Meet the Iconics: Quinn

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Introducing the next of the Advanced Class Guide's new iconic characters, Quinn the investigator. While the complete rules for making your own investigator characters debut in the Advanced Class Guide this August, Quinn features in our upcoming Free RPG Day adventure, Pathfinder Module: Risen from the Sands, available at participating game stores Saturday, June 21st.


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The rule of law is only as strong as the people who uphold it, and few know this fact better than Quinn.

The child of a former noble family of Galt, Quinn was raised to despise the chaos that had robbed his parents of their proper name and station, forcing them to hide as middle-class apothecaries. Yet for Quinn himself, trained as a legal clerk and never having personally known the aristocratic comforts his parents mourned, this was no true inconvenience. What frustrated him about his nation was not that power resided with the people, but rather that it was wielded in such a capricious fashion. His fellow citizens' constant false accusations and refusal to abide by court rulings—not to mention the Gray Gardeners' tendency to pronounce sentences completely outside the system—drove young Quinn to distraction.

When Quinn was 37, having recently lost both parents to an outbreak of plague, his simmering rage finally came to a head. After the ruling faction sentenced a man to death with flagrant disregard for due process, Quinn overstepped his usual role by investigating the matter himself, turning up irrefutable proof of the man's innocence. When his attempts to reopen the case were stymied, he returned the night before the scheduled execution and set the man free—only to run straight into a Gray Gardener patrol. The prisoner escaped in the ensuing fracas, and even as Quinn ran, he heard the Gardeners shouting his name.

Quinn fled for the Taldan border, knowing that there was now a price on his head. Yet despite all he'd lost, he found himself laughing—for here, in this tragic debacle, he had finally discovered a sense of satisfaction he'd been missing his whole life. He had upheld the law and defended the innocent in spite of government negligence and corruption. By working outside the legal system, he'd helped guide it back toward a righteous path. And he wanted more.

Thus began a new chapter in Quinn's life. Roaming the nations of the Inner Sea, he constantly keeps an ear out for allegations of unjust accusations or abuses of power. When he finds one, he investigates the case himself, using a lifetime of association with law enforcement agents and detective agencies like The Sleepless to help him ferret out the truth. If the legal system seems fair, he often shows up unexpectedly at the court proceedings, presenting sworn evidence and acting as defending counsel for the accused. If he finds a court to be corrupt, he takes a more direct hand in protecting the innocent. While he respects the law, he also knows that people are imperfect, and that breaking local laws is sometimes necessary in order to uphold more universal ones. Of course, his meddling is rarely popular with the opposition, and so Quinn generally moves along as soon as he's seen justice done and taken steps to ensure that the victim won't suffer further abuses.

Quinn is a genial, gentlemanly sort, quick with a joke and able to fit easily into both high society and low. His well-honed analytical mind is capable of astounding feats of logic and deduction, and he's fond of sharpening it still further with alchemical extracts learned from his parents and his own personal studies. While formidable in combat, he uses a sword cane so as not to unduly tip off his enemies to his abilities, believing that the best weapon is the one your foe never sees coming. He's loyal to his friends, and sometimes seems to have a connection in every town, yet is also wary of associating too long or too openly with his allies, knowing that his fight for justice has made him unpopular with various powerful factions.

Though now well into middle age, Quinn has no intentions of slowing down. As he's fond of telling companions, "a man needs only three things to change the world: a quick wit, a righteous heart, and a stylish coat."

James L. Sutter
Managing Editor

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Tags: Iconics Investigator Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Quinn Wayne Reynolds
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Wolfwaker wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Is there anyone who would disagree with Idris Elba for the Pathfinder movie?
I was going to say Morgan Freeman.

Thought about him too, similar signature facial hair as well.

Silver Crusade

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Shepard Book in Browncoat uniform. love it.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Harsk was born middle aged.


