Meet the Iconics: Crowe

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Today we introduce the next of the new iconic characters from the Advanced Class Guide: Crowe the bloodrager. While the complete rules for making your own bloodrager characters will debut this August in the Advanced Class Guide, Crowe features in this year’s Free RPG Day adventure, Pathfinder Module: Risen from the Sands. Crowe will also be a playable character in the not-yet-announced Pathfinder Adventure Card Game set due for release in February 2015.

When Crowe was a young man waiting to depart on his first horse gathering, he had the same dream every night for five weeks. It always started and ended the same way. Each time the storm came. Each time the stampede thundered out of the canyon to the south. Each time his body was trampled to pulp before he woke up soaking with sweat.

Every night.

Crowe was born under an auspicious sign during a thunderstorm that scoured the Storval Plateau one burning autumn evening. After generations of uncertain prophecy by the tribe’s shamans, the holy ones were reluctant to predict much about the newborn aside from foretelling that he would one day become a significant force.

From a young age, Crowe was trained to be a perfect groom, and it was clear that in time he would become a good trainer. He learned from his mother and father, as well as from his aunts and uncles, for even among the animal-loving Shriikirri-Quah, his family had a way with horses. They even supplied many a burn-rider of the Sklar-Quah with their signature steeds, and foreigners came from miles around seeking to trade for the family’s fearless stallions.

Crowe’s father was known throughout the Storval Plateau for his skill at capturing and breaking wild horses, and his mother could read the face of nature as if it were her own child’s. Together, Crowe’s parents trained their horses, content with their lives. But their son was becoming unruly.

As a youth, Crowe often got into fights then claimed that he didn’t remember how the scraps had started. He would feel his heart beating against his ribs. He would hear the blood thrumming in his ears, and that would be the last thing he recalled. People in the tribe grew cautious around the boy. After far too many of these sorts of scuffles, his mother began asking him why he was so angry. Crowe claimed again that he didn’t remember, that the last thing he had heard before each fight broke out was the storm.

As Crowe grew stronger of frame, he learned the traditional ways of Shoanti warfare. He trained with the weapons of his ancestors and learned how to protect his people and their way of life. Crowe learned the klar, mastered the earthbreaker, and also studied the natural world and the ways of magic that his mother followed. Throughout his tutelage, he challenged his elders and was challenged by his not-so-infrequent gaps in memory. Some in the tribe thought this was simply an excuse for his misbehavior, and many blamed his parents for his violent outbursts.

Though Crowe was still considered to be too young for a long outing, his father decided that taking his son on his first horse gathering would teach the boy discipline. The herds would be funneling through the canyon in a matter of weeks, and Crowe’s father hoped to gather a few more horses, the most prized of which were the foals of Bright Star—a stallion that had eluded him for the past five years. Rounding up even one or two of the foals would be a major boon to his family’s stock.

Crowe, his father, and seven other men and women from the tribe traveled for three days. Horses are predictable beasts, and the Shoanti knew where the herd moved in the uplands. The herd would race through the canyon until it leveled out to a dry riverbed that cut through the blistered land. When the herd came through, the hunters would be ready with ropes and snares.

In order to test Crowe’s patience, his father sent the youth ahead to the canyon’s mouth. He wanted his boy to wait, to listen to hooves and snorts echoing down the canyon. He wanted him to throw the loop around a horse that he could call his own. He wanted Crowe to concentrate on his task and listen past the distraction of the storm.

Crowe crouched upon a flat umber rock, trembling with terror. All he could hear was the storm in the distance, a low, rolling rumble that thundered in his eardrums. He was sure what he heard was his fear, his rage. This was the canyon. This was the night he would die. Why couldn’t he just leave? Just walk away from it all?

Tradition.

The thunder beating in his ears changed. It wasn’t just internal; it was echoing through the canyon. The herd was coming. Crowe looked to the sky as dark clouds rolling in from the south obscured the setting sun. The others shouted orders and set up positions with their snares. Crowe scrambled back to his designated post as hundreds of horses filled the canyon, their hoofbeats driving a pounding echo off the canyon walls.

Then the storm broke. Thunder rumbled and crashed through the canyon and lightning bathed its rusty walls in flashes of white.

After the storm had passed, Crowe awoke to find his cousin sitting on his chest and slapping his face, claiming that he was to blame for the carnage spread all around him. More than a dozen horses lay dead, and half of the hunting party lay trampled in the riverbed. They said Crowe was to blame. They said there was no storm. They said he had done it.

Slick with blood, confused, and full of no uncertain amount of shame, he stumbled through the night. The dawn broke on Crowe’s new life—a life not burdened by tradition, a life that was numb to fear.

