Iconic Evolution: Amiri

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

It's been 12 years since famed artist Wayne Reynolds designed the core iconic characters we've all come to know and love. When we knew a second edition was on the horizon, we asked him to update them for the new era of Pathfinder. Last summer, Paizo's publisher and chief creative officer Erik Mona met with Wayne at Paizo's Gen Con booth to discuss his creative process. Check out this short video of their conversation for a glimpse into the mind of Pathfinder's most iconic visual artist and the first official look at the iconic barbarian, Amiri!

Each week, we'll take a look at a different updated iconic with Erik and Wayne, so stay tuned.

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Amiri Barbarians Classes Iconic Evolutions Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Wayne Reynolds
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Rysky wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, I'm in agreement with MaxAstro. This version of Amiri is unsettling, with a feral madness shining from her eyes. As I said in one of my earlier posts, she very much looks like someone capable of suddenly and completely losing it and killing people in a violent rage at any moment (not that she necessarily will...but she could if she decided to).

That's disturbing and I don't blame people for being disturbed by it. I just also think it's a totally reasonable look for Amiri to possess.

That's a strange conclusion. While her countenance does look Feral, her body doesn't look able to do that killing.
I don’t even know no where to begin with that assumption being 10 different kinds of wrong. When has wiry ever meant harmless?

I think the assumption clash here is more on how we see the picture than anything: I wouldn't describe her as anything like "wiry".


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Cole Deschain wrote:


An 18 just means she can lift 300 pounds over her head under the RAW. At 101 pounds, she'd be carrying a Medium load which offers mild encumbrance.

So, a 18 str character can deadlift 600 pounds. This is World champion Stefi Cohen and She can't deadlift that weight.


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TOZ wrote:
Nicos wrote:
I don't understand what you said.
"...her body doesn't look able to do that killing" is precisely why you would end up dead for underestimating her based on a flawed idea of what body types are capable of murder.

If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.

Now, this is fantasy, and different people have their different tastes. Some like little lolis being able to lift a truck in their animes, but it shouldn't be difficult to understand why some people don't fall in love with her bodytype does not match what she is supposedly able to do.


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Can't we resolve like 99% of these objections with a second image in which she is, like swinging her sword in which she looks a little more muscular? Muscles are, after all, more apparent when they are in use. Our image up top is when she is almost completely at rest, so it would be a nadir for how swole she looks.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

But then what would we argue about?

Nicos wrote:
If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.

I'm sure that's very comforting to all the people she has killed.


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I don't think there is anything to resolve. It's just a pic, some people like it, some others don't.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Can't we resolve like 99% of these objections with a second image in which she is, like swinging her sword in which she looks a little more muscular? Muscles are, after all, more apparent when they are in use. Our image up top is when she is almost completely at rest, so it would be a nadir for how swole she looks.

Hell, a second image in a slightly different art style or just a different pose might look not bother me at all. Like this one, for example. Though you can't see her clearly enough to really see muscles and her arms, shoulders and legs are all obscured by armor, she doesn't seem as scrawny to me.

That's the thing about art. Different pose, different artist, different emphasis, different impression.

But this is supposed to be the iconic image that other artists will use as reference and if they get the same impression from it I do, they'll likely emphasize the apparent weakness.


To everyone who has an issue with her appearance here, what do you think ofthe other picture of her, the one of her fighting the giant?


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
To everyone who has an issue with her appearance here, what do you think ofthe other picture of her, the one of her fighting the giant?

IN that picture she seems to have a bigger upper-back, which is nice, but having so much uncovered flesh is not good for survivability. I don't know what kind of opinion are you looking for, I find that picture of her to be not bad but not great either.


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

I don't think anybody can seriously look at her clothing and go, "that's optimal for a lifestyle of melee violence."

It's one thing I wish had changed more... I mean, Valeros has apparently realized a shield is a good idea, Seoni's bundling up against the weather more... but Amiri still seems to think her abs will repel a dagger thrust into her vitals.

Silver Crusade

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Do Barbarians still get DR? Then they might.

Still hoping for an unarmored option.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
I don't think anybody can seriously look at her clothing and go, "that's optimal for a lifestyle of melee violence."

