‘Pathfinder’ Miniatures Review: ‘Rusty Dragon Inn’

Reading Time: 13 minutes
Rusty Dragon Inn
Photo from Paizo site.

All good adventures start and end in a raucous pub. With the Rusty Dragon Inn Pathfinder Battles miniatures, Paizo, the makers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, teamed with Wizkids to provide a wealth of figures and dungeon dressing for your very own miniature adventurers’ hang-out.

The Rusty Dragon Inn, named after the key inn from Rise of the Runelords, is the 10th edition to the Pathfinder Battles sets, a line of prepainted miniatures produced in cooperation with WizKids, Inc. As is really necessary to keep prices low when producing miniatures they are primarily sold in random booster packs containing four figures, including one large (a figure with a 2″ round base) and three small or medium creatures (1″ base). The booster packs cost $15.99 on Paizo’s site (slightly cheaper on Amazon). A brick contains 8 boosters for a total of 32 miniatures at $114.99 (quite a bit cheaper on Amazon), and a case is four bricks for a total of 128 miniatures for $399.99. So, for a case you’re looking at a measly $3.13 per miniature. Each Pathfinder Battles set also has a huge miniature that can be purchased separately; in the past it has usually been some boss-monster, but this time they made a bar!

Rusty Dragon Inn
Purchasing a case of ‘Pathfinder Battles Rusty Dragon Inn Miniatures’ gives you the opportunity to purchase this bar! This extra piece usually becomes available to everyone after a period of exclusivity. Photo from the Paizo Site.

With regard to getting the whole set of figures in a case, Pazio states, “Purchasers should get no to very few duplicate figures in a brick. Buyers who purchase factory-sealed cases should get a nearly complete set of figures. (As with any randomized product, collation is not guaranteed.)

Specific singles are often available on the Paizo site, as well as on Amazon and other sources. So, while it’s a random product, you can usually get just that one figure you want to represent your character, or complete your set. The GM that needs a horde of goblins, for instance, could also benefit from the singles available.

WizKids has, in the past few years, really become the de facto leader in pre-painted miniatures, generating miniatures with great poses and, in-general, extremely good paint jobs. Kyra from the first Pathfinder licensed Wizkids miniatures product, The Beginner Box Heroes Miniatures set, is the standard that all other plastic pre-painted miniatures should aspire to achieve. Kyra has a dynamic pose, multiple colors applied well, and great detail done with tampo printing, a process where stamps are used to apply detail. You can see the results of this process on the sun and other symbols on Kyra’s robe in the image below.

Kyra Prepainted Miniature
WizKid’s Kyra is the gold standard by which all pre-painted miniatures should be measured. Image by Ryan Hiller.

Eric Mona of Paizo also helps ensure that all of the Pathfinder licensed figures are high-quality and fit the needs of the players. The Paizo blog has numerous posts concerning the figures including this behind-the-scenes look at the process.

Prior sets were themed on various adventure paths such as Rise of the Runelords or Skull and Shackles, while others focused on popular character styles and monsters such as Legends of Golarion. The Rusty Dragon Inn set focuses on the adventures in the exciting time before and after their adventuring. When they’re meeting that hooded-quest-giver in the tavern, or returning from a quest to spend their spoils. As with prior sets, many of the designs are taken straight from the superb art in the rulebooks.

Many of the figures are based off of the existing 'Pathfinder' art. The farmer from 'The Rusty Dragon Inn' is from the Core Rulebook. Image by Ryan Hiller.
Many of the figures are based off of the existing ‘Pathfinder’ art. The farmer from ‘The Rusty Dragon Inn’ set is from the Core Rulebook. Image from ‘Pathfinder Core Rulebook’. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

The Rusty Dragon Inn Pathfinder Battles set has 53 possible unique miniatures. This includes repaints of two miniatures from a prior sets, Feiya the witch and King Irovetti. So, truly new miniatures consist of 45 figures including the bar, and six pieces of dungeon dressing/furniture. You can see all of the available miniatures on a single page on the Pathfinder site. PathfinderMinis.com also has a nice layout depicting most of the miniatures. Their page uses the digital models, not real miniatures, for their pictures.

Paizo was kind enough to send GeekDad a Brick including eight booster packs for a total of 32 miniatures for review. A brick is available on Paizo.com for 114.99 or on Amazon for a little less at the time of this writing, 104.95 with Prime shipping. In my brick, I received just three duplicates; the owlbear, the dancing girl, and the bunyip, for a total of 29 unique miniatures.

