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:
thejeff wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
And how exactly is that relevant to discussing the appearance of a human character? Or is snark all you are capable for supporting your side of the argument?

It’s relevant because we’re talking about the physical appearance of a Barbarian in a fantasy game. Why do the humans have to be constrained to random examples of superhumanly strong people in real life but every other Ancestry does not?

A Gnome with an 18 Strength is not vastly weaker than a Human with an 18 Strength.

As I said earlier, I would still expect that Gnome to have visible muscles. The Gnome would look like a strong gnome.

It's fantasy. The gnome would not have to have the same total weight of muscles as a human of equal strength, but they should be proportionally similar. At least if you want viewers to recognize the character as strong.

But viewers unfamiliar would always assume the gnome would be weaker due to be half the size, even if the characters Strength score was the same.

Therefore we might as well just draw the gnome with little muscle?

Silver Crusade

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thejeff wrote:
Rysky wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
And how exactly is that relevant to discussing the appearance of a human character? Or is snark all you are capable for supporting your side of the argument?

It’s relevant because we’re talking about the physical appearance of a Barbarian in a fantasy game. Why do the humans have to be constrained to random examples of superhumanly strong people in real life but every other Ancestry does not?

A Gnome with an 18 Strength is not vastly weaker than a Human with an 18 Strength.

As I said earlier, I would still expect that Gnome to have visible muscles. The Gnome would look like a strong gnome.

It's fantasy. The gnome would not have to have the same total weight of muscles as a human of equal strength, but they should be proportionally similar. At least if you want viewers to recognize the character as strong.

But viewers unfamiliar would always assume the gnome would be weaker due to be half the size, even if the characters Strength score was the same.
Therefore we might as well just draw the gnome with little muscle?

We draw the gnome how we want the gnome to look.


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Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
And how exactly is that relevant to discussing the appearance of a human character? Or is snark all you are capable for supporting your side of the argument?

It’s relevant because we’re talking about the physical appearance of a Barbarian in a fantasy game. Why do the humans have to be constrained to random examples of superhumanly strong people in real life but every other Ancestry does not?

A Gnome with an 18 Strength is not vastly weaker than a Human with an 18 Strength.

As noted already I would expect said races members with high strength to also look muscular.(not necessarily defined though). That being said I do think that small races should not be allowed to have the same maximum STR as medium sized races. It's not a massive issue to me but it is one of those things that add on to the pile of things that stretch my suspension of disbelief. Granted due to how strength works in proportion to body size those races could be surprisingly strong for their size.(look at say a chimp) But the emphasis on that is for their size.

Now if someone doesn't care that Amiri or whatever character for that matter, physique does not match what it is supposed to look like according to their capabilities, that is a matter of opinion and preference. However it is not a matter of opinion if they do or don't. And in this specific case it is blatantly obvious for someone with even casual experience in how humans who are highly above average in their physical capabilities look that the art does not even remotely resemble it.


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Fumbles_suck wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
And how exactly is that relevant to discussing the appearance of a human character? Or is snark all you are capable for supporting your side of the argument?

It’s relevant because we’re talking about the physical appearance of a Barbarian in a fantasy game. Why do the humans have to be constrained to random examples of superhumanly strong people in real life but every other Ancestry does not?

A Gnome with an 18 Strength is not vastly weaker than a Human with an 18 Strength.

As noted already I would expect said races members with high strength to also look muscular.(not necessarily defined though). That being said I do think that small races should not be allowed to have the same maximum STR as medium sized races. It's not a massive issue to me but it is one of those things that add on to the pile of things that stretch my suspension of disbelief. Granted due to how strength works in proportion to body size those races could be surprisingly strong for their size.(look at say a chimp) But the emphasis on that is for their size.

Essentially they do, at least in PF1. There are no outright maximums, but much more logical penalties. Gnomes and halflings have a -2 to str, while particularly strong humans put their attribute bonus in

strength.
Penalties work better than caps, since they skew the entire distribution curve down, rather than leaving the average gnome as strong as the average human, but cutting off the very top end.
Quote:
Now if someone doesn't care that Amiri or whatever character for that matter, physique does not match what it is supposed to look like according to their capabilities, that is a matter of opinion and preference. However it is not a matter of opinion if they do or don't. And in this specific case it is blatantly obvious for someone with even casual experience in how humans who are highly above average in their physical capabilities look that the art does not even remotely resemble it.

