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I was also pretty dissatisfied with the Aumaua art. I think they looked like derpy humans with county fair tiger facepaint on. I think they definitely need to look more physically inhuman and more amphibious, gaunt gangly limbs and shark-like teeth etc. I agree it doesn't really make sense that they have hair, much less those corn rows, which looked totally ridiculous.

 

Why would you think this? "Need"? "Make sense"?

 

Oh, right. You have no inkling of evolutionary biology.*

 

Actually, especially if there is an Aumaua companion, the race should be land-based even with maritime leanings. Otherwise it would be unreasonable for an "aquatic/amphibious" physiology to cavort through the widely ranging geographies of PE with the party. In our world, there have been plenty of land-based humans with extremely strong oceanic ways of life throughout history recorded and unrecorded, yet none of them had gills or sharp fish-tearing teeth or such from prior ancestral stock under the same living conditions. Interestingly, they all had prehensile hands and could manipulate complex tools and materials, thus removing a significant portion of natural selection. Interestingly, Aumaua look like they have prehensile hands too, if you squint hard enough.

 

*And before someone says that it's a fantasy so that much detail isn't needed, that post is entirely based on a false assumption of evolutionary needs to begin with.

 

:p

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Well, I was okay with the concept art, but now that you mention it, the Aumaua did seem like weird humans to me at first. But I don't really know what they were trying to do with them or what makes for good concepts in this case, so I didn't say anything. Nonetheless, I find this post valuable because it does a good job of collecting and detailing most criticism I've seen of the concept art, so thanks for that :)

 

Besides, there's going to be races AND subraces. In the case of the Aumaua, maybe some subraces could be more humanlike and others could have more amphibian traits, all over the spectrum around the uncanny valley? Hell, maybe this stuff could be explored in the P:E world, see how each race reacts to them. It would be interesting if the humans of the P:E world had a reaction like ours, and reacted more favorably to the aumaua subraces that were less humanlike, because of the uncanny valley effect.

 

But as I said, I know nothing about character design, and I've been cool with what has been shown so far. I'll probably be cool with whatever they come up with.

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I'd agree with almost everything of the OP except for the feedback for the Aumaua (I personally don't think having them to be more prominently amphibian would necessarily help make the race look more distinctive or interesting) and the companions' outfit critiques, simply because I'm not sure if those outfits are meant to be unique to the companions.

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I thought the OPs criticisms were measured and valid.

 

I'm fairly neutral about it, though, for the reasons Sawyer mentioned. The only one that made me roll my eyes was the corn-rowed female barbarian. It did nothing for me, even as concept art. The rest of the stuff I like. Small, fat demi-human wizards trying to look smart in ill-fitting finery is characterful and cool.

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The Aumaua chick with the battle axe. It just washed over me. Maybe because I wasn't expecting something so.... half-orcish. The wizard OTOH was kind of neat in a small, fat, ugly way. I'd like a NPC wizard like that.

 

If I could make a *tiny* suggestion to the artists and developers, I think the Aumaua is on the right track but some tweaking of facial features might do it. How about larger, almost crescent shaped eyes to evoke some sort of reptilian / aquatic heritage? Tiny nose slits? As others have said, a row of spiky little teeth? Of course, we haven't seen skin tones yet if we can have two or three tone skin or something like sludge-and-mauve coloured characters that would be cool.

 

Little changes done well are better than big ones. I'd like a race that looks non-human but not wacky.

Edited by Monte Carlo
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The rest of the stuff I like. Small, fat demi-human wizards trying to look smart in ill-fitting finery is characterful and cool.

 

I was under the impression that it's a burly Auamaua, not a fat little Orlan?

 

Can someone clear this up?

 

Hmm, I guess I imagined it more like the artists drawing a bunch of detailed possible directions and then just picking one once the backstory is nailed down. I'm mostly basing this on the behind the scenes stuff from the Lord of the Rings movies, where they pretty much drew every possible interpretation of the characters and creatures early on before finally settling on something. But they did have a much larger art team and budget, so that might be unrealistic.

 

In that case, let's give some ideas as to how we'd like the companions to turn out.