View post on imgur.com


In the rest of this post I’ll show you in detail the figures I received. Instead of giving some rating, I’m going to provide images so you can make your own judgement as to the usefulness of each figure for your collections and gaming. With each image there will be a link to an animated gif showing a 360-degree view of the figure. Click the “360-degree view” link to see an animated image like the one above. I also have a Rusty Dragon Inn album on imgur if you want to see all the animated gifs at one time. I’m working on my 360-degree-animated-gif workflow and, in the near future, will create a detailed post describing how I’m using LEGO Mindstorms for a photography turntable.

All images in this post (except the bar, and the header image) are pictures of the miniatures I actually received. So, these are paints as you could expect to receive. There is, of course, variation between individual miniatures.

KoboldDevilspeaker

Kobold Devilspeaker (figure 1 of 45) : 360-degree view : The Kobold Devilspeaker is an interesting figure that would see good use for any GM presenting Kobold-like adversaries. Look closely at the 360 degree view and you can see his nice row of sharp little teeth.


 

GhoulCultist
Ghoul Cultist (figure 2 of 45) : 360-degree view : I could see this figure coming out to represent many an undead foe. I could even see a player choosing this to represent his necromancer or some other character of questionable disposition.


 

Farmer
Farmer (Figure 4 of 45) : 360-degree view : This guy would have seen action in most every campaign I’ve ever played. There are frequently angry mobs (I just fought off one such mob in Carrion Crown), or representing NPCs standing around town. The Farmer would be an excellent and often-used addition to any GM’s collection. He could even make an interesting scythe-wielding character for a player. As depicted earlier in this post, the figure is an excellent representation of the source art from the Core Rulebook.


 

VampireSpawn
Vampire Spawn 5/45 : 360-degree view : A fine Vampire Spawn, but also useful for representing various undead, this figure would see good use in most GM’s collections as undead are a frequently encountered foe.


 

ServingGirl
Serving Girl 6/45 : 360-degree view : Again, so many adventures start, end, or at least pass through a bar, and many of those visits often end in fisticuffs; this figure would see frequent use in most the campaigns I have participated in, with her serving up her tankards while the fray continued. The Serving Girl is a great figure for my Pathfinder Ultimate Intrigue vigilante playtest character for Pathfinder Society: Dolly Saville, a barmaid by day, superhero by night. She was almost more fun to play as the barmaid.


 

Bunyip
Bunyip 7/45 x2 : 360-degree view : Eric Mona says in one of his miniatures updates, “Did you know that no one has ever made a prepainted miniature of a Bunyip? Bunyips show up in a surprisingly large number of Pathfinder adventures.” I received two bunyips; sadly my players have already been through the bunyip section of Rise of the Runelords, but I’m happy to hear that they are apparently used frequently and therefore a good GM purchase. I don’t see much use for him from a player perspective! Maybe as a summons or animal companion in a water-based campaign. Check out his scarring and wicked teeth in the 360 degree image.


 

Cutpurse
Cutpurse 9/45 : 360-degree view : This excellent figure (a lefty!) will see heavy use. I anticipate I’ll see this two-weapon fighter on many a PFS table. For the player, he’d represent an excellent fighter, rogue, ranger, or many other classes. For the GM, I see the cutpurse figure representing all sorts of minions or even big-bads and will likely be recruited for many Aspis Consortium jobs. He has some great detail and a flowing cape that you can see in the animated gif.


 

Guard
Guard 10/45 : 360-degree view : Again, there’s so much time spent in towns that this guard would see heavy use as an extra. For the GM, this is an excellent addition for that reason. For the player, I could see this as a great reach-weapon fighter-type.


 

DancingGirl
Dancing Girl 11/45 x2 : 360-degree view : The Dancing Girl is great as some tavern or town NPC, but could also be modified slightly with an added weapon or two to represent the much-overused dex-to-damage, dervish dancer. Almost makes me want to roll one and modify this figure. So, great choice that could see use by the GM and the player.


 

BugbearLurker
Bugbear Lurker 13/45 : 360-degree view : This two-fisted bugbear is your standard monstrous humanoid that would see quite a bit of table time playing a wealth of baddies from bugbear to orcs. A good stand-in for many creatures, and a fine addition to any GM’s collection.


 

GnomeWizard
Gnome Wizard 14/15 : 360-degree view : Gnomes are a pretty under-represented race miniatures-wise, and this guy would make a good rogue, wizard, fighter, or representative of many other classes. Once you get to gnome size, the figures are so tiny, it must be hard to get any detail showing at all. This little guy is pretty good, but I would have liked to see a bit more face. He needs a mouth (a modification I can certainly make), but I like his active pose and wild hair (that matches his gloves, no less).


