Racial Illustrations


Races & Classes


One thing the whole 4E debate on ENWorld taught me was that artwork is extremely critical for how the game is percieved...not that I didn't know it in some way since I came from Basic D&D (Elmore) to the 1E Monster Manual and went like "WTF, that's not a Beholder, that's a ball with mouth and spaghetti on top!" ;)

So when I saw the line-up for the racial illustrations, my very first thought was "Oh damn, now THAT looks anime-videogamey!". Which is why I would like to ask around if I'm the only one who had that impression, or if people around here simply don't care about the context that the artwork will be put into?

As a qualifier, I don't MIND anime (LOVE it, actually) or videogames. The illus could have been for a line-up for Record of Lodoss War RPG, and that's not the worst comparison that could come to mind.

On the other hand, it simply puts the game into a certain corner in the mind of the "general" player...and as far as I see it, the "anime-videogame" corner is not really one this game should want to be put into, artwork-wise.

So basically, I'd petition for a different line-up in the racial chapter. I know Lockwood is probably not available, but I would point to his line-up in the PHB as a comparison. Or Claudio Pozas' alternative line-up. Something along those lines would say "D&D fantasy races" without asking to be called "donkey-ear elf".

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

I will say that I don't care for the "huge ear" elves. I mean, good Lord, they can put someone's eye out with those things!

I do like the look of the halfling and the dwarf, however.


It leaves me feeling unimpressed.


Geron Raveneye wrote:
Thoughts?

I like the ilustrationsm they are well done, but I don't like them for a PnP RPG ... they seem videogame characters (it's that a WoW elf? yuk!)

So yes, I would like them changed :p (but it's nothing game breaking, so if it doesn't get changed, no problem)


The illustrations in the Alpha are recycled from already published sources. It seems to me they would be ordering some new art for the Pathfinder RPG.


I like the halfling, but the elf guy is pretty buff for a race described as frail. He looks like he could pummel the others into next week. Other than that I have no problems.


Kruelaid wrote:
The illustrations in the Alpha are recycled from already published sources. It seems to me they would be ordering some new art for the Pathfinder RPG.

Is what I'm assuming as well (and hoping for, really), but these illustrations simply run the risk of the whole "anime-WoW-videogamey" bucket being emptied over Pathfinder because of the racial line-up. I'd rather not see that happen, to be honest. There will be enough irrational misgivings by people who feel like Paizo is "betraying D&D" by not following 4E (just like there have been enough irrational misgivings by people who feel like WotC is "betraying D&D" by developing 4E like they do).

On a personal level, I simply don't like anime-oid illustrations in D&D, or stuff that could be on the cover for a videogame...but that's just me. I found the 3E covers bland as well and still bought them.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

The artwork for the races is not what I would like, but it might be changed later. The Dwarf looks ok, the Halfling has ears a little too big, the Elf is a bodybuilder with ridiculous ears. The human is ok, the gnome has big, manga-style eyes I don´t like. The Half-orc and the Half-elf have slightly too big ears for my tastes.

I noticed the Elf being taller than even the Half-Orc, like Tolkien described them. Is this intentional?

Stefan

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

I'm not keen on the elf's ears but wouldn't want little spock ears either.

The dwarf I like. Look at that grin. There's a guy totally lacking in body-image problems. I can imagine him wearing an entirely inappropriate speedo to the beach. He came to the photo shoot with a big smile, saying "Whaddaya mean turn to my right? All the hotties are to me left."


As stated this is a graphic from one of the Pathfinder AP's, the whole of that adventure was drawn in this style. Later adventures are more gritty.

yes the elves are taller than humans in golarion, I also like the big ears on elves, gives them a difference from humans straight away.


All DMs are evil wrote:

As stated this is a graphic from one of the Pathfinder AP's, the whole of that adventure was drawn in this style. Later adventures are more gritty.

yes the elves are taller than humans in golarion, I also like the big ears on elves, gives them a difference from humans straight away.

I haven't gotten a chance to really dive into the Alpha rules but I gotta say that the anime-style art should be left out of the PHB (IMHO).

