Friday Publisher Preview: Feeling Iconic

Friday, August 1, 2014

As of this morning, we've officially crossed over into August, which means that Gen Con Indy is THIS MONTH. Please pardon me while I go curl up in a fetal position in the corner of my office and suck my thumb for a bit.

There, that's much better. As we march toward the Big Show, we've still got plenty of figures from November's The Lost Coast set of prepainted fantasy miniatures to reveal. Since we've been spending so much time previewing new iconic characters for the Advanced Class Guide these last few weeks, I've got iconics on the brain. So it seemed like a great time to preview the THREE iconics in this set.

Up first this week is Damiel, Iconic Alchemist. This wily elf enjoys brewing potions, throwing bombs, and morphing his body. WizKids did a fantastic job on the sculpt. While you can't quite make out his full backpack in this photo, I can assure you that it is just as complicated as the original Wayne Reynolds illustration. Lots of clear tubes and bottles on this guy, as well. Damiel is a Medium figure slated at the rare rarity.

Here is our iconic oracle, Alahazra. The image posted above is the paint master, so it's missing a lot of the intricate detail work that is stamped on during the factory process (this is called a "tampo"). Most of the really intricate sigils and designs on our figures are tampos, and it's always a little difficult to know how the final figure will look from the paint master.

Here's an in-production shot of Alahazra's tampo. Notice how this version of the figure contains a lot of design elements on the robes that the paint master lacks. Given the intricate designs on Alahazra's robes I was a bit worried about how this one would turn out, but I think it looks great. Alahazra, Iconic Oracle is a Medium, rare figure.

And, because YOU demanded it, here's our iconic pig, Squealy Nord. Old Nord figures in our "classic" (?) Free RPG Day adventures We Be Goblins! and We Be Goblins, Too!, and makes the perfect addition to the We Be Goblins Pathfinder Battles Builder Series we released last year. Squealy Nord is a Small, uncommon figure.

Minimate Update!

I've mentioned on previous Friday Previews that, in addition to four goblin promo figures we'll have at Gen Con, we'll also be releasing four Minimate 2-Packs featuring Pathfinder characters and monsters. Together, these 12 figures serve as an official "Preview" of the Pathfinder Iconic Heroes Boxed Set to be released in October.

This put me in the unique position to build the 2-Packs out of whatever creatures I wanted. You'll never guess who I picked first!

Here we have the unkillable OSTOG THE UNSLAIN VS. CAIRN WIGHT 2-Pack! Careful readers of paizo.com will no doubt recognize Ostog the Unslain as my own personal Pathfinder RPG player character, from James Jacobs's in-office Pathfinder campaign. Ostog's early stats appeared in the Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide, and he recently featured in the backstory I wrote about his brother, the iconic skald Hakon. You might think it's corny for me to use my own player character as one of the Minimates, and you'd be right. What good is absolute power if you don't abuse it once in a while?

Facing off against Ostog is the Cairn Wight, a nasty undead variant creature from the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Both Ostog and the Cairn Wight come with swords. The Cairn Wight comes with a removable helmet and a shield. If you really want, you could give Ostog the Cairn Wight's helmet and give the Cairn Wight Ostog's hair, because all Minimates parts are interchangeable. Just don't tell Ostog you got the idea from me, ok? We need to remain friends if he's to keep his "Unslain" title for four more levels until he retires...

The last set I'll reveal today is the HUMAN RANGER VS. LAMIA MATRIARCH. The Human Ranger was an early design prototype our partners at Diamond Select Toys put together, and when the time came to put together the preview set, I snatched him out of oblivion. Sure, he doesn't have a proper name, but he does have a cool hooded cloak, some sweet, sweet stubble, a bow, a quiver, and three arrows.

The Lamia Matriarch is probably responsible for more player character deaths in the Rise of the Runelords campaign than any other creature, so I just had to include her here. She comes with two curved swords, bracelets, and an amazing snake body.

I'll reveal the next two Minimates 2-Packs in next week's Friday Preview. Until then, I leave you with an image of the Godhead to watch over and bless your player characters for the rest of the week.

Erik Mona
Publisher

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Tags: The Lost Coast Miniatures Pathfinder Battles
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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I can't wait to get an Ostog minimate and a cairn wight minimate... and swap their heads.

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

I can't wait to get an Ostog minimate and a cairn wight minimate... and swap their heads.

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

HEY! No one puts (Erik's) Baby in the armor!


Nice, two iconics in a set again! Damiel looks awesome! Love his face and expression, hope the production model looks as good!


