Men and Monsters

Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm pleased to see that our current Pathinder Battles set, Dungeons Deep, is arriving in stores and in the hands of collectors, and early reaction to the set has been very encouraging. We put a lot of effort into making Dungeons Deep the best and most useful set of figures we've done to date, and with tons of high-utility figures, it looks like we either achieved or came very close to that goal (hey, we've done some great sets in the past too, so the competition is fierce!).

This week I'd like to move on from Dungeons Deep to present three figures from our NEXT set, November's The Rusty Dragon Inn. After I announced that we planned a tavern-themed set at this year's PaizoCon, a few miniature collectors expressed some concern about a set with so many non-combatant figures. I guess the taverns in my campaigns see a lot more fighting than the national average, but never fear! In addition to barmaids, bartenders, and other NPC figures, The Rusty Dragon Inn set also includes a good number of monsters or fight-ready humanoids.

Here are three of them.

Every location needs a Guard, and I knew I had to make a miniature of this guy as soon as I first saw his image on page 267 of the NPC Codex. Good guy, bad guy, you be the judge. The only thing that's certain is he is way, way lower-level than your player characters, and he's probably going to die in large numbers. That's why we made this Medium figure a common!

We've already produced a couple of frost giants in the Pathinder Battles line, but I'm not convinced we've created enough to build a truly meaningful battle royale. Thus, I present to you the Frost Giant Ice Mage, a regal figure who could just as easily double as a cleric or leader type. What's a frost giant doing at the Rusty Dragon Inn, you ask? Shhhh. Shhhh. Not everything has to fit the theme perfectly, you guys. There's always room for more monsters. The Frost Giant Ice Mage is a Large, uncommon figure.

Last up this week is a real winner, the mounted Orc Rider on Dire Wolf. I'd like to see the look on the faces of bar patrons when this dude wanders into town. The Orc Rider on Dire Wolf comes with a sword and a battle standard bearing the symbol of the Hold of Belkzen, where orcs have carved out a bit of a nation for themselves. Will he carve out a place at your tavern table? The Orc Rider on Dire Wolf is a Large, rare figure, and I can't wait to see what he looks like in his final form!

That's it for this week. Tune in next Friday for another early glimpse at digital sculpts from The Rusty Dragon Inn!

Until then, I remain,

Erik Mona

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Tags: Dungeons Deep Miniatures Pathfinder Battles The Rusty Dragon Inn

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3 for 3 this week for me! And of the now 12 known, I'm sure I want 11 (and possibly all 12).

The frost giant ice mage is a great concept and it looks to be a great design, too.

The orc dire wolf rider looks pretty sweet, too.

The Guard is an always welcome addition - very useful and practical.

Thanks for another great preview!

Dark Archive

The Frost Giant is awesome!
The Orc Wolf Rider has been long overdue and looks great too.
The Guard shown like this looks cool too... BUT many human minis faces are painted very badly AND the guy has a long weapon wich tend to be bendy so i will reserve judgement till i see an actual photo of the mini.

Also the Holy Vindicator, the Battle Bard with drum and the better quality picture of the Bar mini look awesome - i sure hope the dressing pieces complement the bar theme - a chair, a table and a barrel are a must! :-)

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So, when will we find out any information at all on the next iconic sets?

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Rusty Dragon is looking like a good 'un.

Congratulations on Dungeon Deep. My case arrived, and aside form some collation issues, I can see it is an incredible set. Nicely produced. Hats off to you guys for that one.

Now these three look good. I must admit I have Marco M's hesitation when it comes to faces. They have been improving, while reports had me thinking the dwarves (and only the dwarves mind you) were doomed in DD, on getting them they weren't as bad. The paint is certainly over heavy but they had faces, the female much more so. The rest of the figure made up for them anyway, and on the table they are fine.

The mounted Orc is a great addition and the render looks very cool. 1 for 1

The giant is wonderful. As you say one can always use more giants. The render makes him look nicely detailed, loving the arrogant face and the tattoos, which I assume will be a tampo? The other big plus is he looks buff, like the female we just got from DD, so a good match for her. I'm still not sure what I'll do with my less buff giants (from the H&M and D&D line) though. Now I just need me some shadow giants; and maybe an ash giant or two, perhaps another marsh giant? Oh God the giants...2 for 2

The guard is a great addition. I always have need of generic miniatures like this that can act as guards for all occasions, or bandits, or hired thugs. 3 for 3.

SO far, much like young Boromir, I like all 12 previewed and look forward to this set in November - coincidentally my birth month, Yay.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

As soon as I have an answer to share.

We've approved sculpts for sets 4, 5, and 6.

Last I heard, WizKids had a production issue that they were trying to resolve.

You guys will know more about the situation when I know more about the situation, but I have every reason to believe that they are still happening.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Any chance there will be an unmounted version of the same orc? Its always nice to have the same figure mounted and not to represent when the mount isn't around.

All three of these are winners for me, especially the Ice Mage! And hopefully they will help to calm the critics who didn't want tavern stuff. (Maybe you chose a couple to show for that reason?)

