Do the female Iconic characters need an art update?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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The thing is, sunbeam, not having a weapon be accurate doesn't hurt the play experience of most members of a large group of people.

Objectifying portrayals of the majority of female characters does.


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So, now you are implying that the depiction of some of the Paizo female iconics is objectification, Jessica? :-/

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magnuskn wrote:
So, now you are implying that the depiction of some of the Paizo female iconics is objectification, Jessica? :-/

Yes. There has certainly been art of female characters in some products that's been objectifying. I'm surprised that that idea's at all controversial.

We all probably have different ideas of how much of it is objectifying, and how much objectification is a problem, but I don't think anyone here would claim we've never produced a product that objectifies a female character.

And heck, objectification isn't an issue. Too much objectification is. Objectification as the norm is. Objectification that's out of line with who a character is or their role in a story is a problem.

I think that we do better than most of the fantasy/RPG milieu in general (which is one of the reasons I'm proud to work here), and I think we continue to get better about it, in the sense of considering which characters to portray in overtly sexualized ways, but I don't think we've gotten it perfect 100% of the time. I don't think any company/publisher/artist/writer gets it right 100% of the time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just to mention, i find the complete write up of halflings, gnomes and dwarves pretty offensive. And that has a real world relation.
Everyone who is smaller then the norm, namely smaller than 180cm, is pretty often bullied, ridiculed, has problems finding and buying the right clothes and shoes, get´s dumped by a lot of women because hey, bigger is better and can protect you better and is likely to earn less money while doing the same work than taller males.
This is true for males of all origin and likelyness.

Gnomes, halflings, dwarves are almost always depicted as some kind of freak, completely inferior and dependant on others more or less. So what about that?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes I think the Iconic's do need a total update. They Females do need to be less exposed but on the more important note they (and there male counterparts) need to be rebuilt to be better for playing. Most of them suck as they are built. There are about 2 or 3 that are "ok" when played at 7th or 12 level. A new set of clothing and a redesign would be most helpful in Most cases.


Dubgall wrote:
Yes I think the Iconic's do need a total update. They Females do need to be less exposed but on the more important note they (and there male counterparts) need to be rebuilt to be better for playing. Most of them suck as they are built. There are about 2 or 3 that are "ok" when played at 7th or 12 level. A new set of clothing and a redesign would be most helpful in Most cases.

The stats are bad, but they're not as bad as some of the things WotC put out during 3.5. I remember going to one game day that had a paladin as a pregenned character who had a 10 Charisma. My wife and I were just boggled.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

I don't know if others have noticed, but since the Skull & Shackles adventure path, Paizo has had a shift in art direction to more egalitarian and realistic clothing. One of the results of this is that the fanservice-y costumes of Amri,Seoni, Alahazra, and Feiya are becoming increasingly "out of step" with the fashions of the world setting.

Regardless, of your opinions on "fanservice,"... My question is, do these characters need an art update to dress them more "realistically" for the Golarion setting?

No.


Lord Fyre wrote:


But they no longer fit into the art style that Paizo is using for Golarion (and all their products in general). I am talking about artistic consistency, not the rightness or wrongness of fanservice.

Um,sure they fit.

You're talking about a world that has literally, dozens of races and dozens of cultures. You don't see uniformity of dress on Earth, why would you have it in Golarion?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jessica Price wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, now you are implying that the depiction of some of the Paizo female iconics is objectification, Jessica? :-/

Yes. There has certainly been art of female characters in some products that's been objectifying. I'm surprised that that idea's at all controversial.

We all probably have different ideas of how much of it is objectifying, and how much objectification is a problem, but I don't think anyone here would claim we've never produced a product that objectifies a female character.

And heck, objectification isn't an issue. Too much objectification is. Objectification as the norm is. Objectification that's out of line with who a character is or their role in a story is a problem.

I think that we do better than most of the fantasy/RPG milieu in general (which is one of the reasons I'm proud to work here), and I think we continue to get better about it, in the sense of considering which characters to portray in overtly sexualized ways, but I don't think we've gotten it perfect 100% of the time. I don't think any company/publisher/artist/writer gets it right 100% of the time.

