Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Volnagur the End-Singer

Anguish's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber. 2,907 posts (2,909 including aliases). 2 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


1 to 50 of 546 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as a favorite.
'Sani wrote:
Heck, even though my party DOES know each others names, we still don't actually use them. Nicknames all the way.

Gajolob Gorum posting from beyond grave. Him not pay attention people give names, so make up own. Party start using nicknames too. Much funny. Then Gajolob Gorum start know party. Them real people. Them heroes. Gajolob Gorum start paying attention, learn names. Start using them. Sign of respect.

Then heartless GM make TPK.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

So sparkle princess... sounds totally legit for my impending Hell's Vengeance evil campaign.

Hey look, d10 hit die and 3/4 BAB because... reasons. And - oh m'gawd - I was totally looking at things and stuff, and I see that you get sparkles at 1st level... totally AWESOME! No having to wait until high levels to get them or anything bogus like that. Then it hit me... see, you get them, but you don't get anything you can use them for until second level. So I said to my giant pink alligator friend, "LAME!" and he totally agreed with me because he's so smart that he eats smart bad people so he gets smarter, and there are a LOT of smart bad people, so he gets REALLY smart, REALLY fast, so that's why you know you can trust him. Unless you're a smart bad person. If you are, then... I guess you can trust him anyways, but he'll eat you and get smarter. So it turns out that at first level, I'm literally a NPC class (warrior), with a +2 bonus to Will instead of +0. Who do I need to feed to my alligator to get this fixed because by first level obviously I've spent all thirteen years of my life fighting the Jello Demons the Chocolate King keeps sending after me (and what's up with those lame lime Jello Demons... yuck-ee!), so I should be able to kill people with smile rainbows or something.

/me, brain explode.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

I had a question come up in a game that is relevant to this discussion.

If spells persist after death, does that mean a shield other spell does? Can you kill somebody by butchering the corpse of the person they were bonded with, even though they are already dead?

Oh-oh.

I'd go with yes, personally, for consistency's sake. The caveat being that dead body likely can only take a certain amount of damage before it is "destroyed", much a like a table or a chair. It might be reasonable to look at basic zombies to judge how much punishment a standard dead body can take.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

So, who's remembering to keep track of the weight of the cash wealth their PCs have? Remember, coins are heavy. Those who micromanage encumbrance down to this level, I'm assuming they ask the DM for permission to exchange coin for portable items like gems, right? And deal with that those gems aren't easy to make perfect change for, right?

When does the weight of a trail ration leave you? When you eat it or some hours later? Same question for water you consume from a water skin.

All I'm getting at here is that there are varying degrees of precision in adherence to these rules. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong... as long as they're having fun. But where the line is drawn is going to depend on the group.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

No, I think the point is that while a higher point-buy allows a more effective PC/NPC/monster, it doesn't guarantee it.

I've mentioned elsewhen that the campaigns I play/DM, we do 25-point build but with the stipulation that we want to see well-rounded characters. A fighter who has the points to invest in Int 14 to pick up some skills and languages, as well as Cha 14 to actually be able to be social isn't worthy of a CR change. On the other hand, when you let someone max/min and give them more tools to do so... CR varies.

You can't judge CR by point-buy. You judge CR by combat effectiveness, which is a LOT of different things, of which point-buy is but one minor factor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I'm confused. They were the first humans. Which makes them human. Sure, they were a pureblood line, which is to say ethnic group, but that doesn't make them non-human. Neither do their achievements. They're just as human as the Shoanti. They lived in a golden age, which doesn't impact stats at all.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

P.S. Sweet Jebus. $3,000 in just under four years. Wow.

Of course, the best thing about Kickstarters is when awesome crap I ordered half a year earlier shows up. It's always like Christmas.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

1} I've backed 19 successful Kickstarters for a total of $2,929 all but 3 were Pathfinder/RPG related. I have never watch a video. Don't waste my time. I can read faster than you can talk. Just tell me clearly what your product is, what it contains, how it will be presented, and why it is worthy of my money. Write it down. Let me read it. Done. Don't be funny, don't be cute. Be informative.

2} The best stretch goals are more of what I'm backing. The Reaper Bones minis Kickstarter is a good example. The more you spend, the more success the KS has, you get more minis. I don't expect to back a KS for say... a massive bestiary, and if it gets 200 backers I get a custom d20 and a chocolate bar in the shape of a goblin. Don't get me wrong... I like my Dreamscarred Press d20, but I will always prefer the book become another page longer instead.

3} As Franz says, don't screw with timelines. I'm personally a very forgiving consumer that way, but most of the time you will destroy your reputation by missing deadlines. Write your book first. Proofread it. Playtest it. Then go ahead and launch a Kickstater, knowing that if you fund, all you need is art, layout, and printing. Don't leave parts of the book unwritten. Life WILL happen to you. If an artist falls off the planet, you can commission another to do your art. If you lose your day job, you won't have the time to finish the book. See how this works?