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

All DMs are evil wrote:

As stated this is a graphic from one of the Pathfinder AP's, the whole of that adventure was drawn in this style. Later adventures are more gritty.

yes the elves are taller than humans in golarion, I also like the big ears on elves, gives them a difference from humans straight away.

Personally, I love the picture. I am even using the Gnome Female as my Character pic for our RotRL game.

The elves are supposed to have big ears, I can't see why people complain about it in the artwork. I like it too. They are not as big as WoW Elves ears, but are noticably bigger than a traditional elf's which differentiates them nicely.


Yikes.

Ok, I am old-school, however that is defined these days, and I do not like the long-eared elves. Pointy-eared yes, long-eared....not so much. Elves are frail. They are commonly shorter than humans as well. Must they all be in their underwear? The anime look....well, my age I suppose is given away, and I will play the part of Daddy here. I really dont like it for more reasons than I can explain. BUT, the whole idea of saving 3.5 is fantastic. If I need to I can get around the underwear party or paste in some more desireable depictions of the races. The artist is good though, dont get me wrong. There is some dang-excellent artwork in this book too.


I like the racial illustrations, especially the elf. The ears don't bother me at all and serve to make them distinctive from the other dozen or so Elf races in other settings.


I don't think skivvies is the appropriate in this context. I don't mean that I find it offensive in any way, simply that it looks a bit silly. Obviously scantily clad women have a long and storied history in fantasy. However, fantasy RPGing overall doesn't involve heroes running around in their underwear (not much, anyway). The gnome also has purple hair, which matches her top and mini. Hm. I don't mean to be crude, but you've got a ....package issue, too, particularly with the halfling and the half-orc. I don't think packages should be obvious in RPG rulebook art.


I really like it - and I liked the same style in the Runelords AP too.

Yes, it's a bit evocative of WoW (I love the WoW artistic style as well, although I haven't played the game in ages), but it's also somewhat different from 'standard' fantasy art. Not that there's anything wrong with 'standard' fantasy art - I enjoy looking at a good Elmore, Hildebrant or Vallejo piece (to pluck a few names out of the air) - but when Paizo are making their own direction with the game, and have already shown their distinctive touch on the world (I only have some of the Runelords APs, but the re-imagined goblins rock!), why not take a step on a different path with the art too?

Dark Archive

My only problem really with the pic was the Elf looked way to buff and robost. I prefer elves with bigger ears so they stand out more from humans.


jocundthejolly wrote:
I don't think skivvies is the appropriate in this context.

They're anatomy illustrations, which are traditionally done this way. Well, technically, they're traditionally done in the nude.


Just to sum up where the various pictures are originally from (yes, they're re-used art):
Cover (and page 2) - cover of Pathfinder 5
Page 4 - Pathfinder 3, page 64-65
Page 8 - Kyra, cleric iconic
Page 12 - Valeros, fighter iconic
Page 13 - Merisiel, rogue iconic
Page 17 - Ezren, wizard iconic
Page 18 - Pathfinder 6, page 65
Page 22 - Pathfinder 5, page 20
Page 25 - D2, Seven Swords of Sin, page 5
Page 27 - Pathfinder 4, cover and page 3
Page 36 - Pathfinder 6, page 43
Page 40 - D0, Hollow's Last Hope, page 12
Page 42 - Pathfinder 7, cover and page 3
Page 44 - D0, Hollow's Last Hope, page 6
Page 45 - Pathfinder 2, cover and page 3
Page 47 - Pathfinder 5, page 63
Page 59 - Pathfinder 6, page 64
Page 60 - Pathfinder 4, page 60
Page 63 - ?????
Page 64 - Pathfinder 1, cover and page 3
Page 65 - U2, Hangman's Noose, page 28


I like the illustrations. Heck, the illustration of the gnome made me not instinctively want to stab it. (I'm kidding!) I think the art is well done and shows what I would expect to see of all the races we'll come across in the Pathfinder RPG in an artistic fashion.

Just because it's a certain 'style' doesn't disqualify it as being any good. At least in my eyes.

The Exchange

It does appear that people are worrying a little too much over the art style. It has been stated that Pathfinder elves are taller than humans and their ears are long and the lineup shows that off. Everyone will always have different preferences when it comes to art and in my opinion as long as the different body shapes and prominent features are brought to attention at a glance then it's all good.

