even deadlier scourge upon the Fever Sea.

Today, Jirelle seeks the funds to someday finance a ship and crew of her own. She plans not to become a pirate—for a life of plunder and cruelty holds no appeal for the daring swashbuckler—but to finish the job she started on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. Jirelle knows she can't do this on her own, though. So she seeks true and able allies, knowing that only with bravery and trust will the Bloodcrow's days be numbered.

James Jacobs
Creative Director

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Tags: Iconics Jirelle Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Swashbuckler Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, boobplate bothers me, too, but for the purely practical reason that it would get the character killed more easily.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, boobplate bothers me, too, but for the purely practical reason that it would get the character killed more easily.

Agreed.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The thing is, if you go to an art site and look what´s going on there, you will find out very fast, that Paizo art is already very moderate in many perspectives. It is quite realistic, not sexist (although some still claim so), as far as i can say outfits suit personalities, classes, etc and make sense. Armor and weapons tend to be on the more realistic side too.
Looking at some other stuff, it could be much worse.

I also can´t understand the criticism for the inner sea magic cover because there are three females, but no males on it.
All the Paizo covers i have in mind, none is a real offender and they are fairly even distributed. There are several with no females at all on it.

In my opinion, there are several individuals that are very engaged in gender/feminism/equality topics and search for something everywhere.
I can understand that, because i have similar problems with some other topics i´m researching. But the gender/feminism thing can be totally overdone. It´s like with sexuality. Not everything is something sexual, has sexual connotations or is meant as sexual, yet you can always find someone who takes offense and receives it that way. Often, because individuals are pre-occupied with that topic.
It´s a difficult topic and there are surely a lot of areas where further development is urgently needed. The art and covers here don´t belong to that area in my eyes.

And by the way, most of that "problems" can be rooted down to simple questions of power. So in that sense, what can be witnessed here is partially a fight for power. And, because it is utterly moral free, it can not be supposed, that if there is some change, that change will lead to a better world or more justice and equality.
More likely, one repressive power exchanges another one.


I remember there was a big blow up about some character from Rise of Runelords (I think) in which she was an archeologist that wanders around in dungeons in skimpy clothing. It was stated that she uses her body to seduce people, but I know that there was complaints about an long time archeologist the frequently delves into monster filled tombs running around without any protection.

I honestly don't think that Seoni's clothes are appropriate to her character. I can understand free-flowing clothes because she's a caster, but there is a large difference between free-flowing and what she's wearing. I just wish her clothes were more appropriate to the career of an adventurer.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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I've always chalked up Seoni's clothing (as little as there may be) to a cultural thing and not simply her calling as a spellcaster. She's Varisian. They have a long history of dance and performance in addition to their magical traditions. As such, for her character, her unusual outfit seems more appropriate on her than it would on any other iconic. It does seem that she catches a lot of flak for it among the fanbase. However, in world, I imagine she has enough force of personality (i.e., high Charisma) and pure, arcane power not to be phased by anyone who tries to make anything of it to her face.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Me, I'm just tired of so many times when a female appears in a Paizo product, this issue is what the thread becomes about. If any other topic were derailing the thread about this cool new character this much, someone would have already said something about please move the discussion to a new thread, most likely.

So, this time I'll do it. Can you please move this off-topic discussion about sexualization and iconics to one of the other dozen or so threads on the subject? Thank you.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Reckless wrote:

Me, I'm just tired of so many times when a female appears in a Paizo product, this issue is what the thread becomes about. If any other topic were derailing the thread about this cool new character this much, someone would have already said something about please move the discussion to a new thread, most likely.

So, this time I'll do it. Can you please move this off-topic discussion about sexualization and iconics to one of the other dozen or so threads on the subject? Thank you.

Understood, Will only continue on this page with talk about Jirelle and move to one of the other designated pages. sorry, if this sidetrack bothered anyone. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You know what could be cool? Starting a new campaign with iconics and basing the game completely off their backstories. Weave the teases together into a cohesive campaign.... Hmnnn....


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She looks awesome. I like the red cape. She holds it like she going to be a bull fighter, and get some fool to charge past her when she is playing with him.


Jessica Price wrote:

Tangent, but...

I was just having a conversation with Wes on Friday about how maybe it's time for an iconic whose parents are A) living, and B) not horrible.

Conflict is definitely important for storytelling, and I get that a rough upbringing is a logical impetus to become an adventure, but not everyone needs to be an orphan or abused runaway. This isn't Disney.