As I've been arguing for awhile now: It apparently isn't obvious at all. Plenty of people are seeing this art as "strong and lean", which it doesn't look at to me, but unless they're all outright lying, which I don't believe for a moment, that's what they're seeing.

And I think that has far more to do with how we interpret the art than with experience with how strong humans look.


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Rysky wrote:
We draw the gnome how we want the gnome to look.

"we" is a little too many people. The artists will draw such gnome however they desire. That doesn't make that picture to be except of criticism.


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Roswynn wrote:


As for Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Megsquats, yes, those are very good example of someone who might have a Str of 18 IRL, true. Camille is also a CrossFit athlete and she probably uses a lot of specialized gym machinery to train, as does Meg. In the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and on Golarion in general, there are no actual gyms (well, there are dojo...), much less machines to help you develop your muscles - Amiri's workout probably consists in running, climbing, fighting, swimming... she could certainly have a more powerful body (even though with the armor covering most of it it'd be hard to say how muscular she actually is - she could have a lot of lean muscles for all we know, and I think her midriff shows exactly that kind of "thin but strong" concept), but she never had the chance to bulk up regularly in a controlled environment with the help of leg presses and pulldowns.

Leg presses and pull downs? There is no need of gym machinery to have muscle. In fact most comercial gyms provide just an illusion for people who wants thing easy.

Have you seen crossfit?, I'm not a fan of it but it does have a lot of running, climbing and sometimes, swimming. Have you seen the upperback of a climber. They are well developed. Amiri doesn't have the latissimus dorsi to climb carrying the wights she supposedly carries.

The Trapezius doesn't lie. Carrying heavy things in your hads will give you beig trapezius. Amiri don't have it.

She have the torso of a person that is not strong, certainly not 18 str.

Finally, bodyweight do matter. That's why th strongest people are big and not lean. And body weight would matter more if your figthing style is swinging a heavy sword.

People like what they like in fantasy, so whatever. But the justification you provide just don't work.

Roswynn wrote:


Add to that the fact that Wayne wasn't drawing a weightlifter, he was drawing a swordswoman. Real world martial artists don't necessarily bulge with muscles - they're certainly very fit, fast and agile, and can often hit hard and endure a lot of fatigue, but few of them look as muscular as Camille

And they are divided in categories for a reason.

Yeah, most Real world fighters don't have bulging muscles, they aren't str 18 either.
Real world fighters would have str 12, 14 or 16. 18 and beyond would only be reserved for the heaviest categories.


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@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

And just because someone doesn't perceive something doesn't suddenly make it not exist. I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score. I am saying that people who do not think so are flat out wrong. There is room for debate where in the scale of human strength performance her looks fall but it isn't at the top. I am not calling them liars I am calling the position they hold to be false.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.

And your “fact” is flat out false.


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Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.

No it is not, it is quite accurate unless supernatural means get involved in the argument.

Silver Crusade

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Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We draw the gnome how we want the gnome to look.
"we" is a little too many people. The artists will draw such gnome however they desire. That doesn't make that picture to be except of criticism.

A gnome with 18 Strength will never be anywhere near as big as a human with an 18 Strength. Aside from reaching level 20 neither have a cap on how high their Strength can naturally go.

Silver Crusade

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Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.
No it is not, it is quite accurate unless supernatural means get involved.

You’re stating you can accurately pin down fictional and real people’s metagame concepts of attributes and whether it’s true or not. That is just your opinion, to claim it is a fact is 100% false.


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Rysky wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.
No it is not, it is quite accurate unless supernatural means get involved.
You’re stating you can accurately pin down fictional and real people’s metagame concepts of attributes and whether it’s true or not. That is just your opinion, to claim it is a fact is 100% false.

100% accuracy is not the claim. It is more a rough, but a good enough estimate of her physical capabilities based on the image.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.
No it is not, it is quite accurate unless supernatural means get involved.
You’re stating you can accurately pin down fictional and real people’s metagame concepts of attributes and whether it’s true or not. That is just your opinion, to claim it is a fact is 100% false.
100% accuracy is not the claim. It is more a rough, but a good enough estimate of her physical capabilities based on the image.

100% accuracy is the claim when you say something is a fact.