4} Don't overpromise. Make sure your numbers are good so that you can produce the product and still make a profit. It's no good to us if you go broke trying to ship our product. Make sure nobody loses.

Good luck.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Lizrd, you ask a decent question, and you've been given a few answers.

Money is a funny thing. I think there are three categories when it comes to entertainment. Not nearly enough, a decent amount, and plenty.

NOT NEARLY ENOUGH
Especially when people are young, finances leave you in the "not enough" budget. After paying for food and housing, you may have a truly tiny entertainment budget. OGL allows someone in this category to game at all, without resorting to piracy. That's cool.

A DECENT AMOUNT
Once you have a reasonable-paying job, you're going to have a moderate entertainment budget. You can't buy every darned thing you hear of, but you can pick and choose where your money goes. OGL allows for you to prioritize your purchases. It's REALLY handy to have a Core Rulebook at the gaming table, and Bestiaries, for instance. Buy the backbone of your gaming experience, and use the web to look up things you're only going to dip into. Again, that's cool.

PLENTY
Some people can buy every bloody thing, and do. Not everyone is so lucky.

Anyway, my point is, physical books, and even the digital PDFs are different tools from the PRD and d20pfsrd etc. At our table, we have lots of physical books, but not all. They're fastest to find something if you know what book it's in, and they have awesome art to show off. We also have tablets with PDFs, which are great for those books that we can't justify spending cover-price + shipping for. Finally, if we're stumped where something is, Google to the rescue, and the PRD.

So hey, buy the tools that are right for you, both in how they work, and how they fit your budget. Don't feel bad if you can't afford to buy stuff... at least you get to game.

The only thing I'd recommend... is think of the freely-available material as a compromise from a reasonable, compassionate industry. You wouldn't stand outside listening to street-performers all day without throwing money in their guitar-case simply because you can, right? Your moral compass should guide you to contribute when you can, where you can, and as much as makes sense, because you appreciate the artists. Don't not buy RPG stuff "because they were stupid enough to put it out free" (I am NOT saying you're saying that... just don't get tempted).

Hopefully I'm making some sense here.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Huh. Tiny dragons have become a signature with me the last few characters, from Lily the overly masculine pseudodragon who helped tame The Slumbering Tsar to Pervenche the playful faerie dragon who is now the Herald of Iomedae since our Wrath of the Righteous campaign. Heck, I have three Tiny "psyche dragons" in my development folder for psionics.

So yeah, I'll buy this.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
My second name is Jaraczewski. It's a human name from planet Earth. I dare you, I double dare you undereducated 'muricans to pronounce it correctly. You won't, unless you have a degree in Slavic studies or you hail from either Chicago or NY's Greenpoint.

I am a Canadian, monolingual Anglophone but I am fascinated by accents. My Dad's Slovak but I know maybe seven words, enabling me to say "you are a small parrot" and "bring beer". I can also inform people - with confidence - that they are a large parrot, if I feel the requirement. I am joking about none of this. This is the European heritage that was gifted to me.

Without Googling, here's my guess. I'd be interested in knowing how close I come.

Jaraczewski = Yur-uh-chuhski (with "chuh" part sort of rhyming with "full", but not quite).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Shrug.

Thing is, not all professions involve crafting things. Not all crafts are done professionally. Also, some performances are neither crafty nor professional.

Point being, it is what it is for a reason, but not so strong a reason that you can't house-rule it however you want.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Crai wrote:
I have all the books mentioned so far (except for PA:Mythic Psionics).

I just wanted to mention... I played a Wrath of the Righteous mythic game, as a psion. We also had an aegis. It was the most fun campaign I've played in. The biggest thing for me was having the ability to change some powers-known by spending mythic surges. That changed the feel of the class hugely, in a good way. It was "mythic" to have access to whatever magic was needed, even if it took until tomorrow to get it. Have down-time and want to go sell off expensive loot? Don't worry, let's teleport to Absalom. Doesn't matter that I didn't normally know teleport... you could count on that I'd know it when I needed it. I almost never changed powers known in combat, but in preparing for fights or during down-time... it was really, really flavorful to me.

Obviously that only applies to mythic campaigns, but I figured it's worth giving the feedback.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Maybe as a compromise, apply a pound of flesh; a cool-down. One minute after applying triage, a medic becomes fatigued for ten minutes. Triage used in combat *does not trigger this as the medic channels the adrenaline rush of battle.

So yeah, if you've got time you can heal out of combat. But if you're doing a door-to-door dungeon crawl, you may not be able to.

*Define this this as any time you can't take 10 on skills due to stress, not the usual per-encounter definition that includes one minute after combat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Elricaltovilla wrote:

The following text was added to Triage, please note:

A medic can only use this class feature to heal injuries gained during the current encounter; hit point damage, conditions, and other effects that the target had before ​initiative was rolled​ are unaffected by the triage and medic's expertise abilities.

