Artwork wish


Prerelease Discussion

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Since everyone is posting what they most dearly want to see in 2e even if it is clearly impossible, here's something I'd love:

Could there not be so much artwork of the "fully clothed man in anatomically plausible pose, woman in skimpy outfit or weirdly shaped armor contorted into a position designed to show off her female attributes" type? Like maybe at least not have it right on the cover of the one rulebook everyone has to buy?

(I see the playtest cover art is already visible, so I accept that the battle for sensibly dressed women is lost until actual 2e.)


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/looks at Paizo artwork.

You my friend, have a very low threshold for what constitutes as cheesecake, especially if you consider Seoni's pose on the OPF CRB to be an example of that. Then there's also the various jazz of overlooking Seelah and the iconic inquisitor (whose name eludes me) who are about as close to anti-cheesecake as it comes.

And for equal opportunity, ladies get Raijin rocking the shirtless look and showing off that chest to counter Seoni showing off her legs I guess.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
You my friend, have a very low threshold for what constitutes as cheesecake, especially if you consider Seoni's pose on the OPF CRB to be an example of that.

It's not as bad as the 1e CRB cover, certainly. But the 1e CRB cover is what I'm asking to not have more of.

Quote:
And for equal opportunity, ladies get Raijin rocking the shirtless look

That is not equivalent to what's happening on the 1e CRB cover until he's being posed and highlighted in such a way that the viewer is being encouraged to stare at his groin.


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/looks back at OPF CRB cover

Seriously dude? No sideboob, butt's not defined at all thanks to the robe thingy being loose, and her posture is about the same as Valeros since they're both contorting (albeit in different directions). Unless you never want characters to be facing with their backs to the viewer (or front, can't go showing off chests either!) without them being in full-plate or a burka, I really don't see what you're complaining about.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I really don't see what you're complaining about.

That's okay, you don't need to unless you are the Pathfinder art director hiding behind a pseudonym. My question really is for Paizo.


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Yeah... Paizo is like the best company for this. The iconic magus and monk are both barechested guys too...


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Nekome wrote:

Since everyone is posting what they most dearly want to see in 2e even if it is clearly impossible, here's something I'd love:

Could there not be so much artwork of the "fully clothed man in anatomically plausible pose, woman in skimpy outfit or weirdly shaped armor contorted into a position designed to show off her female attributes" type? Like maybe at least not have it right on the cover of the one rulebook everyone has to buy?

(I see the playtest cover art is already visible, so I accept that the battle for sensibly dressed women is lost until actual 2e.)

If you took a step back to theorize why Seoni is dressed that way, you'd be less inclined to feel the way you do. Let me give you a basic flowchart for this.

Sorcerers cast spells.

Spells suffer from arcane spell failure.

Arcane spell failure is derived from heavy, bulky, and/or obstructive armor or similar equipment.

Therefore, wearing items that are purposefully obstructive or heavy/bulky do nothing for a Sorcerer (or other arcane spellcaster for that matter), which means Seoni not wearing such items is a smart, in-lore reason explaining her attire.

And before we follow-up with "Well, that clothing is absurd for adventuring!", remember that Sorcerers have Bloodlines, which manifest in numerous ways. In this case, from the tattoos on her skin. A design choice to showcase such symbolism of the class is a fair means to have such attire from a conceptual standpoint.

Furthermore, spells may shore up any shortcomings. For example, having spells like Shield and/or Mage Armor are just as effective defense-wise as a basic fighter wearing a Chain Shirt and a Tower Shield, fairly respectable gear for starting adventurers. And with the stacking rules in PF1, there was no reason for a spellcaster to have those spells active and those items equipped simultaneously, hence why Seoni may not have those items as part of her attire.

So before we go with the whole "This is done because people are perverts," how about we take a step back and properly evaluate the situation instead of jumping to conclusions that are, in and of themselves, equally as biased and insulting as the claims that are indeed legitimate.


^this. Also it is said that as a Varisian she is proud of her magical tattoos and shows them to showcase her heritage/culture

Silver Crusade

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Yes let's go back to being sober protestants.

There's nothing gross about the 1E CRB at all. Seoni is a sexy character and she's drawn that way, so what? Isn't she also supposed to be a tattooed sorceror? In that case wouldn't her dress be plenty sensible (easy access to spells and the like)? I mean in a world where you can mitigate extreme weather with magic, she isn't unreasonable at all.