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The exact str can't be pin down (because it is a draw, it's a fantasy world, and stats are an abstraction), but that, compared to real world strong people, her look indicates a much lower str than the stated str is a 100% fact.


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Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.


Fumbles_suck wrote:

@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

But I don't think the races with a penalty can even get to 18

10-2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (free) +2 (background) +2(class) = 14.

If you roll, I guess you could hit 18: roll an 18 for str -2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (background) = 18

Still my main point is simply capping abilities doesn't reflect ancestry differences as well as penalties do, because the whole curve shifts downwards, not just the very top end.

Liberty's Edge

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Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

You're not getting it. Rysky's point is not to dispute this statement, it is to point out that in a world where a 35 lb. goblin can as easily have Str 18 as a 250 lb. human, the standards of the real world are not really applicable.

It's not about whether her build could result in that Strength in real life, it's about the fact that Golarion does not operate much like real life in this specific area.


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thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

But I don't think the races with a penalty can even get to 18

10-2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (free) +2 (background) +2(class) = 14.

If you roll, I guess you could hit 18: roll an 18 for str -2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (background) = 18

Still my main point is simply capping abilities doesn't reflect ancestry differences as well as penalties do, because the whole curve shifts downwards, not just the very top end.

You're skipping the final step of four +2s distributed freely, people with a penalty can thus hit 16 (though not 18). Just for the record.


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Maybe because I am not a native speaker, but the expression. "false fact" is excatly claiming that her physique is remotely grounded in reality. Only option I see as possible that not being the case if s/he misunderstood me about not talking about physique grounded in reality.

I have stated that if someone minds or doesn't is a matter of preference. I have never stated otherwise. My argument has been that the lack of said belivability makes the design bad in my opinion. We can't argue to any real meaning if such a matter makes the design bad or not. But we most certainly can about if that matter exist or not. And I have been arguing it does. And I maintain my position that those that disagree with that statement are wrong.


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Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.


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Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.

Agreed. Though I suspect for different reasons.

My understanding is that your take is basically "I don't care how strong she looks. It's fantasy. Gnomes can have an 18 str. Draw it however you want."

While I've just come to accept some people look at Amiri's picture and see muscles that I just don't see.


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Mr. Pedantic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

But I don't think the races with a penalty can even get to 18

10-2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (free) +2 (background) +2(class) = 14.

If you roll, I guess you could hit 18: roll an 18 for str -2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (background) = 18

Still my main point is simply capping abilities doesn't reflect ancestry differences as well as penalties do, because the whole curve shifts downwards, not just the very top end.

You're skipping the final step of four +2s distributed freely, people with a penalty can thus hit 16 (though not 18). Just for the record.

I've got +2(free) (it's just out of order). You can't stack two of those, so I think I'm right unless I missed something else.

Normally you can only hit 18 with an ancestry bonus. A penalty is effectively a -4 to the max, since you don't have the ancestry bonus in that stat.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

You're not getting it. Rysky's point is not to dispute this statement, it is to point out that in a world where a 35 lb. goblin can as easily have Str 18 as a 250 lb. human, the standards of the real world are not really applicable.

It's not about whether her build could result in that Strength in real life, it's about the fact that Golarion does not operate much like real life in this specific area.

This.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

You're not getting it. Rysky's point is not to dispute this statement, it is to point out that in a world where a 35 lb. goblin can as easily have Str 18 as a 250 lb. human, the standards of the real world are not really applicable.

It's not about whether her build could result in that Strength in real life, it's about the fact that Golarion does not operate much like real life in this specific area.

I don't think the "because dragons" argument really applies here.

It seems to me they go with a kind of pseudorealism in the art. Sure small races can be stronger than they really should be, but the art should still show that a strong goblin is strong for a goblin. The strong goblin should look more muscular than a weak goblin. If they're going for the aesthetic in the art that I think they are, you should be able to take cues from it.

Which again, some people seem to from Amiri. I don't see it, but others do.


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thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.

If I hold out 5 fingers and ask someone how many fingers I am holding up, any answer other than 5 is wrong. It does not matter if they see me holding up a different amount. Granted this is certainly more complex thing but the same idea applies. And for the record I have read every post on the thread.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fumbles_suck wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.

If I hold out 5 fingers and ask someone how many fingers I am holding up, any answer other than 5 is wrong. It does not matter if they see me holding up a different amount. Granted this is certainly more complex thing but the same idea applies. And for the record I have read every post on the thread.

