Anyone else not finding much use for the evil Iconics


Hell's Vengeance

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As the title says is anyone else finding the evil Iconics kind of pointless? I mean there not part of the adventures yet at the same time there

1.taking up two pages an issue for there lvl 7 stats/backstories that could have been used for something else. That and being lvl 7 for all of them (As far as I know) means there not a huge amoubt of use as possible pregen characters and limits there use as insertable NPC'S

2.being put on the front cover of each Ap issue again space that could have been used for artworks of characters more directly involved in each of the Ap volumes

Also I feel there wasent really any need for them since amoung the current Iconics they could easily have made a group suitable for this Ap in fact they have such a group already which has made there appearence in the Hollow mountain comics (Consisting of the alchemist, magus, warpriest and mesmerist and that group is great).

So just wondering what everyone else feels about them?

Liberty's Edge

Well, the level 1 versions are in the Player's Guide. So you can use them as pregens pretty readily.

I like them thematically, and am fine with them being on the covers and getting descriptions. Those kinds of thing are interesting.

I admit that I have no idea if the level 7 versions will be any use, though.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, imagine the alignment flamewars if the evil AP iconic lineup consisted of anybody else than Seltyiel and Meligaster.

I mean, we all know that Alain is a jerk. But there's a fine boundary between being a jerk and being a cold murderer, and Alain treads it very carefully.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I find them more interesting than the short stories that are included. I'd prefer good artwork and an NPC to that in any month or any AP.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I intend to throw some of them into my Hell's Rebels game as a party of mercenaries set on tracking the Silver Ravens down.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I get the same use from them as I get from any Iconic....Wayne does some really snazzy art....and they give me a basic idea of what the class is about....end of use.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Instant villainous NPCs with fleshed-out backgrounds and motivations aren't something you can find a use for?

Really?

To me they're vastly more useful than the "good guy" iconics.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I fully intend to use them as NPCs in my Hell's Rebels game.


Kevin Mack wrote:


Also I feel there wasent really any need for them since amoung the current Iconics they could easily have made a group suitable for this Ap in fact they have such a group already which has made there appearence in the Hollow mountain comics (Consisting of the alchemist, magus, warpriest and mesmerist and that group is great).

So just wondering what everyone else feels about them?

How the hell is the character who wants to commit mass murder of the people in the area that the AP takes place at all suitable?


I agree that all of them so far would make good additional encounters in Hell's Rebels and may use them in my HR game as well.

As for using them in Hell's Vengeance, I can't really imagine anyone I play with not making up their own PC. Does anyone commonly run home games where a player just decides he's going to run Valeros instead of making up his own PC? Maybe this happens with other people's groups, but I've never seen it. I wouldn't go so far as to call them a waste of space, anymore than I'd call the optional NPCs in AP #100 wastes of space. More ideas for NPCs equals more good in my book.


Also, has it been decided whether or not the iconics will be included in the Hell's Vengeance AP pawn set?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, go ahead tell Zelhara she's useless.

If it's all the same though, I'm going to hide over here when you tell her.

Cause that b@@~~ is crazy!


Tammerine "Tammy" Dragontoe wrote:

Yeah, go ahead tell Zelhara she's useless.

If it's all the same though, I'm going to hide over here when you tell her.

Cause that b!*+~ is crazy!

With that stat lineup? Heck, she's gonna be missing 65%-70% percent of the time against a 16-17 AC level 1 character (perfectly buildable with 20 PB) and only dealing minimal damage. She might have decent AC but i'd give your average 18 STR fighter or barbarian with a greatsword or greataxe the advantage against her in most situations.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

With Hell's Vengeance coming out how can you not find them useful?

You need evil NPCs (either as friends or enemies), your players need evil characters or inspiration for such characters.


Claxon wrote:

With Hell's Vengeance coming out how can you not find them useful?

You need evil NPCs (either as friends or enemies), your players need evil characters or inspiration for such characters.