 

With Edair, they already tried to make him look a little rough and rugged. I think they should stick with that. He has the look of a bit of a lone wolf, that should be his theme. Outdoors clothing (cloak!) and lighter-than-plate armor are looking good on him. I'm obviously thinking along the line of Dunedain rangers. But he's not a noble ranger, but more of a rowdy fighter, and his gear should be a bit more worn/ ragged. Give it some stitches and holes. He's also looking p. groomed, but I'm imagining him as a guy who's brooding around the campfire and rowdy in bars (given to fits of rage), so looking a bit more dishevelled would be good.

 

Forton looks a bit like an oddball measured against the standard of the other companions. That's interesting. I think his look defines all classification right now. The only thing that bothers me a bit is the eye tattoo on his abdomen. Tats are a nice idea, but it looks p. generic/ not significant.

 

Cadegund: like I said I like the fan picture of her. Makes her look more rugged and most of all a bit fanatical. I think that's a good trope. Religion is a violently disputed matter in PE, so she should look every bit the soldier. Her armor looks a bit too 'shapely' (boob plate!) and ornamented IMO. Would prefer a more tight looking armor with possibly emphasized sharp edges that would make her look a bit more 'robotic'/ menacing.

 

Aloth looks entirely generic right now, he definitely needs some flavor. I imagine him being an Aedyr elf, who share many similarities with the humans they live among. So he could be a bit more refined and urban. Definitely not a mystical tree hugger! I think he could need a small accessory to that effect, like a watch. I imagine him being a bit foppish too. Alternatively, he could be a country aristocrat.

Edited by Sacred_Path
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I'm fairly neutral about it, though, for the reasons Sawyer mentioned. The only one that made me roll my eyes was the corn-rowed female barbarian. It did nothing for me, even as concept art.

In contrast, that one really worked for me. I'd expect a barbarian to have unusual customs and garb, and she did. The fin ridge along the crest of her head also made her look a little less human. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because you wouldn't find her looks personally appealing, doesn't mean the concept wouldn't work well in this setting.

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Good replies, everyone.

 

I'm kind of coming around on the idea of Aumaua (and Orlans I guess) who are human-based. It depends on how the world at large and the bestiary is constructed. If they go for an approach similar to D&D, Warcraft, China Mieville's Bas Lag novels, where there are tons of sentient, sapient races everywhere you look and many of them look very little like humans, then I would prefer the Aumaua and Orlans look quite different. If it's more like Dragon Age, where as far as we know there are only the three quite similar playable races plus the Qunari/kossith, then it makes sense to think of them as having a common ancestor. So in addition to Homo sapiens we would have Homo aumaua and Homo orlani all descended from the same prehistoric ape.

 

 

Sacred_path, I was also thinking about making Edair scruffier and more rugged. It depends on what they really mean by "unassuming man who keeps a low profile." It could mean that he just dresses the way that any common soldier in the world would. In which case I would suggest that they make the common soldier look at least a little more interesting (there were plenty of cool designs from the late medieval and early modern eras). It could also mean that he's deliberately dressing less flamboyantly than the common soldier, kind of like how Aragorn's costume was humbler and less ornate than all but the poorest Rohan or Gondor soldier, but in that case they should design him to be rougher and dirtier, just like Aragorn was.

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The rest of the stuff I like. Small, fat demi-human wizards trying to look smart in ill-fitting finery is characterful and cool.

 

I was under the impression that it's a burly Auamaua, not a fat little Orlan?

 

Can someone clear this up?

 

Semi is different than demi. Semi can mean "half of" whereas demi means .... "half of." :D Except demi usually is speaking about a quality and semi can be used to describe a physical attribute. Demihuman would mean half-human in quality. Semihuman could mean midget. :D

 

The Aumaua/Orlan thread was where a lot of us tried to come up with good resource images for the artists to use as guides/inspiration for their characterizations of these two races. Just thought I'd let you guys know, in case you were wondering what the rest of the forum members had already written about.

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How can one really gage the art direction of the Amaua when we don't know what the Amaua are supposed to be or thier background/lore, ancestory?

 

The pictures before the lore is explained is putting the cart before the horse. Are the Amaua aqua cat people, orc substitutes, Goliath substitutes, Whale/Dolphin people, a human off shoot, fish or from people, something else. Until I know that I have no reference with which to judge concept art.

 

So please we need a lore update for the races so we have reference points.

