Questions about Iconic Character Art?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Contributing Artist

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Roswynn wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:


So that's why his shield seems so unique - it's because it is! Thanks for your reply, Wayne, I always love to get some insight into an artist's creative process. Most of all as good an artist as you (I love how much thought and research you always put behind everything you draw!).

I have another question, if that's okay with you.

Regarding Amiri (great ideas about her appearance in the comment above!), there was a lot of resistance in the player base to the idea that an "18 Strength barbarian" would look so relatively thin and unlike a really strong generic female athlete (and there was almost none...

The thread discussing Amiri was locked for very good reasons. It would be inappropriate of me to continue the discussion further on another thread.

Though I'm pleased that you like Valeros's shield design.
Much of my creation process consists of a great deal of research and imagination. It's an important requirement when tasked with
creating elements that might be uniquely associated with Pathfinder and the Golarion world setting.


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Hello Wayne.

I've loved your art for years, and follow you eagerly across IP. I am one of, I'm sure many, people who were -drawn- to Pathfinder due to your art, and I won't lie, your art is what keeps me coming back. PF is a good system and all but the depth of character (and Character) you give the IP is amazing. I've bought pathfinder books I didn't 'need' simply for your artwork.

I love the update on the Hobgoblins. They are instantly identifiable as being 'goblinoid' now, looking related to your "Pathfinder Goblins" Whom are so extremely distinctive (And well adored!).

I love the update.

I was wondering if you could give us any thoughts you had for the Hobgoblins, and their new designs. The Soldier from the Bestiary, and one from the Lost Omens Character Guide, are both very nice. (I'm not 100% sure the Lost Omens Character guide is your work.)

But any insight to the artistic development and implication of their new look would be appreciated.

Contributing Artist

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Pepsi Jedi wrote:

Hello Wayne.

I've loved your art for years, and follow you eagerly across IP. I am one of, I'm sure many, people who were -drawn- to Pathfinder due to your art, and I won't lie, your art is what keeps me coming back. PF is a good system and all but the depth of character (and Character) you give the IP is amazing. I've bought pathfinder books I didn't 'need' simply for your artwork.

I love the update on the Hobgoblins. They are instantly identifiable as being 'goblinoid' now, looking related to your "Pathfinder Goblins" Whom are so extremely distinctive (And well adored!).

I love the update.

I was wondering if you could give us any thoughts you had for the Hobgoblins, and their new designs. The Soldier from the Bestiary, and one from the Lost Omens Character Guide, are both very nice. (I'm not 100% sure the Lost Omens Character guide is your work.)

But any insight to the artistic development and implication of their new look would be appreciated.

Thanks for your interest in my artwork. I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

I’m very pleased that you like the new look for the Pathfinder hobgoblin.
Although, neither depictions in the Bestiary or Lost Omens Character Guide are my artwork. (Though the one in the Bestiary was based on my concept sketches)
For insights to the new look for the hobgoblins we need to go back to the original goblin design for Adventure Path # 1, Burnt Offerings.

In the early days of Pathfinder offered an opportunity to create new visual variations on fantasy themes. The idea was to create a new variation to an established theme that would be unique to Pathfinder. Being both recognisable as the depicted theme and instantly associated with Pathfinder.
The art description for goblins was fairly open. Erik Mona specified that the Goblins featured on the cover art of Pathfinder Adventure Path #1 – Burnt Offerings did not have to look like established versions of goblins portrayed in other RPGs. However, the new design had to retain enough visual aspects to still be identified and associated with a high – fantasy concept of a goblin.

That’s not an easy task.

There are numerous variations to the concept of goblin portrayed by different brands. ….
And I had to create a new design that didn’t look like any existing depiction. But kinda looked like them too!

I don’t know if you’ve heard this story, but the inspiration for Pathfinder goblins came from a bath sponge!

I was squeezing the soap suds out of an oval – shaped sponge and had folded the sponge in half. I noticed that the sponge kinda made a mouth – like a hand puppet. Except the creases around the edges created a strange shark – like maw. I imagined what it would look like with lots of jagged tiny teeth and realised that would look really scary. (I made the proto – sponge/goblin talk. It said some really messed up things. But that helped with the scary) Hence the idea for the Pathfinder goblin was born. Inspiration can come from unusual places.

