What are the most commonly played pregens?


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3/5

I took a long break from Pathfinder in general and painting minis and PFS in specific. As a semi-regular GM, I'd like to get back into both by painting up the critters I'm liable to use at the table. Once I get through my backlog of skeletons, zombies, goblins, and orcs, I'd like to paint up some iconics for pregen players and humanoid opponents as necessary.

With that in mind, I'd like to know if anyone has a feel for the most commonly-played iconics/pregens in PFS. Kyra's obvious, particularly when run by GMs for a three-person table, but beyond that, I'm less certain than I hope you guys might be.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Kyra
Kyra
and
Kyra

5/5 5/55/55/5

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More seriously,

The slayer sees a fair bit of play for being optimized.
Ezrin every once in a while when there's no knowledge guy.

Dark Archive 4/5 *

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Adowyn (Hunter) seems to be a favorite with my group at level 1 at least.
I'll have to check out the hunter. :-)

1/5

So much Kyra.

I've seen the bloodrager played a couple times if the party lacked melee, and the wizard once or twice. An occasional rogue, if the rest of the party roles are filled and it seems like we might need a lock picked.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

We usually offer Zadim (Slayer) as our first option if a new player wants to play. Easy mechanics, very effective.
Kyra if we're at a 3-player table and we've got everything covered except healing. Also a decent secondary hitter. Nothing amazing, but decent.
Oloch and Crowe see play sometimes if a player wants a melee focused character with some extra options.
I've been advocating Hakon recently. He's a very effective fighter, and has some good skills and spells.

Silver Crusade 2/5

Kyra and Seelah have 'been around the block' many times, in my experience.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere

Adowyn is popular with newbies, as are Merisiel and Kyra. Kyra and Crowe are popular with experienced players to fill out three-player tables, as is Lem at lower levels because of bardic knowledge.

And of course, everyone loves Harsk.

2/5

Seelah, the Paladin as a 7th level pregen is pretty good. Besides her abilities, she's also carrying a wand of Cure Moderate with 38 charges.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here are my faves:

Adowyn (hunter) -- Archery and Animal Buddy
Quinn (investigator) -- Skill checks and Versatility
Hakon (skald) -- A bit of everything, fighting and spells
Crowe (bloodrager) -- Smash!
Oloch (warpriest) -- Smash and tiny bit of heal
Hayato (samurai) -- A fighter with social skills and a horse!

All of these have been just great!

4/5

I typically try to introduce people to the game with Crowe. He's got a little bit of everything done right at each tier.

4/5

In my area, I usually see Kyra, Oloch, Crowe, Amiri, Lem, Seelah, Merisiel, or Ezrin.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

The CRB pregens are the ones that are most often being carried by the GMs and so see the most play. They're also generally quite easy to play.

The most popular by far, especially for bringing up a 3 player table, are Seelah and Kyra.

We very actively try to discourage the bad ones (Ninja, Gunslinger, Harsk) primarily.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

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I carry the ACG ones. They're better designed and better equipped.

Hmm


Poor Harsk

Silver Crusade 2/5

Yeah you'd think Harsk would pay some prestige to retrain...

5/5 5/55/55/5

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very pregens terrible:

The wizards spellbooks thinner than the the sharp edge of reality
with valeros dual wielding calling miss is mere formality
The one to pick I fear I must prognosticate
with cons that low i doubt at all they can coagulate

Why anyone would play a toon this bad remains a mystery
I can't believe you'd tolerate them in your character history
with Merisiels lack of social skills you will achieve
a little less p a then if you'd maxed out ranks in basket-weave

That I'd rather eat an otyug may speak to my neurology
but the saranite is limited to healing methodology
the thought of picking any one of them's unbearable
Harsk is bad beyond the worst but every pregens terrible.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

I carry the ACG ones. They're better designed and better equipped.

Hmm

Some of them are TOO good for my tastes. I don't want a pregen to outshine a player character and, for new players, that is VERY likely to happen with those pregens.

And some are also a bit too complicated for newbies.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I found that funny, but I think that you're somewhat overstating how bad the pregens are. Some are quite reasonable builds.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Shardra (iconic Shaman) is my 'go to' 'Swiss Army Knife' support/heals character.

I try to play her whenever I need to play a pregen.

Quinn may seem complicated to folks (especially at L7), but a brand new player grabbed a Quinn at a local convention and proceeded to roflstomp 'Bacon Below' with a vengeance.

Played L4 Zadim when ACG first came out, it was a very interesting experience that helped me figure out some things for my -1, not a bad choice either.