Clunky.

A PC enters combat unexpectedly, with a mere 3 hit points of his normal 50 total. Surprise! The medic can't heal that PC to anywhere above 3 hitpoints.

Also, in an encounter, the party is badly bloodied, but the medic becomes temporarily incapacitated. A minute after the party ends the fight, the medic wakes up and... can't do anything because 10 rounds have passed. Seconds earlier he could've helped, but... too late.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Background skills. Not sure if they're allowed in PFS but in normal games, game on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Tenacious Spell...

Is awesome. Very cool. Excellent for PCs and NPCs alike. I look forward to the look on my players' faces when they dispel some ultra-important buff on a BBEG only to discover it lingers for another 1-4 rounds.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
swoosh wrote:

A level 1 fighter can walk 30 feet or charge 60 feet or run 120 feet every single round and do full damage.

A level 6 fighter loses a little bit of potential damage, but can still pull it off because iteratives are inaccurate.

A level 11 fighter is losing more than half their potential damage.

A level 20 fighter is going to end up doing maybe 30% of their total damage while moving.

This seems kind of backwards. Shouldn't a newbie who's just finished their training be less competent at darting around a battlefield relatively than the ultimate master of martial combat?

False premise.

At 1st-level, a fighter can move 30 feet and do some damage.
At 6th-level, a fighter can move 30 feet and do some damage.
At 11th-level, a fighter can move 30 feet and do some damage.
At 16th-level, a fighter can move 30 feet and do some damage.

Nothing gets worse. But here's a different option a fighter has...

At 1st-level, a fighter can fight as hard as he can, doing some damage.
At 6th-level, a fighter can fight as hard as he can, doing more damage.
At 11th-level, a fighter can fight as hard as he can, doing even more damage.
At 16th-level, a fighter can fight as hard as he can, doing even more damage than that.

Basically, if the fighter spends his time fighting, he gets significantly better. If he spends his time not fighting, he only gets slightly better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Jeremy Smith wrote:
I realize that's not really a yes or no, but it's because we don't have a firm yes or no answer to give right now.

I'll buy it. But you likely already knew that. Mind you, I'll also buy POW:E softcover when/if available.

Just adding my very small anecdotal data point.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Sara Marie wrote:

Top 10 Paizo Staff Posters (including their aliases)

James Jacobs 52,839

This is absolutely, positively not to disregard anyone else BUT...

I would like to take the moment to compliment James on the openness and candor that he has exhibited over the last decade plus. I don't know - or care - if the Creative Director title also includes public relations. It's always been very clear that James is willing to step up to the plate and try to be informative, helpful, friendly, and accessible. Certainly accessibility is a huge burden because it's going to be demoralizing to have so much contact with the negative, complaining, argumentative side of any community, but somehow James hasn't given up on us all.

So hey, James, thank you for every one of those posts. I can't adequately express how much I appreciate them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

How very flavorful. I can imagine an entertaining PC who expresses that the world is created and destroyed around him as he "moves it". With such a limited range of perception, the idea of a persistent, massive world might not settle in, and instead such a person might imagine a scrolling sphere of reality around themselves with nothing but potential outside that area.

That all said, mechanically I wonder about the comment made earlier about obscuring mist. I'm not sure that would work as written due to the senses functioning "as darkvision". If it was basically blindsight, then this would be very cool. A close-range melee type would work reasonably, or even excellently. But if this functions as darkvision... the mechanical cost is very, very high.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

To be fair, you have an ignore button in your head.

Forum "ignore" functionality is actually "suppress". Simply not seeing things/people we don't like is kind of... antisocial.

I know there have been a few times where I've had enough of a given poster within a thread and wished them away but know that things may be different in another thread.

I also shudder at the thought of being personally suppressed because someone has misunderstood me. I never aim to be a jerk. Ever. Sure, I'm willing to disagree, and debate, and strongly word things, but I'm NEVER trying to be abusive. The idea I'd get ignore because someone took something I said personally, instead of calling me out on it so I could explain/apologize... that sucks.

I'd prefer we all continue to act like adults and accept that sometimes people rub us the wrong way and take the personal responsibility to ignore the things we don't like to read, instead of having machines do it for us.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
darth_borehd wrote:

Is it possible for characters to notice that they stepped into an antimagic field?

If so, what kind of roll would be used? Spellcraft? Knowledge (Arcana)? Caster Level Check?

It depends. If they have magic items or spells active, there will likely be an observable effect.

From the Core Rulebook, "Light Generation: Fully 30% of magic weapons shed light equivalent to a light spell. These glowing weapons are quite obviously magical. Such a weapon can't be concealed when drawn, nor can its light be shut off. Some of the specific weapons detailed below always or never glow, as defined in their descriptions."