You asked a couple posts back for call-outs on Paizo art we'd like to see turned into minis, and I saw one just yesterday that looked to me like a great pick. On p. 28 of The Infernal Syndrome (Council of Thieves 4), there's a lovely full-body picture of the tiefling Crosael. She would work equally well as an NPC or a stylish player character, and her combination of well-armored danger and sex appeal would go over very well with a lot of minis buyers, I think. I don't think Paizo has done a female tiefling yet, either.

Also, fellow plasticrack addicts: did anyone else see Jurassic World this week and think to yourself: I hope they make a sweet Indomitus Rex toy to serve as a Gargantuan (or even Colossal) mini?

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Toys'R'Us have, pop into google and look it up. Battery operated, and clearly colossal. I hope they come out with a slightly smaller one.

Erik, meant to ask this earlier - is the intent with the giants staff to make it a clear transparent plastic, to look like a staff of crystalline ice?

Cat-thulhu wrote:

Toys'R'Us have, pop into google and look it up. Battery operated, and clearly colossal. I hope they come out with a slightly smaller one.

I see what you mean! I wish it had a bit more color. It also looks like they do in fact have a smaller one that comes with a gyro-sphere for it to stomp on. That one might be more like a Gargantuan, although in the pictures it has a square panel cut in its side to show its bloody muscles. Not crazy about that.

Then again, it's not like it's hard to find big t-rex toys models if you look for them....

Dark Archive

If i take a look at the BAR mini from paizo:

and compare it to the one from dwarven forge: ssories.jpg

it looks like they would mesh really well... ;-)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Happy to see this :)

Wow, I feel like this set was made for me :)

I really like having a good selection of pc/npc figures, and this set is definitely going to deliver on that front!

Being a huge orc fan, I almost feel disappointed when a set does not include at least 1 orc. This orc proudly represents his kind! A great sculpt! The banner looks great too -- I do plan to get lots of these orcs, however I will be replacing most of their banners with shields.

The giant looks really great as well!

I have never bought 2 cases before... but I'm starting to think I may have to with this set :)

Silver Crusade Contributor

Obviously, I have plenty of guards, farmers, etc. from old DDM sets. As I've said before, the PFB line is good enough that I'll buy anyway, and I can appreciate that others don't have as deep a collection as I do. But, the orc's description - specifically, the flag - made me realize something.

The main thing I want from the Pathfinder Battles line is for the minis to be Pathfinder-specific - even better, Golarion-specific.

I'd rather have a "Korvosan Guard" than a "Guard", or a specific barmaid from a specific adventure - I don't know if there are any candidates for the latter. The Goblin Druid, Serpentfolk Mystic, and Kobold Chieftain from previous sets are good examples of AP-specific stuff sneaking in, for example.

A note on guards, specifically - I know you were working off a specific piece of art here, so no worries, but I'm the tiniest bit disappointed that this guard doesn't match the color scheme of the other PFB guards. The consistency was very nice. That said, these guys have a nice color scheme for dottari...

I'm sure this set is well past the point where my opinion will affect it, but I hope this helps your decisions for future sets. Constructive feedback is always good, right?

As always, thank you for listening. Please do not take this too harshly - I'm still excited. ^_^

The guard is OK.

The Frost Giant is really cool.

And yet again, the Pathfinder orcs suck the big one!

Why are they painted that almost neon green color?

An Orc should be way bulkier than humans not looking like a green painted human mini.

And I'll always say Pathfinder Minis are great!

Great concepts.

Great manufacturing methods.

Very inventive painting techniques.

Good use of different types of plastics to gain a desired effect.

Because they are...... but the Orcs always leave a lot to be desired.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Remember that this is just the digital sculpt. The last run of full-blooded orcs they did were a pretty dark green. I seem to recall them being rather bulky as well - I couldn't store them in the small tackle boxes I use for normal Small/Medium minis.

I'm all for the Rusty Dragon Inn concept. Like you, Erik, our gaming group has City, Town and other domestic encounters. We constantly need innocents, laborers and nobles for combats that have spawned from rich story lines that go beyond just hack and slash. The presence of these pieces in a combat situation often test our parties to the limits. They also cause us to have to dive into rule sets like grappling, disarming, and non-lethal damage and to carry spells that a traditional dungeon haul party wouldn't think to have prepared. We will use these pieces in our games often. In truth, probably a lot more than some of the beautiful rare creatures that turned me into a case subscriber.

And just when I was thinking, "Now that I have a Female Frost Giant, my Frost Giant collection is complete." you come out with the Ice Mage. This will be a very nice addition to my horde! And Uncommon is good, as that might give me an extra to trade (If I can find a way to part with a second or third one). I'm sure this guy will be in high demand.

The Pathfinder Battles miniatures are really enriching my groups tabletop gaming experience. I'd say 50% or even a little ore are now PB pieces instead of DDM or other brands. I'm so glad the line thriving and pushing the traditional envelope of what miniatures sets should be. Erik, don't let the nay-sayers get you down, you have been doing a great job guiding the content of each set in the right direction. Please keep it up!

