No More Pregenerated Characters?


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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

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Clark Peterson wrote:
Wouldn't that be cool?

Wow. That does sound really cool! :D

Dark Archive

Before Paizo gets the wrong impression that more fans want them back than don‘t, I add my voice to those who say keep them out.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Subtle demon lord is subtle.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Raymond Lambert wrote:
Before Paizo gets the wrong impression that more fans want them back than don‘t, I add my voice to those who say keep them out.

The question isn't whether fans want them "in," its whether they want them in any form. I wasn't suggesting to put them back in the AP.

I say keep them out of the APs, which is fine with me, because I plan to provide really amazing ones. :)

Clark


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:

I kind of miss the pregens and kind of dont.

Its neat to have them, but while they were good as iconics, they weren't that great as pregens. I can quickly crunch a character, as can all of you. What you really need are fun, cool, interesting CHARACTERS. And by characters, I dont mean stat blocks. I mean as in characters from a novel or story.

THAT is where the Paizo pregens from the APs really were lacking in my view. Great iconics, not so great as full characters.

Plus, they were 15 point builds when nearly all Pathfinder players I know use the Pathfinder Society 20 point build.

Hey I just had a funny idea.

Maybe an amazing group of authors, maybe even the very authors who wrote the adventure paths themselves, could do a download of say 8 to 10 awesome pregens tailored specifically to a particular adventure path. Not just simple stat shells without backstory or history, but actual fully fleshed out characters that are interesting and fun and cool and full of the special sauce that the best Paizo freelancers have. Built with specific tie ins, advancement notes, full backgrounds, roleplaying ideas, notes on how to do the PC using a 15 point build for those who prefer that, flexible and cool enough to be either PCs (for use by players), NPC or rival adventurers (if used by GMs).

Wouldn't that be cool?

:)

+100

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I think the issue is that pre-generated characters don't really fit within the product very well.

As a DM I don't care about a set of characters that could be used by players, no matter how well they're backstories are written because they aren't actually part of the adventure. I'm buying an AP for the adventure content, and if they're not really tied into the adventure as something I as a DM can use, I don't really see the value.

As a player I don't care about those stats because I want to make my own characters.

It makes more sense for these sorts of things to show up in seperate product, like the Rival Guide.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

BobROE wrote:
It makes more sense for these sorts of things to show up in seperate product, like the Rival Guide.

Hmmm, you know...that's a really good idea. ;-D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

We haven't done one in a while due to time restraints, but anyone interested in checking out most of the iconics' backgrounds and personalities and histories can find them on our blog; just do a search for "Meet the Iconics" here and they'll all pop right up.

Including them in the Rival Guide was never on the table, since they're not rivals.

Silver Crusade

Neil Spicer wrote:
BobROE wrote:
It makes more sense for these sorts of things to show up in seperate product, like the Rival Guide.
Hmmm, you know...that's a really good idea. ;-D

But if, hypothetically, someone were to publish a product like this, would it contain pregens for the existing APs, or would it be released alongside the new APs? And if the later, do you think it would be out with the beginning of the AP, like the Players' Guides, or would it have to wait until towards the end of the AP, like the Map Folios?

Hypothetically.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

uriel222 wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
BobROE wrote:
It makes more sense for these sorts of things to show up in seperate product, like the Rival Guide.
Hmmm, you know...that's a really good idea. ;-D

But if, hypothetically, someone were to publish a product like this, would it contain pregens for the existing APs, or would it be released alongside the new APs? And if the later, do you think it would be out with the beginning of the AP, like the Players' Guides, or would it have to wait until towards the end of the AP, like the Map Folios?

Hypothetically.

If such a product detailed the Paizo iconics, first of all, that "someone" who published said product would have to be Paizo.

It'd probably be best if such a product that simply contains the stats for the iconics at multiple levels to be divorced completely from any one AP, so that the book could be used for multiple Adventure Paths.

And since we have 21 iconics now, and since a stat block and background would probably, at minimum, take up a half page, and since folks want pre-gens for all six parts of an Adventure Path (even though each AP volume tends to start at different levels, let's just assume six versions of each iconic), that means that each iconic would have three pages of stats, and at 21 iconics that's 63 pages of nothing more than stat blocks with very little, if any, artwork.