So, if there are magic weapons out, odds are good that something obvious happens.

No rolls required.

On the other hand, if the party has no magic gear to observe, then there's no roll involved. They might as well have stepped into an anti-taco field while not carrying any Mexican food. You'd never know.

Spellcraft is used to identify running spells, but you'd need some sort of way to observe it.

Also, worth pointing out... antimagic field surrounds a caster. So this typically won't happen in the middle of nowhere... it's around a person.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Berinor wrote:
Anguish was taking someone else's interpretation and proving it wrong by pointing out spells it would break. I was saying that just because they didn't define that interpretation in exhausting detail, doesn't mean it can't be understood in a reasonable way that avoids those pitfalls. I believe it was a form of straw-manning without intent to do so and deserved pointing out.

I hear you, and I hear you in the spirit you intend it.

Problem is that as things stand, there are rules that break if spells end on death, and no rules that break if they don't. So while I absolutely agree with your principle that (my) few examples could be exceptions rather than the norm, so far there's no actual examples showing that.

I'd totally buy into the "exception" theory if there was a hint of that being the case. Instead, the arguments along the object/creature dichotomy line are so far coming off more of "if it were so that spells ended upon death, here is how I would explain WHY it happens". There aren't yet rules that say that it DOES, only those that support that it COULD, while I've produced a few that demonstrate that (in their cases) it DOESN'T.

In short, the score (as I interpret it) is...

DOES - 0
COULD - more than 0
DOESN'T - more than 0


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
MeanMutton wrote:
Berinor wrote:
A dead creature is a specific type of object where the relevant feature for the spell is the creature it used to be.
No - a dead creature is just a creature with the dead condition.

I'm going to blow your mind. <Grin>

I'd go so far as to say that the dead creature is a creature with the dead condition, and that its dead body is an object.

Whoa.

I'd (under all conditions I can currently imagine) let someone cast a spell on said body as long as that spell worked on either objects or dead creatures.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Because I'm perfectly happy beating this dead horse until the invisibility wears off so I can do a Heal check to confirm it's dead...

Spells last as long as their duration says, regardless of changes in the Target.

Witness temporary resurrection from Ultimate Magic.

Spoiler: you cast it on a dead creature, which immediately stops being dead, for 24 hours. So either I'm right, in which case this spells works, or I'm wrong, and the moment the target stops being dead, it ends, and it should have been called waste a standard action and a 7th-level spell slot.

Are we done? Or do I really need to find more examples? I'm pretty sure there's one that temporarily kills a living creature to avoid detection. That should put a nail in the coffin. Or, maybe you shouldn't, since the moment you die, you're alive again, so you'll want to get out of the coffin.

*Aside: I get it what's happening here. The GM has seen movies where - for instance - werewolves revert to their natural form on death. Stuff where illusions fail upon their creator's fall. It's a TV/movie trope. I understand that. But it's not how this game works.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Okay, let's again use magic jar to figure out how things should work.

A barbarian is subject to dominate monster by a vampire. They will do its bidding.

A wizard - unknowingly - uses magic jar to take over the body of the dominated barbarian. The soul of the barbarian is in a crystal, the soul of the wizard is in the body of the barbarian, and the body of the wizard is "dead".

The wizard starts walking around to do whatever he wants to do, and the vampire sees this, and gives the command, "stop walking."

What happens?

At my table, I'm sure I'd rule that the wizard flips the vampire the bird and casts something horribly destructive at it. Surprise!

Mind/soul and body are two different things. I'd probably rule that things that transform a body apply to a body, and things that alter a mind apply to a mind. If you've been subject to baleful polymorph and someone uses magic jar, they're going to inhabit a little bunny's body.

So the way I view it, a dead enlarged and dominated individual who is killed that is then raised as an undead, you've got an enlarged but not dominated creature, even if the spell used was dominate monster.

Given that model, the question of target-validity becomes a little clearer. The fly spell applies to the body, not the mind. So you'd get a flying undead.

But again, this is just being consistent, and using the precedent in magic jar to underline that there's no reason for spells to end when their target dies. They just may not be useful. You can absolutely have an invisible corpse, for instance, until it wears off.

What happens when you cast a helpful spell on a party member, where the target line reads "willing creature touched", then afterwards the party member changes their mind? Does the spell just suddenly go away? No. The target was valid when the spell was cast, and as long as the recipient could possibly still be the recipient, it remains in place. If you disintegrate a person who's got mage armor on them, yeah, I guess the spell is gone, because there's no target at all to have an armor bonus.

It's also MUCH simpler to retain spells after death. Otherwise all kinds of nasty book-keeping comes into play with breath of life. I imagine a joyous argument the day someone tries to use breath of life on a fallen party member who had bear's endurance on them, and the make/break as to if enough healing is dealt to wake them up is based on the bonus hit points and negative Con score.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

magic jar

Have fun with this well-written gem. First of all, the target is "one creature". Is that you? Maybe. Maybe it's the body you're going to inhabit. But regardless, step #1 is that your soul transfers into a literal gem, "leaving your body lifeless".