Erik Mona wrote:
Mercury141 wrote:


I do think some asian figures could be advantageous, perhaps as a theme for a set, like the pirate themed one!

I feel pretty safe in saying that I now understand the miniatures buying community to know that such a set would probably kill the line dead.

Too many people would consider it an easy skip. I see visions of canceled subscriptions and lots of dead product.

The people who would love it would love it. LOTS of people wouldn't buy it.

So Asian-themed minis are going to have to appear in regular sets, just like everything else.

My first idea about a jade regent path set in the past would have been to combine it with skull and shackles, 70 mini set 35/35 each. Name it Pirate vs Ninja, that sound like a seller. But alas, skull shackle already out. To bad for me a Jade Regent adventure path will never appen, it migh contain viking, inuit and eastern mini but would need half asian themed mini and it would not sell you say.

Its a complicate business ppm, I feel over satured with orc, goblin, dragon, giants, minotaurs, demon copy paste that compose a set and a bunch of npc i only need one of each. I feel tire buying the same thing over again. Just a quote from Dungeon Crawler mini; the pre-gen minis are considered an extravagance as PCs/NPCs tend to be the most expensive to produce (for figures of the same size/material, due to paint steps) and hold the lowest interest by consumers (1 copy each). Some say don't buy if you don't like and then we get told buy them or else they will kill the line. Id like my wanted stuff to be done one day so i need to continue buying stuff not to my liking for maybe one day get what i want. Damn you my minority taste :P


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If you really want just the right thing and only that, there's always metal minis and a paint set! And it's really not that hard to learn to do a decent paint job, and fairly quickly at that.


Already there ;) Got massive metal, resin, plastic and ppm collection. I conplain for all of those. What im scared is if people do like me and cherry pick it will kill the line like it did DDM.


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Big Jay wrote:
Already there ;) Got massive metal, resin, plastic and ppm collection. I conplain for all of those. What im scared is if people do like me and cherry pick it will kill the line like it did DDM.

It wasn't just people cherry-picking pieces that killed the DDM line, it was also the rapid downward spiral in quality, and increase in price point that really hammered home the last few nails in the coffin.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

And the "new edition" of the battles rules for the minis, then scrapping battles altogether when it proved unpopular.

Dark Archive

One day not to far in the future, people will 3D print their own minis and surroundings.
But it will be another 10 years for a "painting machine" to come out.
Until then (and probably after) i´ll buy the Pathfinder Battles minis.
At least till the 4th Pathfinder Movie will rebout the franchise for 9year olds and run it all into the ground. ;-)

I think the minis are continually getting better, and while we will probably never get all the minis we want, eventually we will have a lot of good and great ones.

Go Eric!


Cleanthes wrote:
And it's really not that hard to learn to do a decent paint job, and fairly quickly at that.

Assuming you can see well and assuming your hands don't shake. But if you are like me, the days of painting your own are gone and the costs to pay a painter to paint for you make PPM a much better option. Now we have gone full circle and we are back to begging for PPM that cover what we like. ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

<<I think the minis are continually getting better, and while we will probably never get all the minis we want>>

These WizKids miniatures are awesome for the price ... it literally takes me hours to paint a regular one. I will still do paint and modify figs for our player characters.

When I played in high school and before, we had about 30 miniatures total, ... we reused those LOTR orcs for everything!

Now, my "kids" have dozens of PPM ... it's crazy!

And then Bone's Kickstarters happened ...


danielc wrote:
Assuming you can see well and assuming your hands don't shake. But if you are like me, the days of painting your own are gone and the costs to pay a painter to paint for you make PPM a much better option. Now we have gone full circle and we are back to begging for PPM that cover what we like. ;-)

Point well taken. And never let it be said that I don't want as wide a range of Pre-paints available as possible!

Shadow Lodge

I need the Lamia Matriarch for my summoner's eidolon.


The Mini-Mates aren't my style, but I feel compelled to buy Ostog the Unslain--primarily because I want to encourage Erik to indulge in this sort of thing more often.

Seriously.

Seeing the characters that the designers, developers, and everyone at Paizo creates makes me feel more at home in this community of gamers.


Erik Mona wrote:
Mercury141 wrote:


I do think some asian figures could be advantageous, perhaps as a theme for a set, like the pirate themed one!

I feel pretty safe in saying that I now understand the miniatures buying community to know that such a set would probably kill the line dead.

Too many people would consider it an easy skip. I see visions of canceled subscriptions and lots of dead product.

The people who would love it would love it. LOTS of people wouldn't buy it.

So Asian-themed minis are going to have to appear in regular sets, just like everything else.

Thank you for the reply, Erik!