Maybe I should clarify my question: Do you feel that some of the female iconics as presented in their class entry (i.e. the "iconic" iconic picture) are being objectified? Because I disagree, but I think that also may be because I never thought that having a depiction of a female character in a sexy position makes them less of a person than any other being (well, aside from being fictional persons, of course).

Of course there is "looking sexy" (iconic Seoni) and then there is "gratuitous oversexualization", like with the depiction of Nocticula in the interior of Book of the Damned Vol.2. ^^


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I AM SLUT-SHAMING VALEROS


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magnuskn wrote:
Do you feel that some of the female iconics as presented in their class entry (i.e. the "iconic" iconic picture) are being objectified?

Eh, no. I think they're all clearly subject of action, not object. I haven't really seen seriously objectifying FRPG artwork since the 3e D&D era with companies like Mongoose and the Avalanche Press book covers. I think Paizo artwork is gratuitously sexy (good for sales) and the costumes often impractical, but it's nothing like '90s Clyde Caldwell stuff, or even Larry Elmore (much as I love Elmore).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

S'mon wrote:
I think Paizo artwork is gratuitously sexy (good for sales) and the costumes often impractical, but it's nothing like '90s Clyde Caldwell stuff, or even Larry Elmore (much as I love Elmore).

Pity. :(

Jessica Price wrote:
I think that we do better than most of the fantasy/RPG milieu in general (which is one of the reasons I'm proud to work here), and I think we continue to get better about it, in the sense of considering which characters to portray in overtly sexualized ways, but I don't think we've gotten it perfect 100% of the time. I don't think any company/publisher/artist/writer gets it right 100% of the time.

More then that, Paizo has inherited the dominant position enjoyed by TSR/WoTC. So, what Paizo does drags the rest of the fantasy/RPG "industry" (if you can call it that) in whatever direction Paizo choses to go.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've tried to avoid this topic but it keeps going and spreading. In short, please don't change Paizo's art direction or style. I think that you do a great job representing so many cultures, ideals and personal choices within a fantasy world.

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magnuskn wrote:

Maybe I should clarify my question: Do you feel that some of the female iconics as presented in their class entry (i.e. the "iconic" iconic picture) are being objectified? Because I disagree, but I think that also may be because I never thought that having a depiction of a female character in a sexy position makes them less of a person than any other being (well, aside from being fictional persons, of course).

Of course there is "looking sexy" (iconic Seoni) and then there is "gratuitous oversexualization", like with the depiction of Nocticula in the interior of Book of the Damned Vol.2. ^^

Hmm. In the CRB class entries? Not really (all of these are just my opinions, of course). Amiri has a bare belly, but her posture and expression come across as very strong and fierce rather than sexy (which, for me at least, makes the image about LOOKIT MY SCARS! rather than LOOKIT MAH SEXAY BELLEH!). Kyra doesn't seem objectified, not just because her clothing is modest, but again, because of her posture and expression. Seelah, no. She's got some boobplate going, but other than that, again, no Escher Girl posture, no come-hither looks at the viewer, no emphasis on her breasts or butt. Her stance is very strong. And in fact, if you compare those three characters to the male iconics, they're standing in pretty much identical postures. They're wearing the same sort of expressions. These are all just people, male and female, who are badasses who are going to get a job done.

Merisiel, no. She's wearing a top that shows some cleavage, yes, but it's not like it looks like it would make doing her job inconvenient (and, in fact, while the top underneath her vest shows her cleavage, it also looks like it's tight in a way that makes sense -- I have sports bras with pretty much identical necklines). She's not wearing the stiletto heels that a lot of female rogue-characters seem to end up in in various fantasy art, her clothing is form-fitting, but not in a way that's doesn't make sense for a rogue. She's standing in a very straightforward, businesslike way, and her expression is similar to the other characters'.

Lini, no. Her posture is a lot softer than the other characters', but she's also gesturing at Droogami to wait, so it's not a case where her leg is bent and her hip is out to emphasize her butt or anything -- she's being cautious. And that's what her expression is saying, too.

Seoni, yes. Aside from the outfit, her chest is thrust out, lips are parted (compare Amiri's bared teeth).

But it doesn't really bother me that we have one cheesecake iconic in the CRB. I would have an issue if that's how the majority of the female iconics were portrayed, but I don't have an issue with having one female character be that way.