I mean, I am sort of curious how we interpret "you get temp HP every time you rage" diagetically. Since that HP will be deducted first, we get into situations where a Barbarian can be hit with several arrows and be 100% fine after their rage ends.

So Amiri might be banking on however this works.


I'd say that the standard argument over armor suitability doesn't really have anything to do with the new Amiri. If nothing else, it's the same armor.


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I’m going to go ahead and say it. I like the new art.

The last few dozen posts seem to have descended into one of those “well that isn’t realistic” arguments. Well guess what? PF is a high fantasy game. Get over it. While attributes aren’t always an abstraction, they often can be. Not every person with an 18 strength is built like a brick house, other physical builds can fit the bill. Barbarians get a lot out of having a high dexterity (you could easily say that it’s required but this isn’t the place for that discussion) and high strength and dexterity makes me think of a more wiry build. Some of those here have argued that Amiri doesn’t look wiry. I’d say she does but I guess that’s more of a personal definition thing.

Going along with the high fantasy thing we could get into the ever going martial vs. caster realism disparity but to keep it short PF2 has pretty firmly added barbarians into the supernatural martial class group with monks and champions/paladins so even if you are on the pro disparity side of the argument stay seated. Going with this Amiri is giant totem where their entire deal is using weapons that someone of their size shouldn’t be able to and later supernaturally growing in size. In short I believe this also supports her being stronger than she looks.

And just because someone mentioned this and I find it silly, adding supernatural creatures to the mix muddies this a bit but for you “realists” being a certain build is in no way required to be good at killing. The #1 thing necessary is being willing to and the second, and this is important for a “barbarian” type, is the acceptance and ability to not care about whether you get hurt in the process. I will admit that physical build can be a factor in a more prolonged combat but for the reasons I gave above I don’t think Amiri has much, if any, issue here.


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Rysky wrote:
Still hoping for an unarmored option.

This!

Seriously, all classes should come with unarmored options.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
I don't think anybody can seriously look at her clothing and go, "that's optimal for a lifestyle of melee violence."

I mean, I am sort of curious how we interpret "you get temp HP every time you rage" diagetically. Since that HP will be deducted first, we get into situations where a Barbarian can be hit with several arrows and be 100% fine after their rage ends.

So Amiri might be banking on however this works.

Barbarian are actually known to fall unconscious (or sometimes even dead) when their rage end. It's more of a "While in rage, the adrenaline let you ignore 2hp/lvl of damages.".

See relevant rule quote:
Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:
The increase to Constitution grants the barbarian 2 hit points per Hit Dice, but these disappear when the rage ends and are not lost first like temporary hit points.

Silver Crusade

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That was the case for the Chained Barbarian in First, it is not for the Unchained Barbarian and Second Edition where the extra HP are true Temporary HP.


How it worked in the playtest (which is much more relevant to PF2 than how it worked 10 years ago):

Quote:

You begin raging. You gain a number of temporary Hit Points equal to your level plus your Constitution modifier

...
After you have stopped raging, you lose any remaining temporary Hit Points from using the Rage action


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ooh... Sorry. My bad. I don't know why I thought you talked about the PF1 barbarian. >_>
I never even really knew the rules for PF1, had to look it up. >_>
My bad.


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Also, there's was an 8th level Barbarian Feat (*highly recommended*) where you can spend an action while raging to gain half-your level plus ConMod.

Most of the time this is preferable to a 3rd attack at -10.


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I kind of miss the PF1 barbarian hit point thing. It really gave a feel of pushing beyond the limits of your body, and that is fundamentally unsafe. And it allowed for dramatic feats of badassery and then collapsing under all that damage afterwards. A pretty classic trope. But mechanically it was certainly a bit of a pain, and temp HP are much easier to deal with. So I'm not really calling for going back to the old way, but it is a shame what was lost.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm in the same boat as Doktor Weasel. I've been present for a Barbarian in 1e passing out and nearly dying the instant their rage ended, and it was very dramatic.

But the 2e method is a LOT simpler to track.

