Back when Wizards Of The Coast first launched their (at the time) new D20 version of Dungeons & Dragons one of the somewhat subtle concepts they introduced was the branding of "iconic" characters. Basically the idea was that anytime an illustration or a game play example called for a human fighter they would use the same human fighter thus creating a sense of continuity over a broad range of relatively unconnected material. This idea has since been ported over to Pathfinder where the same 4 characters can be seen over and over again and are now the 4 starting PCs in the awesome Pathfinder Beginner Box.
First up let me just say I really like this idea. It's not a game play mechanic and it's not a real world-building sort of thing but it almost creates an unspoken narrative and I like the fact that it feels like a throwback to 1st edition D&D when Gary Gygax's original PCs all got featured in the Rogues Gallery supplement.
As I close in on my first Pathfinder game for 2014 (just have to set a date) I realised that I would have to get a male human fighter miniature ready for one of my players to use. I immediately got out the fantastic Valeros Iconic Human Fighter figure Reaper did for Pathfinder. The player in question actually played Valeros about a year ago when we played through the Beginner Box but at the time we used the Pathfinder pre-painted miniature.
Valeros is a great miniature armed with two melee weapons and a bow as well as wearing a fairly generic set of medium/heavy armour. I went with a fairly earthy colour pallet as Valeros doesn't really seem like a flashy kind of adventurer.
Painting up Valeros and reflecting on the "iconic" character idea got me thinking back to D&D and I got out my old figs to re-base and touch up Regdar the "iconic" human fighter of D&D 3rd edition. Regdar has a pretty special place in my miniature collection as he has been re-based four times now and represented five different characters. He's just a great generic fighter figure who none-the-less has some fantastic detailing and character about him.
Looking at the two figures together it made me feel like I've got the male human fighter angle covered without having a massive assortment of figures. It also made me think that every player and GM should have two figures like this in their collection.
Which do you like better? Sword & shield or two-weapons and bow?