While some folks might enjoy such a book, I still think that a 64 page book about, say, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings or a new Monsters Revisited book would sell better.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

And since we have 21 iconics now, and since a stat block and background would probably, at minimum, take up a half page, and since folks want pre-gens for all six parts of an Adventure Path (even though each AP volume tends to start at different levels, let's just assume six versions of each iconic), that means that each iconic would have three pages of stats, and at 21 iconics that's 63 pages of nothing more than stat blocks with very little, if any, artwork.

While some folks might enjoy such a book, I still think that a 64 page book about, say, the Lands of the Linnorm Kings or a new Monsters Revisited book would sell better.

I agree with what you said here, James.

However, there may be a market for a pdf version of various levels for each of the iconics (eg "Complete Merisiel", "Complete Seoni").

Obviously, a lot more people would be interested in the core Iconics than some of the newer ones, but I think you still might get a decent return on a product like that.

And such a product could use old artwork, and need not conform to standard page counts.

EDIT to add disclaimer: Of course, I am unsure about the success of some of the products I have suggested in the past :) (Face Cards, Exclusive PFS Scenarios)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

uriel222 wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
BobROE wrote:
It makes more sense for these sorts of things to show up in seperate product, like the Rival Guide.
Hmmm, you know...that's a really good idea. ;-D

But if, hypothetically, someone were to publish a product like this, would it contain pregens for the existing APs, or would it be released alongside the new APs? And if the later, do you think it would be out with the beginning of the AP, like the Players' Guides, or would it have to wait until towards the end of the AP, like the Map Folios?

Hypothetically.

It can't be iconics of course. That's Paizo's stuff and theirs alone.

But if someone were to do pregens, it would make sense to do them as early as possible in an AP. Though perhaps an AP was already underway. It would be a shame to leave out pregens for that AP, dont you think?


I don't always read the fiction, but I'm enjoying the stories in Carrion Crown. As for pregens, I liked having them, but if I need any I can take them from the previous adventure paths. Let the extra pages be used for something I don't already have.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scribbling Rambler wrote:

I agree with what you said here, James.

However, there may be a market for a pdf version of various levels for each of the iconics (eg "Complete Merisiel", "Complete Seoni").

Obviously, a lot more people would be interested in the core Iconics than some of the newer ones, but I think you still might get a decent return on a product like that.

And such a product could use old artwork, and need not conform to standard page counts.

EDIT to add disclaimer: Of course, I am unsure about the success of some of the products I have suggested in the past :) (Face Cards, Exclusive PFS Scenarios)

It's worth remembering that the only time we really save on a PDF only product is printing time. And printing happens outside of Paizo, which means for us, there's no real difference at all between how long it takes to do a print product and a PDF product. And since our schedule is pretty much booked solid with print products... that means adding a 64 page or so PDF only product isn't really plausible. We'd have to probably cancel a similarly-sized print product (or at least skip a month) if we did a 64 page PDF, and that's not attractive to us for a big pile of reasons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Understood. And certainly a product available in print & pdf has a greater chance of reaching a larger market.

I mentioned the pdf only route because I thought it may free you from the page count barrier.

And I wondered if this was a product that could be tackled by an arms-length group with Paizo oversight, similar to the paper minis.

No criticisms or griping intended, just spit-balling ideas.

Silver Crusade

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Clark Peterson wrote:

It can't be iconics of course. That's Paizo's stuff and theirs alone.

But if someone were to do pregens, it would make sense to do them as early as possible in an AP. Though perhaps an AP was already underway. It would be a shame to leave out pregens for that AP, dont you think?

But, I find myself thinking, what company has the vision, the deep, almost prescient understanding of the fan base to offer such a product? For truly, it would require a truly legendary game company...

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:

I've said it before and I suspect I'll say it plenty again:

Low stats are flaws, and flaws ALWAYS make characters more interesting.

Superhuman characters are boring.

Preach it bruddah!!

People in our group power game so much it makes being a DM frustrating sometimes.
We finally are using point buy for Serpent's Skull and it feels so nice to have a PC drop in every encounter! =D

However we still have those in our group who think their "underpowered and just a normal person with point buy".

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

uriel222 wrote:
But, I find myself thinking, what company has the vision, the deep, almost prescient understanding of the fan base to offer such a product? For truly, it would require a truly legendary game company...

I like the way you think. :)

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:

The player's guides are meant to be guides for creating characters for an Adventure Path, though... not a place to go to get pre-made characters. Pre-generated characters would be out of place in a player's guide, and they'd promote the wrong idea as well.

We've been putting some of the iconics stat blocks online, as far as I know, to support PFS org play. But a full book filled with them is very unlikely—they drew just too much criticism over the years when they were in the APs, and so I'm a bit wary about reprinting them in print anytime soon.