That’s disingenuous.

“Do these 5 fingers look like they’re strong” would be an accurate analogy.

Sovereign Court

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For me it isn't how strong she looks. To me she looks Anorexic. Swallow eyes, tin torso that should be showing ribs,...

It isn't quite this bad, but reminds me of a quote.
I wish I could remember where I first heard it.

"Yes, I can suspend my disbelief. I just am not going to hang it by the neck until dead."


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thejeff wrote:
Mr. Pedantic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

But I don't think the races with a penalty can even get to 18

10-2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (free) +2 (background) +2(class) = 14.

If you roll, I guess you could hit 18: roll an 18 for str -2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (background) = 18

Still my main point is simply capping abilities doesn't reflect ancestry differences as well as penalties do, because the whole curve shifts downwards, not just the very top end.

You're skipping the final step of four +2s distributed freely, people with a penalty can thus hit 16 (though not 18). Just for the record.

I've got +2(free) (it's just out of order). You can't stack two of those, so I think I'm right unless I missed something else.

Normally you can only hit 18 with an ancestry bonus. A penalty is effectively a -4 to the max, since you don't have the ancestry bonus in that stat.

The free ones dont stack in terms of what tier you get them at. The +2 racial bonus that everyone can have does on fact stack with the +2s you get whe. You get the 4 +2s. Like a halfling with the racial penalty uses his floating racial bonus to mitigate the penalty, then his floating background bonus ro get to 12, class to 14, and floating freebie to get to 16


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Fumbles_suck wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.

If I hold out 5 fingers and ask someone how many fingers I am holding up, any answer other than 5 is wrong. It does not matter if they see me holding up a different amount. Granted this is certainly more complex thing but the same idea applies. And for the record I have read every post on the thread.

If you've read every post on the thread (and remember them of course :), then you know that there are people who say that "even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture". I mean, I guess you have an out in that none of them phrased it quite that way, but basically they exist.

You can think they're wrong, but your guarantee fails.


TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Mr. Pedantic wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

@thejeff: The quote section is coming too long to work so I will respond without them. Hopefully that won't make things too laborsome to understand that I am referring to.

Unless I am misremembering in the playtest at least all races even ones with penalty to a stat had the same maxium of 18. That may change with the final version but I doubt it. (or may have changed even during the playtest.)

But I don't think the races with a penalty can even get to 18

10-2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (free) +2 (background) +2(class) = 14.

If you roll, I guess you could hit 18: roll an 18 for str -2 (ancestry penalty) +2 (background) = 18

Still my main point is simply capping abilities doesn't reflect ancestry differences as well as penalties do, because the whole curve shifts downwards, not just the very top end.

You're skipping the final step of four +2s distributed freely, people with a penalty can thus hit 16 (though not 18). Just for the record.

I've got +2(free) (it's just out of order). You can't stack two of those, so I think I'm right unless I missed something else.

Normally you can only hit 18 with an ancestry bonus. A penalty is effectively a -4 to the max, since you don't have the ancestry bonus in that stat.

The free ones dont stack in terms of what tier you get them at. The +2 racial bonus that everyone can have does on fact stack with the +2s you get whe. You get the 4 +2s. Like a halfling with the racial penalty uses his floating racial bonus to mitigate the penalty, then his floating background bonus ro get to 12, class to 14, and floating freebie to get to 16

Ah, fair. I'd missed/forgotten that.

So, we're up to 16 as a starting max - though I think rolling stats could get you higher.


Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.

If I hold out 5 fingers and ask someone how many fingers I am holding up, any answer other than 5 is wrong. It does not matter if they see me holding up a different amount. Granted this is certainly more complex thing but the same idea applies. And for the record I have read every post on the thread.

That’s disingenuous.

“Do these 5 fingers look like they’re strong” would be an accurate analogy.

That is only true if being at a certain level of strength does not have a prequisites of certain physique. And just to clarify the statement about it being more complex is me admitting it isn't as clear cut as the fingers. However I maintain that the picture doesn't have the muscle mass or structure required of someone who is in the upper tiers of strenght.


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So mostly for amusement value, I think we're up to 4 separate basic stances now?