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How can one really gage the art direction of the Amaua when we don't know what the Amaua are supposed to be or thier background/lore, ancestory?

 

The pictures before the lore is explained is putting the cart before the horse. Are the Amaua aqua cat people, orc substitutes, Goliath substitutes, Whale/Dolphin people, a human off shoot, fish or from people, something else. Until I know that I have no reference with which to judge concept art.

 

So please we need a lore update for the races so we have reference points.

I don't think that they've nailed down the Aumaua lore yet. But good points.

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The later Sagani is the brown colored artwork while the earlier one is the shorter snow pic right ? hmm i preferred the the second version then , thought it was less typical LOTR dwarf and more inuit / kalahari bushman look.

 

Edair, the only thing I would say about him is he looks a bit soft and looks like he has had an easy life, give him some world weariness and lose a few kilos, or is he meant to be a well off human from the upper class?

 

Aloth looks ok, I like that he has long hair and that the magic looks to be a bit disgusting rather than clean floating white sphere look.

 

Fortan looks to be a nutcase, but in a good way. I think its great that he is older, but still ripped and ready for some up close and personal martial arts. I would make the tattoos on the arms and back rather than the belly button mind you. Hopefully the tattoos have magical meanings and different "rune" tattoos will be on his body depending on how you level/spec him.

 

Cagegund, looks great, really hit the spot of attractive but in no way fan service hot.

 

The only other thing i can think to add is that ediar, fortan and cagegund are all pretty caucasian looking, hopefully we can get something else for the next human companion.

 

OH yeah, i like fat wizards too, he spent his days reading magic texts and munching on sweet shrimp cakes, of course he wont be ripped.

Edited by brownypoints
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The only design I've really liked so far is Cadegund (well, except her calvary footarmor), because she really looks like a late medieval or even early renaissance character. And as that interview with Sawyer indicated, that's where they wanted to go. All the other characters (except MAYBE Aloth) aren't really set in that time, they're more very general without any special stuff that distinguishes them from any (generic?) low-fantasy world. Edair could've been wonderfull if they gave him padded armor instead of that boring leather-whatever and if they gave him other shoes/boots and a different, long but thin belt. And, for god's sake. Some sort of hat.

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The only other thing i can think to add is that ediar, fortan and cagegund are all pretty caucasian looking, hopefully we can get something else for the next human companion.

 

The thing is that they all are from the same part of the world: the Dyrwood. I know we want diversity in our games, but a lot of us want for things to make sense too. We don't need diversity just to have it. I'm a little conflicted about this: I want the world to be big and diverse, but each people should have their own place. Unless Dyrwood is some sory of "America" or late "Rome" where peoples of all cultures go to find a better life, it makes sense to try to stick to one culture per place. Also, the Vanicians are Afro-italians - so there will be that.

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

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Sacred_path, I was also thinking about making Edair scruffier and more rugged. It depends on what they really mean by "unassuming man who keeps a low profile."

 

I forgot they already had that bit down in their design. I think it's a bit unfortunate. "Unassuming man who keeps a low profile" sounds much more fitting for a ranger/ rogue. Unassuming basically means he's of average physical build, at best. Keeping a low profile means he's not the drunken revelry or fight-picking or outspoken type. Together that doesn't bode well for a fighter; it would force him to remain rather bland. I hope they reconsider that part.

 

Personally I imagine him as someone who prefers loneliness and the wilderness because he's not very socially apt and given to angry fits, as well as maybe having an agenda that requires solitude. He usually stays away from crowds but if he enters a tavern he drinks himself into a stupor and picks fights. Rage is barbarian territory of course, but still.

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Sacred_path, I was also thinking about making Edair scruffier and more rugged. It depends on what they really mean by "unassuming man who keeps a low profile."

 

I forgot they already had that bit down in their design. I think it's a bit unfortunate. "Unassuming man who keeps a low profile" sounds much more fitting for a ranger/ rogue. Unassuming basically means he's of average physical build, at best. Keeping a low profile means he's not the drunken revelry or fight-picking or outspoken type. Together that doesn't bode well for a fighter; it would force him to remain rather bland. I hope they reconsider that part.