Consequently, the goblins of Golarion broke a lot of preconceptions and became immediately recognisable and are instantly associated with Pathfinder RPG. They’re one of the game’s most Iconic creatures.

Pathfinder 2 gave us the opportunity to use the same approach to create Pathfinder- exclusive visuals for its content.

Up until then, hobgoblins just looked like blue/grey skinned half-orcs. There really wasn’t much visually to tell them apart. And from a creative point of view, that’s a really lazy design. Not that there was anything wrong with the original artwork. The design was just kinda generic….. And we didn’t want generic. We wanted unique imagery that would be immediately recognised as a Pathfinder hobgoblin.

It made sense that Pathfinder hobgoblins probably should share some similarities to Pathfinder goblins in terms of body shape and facial features. Goblin and hobgoblins (and bugbears) may be humanoid, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re body proportions are exactly the same as a human. Distorting the body proportions help to convey a sense of unnaturalness about a creature and make it more like….. well…. a monster!

Consequently, I played around with designs that showed a larger and smarter gobliniod. Something that didn’t look like a hobgoblin depicted in other brands, but the natural progression of the Pathfinder goblin. Although they’re better equipped and armoured, their items should be slightly reminiscent of goblin items.
Hobgoblin equipment is like a sub-standard copy of items crafted by humans, elves or dwarves. Even though hobgoblins are intelligent their twisted minds haven’t quite got it right. Instead, their items have a slightly darker feel to them that reflects their true nature.
Similarly, goblin equipment is an attempt at copying hobgoblin equipment, except it’s even more messed up.

Creating unique imagery that would be instantly related to Pathfinder has been a large factor in the visualisation of the new version.


Is Yoon wearing hose or pants? Is she wearing a dress or is that all coat?

Contributing Artist

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deuxhero wrote:
Is Yoon wearing hose or pants? Is she wearing a dress or is that all coat?

I wonder if there's some confusion between modern clothing definitions with medieval-style clothing?

Yoon isn't wearing a dress.
She wears an un-bleached linen tunic (with stitched applique hems). She may have been wearing it from a much earlier age because her sleeves are mid-length rather than up to her wrists. The lower hem rises to just above her knees. At one point, it may have been longer on her, but she's grown since then.
By modern standards, it looks more like a dress. But in medieval Europe it was a fairly standard style of body-linen worn by men and women.

Over the top of her tunic is a long doublet (coat) with triple panels. She wears a snood (hood) over her doublet.

It now depends upon what your definition of pants and hose are?
From a medieval perspective, they're essentially the same thing.
Hose were the standard leg-wear in medieval Europe. They tended to be made from wool cloth and styled to be fairly close to the leg, (but had a tendency to bag over time). Men's hose could be joined, (Like a pair of trousers) or made for separate legs and worn with braise. Men's hose tended to be hip-height. Whilst women's hose tended to be thigh-high and tied with a garter.
If this all sounds vaguely like "hosiery"? We do get the modern word from the word hose. But medieval hose were made very differently to the modern equivalent. (different material)
So in answer to your question, I guess they're more like tight woolen pants that've got a little bit baggy over time.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Wayne,

I just want to say I really appreciate your responses and the level of detail and care you take with designing characters and clothing. Also I really love your work.

Contributing Artist

Cyder wrote:

Hi Wayne,

I just want to say I really appreciate your responses and the level of detail and care you take with designing characters and clothing. Also I really love your work.

Thanks for playing Pathfinder and your kind words about my artwork. :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Dear Lord Wayne of the House of Reynolds, First of His Name, Master of the Art.

Is there any info/insight about the new Witch Design that you can share. I really loved to new sketch design for Feiya and Daji. I can not wait to see what the completed version will be.

Anything that you can comment on for this will be most enjoyed and appreciated.

Thank you.


Actually - though it might be way too early to ask this - with the APG coming out next... Gencon, I believe ? Is there any chance we get another set of art panels for the updated (and new) iconics and races ?

Contributing Artist

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Prince Setehrael wrote:

Dear Lord Wayne of the House of Reynolds, First of His Name, Master of the Art.

Is there any info/insight about the new Witch Design that you can share. I really loved to new sketch design for Feiya and Daji. I can not wait to see what the completed version will be.

Anything that you can comment on for this will be most enjoyed and appreciated.

Thank you.

Thanks for your query.

I should be able to share some design insights into the new Iconics for the 2eAPG once the final artwork has been officially previewed by Paizo.