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I admittedly wasn't terribly excited about the Investigator (the Slayer is more the Rogue that I wanted and I was unfairly disappointed when I discovered the Investigator was not a Naoto-styled Rogue/Gunslinger) but I think I need to give it another read through. I love everything about this character; great art, great backstory, and seeing Lawful Good as it should be is always very satisfying to me.


He's cool, and I like the Diogenes thing, but can we have someone with living parents and a relatively normal family life next time? Just so we can say we did it once?


At his age it's acceptable for his parents to be dead, but the plague thing was pretty unnecessary and doesn't really add to his personal conflicts.

Liberty's Edge

Dark Psion wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Kryptik wrote:

Anyone with a sword cane gets an instant like from me.

Although I have to admit we are 0/2 so far on the "parents are dead" trope.

Well sure, but he's in his 40s...his parents being dead isn't shocking. And actually, Jirelle's father could easily be alive, we just don't know.
Only if the shark is still chewing.

Jirelle's father hasn't been explicitly fed to sharks, indeed we hear nothing about him. But her mother planned to feed her to sharks and that didn't work out so well, maybe it's hereditary...


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Ramirez!


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
He's cool, and I like the Diogenes thing, but can we have someone with living parents and a relatively normal family life next time? Just so we can say we did it once?

Meet the Iconics: Lirianne

I'd say that's a reasonably normal life up until the storm that sparked her adventuring career. Loving over-protective father, career as an Alkenstar Fieldmarshall, no major tragedies in her childhood. Yes her mother is gone, but it was because she was flighty and decided to move on, not because she was murdered or betrayed or anything.

So... We've already got one with a relatively normal life. Mission accomplished.


I don't call an elf mother moving away after ten years and three kids because she thought it was a "fling" normal.

I do want to know what the nightlife is like where you live, though.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Elves aren't 'normal'. The elf thought it was a 'fling' because she's going to live to be 700 years old. A ten year relationship to her could be considered to be like dating someone for six months and realizing it wasn't going to work out.

She just wasn't expecting the human to be so fertile. But what is she supposed to do? Stick around long enough for the children to grow up so she can watch the human age to death?


A better point, and agreed.

Dark Archive

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One of the best Iconics, to date, IMO.

Love the big map case slung over his back. Makes sense that a man always on the move, and a professional investigator, would carry his own maps.

(Or, yanno, maybe he just cut a Jackson Pollack out of the frame at the nearby museum and is smuggling it away. I won't judge.)


Ipslore the Red wrote:

I don't call an elf mother moving away after ten years and three kids because she thought it was a "fling" normal.

I do want to know what the nightlife is like where you live, though.

Trust me, Australia's capital is not renowned for nightlife. Though I think there is still an industrial nightclub in Civic right TG?


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I like Quinn. I like his evolution. I like his age. That is definitely one fancy coat. I like Investigators. All around nice post. Yay!

Sczarni

Wow, new best iconic art for sure.

And for the movie: a young Billy Dee Williams.


Ipslore the Red wrote:

I don't call an elf mother moving away after ten years and three kids because she thought it was a "fling" normal.

I do want to know what the nightlife is like where you live, though.

Note that I said reasonably normal. And yeah, I don't consider it particularly out of character for an elf to do that. My point still stands. No major tragic events (her mother leaving doesn't seem to have affected her terribly), relatively happy upbringing, parents (as far as we are aware) still alive.

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Trust me, Australia's capital is not renowned for nightlife. Though I think there is still an industrial nightclub in Civic right TG?

The monthly goth/industrial/alternative night, Chrome, is still around, but they've been having major issues finding a regular venue since Holy Grail closed down. No idea why they're having so many issues, I suspect that the organisers have have something to do with it though. I'm told they're a bit abrasive. If I want to go out these days it's to play pool and have a few drinks with friends, or to go to the monthly nerd trivia night. Other than that my only regular nights out are movies, game nights and any metal concerts that are on.

Silver Crusade

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Y'know, looking at Quinn some more... He has got to have some inclination towards theatrics. You don't favor that weapon without being ready and able to ham it up at a moment's notice. ;)

Tinkergoth wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
He's cool, and I like the Diogenes thing, but can we have someone with living parents and a relatively normal family life next time? Just so we can say we did it once?

