What purpose do the Iconics serve?


Paizo General Discussion

Silver Crusade

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You know besides being pregens in PFS. I am seeing these threads trumpeting the arrival of new iconics and frankly I just don't see what all the hoopla is about.


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They are the visual embodyment of a class, a charcter design intended for use in book and AP art and to choose the "sex" of the language in the class entry. Really, I see them best as a tool for artists. Don't have to design a completely new character for each and every single art piece involving PC class characters. Also, brand image. Really, Pathfinder would look totally different if there were no iconic characters.

They also serve as great PC miniatures.

I heart the iconics.

Sovereign Court

^This. Why u no like iconics Yamakah?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

They also tend to have great personalities and backgrounds that can make you care about them as characters. I love the comic because they are the stars.


To show you that you'll never be as cool as Amiri.

Silver Crusade

They're a face. A starting point for the art team.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In artwork, they fill in for the PCs.

WotC started using iconic characters as PC stand-ins in D&D 3.0. They are very useful to give products a certain "look."

Paizo took it a step further by giving their iconics backstories and personalities. And stats.


They also provide a good starting point for creating backgrounds for home characters, stereotypical to unusual and surprising. They are a source of inspiration and an example to build off of

Silver Crusade

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Pan wrote:
^This. Why u no like iconics Yamakah?

I do not dislike the iconics, I have no feelings about them at all. They are pregens i.e. boring.


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So... the short answer is 'Merchandising'. :)

Sovereign Court

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Never cared about iconics, aside from Seoni. And that witch.


The pregens are characters, just like the characters whom you may be adventuring beside. Would you predetermine that your allies characters are borig, because you didn't make them?

Silver Crusade

I do not equate a pregen vs a character that someone made and no I do not find my allies characters boring because I did not make them. Perhaps the purpose of pregens is to motivate a player to make their own character.

Silver Crusade

Te'Shen wrote:
So... the short answer is 'Merchandising'. :)

Now that is a reason I can get behind, If they are making Paizo money then hey good for Paizo.

Grand Lodge

They also help direct the writing. If you notice all gender references in the rulebooks lineup with the Iconics.


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Quote:
What purpose do the Iconics serve?

To get in the way of otherwise good art.


Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:
Te'Shen wrote:
So... the short answer is 'Merchandising'. :)
Now that is a reason I can get behind, If they are making Paizo money then hey good for Paizo.

This is what I see it as basically. It helps give more brand identity as well as direction for certain projects/aspects of Paizo's business.

Some love the branding, some don't care, and I imagine some may even not like it.

However, they are something that give PF something that other companies can't just copy and paste as well, and help with promotion and identity of PF products.


I also use them as a bare minimum for capability.

In my (admittedly completely biased) opinion, if your character can't keep up with the iconics/pregens you probably shouldn't be adventuring. I won't kick you away from the table if you are worse than a pregen, but it will be a warning sign that I can't expect too much help from that PC and it might even be a hindrance that I have to watch out for.

I'm really not known for hyper optimized or focused specialization characters. But they are all at least decently effective.

If my friend wants help building a character with X, Y, Z, etc .... capabilities; while building I compare to the closest pregen. If it isn't at least that good (both in and out of combat), I tell him I can't supply a build with all those capabilities. Which does he want to drop or reduce?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The original intent for the iconics was to be able to show artists what a wizard and a fighter and a rogue and a cleric and so on actually looked like. WotC started the ball rolling with 3.5, and for Dungeon Magazine, starting with issue #114, we built our own iconics for the same reasons. Many, if not most of the artists we used at the time were not all that familiar with the game. Rather than have to explain each and every time we order art of a wizard doing something that the wizard can't wear armor and has to fight with a dagger or what-not, the iconics were created as visual stand-ins for those elements. They're artist shortcuts, in other words. Rather than describing every possible wizard over and over, we use one and thus establish a constant and baseline for the class. Beyond that, they help to cement a brand for the game—if you see a generic wizard, it's hard to tell if that wizard is from WotC or Paizo or Lord of the Rings or Warcraft or Dragon Age or whatever, especially when you note that lots of us use the same artists (for example, Ben Wootten, a Paizo regular, was the guy who designed the look of the balrog for Lord of the Rings).

By creating iconics, we make ordering art a LOT simpler, and we establish familiar visual cues so folks can identify our products at a glance.

The concept of giving these iconics names and stats and backstories was not a part of the original plan, but as folks saw them over and over, be they WotC's D&D iconics or our Dungeon magazine iconics, they wanted to know more. They wanted names, stories, stats, and all the rest.

So, when it came time to do Pathfinder, we knew we wanted to build our own set of iconics for the game, and we also knew that folks would want to know names and stories and stats. And so from the outset, we strove to provide that as well.

We also knew from the outset that if we attempted to build "perfect builds" for each iconic that we'd self-obsolete them the very next time we printed a book with player character options, and furthermore, we'd be inviting folks to show us how we did it wrong.