So your body is dead. Does the spell end?

Nope. Because casting it was a standard action and the spell specifically tells you that attempting to take over a body is a full-round action, which by definition can't be started until your next round.

There's a bunch of text that pretty much makes it clear that you can reside in the "jar" for hours on end, during which your body is dead. "your body is, as near as anyone can tell, dead." Anyone. Anyone includes deities, technically.

Point is, this spell relies on you being dead, and you're the caster of it. While you may or may not be the target of it, you're definitely, positively, the recipient of half of its results.

So there's rules-as-written evidence that spells don't end when you are dead.

Worse, it's RAW evidence that you can act while you're dead. <Grin>

Just because your soul isn't visiting Pharasma (yet), and is instead inside a crystal doesn't change things. You're dead. The spell just gives you the magical ability to continue to act while your body is dead, which is an exception to the general assumption that you can't normally act while dead.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
budejovice wrote:

This really has the appearance of gross negligence and/or incompetence. It's a shame to see a hometown company fizzle like this. Had you never heard of Humble Bundle?

You guys have bragged about 2/3 of your bundle buyers being new users of paizo.com. How many do you think will return? How many do you think will even continue to try download what they have paid for?

I recognize that a Paizo staffer has already replied to this but it bears repeating...

The demand in the first 48 hours was more than triple the previous best-selling book bundle's sales over two weeks. Having heard of Humble Bundle wasn't the issue.

Folks, it's a good philosophy in life that when you're getting ready to rip into someone - for anything - to take a moment to try to see if there's another side of the coin. If there's missing information. If there's extenuating circumstances. Because once you crucify someone, once you cross a line, once you burn a bridge, it's all over. Doesn't mean there always is another side etc, but it's always a good idea to look for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Richard Pett wrote:
all 550,000 or so words of the Blight

Having read much of your work, I'm going to predict upwards of 400,000 are adjectives. <Grin>


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

What task requires 18 months of dedicated effort from the creative director?

Helping Richard Pett figure out where to bury all the bodies.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Terminalmancer wrote:
You know, "modern design" isn't just an euphemism for "design decisions I don't like."

Agreed. But it has recently become an euphemism for "web design by fashionistas". I get it that some of the interface changes are necessary to support modern devices such as touch-interface tablets and phones. I do. But there's NO valid reason to remove visual cues from around a search box. That's just someone who's following the latest style guides out of Paris.

Quote:
A lot of work has been done on understanding how users interact with a site, how information architecture informs navigation decisions, how search engines can find the most relevant content, how to build more efficient layouts that don't rely on tables, ways to speed up the loading of the site so people get to their pages faster, that sort of thing. None of these, at least when done properly, mean that you'll hate a website using them.

How to speed up a web site: remove the megabyte of javascript from each page.

Quote:

Paizo has been updating aspects of the site piecemeal, and there's nothing wrong with that--incremental design is considered a best practice! A larger update to the design is probably necessary in the long run, but it may not make sense for Paizo right now--it takes time and money that could be spent elsewhere. I don't know their infrastructure, but from what I've heard, I would expect that we won't see a full rework at least until they start migrating away from

WebObjects.

Slow and steady wins the race.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Skeld wrote:
What is an example of a modern website, anyway?

Got to go to work, but here's one.

Kickstarter.com
First complaint: where exactly is the search box? Oh. You actually have to click on the words "Search Projects"? There's no sign that there's a text-entry field there. No box around it, nothing. Just... for some reason when you click on that text your can type into it. Yeah, the mouse-cursor changes when you mouseover, but that's pretty darned subtle. Also, even once you click in the box, "Search Projects" remains in the box until you type anything. So... did it work? Am I actually in a box I should fill in, or am I just in the middle of some highlightable text? Why shouldn't this be OBVIOUS?

Second complain: you might not see this unless you're logged in, but a massive part of the site's useful interface is hidden in the ME button in the upper right corner. Why is everything hidden in there? By contrast, at Paizo, most things (such as My Account) are visible and ask for credentials when you try to access them. You can SEE what you want, and are challenged for identity when it's needed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
137ben wrote:
I'm sure you'll find a way to spin all of those flaws as "enabling" users, or, at least, enabling to the people who've been posting here the longest.

Nope. The specific things you've talked about are features, which I'm on board with. I'm very pro-functionality. What I'm against, and (perhaps) misunderstood you to be advocating was modernizing the site. There's a difference between "improving functionality" and "making it not out-dated", and I (mis)understood you to be talking about the latter.