Ideas for evil NPCs abound already, there's villains to pick and choose from in about every medium. (And making statlines is hardly difficult)

Inspiration is only necessary if your players a) have never played evil characters(and generally a lot have done so once or played N characters that were nearer to E than G), b) aren't really interested in the campaign (At which point it would be better to run a more morally unaligned AP like Skulls and Shackles or Kingmaker).
"How do I evil" probably isn't really be a thing amongst players.

Shadow Lodge

nighttree wrote:
I get the same use from them as I get from any Iconic....Wayne does some really snazzy art....and they give me a basic idea of what the class is about....end of use.

Pretty much this.


Tammy's going to pin it all on Lazzero, isn't that ironic (and fun!)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't see any of them getting together to help rob a tannery.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
A Mite Excessive wrote:
I don't see any of them getting together to help rob a tannery.

I didn't even think of this before you mentioned it, but you're kind of right. All of these iconics seem to have very auspicious beginnings but the way that the AP starts out, the PCs would seem to fit the story better if they were low level thugs, maybe even not that evil, who basically snowball into arch-villains.


When, where, and how should the level 7 evil iconics ambush my PCs in Hell's Rebels? I would place them in Book III, since the PCs begin that book at 7th level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shaun wrote:
A Mite Excessive wrote:
I don't see any of them getting together to help rob a tannery.
I didn't even think of this before you mentioned it, but you're kind of right. All of these iconics seem to have very auspicious beginnings but the way that the AP starts out, the PCs would seem to fit the story better if they were low level thugs, maybe even not that evil, who basically snowball into arch-villains.

In general, the Tannery Heist's grubby beginning is my biggest gripe... I've tweaked it somewhat for when I run things, but yeah.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't mind it. I think it's appropriate for level 1 PCs and I also like the path to true evil starting in an almost banal way.

If anything, I think the evil iconics' backstories are overwrought for level 1 PCs, but that's pretty much the case for any iconic, not a criticism of these ones in particular. The fact of the matter is, very few level 1 PCs have had enough life to realistically have very compelling backstories.

That's the main reason I never go out for pages and pages of backstory for my PCs: Their stories lie ahead of them, not behind them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shaun wrote:
I don't mind it. I think it's appropriate for level 1 PCs and I also like the path to true evil starting in an almost banal way.

Eh.... when an AP has been sold as "crush the rebellion!" having it start with "But knock over this tannery first" is just... jarring.


They are all terribly built, (everyone but the rogue has 13+ wis and cha. Rogue dumps all mental stats? Really? Wizard has 15 int? Who writes this!) and as said above, I can't see them getting together to start the AP.

Liberty's Edge

Jack Stargazer wrote:
They are all terribly built, (everyone but the rogue has 13+ wis and cha. Rogue dumps all mental stats? Really? Wizard has 15 int? Who writes this!) and as said above, I can't see them getting together to start the AP.

They're all built with the heroic array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8). Dhampirs don't have an Int bonus, so that's literally the highest Int she could have as a standard Dhampir.

And the Rogue has straight 10s, except a 12 in Cha. That's not dumping on 15 point-buy.

I don't disagree that they aren't super well made, but they're not actually too bad if you limit yourself to the Heroic Array.

Why were they made with the heroic array? Well, that is how NPCs are made by default...maybe they expect them to be used as adversaries.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jack Stargazer wrote:
They are all terribly built, (everyone but the rogue has 13+ wis and cha. Rogue dumps all mental stats? Really? Wizard has 15 int? Who writes this!) and as said above, I can't see them getting together to start the AP.

They're all built with the heroic array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8). Dhampirs don't have an Int bonus, so that's literally the highest Int she could have as a standard Dhampir.

And the Rogue has straight 10s, except a 12 in Cha. That's not dumping on 15 point-buy.

I don't disagree that they aren't super well made, but they're not actually too bad if you limit yourself to the Heroic Array.