Contributing Artist

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Nyerkh wrote:

Actually - though it might be way too early to ask this - with the APG coming out next... Gencon, I believe ? Is there any chance we get another set of art panels for the updated (and new) iconics and races ?

The Paizo art team and I are looking into the possibility of holding more art panels at GenCon. There's a high probability that we'll be discussing the new Iconics, amongst other things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yay and yay!


What was the hardest evil character to draw for Pathfinder and reasons why?

Contributing Artist

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Paizoxmi wrote:
What was the hardest evil character to draw for Pathfinder and reasons why?

Probably Xin from AP#66-The Dead Heart of Xin. Shattered Star, part 6.

Here was a one-armed skeleton entombed in a crystal shard. With a runic inscription on it's skull. The crystal is at the heart of a clockwork construct with four arms and three legs. The trick was to combine all of those aspects but also to make it look like it was designed by an utterly arcane intelligence.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Paizoxmi wrote:
What was the hardest evil character to draw for Pathfinder and reasons why?

Probably Xin from AP#66-The Dead Heart of Xin. Shattered Star, part 6.

Here was a one-armed skeleton entombed in a crystal shard. With a runic inscription on it's skull. The crystal is at the heart of a clockwork construct with four arms and three legs. The trick was to combine all of those aspects but also to make it look like it was designed by an utterly arcane intelligence.

You succeeded.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good afternoon, sir.

With the indication that that tengu will be the ancestry of the new Oracle iconic for PF2, do you foresee any difficulties in creating a look for them?

Contributing Artist

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Good afternoon, sir.

With the indication that that tengu will be the ancestry of the new Oracle iconic for PF2, do you foresee any difficulties in creating a look for them?

Good Morning sir.

There haven't been any difficulties so far. I've a fairly defined and detailed idea on how the Pathfinder version of Tengu look.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've finally read and caught up to this entire thread, and would just like to say thank you for all the insights into your profession. This thread has been truly astounding to read qnd awe-inspiring. Really makes me wish I had kept up with my art skills in my younger days.

My question for you is in regards to the Champion class. I understand that you cannot speak on anything concerning any potential content for Pathfinder, so I'll try to parse this in a way that doesn't seem to imply that is what I'm looking for.

What I'm curious about is if you have any desire, personally, to create Iconic characters for the Champion subclasses? Of all the classes, the Champion is the one I feel would be the best fit for multiple Iconics, given the scale of deities within the world. Could argue that for the Cleric too I suppose, but that's neither here nor there. Anyways, Seelah will always be the Iconic Paladin to me, even if she is meant to evoke the idea of the Champion as a whole. I'd love to see your take on what a Redeemer and Liberator would look like; and any future subclasses for that matter. Would personally love to see your ideas for at least one of each alignment honestly. We've already got a headstart with Urgraz as the Anti-Paladin, even if I am admittedly a bigger fan of our Lord Pig-Kicker. He simply holds a special place in my heart.

As a side note: less to you and more to the great people at Paizo. Please, for everything that is cruel and unholy; please do not name the CE Champion the Anti-Paladin. Rovagug as my witness, I shall destroy myself should I have to be called an Anti-Paladin henceforth!

Contributing Artist

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Ly'ualdre wrote:

My question for you is in regards to the Champion class. I understand that you cannot speak on anything concerning any potential content for Pathfinder, so I'll try to parse this in a way that doesn't seem to imply that is what I'm looking for.

What I'm curious about is if you have any desire, personally, to create Iconic characters for the Champion subclasses? Of all the classes, the Champion is the one I feel would be the best fit for multiple Iconics, given the scale of deities within the world. Could argue that for the Cleric too I suppose, but that's neither here nor there. Anyways, Seelah will always be the Iconic Paladin to me, even if she is meant to evoke the idea of the Champion as a whole. I'd love to see your take on what a Redeemer and Liberator would look like; and any future subclasses for that matter. Would personally love to see your ideas for at least one of each alignment

Thanks for your interest in my artwork.

There's so much content from Golarion and Pathfinder that hasn't been depicted yet. It's such a great setting and there's so much scope, that I'm honestly enthusiastic about depicting anything and everything that the design team commission for me..... Including variations on Champions and the clerics of different deities.

However, you're correct that I'm not at liberty to discuss potential content for Pathfinder and therefore unable to discuss specifics much further than that. Sorry.

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