improvements to Pathfinder Pawn boxes for 2E?


General Discussion


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So i kinda just wanted to post something to see if there was any interest in this sort of thing. I'm a huge fan of the Pathfinder Pawn Boxes, mostly because i can't afford a ton of minis. But a couple hundred cardboard cut-outs, i can handle! And they work great with pretty much any other fantasy setting TTRPG. especially when i happen to have an EXACT representation of what i'm running on a given night. i'm also all aboard the 2nd Edition hype train.

So i was wondering about how much overlap there will be on a per box basis. For those that don't know, most of the boxes come with the pawns for all the entries in the corresponding book. Bestiary 1, Bestiary 2, codex of villians etc.

But the pawn boxes available today aren't without their flaws. I've seen most feedback stating that a lot of the art seems too dark on the white background (which i can agree with), and storage issues (making it difficult to find specific pawn unless you go out of your way to sort them in some fashion). So there's room for improvement.

I can totally see a refresh of new Pawn Boxes to go along with the 2E bestiaries and such becoming an inevitability. But like i said before my income is fairly limited so if/when PF 2E comes out with new pawn boxes i'm not too excited about buying another box of cardboard pawns to get a bunch monsters and such i likely already have, just with some minor improvements.

While I doubt they'd be a straight 1 to 1 conversion of the first bestiary it'd at least wouldn't make me feel like my pawns are outdated. And the boxes i have already are pretty varied, so i likely won't be buying any 2nd edition pawn boxes unless i feel there's been some substantial improvements to the newer boxes. To be fair, this will also depend on the quality of the art and materials of the 2E pawn sets too.

So what are some other improvements that you guys would like to see to the inevitable 2E Pawn Boxes to make buying a new/replacement set more viable than the using your 1st edition boxes?

The storage issue is frankly my biggest concern, i started out rubber banding bundles of pawns together and while this saved a lot of space, it made pulling out specific pawns difficult. Then i tried plastic baggies for my NPC Codex, separated by class, which worked well but the bags themselves along with the chaotic mess inside the box itself is defeats the purpose of saving space. For now i've kept my newer boxes in their cardboard runners. Making finding monsters a LITTLE easier because they aren't nessacarily in order and a usually grouped by the size of the pawn. And the added weight of the cardboard really adds up after 20+ sheets, per box. I've heard of some people using tackle boxes, much like they use for miniatures are a viable option but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. The Pawn bases themselves have been all thrown in another plastic bag collectively because they don't need to be sorted, but it still feels really cheap to pull out a gallon ziploc every time i need a base.

The other option is to just use the PDF's and print them out, which i haven't tried yet but i also have a cheapo printer and ink can be just as expensive depending on how much color the art itself has. So that's out.

Lastly, i'd love to see a better option for online games. I'm currently running a Starfinder game on roll20, and while the Alien Archive is available, i'd like the option just to buy just the token-pack from them instead of dropping 40 bucks for a book/PDF i already own. I'm also looking into fantasy grounds so at least i could get a discount to purchase the paizo content there. However, that would also require convincing my players to switch VTTs. And while that debate has it's own Pro's and Cons, it seems unlikely because we've been using roll20 for several years now and it' just what my players are use to.


Some sort of dividers for the box would be nice after punching all the pawns. I had a friend make me some with a 3D printer, but I know that not all folks have access to that.


I don't really see a need to make new versions of existing creatures. I guess there are some where some new art would be cool, but your PF1 pawns should be just as viable in PF2. Instead, I imagine they will continue to come up with new monsters for new bestiaries, and make campaign specific pawn boxes.

As for storage, I've just always kept my pawns in their cardboard runners. They pretty much always fit back into the same place you punched them out from, and even stay there very well with the exception of some Huge pawns.

The bases I've largely moved into a cloth dice pouch. I have found a bait and tackle box is the ideal way to store dice-- especially in PF2 where I may need to pull out 6d12 at a moment's notice.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I have found a bait and tackle box is the ideal way to store dice-- especially in PF2 where I may need to pull out 6d12 at a moment's notice.