What I object to is stuff like Windows "Metro", and Chrome's interfaceless-UI, and the "flat" style that is all the rage these days, and Google's "material design" ethic. Basically there's a mad rush to remove visual cues that provide users an idea about the UI they're working with. Suddenly 3D buttons that looks like... buttons... are evil. That sort of thing.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Gunner McNewb wrote:
Something tells me you only use linux.

Interesting.

But no. My "production" desktop is Win8.1 (with ClassicShell). I have a Win7 workstation as well. My work machines I chose to update from Win7 to Win10 (with ClassicShell). Aesthetically there's a lot I find annoying, but I can certainly use modern stuff. It's just unpleasant.

I could do Linux if I wanted to not run Windows software and wanted to "hand-code my own kernel" and stuff, but sorry, there are plenty of things I want that require Windows.

I could do Mac, but the same thing applies.

For browsers, I tend to use Firefox with lots of crunchy add-ons that let me move UI elements around and make stuff work the way I like it. Basically, I like UI where User Interface includes the interface part.

Um. Hey. Does "I still use Office 2003 because I find menus more intuitive than ribbons" count? 'Cuz I totally do.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Antariuk wrote:
You guys can snark all you want, the OP certainly has a valid point - the Paizo website is out-of-date.

Good.

I've had enough of "modern" design, thank you very much. While it wouldn't be harmful to support the underline BBCODE, much of modern design seems to be about annoying users, not enabling them.

I don't need menus replaced by clickable lines that throw moving sheets of options. I don't need search boxes and fields that have no border differentiating them from the areas around them. I don't need buttons flattened so they look like part of the background.

User interface should NOT be hidden. Chrome is wrong. Period.

We're living in a world where the arties have taken control over the web and have decreed that a car's steering wheel should be concealed in the trunk, under the spare tire, because "clean!"

It's obnoxious.

So yeah. I won't argue against architectural and infrastructural changes as Paizo sees fit, but as far as appearance is concerned frankly I find this a comforting refuge from the user-hostile environment the web has become in the last three years.

**ADDENDUM**
I'm currently struggling with a philosophical issue. I want to support someone via Patreon. I was two clicks from giving them a significant boost in funding. But various browser plugins proceeded to tell me how intrusive Patreon's site is. They're sharing data with an awful lot of other domains. While I'm used to Google Analytics, there were a half-dozen other nosy demographics networks involved. Sorry, no. Privacy by default. Ask me if you want to share my information. The web has become evil.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
mrb2112 wrote:
Still pretty weak sauce, in my opinion. I understand that the Paizo system wasn't designed for this load and the popularity wasn't expected and all that... yadda yadda yadda. That's water under the bridge. I've been in IT for 25 years and one of the greatest advancements of modern times has been virtualization. It offers extreme flexibity, reliability, and scalability. I can spin up new servers in minutes. I can scale existing servers adding resources in seconds. If the hardware I have under my VM isn't enough, I can easily move that VM to a more robust platform in the amount of time it takes me to call the datacenter and lease another blade or physical box.

I keep hearing (other) IT people throwing this out there as if... it's magic. It's not. And you know it. Yet you keep saying it as if it is, and that hurts the public perception because people who aren't in IT are taking your suggestion at face-value.

It absolutely isn't a given that spinning up additional VMs is all that's involved. You know, and I know, that even an clustered solution isn't trivial to scale out an additional 100x its current maximum load.

Since we're nerding out, even if you've built your site expecting and using parallelization, there's no given that - for instance - your database back-end is. You might have one database server that is adequate for say... double your expected peak. So what happens when you have a 100x peak? Now you've got to rebuild your database infrastructure to also be a clustered solution. Maybe the software that has always been more than adequate, and is projected to be adequate for another two years simply isn't built for scale-out.

Can your load-balancer handle 100x its expected load or do you need to replace it? Can your anti-DDoS service handle 100x its expected load, or do you need to change/upgrade it as well? Is your web cluster designed to handle 100x the nodes that you designed it for or are there hard limits to it? There are a LOT of moving wheels here and just because Google and Amazon have already clustered out insanely wide doesn't mean that a small business like Paizo should have already prepared for massive scale two orders of magnitude beyond their anticipated peak demand.

Heck, I've got software some customers use where I've played every trick in the book to scale out to 400 simultaneous users. But I'm going to be screwed no matter what I do beyond that because it must use flat-file (FoxPro) databases. It's a nightmare because the disk IOPS are through the roof, and even with massively cached arrays of tiered storage with SSD tiers involved, it's just acceptable up to 400 users.

Sure, the software can change down the line, but not on a dime. And that's what you're telling the public.

Quote:
So the description of Paizo's problems and their solutions are puzzling to me. I can only conclude that they do not host their systems in a virtual environment, which in 2016 is the equivalent to a guy running a server out of his garage. If your business model depends on web servers, it would behoove you to place them in a more robust environment. In fact, you'd be stupid if you didn't. Are there costs? Yes, but they are better than losing customers because your online presence is down or faulty.

