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D&D 5E Iconics in 5E

Are iconic characters, monsters, and locations essential to D&D?

I think D&D has the latter two in spades, but has lost the former over the years. 3E relied on "iconics" (Mialee and the like) to teach the game, and also had the iconic characters of D&D history retained through spell names and magic items -- Mordenkainen, Bigby, Tenser, etc. Maybe I was asleep at the switch, but I don't recall 4E using or retaining iconic characters.

Should 5E return to iconics of old?
 

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ferratus

Adventurer
Well, 2e and 4e didn't have iconics, while 1e and 3e did.

2e and 4e don't seem to be as well recieved or as 1e and 2e.

Coincidence? I think not.
 

CleanCutRogue

First Post
I don't really care one way or the other. But if I try to list pros and cons, I find plenty of pros and few if any cons.

Pros:

Saves on text in the finished book; if every example in the book stated a different character of different concept it would take more text to express the example.

Convenient for newbies and DMs; having fully statted character examples helps newbies to understand how character creation works and serves as quick NPC stat bases for DMs to throw into the game.

Consistency for art in core rulebooks; giving an archetypical adventuring party helps with a consistency for artwork, if art is showing adventurers in various situations.

Cons:
??
 

Klaus

First Post
Are iconic characters, monsters, and locations essential to D&D?

I think D&D has the latter two in spades, but has lost the former over the years. 3E relied on "iconics" (Mialee and the like) to teach the game, and also had the iconic characters of D&D history retained through spell names and magic items -- Mordenkainen, Bigby, Tenser, etc. Maybe I was asleep at the switch, but I don't recall 4E using or retaining iconic characters.

Should 5E return to iconics of old?
The Essentials books had Iconics, like Belgos, the drow hunter.

And if you consider Mordenkainen, Bigby and the others as 1e's Iconics, then they much count for 2e, 3e and 4e, since their names were also used in those editions.
 

tuxgeo

Adventurer
The Essentials books had Iconics, like Belgos, the drow hunter.

Where's my copy of "Fallen Lands?"

Oh, there it is. Let's see:
p. 84, drawing of "Falon, human warpriest"
p. 126, drawing of "Dendric, human knight"
p. 149, drawing of "Shara, human slayer"
p. 172, drawing of "Uldane, halfling thief"
p. 195, drawing of "Albanon, eladrin mage, with Splendid the pseudodragon"
p. 197, drawing of "Kathra, dwarf mage"

p. 320, full-page art with caption, "Albanon casts a spell of teleportation to take him back to his tower in Fallcrest"

. . . and I may have missed some in that book.
 


Frostmarrow

First Post
If they present iconics I hope they are little more fleshed out and interesting. I expect more from the iconics than just pictures of models in cool looking armor. Also, I'd like a photo of the player. And an interview.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
Based on some feedback from my DDI submissions, I get the impression that the design team is very focused on story. I think that iconics play an important story role, so I expect to see them in 5e. (Also I feel like the Pathfinder Iconics are quite popular).
 

Pour

First Post
Based on some feedback from my DDI submissions, I get the impression that the design team is very focused on story. I think that iconics play an important story role, so I expect to see them in 5e. (Also I feel like the Pathfinder Iconics are quite popular).

I'm totally for iconics (big fan of the Planewalkers in Magic, as well), in fact I had a thread going on the 4e forum and was pleasantly surprised by the realization there were iconics, most recently in Heroes of the Feywild. They're kind of part of this undocumented story moving through the edition, and there's value in that. I'd opt for them in any sort of Dark Alliance like game, or future 5e IDW comic. You might even count the Encounters premades as iconics in their way.

However, even though I understand the nature of the iconic is to be featured often, maybe exclusively as the representative of the class, I'd want to see other sorcerers, paladins, fighters, rangers, etc. every now and then, too. I also wouldn't want iconics to take precedent over something more intimate with the subject matter or setting. There should probably be setting-based iconics, come to think...
 

Incenjucar

Legend
The Heroes of the Feywild book had iconic characters, and used them in just about a perfect way. Confining iconics mostly to their own books gives you a lot more room for interesting stories-in-pictures, without risking sticking everyone with a really uncomfortable art decision someone made six years ago (3E players know exactly what I'm talking about).
 

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