The Paladin character is decked out in full plate.

Silver Crusade

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You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.


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Now that Seltiyel is a magus and not (presumably) taking wizard levels, he should be the first in line to wear more protective clothing. Assuming ASF is still around, Seoni does not have that excuse.


Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

As another point, Sorcerers are highly charismatic, and to numerous players, it highlights how well groomed and beholden a given entity is. In other words, low charisma = ugly, and high charisma = beautiful. (Not saying it's the case, just saying that's what a lot of players believe.)

Even despite that, force of personality (AKA high charisma) may also lead that Seoni has the kind of personality to dress the way she does and be comfortable with it, whereas Ezren is a shrewd elderly man who may find such displays distasteful for one who can wield arcane spells.

Silver Crusade

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

As another point, Sorcerers are highly charismatic, and to numerous players, it highlights how well groomed and beholden a given entity is. In other words, low charisma = ugly, and high charisma = beautiful. (Not saying it's the case, just saying that's what a lot of players believe.)

Even despite that, force of personality (AKA high charisma) may also lead that Seoni has the kind of personality to dress the way she does and be comfortable with it, whereas Ezren is a shrewd elderly man who may find such displays distasteful for one who can wield arcane spells.

And that might be justifications in world for why, but here's the thing, Seoni does not pick her outfit, no character does. That was decided by the writers/art directors/artists.

So any and all justifications after the fact doesn't change the why. Her design is based on attractiveness.


Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

Off topic but I think there's evidence that Ezren is also pretty cut himself.

Silver Crusade

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Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

Off topic but I think there's evidence that Ezren is also pretty cut himself.

F$%! yeah, have you seen Mythic Adventures?

Edit: He was like that all the way back in 3.5, you can see in the bath scene in The Jackal's Price (Legacy of Fire 3).

Edit 2: forgot they included character stats at the back of the older books, he has a f~@$ing 11 Strength and 12 Con, and that's using 3.5 PB!

Silver Crusade

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Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

And? So what?

Sex appeal obviously sells, does it not? I don't see people crying about covering up the monk character. It's all specifically complaints about Seoni.

Silver Crusade

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There's not anyone clamoring over Sajan because he isn't sexualized in the way Seoni usually is. Shirtless doesn't automatically mean sexualized.


Rysky wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

As another point, Sorcerers are highly charismatic, and to numerous players, it highlights how well groomed and beholden a given entity is. In other words, low charisma = ugly, and high charisma = beautiful. (Not saying it's the case, just saying that's what a lot of players believe.)

Even despite that, force of personality (AKA high charisma) may also lead that Seoni has the kind of personality to dress the way she does and be comfortable with it, whereas Ezren is a shrewd elderly man who may find such displays distasteful for one who can wield arcane spells.

And that might be justifications in world for why, but here's the thing, Seoni does not pick her outfit, no character does. That was decided by the writers/art directors/artists.

So any and all justifications after the fact doesn't change the why. Her design is based on attractiveness.

I don't think it really matters on who or what decides, because in-world, Seoni decided to wear that attire. It's more silly to say some outside influence forces her to wear that outfit and nothing else, unless you posit that the outfit is a cursed item of some kind, which is dubious at best, than to say that she chose to wear it. Occam's Razor and all that.

I still disagree. Iconics are primarily designed to highlight key aspects of classes and hone in on the concepts of what the class offers. Nothing in the Sorcerer class writeup says or implies the standard definition of "sex appeal," so suggesting that the character was purportedly designed to have it (which is subjective, I might add,) is equally disingenuous a claim to make.

Silver Crusade

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Ah right, Man, bare chested, puffing his chest out, standing with shoulders square. That's not sexualized at all is it? Or does he have to be hunched over jerking one out to be sexualized?

What about the Bloodrager? Bare chested, standing with his pelvis thrust forward a little bit?

Silver Crusade

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

As another point, Sorcerers are highly charismatic, and to numerous players, it highlights how well groomed and beholden a given entity is. In other words, low charisma = ugly, and high charisma = beautiful. (Not saying it's the case, just saying that's what a lot of players believe.)