Adventurers coming from doomed hometowns is a tactical decision. Having no parents (or evil parents) and no childhood home means nasty omnipotent string-pullers known as "Dee-Emms" can't have your nemesis take your family/friends prisoner as a bargaining chip.

It's perfectly obvious and logical when you think about it.


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Draco Bahamut wrote:

Interesting as everything is a point of view. As a brazilian, i can only think how Jirelle can adventure without fainting from a heatstroke. All adventures seem overdressed for any climate i have been in my life (i never seen snow).

Another curious note is that Seoni dress is still scandalous even for our standards.

Well, here in the winter in the UK, when it's just above freezing, we can get icy rain/melting snow and wind chill.

Wet skin and cold winds, (or possibly worse, soaking wet, icy cold clothes leeching the warmth out of you) is a quick route to death from hypothermia.

So a couple of thinlayers under that armour for Jirelle, and someone fetch Seoni a blanket before she catches her death!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wasn´t UK the place where a lot of girls wear miniskirts in the most nasty winters? Maybe that´s London only?
Either way, something i could never understand.


Yes, it is. In most big cities I think. No, I don't understand it either. I assume that they stay indoors when the weather's really foul though.

Dark Archive

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
So a couple of thinlayers under that armour for Jirelle, and someone fetch Seoni a blanket before she catches her death!

That, or a scroll of endure elements. Sometimes absurd costumes can be made quasi-functional through magic.


There's a picture of Seoni riding a camel in her normal attire. That means essentially bare-legged. I wince every time I see it. Saddle sores, anyone?

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

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Jessica Price wrote:

Tangent, but...

I was just having a conversation with Wes on Friday about how maybe it's time for an iconic whose parents are A) living, and B) not horrible.

Conflict is definitely important for storytelling, and I get that a rough upbringing is a logical impetus to become an adventure, but not everyone needs to be an orphan or abused runaway. This isn't Disney.

FYI, I just wrote the backstories of 21 new characters for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Class Decks, and only two of them have any mention of death or abuse in their family.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Reminds me of THE typical half-orc backstory^^

Nah, actually my father was human and my mother orcish. She worked as a dominatrix though. *cough*


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I haven't read it, but yay, female character without massive breasts! You've made me proud, Paizo!

Silver Crusade

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Hayato Ken wrote:

Reminds me of THE typical half-orc backstory^^

Nah, actually my father was human and my mother orcish. She worked as a dominatrix though. *cough*

Hmmm, LG orcs...


Vladimir Thomas wrote:
I haven't read it, but yay, female character without massive breasts! You've made me proud, Paizo!

Jirelle looks to have breasts about the same as all the other female iconics (with notable exceptions). You just can't see it the size well because of the armor and colouring. However, if you look under her right arm and the left side of her left breast (where it overlaps with her cape) you can see the curvature and you'll see they are rather noticeable.

Project Manager

Mike Selinker wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

Tangent, but...

I was just having a conversation with Wes on Friday about how maybe it's time for an iconic whose parents are A) living, and B) not horrible.

Conflict is definitely important for storytelling, and I get that a rough upbringing is a logical impetus to become an adventure, but not everyone needs to be an orphan or abused runaway. This isn't Disney.

FYI, I just wrote the backstories of 21 new characters for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Class Decks, and only two of them have any mention of death or abuse in their family.

Yay, variety! :D

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Hayato Ken wrote:

Reminds me of THE typical half-orc backstory^^

Nah, actually my father was human and my mother orcish. She worked as a dominatrix though. *cough*

That could never happen.


James Jacobs wrote:

Thing is...

People with well-adjusted, comfortable, worry-free lives are generally not the ones, in my opinion, who become adventurers. Adventuring is a dirty, tough, dangerous job, and you kinda have to be at least a little bit crazy in order to want to be one of them.

Bored into craziness? "I don't want to get married!"? Born crazy? Etc?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Yes, it is. In most big cities I think. No, I don't understand it either. I assume that they stay indoors when the weather's really foul though.

Generally that's only on nights out, which means that booze dulls the senses.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

Didn't we already have a female half-elf iconic? I wish she was a catfolk and I wish some of the human iconics were other non-core races.

Well interesting back story and good artwork.

Non-core races, not being core, aren't appropriate to be iconic characters.