That's fine, but we've got other things to worry about. And so we decided to stat them up as more or less "baseline" builds. Average characters not intended to be the best of the best. They are the typical adventurer... not built by someone who's played the game for decades, nor built by someone who's never played an RPG in their life. That's the whole point of them.

Whether or not you like how they look or think the stats are lame or are annoyed that they're in the way of the art... they still do what we intended them to do quite well. I mean... their images have been stolen for roller coaster cars, of all things!


Also, they a means to focus a portion of the customer's Fanfiction/Shipping urges, particularly the shipping, to something useful to the Company.


James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not you like how they look or think the stats are lame or are annoyed that they're in the way of the art... they still do what we intended them to do quite well. I mean... their images have been stolen for roller coaster cars, of all things!

Really? Are there any pictures of that? I'm curious how that transition was made.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not you like how they look or think the stats are lame or are annoyed that they're in the way of the art... they still do what we intended them to do quite well. I mean... their images have been stolen for roller coaster cars, of all things!
Really? Are there any pictures of that? I'm curious how that transition was made.

There's pictures out there. The translation was made by them blatantly stealing the art and just putting it on the side of the car. It was simultaneously cool and lame.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Whether or not you like how they look or think the stats are lame or are annoyed that they're in the way of the art... they still do what we intended them to do quite well. I mean... their images have been stolen for roller coaster cars, of all things!
Really? Are there any pictures of that? I'm curious how that transition was made.

Here's the pic I saw. Grabbed it off the Pathfinder subreddit.

Sczarni

They serve as cause to hate all pfs pregens. Sorry, I had to say it. They are great for their story and for comic book stuff but I HATE (and I mean HATE) the pfs pregens.

I liked the 12 section comic series although it could have been better. But this is the only place right now that I like the iconics.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ulfen Death Squad wrote:

They serve as cause to hate all pfs pregens. Sorry, I had to say it. They are great for their story and for comic book stuff but I HATE (and I mean HATE) the pfs pregens.

I liked the 12 section comic series although it could have been better. But this is the only place right now that I like the iconics.

Every time one of the iconics yanks the chain of a optimization fanatic, a new star is born.

My new goal now is to run each of the iconics at least one during my PFS career. Last night was Amiri's turn in Cassomir's Locker. She did not disappoint.

Silver Crusade

I may not care for the iconics, but I do know them so from a brand management perspective they are a success.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

A lot of the time, the iconics are boring because they are being played by new additions to the hobby.
I've played Hayato, and his obsession with honor in combat provided some of the most memorable parts of the session. I've also sat with well played Ezren, Valeros, and Kyra at one point or another. Good players can make the iconics as interesting as their own characters.


LazarX wrote:
Ulfen Death Squad wrote:

They serve as cause to hate all pfs pregens. Sorry, I had to say it. They are great for their story and for comic book stuff but I HATE (and I mean HATE) the pfs pregens.

I liked the 12 section comic series although it could have been better. But this is the only place right now that I like the iconics.

Every time one of the iconics yanks the chain of a optimization fanatic, a new star is born.

My new goal now is to run each of the iconics at least one during my PFS career. Last night was Amiri's turn in Cassomir's Locker. She did not disappoint.

Yeah, I had someone tell me, "Man, no one ever played Ezren here before." So naturally, I did, and broke the scenario a lil bit. Was a blast.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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SirGeshko wrote:

A lot of the time, the iconics are boring because they are being played by new additions to the hobby.

I've played Hayato, and his obsession with honor in combat provided some of the most memorable parts of the session. I've also sat with well played Ezren, Valeros, and Kyra at one point or another. Good players can make the iconics as interesting as their own characters.

I had a demo group of seven players one year that all decided to play with the Hayato pregen.

Seven Samurai.

And yes, that's how they rolled with it at the table. It was pretty glorious.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ulfen Death Squad wrote:

They serve as cause to hate all pfs pregens. Sorry, I had to say it. They are great for their story and for comic book stuff but I HATE (and I mean HATE) the pfs pregens.

I liked the 12 section comic series although it could have been better. But this is the only place right now that I like the iconics.

Actually... you didn't have to say it... but thank you for the feedback anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
SirGeshko wrote:

A lot of the time, the iconics are boring because they are being played by new additions to the hobby.

I've played Hayato, and his obsession with honor in combat provided some of the most memorable parts of the session. I've also sat with well played Ezren, Valeros, and Kyra at one point or another. Good players can make the iconics as interesting as their own characters.

I had a demo group of seven players one year that all decided to play with the Hayato pregen.

Seven Samurai.

And yes, that's how they rolled with it at the table. It was pretty glorious.

Did they play that scenario at the end of the Quest for Perfection series?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For what it's worth I really like a lot of the iconics and think they add an important part the setting, if not so much the mechanical stuff. It just wouldn't be the same without them. It's easier to love characters and personalities than it is to love numbers.


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I like the iconics >.> They give us fan girls/boys something to fuss over.

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