There are many ways to attempt to win at adventuring. You can pry up every loose board in the dungeon to drain the local economy of every last mote of gold dust. You can gather wild tales of that time you defeated a Vulture Demon with nothing but a sharpened chicken bone. Or, if you don't like your friends much, you can be the last one standing when the battle ends. But wealth is hollow, tales can be fabricated, and standing alone is... well, lonely. The true pathfinder of style wins by making it look good, period.
It takes a higher standard than a brown woolen cloak to make it as a character in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Live fast and make it through Adventure Deck 6, or die pretty.
This week, the PACG team struts their choices for best dressed character in a walk-off of lethal fashion.
Swashbucklers are generally a flouncy bunch, but Jirelle pulls off an outfit that elevates practicality to fabulous. Eschewing the common brown or black, Her studded leather jerkin and chaps are a sumptuous dark indigo trimmed in gold, giving the impression of stars in a sea of midnight. Her tall boots, practical for charging through rough underbrush or hiking rocky terrain, punctuate her lithe elvenesque silhouette with cuffs that won't quit. Heck, even her buckler is painted to match.
To top it all off, Jirelle rakishly dons a crimson worsted wool cloak lined in gold silk. A bold color choice for the battlefield, the cloak can be employed to distract enemies and entrap their weapons. Better yet, the cloak, scarves, and long hair will flow as she turns to look amazing in any duel while keeping enemy strikes from targeting the important squishy parts. After all, clothing is a much a verb as a noun. Jirelle makes it work.
As with all critical decisions, it is de rigueur to approach the selection of the most fashionable character scientifically, rather than through such fallible methods as "personal taste" and "saying anything to get the thumbscrews removed." I have devised an unassailable four-part methodology:
- Eliminate all monochrome outfits. Approximate percentage of candidates remaining: 50%.
- Eliminate overuse of brown. Approximate percentage of candidates remaining: 15%.
- Eliminate visible belly buttons. Approximate percentage of candidates remaining: 3%.
- Of the remaining candidates, pick the one that Liz Spain is most likely to dress as.
Thus, the only plausible answer is Radillo. Don't thank me. Thank science.
A character with plenty of pockets, bells, whistles, and doodads is all well and good, but what captures my imagination is a character whose dedication to an in-world ideal is such that she tries to emulate it in flesh. As someone who is playing a cleric of Nethys through the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path (RPG-style), and as someone who really appreciates how our campaign setting presents the god of magic, I love Zarlova's personal sense of style.
Sure, plenty of Nethys's faithful worshippers dress in black and white, representing the god's half-scorched, half-healthy body. Zarlova has taken it a step further and paid someone to tattoo her right half in bone-white patterns, shaving that side of her head just to show off the ink. I also like how she's tossed aside the notion of a perfectly symmetrical black-and-white garment and instead embraced diagonal swathes of color that are as unpredictable-yet-visually-appealing as magic itself. Even her staff of two intertwined snakes shows off Nethys's dual nature. When it comes to fashion, Zarlova's sensibilities are like her magical prowess: unrivaled and the envy of all.
I'm going to cheat, unsurprisingly enough. My take is that the best-dressed character in the game is the one wearing only his birthday suit.
Though he occasionally spends time as an elf, Gronk the druid knows his bark is better than his bite when he's in his woodsiest form. No shirt, no shoes, no service necessary for this hunk of forest manliness. Who needs a hat when your head can double as a piercing weapon? And his oaken codpiece goes with everything!
You'll get the deets on the Gronky goodness in next month's Druid Class Deck preview.
My choice is Wrathack. Wrathack has an axe that is actually two axes, because her weapon has an axe at either end. Battleaxes deal a lot of damage, and she has two of them forged together, which makes her double axe the best fashion accessory a hero can have. Also, she's wearing bloody feathers that she ripped off the wings of an angel, which is badass. And she's wearing armor, which is obviously better than not wearing armor. I would like her outfit more if she wore more black, or if it was stained with more blood, but the fact that she has more axes than any other adventurer means that she wins.
Ranzak is the best-dressed character. (Parrots count as "attire," yes?)