Even despite that, force of personality (AKA high charisma) may also lead that Seoni has the kind of personality to dress the way she does and be comfortable with it, whereas Ezren is a shrewd elderly man who may find such displays distasteful for one who can wield arcane spells.

And that might be justifications in world for why, but here's the thing, Seoni does not pick her outfit, no character does. That was decided by the writers/art directors/artists.

So any and all justifications after the fact doesn't change the why. Her design is based on attractiveness.

I don't think it really matters on who or what decides, because in-world, Seoni decided to wear that attire. It's more silly to say some outside influence forces her to wear that outfit and nothing else, unless you posit that the outfit is a cursed item of some kind, which is dubious at best, than to say that she chose to wear it. Occam's Razor and all that.

I still disagree. Iconics are primarily designed to highlight key aspects of classes and hone in on the concepts of what the class offers. Nothing in the Sorcerer class writeup says or implies the standard definition of "sex appeal," so suggesting that the character was purportedly designed to have it (which is subjective, I might add,) is equally disingenuous a claim to make.

So a class based on charisma, being attractive is disingenuous?


Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.


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I'm going to make the argument that going with equalized sex appeal across genders would be more effective and interesting, and that I have no problem with the occasional adventurer stylized after Fabio or Jareth staring out at the reader from a Pathfinder rulebook. Some people want to play characters with sex appeal (male or female); others do not. Providing equal appeal seems like a better solution.

That might just be my opinion however.

Silver Crusade

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Rysky wrote:

You can try and justify it after the fact as much you want, it's disingenuous to claim that her design was not based on sex appeal.

Case in point, Ezren, Wizard, suffers the same ASF chance as Seoni, still wears a lot more clothing.

As another point, Sorcerers are highly charismatic, and to numerous players, it highlights how well groomed and beholden a given entity is. In other words, low charisma = ugly, and high charisma = beautiful. (Not saying it's the case, just saying that's what a lot of players believe.)

Even despite that, force of personality (AKA high charisma) may also lead that Seoni has the kind of personality to dress the way she does and be comfortable with it, whereas Ezren is a shrewd elderly man who may find such displays distasteful for one who can wield arcane spells.

And that might be justifications in world for why, but here's the thing, Seoni does not pick her outfit, no character does. That was decided by the writers/art directors/artists.

So any and all justifications after the fact doesn't change the why. Her design is based on attractiveness.

I don't think it really matters on who or what decides, because in-world, Seoni decided to wear that attire. It's more silly to say some outside influence forces her to wear that outfit and nothing else, unless you posit that the outfit is a cursed item of some kind, which is dubious at best, than to say that she chose to wear it. Occam's Razor and all that.

I still disagree. Iconics are primarily designed to highlight key aspects of classes and hone in on the concepts of what the class offers. Nothing in the Sorcerer class writeup says or implies the standard definition of "sex appeal," so suggesting that the character was purportedly designed to have it (which is subjective, I might add,) is equally disingenuous a claim to make.

It doesn’t mater what the in-world justification is actually, her creators chose that outfit because it was sexy. And it also doesn’t matter that nothing sexual is brought up in the Sorcerer class write up because all the art for the Iconic of that class was designed with sex appeal in mind.

Silver Crusade

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Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.


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What does it matter what the "justification" is? There's no justification needed beyond "We wanted to make her sexy", which is not, and has never been, a wrong thing to do.

It's not like the female iconics are all skimpilly dressed bombshells or anything of the sort.


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Rysky wrote:
Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.

So what's the big deal then? I don't exactly recall many pictures of Seoni draped at Harsk's feet like a Boris Vallejo painting or Amiri bending over to show off that cleavage.

Silver Crusade

Rysky wrote:
Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.

So a man with less clothes that some people find sexy isn't sexualized.

but

A woman with less clothes that some people find sexy is sexualized?

Is that not the slightest bit sexist at all?

Again, sorcerer is a charisma based class. Charisma determines your attractiveness (whether through personality or physical appeal, it doesn't matter). Visually representing attractiveness is what they did with Seoni. So what?

Most of the arguments against Seoni's outfit are "it's not sensible, she wouldn't wear that in the cold!"

Well what about the monk? Bloodrager? Or any other character drawn with a lesser amount of clothing?

Silver Crusade

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I was responding to the claim that sex appeal had absolutely nothing to do with Seoni’s design and that it was insulting to imply so.