1) She looks too weak
2) She looks plenty strong
3) She looks weak, but that's intentional because it fits her backstory
4) She looks weak, but I don't care because dragons


thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

Read this thread. There's people a few pages back posting pictures of world competitors and saying Amiri looks about right.

Or this: Amiri looks like some very strong people I've actually seen fight.

It kind of boggled my mind, because the picture doesn't look anything like them to me, but that's what convinced me that we're not arguing over what we think we're arguing over. That we actually perceive the art differently.

If I hold out 5 fingers and ask someone how many fingers I am holding up, any answer other than 5 is wrong. It does not matter if they see me holding up a different amount. Granted this is certainly more complex thing but the same idea applies. And for the record I have read every post on the thread.

If you've read every post on the thread (and remember them of course :), then you know that there are people who say that "even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture". I mean, I guess you have an out in that none of them phrased it quite that way, but basically they exist.

You can think they're wrong, but your guarantee fails.

I am not talking about perception. I can find someone saying the earth is flat, that does not make it anymore true. I am pretty sure that if you took the picture of Amiri and imposed a picture of someone in that 10% over her you couldn't see Amiri even with that armor on, with the exception of legs. So I do not see the guarantee failing, cause I view those statements in this thread as a matter of opinion. While I see my own POV based on closer to measurable things. Just to give an example someone who has circumfance of their forearm of 6inches/15cm is not someone who has incredible strenght in those forearms. Granted I do not have actual measurement but you can make educated guesses on the picture.


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Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am not talking about perception. I can find someone saying the earth is flat, that does not make it anymore true. I am pretty sure that if you took the picture of Amiri and imposed a picture of someone in that 10% over her you couldn't see Amiri even with that armor on, with the exception of legs. So I do not see the guarantee failing, cause I view those statements in this thread as a matter of opinion. While I see my own POV based on closer to measurable things. Just to give an example someone who has circumfance of their forearm of 6inches/15cm is not someone who has incredible strenght in those forearms. Granted I do not have actual measurement but you can make educated guesses on the picture.

Of course you're talking about perception. It's all we've got to work with here.

You're looking at a stylized piece of fantasy art, with her body mostly obscured by armor. There isn't even anything for scale.

We're not taking measurements or looking at a detailed anatomical diagram.

Silver Crusade

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

“That is only true if being at a certain level of strength does not have a prequisites of certain physique.”

This is correct. Neither the old art of Amiri or this version get bigger as their Strength score increased naturally (in 1st Barbarians didn’t get bigger when they raged since that gave a Strength Bonus, though you could certainly flavor it as doing so).

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tim Statler wrote:
For me it isn't how strong she looks. To me she looks Anorexic. Swallow eyes, tin torso that should be showing ribs,...

... have you actually seen someone suffering from anorexia?


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On the topic of fingers and looking strong vs weak, I invite you to lookup pictures of Bruce Lee's fingers. Odd request, I know, but upon doing so, you'll see... fingers. Fingers that look like normal fingers. Fingers that dont look like they punch a heavy bag filled with metal instead of sand. Fingers that dont look anywhere near strong enough for a man to use for a 3 finger pullup, or look like they are capable of supporting him for 1-finger pushups. And yet... these are facts. Strength isnt always visible, and a high strength score in a fantasy setting doesnt always correlate to physically buff. It also translates to technique, to an extent. Like swinging a hammer to ring a bell at a carnival. Normally not the best analogy, but she is swinging an oversized weapon through technique (totem) to do her damage. Why mention it here? because the game is called Test Your Strength, not Technique.

So if something can be stronger than it looks, and strength isnt locked in to mean just lifting capacity but tied to the ability to hit and do damage, why does her appearance mean anything?


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At this point anyone trying to prove anything is moot. This thread went into an argument just for the sake of argument territory a long time ago but here is a story from my actual experiences that is a fine example of how deceptively strong people can be despite how they look.

About 5 years back I worked in a group home for disabled individuals. I am not going to say I’m super strong but I’m a pretty big guy and others have told me that I am probably in the strength 14 category and most of the other employees there were in the same range. We had one client who was thin as a rail with no muscle mass to speak of but when they lost control on occasion and became a threat to other clients it took 3 of us to restrain them and they could take hours before they tired out. (Different places have varying laws on what can be done in these situations but I assure you that what we did was legal and caused no harm to the client, we on the other hand sometimes weren’t so lucky.)
I’m not saying that this is a perfect example, it’s reasonable to say that other factors are in play in these kinds of situations, but between this and other unfortunate incidents I’ve had over the years I don’t assume people’s strength by their body type.


