Iconic Evolution: Sajan

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

As we strive for physical, mental, and spiritual perfection, we take a rest from our training to study this week's Iconic Evolution entry. In this weekly video series, artist Wayne Reynolds takes Paizo's publisher and chief creative officer, Erik Mona, through his creative process in updating Pathfinder's iconic characters for the game's Second Edition, coming out this August. 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 new version of Sajan, the iconic monk!

Artist's rendering of a bald tan man dressed in blue, white, and gold weilding a temple sword.

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

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Iconic Evolutions Iconics Monks Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Sajan Wayne Reynolds
Grand Lodge

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Huzzah!

Liberty's Edge

Looks fine to me. He's skinnier, but that's cool with me, as is him having a shirt now.


I honestly love his tunic, the colors are vibrant and great. (they also look super comfty) and the design of the temple swords hilt is really cool.

Grand Lodge

Loved the tunic and accessories as well, but every iconic seems so skinny to me. I mean, it makes sense with Lem, Lini and Merisiel, but I thought Sajan would be stronger.

Maybe he's a dex monk and the art reflects it?


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BOOOOOO!!! Why would you give him a shirt1? This is unfair!


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Troodos wrote:
BOOOOOO!!! Why would you give him a shirt1? This is unfair!

So that he can take it off, of course!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the new details, and the new look does seem to fit the DEX build Monk.
I will miss the shirtless and rippling muscles of the 1st ED Sajan. But all in all. I do enjoy the new design.

Another epic evolution by Wayne Reynolds.


Ah man, no more Sajan Beefcake. Ah well, he looks good.


I like that he's no longer wearing scratch-sleeves like an infant. He looks a bit older too as well as being of slighter build.

As with the rest of the PF2 iconics, I think his shoulders and feet look a bit odd, but otherwise not much to talk about.


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Crayon wrote:
As with the rest of the PF2 iconics, I think his shoulders and feet look a bit odd, but otherwise not much to talk about.

They really are all narrow shouldered now. It made sense for the halfling, gnome, and elf I guess since they were non-human. And it seemed like there was a story reason why the barbarian would be, at first glance, a bit scrawny. But it's standing out as strange with this guy and the dwarf.


For once, I really like this one !!

The clothes look like an every day outfit for a monk, and the facial expression is a little bit more expressive. Bonus point, the feet are almost perfect !!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Man, Wayne is KILLING it with the facial expressions in this batch...

I also like his pants- not sure how much those actually changed, but with the new tunic, it's a neat, coherent look for the guy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Boo to hiding his abs. But otherwise I like it.


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Much less heroic looking than before. I much prefer the jacked and darker skinned original. He also appears to have been hit by whatever shoulder destroying apocalypse ravaged Golarion.


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This is the one iconic I'm a little sad got more clothes than before... Whenever I played Sajan at PFS or whatever I always had him spend a lot of time oiling his pecs, because he was clearly very proud of them.

But it is a good look, none the less.


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It's a great drawing... that said, I think I preferred 1e Sajan.

First off, I don't understand the decision to cover up his torso. If Amiri can go around with a bare midriff, why can't we have some beefcake Sajan too?

Secondarily, the shoulders do look a bit small. You would expect a stronger physique from a martial artist.

I also have some other small gripes... for instance, what the heck is a temple sword? I know Sajan has always wielded one, but I still don't understand what kind of weapon it's supposed to refer to IRL (if any). And his outfit doesn't look iconically Vudrani to me - the various details don't seem to come from Indian art as much as Indonesian (maybe that's what Wayne was aiming for, though...).

I do love his forehead mark, like the bindi and various other decorations used in South and Southeast Asia. Well done!


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I don't know why people are saying dex monk. He is clearly a wiry Str 18 monk.

Silver Crusade

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I LOVE the shirt, so much calming blue. I loved seeing his muscles too but as for why he has more clothing this is summed up best here:

VixieMoondew wrote:
So that he can take it off, of course!

He now has a reference for if he ever needs to be drawn with clothes, if needs to go barechested... he can just go barechested, didn't need much of a reference for that.