 

KoboldTrapmaker
Kobold Trapmaker 15/45 : 360-degree view : Excellent figure! He has good detail throughout, especially for such a small figure. I have a player running a kobold in my Rise of the Runelords game and this may become her new figure. For the GM, this would see good use as kobolds are a frequent foe.


 

DwarfBard
Dwarf Bard 16/45 : 360-degree view : Dwarvish bard, what is there not to like! I always wanted to play a percussion bard, though you can’t fight while playing (it’s why most bards sing!). If you look at the animated gif, this minstrel is also sporting a lyre. This guy would make good townfolk for a GM (or possibly a specific baddie’s musical accompaniment), and is a good start for a character concept for a player.


 

DwarfWizard
Dwarf Wizard 17/45 : 360-degree view : A great dwarf to represent a player or foe of arcane or divine magic. I just noticed there’s a great deal of red hair in this batch of minis!


 

Aristocrat
Aristocrat 18/45 : 360-degree view : I see many a verbal battle with this figure once Pathfinder’s Ultimate Intrigue is released next month. The Aristocrat could also make a good wizard or investigator player character, as a couple of examples.


 

RidingDog
Riding Dog 21/45 : 360-degree view : We promptly did some modifications to put a goblin rider on this riding dog. My son is playing a goblin paladin in Carrion Crown. He’s pretty much a min/minner: “Charisma? I’m a PALADIN, I don’t need no stinkin’ charisma!”  In the first module he picked up a riding dog. So, voila!

ConvertedDog
With a little work I removed the goblin from his goblin dog. Some tacky putty keeps him on the dog, while allowing me to remove him for when he dismounts. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

 

Merchant
Merchant 22/45 : 360-degree view : Again, the Rusty Dragon Inn did a great job providing miniatures that will come out sometime during most campaigns. As a great addition to any GM’s miniatures horde, this guy could see action in towns or taverns. As a player, the merchant may be repurposed for an alchemist or a wizard, for instance.


 

CityWatchCommander
City Watch Commander 24/45 : 360-degree view : The City Watch Commander is modeled after Kasadei the Magnimarian City Guard from Pathfinder Comics: City of Secrets. This is another figure I anticipate seeing on many PFS gaming tables. She’d make a great paladin, ranger, fighter, inquisitor, rogue; the list goes on.

CityWatchCommander


 

Kirrix
Kirrix 27/45 : 360-degree view : This menacing beast has a great active pose with an imposing bite ready to take out some hapless adventurer. I’d enjoy watching the faces of my players as I slapped this bad-boy on the table. The Kirrix is a large figure.


 

FrostGiantIceMage
Frost Giant Ice Mage 28/45 : 360-degree view : The giant is sporting a great tampo tattoo on his chest. Giants are pretty common in campaigns and I anticipate him being useful later in my Rise of the Runelords campaign. Over three inches tall, this figure has a large 2×2 inch base.


 

BugbearFleshGlutton
Bugbear Flesh Glutton 29/45 : 360-degree view : This guy is pretty big, with a large 2×2 inch base, and would make a good bugbear, orc, or ogre, for instance. He’ll also be seeing use in my Rise of the Runelords campaign, when I need a wealth of ogres for The Hook Mountain Massacre.


 

FleshGolem
Flesh Golem 30/45 : 360-degree view : This figure would strike terror in the hearts of many a player. Check out the 360 degree animated gif to see the detail on his gruesomely fleshy arm. It’s wonderfully detailed in a gory way. I would prefer he was sized more in-line with a standard flesh golem as described in the Bestiary. This figure is three inches tall, 15 feet in game terms. From its description in the Bestiary however, “A flesh golem stands 8 feet tall.” I would prefer him to be around 2 inches, still imposing, but not obviously oversized. This figure would certainly make your players question whatever actions had brought them to this huge threat though, and his base is 2×2 inches (10 foot by 10 foot) as is appropriate for a large figure.


 

Gorgon
Gorgon 31/45 : 360-degree view : If you need a gorgon this armored bovine fits the bill nicely. All that tasty meat under that armor. I’d love to see an “Ecology of the Gorgon”… Oh hey, just Googled that and it’s in Dragon Magazine issue #97. That’s one of my favorite Dragon Magazine covers.