Silver Crusade

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Kain Dragonhand wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.

So a man with less clothes that some people find sexy isn't sexualized.

but

A woman with less clothes that some people find sexy is sexualized?

Is that not the slightest bit sexist at all?

Again, sorcerer is a charisma based class. Charisma determines your attractiveness (whether through personality or physical appeal, it doesn't matter). Visually representing attractiveness is what they did with Seoni. So what?

Most of the arguments against Seoni's outfit are "it's not sensible, she wouldn't wear that in the cold!"

Well what about the monk? Bloodrager? Or any other character drawn with a lesser amount of clothing?

Men don’t have a long as history of being sexualized as women do.

And again, it’s how it’s presented, not simply on the lack or style of clothing though that can add to it.

The Charisma argument is kinda pointless since it has nothing to do with revealing clothing. Then there’s Lem and Seelah who do not wear revealing clothing.

Dark Archive

I suspect that the argument here isn't so much the attire that the iconic is wearing as to the poses that they are in. The question then becomes if one can portray the character in a dynamic pose in their costume and it not be seen as sexualised.

Or maybe people just want all the females in the art dressed up as nuns or cladded in armour head to toe. As a thought experiment I do wonder what would be said if there was a setting were no female character was depicted in any sexualised manner (so always stoic, portraits covered completely and ensuring their form is not shown in any way) and all the male character depicted normally like they are now.

If I'm wrong I do want to see what I'm missing from the argument because this the only conclusions I have been able to draw out


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Rysky wrote:
Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.

Makes me think of the cinematography of the Transporter. They purposfully used camera angles, filters and lighting that were normally used for women fighting in movies for Statham. A lot of men found some of those fight scenes uncomfortable because they had been .. accustomed.. to having those cues say "This is sexy" only it was being done with a man in the frame instead of a woman.


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Beefcake and cheesecake for everyone! Just have an equal number of scantily clad guys and gals so whether you're guy, girl, straight, bi or gay, you have eye candy.

I do see the point though about not orienting poses to focus on the groin or etc, especially if that is happening more to one gender than the other. That is something for the art director to keep an eye on and for them to be careful in their instructions to the commissioned artists. Just because they're scantily clad doesn't mean they have to be posed like a Playboy / Playgirl model.


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I think that people responding with “oh but look at the sexy manly men” (oh Alain, one day I will melt that heart of stone . . .) or “you don’t understand, in lore she has to breathe through her skin. She’s die if she wore a turtleneck.” aren’t helping much.

Point-Blank, yes. Seoni is designed to be sexy and that was likely partially the reason to place her on the cover.

But is Seoni being attractive really the problem here? After all, the game is based upon fantasy tropes. Sexy female spellcaster is one of those tropes. As is Ezren being an old man with White Hair. Artwork needs to be able to convey the idea of what that person does or is capable of doing without any text. That’s why Lini’s official artwork always has Droogami alongside her. And in Seoni’s case, this was done by evoking the image of a “beautiful enchantress”.

The question is, “Does Seoni’s appearance suggest that she exists only to pander to teenage boys; does every female character need to dress like this; and does her appearance take away from her character?”. The answer to those questions is, “no”.

6 of the 12 characters (11 If we don’t count Seltyiel) are women. In 2008, when that book came out, that was A LOT more than we were used to. And how many of those women wear revealing clothing? 2 (and Amiri doesn’t even have the excuse of no armor and ASF). 2 wear light armor, 1 wears medium armor, and 1 is wearing full- plate. They also each represent different races and different skin colors and sexualities. That’s amazing! The Iconics are wildly different to each other in appearance because you’re meant to be able to make a character look however you want. Want to be dressed conservatively? Dress revealingly? Have armor? No armor? Short hair? Long hair? You can do that! Let’s not forget that there ARE players who want to be “the beautiful enchantress”.

Also the Iconics designed were probably already decided on by the time they decided the front cover. They chose to use the 4 most iconic visuals in the game. A Dragon. A Dungeon. Someone swinging a sword. And someone casting a spell. They likely also wanted both a male and female character on the front.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Just because they're scantily clad doesn't mean they have to be posed like a Playboy / Playgirl model.

Paging Greg Land.. Paging Greg Land.

Oh you said posed, not traced.