I understand the reasoning behind it, and I have no objection to getting a few in a set every once in a while.

Certain figures like these might be more widely usable when put into such sets, such as ninja's and martial artists (as monks), asian themed dragons and demons (which should work as regular dragons and demons) and maybe a geisha or some such (would double as a noblewoman).

Just some idea's I'm tossing out there.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

If Damiel's face holds up I feel like he could be the best Iconic you've done. He reminds me of Baba Yaga with regards to how much detail there is on his body. I remember that old hag even had a chicken on her belt; this elf has even more detail. Getting an alchemist that makes for a great PC piece is wonderful.

Thanks for the double pics of Alhazra. What's more, thanks for the information on the tampo. I think it gives us a great idea of how some intricate details show up so well, and others (like on the human faces) can turn out very poorly.

I've already spent plenty of paragraphs digging through the trough of superlatives to show my love for the inclusion of animals in a Battles set. I'll just keep it simple this time and say I'm happy I get to add more pieces to my village farm scene. (This is one of the most common scenes in pretty much any campaign I put together).

Without a doubt, this is the best looking set I've seen to date. All the miniatures look great so far, and there has yet to be one revealed that I can't fit into a typical campaign. I can't wait to see the last nine!!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pigraven wrote:
Thanks for the double pics of Alhazra. What's more, thanks for the information on the tampo. I think it gives us a great idea of how some intricate details show up so well, and others (like on the human faces) can turn out very poorly.

This begs the question: why isn't *everything* a tampo? Because tampos are stamps, they can only be used on relatively flat areas, and they can't be used in places that the stamp can't easily get to. Alahazra's robes are pretty much the textbook spot for a tampo.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

In regards to visible sets, I can only see them working in four different ways.

1. Huge miniatures. These would be similar to the two-pack you put out for the Reign of Winter line. Obviously these miniatures would need to be carefully selected, but there are a handful out there that I think could work. (See: Huge elementals). If you have ever considered a poll on the website that allows members to vote for things they want to see, I think this would be a great item to start on. Or perhaps run a March Madness-type bracket, and the top four winners are put into a visible pack and sold.

2. Theme packs. These would be rare/unique miniatures based on certain themes or concepts in Pathfinder outside of the typical PC or Monster. There would be four or five miniatures in each theme pack. This would also provide a great way to continue pushing some of the main sourcebooks while also getting some NPC's into the bloodstream of the miniature market that we really haven't seen before.

For example, a five-piece miniature set based around the scene of a tavern. Despite being one of the most iconic settings in all of fantasy, both movies and games alike, there seems little in the way of miniatures produced for their representation on the game table. A five-piece set could include something like a bartender, a barmaid, a tavern performer, a local gambler and perhaps another local patron of some kind.

Another example would be a five-pieace miniature set based on craftsmen or tradesmen from a list including: a blacksmith, a fletcher, a pig farmer, a fisherman, a miner, a jeweler, a baker, a trapper, a carpenter, a sapper, etc.

These sets would likely have a smaller production run and sell for more than the previous four or five-piece visible packs we've seen from Paizo and other companies. This could even be the basis of a recurring kickstarter campaign. Set up a poll on the Paizo website where everyone has a chance to vote for which scene they'd most like to see next, and then raise the money on kickstarter.

The appeal here would obviously be for DM's to flesh out their villages, cities, etc. with unique miniatures. I can't imagine buying more than a set or two of each theme. But if they were produced at a much lower number then that should be okay. And doing it through kickstarter or a similar service should allow you to better gauge the number of sets that would need to be produced. While these would be limited-run/limited-time sets, the molds would always be available should demand ever reach the level needed to do a re-run of a particular set.

3. Vehicle packs. These would be very similar to the theme packs, only each set would revolve around a different type of vehicle. There could be a set including different types of mounts. Another set could involve a couple different carriages or covered wagons. Each set could include one vehicle and a couple medium or large-sized miniatures that go with the theme of the vehicle (such as horses or oxen, or a wagon driver). Or perhaps the package could include a couple different versions of each vehicle. Regardless of what you come up with, there seems to be enough of a market (albeit a smaller one) for such miniatures. Vehicle representation (of all different types) seems to be the most requested miniature outside of PCs & Monsters.

4. Specific tabletop game-related miniatures. This is pretty much what I see Wizards of the Coast doing with their Dungeons and Dragons: Attack Wings game. They have created an entire tabletop game that can be played separately from D&D 5th edition, or whose pieces can be used with the actual role-playing game itself. (Or any fantasy RPG game). While I'll likely give the Attack Wing game itself a chance, I can't imagine it is something I'll pull out too often. However, those flying dragons and many of those other miniatures look pretty great. A quick and relatively cheap way to obtain a handful more dragons and a six-pack or two of armored hobgoblins or the like is a major win for me.