Meet the Iconics: Lirianne

I'd say that's a reasonably normal life up until the storm that sparked her adventuring career. Loving over-protective father, career as an Alkenstar Fieldmarshall, no major tragedies in her childhood. Yes her mother is gone, but it was because she was flighty and decided to move on, not because she was murdered or betrayed or anything.

The other thing I really love about Lirianne is that she's "living the dream" so to speak. She's been stuck in magic-don't-work-land for so long, and now she's getting to explore this wild, vibrant fantasy world beyond the borders.

She's probably the happiest of all the iconics, now that I think about it. :)


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Mikaze wrote:

Y'know, looking at Quinn some more... He has got to have some inclination towards theatrics. You don't favor that weapon without being ready and able to ham it up at a moment's notice. ;)

Tinkergoth wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
He's cool, and I like the Diogenes thing, but can we have someone with living parents and a relatively normal family life next time? Just so we can say we did it once?

Meet the Iconics: Lirianne

I'd say that's a reasonably normal life up until the storm that sparked her adventuring career. Loving over-protective father, career as an Alkenstar Fieldmarshall, no major tragedies in her childhood. Yes her mother is gone, but it was because she was flighty and decided to move on, not because she was murdered or betrayed or anything.

The other thing I really love about Lirianne is that she's "living the dream" so to speak. She's been stuck in magic-don't-work-land for so long, and now she's getting to explore this wild, vibrant fantasy world beyond the borders.

She's probably the happiest of all the iconics, now that I think about it. :)

Gods yes. Soon as I saw he had a sword cane I was so happy. One of my favourite weapons in the game. So good for theatrics.

And yeah, I imagine you're right about Lirianne being happy with the circumstances :P Also just noticed that I called her a field marshall, not a Shieldmarshall... bah, too tired today.

Silver Crusade

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Wide-eyed wonder at the world around them is something we need to see a lot more of in iconic artwork. :)

Grand Lodge

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Lester Freamon! I love it!
Brilliant work team.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ipslore the Red wrote:
He's cool, and I like the Diogenes thing, but can we have someone with living parents and a relatively normal family life next time? Just so we can say we did it once?

...Um, Valeros? You wanna speak up here?


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This is the best iconic character for me so far. I can't help it but for me Quinn is way cooler than Jeggare & Radovan.

He's a cool sherlock & a gambit-like batman combined. And that art nails the character down perfectly: "a quick wit, a righteous heart, and a stylish coat".

The author who would be writing his novel would really have a tremendous amount of pressure living up to the art & the background.

I was not looking forward on buying this upcoming rulebook at all but Quinn has sold me to it. Darn you paizo for ruining my budget again!


I don't call Valeros normal. He ran away from home in the middle of the night.

Liberty's Edge

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Ipslore the Red wrote:
I don't call Valeros normal. He ran away from home in the middle of the night.

To escape marrying the person his parents wanted him to, not in fear for his life or anything. That's...pretty normal as adventurers go, actually.


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Mm. Yeah, you're right, I concede that point. Alright, let me pick a better phrase. I'd like to see an iconic character with a relatively unusual family life for an adventurer. Raised by two biological parents who are still alive, do not suffer from a tragic illness, has some number, possibly zero, of siblings who are not long-lost or bastard children of another mother or father, and went adventuring with their family's full blessing. Their hometown is just fine, they keep in touch with their parents, and they are on good terms with their extended family, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins.

To be clear, a normal family, not a family of wizards or long-hidden ninja clan or any of that nonsense. The iconic might be a soldier or some other position that helps him serve his country/the greater good.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
I don't call Valeros normal. He ran away from home in the middle of the night.
To escape marrying the person his parents wanted him to, not in fear for his life or anything. That's...pretty normal as adventurers go, actually.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
To escape marrying the person his parents wanted him to,

Oh please let this be the iconic Brawler's backstory. That would bring the whole thing full-circle.