Addressed above. Even if you've already got a virtualized solution, scale-out isn't trivial. And you KNOW that.

Quote:

Even assuming the server-in-a-garage model, they could have contacted a virtual provider and rented some space and virtualized their servers in a few hours. There are several big name services that do just that. Pick one.

Looking at the problem from another angle:
Did it cross your minds that since your existing platform/model can't handle the load that a different approach would be wise? Rather than having people logging in and clicking download links that don't work and clogging all of your processing queues with multiple requests, and pissing off the users, would it not make more sense to funnel your 40,000+ Humble Bundle customers through a different process? It is a generalization, but in most cases, your Humble Bundle customers want to download all of their shiny new bundle stuff asap. They want the whole bundle. So, to avoid clogging your normal method to grab files one at a time, but point them to the big bundle file first with the option of the one-file-at-a-time method. The one-at-a-time people will be the exception rather than the rule, so they shouldn't kill your servers.

Anyway, that's just one look at your problems from an old IT guy. Take it for what you want. Regardless, I am disappointed in Paizo and their response to the problem.

Again, you're talking about inventing a new process at the flip of a switch. And you KNOW it's not that simple. Anyone in our industry knows that. Worse, you're ignoring that there simply isn't "one big bundle", and there can't be. Each customer would need their own "one big bundle". The problem here isn't the clicking. The problem here is the creating personalized bundles.

So I'm afraid you're not getting what the fundamental issue is, and you're just playing the classic "why doesn't NASA just XXX?" card. Rocket science is rocket science. And e-commerce (presumably linked to some accounting systems and warehouse systems) is e-commerce. And you can't just "make it better".

If this was trivial to deal with, it would have been. I will bet you any amount of money on that. Paizo does not - as a practice - ever, EVER neglect their customers deliberately. While the occasional mistake may be made, screwing over tens of thousands of new customers isn't one they'd allow willingly. Ever.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

HINTS FOR THE PERSONALIZER - based on my experience over the last decade.

  • Don't Go Away - the process times out if you don't click the link every minute or so
  • Personalized Files Are Temporary - the system will remove your personalized file after a few hours regardless of if you download it, requiring a new personalize
  • Multiple Personalizes Won't Help - don't use multiple browsers or tabs to try to personalize more at once; this will only harm performance
  • Bigger Files Take Longer - the more pages a PDF has, the longer it takes to personalize so expect rules books to take longer
  • Think Of Steam - You can always come back and download your files later, even years later
  • Some Of Humble Bundle Is Available FREE in HTML - You can visit the Pathfinder Reference Document where the key rules for all the major books are in hypertext

Cuzinlox wrote:
No the new hardware is not picking up the slack like you said it would - nor is any "improvements" in the programming that you may have done.

This is my least-helpful response: the improvements have had effect. They're just not enough. When this started, the entire site was verging on dead. The forum and store frequently wouldn't load at all, or would only load partial pages. Today, the download system is the only part of the system that shows significant stress. Yes, absolutely, that's the most important part for most of you, but the fact that we can post to have this discussion does have value.

Quote:
And no the files don't stay in the queue after the response of "Personalizing" comes up because when I try again later - maybe 10 minutes, maybe 4 hours - it still wants to "personalize" the files again.

Here's a non-intuitive fact. The personalizer isn't permanent.

Basically, when you personalize a PDF, the system takes a master copy of the file and edits the PDF to apply your customer information etc to each page. Obviously larger files take longer for this to happen, but once this is complete, the file is placed in a temporary holding area. I don't know how long this temp file lasts, but I'm pretty sure it's only a few hours.

This is a necessity as storing unique copies of everyone's files forever is impractical. If you need to download a file two days in a row, you need to personalize it each day. This normally doesn't matter because it normally only takes 3-5 seconds, except on days when massively popular books are released, when it might take the full 10 seconds.

What this means is you pretty much must sit around prodding the system. If you go away, your temp file will likely expire even if the personalize succeeds.

Quote:
So I attribute the 3 files that I did get downloaded as flukes of the system.

Yes, they're most likely flukes based on a set of factors including personalizer demand at the moment, the persistence of your clicking the "click here after 10 seconds" link, and the size of the files in question.

Quote:
Its a shame that Paizo can't see past their own nose and allow other sites involved in etrade (like rpgnow and drivethru rpg) sell their files.

Not cool. Paizo is absolutely aware of the issue. That doesn't mean that there is a perfect solution to it that can be implemented before the problem resolves itself.

This is a problem of numbers. We're talking about a potential customer-demand well in excess of a million PDF personalize operations. Even when high-demand new books are released, odds are very good that the system needs to process maybe 10,000 personalize requests that day. We're looking at in the general realm of 100x the peak demand ever required.