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Rysky wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We draw the gnome how we want the gnome to look.
"we" is a little too many people. The artists will draw such gnome however they desire. That doesn't make that picture to be except of criticism.

A gnome with 18 Strength will never be anywhere near as big as a human with an 18 Strength. Aside from reaching level 20 neither have a cap on how high their Strength can naturally go.

Right, and a chimpanzee will never be anywhere as big as a muscled human, but they're plenty strong. There's an answer to that other than "a wizard did it" and that answer can't be applied to Amiri.

Rysky wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:
I am stating it is a fact that Amiri in the art does not have the physique to justify her strength score.
And your “fact” is flat out false.
No it is not, it is quite accurate unless supernatural means get involved.
You’re stating you can accurately pin down fictional and real people’s metagame concepts of attributes and whether it’s true or not. That is just your opinion, to claim it is a fact is 100% false.

Most people actually can judge another person's strength by looking at their physique, their agility by watching them move, and their intelligence by reading what they write. That you may lack one or more of these capabilities yourself doesn't mean others are similarly limited. Those of us who possess the first capability can see Amiri's physique as drawn and judge with accuracy that if she was a real person she wouldn't be very strong.


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You know what I am bowing out. This is like arguing with someone that 50cc engine on a moped has the same potential as 1300cc one.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fumbles_suck wrote:

Go ahead then and find me a person that is in say even the top 10% of humans in feats of strength that has a physique like Amiri in the above picture. And 10% is quite generous considering 18STR. And make it 10% of females since in PF there isn't a difference between the sexes.

I will guarantee that such a person does not exist.

You're not getting it. Rysky's point is not to dispute this statement, it is to point out that in a world where a 35 lb. goblin can as easily have Str 18 as a 250 lb. human, the standards of the real world are not really applicable.

In the real world different species have different muscular performance per volume of muscle. Even different population groups of humans do, on average - see the composition of the olympic sprint vs. marathon elite runners by ancestral country/region of origin.

If chimpanzees were an intelligent race in Pathfinder I wouldn't find it weird that a max 130 lb race had a +2 strength modifier, because that would be realistic. The existence of strong (or averagely strong) small races in PF2 does not in of itself invalidate intrahuman comparisons based on real world performance.

I certainly assume that giants in PF2 have relatively weak and inefficient muscle fibers or builds for delivering power compared to humans as a parsimonius explanation for their performance that doesn't devolve the metaphysics of the world to Calvinball.


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Okay, so we're not ditching this thread I assume. At least no trolls for a good while/no people insulting other people. That's good.

Okay, chimps are not humans obviously, and what works for them doesn't for us, but they're on average stronger than humans, even though they're smaller. I expect a PF human to be on average as strong as a RL human, but with gnomes and goblins I feel all bets are off - they're just not human, and their muscles will look different. Which isn't to say I don't expect any gnome to look big and powerful ever, but elves do tend towards very slim physiques in 2e, and I'd expect one to have very well defined muscles, but not big ones, even with a very high strength.

I do think without gym machines you're not gonna look like a body builder, but I'm no expert, so feel free to correct me. What I'm saying is that people before the Industrial Revolution could look big and muscular, but probably not often with a lot of definition. So don't expect mad abs on Amiri is what I'm saying. I find her midriff looks already muscular as is. It's the midriff of a strong person, in other words. That's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, to reiterate, but that's the impression she gives me.

As for the trapezius or the other back muscles, we just can't see them. She's facing us and wearing quite a bit of armor. We can see only the bulk of her limbs (admittedly not huge) and, again, her midriff - most everything else is covered.

Something else worthy of consideration is this idea that to swing a two-hander you need to be some kind of strongman. No, guys. They're light and easily wielded, just like most any other weapons ever devised by humankind. Why? Well because in a fight, if you need to charge up a big swing in order to actually move your sword, you've already lost. Don't look at Game of Thrones fights, the Hound and Brienne make a huge show of lifting their heavy heavy swords because it looks cooler, not because any sword ever required some big amount of strength to handle. Even a zweihander is relatively light and you can move it with no hindrance even if you're just about above average in strength, no huge powerful arms required. One of the most fatiguing swords, actually, is the rapier, because you need a stance in which you're all projecting forward, ready to stab, all the damn time. That one is very fatiguing. And yet you build very little muscle. Also consider that Amiri wields a giant's sword only thanks to supernatural gifts - so she doesn't need, again, to be hugely strong.