2/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Lafayette

We see a lot of Kyra, but if we need a big hitter it's Amri all the way. One guy plays Merisiel a lot. Harsk is a running joke around here.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

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Shardra is not a character that I'd hand off to newbies, but she's amazing. When people tell me that pregens are terrible, I point to Shardra, Quinn, Oloch and Crowe. Each one of them has been designed as solidly as a real character.

My experiences with the ACG pregens is that newcomers actually grasp Quinn, Oloch, Hakan, Adowyn and Crowe very quickly. Zadim is also a great choice for anyone who wants to two-weapon fight.

For the older ones, I'd still keep Kyra, Ezren, Seoni, Seelah and Amiri around. I absolutely adore Hayato, who is a social martial.

Hmm

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Harsk gets a lot of laughs, but he saved our asses once. He made every saving throw against poison and was the only guy with a dedicated ranged plan when everyone was bogged down in a swamp and could barely move.

I think my main problem with most Core pregens is the fact that they're too underoptimised. Sure, you don't want to steal the PC's thunder, but they need to be able to pull their weight. Lem has maxed out Knowledge Nobility, a skill I've rarely seen rolled, and one other Knowledge. Sure, his Bardic Knowledge helps a bit, but even at level 7, that's only a +4 on most other Knowledges. Meanwhile, Hakon has a modest +7 on all Knowledges, but at least he has a decent shot of making his Knowledges.

I mean, the pregens are sort of what new players will see for the first time, and they'll want to model their character off of that. I know a guy who wanted to re-create Ezren for himself. While that's a decent character, there are a lot of hidden sub-optimal choices in that character. The Core pregens seem to be afraid of dumping something below 10. And while absolute dump stats are something I'd avoid teaching new players, they do illustrate that Pathfinder rewards optimalisation, not middle-of-the-road averageness. While most of the pregens aren't terrible, if you saw a PC like that, you'd have a word with him/her about his/her choices. The 10 CON Ninja is a recipe for disaster, and whenever I see her played, she goes down every single fight. I've actually chased away a player from Pathfinder because he insisted on playing the Ninja and kept falling unconscious every fight. He got visibly frustrated and I offered to switch pregens, but he didn't want to. Never seen him again at the table. Or the Samurai pregen with a Strength of 15. I've been in a scenario where his horse was more deadly than he was. And, for some reason, he has a WIS of 14 and a CON of 15. All valuable statpoints that could've made the pregen more capable.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Shardra is not a character that I'd hand off to newbies, but she's amazing. When people tell me that pregens are terrible, I point to Shardra, Quinn, Oloch and Crowe. Each one of them has been designed as solidly as a real character.

My experiences with the ACG pregens is that newcomers actually grasp Quinn, Oloch, Hakan, Adowyn and Crowe very quickly. Zadim is also a great choice for anyone who wants to two-weapon fight.

For the older ones, I'd still keep Kyra, Ezren, Seoni, Seelah and Amiri around. I absolutely adore Hayato, who is a social martial.

Hmm

I was amazed at how well Quinn works. I looked at his stats and went "meh," but when someone picked him up at level 4, I was amazed at how well he worked in combat, despite lacklustre stats.

Shardra's a headache to wrap your head around, but she's an incredibly solid character and the best buffer next to a Bard or Skald. She has all the stats she needs and great spells prepared.
My party last week (all pretty new) was waffling about which character to bring along. I suggested Hakon, and they grasped his abilities quickly. I had to remind them sometimes, but the +1 to hit, +1 to damage was easy enough to understand. And he's built in such a way that he's decent at melee, too. Nothing amazing, but a great secondary melee. Hakon threw 3 natural 20s in a row, of which 2 confirmed. 1 for max damage. That was a good time.
Oloch and Crowe are good heavy hitters. 2d6 hits hard at every level you play them as.
Zadim's ruthlessly efficient. I question his use of kukri (damn 1d4), but it works. Still think he would've been more efficient with a two-hander, but still. Way better at TWF than Valeros, though he has the disadvantage of not being able to skip the TWF prerequisite. That 15 DEX hurts his Strength.

Lantern Lodge 5/5

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Jinfu is still the best level 1 pregen.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

The ones I've had the best experience with are Hayato (Samurai), Kyra (Cleric), and Alahazra (Oracle). Seltiyel (Magus) doesn't look bad, at a glance either. Jirelle (Swashbuckler) is very playable, though she gets a very large boost as the lvl 4 pregen. Her level 1 isn't bad, but her levels 4 and 7 are actually pretty good.

