A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

17 October 2013

[From the Mailbag] The Unboxing of Golarion!

I tore into my free booster packs last night as soon as I got in the door. All in all, not a bad haul: there were only 2 duplicates, and both duplicates were of useful miniatures. I'm getting more enamored of these sculpts as time goes by. The first couple releases just didn't impress me. The last few, however, have had some amazing pieces.

For example, I like what Paizo/WizKids is doing with clear plastic. The two goblins in this set are carrying torches, made from colored clear plastic, and the flames look really nice. One of the other minis from this set (not received in my boosters, but put on order a few hours ago) uses clear plastic to denote a slimy outer covering. Earlier sets have used the clear plastic for see-through housings on golems and similar miniatures. It adds a layer to the 'realism' that is difficult to get in metal unless you really spend a lot of time, money, and talent.

I can hear you saying, "Yeah, yeah. You like the sculpts. Get on with it and share your loot with us!" OK, maybe you aren't saying that. In fact, if you are, I may have to worry a bit. But without further ado, here's the accounting:

First of all, the two goblins. Both are 'commons.' These are called "Goblin Pyro 1" and "Goblin Pyro 2". The poses are slightly different, just enough to differentiate them. Not sure what makes them pyros, except for the torches. They don't have explosives strapped to them or anything, after all. But they'll make a nice addition to my Pathfinder goblin collection. I got two of Pyro #1, by the way.

[Aside: many people complain about the look of the goblins. It's true that that they look a bit cartoonish, and I will be the first to admit that I really don't like much of Wayne Reynolds' artwork. But I like what he and Paizo did with the goblins. I've actually considered statting them up as an alternate race of goblins. Hey, if we can have Lloth-touched goblins, and goblins of various colors, why not another race to account for the oddly over-sized footballish heads and sharp teeth? In fact, I think I'll have to stat them up. Yeah.... In all my free time. End aside.]

Then there were the kobolds. Like goblins, can you really ever have enough kobolds? Isn't there something strangely satisfying for a DM to plop down vast handfuls of these little beasties to overwhelm your PCs? And I won't even mention Tucker's kobolds here. (OK, I realize I just did, but ignore that. Don't summon them. Please.) I was able to pull four of the five kobold sculpts from this set. In order from left to right in the picture: Kobold Archer (common); Kobold Warrior (common); Kobold Mystic (uncommon); and the Kobold King Merlokrep (rare). There's one more kobold in the set, the uncommon Kobold Chieftain. I didn't get him, but he's already on order. (GRIN)

Then there are the obligatory orcs. I pulled one of each of the orcs in the set. I'm not sure I like what they've done with these orcs. They're an odd design. They're not pig-nosed, but neither are they the more simian orcs we've been given lately. One of them, the orc archer, actually looks like a green human, for all intents. Ah, well, they're place-holders for cannon-fodder, right? All three of the orcs are commons and are, from left to right, the Orc Mystic, the Orc Soldier, and the Orc Archer.

Then there's the Bugbear. I must confess...I REALLY don't like what they did here. To me, bugbears are big shaggy critters. Well, this guy's certainly big; he pushes the limit of 'medium' right to the edge. But he has a puppy dog face. Honest, that's what I first thought of: a droopy puppy dog face. And a puppy with an underbite, too. And his cape seems almost like a carapace. It's not a BAD miniature, I suppose, it's just not a bugbear. This is one that I will definitely be statting up as something new and different for my campaign(s).

Now to the demons. This set has four demons in it; I pulled three of the four. The three uncommons, of course. The rare Fire Demon is something akin to a balrog. What I got were, left to right, the Greater Death Demon, the Serpent Demon, and the Toad Demon. Now, the Greater Death Demon made me actually squeal a bit when I pulled him out of the box. Imagine a humanoid vampire bat that stands large-sized compared to a human being. Add two more arms. You have the Greater Death Demon. He can easily double as some strange, massive, vampire-kin. The Toad Demon could easily be a massive brute of a creature; he's a solid critter with a nice bit of natural armor down his back and arms. In fact, he looks more like a snapping-turtle demon than a toad.

Speaking of toads and turtles, there were some animal-types in the set too. From left to right are the common Akata, the uncommon Snow Leopard, the uncommon Hodag, and the uncommon Seugathi. The Pathfinder wiki says that the Akata "are terrifying, animalistic predators from the dark tapestry beyond Golarion's solar system." Picture a dog crossed with Star Wars' Kit Fisto, then painted blue. "The bite of an akata can infect its victim with its own microscopic young and is part of the akata's breeding cycle. The young once inside the host function like disease, gradually killing their host." Wow. Umm.... The snow leopard, on the other hand, seems a bit too...sturdy...for a snow leopard. It's bulky, not sleek and swift. I'm not sure I like the sculpt. The Seugathi, on the other hand, is pretty cool. It answers the age-old question of "What do you get when you cross a graboid with a giant millipede?" Again, the Pathfinder wiki helps me out here, explaining that they "are a subterranean race of intelligent, tentacled worms that serve even more bizarre, alien masters in the darkest depths of the earth. These monstrous creatures follow strange orders that often seem completely insane to humans."

I know, I skipped the Hodag. That's because I had to do a little more research than just the Pathfinder wiki to learn about this one. I had to go back to Paizo's Pathfinder Battles preview for the set. Erik Mona calls the Hodag the "menace of Northern Wisconsin." He goes on to explain, "The Hodag got its start in an 1890s hoax, in which a local prankster described the creature to an area newspaper like this: 'the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end.'" Apparently it appears in Bestiary 3. [Aside: Paizo has also mined real-world mythology and used the Jersey Devil for inspiration for one of its minis in this set: the Sandpoint Devil. End aside.]

That's eighteen of the minis I got from this set--just over half. For sake of space and time, I'll finish up the rest of them tomorrow.

**Pictures courtesy of www.pathfinderminis.com, a place I never knew existed until this week.


Peter V. Dell'Orto said...

Thanks for doing the pics and review. Some of them look worth picking up for my games.

The Spooky Whisk said...

They look very happy with their torches. I love that you opened them straight away.

Thanks for your nice comment.

Tim Shorts said...

Stop it! Stop it! I...need...to...resist...miniatures. Argggg.

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