I never understood this. Logically, wouldn't that only apply to the iconics for core classes? I mean, I don't particularly care one way or the other, but that seems like a pretty weak argument.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mechanically speaking, our iconic characters are meant to be somewhat typical examples of their class in our world. In the “average” Golarion city (as much as there is such a thing), non-core races make up less than 1% of the population, so characters from such races are automatically atypical.


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Vic Wertz wrote:
Mechanically speaking, our iconic characters are meant to be somewhat typical examples of their class in our world. In the “average” Golarion city (as much as there is such a thing), non-core races make up less than 1% of the population, so characters from such races are automatically atypical.

If Paizo ever make a revised/new edition, I hope you increase the number of core races.

Silver Crusade

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Tieflings and aasimar have been "core" for me since Planescape. :)


I'm gonna be in suspense for the others. That I can guarantee.


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zergtitan wrote:

I think on the Issue of clothing on character art, the Idea is not to clothe more of the body, but to make the outfit practical and stylish. to have each suit not just be a functional one but also styled to the character's own fashion sense.

so while the chainmail bikini won't work due mostly to impracticality, having a suit of armor that does the job of protection but also allows for style I think is what developers are looking for from artists.

Ex. Jirelle has armor that is both practical and stylish while Seoni's clothes while can be scandalous are in fact functional for an arcane caster with the need of freedom of movement.

Pet Peve: When the breastplate on a female character is shaped for each individual breast instead of a single modification for the bust area. >:(

We are talking fantasy here are we not? There is nothing wrong in having armor shaped for each individual breast instead of a single modification for the bust area.

True, if every woman had it like that it would be silly, but the Iconics are the best of the best so if they can afford it why not? At least if that is what the character wants.
Edit: What the character wants = Fits with the character.

Honestly, a swashbuckler or even a bard could be vain enough to choose looking good over having +X to ac. Pretty much any swashbuckler I have seen in a movie have done cool stuff that put them in unnecessary danger.

We have a male pop-star in Sweden called Di leva that once said: My makeup is just as important as my music.

I could easily see swashbuckler saying it is just as important to look good as having good armor so I rather die looking awesome than living looking mundane.

This is a fantasy game. Even the ugly look good. Harsk used to have charisma 7 and he sure isn’t but ugly.


Strange bugg. I can see Quinn the Iconic investigator before the blogg is up.

Edit:
Nice art! Cool Cane!


If you're going to have stupid fanservice armor for women you need to follow the Kill la Kill Equivalency Principal.

For every instance of boob armor on female characters there must be an equally apparent instance of bulging codpieces on male characters. Otherwise, any arguments defending female fanservice armor for being fantasy and not having to be realistic are immediately invalid.

Personally I'd rather Paizo go the "reasonable female apparel" route, as they have with Jirelle. I'm too gay to be interested in seeing man bulges everywhere.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

If you're going to have stupid fanservice armor for women you need to follow the Kill la Kill Equivalency Principal.

For every instance of boob armor on female characters there must be an equally apparent instance of bulging codpieces on male characters. Otherwise, any arguments defending female fanservice armor for being fantasy and not having to be realistic are immediately invalid.

Personally I'd rather Paizo go the "reasonable female apparel" route, as they have with Jirelle. I'm too gay to be interested in seeing man bulges everywhere.

A swashbuckler being vain is realistic.


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Individually shaped breastplates is not *the best of the best* by any means. Having individually shaped breasts actually makes the armor worse in many ways. Shaping each breast puts stress on the metal and weakens it, meaning it's easier to puncture. At the same time, the shape of the breast makes it more likely for the blade to be deflected into the valley of the breasts, delivering the majority of the blow to the center of the chest, a likely mortal blow. It also increases the likelihood of a deflection to the neck, another mortal blow.

For ceremonial armor, I have no problem with 'breast'plate armor; for actual purposes, it tends to annoy me. It serves no purpose other than to say, "LOOK!!! FEMALE!!! BEEWWWBBBSSSSS!!!!!"


Zark wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

If you're going to have stupid fanservice armor for women you need to follow the Kill la Kill Equivalency Principal.

For every instance of boob armor on female characters there must be an equally apparent instance of bulging codpieces on male characters. Otherwise, any arguments defending female fanservice armor for being fantasy and not having to be realistic are immediately invalid.

Personally I'd rather Paizo go the "reasonable female apparel" route, as they have with Jirelle. I'm too gay to be interested in seeing man bulges everywhere.

A swashbuckler being vain is realistic.

Jirelle is very fashionable, and does it in a way that isn't obviously male gaze oriented. How many of these vain male swashbucklers do you see drawn that dress in a way to get people to focus on their groin?