What about as a free PDF that has all the iconics, with art of course. Full stated out as pregens. Then if anyone needs or wants the pregens they could DL that one PDF and use them.

Edit: Since I read the rest of the thread. I was more thinking just a copy and paste of the iconics from the blog and the stats from the books. Nothing fancy, just more of a collected blog entry for the iconics in a PDF for DL.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:

I kind of miss the pregens and kind of dont.

Its neat to have them, but while they were good as iconics, they weren't that great as pregens. I can quickly crunch a character, as can all of you. What you really need are fun, cool, interesting CHARACTERS. And by characters, I dont mean stat blocks. I mean as in characters from a novel or story.

THAT is where the Paizo pregens from the APs really were lacking in my view. Great iconics, not so great as full characters.

Plus, they were 15 point builds when nearly all Pathfinder players I know use the Pathfinder Society 20 point build.

Hey I just had a funny idea.

Maybe an amazing group of authors, maybe even the very authors who wrote the adventure paths themselves, could do a download of say 8 to 10 awesome pregens tailored specifically to a particular adventure path. Not just simple stat shells without backstory or history, but actual fully fleshed out characters that are interesting and fun and cool and full of the special sauce that the best Paizo freelancers have. Built with specific tie ins, advancement notes, full backgrounds, roleplaying ideas, notes on how to do the PC using a 15 point build for those who prefer that, flexible and cool enough to be either PCs (for use by players), NPC or rival adventurers (if used by GMs).

Wouldn't that be cool?

:)

But who on the Abyss would do such a thing? :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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Dark_Mistress wrote:


But who on the Abyss would do such a thing? :)

Me, but let's be clear. What I CANNOT do is Paizo iconics. Paizo would have to do their iconics.

We will be doing some "gothic pregens" that can be used as PCs or by GMs as NPCs or rival adventurers. In fact, it is a set of 8, fully stated, with statted pets/companions/eidolons, etc.

We used 20 point buy, so they are Pathfinder Society legal (once you take out item creation feats, etc). We included notes for a 15 point build for those who prefer that. We used stuff from the Character Guide for the relevant adventure path. We gave backstory, roleplaying ideas, specific connection with "the Professor" and advancement notes for future levels so you can see the goal they are going towards. They are not all min/maxed combat characters, but that said they can all handle themselves in a fight. They are meant to be fully rules legal, unique, fun, interesting characters designed by the same people who build the fun, interesting and unique NPCs from the various adventure paths.

Because these PCs are designed by the writers of the adventure paths themselves (Neil Spicer, Jason Nelson, Clinton Boomer, and a tiny bit from me) they are designed specifically to succeed in a certain gothic adventure path. Of course, you could use them in any campaign, but they will really shine in a "gothic adventure path-style campaign," if you know what I am saying.

Sound good?

Dark Archive

Well I see you let another abyssal cat out of the bag. :)

What happened to waiting on announcements?

But yes I knew what you was getting it... remember I read them already. :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I'd still love to hear people's thoughts.

Clark

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Will these Iconics have artwork?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Not iconics, just pregens. Iconics is up to Paizo to do. We are making pregens for YOU. Once you make them iconics its like its not your character anymore. I want to avoid that. I want to give the fans a set of PCs that are really awesome from a story standpoint, brilliantly designed and fun to play. Once you treat them as "iconics" they become more than characters, they become representations. So I want to get away from that word. Each set of pregens will be done for each specific AP over time (and maybe a few back in time).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

But to Kevin's point, the pregens will have artwork, right?


Well, I've never had the desire to play with a pregenerated character. Part of the fun of D&D/Pathfinder for me has always been creating my own characters.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

DaveMage wrote:
Well, I've never had the desire to play with a pregenerated character. Part of the fun of D&D/Pathfinder for me has always been creating my own characters.

For the many players & GMs such as you, pregen characters such as these would serve a purpose more akin to the Rival Guide: premade NPCs with campaign-relevant backstories, which could be used as replacement or fill-in characters, cohorts, hirelings, contacts, or rival adventuring parties working toward the same goals (either in cooperation or competition) or working against the PCs. Versatility is a virtue!


Well, as someone who often struggles with creating interesting PCs (everything I make tends to wind up as a Tolkienesque stereotype...the gruff dwarf, the sneaky halfling, etc.), this product sounds like something that would be right up my alley. I will definitely check it out.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, I made a big to-do about niche products in the other thread. Here I am, having to admit that this is a... niche product. I suspect someone has a use for these but I'm deeply, apocalyptically saddened to admit I'm not one of them.