Nocticula, as far as I can remember (don't have the book handy), didn't bother me -- lust is part of her portfolio, so she's likely going to present herself in ways that evoke it. Now, there may be criticisms to be made of how many female demons seem to fall into the lust camp, but I don't have an issue with Nocticula individually.

This stuff is also contextual. Do I think that there should be art of Kyra posing seductively? Not generally, no. That has never seemed to be part of who she is. But if it's in something talking about her relationship with Merisiel, and it's directed at Merisiel rather than the viewer, sure. Just because someone doesn't emphasize their sexuality in public doesn't mean that they don't enjoy emphasizing it in private with someone they love, and if what we're depicting is a private moment between her and a lover, I'm happy she's having fun.

Whereas, if we had art of Seoni on a battlefield, tears running down her cheeks, holding the dead or dying body of someone she cared about, and she was also thrusting her cleavage at the viewer and pouting at them, I'd have an issue with that even though I've accepted that she's the cheesecake iconic.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Mary Firth seems the very model of a realistic adventurer of any gender.

Or perhaps a priest of Cayden Cailean, anyway.


Jessica Price wrote:
Seelah, no. She's got some boobplate going,

I think the "boobplate" does look stupid, but I'm not sure how many of your readers share the same opinion.

But they are your company's artists, not mine.

Jessica Price wrote:
Seoni, yes. Aside from the outfit, her chest is thrust out, lips are parted (compare Amiri's bared teeth).

Now this is an eye of the beholder thing. You apparently see a suggestive pose, and I see a look of minor irritation, "Alright, I've had enough of this $%*#."

Now as for some feedback, which I doubt you'll even consider. Her leggings are useless. I'm not sure what you call her "train," other than fabric. It is too long.

She doesn't look like she could actually run too well, and I'd think that is important in her business.

Think plain old sandals would be a better look. Plus the dagger and pouch are in crazy spots. She can't reach the pouch too easily, nor the dagger. Having them at waist level would make a lot more sense.

The staff is being carried awkwardly, and I have no idea what that... crosspiece is behind her back.


do not be rad
just be functional


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, Jessica, thanks for your views. I will readily agree that Seoni is more sexualized than the other iconics, but then again I don't see that as a problem. It doesn't make her less of a person (again, in context of all of them being fictional characters) than the other iconics.


Lamontius wrote:

do not be rad

just be functional

how functional??

sure her sorcererous outfit isnt going to stop a dagger or an arrow, but taht said even if it was covering her entire torso and her legs were covered by a pair of the iconic fighter's trousers, neither would stop an arrow/dagger either.


I have a question that needs answered before I can really give my input on this: By whose standards are we judging?

Are we judging by that of tabletop roleplayers? That of gamers? That of cosplayers? That of media? That of society in general?

I ask because each one of those has a different answer to the question, and quite a few of them would say yes... but why and in what way varies. But the overall answer would also say we need to change the male iconics as well... and the reason why and in what way vary here too.


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Jessica Price wrote:
This stuff is also contextual. Do I think that there should be art of Kyra posing seductively? Not generally, no. That has never seemed to be part of who she is. But if it's in something talking about her relationship with Merisiel, and it's directed at Merisiel rather than the viewer, sure. Just because someone doesn't emphasize their sexuality in public doesn't mean that they don't enjoy emphasizing it in private with someone they love, and if what we're depicting is a private moment between her and a lover, I'm happy she's having fun.

Wait. What? Kyra and Merisiel are a couple?

Huh. I had no idea.


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Disciple of Sakura wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
This stuff is also contextual. Do I think that there should be art of Kyra posing seductively? Not generally, no. That has never seemed to be part of who she is. But if it's in something talking about her relationship with Merisiel, and it's directed at Merisiel rather than the viewer, sure. Just because someone doesn't emphasize their sexuality in public doesn't mean that they don't enjoy emphasizing it in private with someone they love, and if what we're depicting is a private moment between her and a lover, I'm happy she's having fun.

Wait. What? Kyra and Merisiel are a couple?

Huh. I had no idea.

It gets introduced in the Pathfinder Comic.