+5 Greataxe FTW. XD Easily one of my favorite changes to come out of PF2. XD


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Planpanther wrote:
Some sort of dividers for the box would be nice after punching all the pawns. I had a friend make me some with a 3D printer, but I know that not all folks have access to that.

i could see something like that working fairly easily, like if they just added one or two more sheets dedicated to slotting together as dividers. Not to mention that there's definitely room in the box for them.

Although i'm kinda jelly u got some 3D printed ones.


Edge93 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I have found a bait and tackle box is the ideal way to store dice-- especially in PF2 where I may need to pull out 6d12 at a moment's notice.
+5 Greataxe FTW. XD Easily one of my favorite changes to come out of PF2. XD

I mean that's a +2 great axe on a crit, and I've found boss monsters crit pretty often and often use different damage dice for iterative attacks. So having to grab a big fistful of d-Whatever is really common as a GM. The bait and tackle box is great for that stuff.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've used ziplock bags to separate the PCs/NPCs/People in one snack bag, outright monsters in another snack bag, and the bases in another. These are all placed in a little school supplies gradeschool art box. (yay to having school aged kids) I'd have to go take a look, but I think the large creatures are presently either in a separate ziplock, or might be sitting loose in the box since I have so few of them they weren't a problem to simply sit there. I can't recall off the top of my head.

I would think it would be difficult to print them out from PDF and make them actually work as pawns very easily. But maybe someone knows how to easily get them printed out and on thick enough cardboard on both sides to end up looking right.

If they stay consistent between bestiaries which monsters are introduced in the bestiaries the pawns might remain valid between versions. If they switch things up, and don't put out a 'new' Pathfinder 2 only pawns collection of primarily new ones, you might get stuck buying a new P2 Bestiary 1 and getting mostly the same monsters you had already to get the few new ones you want. Maybe if they provided a smaller option to get a 'new revision pawns' pack that was smaller, but only had the new ones and not old ones might be an option they could offer.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Loreguard wrote:
I would think it would be difficult to print them out from PDF and make them actually work as pawns very easily. But maybe someone knows how to easily get them printed out and on thick enough cardboard on both sides to end up looking right.

It's actually quite easy. Check this thread or this thread for some ideas.


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For storage, I bought 3-ring binders and plastic page sleeves. When I need to find a pawn, I flip through the appropriate Bestiary binder to find it, pop it out of the cardboard backer, then when I'm done with it I just put it back where it came from (the page numbers printed on the pawn help with finding the right spot). Added bonus is that it fits on my bookshelf with everything else, though it does take up slightly more space than the box would. For the bases, I have some cases with little dividers in them that I got at a home improvement store and filled them up with the difference sizes of base. The rest I just leave in the original box, since I'm unlikely to need several dozen at a time.

As for improvements to the boxes (and related to storing them, above), it'd be nice to split up the bases and the pawns. I have the first 4 boxes, plus the NPC box and the Alien Archive box for Starfinder. I have more bases than I could ever possibly use.

Also, some Gargantuan and Colossal creatures would be nice. I know they're left out to maximize the more common critters, but it'd be nice to have 1 or 2 sheets of them per box.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Foeclan wrote:

For storage, I bought 3-ring binders and plastic page sleeves. When I need to find a pawn, I flip through the appropriate Bestiary binder to find it, pop it out of the cardboard backer, then when I'm done with it I just put it back where it came from (the page numbers printed on the pawn help with finding the right spot). Added bonus is that it fits on my bookshelf with everything else, though it does take up slightly more space than the box would. For the bases, I have some cases with little dividers in them that I got at a home improvement store and filled them up with the difference sizes of base. The rest I just leave in the original box, since I'm unlikely to need several dozen at a time.

Funny you should mention that actually! just today i came across a video from Black Magic Craft using the same method. i might give it a try!

Black Magic Craft Link

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