Why were they made with the heroic array? Well, that is how NPCs are made by default...maybe they expect them to be used as adversaries.

But they are literally mentioned to be potential PCs. They should be built with PC creation rules at least.

I have honestly never used an array for named antagonists in more than 10 years of playing D&D/PF.

Liberty's Edge

Jack Stargazer wrote:
But they are literally mentioned to be potential PCs. They should be built with PC creation rules at least.

Using the Heroic Array is one of the listed ways to create a character. It's also 15 point-buy...which is another listed way.

Using it to create characters for an AP (which assume moderate optimization and 15 point-buy) is entirely reasonable.

Jack Stargazer wrote:
I have honestly never used an array for named antagonists in more than 10 years of playing D&D/PF.

Really? You've never run an AP, then?

Because Paizo uses it pretty universally for non-main villains. Main villains get PC wealth and better point-buy, usually, but random named villains? Heroic Array.

Seriously. Name an AP and I'll point out several people who use it.

This has to do with using it being the official rules for NPCs. Breaking those rules isn't a huge deal (and Paizo does so themselves upon occasion), but expecting the company who wrote them to always break them is a bit...odd.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Really? You've never run an AP, then?

I have, but I've had to rebuild basically every encounter and opponent from the ground up for them not to be finished in a single round.

I don't even have players who optimize that much. The encounters just often flat fail because of how many of them are just single target big thing encounters who get one action to the 4 or more of the party.

And they are rarely in places where a charging barbarian doesn't get an attack off for 3d6+Ded.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jack Stargazer wrote:

I have, but I've had to rebuild basically every encounter and opponent from the ground up for them not to be finished in a single round.

I don't even have players who optimize that much. The encounters just often flat fail because of how many of them are just single target big thing encounters who get one action to the 4 or more of the party.

And they are rarely in places where a charging barbarian doesn't get an attack off for 3d6+Ded.

I think you may be underestimating your players' level of optimization. :)

There's also the fact that APs are balanced specifically around 4 PCs. Add more, and things get easier real quick.

Not that either of those is a bad thing. I'm finishing up running CotCT and the party is pretty optimized as these things go (okay, the Arcanist isn't super optimized...but he's an Arcanist), and five strong...with 4 of them having Leadership and cohorts (they have two published NPCs and two former PCs whose players left due to real-life stuff). I've thus adjusted several encounters quite a bit more than was necessary for a strict conversion, as well as seen others get taken down in a round. I did almost kill them all with an almost purely by-the-book encounter involving an NPC who used the Heroic array, though.

But that's really a side issue: What exactly were you expecting of these Iconics? The characters are statted by the same group of people as the APs, to be a group that goes through the AP as written. Period.

If you don't finds the AP stat-blocks useful, why would you expect to find these any better?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i think the evil iconics are pretty fun.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wait, there is use for iconics at all?! o.O


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They all look like the went shopping at a goth convention. But, hey, I guess that's where evil is at on Golarion.

Man, I miss Manshoon.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Man, I miss Manshoon.

Clone-a-week, never-win Manshoon?

Different strokes, I guess.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cole Deschain wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Man, I miss Manshoon.

Clone-a-week, never-win Manshoon?

Different strokes, I guess.

manshoon was one of the most ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon villains I have ever seen, and considering it's the realms, that's saying something.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Drejk wrote:
Wait, there is use for iconics at all?! o.O

For editor/art orders to point at for new artists and say, 'That's what a Rogue looks like.'

For experienced player to point at for new players and say, 'That's how you *don't* build a Fighter.'

For the easily distracted among us (like me) to point at and say, 'It's so shiny! Look at all the buckles and straps!'

Liberty's Edge

The Iconics are super neat and fun in a story sense.

Their stats...have never been the most useful thing ever if aiming for any high level of optimization.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
For the easily distracted among us (like me) to point at and say, 'It's so shiny! Look at all the buckles and straps!'