Besides, the gnome is adorable!


I really love the illustration they selected.

Though most are in the Wayne Reynolds cartoon style, somehow the illustrations appear to be much more "true" to D&D than any that have been used in the books Wizards has published in the last two to three years.

It says nothing about the final art, but the selection of which pictures were chosen for the alpha-pdf makes me feel confident that this line will be followed through to the final publications.

I'm currently collecting fantasy artworks for quite some time now, to re-familiarize me with the old feel of D&D and to get the Eberron out of my system. :D (Though Eberron is cool, mind that.)

I also like the avatars they use here. Some much my style.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I like the picture. I liked it when I first saw it in Pathfinder #3 and I like now. I see no problem. Besides how you visualize your character is completely up to you.


I like the illustrations - esp. the gnome, dwarf and half-orc, maybe the elf needs to be a bit more slender ?


the races pic kinda reminds me of Keith Giffen's work on Trencher
well less lines, but it does point that direction, atleast to me anyway.


I would like elves more like the rouge there.


Much of this topic (small ears vs big ears) has come up heatedly several times. What I don't like about the races pictures and others done by the same artist is his use of angles instead of curves. The beings illustrated looked like they were carved out of wood or somethings. Yuck!


On the topic of racial and monster illustrations in general: it's my opinion that, when presenting an "iconic" picture, it should be done in a clean and realistic style. Once you've established the look in this manner, wilder artists such as Kyle Hunter can feel free to go to town :), but the establishing shot should be straightforward.


My girlfriend and I were going over the PDF and she said she'd be more likely to get drawn in if some of the illustrations in the final have women outside the standard hottie definition. She tends to like more badass characters that radiate strength more than sexuality, along the lines of Seelah. Kyra rated an "okay, could live without the pouting." We're not on a campaign on the issue or anything; it's more like, if Paizo were asking, how can we make Golarion more fun for different people, that would be one thing of interest to us.


yes personally, I like the racial portraits in theory but the execution came off as far too cartoony.

As for the "stereotypical women" that sorceress needs to go, the first illustration done of her was fine but since then it seems that artists like drawing her in the most obscene stances. (exagerrated breasts, pictures drawn at a below-looking-up angle, etc...) Either draw her more apporpriatly or don't draw her, looking at some of the illustrations is like looking at the cover of a dirty magazine. While that might not be bad for some it is certainly not necessary for a professional publication (unless you consider playboy professional). It is neither "hot" nor in good taste.

Liberty's Edge

Geron Raveneye wrote:
... when I saw the line-up for the racial illustrations, my very first thought was "Oh damn, now THAT looks anime-videogamey!"...

I thought exactly the same thing. I really enjoy anime, but the elf, especially, reminded me of Zelda, and the illustrations were simply way too blocky.


Geron Raveneye wrote:

So basically, I'd petition for a different line-up in the racial chapter. I know Lockwood is probably not available, but I would point to his line-up in the PHB as a comparison. Or Claudio Pozas' alternative line-up. Something along those lines would say "D&D fantasy races" without asking to be called "donkey-ear elf".

Thoughts?

Hey, thanks for the mention!

I think the racial description should reflect the racial statistics. As such, that elf is far too Herculean for a -2 Con race.

That being said, i'd love to take a stab at them.

Jason? Sean? Erik? :D


Oh, you're welcome...I simply like your illustrations. If you don't mind, I'll simply pimp it a little by linking your line-ups as comparisons. :)

Male Line-Up

Female Line-up


Geron Raveneye wrote:

Oh, you're welcome...I simply like your illustrations. If you don't mind, I'll simply pimp it a little by linking your line-ups as comparisons. :)

Male Line-Up

Female Line-up

I'll have to mention that those weren't meant originally as a line-up, but were assembled from separate pictures, which is why some of the feet don't actually match.

Here are a couple of pictures I did for Tunnels & Trolls:

Specialists

Warriors

Wizards


Okay, first off, most of the illustrations I love....
two that really, really got me perky were...
1. the dark mantles, cause it was nice to see them, especially after buying all those extra dark mantle minis...