Liberty's Edge

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Mikaze wrote:
Oh please let this be the iconic Brawler's backstory. That would bring the whole thing full-circle.

Oh my God. That's beautiful.

I now pray they do this. It'd be wonderful.


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Hm. So...Iconic Fighter ran away to avoid having to marry...Iconic Brawler?

Silver Crusade

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I tentatively support an Imrijka-Valeros-Brawler love triangle now.

Silver Crusade

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Also, I think he's the first iconic with goggles.

I'm amazed the gnomes got beaten to that. ;)


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In the Galtan justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: Quinn, who investigates crimes, and the Gray Gardeners, who prosecute the innocent.

These are their stories.

dun duun

I am so, so sorry


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Also, Vive le Galt!


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Mikaze wrote:

Also, I think he's the first iconic with goggles.

I'm amazed the gnomes got beaten to that. ;)

That means he gets the dinosaur Digimon, right? ;)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

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I want Lennie James for the film version.


brent norton wrote:

Shepard Book in Browncoat uniform. love it.

That's what was bugging me about him.

He reminded me of somebody, but I couldn't think of who he was reminding me of. Now I know.


Great background, and even more amazing artwork by WAR. This dude is too cool. I'd like to see him in the comics eventually.


The years have not been kind to the medicine woman...


So, when are we going to get the next batch of sonnets?


Mikaze wrote:
I tentatively support an Imrijka-Valeros-Brawler love triangle now.

That picture of Seoni in Ultimate Campaign makes me think that Imrijka and the Brawler have someone to fear.


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"A man needs only three things to change the world: a quick wit, a righteous heart, and a stylish coat."

Words to live by, right there.


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He reminds me of Morgan Freeman

....……I am ok with this

Great story too. I like this guy!

Grand Lodge

Does anyone else think this looks like Wayne Reynolds just re colored and fiddled with an Ezren piece until it looked like Quinn?

Liberty's Edge

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Oncoming_Storm wrote:
Does anyone else think this looks like Wayne Reynolds just re colored and fiddled with an Ezren piece until it looked like Quinn?

Uh...no? Not at all? Their builds are similar, and they both have cane-like objects and scroll/map cases...but none of the other details are the same, their outfits are entirely different, they're standing in different poses, and in terms of face the two look absolutely nothing alike.

Both are loaded down with a fair bit of random stuff...but that's just how Wayne Reynolds rolls, not a meaningful similarity.


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Not really, no. The poses, while similar, are different enough that it'd have been a significant amount of work to change it, and the costumes are completely different.

EDIT: Ninja'd by a dead man. Man I'm slow.

Liberty's Edge

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Tinkergoth wrote:
EDIT: Ninja'd by a dead man. Man I'm slow.

Eh, don't feel bad, I'm pretty spry for a corpse. What with the walking and all...


I know it is not the case but it would be cool if this guy is the father of the swashbuckler iconic:)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
EDIT: Ninja'd by a dead man. Man I'm slow.
Eh, don't feel bad, I'm pretty spry for a corpse. What with the walking and all...

Heh, my Necromancer Blood Bowl team are the Dead Men Walking. Team Motto: You Can't Keep A Dead Man Down. So yeah, I know those dead men can move when they want to.

Man, the more I look at that artwork, the more I love it. So many awesome details


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Is there anyone who would disagree with Idris Elba for the Pathfinder movie?

Interestingly enough, I *did* have a cast member of The Wire in mind the whole time I was writing this—but it was Clarke Peters, not Idris Elba. (Because really, Lester is the coolest character in that whole show.)

But Elba's a close second. ;)

See that's who I was thinking of as well. And yes, Lester IS, next to Omar my favorite character in the whole show.


Tinkergoth wrote:
Man, the more I look at that artwork, the more I love it. So many awesome details

It's the earrings I keep fixating on, and I have no idea why. The earrings, and that one nonchalant raised eyebrow.

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