Wizards of the Coast knows that they'll be selling the Attack Wing line to three main groups of people. These groups include those who only play the tabletop game, those who only play D&D, and those who only play Pathfinder and other RPG games. Obviously there will be a fair amount of crossover. But their Attack Wing line is genius because of the potential wide audience of the product.

These are the four main ways I see visible packages of miniatures working when it comes to moving enough product to keep such a product line successful. Maybe there are other, better ideas that my fellow miniature maniacs might have and can share with us. Or perhaps a couple of my ideas pop out to you (Erik) as having unforeseen (to me) reasons why they would not work. Logically these all seem valid to me, but because I'm not in your seat, perhaps the practice of some of these methods aren't feasible.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Pigraven wrote:
Thanks for the double pics of Alhazra. What's more, thanks for the information on the tampo. I think it gives us a great idea of how some intricate details show up so well, and others (like on the human faces) can turn out very poorly.
This begs the question: why isn't *everything* a tampo? Because tampos are stamps, they can only be used on relatively flat areas, and they can't be used in places that the stamp can't easily get to. Alahazra's robes are pretty much the textbook spot for a tampo.

Thanks for the added insight. I figured as much, but it is nice to see my assumption confirmed.

I usually check out the YouTube reviews of each Battles line. Sometimes I see queries in the comments section about how it is that the paint job can look flawless on certain areas of intricate detail of a miniature while the face or other parts might not be as top-notch. I can now direct those folks to an official answer.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

A final thought for the night:

One possible way to do Huge-sized miniatures would be to have a subscription service for them. It would be unique in the way it was setup, different from the other subscription services you have going on right now.

Here is how it would work:
--The subscription window is open for a period of six or eight weeks.
--Once the subscription window closes no more can be accepted for the forthcoming year.
--The cost of a yearly subscription is $420.00, not including the shipping. This price is paid all at once, up-front, and must clear in order for the subscription to become official.
--A customer can choose to cancel the subscription at any point, but WILL NOT receive a refund.
--Starting with a pre-determined month, such as January, each subscribed customer will receive a Huge-miniature.
--Each month, the subscribed customer will receive a new Huge-sized miniature.
--Halfway through the subscription, the customer will receive a Colossal-sized miniature. This is in addition to the Huge-sized miniature for that month.
--By the end of the subscription, the customer will have received a total of twelve Huge-sized miniatures.
--By the end of the subscription, the customer will have received one Colossal-sized miniature.
--A customer can have more than one subscription. There is no discount; Each subscription costs the same amount.

Obviously the numbers would change, I just tried to go with an approximation. This model is largely based on the Mattycollector model of the Masters of the Universe Classics toy line. The idea here is to secure the money up front so that midway through the year neither company loses money. The product itself would be made all at once (perhaps helping to keep the cost lower).

I don't know how viable this would be for the bigger miniatures, but it seemed to work well enough for the MOTUC line for the past five years. (This is the line's final year). I realize those are toys and these are hand-painted miniatures, but I would think the difference in the process, and thus the price, wouldn't be too great to overcome.


I realize this may be a completely different business model, but would it be possible for the more "risky" sets, to go with a crowd funding model? Either use an existing crowd funding site, or create your own for projects just like this.

In example, you could do 2-pack huge's this way. If after (60 days?) you do not have sufficient interest, then you move onto the next 2-pack.

If these were to be made by WizKids, then at least you could provide them with some assurance of meeting their specified quotas.

Alternatively, if such a project would not be of interest for WizKids, then perhaps Reaper would interested? (Although I am not certain if Paizo's agreement with WizKids appoints them exclusively as their manufacturer of PPM's).

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

We just don't have the time to dedicate to an effort like that.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
We just don't have the time to dedicate to an effort like that.

Fair enough.


Erik,

A couple of weeks back (or so), you mentioned that you would be giving more information on all the minimates released at GenCon, including the promotional ones and where you will be able to find them during the con.

Will that info be released in today’s miniature blog?

Edit: Well, not so much ‘which’ minimates will be available, as you are have been announcing them in the blogs, but more I’d like to know at what locations I can find the promotional figures and what is involved in getting them.

I know one of them is going to be at Scotty’s, at least one will be at your booth, but what about the others ones?


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DAMIEL! <3
I hope Wizkids will be able to reproduce the quality paint jobs we see here.

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