2. The OTYUGH!!!!! The otyughs are one of my most favorite monsters, probably cause we're both low life bottom feeders.. snicker! Seriously, I've always been fond of these. However, I often play my otyughs as being fairly docile and sometimes friendly... but the picture of the raging, ticked off otyugh was something totally, totally new.

Now, for the more important illustration aspects....
The elf, yeah, its the one picture I'll admit I didn't like... if you are gonna make them taller, that's not a problem, but don't make them so muscular if they are to be a bit frail still. He looked about as combat capable as the half orc. And, I too didn't like the ears... looked more bestial than graceful in that aspect.

The undergarments... looked a bit too much like modern undergarments. Put some jewels and flash on them and I think that would be cleared up... make 'em look more fantasy exotic. I understand the anatomy pic reasons. Still, the images in my opinion look better than the race images in 3.0/3.5... as much as I love the game, I always hated those images of the races.

And yes, the anime look was a bit there but fortunately it was toned down just a wee bit. Anime is fine but I like my fantasy role playing more realistic looking... or at least having either the 80's comic look (Jeff Dee) or some of the bizarre Erol Otus stuff thrown in. Or Bill Willingham's work for example....

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Well, quite frankly I find these pictures more cartoonish than those in the line up. They're reminiscent of early 80s cartoons.

As for the line-ups needing to be more realistic to set the iconic view of them, the simple fact is that the races are already have many iconic pictures, so I don't see the need for yet another iconic line-up.


Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
The beings illustrated looked like they were carved out of wood or somethings. Yuck!

that´s exactly my concern too, except i think they look more like having a stone skin.

The rest of the artwork in the alpha preview is just awesome, especially the rampaging Otyugh !! (my new wallpaper).
He seems as if he "just wants to play"...
If we had this kind of illustration in the "Umber Hulk" Event (Shackled City), the fight would have been much more dynamic !


I don't care for the elf ears, but the muscle structure is much more pleasing than the frail elf stereotype.

I don't care for the size of the halfling, however. Halflings really should be taller. They should come up at least to the waste average humans, if not a few more inches. Halflings should be the size of pre-teens (ala the LotR movies), not toddlers.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Well unfortunately this is not a view held by even the heights, my son, a year and a half, is 2' 7". And as per the height and weight generators the average halflings are 3'0" for males and 2' 10" for females. This is about toddler size. Put simply, halfings are really short! ^^

Preteen's are closer to 4 ft. in height on average placing the most comparable race to a preteen being a dwarf.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

GentleGiant wrote:

Just to sum up where the various pictures are originally from (yes, they're re-used art):

Page 63 - ?????

Judging from the art I would hazard a guess and say that it is from D3 The Demon Within.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Aberzombie wrote:

I will say that I don't care for the "huge ear" elves. I mean, good Lord, they can put someone's eye out with those things!

I do like the look of the halfling and the dwarf, however.

That lineup was one of the first illustrations done for our campaign setting (even though it didn't appear until Pathfinder 3), and some of the depictions don't completely match later developments in race styles (ear lengths in particular have been toned down).


Sorry, but I don't care for the "anime" look of the racial line-up. I do LOVE Wayne Reynold's work.


I agree with Geron Raveneye 100% they look like video game characters.
tone down the manga style this isn't a comic book either. (not that manga and other comic books have anything wrong with them)

"may the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house"

The Exchange

Would like to see some Da Vinci style drawings for the races. Alternatively, 2 or 3 different drawings with different heights|weights|ages for each race. What does an elderly half-orc look like? How about a morbidly obese gnome? Do they even exist?


To chime in on the positive side--WAR's artwork is one of the main reasons I got interested in the Pathfinder series, and I love the racial illustrations. The stylized ears are double plus good! But I'm the kind of guy who takes illustrations as inspiration, not blueprints. I also like anime, but I'm a grognard who's been playing since AD&D.

I much prefer these colorful, stylized characters than a realistic style. These characters are seething with energy and look ready to jump off the page (as soon as they find a weapon... and maybe an armored codpiece or something).

I can see why people want a more waifish elf... but in Paizo's defense, I think he looks extra buff because he's standing next to the female human. Next to the male human I think he'd look a little more wiry, if not exactly frail.

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