Pathfinder Art Book


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Grand Lodge

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Just enjoying reading the Bestiary 6 and I am gobsmacked with the excellent art and design that went into these creatures and I was wondering, has Paizo released all it's art in a book that I can put on the coffee table for guests to enjoy?


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They did for their art in Dragon magazine. Thirteen years later, it's priced at $4, and they still have copies left to sell.

Silver Crusade

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Joana wrote:
They did for their art in Dragon magazine. Thirteen years later, it's priced at $4, and they still have copies left to sell.

Yep, sadly Art Books don't sell that well, despite being awesome.


Meanwhile, "Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History" seems to be doing pretty well. One of my players bought himself a copy, and my library has copies on the shelves.

Reading that was quite a tour through D&D history, and it got me wondering why we couldn't have a Pathfinder Visual History. I'd absolutely buy a copy, as long as the Wayne Reynolds content was kept to a minimum, and all the other excellent artists who have contributed were given their due.

Silver Crusade

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Define "doing well".


D&D just has a lot more history behind it, so a "look at the development of the art over time" book has more impact.

And it has the D&D brand bonus.

Really a poor comparison.


Why the hate for a proposal to celebrate Paizo's art? This thread was started by someone praising their artwork, and I agree it's good enough to warrant a standalone book.

As for history, Paizo has been doing this for what, twenty years? That's certainly enough time for a retrospective.

Silver Crusade

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No one "hates" the idea, I love art books. That doesn't change the fact that they don't sell enough to justify making them.


I'm not sure which books you're talking about. Every movie and video game has its own "Art of" book, so clearly there's a market.

Silver Crusade

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*blink*

1) Movies and video games are more popular than tabletop games.

2) Pathfinder is not the most popular nor the most well known tabletop game.

3) Again, just because they're made doesn't mean they sell well.


The D&D art book suggests otherwise, judging by its sales ranking on Amazon.

And in the bookstores I visit, Pathfinder has had a whole shelf of its own for years. That's hardly obscure, and it's not a market to dismiss out of hand.

Silver Crusade

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And Paizo has two art books that haven’t sold well. I’m not dismissing the market, the exact opposite.


And what are those books? Joana mentioned one, from thirteen years ago, which I assume you're including in your count. What's the other one?

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Visions of WAR, 8 years now at half price.


There’s always a risk focusing on a single artist, because not everyone enjoys the same style. I’m not a Wayne Reynolds fan, so this book wouldn’t appeal to me. And from reading the reviews it’s clear the book had some production issues which affected image quality.

But there’s much more to Paizo’s body of art than just one artist, and an anthology of artwork would showcase the diversity of talent while appealing to a wider audience. There’s a good precedent for this: the Spectrum series of fantasy art books, which is now on its 25th volume. They started in 1994 and they’ve been going strong ever since.

Each Spectrum book usually features several pieces commissioned for gaming companies. I’m sure Paizo has more than enough quality art to assemble an equivalent volume, and the anthology approach would help bring broader exposure.

Silver Crusade

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They tried that with the Art of Dragon Magazine book, it didn’t work.


Do you have a link for that one? And when was that one published?


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It's the one I linked to above, from 2006.

product blurb wrote:
For 30 years, Dragon magazine has published genre-defining fantasy masterpieces. This beautiful treasury features classic pieces by undisputed masters such as Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, Jeff Easley, Wayne Reynolds, Brom, Todd Lockwood, Tony DiTerlizzi, Tim Hildebrandt, Daniel Horne, Denis Beauvais, Clyde Caldwell and more!

Silver Crusade

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The Art of Dragon Magazine, down to $4.

I wanna say since 2006?

Edit: ninjaed by Joana


I already noted that one in one of my posts above, since I saw Joana's original link.

As I noted, that was from thirteen years ago, and that seems to have been a compilation of even older items. Fantasy art has come a long way since then, and Paizo's artists have produced some excellent work in recent years.

The two counterexamples given so far, The Art of Dragon Magazine and the Wayne Reynolds book, seem to have been consciously marketed to a niche audience. Spectrum has proven there's sustained interest in fantasy illustration, and there's no reason Paizo can't tap into that interest.

Silver Crusade

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J. A. wrote:
Fantasy art has come a long way since then,
What does this even mean?
Quote:
The two counterexamples given so far, The Art of Dragon Magazine and the Wayne Reynolds book, seem to have been consciously marketed to a niche audience. Spectrum has proven there's sustained interest in fantasy illustration, and there's no reason Paizo can't tap into that interest.

How is Pathfinder players a less niche audience than Dungeons & Dragons players?


You're making a false parallel, since at the time Art of Dragon was published Pathfinder didn't exist.

And of course I never made any comparison between Pathfinder and D&D players. I'm pointing out that the two books mentioned above were evidently marketed to the RPG community, rather than to a broader audience.

Silver Crusade

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???

How would a book of Pathfinder art appeal beyond more than the RPG community than a book of Dungeons & Dragons art would?


It would be great if we could get feedback about this from someone on Paizo staff. I know Vic Wertz has made some very illuminating posts on publishing decisions for other Paizo products.

Silver Crusade

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The very first link Joanna provided has Vic commenting on it.


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J. A. wrote:
It would be great if we could get feedback about this from someone on Paizo staff. I know Vic Wertz has made some very illuminating posts on publishing decisions for other Paizo products.

Also, on art books.