Good luck though.


DaveMage wrote:
Well, I've never had the desire to play with a pregenerated character. Part of the fun of D&D/Pathfinder for me has always been creating my own characters.

Neither have I, but I do find myself GMing for new players quite a bit. Something like a book of pregens of all the base (or at least core) classes, complete with back stories would really be a boon to me.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Ivan Rûski wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
Well, I've never had the desire to play with a pregenerated character. Part of the fun of D&D/Pathfinder for me has always been creating my own characters.
Neither have I, but I do find myself GMing for new players quite a bit. Something like a book of pregens of all the base (or at least core) classes, complete with back stories would really be a boon to me.

Also handy for convention games or even PFS (as they are designed to be PFS compatible with swap-out of any item creation feats)


Jason Nelson wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
Well, I've never had the desire to play with a pregenerated character. Part of the fun of D&D/Pathfinder for me has always been creating my own characters.
For the many players & GMs such as you, pregen characters such as these would serve a purpose more akin to the Rival Guide: premade NPCs with campaign-relevant backstories, which could be used as replacement or fill-in characters, cohorts, hirelings, contacts, or rival adventuring parties working toward the same goals (either in cooperation or competition) or working against the PCs. Versatility is a virtue!

That could be useful, but if the backstories are too campaign relevant, then the versatility is certainly reduced outside that AP. Now one could argue that the stat blocks would be good in any game, but if that's the case, then there better be a boat-load of stat blocks to make it worthwhile (for me).

Of course, price point will make a difference too. If there are only a handful of NPCs, but the price point is, say, $5.00, then cool. If there are a handful and the price point is $19.99, well, I'd probably pass.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


But who on the Abyss would do such a thing? :)

Me, but let's be clear. What I CANNOT do is Paizo iconics. Paizo would have to do their iconics.

We will be doing some "gothic pregens" that can be used as PCs or by GMs as NPCs or rival adventurers. In fact, it is a set of 8, fully stated, with statted pets/companions/eidolons, etc.

We used 20 point buy, so they are Pathfinder Society legal (once you take out item creation feats, etc). We included notes for a 15 point build for those who prefer that. We used stuff from the Character Guide for the relevant adventure path. We gave backstory, roleplaying ideas, specific connection with "the Professor" and advancement notes for future levels so you can see the goal they are going towards. They are not all min/maxed combat characters, but that said they can all handle themselves in a fight. They are meant to be fully rules legal, unique, fun, interesting characters designed by the same people who build the fun, interesting and unique NPCs from the various adventure paths.

Because these PCs are designed by the writers of the adventure paths themselves (Neil Spicer, Jason Nelson, Clinton Boomer, and a tiny bit from me) they are designed specifically to succeed in a certain gothic adventure path. Of course, you could use them in any campaign, but they will really shine in a "gothic adventure path-style campaign," if you know what I am saying.

Sound good?

Love this idea. Exactly the sort of niche idea that is perfect territory for 3PPs.


I'd be fine with pregens if they were customized to the AP. If it's just going to be reprints of the iconics each time, then I'd rather they just be left out and the space used for content that is "useful" to me. The space is small, but it adds up over the course of an AP for sure.

Dark Archive

Robb Smith wrote:
I'd be fine with pregens if they were customized to the AP. If it's just going to be reprints of the iconics each time, then I'd rather they just be left out and the space used for content that is "useful" to me. The space is small, but it adds up over the course of an AP for sure.

Then i think you will be happy with what Clark and Legendary Games is going to do then.


Clark Peterson wrote:
Sound good?

Consider one sold already =D

I love charcters pregenned with backstory. The PCs might not use them, but they make great NPCs for an overworked GM. I enjoyed Paizo's Rival's Guide, and I would buy stuff of a similar vein all the day long. I would also be very interested in some pregenned monsters with interesting templates/class levels/backstories. I am terribly weak at creating good stat blocks, so having items like this that I can drop whole into my game and get on with the story is important to me.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Patrick Curtin wrote:
I love charcters pregenned with backstory. The PCs might not use them, but they make great NPCs for an overworked GM. I enjoyed Paizo's Rival's Guide, and I would buy stuff of a similar vein all the day long.