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Roswynn wrote:
I also have some other small gripes... for instance, what the heck is a temple sword? I know Sajan has always wielded one, but I still don't understand what kind of weapon it's supposed to refer to IRL (if any). And his outfit doesn't look iconically Vudrani to me - the various details don't seem to come from Indian art as much as Indonesian (maybe that's what Wayne was aiming for, though...).

I haven't found an exact match for the temple sword like what Sajan uses, I think it's based on one of these. Referred to as a Nayar Temple Sword. As far as I can tell, they're purely ceremonial swords from Southern India. here is one of the few sources I found that says much of anything about them. I'm also finding a different style blade also being called a Nayar Temple Sword. This also doesn't quite match what Sajan has, but also has similarities. I think I once found one that looked closer to his, but I can't find it now.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, where did all the "this iconic is way too skinny" folks go? It's almost like if...

Dark Archive

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Well if it makes you feel better I actually do think this Iconic looks to skinny compared to his origonal art.


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Several people have said he's skinny. The difference is that nobody is arguing that he isn't.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
I also have some other small gripes... for instance, what the heck is a temple sword? I know Sajan has always wielded one, but I still don't understand what kind of weapon it's supposed to refer to IRL (if any). And his outfit doesn't look iconically Vudrani to me - the various details don't seem to come from Indian art as much as Indonesian (maybe that's what Wayne was aiming for, though...).
I haven't found an exact match for the temple sword like what Sajan uses, I think it's based on one of these. Referred to as a Nayar Temple Sword. As far as I can tell, they're purely ceremonial swords from Southern India. here is one of the few sources I found that says much of anything about them. I'm also finding a different style blade also being called a Nayar Temple Sword. This also doesn't quite match what Sajan has, but also has similarities. I think I once found one that looked closer to his, but I can't find it now.

Now that's a new one for me. I assumed his sword was just an over sized harvesting knife, or a weirdly tipped tulwar sort of thing.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Well if it makes you feel better I actually do think this Iconic looks to skinny compared to his origonal art.

Isn't it more because he's more angled with a fighting posture than the first one? Because that's the way I interpret what I'm looking at. His shoulders are a little less broad, but that's the size change that sticks out to me.

Lantern Lodge

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Sajan has lost a lot of muscle mass, probably from becoming a dex based monk rather than a strength based one.
His hips are now identical girth to his upper chest which indicates he's a lot leaner even covered up. Traps looking much smaller as well, guess PFS put in mandatory drug testing.

Liberty's Edge

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He looks more real (and from a different ethnicity) but I also enjoyed the original one. This one seems to grow on me though.

The evolved iconics all look more real somehow. Like real people rather than comic book characters. I think I like that :-)


This is the first one that I'm not a huge fan of.

The body doesn't bother me at all - he's a Dex monk, he should be skinny - and I like his clothes, but something about his face looks weird to me. It has odd lines that I have a hard time parsing. At first I thought he had scars across his face but now I'm not sure.

Also the blade of his sword blends into his pants in such a way that I thought at first he was just for some reason wielding a fish. XD


MaxAstro wrote:

This is the first one that I'm not a huge fan of.

The body doesn't bother me at all - he's a Dex monk, he should be skinny - and I like his clothes, but something about his face looks weird to me. It has odd lines that I have a hard time parsing. At first I thought he had scars across his face but now I'm not sure.

Also the blade of his sword blends into his pants in such a way that I thought at first he was just for some reason wielding a fish. XD

Is he a Dex monk now? Do we have that kind of information on the iconics?

Liberty's Edge

We don't know if he's a Str Monk or Dex Monk in PF2. For what it's worth, in PF1 as a PFS character he had Str 16, Dex 15, and raised Dex to 16 at 4th. So relatively balanced between the two.

That said, this is a new edition, and a version of him with, say, Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10 seems quite possible. Having more than one martial Iconic be Dex-based is a pretty reasonable decision, really. Though he does have a Temple Sword, which is not (at the moment) a Finesse weapon, making this a bit less likely. The 16/16 version is a distinct possibility in this edition as well as PF1, as is an 18/16 or 16/18 at the expense of Wisdom.

Silver Crusade

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He doesn't look like STR 16, he looks like a 15, maybe 14,5. This is an outrage and I demand my money back or I'm burning my PDFs.