Adam Daigle
Developer

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Tags: Bloodrager Iconics Meet the Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Wayne Reynolds
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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I was not expecting that ending. Crowe, my heart goes out to you.


Very cool! This was the class I was looking forward to the most, and I'm digging Crowe's story. I was kinda hopin he would be an Ulfen before the reveal, but I figure the Skald will end up being the Ulfen.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Heavily armored limbs and no armor on the chest? Hopefully this wont be a pattern.

Also amazing back story, I really love it!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok... that was pretty cool.


Goblin Berserker wrote:
Very cool! This was the class I was looking forward to the most, and I'm digging Crowe's story. I was kinda hopin he would be an Ulfen before the reveal, but I figure the Skald will end up being the Ulfen.

I am pretty sure the Skald is the Ulfen. The art we've seen so far has a Ulfen man with a axe and a large war horn. This is the best I can find, but I assure you that the thing on his back is a horn and the thing in his hands is an axe. He is on the left:here

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sweet

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Heavy man. Great character design and an interesting take on the class features.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I love Crowe's storyline. Gotta admit I was really surprised while reading his pregen to see that he was a follower of Desna.

I really want to read a story with Quinn, Crowe, Oloch, and Jirelle. I can imagine it now. Poor Quinn, stuck as the LG Abadaran with a CG Swashbuckler and the two CN bash brothers.


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

So what kind of armor is he wearing?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Damn, that's awesome and fairly dark. I like it!


So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, when are we going to see female nipples for a change?


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Looking at his stats is says his bloodline is Elemental(Air). I think Stormborn would be a better fit if it were legal.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
BPorter wrote:
So what kind of armor is he wearing?

In his level 3 Pregen, Crowe was wearing masterwork Steel Lamellar.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Anyone else see some Sajan in that artwork?

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That....was unexpected and yet the most satisfying backstory ever. I love it. It reminds me of something, it feels cinematic yet comic book like. I have strong visual feeling of this. Kudos to you!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

So... does Crowe call his arms 'Thunder' and 'Lightning'?


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey well we finally have an iconic with loving parents who at least one of isn't dead.


Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?

No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Soluzar wrote:
Looking at his stats is says his bloodline is Elemental(Air). I think Stormborn would be a better fit if it were legal.

I doubt the ACG will have the bloodrage equivalent to all the sorcerer bloodlines from the APG and Ultimate Magic. Air is the most "lightning-y" of the Core Rulebook bloodlines, so it's probably the most appropriate bloodline in the ACG.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice way to build a character from a very traditional tight-knit society and give him a strong motivation to no longer be a part of that society (without the usual 'an X killed mah whole family, which is why I hate X!' shortcut).

Also cool to see a character whose class-based abilities aren't necessarily something he personally chose or trained for, but something that he might regard as more of a curse (something that an oracle or sorcerer might identify with).


MagusJanus wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?
No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

Agree'd. The average Barbarian is a mean mofo, but one supercharged with mystical mojo and not in conscious control is down right terrifing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:
Hey well we finally have an iconic with loving parents who at least one of isn't dead.

Given the ending of that backstory, the "loving" part may be a bit stretched. Just a bit. Estranged might be a better word right now.


MagusJanus wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?
No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

I thought a berserker worked herself into a rage. In this case, it seems entirely outside of Crowe's control.

And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?


And that gave me goosebumps.

I love getting goosebumps when reading!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?

Blackout angry is a thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?
No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

I thought a berserker worked herself into a rage. In this case, it seems entirely outside of Crowe's control.

And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?

Fluff-wise, it varies from person to person. Some have the traditional berserker who a driven by a hot, frothing at the mouth rage. Others have harnessed it for a cold, extremely focused rage. Then there are those like Crowe that have a Hulk/Bruce Banner style of rage.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Does Crowe get his own theme song?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rawrsong wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?
No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

I thought a berserker worked herself into a rage. In this case, it seems entirely outside of Crowe's control.

And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?

Fluff-wise, it very's from person to person. Some have the traditional hot, frothing at the mouth rage. Others have a cold, extremely focused rage. Then there are those like Crowe that have a Hulk/Bruce Banner style of rage.

Yes, of course!

The Hulk. That's what Crowe's backstory reminded me of.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
So Crowe has dissociative identity disorder?
No. What they're describing is a berserker rage. It's entirely different from DID and a lot scarier.

I thought a berserker worked herself into a rage. In this case, it seems entirely outside of Crowe's control.

And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?

In real life? Yes. There are recordings all throughout history, including in the modern era, of someone working themselves into a berserker rage and they all state that afterwards the rager only remembered everything going black right before the violence happened. It's also common in fiction, and IIRC in Pathfinder fluff as well.

Now, the important question: How common is the barbarian class among Shoanti?


Ouch.


Tels wrote:
Does Crowe get his own theme song?