Merisiel is a true mistress of fashion, from her peacock-like fan of shoulder knives down to her meticulously worked leather boots.
What other character has so mastered the intricate accessorizing of blades, incorporating a full dozen into her costume? Her dagger hilts even match her studded leather armor.
Merisiel employs a full array of colors, with rich red leather armor, blue garments, gold threading, silver studs, black sheathes and straps, and a dashing accent of green and yellow to catch the eye.
Those familiar with Merisiel's abilities know, however, that her true strength is that she is only seen when and where she can steal the show.
Feet feats! Gaby here with my picks for best footwear! If you know me, you'll know I have a small shoe problem. I love shoes (particularly sneakers) and am inspired to buy shoes by the most random stuff. Hopefully I'll escape this blog without ordering any new shoes. And because I'm that kind of person, I'm going to show a picture and you'll have to guess whose feet I've chosen. Ready, go!
Can you recognize these sweet winged shoes? They belong to none other than our beloved [redacted]! These shoes are intimidating and totally badass. They may also finally push me over the edge to buy these shoes I've been eyeing for months. Anyway, nobody is messing with you when this is your footwear.
Best Pointy Toes!
I LOVE [redacted]'S BOOTS! They are shiny. They have pointy toes. They have designs. These shoes might finally push me over the edge to get a pair of poulaines. Here are some extra whimsical ones I will probably impulse purchase later today: All I need is to add some shiny metal and I'll be, dare I say it, even more stylin' than [redacted].
Best in Shoe
The tail in this picture is sort of a giveaway but these boots of [redacted]'s are my most favorite. I love that there's some color here. Most of our people are just tromping around in brown boots...which is probably practical but not necessarily the prettiest. These boots are a glorious green and they have some nice silver detailing. Luckily (or unluckily) I don't have my eye on any boots like these, so I guess I'm safe. Perhaps I'll have to commission a pair. I could use them to cosplay [redacted] or a fancy-footed Slytherin!
- Wrathack (you have no idea how many times I started typing "Hatrack" and had to start over) won "Best Kicks" with her angel-skin boots.
- Tontelizi won "Best Pointy Toes" with his shiny, stabby toes.
- Lini won "Best in Shoe" because, seriously. Those boots.
If we wish to have a discussion, then it should really be about which character is the "second-best dressed" as the top spot is unassailable.
You can point out the buckles or bows or boots or what have you for other characters, and then nod and say "Those are indeed fine," but NONE of those baubles can compare to the majesty of Balazar's Splendiferous Hat.
Just look upon it and marvel. What else could compare? Nothing even comes close. It is splendiferous, after all. Look at how it completes Balazar's look. Gaze in wonder as it sets off Padrig's scales. Truly it is the pinnacle of magical haberdashery.
And not only is it awesome in its majesty, but it is also said to be alive, and to counsel wise Balazar in his many travels. What other mere accoutrements listed by others here can equal that feat? None.
Oddly enough, I picked first (as far as I know, anyway), but I'm adding my section last. That's good for me, because it lets me take a look at what my fellows have done. Let's see... hmm...
Sorry, everyone; hats are great, but then you have to decide between Balazar and Alahazra. Just like in Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, two good but very similar answers cancel each other out. Likewise, all that footwear is awesome, but even Gaby can't pick just one (or two). Also, despite what Tanis might try to tell you, "wild shaped" is not the same thing as "dressed." For all we know, Gronk is wearing mustard yellow spats and white shoes—well into Lamashan, even!—underneath all that bark. Automatic disqualification on account of not being dressed!
All that aside, there are several good criteria listed, and one character who, in my opinion, excels across the board: Olenjack, dwarven guild leader and pillar of the community. Awesome coat, great styling. Beard jewelry—tasteful yet refined—alongside a respectable amount of stabby. Plus, while Ranzak may have a parrot—excuse me, a Magic Bird—even he doesn't have have a screaming howler monkey wearing a pirate hat for a belt buckle.
As Olenjack might say, "Check and mate."
Now that you've seen our choices, who's your best dressed character? Write your answers in the comments below. Make it work!
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Team