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Since this was brought up, no, just because people find shirtless heavily muscled guys sexy does not mean those guys are automatically sexualized. It’s how they are presented.
Makes me think of the cinematography of the Transporter. They purposfully used camera angles, filters and lighting that were normally used for women fighting in movies for Statham. A lot of men found some of those fight scenes uncomfortable because they had been .. accustomed.. to having those cues say "This is sexy" only it was being done with a man in the frame instead of a woman.

That explains why I go all:"Oh man, it'd totally pay of to be gay if I got to nail Statham", when I watch his movies.

Shadow Lodge

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I'd love to see some actual sex appeal added into the pathfinder artwork which currently features little to none. My experience with paizo is they follow current mainstream american gaming industry trends of being terrified of anything that might be construed as slightly sexy, and they are embarrassed for their iconic sorceress (who I wouldn't even classify as mild cheesecake).

Seriously though, Paizo tries really hard to not be sexist, and errs heavily on the puritanical side of fantasy artwork. They also try really hard to be diverse and inclusive, with art of characters of all manner of peoples. I mean, they really bend over backwards trying to be, and kudos to them for trying so hard to do that (It's got to be hard trying so much to placate people, and still having them tell you that it's not good enough).

But their art style doesn't appeal to me, so when I run games I draw my own art to show my players. I know plenty of people who find other non-paizo art to show instead to give the look and feel they want, and that's ok, it's fantasy. Everyone's fantasy is different. Paizo is publishing their version, but like everything else in the CRB, feel free to ignore if you don't like it and make up your own house rules (or art as the case may be).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.

Except they are, to a degree. From the CRB:

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Rysky wrote:
It doesn’t mater what the in-world justification is actually, her creators chose that outfit because it was sexy. And it also doesn’t matter that nothing sexual is brought up in the Sorcerer class write up because all the art for the Iconic of that class was designed with sex appeal in mind.

So, when, exactly did you talk to the artist who created Seoni's appearance and have him/her tell you that he/she chose that outfit because it was sexy?

Or, are you just assuming that was the only reason?

Grand Lodge

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Saldiven wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.

Except they are, to a degree. From the CRB:

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Yeah, but look at Amiri, she only has a 10 Cha and is very attractive. So, really YMMV.


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Madclaw wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.

Except they are, to a degree. From the CRB:

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Yeah, but look at Amiri, she only has a 10 Cha and is very attractive. So, really YMMV.

Sex Appeal and Charisma need not be synonymous, but they can be. It's just as valid to say that a Sorcerer's CHA 20 is from being someone who turns heads wherever they go, even if they're really introverted and shy, as it is to say a very attractive person is CHA 10 because their personality and ability to lead aren't up to par. Because Charisma is a combination of all those traits, not just one.

Liberty's Edge

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As an overweight father, I'm hurt that nobody is talking about the sexual appeal of Mavaro. Dad bods take a lot of work too, you know! It's just that the work to obtain them is a lot more fun. Plus, that playa's rocking those boots with the pointed toes and that long jacket...straight up sex appeal!

EDIT: I realized almost immediately that as a nearly-40-year-old man, I was incorrect in using the word "playa". I apologize.

Grand Lodge

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TheFinish wrote:
Madclaw wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.

Except they are, to a degree. From the CRB:

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Yeah, but look at Amiri, she only has a 10 Cha and is very attractive. So, really YMMV.
Sex Appeal and Charisma need not be synonymous, but they can be. It's just as valid to say that a Sorcerer's CHA 20 is from being someone who turns heads wherever they go, even if they're really introverted and shy, as it is to say a very attractive person is CHA 10 because their personality and ability to lead aren't up to par. Because Charisma is a combination of all those traits, not just one.

Precisely what I was trying to drive at. And you did so eloquently.


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Madclaw wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Madclaw wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Right. Because sex appeal and Charisma are synonymous in this game.

Except they're not.

Except they are, to a degree. From the CRB:

"Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance."

Yeah, but look at Amiri, she only has a 10 Cha and is very attractive. So, really YMMV.
Sex Appeal and Charisma need not be synonymous, but they can be. It's just as valid to say that a Sorcerer's CHA 20 is from being someone who turns heads wherever they go, even if they're really introverted and shy, as it is to say a very attractive person is CHA 10 because their personality and ability to lead aren't up to par. Because Charisma is a combination of all those traits, not just one.
Precisely what I was trying to drive at. And you did so eloquently.