 

Personally I imagine him as someone who prefers loneliness and the wilderness because he's not very socially apt and given to angry fits, as well as maybe having an agenda that requires solitude. He usually stays away from crowds but if he enters a tavern he drinks himself into a stupor and picks fights. Rage is barbarian territory of course, but still.

 

Perhaps that's their way of turning a trope on its head. Who says all fighters have to be loud, brawny savages? A class doesn't define your personality, while a personality can help guide you towards a class. The two should be distinguished, and I actually like what they've done with Edair.

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

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Perhaps that's their way of turning a trope on its head. Who says all fighters have to be loud, brawny savages? A class doesn't define your personality, while a personality can help guide you towards a class. The two should be distinguished, and I actually like what they've done with Edair.

 

You need to bring something to the table, though. We know what he's not (brawny and loud). But what is he then? An intellectual? Does he kill orcs ironically? A spy, or someone who deals in information? Why doesn't he have some skills that would actually make him good at that ( = why is he not a rogue)?

 

I think the fighter cliché is "loud and boisterous". I imagine him rather as being tense, focused, and a tad sociopathic (but not in a Korgan way. In a "I have a seething cold rage inside me at all times way).

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This is, I think, a problem with some of the classes and how they've been defined in the past. It's as if all sneaky characters have to be rogues, and all strong melee characters have to be fighters. We pigeonhole our characters quickly into "classes" and think that we aren't allowed to play them outside of those roles.

 

We do know that PE is moving away from rogues being the only swiss-army knives in the game, i.e. they have all the skills, and other characters not having any skills. At this point, it's too early to tel lwhat Edair is like: I don't have his character sheet in front of me. But that doesn't mean that his class should be the only defining thing about him.

 

We had a bit of a discussion about this here: http://forums.obsidi...efines-a-class/

 

As for how he can use his intelligence in battles: here is a great example from a comic that is based on PnP D&D, the Order of the Stick.

 

http://www.giantitp....s/oots0808.html

It's a big image, so I'm not going to post the whole thing here. Check out the link.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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This is, I think, a problem with some of the classes and how they've been defined in the past. It's as if all sneaky characters have to be rogues, and all strong melee characters have to be fighters. We pigeonhole our characters quickly into "classes" and think that we aren't allowed to play them outside of those roles.

 

Granted, we don't know exactly how skills are handled in PE. Could be fighters have plenty of points to spend on sneaking and lockpicking. Still, I imagine the abilities of the Rogue (like HiPS) would be much more useful to a stealthy character than the Fighter's "bouncing back from damage". We'll see where they take it from here.

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Well, if we take a look at Aragorn up until Return of the King, he could probably fit the profile of someone who's unassuming and keeps a low profile. And although he starts out as more of a Ranger archetype, by The Two Towers he could definitely be represented by a Fighter. So there you have a Fighter who is intelligent, not likely to get into drunken brawls, who has hidden secrets that will eventually be revealed, and who is reluctant to boss others around unless it's important.

 

The thing is, most of the time Aragorn has lank, greasy hair, wears old, patched clothing, and looks like he shaves by scraping a rock against his face. Those are the interesting details that make his design memorable compared to Edair. Edair doesn't necessarily need to have those specific details, but he should still have something memorable about his appearance.

 

 

I've been thinking about how much the initial designs for the companions even matter in the first place, since we'll be able to change their clothing, armor, and weapons later anyway. I think it actually still matters a great deal. First of all, because it's how we'll be introduced to the characters, so a good design makes for a good first impression. Also, I would love it if Obsidian could find a way to incorporate elements of a companion's initial appearance into any change in clothing or armor. So for example, anything that Aloth wears would be made to look slightly darker and more sinister; Cadegund's armor always incorporates symbols of her faith and hides symbols of other faiths; Sagani always has some tribal furs or jewelry on her clothing.

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Honestly...Edair exactly fits that description. I think you're looking at Aragorn from rose-tinted glasses. We have a bland looking guy without a personality to attach him to. Or are you asking for a scar across his face? How exactly would you make Edair unimpressionable but at the same time make him memorable? I think his memorable qualities come from when you deal with him in the game.

 

I actually REALLY REALLY like Edair's concept. He's the guy you don't bother because he's bland. He's got nothing that strikes out at you. It's done so perfectly that you don't even want to add him to your party. It's beautiful...*sniff* ;(

Edited by Hormalakh
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