For Nomura to look at and say "how do I top that?"

Grand Lodge

Axial wrote:
When, where, and how should the level 7 evil iconics ambush my PCs in Hell's Rebels? I would place them in Book III, since the PCs begin that book at 7th level.

The keep in the pass. It's a little jarring that there's no traffic through the keep. You can have this bunch traveling with the intent of becoming mercenaries in Kintagro, bantering much like a group of PCs would. And a while after the PCs win the keep, these guys show up, then another fight breaks out, or your PCs mislead them and they have to hunt them down later in Kintagro...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cole Deschain wrote:

Clone-a-week, never-win Manshoon?

Different strokes, I guess.

Freehold DM wrote:


manshoon was one of the most ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon villains I have ever seen, and considering it's the realms, that's saying something.

Yes, he was glorious. :D

Dark Archive

magnuskn wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Clone-a-week, never-win Manshoon?

Different strokes, I guess.

Freehold DM wrote:


manshoon was one of the most ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon villains I have ever seen, and considering it's the realms, that's saying something.

Yes, he was glorious. :D

I liked the idea of Manshoon, but he was stuck in the Zhentarim, which were like the Keystone cops of the Realms, doomed to be utterly hopeless and incompetent at *everything.* Poor Zhentil Keep, it fell over and sank into the swamp more than Swamp Castle!


Eh, things change, at least now, I sparkle in the sunlight.


Iconics never have optimized builds - so players can feel good building something stronger...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Man, I miss Manshoon.

Clone-a-week, never-win Manshoon?

Different strokes, I guess.

manshoon was one of the most ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon villains I have ever seen, and considering it's the realms, that's saying something.

yes, but WHICH Manshoon?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe that Manshoon (and the Zhentarim) suffered under TSR's from-on-high editorial command that "evil never be allowed to show competence/win". (Which in turn might have been due to the MADD backlash in the '80s.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That soumds odd, Artemis Entreri was shown as highly competent. Any citation to back up your assertion?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I believe it's called the Greenwood effect. :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
That soumds odd, Artemis Entreri was shown as highly competent. Any citation to back up your assertion?

you aren't familiar with this? It's part of the comics code nonsense tsr based their writing code around.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
That soumds odd, Artemis Entreri was shown as highly competent. Any citation to back up your assertion?

A quick Google notes these from Candlekeep:

"As you can see, once the Code of Ethics swept away most of the nastier details of how my under-elves treated other races, all of this could easily be squared with the “official” D&D drow, when the Realms became an official TSR setting." ~Ed Greenwood

"Therise, Ed has compiled a LOT of lore on real-world and imaginary drugs/herbal remedies/magical concoctions for medicinal and mood-altering purposes over the years, and very little of this has ever been published because of TSR's Code of Ethics and Wizards applying the same cautious approach to anything that might be construed as support/encouragement for drug use." ~The Hooded One

"Except for glimpses in Ed’s fiction (which were of course trammeled by the Code of Ethics ‘evil can’t win or even be seen to benefit from their evil deeds’ dictates), you’ve never seen the REAL Manshoon in print." ~The Hooded One

(THO is one of the Knights of Myth Drannor from Ed Greenwood's playgroup, and passes along replies from him to lore questions for FR.)

There are undoubtedly others, but those quotes are all quite readily available. It's pretty well known that TSR shackled what they published to an ethics code, which - among other things - dictated that evil never be allowed to properly win or profit, hence all the results of the Zhentarim and so on losing to the Good Guys.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Samy wrote:
That soumds odd, Artemis Entreri was shown as highly competent.

Highly skilled, deadly, but did he ever really win the stuff he cared about until that policy changed?

He as just better-handled than Manshoon and the Keystone Cops... er, Zhents.

1 to 50 of 56 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Hell's Vengeance / Anyone else not finding much use for the evil Iconics All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.