EDIT: Slightly less dramatic is the Barbarian post combat staying angry long enough for the cleric to get to them and heal them so that they don't pass out. :P

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I never enjoyed the meta that 1E barbarians caused, of players running to the cleric when they got into the danger zone. And having to play cautious with my invulnerable rager until I picked up Raging Vitality.


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Amiri feels like Wormtongue...


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TriOmegaZero wrote:


Nicos wrote:
If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.
I'm sure that's very comforting to all the people she has killed.

Well if she was able to kill them then obviously she looks different in real life. The camera subtracts 50 pounds of muscle, apparently.


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Xenocrat wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Nicos wrote:
If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.
I'm sure that's very comforting to all the people she has killed.
Well if she was able to kill them then obviously she looks different in real life. The camera subtracts 50 pounds of muscle, apparently.

No, it's the new Bulk rules. Medium creatures are 8 Bulk, and therefore weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. In that context, Amiri is nothing BUT on-model.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Nicos wrote:
If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.
I'm sure that's very comforting to all the people she has killed.
Well if she was able to kill them then obviously she looks different in real life. The camera subtracts 50 pounds of muscle, apparently.

Yes I'm sure this fictional character looks different in real life.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I kind of miss the PF1 barbarian hit point thing. It really gave a feel of pushing beyond the limits of your body, and that is fundamentally unsafe. And it allowed for dramatic feats of badassery and then collapsing under all that damage afterwards. A pretty classic trope. But mechanically it was certainly a bit of a pain, and temp HP are much easier to deal with. So I'm not really calling for going back to the old way, but it is a shame what was lost.

I liked that too, but I think the wounded condition gave us a pretty great addition for the "continuing to fight past the point you really should" thing. (Is wounded going to be replaced with Doomed?)


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MaxAstro wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Nicos wrote:
If she had other combat style, maybe. But strength doesn't come without muscle. Her chest and back shows a lack of upperbody strength. We can't clearly see her shoulders and arms, but they probably are not up to the task either.
I'm sure that's very comforting to all the people she has killed.
Well if she was able to kill them then obviously she looks different in real life. The camera subtracts 50 pounds of muscle, apparently.
Yes I'm sure this fictional character looks different in real life.

How comforting do you think her fictional appearance was to her fictional victims? Very? Somewhat? Not at all?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think any accounts of it being comforting are fictional, honestly.


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I like this one and Harsk’s the best, mainly because of many thing people have pointed out before, I mean Amiri looks down right feral here, and isn’t that the point? Barbarians live rough lives but that doesn’t always mean they are f%!*ing beef cakes...and I really enjoy Harsk because he doesn’t look like a stunted human anymore his facial features are almost Neanderthal is, the panes of his face something close but not Human.

Kyra’s boots...are a bit weird but other than that she hasn’t changed all that much appearance wise nor has Ezren


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I have to admit, I wish she had a bit more muscle to her. It kind of makes sense that she'd be more pale, what with being a Northerner, but not so much the skinny, waifish look when she's hauling around the massive bastard sword.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I really love the new iconic looks and Amiri's new details truly fit the back story of the character as well.

Also that intimidating look on her face could kill even the strongest warriors before she even draws her sword.

Sic em Amiri, maim and maul!


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Looks good and to anyone who thinks she needs bigger muscles. That does not say much about strength. Bodybuilders for example are not nesc. the strongest. They just have the muscle build after training for it and the usage of certain dietary supplements^^.

And if anyone thinks wiry people are not strong enough anyone remembers Bruce Lee for example^^?

And rereading this I kind of dread the Iconic Evolution of Seoni.

I mean if seeing part of her leg got someone to write about her being not "dressed right" I fear what kind of outfit she could get to not have page after page of discussion about it drowing out the interesting stuff about her and the scorcerer.


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I love Amiri's new look too, I think she's badass, sexy and has an expression and a physique that make you think she's "half-crazy" (if you'll pardon the ableism), she doesn't give a flying f**k, she's not necessarily the strongest person in her tribe bodily but her willpower and rage more than make up for it.

