Behind the Art of Hell's Rebels

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The launch of the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path is special for a number of reasons. Most significant, of course, is that this series will include the long-awaited issue number 100! It's taken a lot of hard work from many talented people to get Pathfinder this far, and I am extremely grateful to have been here to see issue 100 take shape.

Also, because of the significance of this Adventure Path, we wanted to make it visually distinctive. No special Paizo project would be complete without the brilliant work of Wayne Reynolds, and this time we were also fortunate to have the talented Eva Widermann involved to paint some beautiful design elements for the cover and interior pages. Between those two superstars, as well as the numerous artists working on the interior illustrations, this is our most beautiful Adventure Path yet.




Illustrations by Caio Maciel Monteiro, Kiki Moch Rizky, Ekaterina Burmak, and Will O'Brien

And on a personal level, this series is significant for me because it will unfortunately be the last one I work on. After commissioning the art and designing the look of our Adventure Paths since Reign of Winter, and working on the layout since Serpent's Skull, I will be moving on to other adventures. This line has been a big focus of my professional life for the last five years, and I'm going to miss playing my part.

Andrew Vallas
Senior Art Director

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Tags: Caio Maciel Monteiro Ekaterina Burmak Hell's Rebels Kiki Moch Rizky Paizo Pathfinder Adventure Path Will O'Brien
Paizo Employee Developer

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We're going to miss having you around, Andrew.

Also, the imp on a barrel of rats is great!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Bye, Andrew! I'll make sure to keep putting imps and six-legged monsters into things for ya... maybe even a SIX-LEGGED IMP!

Paizo Employee Developer

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I'll miss working with you Andrew, but I'm happy that I'll still get to see you at the game.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are Merisiel and Kyra fighting a Cleric of Shelyn in a secret underground garden? I thought they would be on the same side?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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zergtitan wrote:
Are Merisiel and Kyra fighting a Cleric of Shelyn in a secret underground garden? I thought they would be on the same side?

Oh my no. That is most assuredly NOT a cleric of Shelyn.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Reign of Winter was one of the most beautiful APs to date, along with Mummy's Mask. Well done Andrew, and good luck in whatever it is you're doing next.

Paizo Employee Developer

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So long, Andrew. You better not be a stranger!


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It was always a pleasure to visit with you in the dealer's room at PaizoCon, Andrew! Best of luck in your future endeavours!

Editor-in-Chief

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I'm not crying, you're crying.


Is that a girl imp?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Is that a girl imp?

Sure is!


That's really cool! I thought all the devils were male-presenting except those specifically denoted otherwise, like erinrys. Are some imps just normally female-presenting, or did this one do something unusual to be so formed?


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What a great way to go out- I have been admiring the artwork in Hell's Rebels part one since it arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. Some of the best artwork in an AP so far- I'm looking forward to seeing what comes in the next several episodes!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
That's really cool! I thought all the devils were male-presenting except those specifically denoted otherwise, like erinrys. Are some imps just normally female-presenting, or did this one do something unusual to be so formed?

It depends on the devil. A fair amount are more androgynous. Most are male. Some can be female.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 to the comment that Reign of Winter and Mummy's Mask have been two of the most visually gorgeous APs to date!


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Not that the art was shabby before, but agreed, they've really looked great under your direction. Best of luck!


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
That's really cool! I thought all the devils were male-presenting except those specifically denoted otherwise, like erinrys. Are some imps just normally female-presenting, or did this one do something unusual to be so formed?

Given that the imp in question has the potential to be an ongoing npc, and consequently has a two page write-up, including background, I can say there is evidence to support the argument that she is unusual for an imp.

Also joining the 'you did a great job & we will miss you' chorus, mr Vallas.


zergtitan wrote:
Are Merisiel and Kyra fighting a Cleric of Shelyn

Home girl gotta get her flank on.

Andrew, I'll be seeing you at ... that thing we do.


Talk about ending on a high note. Nice art!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
That's really cool! I thought all the devils were male-presenting except those specifically denoted otherwise, like erinrys. Are some imps just normally female-presenting, or did this one do something unusual to be so formed?
It depends on the devil. A fair amount are more androgynous. Most are male. Some can be female.

I guess that means that Pathfinder devils definitely are not fallen angels, since no angel in Chronicles of the Righteous was ever assigned an actual gender. Or is becoming either male or female a consequence of an angel becoming a devil?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Even if the stat line doesn't mention a gender in that sourcebook, most of the angels' descriptive text uses a definite gender. Few would doubt that Ragathiel and Tolc are male, or that Pulura and Vildeis are female. So most do present as a particular gender.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, wasn't Sarenrae an angel before rising into the ranks of empyreal lord and eventually a full-fledged goddess?

Dark Archive

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James Jacobs wrote:
Bye, Andrew! I'll make sure to keep putting imps and six-legged monsters into things for ya... maybe even a SIX-LEGGED IMP!