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Disciple of Sakura wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
This stuff is also contextual. Do I think that there should be art of Kyra posing seductively? Not generally, no. That has never seemed to be part of who she is. But if it's in something talking about her relationship with Merisiel, and it's directed at Merisiel rather than the viewer, sure. Just because someone doesn't emphasize their sexuality in public doesn't mean that they don't enjoy emphasizing it in private with someone they love, and if what we're depicting is a private moment between her and a lover, I'm happy she's having fun.

Wait. What? Kyra and Merisiel are a couple?

Huh. I had no idea.

It gets introduced in the Pathfinder Comic.

And according to the James Jacobs the comics are cannon.


The NPC wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Disciple of Sakura wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
This stuff is also contextual. Do I think that there should be art of Kyra posing seductively? Not generally, no. That has never seemed to be part of who she is. But if it's in something talking about her relationship with Merisiel, and it's directed at Merisiel rather than the viewer, sure. Just because someone doesn't emphasize their sexuality in public doesn't mean that they don't enjoy emphasizing it in private with someone they love, and if what we're depicting is a private moment between her and a lover, I'm happy she's having fun.

Wait. What? Kyra and Merisiel are a couple?

Huh. I had no idea.

It gets introduced in the Pathfinder Comic.
And according to the James Jacobs the comics are cannon.

http://www.customfitonline.com/media/121850/and-thats-a-good-thing.jpg


MagusJanus wrote:

I have a question that needs answered before I can really give my input on this: By whose standards are we judging?

Are we judging by that of tabletop roleplayers? That of gamers? That of cosplayers? That of media? That of society in general?

I ask because each one of those has a different answer to the question, and quite a few of them would say yes... but why and in what way varies. But the overall answer would also say we need to change the male iconics as well... and the reason why and in what way vary here too.

I suspect their is a fair amount of mock-PC outrage mixed in with some legitimate concerns. If you were to say that you thought the art was fine then you are going to be in the vocal minority, because even if you do like them as is then you dare not say so out loud for fear of being labeled a chauvinist or something equally as bad if not worse. I've seen on these and other forums more than a few times that if you don't tote the PC company line you become a pariah.


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Y'know, I will say this on the subject of an art update: I'd rather see the Paizo staff concentrating on producing products for current release than putting the time and energy required into revamping the growing pool of iconics every few years. I think updating every single female iconic, or even just reviewing them all to decide which ones need an update and which ones don't, would detract from the that went into current releases.

Edit: Quality control! It would detract from the quality control that went into current releases.

(Jeez, that was embarrassing, I hope no one notices the edit . . .)


Jessica Price wrote:

Can't speak to Seoni, as she was commissioned long before I got to Paizo. I would say, however, that at this point she is who she is.

I like to pretend she's Golarion's version of Lady Gaga.

Red Sonja is an interesting case. On the one hand, her comic books often show her in a very sexualized way. On the other hand, I think she actually is often drawn in a strong, powerful way. She gets a pass for much the same reason as Conan, because she is a female counterpart to Conan. Her medallion-style scale armor bikini is kind of silly, but it's not necessarily sillier than the deerskin bikini she might otherwise be wearing because of the way she is characterized. Red Sonja and Conan are both naked to show that they are naked, close to nature, and unafraid. And both can and do wear proper armor when participating in warfare. So, while it's impossible to ignore the sexist aspects of how Red Sonja is depicted, in a lot of ways, her silly bikini is no sillier than Conan's horned hat (I mean, really, what is that supposed to do?). Context and characterization are important, too. Red Sonja is a complete badass. You are invited to identify with her. Even if you are a straight male, the most prominent narrative directed at you is "look how much ass Red Sonja is kicking."

The lineup in Pathfinder could use some improvement, but there is a nice diversity of styles. And also, the iconic Pathfinder art is a little too turn-of-the-millenium for my tastes, so it's probably harder for me to look at the different characterizations and see everything that's supposed to be communicated to me.


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RJGrady wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

Can't speak to Seoni, as she was commissioned long before I got to Paizo. I would say, however, that at this point she is who she is.

I like to pretend she's Golarion's version of Lady Gaga.

I thought that was Miss Feathers...

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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

Can't speak to Seoni, as she was commissioned long before I got to Paizo. I would say, however, that at this point she is who she is.