Seoni though wasn't just showing a bit of leg, she was very scantily clothed. Again, I don't hate her outfit, I just think the new one (which can be seen already in the playtest book and around the net in general, but Lie Setiawan drew a beautiful rendition of the character for the cover of Doomsday Dawn) is superior. The previous outfit wasn't terrible, but it was a bit objectifying, that's all.


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Yes I know that her first outfit was not what someone would call modest^^.

What I meant was that all someone could see of her on the cover for the Playtest for example was a part of her leg , because we see her in an action pose from behind with a big cloak and we got a discussion about seeing too much skin.

I like the new outfit too, but i wonder, if for some people that will be enough.

And let's not forget even totally covered someone can look "skimpy" if the artist wants it^^


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lowfyr01 wrote:
Yes I know that her first outfit was not what someone would call modest^^.

You know, I feel it's not a matter of modesty... it's more like, this chick was adventuring with her strange round breasts covered only by strips of cloth that somehow didn't completely fall over every 2 seconds... I'm all for sexy (men, women, etc), but it was a little too... "Hey, you can be a badass sorceress!!! (If you show your boobs & ass)".

lowfyr01 wrote:

What I meant was that all someone could see of her on the cover for the Playtest for example was a part of her leg , because we see her in an action pose from behind with a big cloak and we got a discussion about seeing too much skin.

I like the new outfit too, but i wonder, if for some people that will be enough.

Oh O_O That I didn't know. Seems to me she's dressed absolutely sensibly both on the Playtest cover and everywhere else she's wearing the new outfit. I really don't see the problem. Different strokes I suppose, but still, dammit...

lowfyr01 wrote:
And let's not forget even totally covered someone can look "skimpy" if the artist wants it^^

Mmm, maybe they can look hot if the artist wants it, but if someone's totally covered that's literally the exact opposite of skimpy, I think... still, I might be wrong!


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Roswynn wrote:

You know, I feel it's not a matter of modesty... it's more like, this chick was adventuring with her strange round breasts covered only by strips of cloth that somehow didn't completely fall over every 2 seconds... I'm all for sexy (men, women, etc), but it was a little too... "Hey, you can be a badass sorceress!!! (If you show your boobs & ass)".

Oh O_O That I didn't know. Seems to me she's dressed absolutely sensibly both on the Playtest cover and everywhere else she's wearing the new outfit. I really don't see the problem. Different strokes I suppose, but still, dammit...

Mmm, maybe they can look hot if the artist wants it, but if someone's totally covered that's literally the exact opposite of skimpy, I think... still, I might be wrong!

-Yes, I think practical is the word i should have used. And the difference is often "that looks sexy" compared to "that is over the top and can not really work."^^

-It reminded me of the old Simpsons joke about showing the ankle.

-Oh, I thought the word meant something more general. But any excuse for using the dictionary again is a good one^^


Lowfyrr wrote:


Looks good and to anyone who thinks she needs bigger muscles. That does not say much about strength. Bodybuilders for example are not nesc. the strongest. They just have the muscle build after training for it and the usage of certain dietary supplements^^.

And if anyone thinks wiry people are not strong enough anyone remembers Bruce Lee for example^^?

And rereading this I kind of dread the Iconic Evolution of Seoni.

I mean if seeing part of her leg got someone to write about her being not "dressed right" I fear what kind of outfit she could get to not have page after page of discussion about it drowing out the interesting stuff about her and the scorcerer.

While true, Bruce Lee used either his bare hands or fast weaponry - I'm pretty sure his build would have been vastly different if he'd been using the sword of a Frost Giant :P.

And I was picturing more the "World's Strongest Man" competitor, (aka Zarya-like build) rather than the lean & mean build that bodybuilders go for in competitions.

Edit: Fixed to respond to the correct person.


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Gazragar wrote:
And I was picturing more the "World's Strongest Man" competitor, (aka Zarya-like build) rather than the lean & mean build that bodybuilders go for in competitions.

I mean, here is an actual podium shot from a "World's Strongest Woman" competition (it's an at-rest shot to mirror Amiri not really doing anything in the picture.)

So as long as we have Amiri look a little more muscular in an action shot (for comparison, here is the woman on top of the podium, Donna Moore, dragging some kind of vehicle with a rope) I think we're fine.