20 September 2008

Vic Wertz wrote:
Art books are a bit of a hard sell, I'm afraid. It's funny—it's one of those things that everybody wants to publish, but they just never really work out all that well, financially speaking. I think Pathfinder will have to be a much bigger brand for that to happen.

9 April 2009

Vic Wertz wrote:
Tigger_mk4 wrote:
As a suggestion for those of us who love the art but don't mind an art book....how about an Art of Golarion book ?

Art books are a tough, tough sell. Believe me, we've tried, both here at Paizo and at other publishers. No matter how popular the brand is, it's hard to succeed with a gaming art book.

22 January 2010

Vic Wertz wrote:

I'll tell you all now, when it comes to this product, I'm the one that's going to need to be convinced that it's a good idea. I've been in the industry for 15 years, and customers are always clamoring for art books, yet every time we do one, the sales are pretty much always disappointing. Kind of like requests for T-Shirts that aren't black—everybody says they want them, but nobody actually buys them.

Some of you might remember that we did an Art of Dragon book while we were still publishing the magazines. That's actually one of the most successful art books I've ever had any involvement with... but the fact that we still have inventory on it several years after we lost the magazine license should tell you something. And I fully expect that the Art of Pathfinder would be a harder sell than an official D&D product was a few years ago.

24 January 2010

Vic Wertz wrote:

I'll give you another reason why I'm resistant to art books for Pathfinder in particular: because we designate our rules content as Open Game Content under the OGL, that means that other folks can republish all of our rules for free. Take the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook—you can get everything you really need to play out of that book for free online.

So, since you can get the rules content for free, we need to give you some reasons to buy the product that they came from—especially in the Pathfinder RPG line, where the books are almost all rules. And that's one big reason why we don't generally make the art available outside the products—art is one of the few things that you can currently only get by buying the products, in most cases.

31 August 2010

Vic Wertz wrote:
Triga wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice to see a book filled only with the art of the Pathfinder game. They could put a caption under each picture or a paragraph to explain it a little. Also from this could spring a pathfinder graphic novel series or something.

We talke about doing this every so often... the problem is that gaming art books just never sell as well as anybody would like to think they do.

On the other hand, they're relatively easy and inexpensive to make (since we already own all the art), so it's bound to happen eventually...

1 March 2011

Vic Wertz wrote:
Triga wrote:

I was looking at my advanced players guide, and I got an idea for a new product. I was thinking about a novel, hardcover, and the size of the Pathfinder rule books.

I was thinking this book could contain art work like in the rule books to illustrate the story in the book. Obviously there would be lees art than in a graphic novel, but just nice large illustrations for climactic points in the novel or big battle scenes.

I would by this in a heart beat, as well as an Art of Pathfinder book.

just my thoughts

I think we need to prove that our $9.99 novels work before we can even think about a $35 novel.

Frankly, gaming art books never do as well as you'd think. Case in point: we still have copies of 2006's The Art of Dragon Magazine available, and that's after pricing it with a steep discount a while back.

19 August 2011

Vic Wertz wrote:
Nodnarb wrote:
Any chances of an "Art of Pathfinder" book?
I'll tell ya... art books generally don't sell well. (And the fact that we still have this one in stock after all these years should tell you something...)

29 August 2011

Vic Wertz wrote:
Valegrim wrote:

If Paizo made a calendar with a lot of neat, high quality Pathfinder pics for each month; I would probably buy it, others probably would as well. I like a good calendar with our gaming genre pics.

just a thought in case you guys think about making one.

In my experience, calendars are like art books and non-black T-shirts—they never sell anywhere near as well as most people would like to think. Plus, the fact that you pretty much have just a three-month window to sell them makes it very difficult to get the print run sized right. And any delay in the schedule then makes even the right number wrong.

My advice would be to make use of our Community Use Policy and look for one of those places that lets you make your own calendar.

17 December 2011

Vic Wertz wrote:
People keep asking for art books, and we keep saying that they don't sell. This may be your one and only chance to prove us wrong on that.

19 October 2015

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kor - Orc Scrollkeeper wrote:
There are so many people constantly asking for huge minis, I'm uncertain if this was fully the deciding factor.

If there's one thing that my many years in the industry have taught me, it's that there is often a huge gap between what people ask for and what actually sells well when you offer it. (See also: art books, posters, and T-shirts in colors other than black.)

But ultimately, Paizo doesn't control this—in general, WizKids determines what kinds of products to produce, then we offer suggestions for the specifics. We do frequently ask for them to consider new categories (and old ones too), and they occasionally say yes, but we simply don't get to dictate that they Make Huges Now.


Thanks, Joana, I appreciate your archival efforts there.

Most of those quotes are from ten years ago, so I'd still like to hear what Paizo staff would say today.


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I wish Vic wasn’t so wish-washy and could just stake out a consistent position.
Geez.


Not called for, and not what I'm saying.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Nothing has changed as far as we're aware.


Less illuminating than hoped for, but I appreciate the response.


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J. A. wrote:
Not called for, and not what I'm saying.

Sorry if that seemed directed at you at all - I wasn't having a go at you in any way. I've bought all three of the art books Paizo have produced and will buy any in the future too.

It's just I was impressed by Vic's consistent wording, since he's been answering basically the same questions for years. Not sure any of my positions have been that consistent - even in the things I know a lot about. :)

I was also impressed with Joana's search-and-collate skills.

Grand Lodge

It's a real pity everything isn't together in one place. I assume there is some licencing issues with some art works. If something does appear in the future I would happily jump on it; I am already smitten with PF2's art so maybe we'll have more luck there?

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