I like to pretend she's Golarion's version of Lady Gaga.
I thought that was Miss Feathers...

no, I thought Miss Feathers is Golarion's Alice Cooper...


Steelfiredragon wrote:
Lamontius wrote:

do not be rad

just be functional

how functional??

sure her sorcererous outfit isnt going to stop a dagger or an arrow, but taht said even if it was covering her entire torso and her legs were covered by a pair of the iconic fighter's trousers, neither would stop an arrow/dagger either.

I don't really see the need for Seoni's outfit to be functional. She has mage armor for stopping arrows and regular armor would interfere with that.

Her dress is definitely slinky and impractical but it does seem more like the fantasy version of a party dress than everyday wear.

On TvTropes, it was said that Seoni expects her sexy dress and perfect body to get her out of trouble but Merisiel says it tends to get her into more trouble than not. I could totally accept that as a soft deconstruction or criticism of the female fantasy armor trope. She shouldn't be travelling/adventuring in that outfit and she should know it. Attracting every eye in the room can be a good thing but not always. This whole paragraph could be entirely wrong and I accept that. I would prefer Seoni written this way and eventually learning from it but then again I'm not a professional.

I think she needs the full wardrobe makeover the most. She can keep the dress but maybe show some other outfits. I would want that for everyone really. I heard there was a picture of Seelah (or was it Kyra?) in a non-slutty dress and I'd be interested in seeing that. I'd be interested in what the guys would wear in their off-time as well. It'd help when imagining what my own characters would wear in non-combat situations.

If nothing else, Seoni could probably benefit from some better shoes.


RJGrady wrote:


Red Sonja is an interesting case. On the one hand, her comic books often show her in a very sexualized way.

She's actually interesting for more than one reason. She was created in the 1970's Conan comic by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

According to wikipedia she was based on a character called "Red Sonya of Rogatino," in a non-Hyborian age Howard short story called "The Shadow of the Vulture."

This surprised me because I would have sworn that Red Sonya was in Red Nails, a Conan story by Howard. Turns out it was another Howard heroine named Valeria, who I think is more the inspiration than the other. Well my opinion, I have never seen that short story.

Anyway this came up on these very boards, in a very similar argument a year or two ago:

Rereading that, I'm surprised at how similar the things I have to say are. Guess my opinion hasn't changed. Be interesting to see if the same people are in that thread as this one. Then again I don't care that much.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2puqd?SFF-Authors-clash-over-Sexism-Chainmail-b ikinis

And just for the heck of it, here are a couple of links, one to the cover of Weird Tales, where Red Nails was first published:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Weird_Tales_1936-07_-_Red_Nails.jpg

And to an illustration from the story within:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harold_S_Delay_-_Red_Nails_II.jpg

Incidentally the second piece is a better piece of art than I have seen by Paizo. Maybe they could learn something? Think outside the box? Dump manga elements? Have their artists study human anatomy and posture? Use reference models? Heck Greg Land would be an improvement.

Anyway other than that, this thread is same as it ever was. And I'm sure the thread will be reborn in days to come, when memories grow dim.

Think I'll skip the next one.


It isn't a question of memories growing dim. =)


I really don't see why Amiri was included in the Opening Post. (I'm also of the opinion that- although rather revealing- Freiya's attire is pretty appropriate to the character.)


Sissyl wrote:
It isn't a question of memories growing dim. =)

Would you mind just saying exactly what you have in mind?


Considering this thread and the "hypersexualization" thread running concurrently, with other such threads in the near past, it's not an accident, nor did anyone forget.


Sissyl wrote:
Considering this thread and the "hypersexualization" thread running concurrently, with other such threads in the near past, it's not an accident, nor did anyone forget.

I saw that thread. I didn't read it, because the title sounded boring, and I kind of figured it would have a certain tone.

As to why I clicked on this one? Eh, not sure now. I will say I think Merisiel and Seoni are the only two that have a good "look" for what that is worth. I would definitely have done them a little differently if I was the artist.

Just not keen on any of the other female characters, at least the way they are drawn. As for the males, only one I can say I am a fan of is Eben.

If I were the art director I'd revamp all of them to some extent or other.

And the first commandment I would give my art team is "Thou shall not swaddle thy characters in crap. I care not how busy other other artists in other venues maketh their illustrations."