At least if what we're going for is not "impossibly muscular."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gazragar wrote:
And I was picturing more the "World's Strongest Man" competitor, (aka Zarya-like build) rather than the lean & mean build that bodybuilders go for in competitions.

I mean, here is an actual podium shot from a "World's Strongest Woman" competition (it's an at-rest shot to mirror Amiri not really doing anything in the picture.)

So as long as we have Amiri look a little more muscular in an action shot (for comparison, here is the woman on top of the podium, Donna Moore, dragging some kind of vehicle with a rope) I think we're fine.

At least if what we're going for is not "impossibly muscular."

At this point, I think it's really much more interpretation of the art than anything else. All of those women, in the at-rest shot, look much more built to me than the artwork of Amiri does. If you think they're comparable, then the difference is specifically about how we see the picture, not about how muscular we think women would really need to be.

If I'm comparing those two and thinking "It would be nice if Amiri looked that built" and you're thinking "That's about what she looks like. Much more than that would be 'impossibly muscular'", then we're going to have a hard time agreeing on what she should look like.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Anyone seen that picture of Brie Larson pushing her trainer's 5000 pound Jeep?


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Anyone seen that picture of Brie Larson pushing her trainer's 5000 pound Jeep?

I have now. Good observation!


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Gazragar wrote:


While true, Bruce Lee used either his bare hands or fast weaponry - I'm pretty sure his build would have been vastly different if he'd been using the sword of a Frost Giant :P.

Bruce Lee is kind of a weird pick for strength regardless. He pulls off some cool tricks, but he wasn't a competition fighter/lifter and was openly dismissive of the idea that he could go toe to toe with Ali due to the size difference. Then there's the silly publicity things he did like the one inch punch which are meant to look like amazing feats of strength but are more akin to the "tearing a phone book in half" trick. I recommend watching Conan O'brien doing the one inch punch if you've never done so. That makes it hard to know what was publicity and what was genuine.

All the same, Bruce Lee has a torso 3 times as wide as Amiri's if we assume roughly the same head size. Same with the women in the "World's Strongest Women" competition.

I couldn't figure out what sort of vehicle Donna Moore is pulling in Cabbage's picture, so I figured I'd pull up the record holder. Nardi Styles is the current female record holder pulling a 25,000 pound vehicle 100ft. She's much smaller than Donna Moore, which makes sense as they're coming from much different backgrounds, but Styles is still much broader in the chest and shoulders than the art we're looking at for Amiri.

None of which matters since Pathfinder is fantasy, but I'm a bit surprised by the amount of people who don't see the difference between Amiri and real life examples of strong people. I'm starting to think making the human examples more realistic wouldn't be a bad idea if people are this poorly calibrated.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Anyone seen that picture of Brie Larson pushing her trainer's 5000 pound Jeep?

Anyone ever NOT seen two average looking guys (one with a hand on the wheel through the open door) pushing a similar car down the street while facing forward and without all that much strain?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Strong as two average guys combined when not raging" sounds like a good place for Amiri, honestly.


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MaxAstro wrote:
"Strong as two average guys combined when not raging" sounds like a good place for Amiri, honestly.

That would be fine, though the "without all much strain" makes a big difference.

Honestly pushing a normal car isn't that big a deal. They're designed to roll.

Unless there's even a tiny uphill grade where it very quickly becomes nigh impossible.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

iirc, there was a slight uphill grade where Larson was pushing that Jeep - which is apparently a lot heavier than the average sedan.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
iirc, there was a slight uphill grade where Larson was pushing that Jeep - which is apparently a lot heavier than the average sedan.

One reason videos make it hard to judge. It's really hard to see a tiny grade on video.


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Anyways Amiri isn't muscle-bound. She has a pear-shaped physique. She's slightly muscular from what little we can see of her midriff but she's skinny. Her strength comes mostly from her rage and her viciousness.

Get used to it. She's not changing. Whatever you may think of her body, her eyes, her face, her shoes, that's the way she's gonna be. You don't like a barb with such a thin body? Give your barb pcs and npcs large powerful bodies. It makes no difference, this is official art and it's not going anywhere.

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