That still sucks. I absolutely, positively don't disagree. But RPGNow and DriveThruRPG would very, very likely have similar issues if they experienced 100x their peak demand.

Now, people keep pointing the finger, and - again - I understand the frustration. But what happened here is that the 48-hour demand for the Humble Bundle was nearly four times the demand for the historic most popular book bundle ever. HB said "one time we sold 10,000 bundles". That's a number the system should have been able to handle over the two weeks of the offer. But instead there were something shy of 40,000 bundles sold in fourty eight hours. Instead of about 700 bundles a day, it was nearly 20,000 bundles. 30x the predicted performance of the best selling ever.

I'm just posting this to try to help manage expectations. Something happened here that nobody would have predicted. And everyone's suffering because of it.

But you WILL get your PDFs. Paizo's download area is forever. Even if it takes a week to cope with the absurd back-log, you WILL get your product.

Please imagine this as a sale where the seller ran out of stock on a product because of 30x more customers than anyone predicted might want the thing. More WILL be made, and you WILL get yours. Unfortunately, it's on back-order, and it will take a while for the factory to make some more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Ensorceled wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Anguish wrote:
A 100x expected peak demand isn't something any IT group scales for. We'd never get the budget for that kind of overkill. It'd be like a grocery store having 700 cash registers, just in case.
Nice analogy.
It's actually a poor analogy.

It's actually an excellent analogy because it illustrates to someone who doesn't know technology - its target audience - what is happening.

No, it doesn't model the work queue involved. It doesn't need to, and shouldn't. As a fellow IT person, I'd like to humbly point out that being able to recognize that there's a time and a place for "taking nerd" is a critical skill. There is zero value in talking tech when trying to deal with frustrated users/customers. The problem here is a question of scale, and that is what my analogy illustrated.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
aceman67 wrote:
I'll be frank: Asking more for shipping than what the MSRP is for the product is bad business, regardless of the circumstances. Pure and Simple.

Pure, simple, and wrong.

If I attempt to order a single paving stone or masonry brick, unless it is made from some exotic material, it will cost more to ship than the MSRP of the item. Why? Because the price of the item is fair, and therefore low while the effort required to transport it is high due to size and weight.

So yeah. Wrong. Price of item and cost to ship have no relationship except in the minds of those who are upset they are expected to pay more for a thing than the amount they arbitrarily feel is appropriate.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Some quick napkin-back math.

I'd guess on the day that a popular new book is released - something like one of the hardcovers - there might be 5,000 or maybe even 10,000 people jump on it Day #1. Tops.

In the last day, over 26,000 Humble Bundles were sold. The largest bundle consists of 45 PDFs. We're talking about potentially a million PDFs to be watermarked and delivered.

A 100x expected peak demand isn't something any IT group scales for. We'd never get the budget for that kind of overkill. It'd be like a grocery store having 700 cash registers, just in case.

So yeah, the site has been having fits and spasm. But as an IT guy, and with some rough guesswork math, I recognize miracles are being worked here to not have the whole thing just flame out and deadlock/race condition.

Kudos to the tech team.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Shivok wrote:

The funny thing is that when oil prices go down the consumer doesnt see a benefit immediately, if ever. But when the prices go up every gas station is raising their prices on gas thats been in their tanks for days...

It's all a gimmick.

To be fair, it does make sense and it's more than a gimmick.

If you were a manufacturer, and the costs to you to make a widget were $1, you might reasonably decide that you would sell that widget for $1.50

Then, after a year of doing so, prices for some of your components go up by 30%, making your costs $1.30 At that point, you might reasonably recognize that your profit margin has been reduced significantly, and accept that you need to raise the selling price of your widget. Assuming a 50% mark-up, you'd now want to sell your widget for $1.65

Your customers complain.

Six months later, the prices of some of your components go down. Others may have gone up, but let's pretend they haven't, and your costs happen to have returned to $1 to make your widget.

What do you do?

You KNOW that the component pricing fluctuates, and you KNOW that $1.30 in costs has been seen recently. You KNOW your customers complain (understandably) every time you increase prices.

You could reduce your selling price back to $1.50, and hope for some sort of good-will from your customers, and hope that component prices don't return to their higher rate forcing a return to the increased price.

Or you could sit on things as they are, turn a 65% profit on your widgets for a while, maybe even a year. Then, you've got this nice situation where if component prices creep to say... $1.40, you might hold off on raising the price again, because you know you've met your profit goals for the quarter/year.

It's just not that simple to expect prices to move in lock-step with component pricing.

Stuff like border security and regulation in general never gets cheaper, for instance. Barriers to smooth business are invented every day.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Rudimentary review up to give an idea what's in the box.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
It's distance from the sun

Kill me now.

For the record, that post got revised a bunch of times and the sentence reworked a few times. I do actually know the difference between "it is" and the possessive for "it".

1 to 50 of 546 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

©2002–2016 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.