To tell you the truth, I think I would either use someone on staff, or hire a model, to pose for a bunch of reference photos for each character too.

It's not just specific to Paizo, something odd has happened in the past 20 or 30 years. Artists seem like they have forgotten (or never learned) how human bodies move, and how to put that into a medium. In the past you could get a teenager doing his first art gig, and he would seem to have more of a clue about how to go about it.

Now it's like artists reference cartoons or something, instead of people. Another degree of separation. And you see it in some of the god awful art major companies publish. (Looking at you DC and Marvel. Especially you Marvel.)


Oh yeah, I still don't know what your argument is.


To be fair Sunbeam, in that black and white interior Red Sonya illustration you spoke in praise of, the dude on the right has his kneecap and calf at the wrong attitude, given the position of his thigh and foot.

But yeah, commercial art has gotten so figurative that it doesn't look like anything you see in the real world anymore.


Hitdice wrote:

To be fair Sunbeam, in that black and white interior Red Sonya illustration you spoke in praise of, the dude on the right has his kneecap and calf at the wrong attitude, given the position of his thigh and foot.

But yeah, commercial art has gotten so figurative that it doesn't look like anything you see in the real world anymore.

I won't dispute that this is not all time art.

But come on. 1930's, published on acid paper. A medium aimed at kids and ... odd adults. I'm quite sure the artist didn't get the going rate they paid at Harper's or something for sure.

It's pretty hard to compare things across eras. I'd imagine that the pulp magazines were on a shoe string compared to what Paizo is running. And I'm also pretty sure the artist had a lot less time to come up with this than the artists Paizo uses does.

Another thing that gets me about this thread is that the people who don't like the way it is now, are awful sparse on details of what they would like to see.

BTW, the dude is actually "Conan." He doesn't look right to me though, Frank Frazetta eternally shaped my opinion of what Conan should like like. So improbably if a Cimmerian from a wintry land doesn't have Latin features, he doesn't look right.


Y'know, I thought that was someone else's idea of Conan. I'm with you on the Frazetta, but I like draw a line from him to Arnie and find Conan on that axis. (Look, whatever, it's not like I've watched the Mamoa version yet.)

I too, would love to see some silverpoint/engraving style illustrations of pathfinder characters and Golarion landscapes. Have you seen Charles Vess' and Janet Ausilio's pen and ink work? I think you might love it.

Edit: I was saying that commercial art produced now is much more figurative than that from the early 20th century. That picture of Conan looks like a real person, even with the leg twist, whereas people deal with so much media influence in their lives now, from moment to moment, that they think of Charlize Theron and Hugh Jacket as sort of average looking.


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Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:

I have a question that needs answered before I can really give my input on this: By whose standards are we judging?

Are we judging by that of tabletop roleplayers? That of gamers? That of cosplayers? That of media? That of society in general?

I ask because each one of those has a different answer to the question, and quite a few of them would say yes... but why and in what way varies. But the overall answer would also say we need to change the male iconics as well... and the reason why and in what way vary here too.

I suspect their is a fair amount of mock-PC outrage mixed in with some legitimate concerns. If you were to say that you thought the art was fine then you are going to be in the vocal minority, because even if you do like them as is then you dare not say so out loud for fear of being labeled a chauvinist or something equally as bad if not worse. I've seen on these and other forums more than a few times that if you don't tote the PC company line you become a pariah.

Well, the PC part gets interesting...

One of the problems with going PC on the issue is that attractive half-naked male characters in a fantasy setting are still, thanks to Conan, considered largely a male fantasy. This creates the problem that, from a PC perspective, increasing the amount of half-dressed attractive males only makes the setting more male oriented (and, by some, inherently misogynistic) instead of less.

Then again, the PC part is also okay with women being in their underwear on the cover of a magazine. A lot of the comments I've heard from non-gamers is that the female art style of Paizo is extremely male-oriented... but at the same time, those people praised depictions of women in things like Cosmo; the articles cited were typically ones where the women often wore less than the cover model of a porn magazine.

So, as far as I can tell, the PC position outside of the gamer community is that the men need to wear more and the women need to wear less if Paizo wants to attract more women customers. Which is the exact opposite of what I see in the gamer community.