I also think that, while if we go all GURPS on Amiri and try to infer real world stats from her 18 Str she certainly doesn't *look* strong enough, this is high fantasy and I think hers is a great character design, yes, even for an 18 Str barb. I just like her, I think she looks fierce and vicious and ready to rip out your throat. Just personal preference of course, but PF character designs don't usually try to reflect some RL measurable quality of the subject - they're all about impression, showing the inner personality of the character, their place of origin, their ancestry, etc. They're not medical diagrams. So imvho Amiri's totally fine the way she has been drawn by Wayne (maybe also because I love Wayne's art? I don't know, maybe. I don't care).

Oh, and it's true, she was born in the Six Bears tribe and they're misogynists, they don't like strong women, and she was already strong, so don't mind my former comment about her background.

That's all folks. Have fun.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I certainly assume that giants in PF2 have relatively weak and inefficient muscle fibers or builds for delivering power compared to humans as a parsimonius explanation for their performance that doesn't devolve the metaphysics of the world to Calvinball.

If giants had weak and inefficient muscle fibers, they wouldn't be able to stand. At least the bigger ones.

The square-cube law is just sitting in the corner whimpering to itself.

Which doesn't mean that stronger giants wouldn't be illustrated with more muscles than a weaker one of the same kind.


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Roswynn wrote:
I do think without gym machines you're not gonna look like a body builder, but I'm no expert, so feel free to correct me.

Steroids make it possible that people can grind rep after rep of isolation exercises and grow. But (steroids or not) you only need free weight (Like barbell and dumbells) to develop strength and size.

I'm not talking about Mr Olympia here. I would have been happier with the torso of megsquat or the like (aka, not the biggest or strongest girl around)

Roswynn wrote:
So don't expect mad abs on Amiri is what I'm saying

Sure. While shredded abs are cool, they are not a sign of strength. Strongest people around tend to have some (or a lot) fat, because bodyweight matters.

Roswynn wrote:
I find her midriff looks already muscular as is. It's the midriff of a strong person, in other words. That's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, to reiterate, but that's the impression she gives me.

If we are talking about the raw str of carrying, pushing and pulling things around, then it is not. Not trying to be conflictive or anything, I know it is your opinion (and in the end the only thing that matters is if people like the picture), but it is not an informed opinion.

Roswynn wrote:
As for the trapezius or the other back muscles, we just can't see them. She's facing us and wearing quite a bit of armor. We can see only the bulk of her limbs (admittedly not huge) and, again, her midriff - most everything else is covered.

We can see her torso thanks to the silly armor design, and from it can be seen that she doesn't have the width and thickness of a strong person.


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Yes, but we can't see if her back muscles are well developed and defined or not.

Also, please, avoid referring to the armor design as silly. I think Wayne is doing an awesome job with the iconics' gear. Sure, armor that bares the midriff *is* silly, you're right, but it's not like we have to keep chastising Wayne and whomever else decided to give her a bare midriff just b/c they didn't go for hyper-realism.

Regarding her stomach - okay, she doesn't have a six-pack (why should she), but you clearly see the linea alba (correct name?), while you can't on average strength people. That's gotta count for something, even if she's very thin.

Anyways... perhaps I would've been happier with the muscles of Meg or Camille too... or maybe in another character. I mean, Amiri as Wayne drew her here gives me a definite vibe: she's a ball of rage, she's consumed by her rage, it affects her physically, she's dangerous and vicious and she loves to fight just for the sake of shedding blood... she's on the edge... or over, perhaps. I think that as a barb, that's a really cool interpretation, so I'm fine if she's not huge and powerful. She's Amiri, and that's enough.


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thejeff wrote:

If giants had weak and inefficient muscle fibers, they wouldn't be able to stand. At least the bigger ones.

The square-cube law is just sitting in the corner whimpering to itself.

Which doesn't mean that stronger giants wouldn't be illustrated with more muscles than a weaker one of the same kind.