 

Owlbear
Beaky the Owlbear 32of45 x2 : 360-degree view : This guy is posed mid-devastating swipe like his image from the Bestiary. Beaky, like the flesh golem, is also much larger than a Pathfinder owlbear should be, “A full-grown male can stand as tall as 8′.” This figure is nearly three inches tall, 15 feet in game terms. Beaky is a named character from a Paizo adventure path and there is nothing special about his size in the module. While this is an imposing figure with a great pose, texture, and paint, I’d prefer my figures the size they are in-game. Of course, since I have this great-looking 15-foot-tall beast, maybe my players need to run across a dire-owlbear. Yeah, Beaky will find a place at my table!


 

HalfElfEnchanter
Half-Elf Enchanter 34/45 : 360-degree view : I found the source material for this half-elf enchanter, Radillo, in a post about the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game by GeekDad’s Jonathan Liu. The transfer from card to miniature went well, with the pose and look almost identical. The eyes on the miniature are excellent.

PathfinderACG-Radillo
Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

 

GoblinVulturePilor
Goblin Vulture Pilot 36/45 : 360-degree view : Figures like this inspire creating an encounter specifically for them. What a great way to introduce your low-level characters to the need to be able to deal with a flying foe. Further, how great when this bomb-laden goblin finally comes falling to the earth in a devastating blast of unexploded-ordnance mixed in with vulture and goblin bits? This might even see use from a player at my table, since, as I said before, my son is playing a goblin paladin. Vulture for a divine bond, anyone?


 

Zilvazaraat
Zilvazaraat 43/45 : 360-degree view : Every time I see this figure I think of Robin Williams. This isn’t a Djinni though. I had to look this guy up. Zilvazaraat is his name, and he’s a Planar creature called a Mercane. Zilvazaraat is from the Reign of Winter adventure path, and I will say no more for fear of spoilers, but he’s pretty interesting. Zilvazaraat is a large figure.


 

Crate

Crate : 360-degree view : The bar from the image earlier in the post is figure 45 of 45, but the other six dungeon dressing pieces are not numbered. I have Hirst Arts molds for making crates, barrels, tables, and the like, so, while I don’t need pieces like this, I guarantee this crate will see good use in my games. These types of pieces are apparently very popular and sell out as singles as most people don’t buy dental plaster in 50 pound bags to cast dungeon dressing! No, the lid does not come off.


 

Table
Table : 360-degree view : Similar to the crate, with my Hirst Arts molds I have a good supply of these features. In this set there is also a barrel, a couple of wagons, and a bed. Something I do not yet have in any of my Hirst Arts molds is a bed! I think that providing these figures will lead to more encounters happening in taverns, and adventurers’ sleeping quarters over the next year. If the DM takes the time to place a bed on the table, I might choose to sleep in my armor.


 

All of the preceding images were taken from different distances, so sizing is not consistent. The image below is for comparison purposes. Each square on the grid is one actual inch. Click the image for a larger version on flickr.

Size comparison of all figures
This image is for scale. It was cropped together from multiple pictures, so there are some cropping anomalies, but nothing that should impede a comparison for scale. Click on the image for a larger version of it on Flickr.com. Image by Ryan Hiller.

Of the 52 miniatures I could have received (44 numbered miniatures, 6 dungeon dressings, 2 reprints from prior sets. Numbered piece 45 is the bar and sold separately), in one case I received 29 unique miniatures with just 3 repeats for a total of 32 miniatures. Well over half of the miniatures available were represented in the single case. Across cases there must be quite a bit of duplication, but without a second case I can’t tell you how much. Again, Paizo states that, “Buyers who purchase factory-sealed cases should get a nearly complete set of figures. (As with any randomized product, collation is not guaranteed.)

The Rusty Dragon Inn Pathfinder Battles set is filled with excellent figures that will see use in most every campaign I am a part of. I’m running Rise of the Runelords, which is centered around Sandpoint and the game-actual Rusty Dragon Inn. In Carrion Crown, I am a player, and we are consistently running into rabid-town-folk encounters where many of these figures would be of use. The figures are continuing the tradition of mimicking their source material with great care, providing great poses with excellent paint jobs for prepainted minis. I just went through all the animated gifs again, and there’s so much cool detail. Many of these figures are multi-part with flowing capes, for instance. Thanks to Paizo’s Eric Mona and Wizkids, it’s obvious so much attention goes into each one of these figures.

As of February 23, 2016 ‘The Rusty Dragon Inn’ miniatures are sold out on the Paizo site. Some are still available on Amazon.

Disclosure: Paizo provided a brick of Rusty Dragon Inn miniatures for review purposes.

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