I have no idea. It's just an interesting disconnect between the PC crowds.


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The art is fine. A little cheesecake is fine, so long as some of the folks are covered up too. Paizo has a nice mix, so it's good. If it were all half naked people all the time, there would be a problem. But it's not nearly that. Some of the women and men show some skin, some don't. Like the real world!

And anyway, who cares. It's fantasy art. Go back and read your fantasy books, complainers. I would challenge you to find in any reading of classic fantasy and not find some scantily clad men and women depicted within those tales. Nudity or skin is not something to be frightened of.

Very tiresome.

Maybe next we'll be talking about how they iconics shouldn't have those sharp blades, and should be hitting the goblins with nerf bats too. Because violence is bad. After all, they could kill something? Isn't that wrong?

Or am I taking my point too far?


MagusJanus wrote:


Well, the PC part gets interesting...

One of the problems with going PC on the issue is that attractive half-naked male characters in a fantasy setting are still, thanks to Conan, considered largely a male fantasy. This creates the problem that, from a PC perspective, increasing the amount of half-dressed attractive males only makes the setting more male oriented (and, by some, inherently misogynistic) instead of less.

Then again, the PC part is also okay with women being in their underwear on the cover of a magazine. A lot of the comments I've heard from non-gamers is that the female art style of Paizo is extremely male-oriented... but at the same time, those people praised depictions of women in things like Cosmo; the articles cited were typically ones where the women often wore less than the cover model of a porn magazine.

So, as far as I can tell, the PC position outside of the gamer community is that the men need to wear more and the women less if Paizo wants to attract more women customers. Which is the exact opposite of what I see in the gamer community.

I have no idea. It's just an interesting disconnect between the PC crowds.

I kind of alluded to it in an earlier post, but here is a theory:

This is an escapist genre. When it comes to art, I think a big part of the appeal is to see idealizations, to see the form they'd like to have instead of whatever the personal reality is.

I think the same is true for women. And the non-PC opinion I hold it that being forceful and dominant is all well and good. But in the end, it's not as much of a draw as being smoking hot, nine out of ten times.

Someone might want the world and people to conform to whatever belief system they might hold. But in the end, we all have vast portions of ourselves that are based on instinct, and hard-wired, not a part of conscious abstract thought.

I guess that argument puts a shot through the petard I hoisted about the art and realism. I do have an out though. I guess due to age I have different fantasies about what an ideal is. Mine isn't the current crop of steroided up actors (yeah I think most of them are using HGH at the very least, the action guys), or modern cartoons and comics.

Actually this quote I just typed in from Astro City #1 (the current Vertigo series) expresses my thoughts on the matter.

"She's called American Chibi. I'm not sure about her.

I mean where does she come from? Robot? Cartoon come to life? 13-year-old anime fan who got her heart's desire and this was it?

Or worse, 35-year-old anime fan who got his heart's desire?"

BTW I googled Charles Voss. He would do a great job in this genre.

He's even more perfect for Oz, Barsoom, and Tarzan though to my eye.

Couldn't find Janet Ausilio mentioned on Google though.


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I have a question about the topic: What exactly is the purpose of bringing up this topic? is it awareness? a attempt to stop it? a matter of "i disagree and it should be changed to my taste?" or is it just a discussion of taste that way too often end in the case of "Stop liking what i dont like"?

It kind of confuses me what the matter actually is and all i see is just opinions flinged left and right like they were facts. ( Yes, i know its the damn internet, but if we want a proper discussion and get anything done we need to at least know what the hell we want to change to start with! )

Added note: with the topic i mean the discussion about the whole clothing scenario and not the actual thread topic, i felt like i needed to clarify that before confusion arises.


Dracoknight wrote:


It kind of confuses me what the matter actually is and all i see is just opinions flinged left and right like they were facts.

I think most people are just giving their opinions.


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Dracoknight wrote:

I have a question about the topic: What exactly is the purpose of bringing up this topic? is it awareness? a attempt to stop it? a matter of "i disagree and it should be changed to my taste?" or is it just a discussion of taste that way too often end in the case of "Stop liking what i dont like"?