I just explain all of this via "biology in a world in which magic is real has evolved to absorb and make use of ambient magic" which handles why dragons can fly, giants can stand, why wholly mundane high level fighters can be shot with a staggering number of arrows without major inconvenience, and more.


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Fumbles_suck wrote:
You know what I am bowing out. This is like arguing with someone that 50cc engine on a moped has the same potential as 1300cc one.

More like taking two 1300cc engines designed by two different people (or one person ten years ago vs the same person now) and saying the bigger, clunkier one has more power.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:

If giants had weak and inefficient muscle fibers, they wouldn't be able to stand. At least the bigger ones.

The square-cube law is just sitting in the corner whimpering to itself.

Which doesn't mean that stronger giants wouldn't be illustrated with more muscles than a weaker one of the same kind.

I just explain all of this via "biology in a world in which magic is real has evolved to absorb and make use of ambient magic" which handles why dragons can fly, giants can stand, why wholly mundane high level fighters can be shot with a staggering number of arrows without major inconvenience, and more.

As long as those explanations don't lead to it not working in anti-magic fields and the like, I'm cool with it.

I generally prefer just not to look closely at the science of it all. Things work on the rules of myth and legend, not science.


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thejeff wrote:

As long as those explanations don't lead to it not working in anti-magic fields and the like, I'm cool with it.

I generally prefer just not to look closely at the science of it all. Things work on the rules of myth and legend, not science.

Oh, I justified it as all this "physics work differently" stuff as being powered by the invisible and inaccessible layer of primal magic that is an overlay on all reality (the kind that periodically erupts into primal magic events) which doesn't turn off fully in an anti-magic field, since an AMF does not transcend reality.

I mean, in the PF2 playtest an AMF does not shut down, say, a Dragon totem Barbarian's breath weapon, and you can even cast 9th and 10th level spells in it, and "Sustain Reality" is a very high level spell indeed.


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Roswynn wrote:


I do think without gym machines you're not gonna look like a body builder, but I'm no expert, so feel free to correct me. What I'm saying is that people before the Industrial Revolution could look big and muscular, but probably not often with a lot of definition. So don't expect mad abs on Amiri is what I'm saying. I find her midriff looks already muscular as is. It's the midriff of a strong person, in other words. That's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, to reiterate, but that's the impression she gives me.

As for the trapezius or the other back muscles, we just can't see them. She's facing us and wearing quite a bit of armor. We can see only the bulk of her limbs (admittedly not huge) and, again, her midriff - most everything else is covered.

Something else worthy of consideration is this idea that to swing a two-hander you need to be some kind of strongman. No, guys. They're light and easily wielded, just like most any other weapons ever devised by humankind. Why? Well because in a fight, if you need to charge up a big swing in order to actually move your sword, you've already lost. Don't look at Game of Thrones fights, the Hound and Brienne make a huge show of lifting their heavy heavy swords because it looks cooler, not because...

The only real advantage of gym machines is not needing a spotter. Free weights are typically a better choice to ensure you build up stabilizing muscles along with the larger groups, and to make sure that you aren't favoring one side over the other. The only real changes in strength training have been scientific, such as nutritional changes, steroids, and how to avoid less obvious damage caused by body building, such as kidney and liver problems.

The trapezius is a back muscle, but it's easily visible from the front in most people. It's the tapering at the bottom of the neck. For some people it's a smooth concave curve down to their shoulders, but in stronger people, or when flexed, it becomes convex. It's the muscle responsible for stabilizing held/carried weight. With the size of the sword Amiri is lifting, her traps would grow quickly and without extra effort. Even traveling with a normal 8-10 pound greatsword on your shoulder would be enough to build them up substantially.

Amiri's midriff has very narrow obliques, the muscles that run along the side of the abdominal muscles. This, combined with the smooth shading on the underside of her abdomen give her the appearance of having diastasis recti. To some people that line down the middle of her abs will look like muscular definition, but anyone who notices the missing obliques will see that line as damage. Obliques provide rotational strength, so you should expect to see them built up as well.

Regarding the chimp super strength thing, that's sort of a myth. Chimps are pound for pound about 1/3 stronger than we are, but this is easily attributed to muscle length in their arms and a greater density of fast twitch muscle fibers. Basically their arms are leg strength, their legs are arm strength, and they fatigue quickly. And if you've ever looked at pictures of bald chimps, you know they're pretty built.

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