Hogwash, have you all seen those CHA 21 krakens? Hubba hubba!

Silver Crusade Contributor

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ElSilverWind wrote:
Let’s not forget that there ARE players who want to be “the beautiful enchantress”.

whistles innocently

(Seriously though, I have no problems with Seoni's depiction or design throughout most of Pathfinder's art history. Barring a few early missteps, of course.)


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gnoams wrote:

I'd love to see some actual sex appeal added into the pathfinder artwork which currently features little to none. My experience with paizo is they follow current mainstream american gaming industry trends of being terrified of anything that might be construed as slightly sexy, and they are embarrassed for their iconic sorceress (who I wouldn't even classify as mild cheesecake).

You must not have gone through the AP volumes much.

Personally I commend Paizo - they were able to make a full plate no skin badass warrior sexy - Grey Maidens. That said I think Skull & Shackles had the worst offender with the pirate who was described... ugly in her writeup but was a pinup model in the art.

I think Seoni is designed to be sexy - and personally her 'writeup' goes along with it (which - if they are going to contextualize the art - I'm fine as long as the context matches the art) - I have no issue with this frankly - they could even stand to be a bit 'more' cheescake at times.

Considering the subject and the last time I dove into a topic about the art - I do want to take a moment and mention that after being 'called out' on the art in the past (RE: All men frown, or are angry - all female art is smiling and happy!) I've paid attention - and this company finally has changed this trope - I see a wide range of emotions and expressions on the art, and it's refreshing - I also point out that men smiling is more sexy than when they are scowling :)


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When Seltyiel or Sajan are shown shirtless, they may be sexy but they're still always depicted as action heroes and presented as aspirational ideals of manliness. Even shirtless, there is little doubt from the art they are ready to deal with the current threat/challenge.

When many female characters in RPG art are shown, they are often depicted for male-gazey purposes with deep cleavage, high slits exposing their leg(s), backless tops, and other highly impractical garb. Women in armor are still often depicted in "boob plate" or midriff bearing outfits. Just as bad, they are often posed in obvious fan-servicey poses focusing on their butt or cleavage (or both), and posed too frequently with their spines twisted in impossible ways for maximal objectification. These depictions present them as sex objects, as aspirational rewards for male players.

Paizo has made amazing strides toward making sure their female characters are depicted as capable, competent heroes (and villains) who exist as more than cheesecake. Sometimes freelance artists still turn in artwork of female characters that fails to meet these expectations and there just isn't time to adjust the art within the publishing deadline; I can't blame Paizo for that. And Paizo has only improved in their art orders since the core book. But...

There are some Paizo designs, in my opinion -- like Seoni's dress, Feiya's top, and Alahazra's top, for example -- that seem clearly highly impractical for rough and tumble adventuring. I don't mind sexy depictions of female iconics and NPCs when it is appropriate for their situation. I don't mind cheesecake for cheesecake's sake either. But in combat situations, a female character shouldn't have to be worried about some part of her anatomy popping out of her garb, or tripping on the hem of a dress/skirt. In my eyes, ill-considered wardrobe choices undermine her image as a capable action hero and remind me that it's likely these choices exist to, at least partially, objectify her... which undermines my immersion in the game and world.


Rysky wrote:
It doesn’t mater what the in-world justification is actually, her creators chose that outfit because it was sexy. And it also doesn’t matter that nothing sexual is brought up in the Sorcerer class write up because all the art for the Iconic of that class was designed with sex appeal in mind.

Unless you have indisputable proof that Wayne Reynolds or Paizo explicitly made the outfit for the sole purpose of sex appeal, that is purely speculation at this point.

Either way, I'm agreeing to disagree with that sentiment, because I'm certain Paizo's work ethic is above that sort of ridiculous standard.

Sovereign Court

Man this complaint gets old. It's fantasy. In a world where people can fly and shoot lightning from the palms of their hands there are still people that are upset by 2d images of fictional characters who are comfortable with showing their physique. Reality vs fantasy aside I wonder if their are women and men in the real world who do this....

How about we let creative minds create the things they want to create in the way they want to create them. Censorship is never the answer.

Now excuse me while i go finish painting the Red Sonja miniature that my wife begged me to buy her at Gencon last year...

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