It kind of confuses me what the matter actually is and all i see is just opinions flinged left and right like they were facts. ( Yes, i know its the damn internet, but if we want a proper discussion and get anything done we need to at least know what the hell we want to change to start with! )

Added note: with the topic i mean the discussion about the whole clothing scenario and not the actual thread topic, i felt like i needed to clarify that before confusion arises.

I believe that the initial intention was to raise the issue that costuming in Golarion seems to have shifted from the initial releases to have more, I guess, "codified" elements, and that several of the Iconics have costuming that doesn't fit into the established elements of the world anymore. So, if everyone from Cheliax wears, say, big feathered boas, then an Iconic supposedly from Cheliax without a feathered boa isn't correctly attired and may need a redesign.

It's obviously evolved from that into a discussion of appropriate attire and provocative imagery, but the original concept was whether, say, Seoni's attire is appropriate to the cultural norms of her established society.

This argument does, unfortunately, fall apart when one notices that not everyone dresses the same in our societies, especially when traveling abroad, something adventurers often do.


You aren't wrong about variety of dress and traveling adventurers, but Seoni's outfit is the single least functional of all the iconics. Like I said earlier, I'd rather have Paizo concentrating on upcoming releases, but I can't think of one adventuring environment that her clothing would be appropriate to.


Hitdice wrote:
You aren't wrong about variety of dress and traveling adventurers, but Seoni's outfit is the single least functional of all the iconics. Like I said earlier, I'd rather have Paizo concentrating on upcoming releases, but I can't think of one adventuring environment that her clothing would be appropriate to.

Her outfit is a modified Asian outfit, and basically comes straight from anime. While it might have issues with her slipping out, the actual outfit itself actually isn't that difficult on the more complex movements; it's partially designed with them in mind. She could actually perform a number of martial arts moves (there's a couple of movies that demonstrate this, but I forget their names; I think one starred Jackie Chan) in that outfit without any difficulty, so I don't really see it as that nonfunctional.

That said, the outfit wouldn't protect her from a papercut. But given both her personality and the fact I know people who would dress just as similarly, I don't think it's actually that unrealistic. Remember, not everyone would dress for protection purposes or in outfits designed for pure practicality. Besides, the armor of the monk iconic is basically the male version.

Now, if you want to talk unrealistic, look at Lini. Her armor, with the way it is shaped, would drive a number of weapons straight into her heart. Seelah's armor suffers the same problem, and might actually make it worse due to being made of metal. Merisiel's has a similar issue, but I've actually heard some explanations for the boob window that suggest it may actually be a bit more practical (essentially, boils down to a necessary ventilation issue; leather can get quite hot, especially if you're wearing enough of it). Oh, and of the new iconics? Jirelle has the same issue as Lini and Seelah.


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Hitdice wrote:
You aren't wrong about variety of dress and traveling adventurers, but Seoni's outfit is the single least functional of all the iconics. Like I said earlier, I'd rather have Paizo concentrating on upcoming releases, but I can't think of one adventuring environment that her clothing would be appropriate to.

As mentioned in a few other threads, Seoni is proud of her tattoos, and wants to show them off. So, having a lot of skin showing fits her desires. For armor, her and Ezren have mage armor, and there's also Endure Elements for going into the cold regions. There's really no need for "functional" when it comes to mages. Is Amiri's outfit functional? She's got her stomach exposed for easy entry by sharp metal weapons. What about Seltyiel or Sajan? They are all up in enemy faces with their bare chests exposed.

I don't think the female iconics need an art update. I don't think the male iconics need an art update. Would there be this much anger if the iconic sorcerer was a male and had that much skin showing? Highly doubtful, as there are 2 male iconics with more skin showing than Seoni does, and there's no outrage at their artwork.

Sovereign Court

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MagusJanus wrote:


Her outfit is a modified Asian outfit, and basically comes straight from anime. While it might have issues with her slipping out, the actual outfit itself actually isn't that difficult on the more complex movements; it's partially designed with them in mind. She could actually perform a number of martial arts moves (there's a couple of movies that demonstrate this, but I forget their names; I think one starred Jackie Chan) in that outfit without any difficulty, so I don't really see it as that nonfunctional.

I REALLY do NOT want to see Jackie Chan in that outfit. it was bad enough when he dressed as Chun-Li in "Cityhunter"

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