|Wayne Reynolds Contributing Artist|
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I've loved your art for years, and follow you eagerly across IP. I am one of, I'm sure many, people who were -drawn- to Pathfinder due to your art, and I won't lie, your art is what keeps me coming back. PF is a good system and all but the depth of character (and Character) you give the IP is amazing. I've bought pathfinder books I didn't 'need' simply for your artwork.
I love the update on the Hobgoblins. They are instantly identifiable as being 'goblinoid' now, looking related to your "Pathfinder Goblins" Whom are so extremely distinctive (And well adored!).
I love the update.
I was wondering if you could give us any thoughts you had for the Hobgoblins, and their new designs. The Soldier from the Bestiary, and one from the Lost Omens Character Guide, are both very nice. (I'm not 100% sure the Lost Omens Character guide is your work.)
But any insight to the artistic development and implication of their new look would be appreciated.
Thanks for your interest in my artwork. I sincerely appreciate your kind words.I’m very pleased that you like the new look for the Pathfinder hobgoblin.
Although, neither depictions in the Bestiary or Lost Omens Character Guide are my artwork. (Though the one in the Bestiary was based on my concept sketches)
For insights to the new look for the hobgoblins we need to go back to the original goblin design for Adventure Path # 1, Burnt Offerings.
In the early days of Pathfinder offered an opportunity to create new visual variations on fantasy themes. The idea was to create a new variation to an established theme that would be unique to Pathfinder. Being both recognisable as the depicted theme and instantly associated with Pathfinder.
The art description for goblins was fairly open. Erik Mona specified that the Goblins featured on the cover art of Pathfinder Adventure Path #1 – Burnt Offerings did not have to look like established versions of goblins portrayed in other RPGs. However, the new design had to retain enough visual aspects to still be identified and associated with a high – fantasy concept of a goblin.
That’s not an easy task.
There are numerous variations to the concept of goblin portrayed by different brands. ….
And I had to create a new design that didn’t look like any existing depiction. But kinda looked like them too!
I don’t know if you’ve heard this story, but the inspiration for Pathfinder goblins came from a bath sponge!
I was squeezing the soap suds out of an oval – shaped sponge and had folded the sponge in half. I noticed that the sponge kinda made a mouth – like a hand puppet. Except the creases around the edges created a strange shark – like maw. I imagined what it would look like with lots of jagged tiny teeth and realised that would look really scary. (I made the proto – sponge/goblin talk. It said some really messed up things. But that helped with the scary) Hence the idea for the Pathfinder goblin was born. Inspiration can come from unusual places.
Consequently, the goblins of Golarion broke a lot of preconceptions and became immediately recognisable and are instantly associated with Pathfinder RPG. They’re one of the game’s most Iconic creatures.
Pathfinder 2 gave us the opportunity to use the same approach to create Pathfinder- exclusive visuals for its content.
Up until then, hobgoblins just looked like blue/grey skinned half-orcs. There really wasn’t much visually to tell them apart. And from a creative point of view, that’s a really lazy design. Not that there was anything wrong with the original artwork. The design was just kinda generic….. And we didn’t want generic. We wanted unique imagery that would be immediately recognised as a Pathfinder hobgoblin.
It made sense that Pathfinder hobgoblins probably should share some similarities to Pathfinder goblins in terms of body shape and facial features. Goblin and hobgoblins (and bugbears) may be humanoid, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re body proportions are exactly the same as a human. Distorting the body proportions help to convey a sense of unnaturalness about a creature and make it more like….. well…. a monster!
Consequently, I played around with designs that showed a larger and smarter gobliniod. Something that didn’t look like a hobgoblin depicted in other brands, but the natural progression of the Pathfinder goblin. Although they’re better equipped and armoured, their items should be slightly reminiscent of goblin items.
Hobgoblin equipment is like a sub-standard copy of items crafted by humans, elves or dwarves. Even though hobgoblins are intelligent their twisted minds haven’t quite got it right. Instead, their items have a slightly darker feel to them that reflects their true nature.
Similarly, goblin equipment is an attempt at copying hobgoblin equipment, except it’s even more messed up.
Creating unique imagery that would be instantly related to Pathfinder has been a large factor in the visualisation of the new version.