As an aside, Hayato is not actually rules-compliant. His level 7 feat is Greater Weapon Focus, and that's only available at level 8.

1/5 5/5

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Disciple of the Void wrote:

The ones I've had the best experience with are Hayato (Samurai), Kyra (Cleric), and Alahazra (Oracle). Seltiyel (Magus) doesn't look bad, at a glance either. Jirelle (Swashbuckler) is very playable, though she gets a very large boost as the lvl 4 pregen. Her level 1 isn't bad, but her levels 4 and 7 are actually pretty good.

As an aside, Hayato is not actually rules-compliant. His level 7 feat is Greater Weapon Focus, and that's only available at level 8.

There are a few pregens that have issues like that, actually.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
There are a few pregens that have issues like that, actually.

I think its a symptom of making the character from 4 right of the bat, rather than starting at 1 and working up. I know I've taken a feat or two by accident on characters that they couldn't have gotten just because they qualified for it at the level I made them.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Tennessee—Memphis

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Kyra

Kyra
and
Kyra

Hey you forgot to mention Kyra.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

I like Zadim a lot either as a pregen for new players, or to fill out a table.

For new players, he's simple to play at each level, but he contributes well both in combat and with skills. It helps to make people feel like they're a full-worth member of the team.

When filling out a party, his asset is that he's so simple to play that he doesn't eat up your concentration while playing your prime character (or the GM's concentration, if he's running him).

The Exchange 3/5

Croooooowe. When you need stuff dead hes got it covered.

Scarab Sages 3/5

I see the Slayer and the Oracle a lot.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Kyra, Seelah or Seoni

2/5 5/5

Enora's Staff.

Also Enora.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

Seelah is pretty solid. Good defense and offense. Smite gets you past situations where other pregens bemoan their lack of DR-penetrating weaponry.

Hakon is good for rounding out a party with skills and support. Decent spell selection, plausible knowledge skills, social skills, and he can fight.

Yoon or Adowyn to provide ranged damage support. If you have players who want to play an archer or blast things with fire these two can deliver.

Zadim 'will it blend' the slayer for players who want 2WF or just want an effective melee dude. He's got a high to-hit rate and lots of attacks which is just plain enjoyable.

Oloch or Crowe if you worry about DR/Hardness.

Kyra just cuz. Although the new oracle is also a good combo of healing and blasting.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'll have to try the oracle out. I adore oracles, but haven't played her yet because I have oracles of my own.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

While reading the new oracle it felt like the designer firmly decided to make a divine caster that was "not just a healbot", what with all the fire spells.

4/5 Designer

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
While reading the new oracle it felt like the designer firmly decided to make a divine caster that was "not just a healbot", what with all the fire spells.

To be fair, they're mainly the flames mystery bonus spells, so she was going to have those no matter what, rather than being a decision when I built the prototype APG pregens or when Linda engineered the final build.

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I like flame oracles though I've not built one yet! There are so many cool oracle choices! You can build just about anything with an oracle!

Hmm

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

Mark Seifter wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
While reading the new oracle it felt like the designer firmly decided to make a divine caster that was "not just a healbot", what with all the fire spells.
To be fair, they're mainly the flames mystery bonus spells, so she was going to have those no matter what, rather than being a decision when I built the prototype APG pregens or when Linda engineered the final build.

Well, a good opening move helps a lot.

I think it's a good choice. It's a pregen that can contribute in multiple ways while remaining fairly simple.

5/5 *****

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
While reading the new oracle it felt like the designer firmly decided to make a divine caster that was "not just a healbot", what with all the fire spells.
To be fair, they're mainly the flames mystery bonus spells, so she was going to have those no matter what, rather than being a decision when I built the prototype APG pregens or when Linda engineered the final build.

Well, a good opening move helps a lot.

I think it's a good choice. It's a pregen that can contribute in multiple ways while remaining fairly simple.

While Alahazra is OK as pregens go I hate the way Paizo equips its pregens based on the way they have been drawn rather than with stuff they can actually use and probably should be using.