Well, then...I believe you'll be quite pleased with what we've done. :-)


Clark Peterson wrote:
I like the way you think. :)

I was just about ready to create a thread asking for some AP-relevant pregens for RotR for a new group of mine... This would be a day one buy for me. How soon can we look forward to it? :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

I'm in the "less BS, more adventure/monsters/support articles" crowd, but I'm sure as hell happy that the minmaxers don't get another bone to chew on.

On the tangent - when will the fiction go away from the APs? Puhleeeze? :)

That's a fight we'll never win, Gorbacz, believe me. I feebly waved my sword in that direction a while back, and got dogpiled by Paizo staffers. :D

(I'm not entirely convinced that the fiction is all that popular with customers outside of a few... overactive... messageboard posters, but that's the way things go. It's simply weird to find fiction in an Adventure Path book, and I'll leave it at that.)

But at least the pre-gens are gone (and they get flexibility to add to sections that they think are needed - double win), so thank goodness for that.

+1. If I want to read fiction, I'll buy a novel. And I mean a novel, not a short story (which is what the AP ones are). There's a reason why publishers advise authors that short stories don't sell, and don't like publishing them.

But I know very well (not least from James' post above) that they're not going away, there's too much emotionally invested in them from the staffers, they're popular with the mass of posters here, and they're a useful way of bringing Golarion to life. I wouldn't take them away from the people who enjoy them, and enjoy creating them. I just feel they're as out of place in the APs as they would have been in Dungeon.

Although I rather liked the pre-gens.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Twigs wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
I like the way you think. :)
I was just about ready to create a thread asking for some AP-relevant pregens for RotR for a new group of mine... This would be a day one buy for me. How soon can we look forward to it? :D

Pretty soon I would hope. Art and layout take a bit of time. If all goes well, before GenCon is a strong possibility. We'll keep the community posted.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jason Nelson wrote:
Twigs wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
I like the way you think. :)
I was just about ready to create a thread asking for some AP-relevant pregens for RotR for a new group of mine... This would be a day one buy for me. How soon can we look forward to it? :D
Pretty soon I would hope. Art and layout take a bit of time. If all goes well, before GenCon is a strong possibility. We'll keep the community posted.

Jason may be confusing your question a bit. We should have pregens out for a gothic-themed campaign (i.e., Carrion Crown) before GenCon. I'm not sure we've got pregens for Rise of the Runelords planned out yet. I haven't written any yet. And we definitely haven't commissioned art for them.


Somehow I lost track of this thread last month, but I really do like this idea a lot, since Paizo's schedule doesn't allow for statting out iconics any more.

Can a 3PP such as Legendary create pre-generated PCs that are Golarion-specific (i.e., specifying their nationality as Varisian or Taldan or mentioning in-world flavor in their backgrounds), or would that be infringing upon Paizo's trademarks in the same manner as using the iconics would?

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Power Word Unzip wrote:

Somehow I lost track of this thread last month, but I really do like this idea a lot, since Paizo's schedule doesn't allow for statting out iconics any more.

Can a 3PP such as Legendary create pre-generated PCs that are Golarion-specific (i.e., specifying their nationality as Varisian or Taldan or mentioning in-world flavor in their backgrounds), or would that be infringing upon Paizo's trademarks in the same manner as using the iconics would?

Depends. Some of the locations are open content from the Setting Guide. BUT it gets tough. In any event, if we have to use "replacement phrases" I am sure you smart gamers can figure it out. Let's say I said "his home in the fog-shrouded Immortal Principality," for example. Think you could figure that out? Yeah, I thought so :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Clark Peterson wrote:
Some of the locations are open content from the Setting Guide.

Nope—all of our locations are specified as Product Identity.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Vic Wertz wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
Some of the locations are open content from the Setting Guide.
Nope—all of our locations are specified as Product Identity.

True, BUT they can be used only in the limited sense of languages or subcats of human. So there are a few tiny limited times you can use them (and even then only in very restrictive ways). You CANT use them in descriptive text, etc., which is how people would usually want to use them.

Sorry Vic, I should have been more clear in my post. I dont want to give the impression that locations are open. They arent. There are a few tiny examples of when they can be used but those are extremely limited and unless you know what you are doing with them and with the license you can get in big big trouble. I was thinking in terms of how someone intimately familiar with the license might be able to use things in a few limited ways.

So, in general terms, Vic's view is the best way to look at it. Just consider locations and persons to be closed content.


I remember the Pregen characters thing:

part of the complains wasn't the presense of Pregen, but that said pregen were the Iconics, the whys of this varied.


It Lives!!
Mwahahahahahahaha

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