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm ok with the pathfinder orcs. In fact the quality sculpts and uniformity are a welcome addition to my PPM collection. As far as colour, only the very first one was a neon green, the later ones were a lot darker. I find myself much like Berk above using my PFB minis more often and relegating my DDM versions to the cold dark of storage, with some exceptions naturally (barbed devil for instance). En masse the once look very cool and I'm glad to see a mounted version, and the rare slot works in this case. I actually hope there will be a few more, a generic warrior with a spear or machete would be nice.

Of course I don't really get the disparity in size between the average sized orcs, smaller than expected gnolls and the monstrously bulky bugbears. Mind you I love the bugbears.

Cyderak wrote:

nd yet again, the Pathfinder orcs suck the big one!

Why are they painted that almost neon green color?

An Orc should be way bulkier than humans not looking like a green painted human mini.

The ones in my box look prettty bulky

Mebby this one doesn't because it's sitting on a bloddy big (large) wolf

Erik Mona wrote:
We put a lot of effort into making Dungeons Deep the best and most useful set of figures we've done to date, and with tons of high-utility figures, it looks like we either achieved or came very close to that goal....

Considering all the positive feedback I've been reading on the message boards about Dungeons Deep I think you not only achieved that goal but have far exceeded it! The keywords in that excerpt are useful and high-utility. As Erik and others here have mentioned there are simply a ton of figures in this set which can be used in a variety of ways on many-a-GM's table. So far I'm seeing a lot of this same type of versatility being displayed in the previews of The Rusty Dragon Inn which is great! Sure, there will be non-combatant figures featured in the set but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be useful. Think of the assassin masquerading as a barmaid in an effort to get closer to our thirsty PC's (Arsenic Ale, anyone?) or the merchant who not only sells valuable goods to adventurers but also tips off the local thieves guild as to their whereabouts (perhaps they're staying at The Rusty Dragon Inn) in return for protection. Admittedly, these examples carry a certain flavor of cheese but the point is that you can use such miniatures in any number of scenarios as proxies for their more "initiative-ready" iterations if when combat breaks out later. We do have a PFB female assassin miniature, right? 0:)

The minis look great, all ones I will be using. Can never get enough town guards and one of our campaigns the arch-nemesis is an Orc Lord, so always need new types of orcs.

I'm looking forward to getting a good look at the case incentive.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Yeah, this mounted orc is way cooler than the silly old Banebreak Rider. ^_^

Grand Lodge

Our FLGS bought a case to have on hand for our Free RPG Day minicon, they even raffled off the gargantuan red dragon (still sad I didn't win). They only have 6 boxes out of that case left. Yeah, I think Dungeons Deep is a hit!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

That's really great to hear. Thanks for the field report, Mizkitty!

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I also have to say I'm very impressed with Dungeons Deep. It has to be one of my favorite releases so far in both usability and quality.
As for Rusty Inn, I have to agree with the sentiment of Frost Mystic being better as rare and Orc Rider as an uncommon. But quibbling aside, I think the set is shaping up to be a nice usable mix of both monster and NPC. Cant wait to see more. Keep up the good work Erik!

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This may be stating the obvious, but along with the cool minis that are produced, this regular preview post is something I enjoy and look forward to - I pick up ideas of how to incorporate the minis into story lines, I get a better idea of what some of the Pathfinder specific characters & monsters are, and I get a to look at the upcoming minis.

This marketing approach works wonders on me.

I thank you for continually providing this fun look ahead and for making it easier to carry a lighter wallet.

My case came quicker that I expected, and I'm happy to report that I did get at least 1 of everything, and zero breakage.

I am quite happy with this set. The Dwarf Sunderer's face is lacking detail, but that's really the only deficiency I see in the set.

Many great sculpts in this set. The dire bat is the only sculpt that somewhat dissatisfying and somewhat confusing... it looks a little to big and appears to be posing for a centerfold picture in Playbats.

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Personally I don't mind if the Tavern set has a large number of non-combatants. I'm hoping for at least one barkeep, a couple tavern wenches, a bard, a cook, a bouncer, a mysterious old man (to give out quests of course), a stableboy, some town watch, a pickpocket, a thug (to start brawls)...I wouldn't even be adverse to off-duty townpeoples like butchers, bakers, merchants etc.

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I like labmonkey's list, but Bards around the land are now writing nasty limericks about him since he labeled them non-combatants! :)

Mysterious old man, stable boy and merchants and patrons would all be great.

labmonkey wrote:
Personally I don't mind if the Tavern set has a large number of non-combatants. I'm hoping for at least one barkeep, a couple tavern wenches, a bard, a cook, a bouncer, a mysterious old man (to give out quests of course), a stableboy, some town watch, a pickpocket, a thug (to start brawls)...I wouldn't even be adverse to off-duty townpeoples like butchers, bakers, merchants etc.

Would love to see all of those in this set. I know a few here that post would not be happy, but in our home campaigns we definitely would put all the minis listed here to use more than once.

I would actually love to see an actual horse mini on it’s own. There have been a couple shown with characters ‘on’ them, but I wouldn’t have a problem with just horse on it’s own, not in a combat pose, either.

Don’t know how many times we’ve had encounters where caravans are stopped and the horses are hooked up and even work in as being cover.

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