There is little to no reason she shouldn't be in a breastplate but instead she chooses to go out on perilous adventures, putting her life on the line, in a bikini. In much the same way I normally advise people to add 1 to Kyra's AC to account for a light shield she should have but doesn't.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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Not a complaint, more of an observation: Why does it seem like Paizo prefers to use Fire spells/themes? Kyra's Sun domain I understand flavourwise. She gets a few offensive goodies without stealing too much from the Sorcerer/Wizard list.
Then there's the Oracle, with almost the same basic background as Kyra: Born in a desert city, fire-based powers. With the enormous variety of Cleric domains and Oracle mysteries, why are there two fire-based divine casters? Again, it gives them the opportunity to blast a bit, which is fun, but that can also be done with other domains/mysteries. Most of the mysteries are equally complex, so there's no real reason why she can't have a different mystery (apart from Flames being the only blasty-mystery from the APG).
And then there's Yoon. From what I understand, Fire is a pretty "meh" element. Pretty much all of her talents are to make sure she pushes damage through. That's not a bad idea, in and of itself, but other elements have much more utility that Yoon seems to lack. Would that have made Yoon to complicated? I'm not sure. She already has a lot of options to choose from as-is.

Fire is the most flashy domain there is, but Kyra and Alahazra are sorta fighting in the same design space. When the APG came around, they couldn't retroactively change Kyra's domain anymore, but in that case, why not change Alahazra's background?

Again, this isn't meant as a complaint or a "boo, Paizo is lazy," more of a general wondering.

3/5 5/5

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The Magus has been surprisingly popular in our local scene lately. I chalk it up to the popularity of games like Witcher 3 and the desire to blend magic and swordplay on the same character.

Other than that, Kyra is a good filler and the Rogue and Bloodrager are popular among moderately experienced players who don't have anything in tier.

I carry a complete folder of pregens just to have them, but I will STRONGLY advise new players not to play the Fighter or the Ranger. I couple the Ninja and Rogue with disclaimers about their iffy, situational damage and squishy chasis.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

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Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Not a complaint, more of an observation: Why does it seem like Paizo prefers to use Fire spells/themes?

Quentin, you're not the only one who's wondered this.

I was kind of disappointed that the oracle was a flame oracle when Kyra already has fire spells. As cool as I think flame oracles are, I would have liked them to choose a different mystery to give new players some more options in divine spells.

I would have loved some more diversity for kineticist and oracle pregens.

___

Oracle options they could have chosen from APG:

Battle -- Solid. A lot of newcomers like the idea of "fight and cast!"

Bones -- Perhaps rejected because of the "ick" factor.

Heavens -- GMs everywhere scream, "No, not color spray AGAIN!"

Life -- Solid, but perhaps too focused on healbot? Maybe they did not want to put Kyra out of business?

Lore -- A solid and fun choice! Casting and knowledge skills!

Nature -- I'm guessing they didn't want to deal with a horse or a camel here.

Stone -- This could have been another rock-solid choice... Who doesn't want to throw rocks, have crystal sight and earthglide?

Waves -- A fluid choice with some interesting possibilities

Wind -- Maybe a little underpowered at levels 1 and 4. Most of its really strong revelations seem to be at level 7 and up.

___

I really wished they had picked a different element for the kineticist. As cool as fire is, it could have been fun to have an iconic centered around a different element.

Hmm

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

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I'm pretty sure the backstories come before the stats. Fire just happens to be the most narratively compelling element for the "Meet the Iconics" format.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Heh. Shame on me. You're probably right. But still, if anyone on the PDT is reading this... Next time, write your backstory around some other element! Please?

Hmm

4/5 Designer

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The Design Team isn't in charge of the backstories, and they aren't selected for mechanics. For instance, I'm guessing Shardra would be much more useful at 1st level as a life or heavens shaman (still taking wandering arcane enlightenment eventually) as well. The iconics are a higher level decision.

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Thanks Mark for responding and offering your insights.

I do appreciate good backstories... I just also like variety in abilities amongst the pregens. As a GM, I love to offer newcomers options.

"This is Kyra! She's a divine caster who can heal and blast things with fire!"

"This is ... well this is the oracle whose name I cannot remember right now because I haven't played her yet. She's also a divine caster who can heal and blast things with fire!"

I love story. But I want there to be a good skeleton supporting all that fluff. Does this make sense?

Hmm

4/5

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Heh. Shame on me. You're probably right. But still, if anyone on the PDT is reading this... Next time, write your backstory around some other element! Please?

Hmm

A lightning kineticist running Season 6 scenarios would have been funny.

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Another thing that my literally fevered ('cause I'm sick today) brain has come up with.

Rosc, when we're running quests at Anime Detour, we totally have to run one together with TEAM FIRE. Kyra, the "Oracle Whose Name I Cannot Remember (TM)" and Yoon. All the fire! All of it! It'll be a literal blast.*

Hmm

___
*Because this is what we sometimes do late at night at cons in Minnesota. Run pregens with a theme. Nothing is funnier than an all Harsk table, but I think that the all fire group could be fun. Does anyone else have flames that we can call upon?

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