Stand and fight with me, brothers, the madness of not drawing amount of muscle exactly proportional to STR of a character ends tonight.


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Gorbacz wrote:

He doesn't look like STR 16, he looks like a 15, maybe 14,5. This is an outrage and I demand my money back or I'm burning my PDFs.

Stand and fight with me, brothers, the madness of not drawing amount of muscle exactly proportional to STR of a character ends tonight.

I know you're trolling, but that's not what anyone was saying.

He doesn't look as strong as the PF1 version, but he doesn't actually look weak either.

Since everyone's talking about the shoulders, they remind me a little of Mike Mignola art (Hellboy). None of his characters have shoulders either.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did all the "this iconic is way too skinny" folks go? It's almost like if...

If he's a strength monk he's too skinny. If he's a dex monk it's ok.

Alas, we know Amiri isn't going to be a dex barbarian, so she can't get the same deferred adjudication.

Gorbacz wrote:
He doesn't look like STR 16, he looks like a 15, maybe 14,5.

He looks like a 10-12.


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Gorbacz wrote:

He doesn't look like STR 16, he looks like a 15, maybe 14,5. This is an outrage and I demand my money back or I'm burning my PDFs.

Stand and fight with me, brothers, the madness of not drawing amount of muscle exactly proportional to STR of a character ends tonight.

LOL

Oh, you!

:D

--C.


I like it. Him being a bit more wiry makes sense, and I really like his new outfit. Never understood the sleeves + bare chest combo, myself.


Bardarok wrote:
Crayon wrote:
As with the rest of the PF2 iconics, I think his shoulders and feet look a bit odd, but otherwise not much to talk about.
They really are all narrow shouldered now. It made sense for the halfling, gnome, and elf I guess since they were non-human. And it seemed like there was a story reason why the barbarian would be, at first glance, a bit scrawny. But it's standing out as strange with this guy and the dwarf.

I can kinda see it with Halfling if you were making them tunnel-dwellers like hobbits - where a lack of collarbones would aid them in wriggling through tight spaces, but in most of the other cases they probably oughtn't to have arms growing out of their necks - it is also possible they're wearing some sort of shoulder-pads under their clothes, I suppose...


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I haven't found an exact match for the temple sword like what Sajan uses, I think it's based on one of these. Referred to as a Nayar Temple Sword. As far as I can tell, they're purely ceremonial swords from Southern India. here is one of the few sources I found that says much of anything about them. I'm also finding a different style blade also being called a Nayar Temple Sword. This also doesn't quite match what Sajan has, but also has similarities. I think I once found one that looked closer to his, but I can't find it now.

Thank you, Doktor Weasel! I had never seen this kind of sword before - very cool!


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VixieMoondew wrote:
Troodos wrote:
BOOOOOO!!! Why would you give him a shirt1? This is unfair!
So that he can take it off, of course!

My unofficial head canon for 2e Sajan is he's like ShatnerKirk. Sure, officially he wears a shirt. But somehow it will always manage to get shredded, torn off, or taken off at the drop of a hat.

Any hat. Even a hat two towns over.


Edna Mode wrote:
VixieMoondew wrote:
Troodos wrote:
BOOOOOO!!! Why would you give him a shirt1? This is unfair!
So that he can take it off, of course!

My unofficial head canon for 2e Sajan is he's like ShatnerKirk. Sure, officially he wears a shirt. But somehow it will always manage to get shredded, torn off, or taken off at the drop of a hat.

Any hat. Even a hat two towns over.

He needs a hat himself.

For dropping.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Edna Mode wrote:
VixieMoondew wrote:
Troodos wrote:
BOOOOOO!!! Why would you give him a shirt1? This is unfair!
So that he can take it off, of course!

My unofficial head canon for 2e Sajan is he's like ShatnerKirk. Sure, officially he wears a shirt. But somehow it will always manage to get shredded, torn off, or taken off at the drop of a hat.

Any hat. Even a hat two towns over.

"But Spock, how did you know I was the real Kirk?"

"Well, Captain, having dealt with this same situation two previous times, the solution was obvious: The real Kirk was the one who managed to get his shirt torn off in a fist fight."

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