\m/


MagusJanus wrote:

In real life? Yes. There are recordings all throughout history, including in the modern era, of someone working themselves into a berserker rage and they all state that afterwards the rager only remembered everything going black right before the violence happened. It's also common in fiction, and IIRC in Pathfinder fluff as well.

Now, the important question: How common is the barbarian class among Shoanti?

Barbarians are extremely common among the tribal Shoanti. Hell, they even have an item called Barbarian Chew that's normally used by the Shoanti of the Cinderlands.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Suma3da wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:

In real life? Yes. There are recordings all throughout history, including in the modern era, of someone working themselves into a berserker rage and they all state that afterwards the rager only remembered everything going black right before the violence happened. It's also common in fiction, and IIRC in Pathfinder fluff as well.

Now, the important question: How common is the barbarian class among Shoanti?

Barbarians are extremely common among the tribal Shoanti. Hell they even have an item called Barbian Chew that's normally by the Shoanti of the Cinderlands.

Then why didn't the Shoanti in Crowe's backstory recognize the signs of uncontrolled berserker rage?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Because uncontrolled berserker rage kind of is a dissociative disorder. Barbarian rage as they understand is something a warrior either works himself into, or at the very least something triggered by outside forces (being provoked). Crowe was raging from nothing.

They didn't see him as uncontrolled. They thought he was picking fights and then claiming he didn't recall the fight starting or working himself into a rage.


I'm really digging these new iconics so far. All of them seem like they'd be cool characters to play (especially Quinn, Jirelle, and Crowe). I cant wait to see the remaining six (I hope either the Arcanist is next. I really want to know if she's a dwarf or a halfling).

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Damn, now that is METAL!

*holds up lighter*

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've known a few folks who have experienced blackout rages, and it's terrifying for all involved.

But add in some mystical power, some massive muscles and skill with something called an EARTHBREAKER, and you have a whole new level.

There's part of me that wants to see Crowe go through adventures and come to the realization that he needs to retrain as a monk, find some inner peace and stuff.

Crowe and Sajan, shirtless bros.


Suma3da wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Then why didn't the Shoanti in Crowe's backstory recognize the signs of uncontrolled berserker rage?
Pretty much the only thing I can think of is that Crowe is from the Shriikirri-Quah. The Shriikirri-Quah(Hawk Clan) Shoanti tend to be a more "civilized" tribe of traders and animal handlers. Compared to some of the more aggressive tribes, they probably have less experience dealing with people like Crowe.

That makes sense and backs up the portion of his history related to animal handling. I had forgotten about that tribe.

Thank you for that. I was having cognitive dissonance with this iconic over that ^.^

And now I'm wondering why this reply was deleted >.<

Ross Byers wrote:

Because uncontrolled berserker rage kind of is a dissociative disorder. Barbarian rage as they understand is something a warrior either works himself into, or at the very least something triggered by outside forces (being provoked). Crowe was raging from nothing.

They didn't see him as uncontrolled. They thought he was picking fights and then claiming he didn't recall the fight starting or working himself into a rage.

And this doesn't make any sense. Not with the prevalence of magic, where the Shoanti live, and their history. They should have suspected magic at least once. But, Suma3da settled my dissonance over this ;)

So, I can say I love this iconic ^.^

Liberty's Edge

Poor Crowe. :(

Great backstory, but I like happy endings and that's...just not.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Poor Crowe. :(

Great backstory, but I like happy endings and that's...just not.

Hey man, but there is a happy ending. He found acceptance in a group of adventurers! Probably the only kind of people that would accept someone like him, but its good to belong somewhere.


Not gonna lie, I was kinda hoping this guy would be a Kellid from Numeria. Aw well, still a kick-ass backstory.

Paizo Employee Developer

MagusJanus wrote:
Then why didn't the Shoanti in Crowe's backstory recognize the signs of uncontrolled berserker rage?

I imagined Crowe's condition as something a bit more mysterious than a class feature. He doesn't have these episodes x/day.

Glad folks are liking the backstory!

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Tels wrote:
Does Crowe get his own theme song?

That's funny, I figured this was his theme song.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
pH unbalanced wrote:
Tels wrote:
Does Crowe get his own theme song?
That's funny, I figured this was his theme song.

Or even this.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Logen Nine-Fingers with magic.....?


Lilith wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
And is it normal for a berserker to have no memory of her rage?
Blackout angry is a thing.

Yes it is, unfortunately, just wondering why his eyes are white and not red. Blackout rage, and berserking are usually accompanied by the BURSTING of the surface capillaries on the eyes, coloring the sclera. Usually a portion of the blood also seeps into the vitreous humour (eyeball jelly) tinging everything with a reddish tint, hence "so angry I'm seeing red."

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