Would you settle for a four legged imp?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was going by the stat blocks, not how the deities present themselves. In Chroncicles of the Righteous, angel empyreal lords stood out from all of the other outsider types in having no gender listed at the top of their stat blocks. Agathions, archons, and azatas are invariably listed as male or female, but angels have no such information given (even if the fluff refers to the angel in question as "he" or "she" or otherwise hints at a gender).

Since I do not have immediate access to any of the books in the "Book of the Damned" series, does anyone know how demons, devils, and other evil outsiders are treated in this regard? Of course, since each such book is confined to a single outsider sub-type, the lack of such information could just as well be a style thing as a real indication that the sub-type is supposed to be sexless. On the other hand, if demons and devils are definitively listed as male or female, then sexlessness would be a unique feature of angels.

Shadow Lodge

Or it was just an omission/oversight/error in Chronicles.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

I was going by the stat blocks, not how the deities present themselves. In Chroncicles of the Righteous, angel empyreal lords stood out from all of the other outsider types in having no gender listed at the top of their stat blocks. Agathions, archons, and azatas are invariably listed as male or female, but angels have no such information given (even if the fluff refers to the angel in question as "he" or "she" or otherwise hints at a gender).

Since I do not have immediate access to any of the books in the "Book of the Damned" series, does anyone know how demons, devils, and other evil outsiders are treated in this regard? Of course, since each such book is confined to a single outsider sub-type, the lack of such information could just as well be a style thing as a real indication that the sub-type is supposed to be sexless. On the other hand, if demons and devils are definitively listed as male or female, then sexlessness would be a unique feature of angels.

Devils are unquestionably gendered as male (except for the Whore Queens, obviously).

Demon lords are gendered, if I recall correctly.

I don't think daemon harbingers are, though.

Of course, for Hell and the Abyss, gender is a specific thematic choice. Maybe the daemons were left out because of ambivalence, or maybe their general lack of gender is intentional.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I was going by the stat blocks, not how the deities present themselves. In Chroncicles of the Righteous, angel empyreal lords stood out from all of the other outsider types in having no gender listed at the top of their stat blocks. Agathions, archons, and azatas are invariably listed as male or female, but angels have no such information given (even if the fluff refers to the angel in question as "he" or "she" or otherwise hints at a gender).

Since I do not have immediate access to any of the books in the "Book of the Damned" series, does anyone know how demons, devils, and other evil outsiders are treated in this regard? Of course, since each such book is confined to a single outsider sub-type, the lack of such information could just as well be a style thing as a real indication that the sub-type is supposed to be sexless. On the other hand, if demons and devils are definitively listed as male or female, then sexlessness would be a unique feature of angels.

Devils are unquestionably gendered as male (except for the Whore Queens, obviously).

Demon lords are gendered, if I recall correctly.

I don't think daemon harbingers are, though.

Of course, for Hell and the Abyss, gender is a specific thematic choice. Maybe the daemons were left out because of ambivalence, or maybe their general lack of gender is intentional.

Not quite. While most devils are indeed male, some devils are usually female, such as erinyes and handmaiden devils. There are plenty of androgynous devils as well. And now and then, a female devil such as the imp in Hell's Rebels. Oh... wait. You were talking about archdevils. Nevermind.

Almost all demon lords are gendered. The Abyss and demons skew feminine, as an antithesis to Hell, with the most powerful of demons being Lamashtu and the 2nd most powerful being Nocticula, and with the Abyss itself being associated with fecundity and the creation of life.

Abaddon isn't really influenced thematically by gender at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Orthos wrote:
Or it was just an omission/oversight/error in Chronicles.

Not gendering the angels in Chronicles was a deliberate choice. Most angels are androgynous.

Sarenrae is a notable exception to that generalization; there are others.

The idea that when an angel falls and becomes a devil it takes on a gender role is interesting, but I'm not sure that's an intentional thing as much as a coincidence. Wes Schneider would be the one to talk to about that.

I'm not really all that comfortable with the implication that choosing a gender is an intrinsically evil choice, so my take on it is that an angel falling from heaven does NOT become gendered because it loses its goodness.

Contributor

There are some interesting gender elements re Pathfinder angels in THE REDEMPTION ENGINE.

Lantern Lodge

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
What a great way to go out- I have been admiring the artwork in Hell's Rebels part one since it arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. Some of the best artwork in an AP so far- I'm looking forward to seeing what comes in the next several episodes!

I was just commenting recently about how Hell's Rebels design format is some of the best I have seen yet, and how it pushes me to maintain a higher level of design standards in my own next/ongoing projects. It is truly remarkable and broadly appealing in a big way.

I think the art, layout, and general feeling of the adventure path and other products are a driving force behind them remaining marketable and accessible even from an outside audience. It's hard to see changes in staff like this from all angles, but it sure is great to see such a lasting legacy on the game/product, and on the community, from any one of the very many talented people this game brings together. This sort of dedication to creativity and high quality is what sets Paizo apart, IMHO.

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