(amusingly, the knife thrower on the swashbuckler class briefing qualifies due to one very interestingly placed dagger. but he is far more the exception than the rule and you won't see stuff like that from developers less self-aware than Paizo.)


Arachnofiend wrote:
Zark wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

If you're going to have stupid fanservice armor for women you need to follow the Kill la Kill Equivalency Principal.

For every instance of boob armor on female characters there must be an equally apparent instance of bulging codpieces on male characters. Otherwise, any arguments defending female fanservice armor for being fantasy and not having to be realistic are immediately invalid.

Personally I'd rather Paizo go the "reasonable female apparel" route, as they have with Jirelle. I'm too gay to be interested in seeing man bulges everywhere.

A swashbuckler being vain is realistic.

Jirelle is very fashionable, and does it in a way that isn't obviously male gaze oriented. How many of these vain male swashbucklers do you see drawn that dress in a way to get people to focus on their groin?

(amusingly, the knife thrower on the swashbuckler class briefing qualifies due to one very interestingly placed dagger. but he is far more the exception than the rule and you won't see stuff like that from developers less self-aware than Paizo.)

None of my male friends "dress in a way to get people to focus on their groin" when they want to look hot.


And I don't put on boob armor.


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Tels wrote:
Individually shaped breastplates is not *the best of the best* by any means. Having individually shaped breasts actually makes the armor worse in many ways.

A) So what if you are vain?

B) This is fantasy. People cast fireball, fly and fight dragons. Realism has nothing to do with it. I don’t want my fantasy world mundane, nor do I want it filled with boob plates only. A middle ground will do just fine.


Arachnofiend wrote:
And I don't put on boob armor.

I don’t think your d*ck vs boob analogy is working, especially if we look at the world today.


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Again, keep that discussion out of this thread and in one of the countless threads dedicated to it. If you're not capable of that, perhaps you should not post at all.

Grand Lodge

Her storyline requires an adventure module :o
It's compelling, and gives a chance of trying naval combat without having to play an entire adventure path


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Squeeky McClean wrote:

Her storyline requires an adventure module :o

It's compelling, and gives a chance of trying naval combat without having to play an entire adventure path

Damn. Now you've gone and made me wish we could have a module dedicated to each Iconic. :)

Silver Crusade

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Matt Thomason wrote:
Squeeky McClean wrote:

Her storyline requires an adventure module :o

It's compelling, and gives a chance of trying naval combat without having to play an entire adventure path
Damn. Now you've gone and made me wish we could have a module dedicated to each Iconic. :)

Yeah, it was that thought that went and made me bump Imrijka's thread.

Man, Sajan's too. We even have art ready for his sister now, still waiting to see print!


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Maybe this isn't module or AP material. Maybe it's comic material. I'm so down for a swashbuckling Pathfinder comic.


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All the back stories of the characters are filled with tragedy and such. Which is nice. But just for funsies I want to see Paizo's take on a joke character. Would be awesome!

Jirelle is pretty cool though


Domestichauscat wrote:

All the back stories of the characters are filled with tragedy and such. Which is nice. But just for funsies I want to see Paizo's take on a joke character. Would be awesome!

Jirelle is pretty cool though

And/or a Lethal Joke Character.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Maybe this isn't module or AP material. Maybe it's comic material. I'm so down for a swashbuckling Pathfinder comic.

Oh, I could absolutely go for that too. A series of one-shots for Iconic origins.

A series of novels would work for me too.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Domestichauscat wrote:

All the back stories of the characters are filled with tragedy and such. Which is nice. But just for funsies I want to see Paizo's take on a joke character. Would be awesome!

Jirelle is pretty cool though

You should check out the pregens for We Be Goblins then. Being goblins, they're all joke characters.

Scarab Sages

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Matt Thomason wrote:
Oh, I could absolutely go for that too. A series of one-shots for Iconic origins.

Yes. Paizo/Dynamite, please do this. "Iconics: Origins" would be awesome. 8^)

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually, that's not a bad idea. TSR did something like that back in the day with the Endless Quest line - a self-contained gamebook that had you playing as a character in a cross between Choose Your Own Adventure and D&D. That might be another way to capture business, but I suspect that this sort of book doesn't sell well any longer. A partnership with someone like Tin Man Games, though, who gained the license to recreate the Fighting Fantasy line of gamebooks in ap form, though - that would be the way to go, in my book.

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